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    Legacy of the Void 
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • Anti-Climax Boss: Amon, in both forms.
    • 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.
  • 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, 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."
  • 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 and Archon Mode gave something new to do for people who wanted to play online but aren't good enough to compete against other players in melee. 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.
  • 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 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.
    • The 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 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. They keep the normal Archon's normal attack, exchange Maelstrom for Confuse to make enemy units attack each other, and can be warped in 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.
  • 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.
    • 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 of Evil 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, there's one particular 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!"
  • 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: Upon playing through the campaign after completing it the first time, many cutscenes are missing, and talking to certain people sometimes results in nothing happening; no throwaway conversation, no nothing. Strangely, this only applies to that of Legacy of the Void; the previous two campaigns are still left intact. This would be fixed in an update.
  • 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.
    • "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.
  • 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.
  • 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, several character deaths, and Artanis and the Protoss suffering the occasional bittersweet victory.
  • 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).

    Co-op Mode 
  • Annoying Video-Game Helper: A lot of the Mission Control characters just never shut up.
    • The advisers for defense-oriented missions like Miner Evacuation and Mist Opportunities completely freak out any time the objective takes damage, be it from an enemy attack wave or a lone Zergling scratching the paint job. Couple that with them also alerting you to enemy attack waves coming for the objective, and it can result in a nonstop barrage of complaints and alerts.
    • Rosa Morales in Dead of the Night constantly complains about you attacking enemy structures at night because it isn't safe. Even if your units aren't actually being attacked while they do it, or even worse, if you're wiping the floor with the infested.
    • General Davis in Part and Parcel is very stern towards you whether you're doing well or not. It got worse when the map was changed so that Balius parts extend your short starting timer, meaning that General Davis will inevitably end up yelling at you for taking too long. Even if your base isn't completely set up yet.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • "Oblivion Express" used to be That One Level due to the fact one player's base is situated on the left side of the starting area directly overlooking one of the tracks that runs across the map. This means that every time a train comes by, the enemy escort with it will find your mineral line on the cliff above and start attacking your workers, and as any melee player knows, destroying your worker line is the best way to stop players cold. Fortunately, Blizzard later updated the map in a patch to place both bases far on the right side of the starting area, making the map far more manageable.
    • From the moment Fenix was announced as a Commander, the fandom began arguing over if he should be called Fenix or Talandar. Blizzard's solution was to add a new "upgrade" to his Forge in the next update patch after his release, which changes Fenix's name to Talandar in all tooltips and dialogues. And it's a measly 25/25 to buy and takes 10 seconds to research, making it pretty much a nothing investment. The result is that players who want him to be called Fenix can have that, and anyone who wants him to be called Talandar just needs to toss a trivial handful of resources at the Forge to make it happen.
    • Players were beginning to tire of constantly fighting "Amon's Forces" as the already thin Excuse Plots for the missions were making him fall into Evil Is Petty (why does Amon care about destroying Stetmann's terrazine harvesters, or attacking backwater colonies, enough to commit massive amounts of his forces to such ridiculous aspirations?). The "Malwarfare" map makes no mention of Amon and has the antagonist as a rogue Tal'darim AI, giving hope that future missions will move the focus off of Amon, or at least not try to shoehorn him in.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Karax. Some think his high unit costs, coupled with his tight tech tree forcing him to use certain limited unit compositions, make him far too weak to be effective. Others say that his instant-construct static defenses and Spear of Adun abilities make him perfectly viable, and the complainers just aren't playing him the right way. Then there's people who agree with both sides — Karax's unique strengths make him effective, but he really could use a buff to his army anyway. The addition of Masteries mitigated the debate somewhat with a Mastery to reduce his unit building costs; at Level 90 with 30 points sunk into the skill, he has the same costs as other Protoss commanders, letting him keep up with them just fine.
    • Stukov. A lot of people are disappointed in the limited strategy of his infested units, plus the tendency for him to take huge casualties. Others don't mind using the Zerg Rush in such a fashion, and enjoy using infested mechanical units.
