Staredit Network > Forums > General StarCraft > Topic: Enumerate, alternate timeline for SC
Enumerate, alternate timeline for SC
Feb 20 2018, 7:05 pm
By: Mithras Gnosis  

Feb 20 2018, 7:05 pm Mithras Gnosis Post #1

I found this a while ago and thought you guys might be interested. ToxicDefiler wrote a long treatment for a rewrite of the Starcraft lore in a series of posts on the forums and later compiled his work into two PDFs. The PDFs were hosted on deviantart before the author deactivated his account, so I copied them to google drive. The full document is huge and spends most of the page count on history and culture and tech, but the timeline condenses the key plot points to a dozen pages.

Quote from ToxicDefiler
Schematics for a future project, the Starcraft Enumerate is the concept of different campaigns that will be avaliable for the player, as well as possible changes to UI and AI. Starcraft Enumerate is an alternate universe to Starcraft, with a few noted differences:

- No Kerrigan, instead the Zerg will have Assimilated Terrans as units.
- No Duran, Amon, nor major Xel'Naga Plotline such as Hybrids nor Prophecy.
- UED is replaced by the Umojans, and the Kel-Morians will also be a major component.
- Zeratul sacrifices himself instead of Tassadar during the Death of the Overmind.

About 150 pages, 80,008 words, meant to list the different factions, basic information, and the tech tree planned out for the different factions. This is meant to allow the possible campaigns to be written out and set, acting as blue prints for possible creations. Although does not have all the information for the races for sure, the Three are described in detail the amount of changes each faction will have, as well as the timeline and gameplay. Although I had energy to do Terran and Zerg, I hated the Protoss due to the race being BLEEEEEEEH!!! thus, I put as much information for them that I cared to go in depth with right now, and after that made me want to do the Terrain/Doodads with not much depth either in comparion to the Terrans and Zerg sections.


I only speak for myself, but I find these changes to be a welcome breath of fresh air. The section pertaining to the invasion of the Protoss is really interesting, since it gives the Protoss a huge galactic empire instead of a single planet like the game portrayed. It is quite awe-inspiring to think about the scale of the war between the Protoss and Zerg if the Zerg have enough fleets to invade such a large empire.

Post has been edited 1 time(s), last time on Feb 21 2018, 1:51 pm by Mithras Gnosis.


Feb 21 2018, 1:41 am NudeRaider Post #2

We can't explain the universe, just describe it; and we don't know whether our theories are true, we just know they're not wrong. >Harald Lesch

kudos to you for giving this its own thread. I'd suggest to add a subtitle in the lines of "alternative timeline - a baseline for campaigns". Just the name of the project name doesn't say much.

Feb 21 2018, 7:52 pm Mithras Gnosis Post #3

Quote from NudeRaider
kudos to you for giving this its own thread. I'd suggest to add a subtitle in the lines of "alternative timeline - a baseline for campaigns". Just the name of the project name doesn't say much.
I thought I already did, but okay. I edited the title just in case.

So I wanted to discuss some of the major plot points of this alternate timeline. What I liked overall about the Enumerate timeline was that it essentially follows the same broad strokes as canon, but simplifies or merges a number of plot points that I think results in a much cleaner and more believable history. The benefit, I think, of following the same broad strokes as the canon timeline is that it is easy for authors used to canon to adapt to. In fact, I suspect that many existing custom campaigns could be adapted to Enumerate with minimal rewriting.

The expanded precursor arc was a nice touch, since the canon timeline casually mentions that the Confederacy was studying Zerg since circa 2487 IIRC. The note about Protoss fighting minor skirmishes might seem premature, but according to the SC1 manual the Protoss were watching the Terrans for some time and the beta website mentioned that Terrans were able to intercept and translate a Protoss census from Judicator Nuun-Min and Executor Andinunn stationed in Koprulu. It makes sense that Andinunn would respond to Zerg activity prior to the arrival of Tassadar's expeditionary force. The losses suffered by the KMC might seem unusually harsh, but you have to remember that they apparently hold a monopoly on mining in the outer regions so the Zerg vanguard would likely encounter their mining colonies long before reaching the inner regions of Koprulu. Canon is notoriously bad at supplying consistent or sensible population numbers, but if we want the Terrans to last long I would have to assume their population in the many tens of billions across the sector or else have cyberpunk mass cloning facilities to increase population growth considering the cyberpunk styling of the Terrans (they're descended from cybernetic enhanced mutant criminals). The timeline does not mentioned the contribution of psi emitter experiments, but from what the wiki tells us about them luring the Zerg to Koprulu in massive numbers I would assume that the psi emitters basically lit a powder keg.

