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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • The revelation that Tassadar's spirit in Wings of Liberty was actually a Xel'Naga in disguise raises the question of how much of what he told Zeratul was true. Zeratul's sensing of the Overmind's emotions implies it was all true. But then, that could easily be Ouros manipulating him some more, since he as Tassadar was conveniently there when Zeratul finished with the tendrils.
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    • A minor instance: Alarak in "Forbidden Weapon." That Mothership beam takes a while to reach the technology vault, when he knows that's what the Daelaam's objective is. Furthermore, the beam takes its time sweeping through the facility in an indirect path. Alarak not only allies with the Daelaam later, but the short story "Ascension" implies he was plotting Ma'lash's downfall for some time before the events of the game, but knew he would need powerful allies for the task. Alarak's performance in "Forbidden Weapon" may have been incompetence or complacency, but it may also have been a Secret Test of Character for him to judge Artanis and his forces in preparation for allying with them later.
    • Regarding the end of the Covert Ops arc in Wings of Liberty: Was Nova still lying (or being lied to) about the Terran Spectres becoming dangerous psychopaths, or was there some truth in her claims given that the Moebius Spectres have become thralls under Amon's influence?
  • Anti-Climax Boss: Amon, in both forms.
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    • After the penultimate mission, where you destroy void shards feeding Amon's hybrid body, the body awakens, and he's quickly killed by a massive orbital bombardment from the protoss fleet. You don't even get to order it yourself, it happens in a cutscene because it's so powerful that it starts tearing into your base with impunity as soon as it awakens. Also, it's a bit of a disappointment that his terrifying hybrid body is basically just a Hybrid Reaver with a different texture and the size scaled up a bit. Still, knowing that it was made up of the Overmind's carcass and countless protoss bodies might invoke another type of reaction.
    • Then, the epilogue. Rather than a mission where all your units have to face him as a final boss after destroying the Void Crystals, or even a final battle cinematic between him and Kerrigan, he gets destroyed by Ascended Kerrigan with one single energy blast after the Void Crystals are destroyed.
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  • Ass Pull: The repeated uses of the Xel'naga artifact/the Keystone, which can variably absorb, store, and/or release different types of energy depending on how the user calibrates it. The writers attempt to justify this by saying its creators were highly advanced with their understanding of the universe and physics, including how to transmute different types of energy into matter or into each other, and to use psionic energy to store consciousness or information. However, it comes off as Applied Phlebotinum, the thing able to do whatever the characters say it can do in each mission. Given that its purpose is to be a map to Ulnar, and then awaken the sleeping Xel'naga there, this comes across as Super-Powered Robot Meter Maids, as there is no reason for it to be able to do any of that (except maybe sample protoss and zerg DNA to unlock itself, which it does on a massive scale and fatally).
  • Author's Saving Throw: A lot of previous plot elements or oversights that fans didn't take kindly to from the first two parts of the trilogy were addressed.
    • Tassadar's spirit that Zeratul spoke to in the prophecy missions in Wings of Liberty is revealed to be a Xel'naga, Ouros that was using Tassadar's form, and the "vision" of the Overmind he passed on to Zeratul was Ouros showing Zeratul what he had to be shown to make him do what Ouros wanted him to do. In turn, this allows the Alternate Character Interpretation that the Overmind's retconned motivations were re-retconned: it's entirely possible Tassadar/Ouros lied to Zeratul about the Overmind and manipulated what he sensed from its emotions on its death, in order to sell its cover story. Thus, fans who don't mind or liked the plot twist with the Overmind's true goals can accept Zeratul's findings at face value, while fans who disliked the reveal can claim it was Ouros' doing and the Overmind wasn't retconned at all.
      • In tandem with this, all the talk of "prophecy" in Wings of Liberty didn't go over well with many fans, seeing them as skewing the franchise hard to the "fantasy" part of the Science Fantasy genre when otherwise Starcraft was more the former. The full scope of events concerning Amon and the Xel'naga establishes that those prophecies weren't really "these characters are seeing visions of the future", but were more "these characters possess information the viewer doesn't, and are intuiting how these unrevealed elements will influence things in the future". Word of God had previously implied this was the case, and the game makes it clear they were being sincere.
    • One of Alarak's Stop Poking Me! quotes has him give a Hand Wave that the Tal'darim Executor from Wings of Liberty is named Nyon, and he was sent to harvest terrazine for them and went rogue when his exposure to it drove him insane. This not only gives the Executor a bit of a backstory, but also provides an explanation for why the Tal'darim in Wings are guarding the artifacts from Raynor when their boss Narud was the one who ordered Raynor to gather them: Nyon had gone insane and become a rogue element.
    • Stukov gets his moment of vengeance against Duran/Narud. The latter is also directly addressed as a Xel'naga, when previously it was unclear what he was.
    • The Tal'darim are given a motivation for their deeds that makes them more than the cliched cutouts they were before, and they end up pulling a Heel–Face Turn.
    • Likewise, Amon is given more depth, including characterization and a motivation, that makes him more than a Generic Doomsday Villain.
    • Kerrigan's villainous traits are heavily de-emphasized to the point she's a definite Anti-Hero instead of the Designated Hero she edged up on in Heart of the Swarm. It's also made clear that she genuinely feels guilt for her past crimes, and wishes to atone for it.
  • Awesome Ego: Alarak is a megalomaniac, arrogant asshole who constantly mocks both his allies and enemies, boasts about his fighting skills and treats his allies and minions as slaves. However, he is genuinely powerful, happens to have some of the funniest lines in the game, and has the guts to yell in Amon's face to come at him, so most people still love him. It helps a lot that he is voiced by flippin' John de Lancie, who is practically the patron saint of lovable arrogant bastards.