    • Swann became this once Nova was released and he became Overshadowed by Awesome. Swann's bread-and-butter units (Hellbat, Goliath, Siege Tank) are also available for Nova; the major problem is that thanks to their higher stats and unique upgrades, Nova's units are plain better than Swann's. She also has an Airlift calldown that is basically Swann's Hercules as a calldown, and her Ravens have a healing drone even better than the Science Vessel's repair beam, so Swann loses those advantages too. Finally, Swann's playstyle is overall a Mighty Glacier, taking time to build up his forces and upgrade them for maximum efficiency, while Nova can build up her army quickly, reinforce them in the field, and her upgrades research faster than normal due to a Talent. The result is that Swann's detractors claim that most everything Swann can do, Nova can do better. However, Swann has other perks Nova lacks (army size, the laser drill, turrets, Vespene drones) that his defenders claim gives him his own identity without being "Nova Lite", provide him some advantages over her that just aren't immediately apparent, and he's still perfectly viable and effective in his own right.
  • Breather Level: "Dead of Night" is universally agreed to be the easiest co-op mission available. The primary reason for this is because there's no loss condition other than simply losing your whole base, which the mission revolves around defending against infested swarms. Theoretically the two players can spend forever defending the base day and night. The bonus objective is also pretty generous, appearing during the night phases as the infested attack, but it only appears in one place, making it easy to prepare for in advance. Lastly, the home base starts out with extra resources (to compensate for the fact that there are no resources located outside), making an early economy relatively rich. Even the worst mutations can't make it too difficult to complete.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: Due to the comparatively small map pool, any player who plays the mode often will know them all like the back of their hand. Cue timing pushes on various maps to hit objectives just as they become viable, preparing at specific map routes for enemy attack waves before they spawn, lines of turrets on maps like Void Launch, and so forth. This is a major reason why the Mutator mechanic was introduced, to add new gameplay twists to existing maps and make players approach them differently.
    • The limited maps and unit layouts in Co-op also leads to most commanders having a single game-plan that players will rarely deviate from. For instance, you'll rarely see Alarak players trying to kill things with units other than Ascendants (aside from maybe a few Wrathwalkers for knocking down buildings) and you'd be forgiven for assuming that Karax's only combat units are Sentinels, Carriers, and Photon Cannons.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Liberators are among the more annoying enemies in Co-Op simply because, with their moderately high HP and long range, it's all too easy for them to set up shop in your base and start one-shotting your workers, especially early on when your defenses aren't quite up yet. Given that Co-Op only gives you two bases and not nearly enough vespene gas to work with (and make no mistake, the Liberators will shoot your gas collectors first), this can set you back quite a bit. It also doesn't help that each commander only has one or two units that can deal with them efficiently due to only having about half a techtree worth of units.
    • The Banelings & Scourge composition in Co-op is also among the most hated army setups Amon throws your way. For starters, all attack waves are scripted events and are spawned in, meaning that unit cost is a non-factor. This means that the Banelings & Scourge simply exist to make your lives miserable, as they deal massive damage and leave little time for retaliation or retreat. Air units fall to Scourge very easily, so it's considerably difficult to make an air army when these units are in play. Woe to those who rely on melee armies, as they will often be annihilated by these spiteful enemies. And if that wasn't enough, the Zerg also come packing Infestors and Vipers, which can easily chew up clumps of units with their spells; throw in the Hybrid, and pain ensues. It doesn't help that the Zerg forces only have three army types compared to the more various army types the Terrans and Protoss use, making this result all the more likely (at least until they were given more distinct compositions). In fact, this composition was such a hard counter to air builds that Blizzard nerfed it by replacing most of the Scourge with Mutalisks.
    • When it comes to ground-focused commanders, Protoss Immortals can really make mincemeat out of their armies. As they have the passive ability to resist quite a bit of damage and are more than capable of tearing apart armored ground units, anyone that doesn't take to the air or use abilities to eliminate them quickly is going to get hurt a lot.
