Where Does StarCraft Go from Here?

The StarCraft II trilogy has now wrapped up, and Blizzard doesn’t seem to have any immediate plans for more stories in-game. For better or for worse, though, Blizzard doesn’t let any of their franchises lie fallow forever, so sooner or later the StarCraft story is going to start moving forward again.

The fathomless depths of spaceI have to wonder, though, where does it go from here? Both StarCraft games formed a pretty coherent story arc, all building to the conclusion in Legacy of the Void, and now that arc is finally over. For the first time, we’re in uncharted waters with no clear indication of where to go next.

Still, there are some possibilities. Obviously, there will be spoilers for the StarCraft story to date here.

Rogue elements:

Even if the main factions of each race — the Swarm, the Dominion, and the Daelaam — manage to stay on mostly friendly terms, there’s still the potential for rogue elements from within each race to cause trouble.

I definitely think this is the intended role of the Tal’darim. They’re a readily available bunch of nasty Protoss for the player to beat on, and they serve that role well.

Terran society, as well, offers plenty of opportunity for further conflict. It’s just human nature; we’re a fractious bunch. We’ve already seen that with the Defenders of Man in Covert Ops, and there’s also the potential for renewed conflict with the Kel-Morian Combine or even the Umojan Protectorate, though the latter is a bit of a stretch.

The Zerg are theoretically homogeneous, but there’s still the possibility of feral broods wandering the cosmos, mindlessly consuming all in their path, and there’s Dehaka and the Primals to consider. Their loyalty to the Swarm was always tenuous at best, and they have no code beyond the desire to feed and grow stronger.

The Tal'darim Death Fleet in StarCraft IIThis is the safest route. It won’t radically change the feel of the StarCraft universe, and it’s a logical evolution of the current story. It doesn’t lend itself well to the kind of epic story-telling we’re used to from Blizzard, though. The Tal’darim are scary, but they’ll never equal Amon.

Other aliens:

One of the interesting things about StarCraft is that it’s clearly established there are many intelligent races in the galaxy beyond the big three and the Xel’naga, but we just never see them. The only species beyond the majors even mentioned by name is the Kalathi, and we know next to nothing about them.

If Blizzard were to introduce new aliens into the StarCraft universe, it could be in the form of an entirely new playable faction in all areas of the game, or maybe just something that only appears in campaigns and/or other story-telling mediums (like novels).

I think my preference would be the latter. I loved it when Warcraft went from two playable factions to four, and the sheer ballsiness of adding new playable races would be exciting, but at this point the traditional StarCraft triad is so entrenched and iconic I’m not sure it should change.

But if they’re just a story-telling element, it could be interesting. There’s no limit to what Blizzard could come up with, so from that perspective the prospect of new aliens has the most potential of all the ways to continue StarCraft’s story.

The Spear of Adun approaches a planet in StarCraft II: Legacy of the VoidEarth:

Then there’s the United Earth Directorate to consider. Their last attempt to conquer the Koprulu Sector ended very badly, but there’s no guarantee they won’t try again.

For my part, though, I rather like that Earth is some distant, unknown thing in the StarCraft universe, and I’m not sure I’d want to jeopardize that.

Actually, I would like to see what Earth is like in the StarCraft universe, but I’d like to see it in some spin-off that’s unrelated to events in the Koprulu Sector. Let the two realms stay separate.

Amon’s legacy:

Legacy of the Void wrapped up the main story very well, but one thing it did leave a bit unanswered is what became of Amon’s armies after his defeat.

Of course, the simple answer is that they were destroyed, and I’m sure that’s true… but were they totally wiped out?

Moebius Corps and the feral Zerg broods were just mindless tools, so I don’t imagine they’re still kicking… but what of the Hybrids? Was every last one of them eliminated?

A vault within the depths of Ulnar in StarCraft II: Legacy of the VoidAnd what of the Tal’darim? Surely some must have remained loyal to Amon in their hearts, even if they dared not speak out against Alarak openly.

Amon is gone for good, but the horrors he unleashed may not be so easily caged.

Continuing with Amon’s legacy is of course the most predictable route, and it risks simply rehashing Legacy of the Void… but tell me the thought of a lone Hybrid lurking in the dark places of the universe and plotting its vengeance doesn’t give you chills just a little bit.

The WoW route:

Everyone just starts fighting again because reasons.

Not a great option, but it wouldn’t be quite as illogical as the transition between Warcraft III and World of Warcraft was, at least.

* * *

Those are the possibilities that immediately come to mind for me. It’s entirely possible there are some I over-looked. You could also combine elements of the above. Maybe a heretofore unknown alien race conquers Earth, and the survivors are forced to seek refuge with their cousins in the Koprulu Sector. Maybe a surviving Hybrid stumbles upon the Kalathi and uses their hatred of the Protoss to turn them into an army.

Do you have any theories for where StarCraft can go from here?

2 thoughts on “Where Does StarCraft Go from Here?

  1. Do you think the collapse of the Kespa/Pro-league scene could prompt Blizzard into a more drastic course of action, such as the 4th playable race?
    Or will it not factor much into their thinking?

    • I don’t think it will make much of a difference. If Blizzard was going to make changes to improve the eSports scene, I would imagine it would take the form of rebalancing the existing races and mechanics. New content doesn’t change the fundamentals of the game.

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