  • Breather Level: "Templar's Charge" is more or less a rehash of Wings of Liberty's "Maw of the Void", in that you simply mass up an army of air units and steamroll your way to the objectives. You do have limited resources to work with, but with the Spear of Adun's Reconstruction Beam and the AI's general ineptitude at dealing with Carriers (namely their tendency to target the Interceptors rather than the Carrier that launched them), you generally won't be suffering too many losses that need to be replaced. And even then, there are plenty of resource pickups scattered around the map that can be easily reached by dropping a Pylon and warping in a Zealot to pick them up, which incidentally also makes the Mastery Achievement for this level a cakewalk. Finally, enemy attacks on your base consist entirely of air units which can be easily dealt with by a squad of Phoenixes.
  • Broken Base:
    • The inclusion of "Fenix" as a Purifier that Fenix was brainscanned onto before his death. Some fans are happy to see Fenix back, even if it's not really him; others find it pointless fan pandering on Blizzard's part to include him when the original Fenix is still dead and went out in an awesome fashion. Artanis practically lampshades this:
    Artanis: Seeing Fenix once more perplexes me. I feel sadness, when I should feel joy.
    • Further played with when Purifier!Fenix decides to change his name to Talandar near the endgame.
    • The ending of the epilogue, more specifically Raynor and Kerrigan's fate. Some felt that the ending was the worst Tastes Like Diabetes moment in Blizzard storytelling with Kerrigan taking human formnote , or that Raynor was allowed to ascend as a Xel'Naga to be with Kerrigan forever just to get them back together. Others felt that after spending most of his life as the Cosmic Plaything of the Starcraft universe and losing so much, Raynor deserved a happy ending for once to be with the woman he loves. Some also feel the epilogue should have done more to focus on the fates of the Terran, Protoss and Zerg in a cinematic, instead of a "Where are they now?" Modular Epilogue over focusing the cinematic in giving closure to Raynor and Kerrigan's relationshipnote . There is also the complaint that there was no epic final battle cinematic between Amon and Kerrigan, instead Kerrigan kills Amon with a single energy blast, or a final boss against a superunit requiring all your units and Ascended Kerrigan to take down.
    • On the multiplayer front, once again many of the new units and gameplay changes have had a mixed reception. However, this time it's even worse thanks to the change of macro mechanics (players start with more workers, bases have fewer resources each) and a change in several older units with an overall focus on faster, more micro-intensive gameplay than before. This makes Legacy of the Void play significantly different from Heart of the Swarm, giving fans more things to argue over than from Wings of Liberty to Heart of the Swarm.
    • The announcement of DLC mission packs brings with it the expected arguments that come with paid DLC: "Blizzard has to pay the bills to make these things, and if you don't want it don't buy it" versus "I'm not going to pay a quarter of the game's price for 9 side missions that could just be released for free." As of May 2020, only 9 DLC missions (Nova: Covert Ops) were released.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Amon, The Dark Voice/The Fallen One, is the Greater-Scope Villain of the franchise as a whole and the Big Bad of Legacy of the Void. A fallen Xel'Naga who broke the noninterference policy towards other races, Amon sought to shatter the eternal cycle all races were bound to by genetically altering the young Protoss to suit his needs. Finding and enforcing a Hive Mind slavery on the Zerg, Amon unleashed the ravenous swarm on the other Xel'Naga when they attempted to stop him from creating Protoss-Zerg hybrids that would be used to annihilate all other forms of life. The Xel'Naga were destroyed, but Amon was imprisoned within the Void. Retaining some influence over the Zerg, Amon was responsible in part for their rampages over the galaxy that claimed countless lives. When freed, Amon had his agents murder the rest of his sleeping enemy Xel'Naga, while also marshaling his forces in the heretic Tal'Darim; Protoss who worshiped him in hopes of "ascension," that was only, as Amon knew, horrible death in the end. Amon corrupted the telepathic network of the Protoss, the Khala, possessing multiple Protoss and forcing them to fight their own brethren and then directed his forces to cleanse the galaxy of all other life he could not control. Even while claiming good intentions in ending the cycle races are bound to, a protoss who touches Amon's mind revealed the truth: Amon is filled with nothing but intense loathing towards all the other races and wishes them to suffer and die for the sake of his twisted megalomania.
    • Amon's follower , the unnamed Xel'Naga best known as Samir Duran or Emil Narud, disguised himself as a Terran soldier, allowing the Zerg to overrun the Earth forces in several battles, killing many. When the officer Alexei Stukov realized what Duran had done, Duran framed Stukov as a traitor and had him murdered. Allying with the Zerg, Duran helped the Swarm overrun entire worlds, all while experimenting on captives to create the Protoss-Zerg hybrids Amon sought in order to help free his master from the Void. Devoted to Amon's nihilistic ambitions and seeing all other beings as pawns in his grand game, Duran achieved a level of damage in the galaxy few could match in order to free his master and bring about the end of all other species.
  • Contested Sequel: Ironically, for the exact opposite reasons as the previous two installments. On the campaign side of things, apart from its epilogue, most agree the story is much better, and the inclusion of Co-Op Commanders gave a way for players who aren't good enough for or dislike melee to still play with friends and use campaign-type mechanics in melee-type missions. On the melee side of things, the drastic changes to multiplayer balance get a more negative response, with many players opining that they prefer the style of the previous two games.
  • Demonic Spiders: Enemy Ravens in the campaign are incredibly frustrating to deal with as they waste no time activating their Seeker Missiles to blow your army up. It gets even worse once Amon's Shadows of the Void show up as it means you can have a Raven appear completely out of nowhere and send Seeker Missiles when you have your guard down.