    • Propagators, spawned by the Mutator of the same name, quickly gained infamy among players for effectively being an instant Game Over if not dealt with appropriately. When a Propagator comes in contact with one of your units or structures, it will turn into another Propagator; if you can't kill them off at range, this will result in your entire army being destroyed in seconds, followed by your base. Even hero units aren't immune to the effect. These guys can effectively hard-counter certain commanders, like Stukov and Zagara, who simply don't have any options to deal with them, resulting in some serious Character Select Forcing for Mutations that involve this Mutator. And if the "Chaos Studios" Mutation rolls Propagators while you're playing a commander that's not good against them, you might as well restart.
    • Void Reanimators can revive dead enemies — they don't care if a unit has been dead thirty seconds or thirty minutes, and don't care if it's a Marine or a Battlecruiser, it gets revived. Unless you have the ability to take control of the entire map for the long haul, they will wander the map reviving your enemies and sending them to attack you, and of course the longer and longer the mission wears on, the more fallen foes there will be for them to revive. Finally, there are no alerts or minimap indicators to let you know where they are, how many there are, or even if there are revived enemies coming, meaning that attack waves will hit you without warning, and even as you fight them off the Void Reanimators are reinforcing their numbers by the second.
    • The Void Slivers on "Scythe of Amon" have a chance to randomly spawn Death Grip Crystals. These buggers can stun multiple units at the same time, and if you don't destroy the crystal before the stun ends, all of those units die. Thankfully, they can't target hero units, but they can really put the hurt on commanders with relatively small armies by disabling and potentially destroying a large portion of their forces at the same time.
    • Battlecruisers are much more ubiquitous and dangerous in Co-op as they're not tied down by costs or build time, as they can easily Yamato Cannon your army up to twice if not focused down and will likely get off one Yamato Cannon even if you focus-fire them immediately. You basically have to hope that they choose to blast one of your expendable mineral dump units and not something important.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Egon Stettmann didn't make much of an impact in Wings of Liberty, being pretty much a background decoration save for one mission, which was optional. His return as Mission Control for "Mist Opportunities" got him a lot more attention thanks to his Sanity Slippage that made him a hilariously kooky Mad Scientist obsessed with terrazine.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • Vorazun was considered the best commander when the game first released, and Nerfs over her lifespan have still left her as the best of the original six. Her talents give cloaked allied units (including your teammate's) a 15% damage buff, quadruple shield regeneration rate, and Emergency Recall, teleporting them to a nearby Nexus on death to save them. This goes great with her Dark Templar, which compared to normal have higher shields, lower gas cost, and faster build time, or her Corsairs, which can be uploaded to be permanently cloaked. Or you can just drop a Dark Pylon as a calldown, which gives a cloaking field to all nearby units and structures. Her other main calldown is Black Hole, which stuns enemies and clumps them together for several seconds, letting Vorazun recreate the infamous "Archon Toilet" strategy from Wings of Liberty, but hers is even better. And her ultimate calldown is Time Stop, freezing all units on the map for 20 seconds, and a Mastery will give allied units a speed boost while it's in effect.
    • Alarak's Ascendants. They have three spells — Psionic Orb, which is basically Psionic Storm over a much larger area of effect; Mind Blast, a 200 point single-hit spell that casts instantly; and Sacrifice, which kills a Supplicant to fully restore the Ascendant's energy and can be set to autocast. What really breaks them is their upgrade to give them a permanent +100 max shields and +25% ability damage each time they use Sacrifice, capping at 10x the bonus. Keep them alive and Ascendants will have more shields than Archons, while retaining their devastating area-of-effect and single target spells. Properly micro'd, an army of Ascendants backed by Supplecants to Sacrifice can win a lot of missions.
    • Nova is not only simple to play, but is ridiculously overpowered. She has no need for Supply Depots and her army deploys to their rally point instantly in drop-pods, and her talents make their upgrades at the Tech Lab cheaper and faster to research. Nova's units have higher stats than normal, are immune to stunning effects, can have innate health regeneration with a Mastery, and cover every tactical option you might need — Marines, Marauders, Ghosts, Hellions, Goliaths, Siege Tanks, Liberators, Banshees, and Ravens. Her calldowns include a defensive drone that will autocast Defensive Matrix on nearby allies, calling in the Griffon to strafe an area for heavy damage, and teleporting all units in an area to anywhere on the map. Taken together, this makes Nova the most versatile commander in the game — her army is extremely powerful, she can instantly reinforce them in the field, freely change up her unit composition to react to the enemy's, and teleport her army around the map.