What I liked about the Terran/Zerg War was that it explicitly continued past the fall of Tarsonis. Including the Umojans and KMC was a no-brainer, since their impotence in canon is the subject of many jokes. The idea to fold the UED storyline into the Umojans wholesale, I thought was clever. The UED are something of a fan favorite and their reduction to a bizarre footnote in the lore is pretty silly. Equating the various Zerg research, "Project Bellwood," "Project Black Flag," "Project Blackstone" into one continuous project, just saves a ton of effort. Mengsk and Raynor get name-dropped, but the timeline is careful to minimize their contributions given the focus on authors given free license to make original characters and stories against this backdrop.

What I liked about the Protoss/Zerg War is the massively enlarged scale and expanded objectives of the conflict. The Zerg have to engineer assimilated terrans to fight the protoss, harvest khydarin crystals to wage electronic warfare, assault the nerazim nomads, uncover archaeological ruins, and so forth. While no exact length of time is given, I would assume the conflict lasts for years at the minimum. I can tell that the author tried pretty hard to provide plot hooks for authors to grab. The manual suggested that the Protoss were quite diverse in ethnicity, especially given that tribes explicitly had unique skin colors, but this was never explored in the canon. The expansion of the nerazim into a shadow federation hiding within the Protoss Empire makes it easier to imagine they have similar or more diversity.

What I liked about the alternative Brood Wars was, again, the enlarged scale and expanded objectives. The Zerg are splintered into a free-for-all between renegade, feral and enslaved broods that vastly dwarfs the canon BW. This is essentially identical to the various similar story lines in canon, like the brood mothers and the primal zerg, so it's a no-brainer to combine them all into one. The mentions that Terrans, Protoss and Nerazim all engage in enslavement of Zerg broods was a nice touch that offers a lot of story opportunities.

The Protoss have suffered perhaps the most within the canon, being retconned into losing their galactic empire, their tribal diversity, the relevance of the khala, their technology development prior to the Aeon of Strife, etc. Enumerate gives all that back and expands on it, which I liked. What I did not like was that the Protoss did not get a timeline of events from their POV. The Protoss Civil War is one of the most maligned events in their history, but it is barely explained in the canon and Enumerate despite its supposed importance.

Having Zeratul die instead of Tassadar might seem strange at first, but I liked it for the implications. Artanis in SC2 is basically just a substitute for him, so keeping Tassadar is just cleaner in my mind. Since Tassadar is alive, that means he can lead the ongoing peace efforts between the Protoss and Nerazim. I expect that he would found some new twilight religion or something, which was a common fan theory prior to SC2. I don't expect that the Protoss and Nerazim could suddenly make peace without an outside threat, considering the bad blood between them.

Although it is a fairly minor issue, I am surprised the author did not try to integrate the Taldarim or Purifiers within this context. Ulrezaj's crusade against the Protoss formed a notable but forgotten subplot of canon that I found quite interesting. The Taldarim could be easily refluffed as the evil counterparts of the Nerazim who appear in large numbers in the wake of the war to raid the devastated empire worlds; I personally speculated that the white-skinned Taldarim are related to the Shelak tribe (the SC1 manual said tribes had different skin colors, and the in-game portraits seemingly matched specific tribal colors: e.g. green/akilae/zealot, brown/venatir/scout, white/shelak/arbiter). The Purifiers could be refluffed as relics of the First Age/Pre-Aeon Protoss awakened by archaeological expeditions, who could help or hinder the locals depending on their programming.

As for the tech trees, the author is clearly working from the SC1 tech tree as a basis and hasn't tried to integrate the SC2 tech trees. I think this throws out the baby with the bath water, since the timeline is clearly geared for making campaigns within the SC2 engine. The co-op commanders, warchest skins and various mods like mass recall and heptacraft introduce new tech trees that could easily be integrated for flavor. I mean, the infestors, virophages and infested terran variants would be perfect for campaigns set during the initial infestation of Terran worlds given that infestors are supposedly secondary agents analogous to queens and overlords that direct infestations and control infested units. But what do I know? I'm still trying to learn BW mapping.


May 31 2018, 10:17 pm Mithras Gnosis Post #4

The enumerate has a few notable flaws, IMO.

It doesn’t make sense for the zerg and protoss to suddenly withdraw at Tarsonis, or for the zerg to wait until then to start their experiments.

The KMC plot is incongruous, since the manual explained they lost their assets to the Confederacy. They wouldn’t have many fringe worlds for the zerg to invade. The enumerate doesn’t explain if this change is intentional or a mistake.

The enumerate seemingly forgets the manual foreshadowing the Umojans trying to contact and ally with the protoss, or the Ara and Akilae clashing over humanity’s fate. This could wildly alter events in the Koprulu sector.

The strangest decision of all, IMO, was to retain the deus ex machina involving dark templar breaking cerebrate invulnerability. Neither of those are necessary for the enumerate, IMO. It was introduced in the game only because the protoss were too weak to fight the zerg. That isn’t the case in the enumerate.

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