  • Disappointing Last Level: "Amon's Fall" is considered a subpar ending to the saga. The map gives players two expansions right next to their starting base and Kerrigan has the Twin Drones ability, so it is easy to get three fully saturated bases in a few minutes. The player can then pump their economy into their army upgrades, an army which includes Mutalisks that rapidly heal out of battle, Brood Lords, and Torrasque Ultralisks that revive when killed every 60 seconds. With Kerrigan to spam her healing ability (which has a very large area of effect), the player's army is pretty much invincible. For the enemy, the map is fully revealed to you and consists of Void Chasms that continuously spawn enemies and can only be temporarily destroyed, and constantly spawning Constructs that deal massive damage and have thousands of HP. Your target is the Void Crystals, which you're always told about when they appear and they slowly move over the terrain before they submerge and become vulnerable again. Kerrigan also has abilities to instantly teleport herself and nearby Zerg to any location with creep (so base defense is simple) or to wipe out all enemies on the map. The mission boils down to the player rapidly upgrading their army unit of choice on a bloated economy, then waiting for the Void Crystals to appear so they can attack move to it, destroy it, and then retreat and wait for the next Crystal. Repeat six more times.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Alarak quickly achieved this status due to his bloodthirsty and power-hungry personality despite him being one of the "good" guys, his tendencies to play Artanis like a fiddle and his amazing voice provided by John de Lancie. Even before the game, though, his showing in the "Ascension" short story had some fans applauding his Magnificent Bastard villainy and characterization. His popularity probably becomes a factor why he and the Tal'darim return in Nova Covert Ops and then becomes playable in Heroes of the Storm and Co-op mode shortly after.
  • Evil Is Cool: Unlike their previous showings, where they were a Hate Sink faction, the Tal'darim definitely qualify this time around, with respectably powerful units, a unique Red and Black and Evil All Over design, and Alarak, who qualifies for this in and of himself by being a snarky, badass Sith Expy voiced by John de Lancie. Ironically, they pull a Heel–Face Turn later on.
  • Fanon: The common assumption by fans that Terrans would have been the ones to achieve the Purity of Forms had things gone naturally. This theory is based on The Reveal Xel'Naga usually don't interfere with the species they created and Protoss and Zerg alike only got so advanced because Amon and his minions meddled with the plan, as well as the fact a new Xel'Naga is created in the finale using Kerrigan, a Terran/Zerg psychic hybrid, rather than a Zerg/Protoss hybrid. However, nothing in the game explicitly confirms this theory, and Artanis' lines on Ulnar make absolutely no mention of the Terrans, but rather suggest it really was the Protoss who were intended to get the Purity of Forms, with Kerrigan just being a Loophole Abuse.
  • Game-Breaker: As with the last two games, there's some abilities in the campaign that would shatter multiplayer balance.
    • An ability of the Spear of Adun is Chrono Surge, which increases any building's research and warp-in rates by 1000% for 20 seconds. Need a lot of Void Rays quickly but only have one Stargate? Done. Want that weapon upgrade done immediately? Done. Need a dozen Probes to quickly start mining that expansion? Done.
    • The Spear of Adun's three ultimate abilities are Purifier Beam, Solar Bombardment, and Time Stop. The latter freezes all enemy units and structures on the entire map for 20 seconds, while the former two deal damage over a large area to the point their effects are basically "click on the thing you want to die, even if it's an entire enemy base or incoming army." As dampeners, you can only choose one of them to use within a mission, while Time Stop and Solar Bombardment requires solarite.
    • The Reconstruction Beam passive may seem boring, but automatically-repairing mechanical units can be invaluable. It has great synergy with Sentinel Zealots who are robots and will automatically repair from this ability, letting them fight again at full health without the need to die and resurrect. Very handy if Carriers are unavailable or unselected for a mission. The only units who aren't mechanical besides the biological Zealot variations are High-Templar & Dark Templar variants, and the Adept (Stalker alternative) which isn't much. Combines well with Carriers for even faster repairs.
    • The humble Zealot becomes a Game Breaker via get the Centurion variant. Their Shadow Charge ability is the same as the normal Charge, but it cloaks them and moves them through other units to reach their target, which already helps the problem of Zealots getting caught behind your ranged units. However, their true power is their Darkcoil ability, which stuns non-Massive units nearby when they attack, and Massive units are hit with a 50% slow. The great part is that it is automatically set to autocast, and thanks to the smartcasting of the sequel's game engine, they won't activate Darkcoil on targets already stunned. The result is that a comparatively small group of Centurions can chain-stun enemies almost indefinitely, rendering them helpless to do anything but sit there and let you kill them.
    • The Energizer, the Purifier variant of the Sentry, is absurdly good. Its primary ability is Chrono Beam, which grants a friendly unit +50% attack and movement rates for a period of time, which is to say they can basically cast the Marine's Stimpack ability on any unit, and it casts fairly quick and costs a measely three energy, no problem at all since the Energizer has no other energy abilities and thus will always have a good store ready when combat begins. Its second ability is the same as the Warm Prism's transformation, becoming immobile and projecting a power field, but the one they project is the standard size emited by pylons This not only lets you warp in units around it, but it also allows nearby units the benefit of the Spear of Adun's Matrix Overload passive buff that gives units in range of a power field +25% movement and +15% attack speed. A comparatively small group of Energizers can accelerate your entire army to warm speeds in the heat of battle, and each one acts as a mobile proxy pylon to let you call in reinforcements on the front lines. Add in Warp Harmonization to warp in robotic and flying units to break them even further.
    • The Phoenix no longer needs energy to use Graviton Beam, only a cooldown wait, they can attack and move freely after using it, and they can Graviton Beam two enemies at once. Save for defensive structures and Massive units, a fleet of Phoenix can single-handedly incapacitate an enemy's ground forces.