    • Dehaka is the embodiment of Magikarp Power. A Level 15 Dehaka has thousands of HP that will continue to increase as he keeps collecting essence, and he'll have ridiculous HP regeneration and armor along with powerful attacks. His spells are an area-of-effect attack for ground units, a leaping attack that stuns and damages enemies in the impact zone, a roar to heavily reduce the attack and movement speed of enemies around him, Detection, Deep Tunnel to teleport anywhere with vision, and Devour, which is a One-Hit KO that only a select few units are immune to. His calldowns let him summon three pack leaders, which themselves have thousands of HP and powerful attacks, or a Nydus Wurm, a powerful static defense with timed life. A Dehaka player can do nothing but upgrade and build up their base while relying on Dehaka and his calldowns to pull their weight until late in the mission, when they have the resources to mutate a massive, fully upgraded army to finish things off.
    • Zeratul has a ton of tools in his arsenal, and all are good. Most of his army units are tremendously powerful; Void Templar regenerate upon death once every three minutes, Abrogators annihilate everything on the ground, Enforcers can easily take on anything in the air, and Shieldguards are essentially Medics. His calldowns are likewise very powerful, and his lower-end calldowns come with short cooldowns on top of that. Furthermore, the Void Array lets Zeratul create a Portal Network for his units, letting him quickly reposition his army or even sneak behind enemy lines, trivializing some mission objectives. His static defenses are basically Karax's but with full upgrades and on-board barrier generators, and all of them let Zeratul create a shade of them, effectively letting him warp his cannons anywhere he needs them without actual risk of them getting destroyed. Finally, all of his upgrades are free, acquired automatically as he finds artifact fragments.
  • Good Bad Bugs: For Alarak around the time he was originally added to Co-op, oversights with his Mothership's Mass Recall resulted in it teleporting things it should not be able to, like the resources dropped by Kerrigan's Assimilation Wave, Ji'nara in "Chain of Ascension" (resulting in her sprite vanishing but the mission continues as normal), the research vessels in "Void Launch," and Artanis' Power Field. Most of these bugs didn't significantly affect gameplay, though, so most players just found it funny.
    • Another particularly infamous one for Alarak gave his Wrath of the Highlord ability (which resets his cooldowns when a Supplicant is sacrificed nearby) global range. This led to the "1QE2C" strategy where you would park a bunch of Ascendants at your base and have them casually sacrifice Supplicants to both build them up and remove Alarak's cooldowns, turning him into a walking death machine that can single-handedly trash entire bases without putting your army in the line of fire (assuming, of course, your APM is good enough to cycle through six abilities per second).note  Alarak players were not pleased when the bug was quietly fixed.
    • No one's certain if it's a bug or a feature, but the Stetmann patch allowed Protoss commanders (barring Karax due to, ironically, a buggy interaction with his Chrono Field passive) to Chrono Boost structures as they are being warped in, allowing them to construct faster and leading to some interesting early game build timings.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • The commanders' voice lines for their calldowns. They usually signal that whatever your teammate is fighting is going to get a harsh asskicking very shortly.
    • Swann's voice lines for deploying vespene drones and Karax's voice lines for Chrono Wave. Actually having enough gas to work with for once and getting your upgrades done in a heartbeat are both very nice, no matter the situation.
      Swann: Starting up a drone. Free vespene, gotta love that, right?
      Karax: I am activating Chrono Boost now. That should greatly increase the output of our structures.