    • All variations of the Dark Templar hold incredible advantages that mitigate their Glass Cannon tendencies:
      • The Nerazim Dark Templar has the Shadow Fury ability, that deals five hits for 35 damage in an area, potentially hitting the same target multiple times. It does not sound very impressive by itself, given a Dark Templar deals more damage with their basic attack, but a group of Dark Templars can annihilate entire bases within seconds, with enemies unable to fight back as the Dark Templar is invulnerable while using Shadow Fury. Their effectiveness in base razing and Hybrid killing simply cannot be overlooked as even the toughest of targets can be destroyed in an instant with enough Dark Templars. The only issue is that they require a bit of micromanagement to deal with buildings as Shadow Fury can only be used when there are units in the target area, and is only autocast when targeting a unit (and not a building).
      • The Aiur Avenger is essentially a Dark Templar that cannot die and instead teleports to safety when it would have died. Combine this with their invisibility and high damage, you can create 20-or-so Avengers and send them to attack the same base again and again without losing a single unit (if you allow the Recall debuff to wear off beforehand). Use the Spear of Adun's calldowns to snipe airborne detectors and the Avengers will slaughter entire bases with impunity.
      • The Tal'Darim Blood Hunter comes with Void Stasis, an ability that stuns the target unit or building for 10 seconds, preventing them from doing anything, not even detecting. The last point is incredibly critical as you can simply attack-move a group of Blood Hunters without any kind of risk, as Void Stasis, when set to auto-cast, only targets Detectors, and they have a generously low cooldown of 15 seconds. If you take care of airborne detectors beforehand (Void Stasis can only be used on ground targets), you don't even need such trivial things like skill and management with decent numbers, as they simply won't die.
    • The Tal'darim Vanguard (Immortal variation) outclasses any other ground-to-ground unit once it's unlocked thanks to their ability to deal tremendous splash damage. In particular they get a heavy damage buff against armored units, but non-armored enemies tend to have low HP anyway so that's a moot point. On a choke point and with Centurion and Havoc support, defending Vanguards are a nightmare to behold, destroying entire divisions in seconds, and even Hybrids will quickly fall before them.
    • Carriers are the go-to unit in missions in which you have to deal with slowly-damaging Void fields, thanks to the Carrier's special ability to repair nearby friendly mechanical units. Like the Reaver example below, Interceptors don't cost any minerals in the campaign, and they begin with four already built as in melee. Finally, Warp Harmonization lets you compensate the Carrier's low movement speed and high build time by warping them into a proxy Pylon.
    • While the old units from Brood War have been tweaked to suit the different game mechanics of Starcraft II, some of them end up becoming Game Breakers as well.
      • The Dark Archon is better than ever. Their attack isn't as good as the Archon's attack, but their new Confusion spell more than makes up for this by making a group of enemies attack each other instead, and they can be warped in directly from a Gateway/Warp Gate. Their infamous Mind Control is back too - it costs less energy, doesn't drain their shields, and controlled enemies cost no supply. A large force of Dark Archons can and will swiftly seize control of powerful enemy units permanently, and what isn't worth controlling will be Confused to attack their allies.
      • Corsairs exchange their their explosive damage penalty to small units for the same base damage to all enemy types with a buff against light units, making them far stronger in a fight. The real kicker is that their Disruption Web now needs no energy, just a cooldown, can be set to autocast, and doesn't effect allied units now note . Used properly, their disruption webs can make enemies run in circles, unable to do anything to stop your army from slaughtering them unopposed.
      • Arbiters are basically mass-produced versions of the multiplayer Mothership with the same Invisibility Cloak ability. They also retain their Mass Recall and Stasis Field abilities. Mass Recall can summon any units from anywhere on the map to the location of the Arbiter — which is fair enough since you need to find the units that you want to transport. The real kicker is that their Stasis Field ability, while smartcast, can easily be spammed to freeze the entire enemy army and attack the mission objective with impunity.
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • Sometimes, Alarak and Ma'lash can get stuck in one point during the Rak'shir campaign mission[1]. When this happens, the only way out is to reload your last save before they got stuck and hope for the best. At worst, the entire mission must be restarted. This bug is both annoying and frustrating when it crops up, especially when you have successfully slayed the beasts for the bonus objective when it happens.
    • Another less frequent but much more severe one occurred when you replay games in the Master Archive after completing the campaign and you lose internet connection halfway through, which can result in you losing all your acquired solarites in the campaign. Yes, they can be re-earned, but it takes time and laboriously playing the missions again. Apparently this was fixed in a recent server-side update.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • Shortly after release, a glitch was found where starting a new campaign would sometimes cause your unit choices from the previous playthrough to be available to you, including perhaps the entire tech tree. While this does have some problems (the second level has a point where your Stalkers must Blink to progress, something Dragoons can't do), it also makes earning achievements and the higher difficulty levels a heck of a lot easier when the entire tech tree is available to you throughout the campaign.
    • Patch 5.0 briefly introduced a glitch that broke the way Terran Command Centers loaded SCVs, allowing them to load buildings on them. Violation of Common Sense does not even begin to describe what was possible, allowing Command Centers to move Refineries, load other Command Centers on itself, load Planetary Fortresses (which otherwise can't lift-off) on itself, become a bona-fide Death Star by loading bunkers with Marines on them, or even loading itself, which makes the Command Center vanish and prevents its owner from losing the game by getting all their buildings destroyed. Blizzard was forced to turn off Ranked mode until they could roll out a fix for this glitch, but while it still existed, it was an immense Mind Screw.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Remember how Zeratul wondered in Wings if "the gods themselves seek our destruction?" The answer? Yes, they do, Zeratul, right from the beginning, specifically Amon, their creator from the beginning.