  • Replacement Scrappy: General Davis wasn't all that notable for unpopularity from Covert Ops, but when she became the central character for "Parts & Parcel" she attracted near-universal disdain for replacing Cal, the character in the fan version of the map that was fairly well-liked and had a much more interesting personality.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Donny Vermillion spent Wings of Liberty playing a Strawman Political in a series of heavy-handed digs at propaganda news outlets, which many didn't care for. Here he gets to be Mission Control for "The Vermillion Problem", where he relays you mission information as a newscast, and acts like the hammy front desk anchor he was in Wings of Liberty. But he spends the entire time taking passive-aggressive potshots at Valerian and the commanders, criticizing the players no matter what they're doing, and pulling off Hypocritical Humor, Blatant Lies, and Crosses the Line Twice in the process. The result is that he's Actually Pretty Funny this time around, and some have favorably compared him to a professional Starcraft commentator.
    • Scouts got this treatment when Fenix came out. In the original game they were ridiculed as useless to Protoss players due to their huge resource cost and long build time versus their pitiful stats. Now, Fenix's Scouts build quickly, have an economical cost, provide good firepower, and his Scout hero Mojo deals effect damage to enemy air power as a secondary attack. The result is that Scouts finally get to be the potent air-superiority fighters they were always meant to be.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • The "Vertigo" Mutator is almost universally reviled. What it does is flip your camera around to random angles periodically; not only does this introduce a bunch of frustrating Fake Difficulty when trying to micromanage your army, but it's possibly the first instance of an RTS game causing motion sickness in players.
    • "Microtransactions" is another Mutator that didn't go over well. When the Mutator is active, any command you issue to any unit will drain your resources by an amount proportionate to its cost. Considering that spam-clicking is pretty commonplace in this game and is actively punished by the mutator, it can make building and controlling an army way tougher than it needs to be.
    • The "Blizzard" Mutator isn't generally considered too troublesome, since the blizzards move slowly, never touch your base, and are visible on the minimap. However, it has one really annoying behavior: the storms can move through your expansion. This usually means losing everything there if you're not paying attention, and losing a lot of mining time if you are, inevitably resulting in starvation of resources.
  • That One Achievement:
    • "In the Name of Love" requires Kerrigan to stun a grand total of 5000 units with Immobilization Wave. 5000. This ability doesn't extend to the entire map, which means one has to go out of their way to position Kerrigan in a way to affect as many units as possible, and decide when to use it, as its cooldown is very long. Fortunately, you can grind the achievement on Dead of Night and Miner Evacuation, which spawn truckloads of infested units for Kerrigan to hit.
    • "Finger of Death" and "Scorched Earth" require a certain amount of kills (50 and 200, respectively) in a single mission with certain Spear of Adun attacks on at least Hard difficulty. It's harder than it sounds. However, a later added Co-op map known as "Dead of Night", which is a remake of Wings of Liberty's "Outbreak" mission, has made this achievement a lot easier to obtain due to how easy it to use the Spear of Adun on clumped up infested Terrans (although Scorched Earth can still be a bit of a pain due to Solar Lance's long cooldown).
    • "Solar Fury" and "Target Purified" involves killing 50 enemies with a single stroke from Solar Bombardment and the Purifier Beam, respectively. It takes coordination to accomplish this. Once again, Dead of Night is your friend.
    • "Push In Case of Emergency" requires Tychus to kill 1000 enemies with the Odin's Big Red Button ability. Several factors make this achievement difficult. First of all, Big Red Button is Tychus's final talent, so you have to buy Tychus and grind him up to level 15 just to get started. Secondly, even after you unlock Big Red Button, it has to be researched at the Engineering Bay for a not-insignificant investment of 200 minerals and gas. Finally, Tychus's Odin doesn't see much use to begin with due to its low mobility and long cooldown, and just to add insult to injury, Big Red Button can only be used once every time the Odin is deployed.
    • "Buy Buy Buy (Buy Buy)" requires Tychus to get all the gear for all five Outlaws before the 20 minute mark. In regular play, you'd be lucky to fully upgrade three of them by that point due to the finite resource income; you pretty much have to skip basically everything else that demands resources or get your teammate to leave (which gives you access to their resources) to even stand a chance of getting this.
    • "Devolution Retribution" requires Zeratul to kill 500 units devolved by the Avatar of Essence in a single game. Problem: the Avatar only becomes available to Zeratul after he collects all three Artifact Fragments, at which point the mission is at least halfway over, and has a short duration and long cooldown; you'd be lucky to get two uses out of it in a regular mission. And even then, you'll be lucky to get around 50 kills per Avatar dropped, meaning you're going to have to summon it 10 or more times in a single mission (that's 40+ minutes with the cooldown Mastery), which is pretty much only possible by dragging out Dead of Night for over an hour. Even more baffling is that one of Zeratul's other achievements, "Bank Shot, Pocket Natural", is a lifetime achievement easily achievable in a single game, leading some players to believe that Blizzard somehow mixed up the conditions for the two achievements.
  • That One Level:
    • "Scythe of Amon". The goal is to destroy the Void Slivers on the map before time runs out. Like in "Rifts to Korhal", destroying each Sliver buys time on the countdown. Here, however, the timer begins immediately (the timer on Rifts to Korhal at least only starts when the first Void Shard appears), and the time given certainly isn't generous. The Void Slivers are heavily defended (as is most of the rest of the map) and surrounded by Void Rifts that freely spawn lots of units of all three races, and each one gets a shield buff when you destroy another, making them very hard to take down. Additionally, the Slivers themselves have powerful stunning and damaging abilities that can really hurt your army. The bonus objective sucks too, but is listed further down.
    • "The Vermillion Problem" is considered one of the more frustrating missions not because it's hard, but because it's an utter drag. Every couple of minutes, the map gets flooded with lava, grinding the mission to a halt until it recedes. Additionally, the xenon crystals you need to collect for the mission objective only spawn after a lava surge in small numbers, meaning that the mission inevitably goes on for much longer than it needs to. It's also one of the more micro-intensive missions, since you need to commit workers to collect the crystals and make sure they don't get killed while also making sure that your army is out of the low ground when the lava hits.
    • For Mutators, any one that includes "Avenger" or "Transmutation" tend to be the more difficult ones. Avenger gives enemy units an instant stat buff any time an allied unit nearby dies, and the more allies die the higher the buff grows, causing even small fries to become deadly threats, and Hybrid units, especially Behemoths, to be able to fight entire armies and win. Transmutation means that any time an enemy unit deals damage, it has a chance to transform into a stronger unit from any of the three races, including hybrid at the top of the chain, meaning that any attack wave of even just Zerglings can spontaneously transform into a varied attack force made up of units from all three races. This also means that the very first attack wave to hit you in the mission could completely wipe you out if you're unlucky with what the attackers turn into.
  • That One Sidequest: The bonus objective in the coop mission "Scythe of Amon" leaves little time for preparation and respite. It involves protecting a shuttle to three locations on the map, all of which happen to have an enemy base guarding it. Given the mission's tense time limit and heavy enemy count, this is a lot harder to accomplish than it sounds. The shuttle, more often than not, makes a beeline straight through the Void Sliver locations and various enemy bases, and clearing all of them within such a strict time limit is a herculean feat. It doesn't help that in between stops 2 and 3, the shuttle takes less than a minute before it moves onto the next stop.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Even though the developers have gone full What If? and begun adding canonically dead characters as commanders, there remain some glaring omissions in terms of characters that were known to be a leader of their race and could have a unique playstyle made for them.
    • The UED remains a very popular faction from Brood War and their warfare tactics were well defined (infantry assault with the Marine and Medic, and air superiority with Goliaths, Valkyries, Wraiths, and Battlecruisers), but there's yet no DuGalle commander.
    • The original Starcraft and Brood War are full of Elite Mook Zerg breeds that could be redesigned for Co-op for a character like the Overmind, Daggoth, or Zasz.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy:
    • Artanis initially caught a lot of flak for his Zealots, as his Zealots change to Aiur Zealots when he reaches Level 4. The problem is that Aiur Zealots only deal one attack instead of two like normal Zealots, but have the same base damage, resulting in Artanis' Zealots having a 50% damage penalty. Their Whirlwind ability makes up for it, but the player has to tech up to a Twilight Council and research the ability, and it costs 150/150/90 so it isn't an insignificant investment. Jokes have been made that Artanis is the only commander to downgrade as he levels up. Blizzard thankfully took note of this problem, and Patch 3.1 buffed the Aiur Zealot's damage to 16 to match the standard Zealot. Ironically, he has the best Zealots now, as the single attack means they're less penalized by enemy armor and they still get the Whirlwind ability.