    • Nova's claim that Project Shadowblade creates psychotic killers ends up being Vindicated by History once Amon arrives on the scene. To be fair, all of Moebius Corps are brought under control of the Hybrids they have created but the Spectres' reliance on Terranize pretty much gives them Amon on speeddial. Sadly, the fate of notable characters like Gabriel Tosh was unconfirmed too, but presumably they lost their sanity from Amon considering their vulnerability to the Hybrids' psychic screams.
    • When Alarak takes control of the Tal'darim, Artanis asks if all of them have accepted his plan to turn them against Amon, and Alarak replies some still resist, but he doesn't care. Artanis even asks if any of them may declare Rak'Shir upon him, and Alarak snarks "let them." Come Patch 3.2, the Co-op mission "Chain of Ascension" concerns Alarak's First Ascendant being challenged to Rak'Shir by a faction of Amon loyalists who are planning to overthrow her and Alarak.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In Wings of Liberty, Egon Stetmann uses Protoss technology to devise an automated refinery and wonders why the Protoss themselves haven't made something like this yet. Needless to say, the Spear of Adun has that covered.
    • Remember Kerrigan proclaiming herself the Queen Bitch of the Universe? Her ascension to Xel'naga pretty much makes it official, but without the "Bitch" part.
  • Love to Hate: Unlike other villains in the series, Alarak is a Card-Carrying Villain from the very beginning, who treats his underlings as slaves, as well as a Jerkass Troll towards Artanis and Vorazun, while never taking a level in kindness even after allying with the Daelaam in the war against Amon (Although he gets a Pet the Dog moment in the epilogue). This makes Alarak all the more memorable.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Alarak is a Tal'darim warrior who uses both schemes and power to climb the links of the Chain of Ascension and establish himself as an Ascendant of his people, killing rivals along the way and pitting his enemies against each other to advance his standing by proxy. When he's roped into a confrontation between the three Ascendants above him and the Highlord Ma'lash, Alarak surveils the situation and then sits things out, letting the other four kill and weaken each other until he sweeps in and cleans up what's left, leaving only Ma'lash outranking him. Alarak then reaches out to the Daelaam, who have been enemies of the Tal'darim for centuries, and makes them an ally to kill Ma'lash. As Highlord, Alarak turns his people against their traitorous god Amon and helps the Daelaam banish him back to the Void and eventually kill him. He's brutal, he's powerful, he's cunning, and he's merciless — Alarak is the pinnacle of what other Tal'darim aspire to be.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • The probe from the opening cinematic has gotten extremely popular with fans due to the fact that by deploying a pylon, it essentially wins the battle by allowing reinforcements to beam down at the last moment. Even better? That probe becomes a Hero of the Storm under the name Probius.
    • From the same cinematic, we have Kaldalis, the one-eyed zealot. The Battle.net forums have taken to calling him Not!Fenix due to his sheer badassery. And being a zealot. He also becomes playable as one of the six heroes Fenix/ Talandar has in Co-op, as a formless A.I.
    • Fenix himself is one In-Universe. He's surprised to learn that he apparently lived the Protoss equivalent of Die Hard, Saving Private Ryan, and Predator, noting that the authors probably exaggerated it.
    • Once again from the same cinematic, the masked zealot that tanks two baneling explosions before succumbing to a third, causing his death, that has gained a high reputation as a Badass Bystander. The reason the scene stands out is because using a single zealot to tank a single baneling is actually a legitimate competitive play strategy, let alone two.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • The Probe in the cinematic has already spawned "Probe OP"
    • Several players across the fandom have jokingly called the warp-in from the cutscene a 200-gate proxy pylon all-in.
    • "En taro Zeratul" has also caught on among the fanbase.
    • The Tal'darim's fondness for the Fantastic Drug terrazine has also spawned "smoke 'zine every day".
  • Narm:
    • In Heart of the Swarm, the big buzzword was "essence"; here it's "void." Void energy is apparently Applied Phlebotinum that can do whatever the writers say it can do, thus we get Void Shards, Void Conduits, Void Thrashers, Void Crystals, Void Rifts, Void Constructs, Shadows of the Void, etc.
    • For all the dread upon the possibility of seeing Amon's physical body, it's just a bigger, retextured Hybrid Reaver. Quite the moment killer.
    • When the Tal'darim first attack your base during the "Rak'Shir" mission, Ma'lash shouts "Brothers! Attack the Firstborn directly!" in the exact same tone used by characters in Yu-Gi-Oh!.
    • Clolarion's call to arms: "Purifiers! Go forth and purify!"
    • The sight of a Xel'naga Kerrigan should be awe-inspiring and cool, except that the character's model has a very large, naked butt, complete with visible buttcrack, which will be visible to players for a majority of the mission they feature in.
  • Narm Charm: The brainwashed Moebius Corps forces you fight shout out the same pseudo-religious taunts and boasts the Tal'darim do, but they sound silly coming from the Terrans, especially when a Thor calls out "perish in flames!" in the same accent as its normal voice. However, the fact that this type of talk doesn't sound right coming from the Terrans helps to reinforce their Brainwashed and Crazy status; of course it doesn't sound natural when they talk this way, because it isn't natural.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: After spending the first two opus being a faction of crazy zealots, the Replacement Flat Character for the Conclave as the Jerkass religious nutballs, the Tal'darim were redeemed in this game thanks to expanded worldlore to give them a more distinct culture and society, along with a fleshed-out motivation for their actions. The inclusion of Alarak, the game's Ensemble Dark Horse, as their leader, and the awesome units they bring to the player's army, helped endear them to players more. Such that their return in Covert Ops was very warmly received.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: The Epilogue missions don't allow the player the option to customize their tech trees like the rest of the campaigns, or even let players use the tech trees they had when playing the campaigns, instead locking players into a pre-determined set of units and upgrades. Considering Heart of the Swarm had a cutscene that changed depending on if you sided with Tosh or Nova in Wings of Liberty, interactivity between campaigns is possible, so it's unknown why the developers didn't have the Epilogue reuse whatever tech trees the player had built on their playthroughs. This also means that players may be stuck using units and upgrades they don't like and are unfamiliar with. The Terran units also have abilities they only have in melee play and never had in the campaigns.