      • Artanis also gets flak in general for essentially being a Skill Gate Character: easy to pick up and use, but otherwise underwhelming in almost every way. His army units are good, but not great at their roles compared to other commanders' arsenals, and they all suffer from relatively low damage output. Aside from Guardian Shell, his calldowns are considered some of the weakest in the game; Shield Overcharge and Solar Bombardment are crippled by their glacial cooldowns, his power field is good for replacing units and not much else, and Orbital Bombardment is just embarrassingly bad in general (especially since Karax has the exact same calldown, only better in nearly every way). He got a massive buff on all fronts in 4.2.4, which mostly saved him.
    • Zagara hits all sides of the spectrum in every way possible. She specializes in throwing waves of Zerglings, Banelings and Scourge at enemies, and that's it. This reliance on suicidal units means she runs a terrible economy and is awful at long-term engagements. Further, unlike commanders, Zagara has no way to support an ally; all she has is Mass Frenzy, an attack and movement speed buff to ally allies, and Drop Pods to spawn Roaches to help out in a fight. Otherwise Zagara can do nothing but just send more units to fight, and if they aren't making a difference she's pretty useless. On the flip side though, very often a bunch of Banelings and Scourge are enough to wipe out attack waves and objectives without needing help. The result is she's widely seen as a boring and overspecialized commander who is poor for actual cooperative play between players, and her strategy is too strong when it's effective and too weak when it isn't.
    • Many players find Fenix/Talandar to be one of the weakest Commanders. Most of this centers around his units being too costly, his 6 champion units being lackluster, not having much synergy when fighting alongside other Commanders, and way too much micromanagement for little benefit. It also doesn't help that he lacks global top-panel abilities outside the 3 Fenix/Talandar transformations compared to many other Commanders who have much more to work with. Several patches after his release buffed his gameplay significantly in all fields to try and redeem him.
    • Swann can be a difficult commander to play due to his slow build-up and resource-intensive playstyle, but still has many defenders due to his powerful units and defensive structures. However, the one aspect of his playstyle that no one will defend are the Wraiths. Whereas the Hercules and the Science Vessel serve as force multipliers that much improve his army once in the field, Wraiths are generally agreed to be the weakest units in Swann's roster; they're not powerful, cheap or even good at their specific job, and serve only to remind players why they were replaced by Vikings and Banshees in melee. Much like Fenix, Swann got heavily buffed over patches to try and make him better. While it did succeed in bringing him out of Nova's shadow, his Wraiths are still universally considered garbage.
    • Many players dread partnering with Stukov. Not because there's anything wrong with him gameplay-wise, but because his masses of Infested troops tend to cause ungodly amounts of lag on lower-end machines, making the game virtually unplayable for his partner. Even higher-end hardware isn't immune since a sufficiently large horde can start taxing the game engine itself. Horror stories have been told of players unfortunate enough to get a Stukov partner on Dead of Night and subsequently being forced to sit through a slideshow of Infested clawing at each other.
  • Unexpected Character: Of all the characters players may have presumed would eventually be added as commanders, no one really saw Egon Stetmann coming, as he was a minor character in Wings of Liberty and was already serving as Mission Control for a co-op level.
    • Two words: Villain commander. Who's the first playable villain? Emperor Mengsk.
  • The Woobie: Egon Stetmann became this in Co-op. His career is pretty much over, his sanity is slipping, and he's alone and forgotten on Bel'shir with no one but his robots to keep him company as Companion Cubes. And then he has a panic attack any time the enemy even plans to attack them. By the time you win the mission and he rejoices at having a chance to leave the planet, you're probably cheering for him to do the same.
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