  • That One Achievement: The Mastery achievements are appropriately named; they are very difficult and often require exploitation of certain units and Spear of Adun abilities. Many of them also put you on a time limit, either directly (finish the mission within X number of minutes) or indirectly (ie, kill so many buildings before a certain unit spawns, which happens at a set point in the mission).
    • "The Rite Stuff" requires you to destroy the four key enemy structures, without killing any other Tal'darim enemies. This not only means a tight time limit before a scripted attack wave comes that you cannot defend against, but requires virtually suiciding your air units, the Glass Cannon Void Rays, into the enemy bases praying you can kill off the objective structure and get out of there with minimal losses.
    • "Anvil of Will" requires waiting for 2.2 billion zerg to arrive on Shakuras before you willingly end the mission. By the 1.5 billion mark, you're likely getting hammered from all four directions by virtually endless waves of enemies, and they're just going to get stronger, at a time when your only possible units are zealots, immortals, stalkers, sentries, dark templar, and their variants. Winning requires turtling behind walls of defensive turrets and hoping they hold off the swarm long enough for the counter to hit the 2.2 billion mark. Furthermore, Patch 5.0 introduced the "For a Few Swarms More" 10th anniversary achievement, which requires a 2.3 billion mark. While that achievement can be completed on Normal difficulty, on Hard or Brutal it's yet another mark where you can only hope for the best.
    • "Solo Operative, Right?" doesn't seem particularly difficult: you have to destroy two of the four key structures in the mission without help from your AI-controlled ally, no time limit or restrictions otherwise. The problem is this leads to Annoying Video-Game Helper, where you have to avoid attacking anywhere your ally is attacking, and if they send a few units over, even by mistake, the achievement is lost.
    • "Unrestricted Access" is this trope meets Guide Dang It!. The tight time limit to finish the level is one of the lowest of all the timed achievements, and it requires exploiting the Spear of Adun's Solar Lance ability to destroy a structure you can't see in order to Sequence Break the way in which you can explore the level.
    • "Silent but Deadly" requires you to complete "Templar's Return" without Vorazun ever taking damage. The problem is you have to do the mission on Hard to get the achievement, and on Hard the level is full of Banelings that damage her even if she's cloaked and kills them. You effectively have to complete her part of the mission leaving her behind while Alarak does all the combat work, then when you're forced to use Vorazun for infiltration, being very careful with your usage of her.
    • "The Bigger They Are" sounds simple in principle - defeat the final boss of "The Infinite Cycle" within 12 minutes. You only control two hero units for this mission, never receive reinforcements, and have no access to the Spear of Adun, which means that those two units are literally the only thing you need to worry about for the entire mission - how hard could it be? Answer: very. The time limit is extremely tight on this one, to the point where screwing up handling a single boss or swarm of enemies can put you over, and the strategy you need to employ could best be described as "run into an area and aggro as many units at once as you can, scramble through your special abilities trying to use them all effectively, and hope neither of the two heroes gets killed in the process." This achievement is one of the few that requires talent in micromanagement, and if the player isn't used to fast-paced unit-juggling, it gets very difficult very quickly.
    • For a non-Mastery achievement, there's "Brood War", which requires you to destroy all enemy structures in the "Unsealing the Past" mission. Sounds simple enough, right? Except the things that count as "structures" in this mission tend to be random doodads hidden in various nooks and crannies and aren't automatically attacked by your units. On top of that, the mission's structure effectively turns this into a race against the clock, forcing you to quickly scour the entire map for things to destroy, and even then, you might still miss one or two.
    • "Dodge This" involves not losing a single unit in "Amon's Fall" to Amon's earthquakes and territorial destruction. Sounds simple, right? Too bad you're playing Zerg, and Brood Lord Broodlings count against this achievement as well, forcing you to use only Mutalisks.
    • "Disruption Junction" requires you to destroy 55 enemy structures in a single disruption in "Brothers in Arms". It's nowhere near the hardest Mastery achievements, but it's still annoying because there are no end of mission stats to know your highest amount of buildings destroyed during a disruption. If you are not taking out enough for the achievement, you won't know how far you were unless you manually count these buildings.
    • "Hostbusters" requires completing "The Host" on Hard difficulty or higher in less than 24 minutes. This is an achievement that will put both micro and macro skills to the test. Like many of the end-game missions and achievements, your best unit is the Void Ray, an expensive Glass Cannon. To make the Void Ray's fragility an even worse problem, the Void Crystals are extremely durable, constantly deal damage to enemies around them, get a One-Hit Kill ability after the first two crystals are destroyed, enemy units from all three factions spawn non-stop from the rifts surrouning them... and one of these units is the Raven, which is incredibly trigger-happy with its Seeker Missiles that will destroy several Void Rays (or at least activate Guardian Shell on them) at once. And then there's the time limit itself, which pretty much requires you to be maintaining three or four Stargates constantly pumping out Void Rays (or even Carriers). Be prepared to save and reload VERY often.
    • "Triple Tap" (destroy three Void Crystals within 60 seconds of each other in "Amon's Fall") is probably one of the easiest Hard difficulty achievements. If the player makes a massive, fully-upgraded Mutalisk army and covers the map with creep to make great use of Kerrigan's Creep Teleport ability (as you should do anyways when completing the mission normally), they can destroy three Void Crystals in a very quick succession, no great skill required. The problem is that this achievement is the only one in the game that relies on luck, as the Void Crystals' movement patterns are pretty much randomized. Even if you have everything prepared to complete the achievement in one go, you might still have to sit down and wait for a while until you get three vulnerable Crystals near creep, making completing this achievement quite the boring task.
    • The 10th Anniversary achievements naturally came with their share of hair-pullers:
      • "Raszagal's Retribution" requires destroying all Zerg structures in the "Dark Whispers" prologue mission. This is one of the hardest 10th Anniversary achievements due to several factors: there's a time limit (the Zerg tend to destroy the Power Reactor around the 30-minute mark), you have NO expansions until halfway through the mission, and the zerg reinforce their troops (which includes Banelings) incredibly quickly. Even in Normal, most players resort to spamming only Immortals or Colossi as fast as possible, or try to lure away the zerg strike forces to delay their rampage. Not helped by the fact than the Zerg has evolved strains from Heart of the Swarm (which includes Hunter Banelings and Noxious Ultralisks) and the Protoss arsenal is the multiplayer one, minus air units.
      • "Warp Incomplete" requires you to not let enemy Warp Prisms on "The Infinite Cycle" successfully warp in a single unit. Right after the first checkpoint, you get bombarded by four Warp Prisms at once, and they all start warping in units right away, including several Immortals which require focused fire from Kerrigan, who has fairly long ability cooldowns, and can't be killed easily by Artanis. Have fun resetting a lot.
      • "Expert Phase-Smith, Perfect Templar" requires completing "Templar's Charge" without losing a single unit. When exploring the map early on, it's very easy to run into anti-air defenses and lose a unit unless you're microing very carefully, and the limited resources make it difficult to ramp up - to say nothing of the harass waves, which can very easily pick off a Probe or Phoenix if you're not being very, very careful. This achievement was even worse when it first came out - Templar's Charge introduces Carriers and expects you to use them heavily to complete the mission, but the achievement would be voided by losing an Interceptor until it was mercifully patched (and even then, it required another patch as using certain Spear of Adun abilities, such as Solar Lance, Deploy Fenix, or Purifier Beam, would also void the achievement).
  • That One Level:
    • "Last Stand". It's basically "In Utter Darkness" from Wings of Liberty — defend your base from the Zerg for a period of time — but your tech tree is limited to Gateway units plus Immortals, your building area is smaller and has no fallback position, and the Zerg are smart enough to use Banelings, which can easily break down any wall-off you may attempt. The north-east section of the base is also going to be prone to continuous attacks form air units, including flying Hybrid, Guardians, and Overlord drops. Your only sources of anti-air power are your turrets, Stalkers, and the Nerzim Annihilator's Shadow Cannon, but the other shoe to drop is that the terrain in this part of the base is very unfriendly, making it difficult to set up an efficient turret line or move in large numbers of ground forces. Finally, if you want the bonus objective, you need to wait out the clock even longer than normal. The mission boils down to turtling behind well-placed lines of turrets and shield batteries and hoping they're enough.
    • "Salvation", the final mission. Think of "All In" and "In Utter Darkness" combined. You have to hold out zerg forces (With some Brainwashed and Crazy protoss support) until the Keystone is fully charged. Problems are: The Keystone is in a very unconvenient position at the center of the map with limited room to place defenders around it; your base is exposed on three entrances held off by rather weak allied forces who will not be able to hold the enemy off alone, and more likely than not will get in your way when you try to help. You must also regularly deal with waves of protoss air units that hit from the sides of the three lanes into your base and will bypass the defenders there, and one such drop point is high ground right next to your only expansion, so if you don't keep a spotter up there you may be completely blindsided. Finally, as the mission continues the Spear of Adun will be attacked in orbit and you'll lose access to its calldown abilities one by one, when naturally the late part of the mission will be the time you need them most.
    • "The Essence of Eternity," the penultimate level in the epilogue, is actually more difficult than the actual final mission. You have to defend four chokepoints, the way the terrain is laid out your high ground advantage is not very significant, the enemy will hit hard from all directions using units from all three races, and the attacks come early and frequently. You're given a unique hero unit that, like the drill from "The Dig,", can attack across the entire map for heavy damage. However, using the hero unit delays its power charge, making the mission last longer since the objective is to defend it until it reaches full power. Additionally, you're given two AI allied armies to help you, but they're barely a footnote in the mission's gameplay; they suffer from Artificial Stupidity that results in a weak and easily broken defense, because of the way the alliance was programmed your Medivacs and Science Vessels won't automatically heal them, and one of the allied armies is Zerg, whose creep stops you from reinforcing them with defensive structures. The end result is similar to "All In" from Wings of Liberty made even worse.
    • "Amon's Fall" itself is no walk in the park. The goal is to destroy rotating crystals when they're above ground. Kerrigan's energy reserves don't regenerate nearly as fast as they did in Heart of the Swarm. Amon will constantly summon void crystals that not only summon more troops, but ones that can damage yours very heavily as well. Don't count on your AI allies to help much; they don't pitch in enough troops at a time to make a dent against the crystals that get close to their bases. And the crystals will sometimes appear in an area where they can only be attacked by air units. Did you spend half your supply limit on Mutalisks? Didn't think so. As if fending off enemies and the defense crystals weren't bad enough, Amon quickly resorts to taking out chunks out of the ground belonging to your base and your allies' bases, rendering the resources on those locations gone. Finally, and unlike other missions involving spots that summon Shadows of the Void, they cannot be permanently destroyed - at best you can make the Void Chasms dormant for some minutes, so it does not actually get easier at any point.
    • "Templar's Return". Part 1 is simple enough. Part 2 is where the fun starts - it is an Unwinnable by Design/Unwinnable by Mistake level where proceeding is impossible if you do not have an army totalling 60 seats. Kill off too many mechanical enemy units? You're hosed, since there's hardly enough resource to build an army of 60 (and it's just too easy given Fenix's eagerness to rush into battle). And then there's Part 3, with it's Advancing Wall of Doom and corrupted zerg pulling off a constant unending Zerg Rush on you.
  • That One Sidequest: The bonus objectives in the "Harbinger of Oblivion" mission. Most bonus objectives either are marked on your minimap, stick out like a sore thumb, or both. These ones, however, are unmarked and blend in with the background, meaning that you can be standing next to one and not realize that it's there. It doesn't help that this is a Timed Mission, making it even more likely to miss them in your haste to complete the level.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • The Immortal used to get intense damage reduction against any attack as long as their shields were up. During development, Blizzard changed this to a cooldown ability that granted a shield which absorbed 200 damage instead. Not listening to the resultant fan outcry, they later nerfed this to 100 damage. This was not received well by Protoss fans.
    • The Marauder now deals two attacks of 10 damage instead of one attack of 20 damage. In tandem with the Ultralisk's buff (see Tier-Induced Scrappy further down), Terran players are complaining that what could have been one of their best units to handle Ultralisks is now worthless against them.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • The Children of the Void short story that acts as background for this expansion ends up killing off Mohandar in an Offscreen Moment of Awesome. Many were hoping to see his character expanded upon in-game after witnessing his brief-cameo from Wing's of Liberty's In Utter Darkness level.
    • After Whispers of Oblivion featured Ma'lash as the Highlord of the Tal'darim, you'd think he'd featured prominently in this game, right? Nope! He appears in one mission and is killed by Alarak.
    • Possible ramifications of Heart of the Swarm's Kaldir arc do not come into play for Legacy of the Void, meaning that Niadra was completely forgotten about.
    • Urun make absolutely no appearances in the game despite his cameo in Wing's of Liberty's In Utter Darkness level.
    • Amon's immensely powerful host body appears for a single level, after two cutscenes' worth of ominous buildup as the ultimate purpose of his hybrid breeding program (a plot thread running the course of all of Starcraft II and a little bit before). It does absolutely nothing until the mission's ending cutscene, and gets unceremoniously obliterated by the Daelaam fleet.
    • Selendis is brainwashed after the second mission, and doesn't do anything for the rest of the story. No, taunting Artanis doesn't count. This is despite the fact that it was hinted she would play an important role in the story.
    • When you control Raynor and Kerrigan's forces in the Epilogue campaign, you don't gain access to Terran technologies introduced after Wings of Liberty (no Widow Mines, Hellbats, Cyclones, or Liberators; new abilities for existing units are not available either), or Zerg technologies introduced after Heart of the Swarm (no Ravagers). This means players have no chance to try them out without going into multiplayer territory.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Before the Starcraft II trilogy was released, a trilogy of books called The Dark Templar Saga came out and were specifically written as a prequel to Starcraft II. The trilogy focused extensively on the history of the protoss, introduced numerous new characters and plot threads that connected Valerian Mengsk and his allies to the protoss, expanded Ulrezaj's backstory as a leader of the Tal'darim with a mysterious master he serves, and so forth. Sounds like set-up for the protoss campaign of the trilogy, right? Nope — Blizzard did try to incorporate some of these characters and plot points into Legacy of the Void, but their inclusion felt forced, so they were left out.
    • It would have been interesting to exploit the possibility of Artanis becoming yet another Protoss wielding the ultimate power of his race, but no such thing is ever mentioned. Unlike Adun or Tassadar, he gets cut off from the Khala and just wields Void powers in the Templar style.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy:
    • The Ultralisk's Chitinous Plating now gives it +4 armor, for a total of +8 when fully upgraded. Cue players complaining that Ultralisks are now nigh-unstoppable and overpowered. Blizzard even seemed to agree, as the 3.8 major balance patch reduced the bonus to +2 and gave them a +1 base armor as compensation.
    • The Disruptor. It uses a Death-or-Glory Attack that is difficult to micro and leaves the Disruptor very vulnerable if it misses, but if it hits it does massive area-of-effect damage. In Protoss vs. Protoss games particularly, the Disruptor deals +55 damage vs shields, a total of 200 damage which can kill most Protoss ground units outright save for Archons, Immortals, and Colossi. In tandem with the Colossus silently being nerfed, ostensibly to make Disruptors more appealing for use, and players hate the Disruptor for being a poorly designed gamble of a unit that they're being forced to use. Strangely, this unit is absent in the campaign proper, meaning that more casual players have no way of learning how to use it.
  • Too Cool to Live: Zeratul.
  • True Art Is Angsty: While opinions still vary if the story is good or comparable to the first game and Brood War, it's generally agreed to be better than Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm. It's also much darker than them with the threat of galactic-level extinction hanging over the campaign, the death of a major character, and Artanis and the Protoss enduring bittersweet victories and philosophizing about the morality of their actions in the name of stopping Amon.
  • Underused Game Mechanic: Some units for the campaign are seen as missed potential.
    • Viewed as the least-liked unit in the original games due to their high-cost in return for very little that they're able to accomplish, the Legacy of the Void campaign had the opportunity to finally redeem the Protoss Scout in the eyes of the players. However, they're one of the few Protoss units that are never unlocked. At the very least, they were added in Co-op later on as a part of Fenix's army.
    • Despite being a new unit introduced in the Legacy of the Void multiplayer, the player never gets to play around with the Protoss Disruptors in the campaign. What's even weirder is that the unit originates from Purifier tech, a Protoss sub-faction that was given a major role in the story.
    • Similar to Heart of the Swarm, drop-play is a non-factor in the campaign. As a result, Shuttles and Warp Prisms are complete no-shows apart from a couple scripted events.
    • Lastly, like the rest of the campaign, cloaked/burrowed units are a no-show, and the Observer and Oracle are absent (despite the former appearing in the Protoss Wings of Liberty missions).
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