Best campaign and why? [Spoilers]

Which campaign is your favourite and why?
As a whole: Story, gameplay, music etc.

For me it’s:
Legacy of the Void
Wings of Liberty
Nova Covert Ops
Heart of the Swarm

I think LotV’s story and writing is fantastic with amazing character development.
I love the music but the gameplay is a decent (probably because I don’t like protoss).

I love the feeling in WoL when you earn credits and upgrade the units of your choice, alongside with research. It gives a lot of customization for the campaign which is very nice. Music is decent and the writing is different since you can choose the missions you want to play instead of going through a more linear story like HotS and LotV.

The gameplay in Nova Covert Ops is great with a story that explains what happened after the epilogue and wrapped up the story of Starcraft 2.
(I don’t place it that high since it’s only 9 missions)

Even though I main zerg, HotS is absolutely terrible imo.
The gameplay is the easiest of all the campaigns and the story is just, bad.
It’s basically just Kerrigan gaining powers and getting revenge. The only difference between Kerrigan in HotS and WoL is that she isn’t being “influenced” by Amon.

(btw how do I change profile pic on the forums?)

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My Rating:
Wings Of Liberty
Legacy of The Void
Nova Covert Ops
Heart of The Swarm

Wings of Liberty is the beginning, and it is amazing to me. The gameplay, the characters, the set of the main story.
Legacy of the Void is good but you know, kinda gameplay is always there in the way “Be fast or useless teammate dies”.
Nova Covert Ops has interesting gameplay and pretty simple story.
Heart… oh well… it is the last because the main plot is bad and character development is lost in Legacy of the void. Though the coop version is pretty neat, i liked it very much.

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For me, it’s a little fuzzy but…

NCO is the clear winner. Despite some obvious abuses, the levels are generally much more unique and dynamic, and in all honesty I think shrinking the unit roster rather than growing it was a lot better for creating interesting missions. I just wish that they would take the next step and have units that are unlocked for some missions but vanish from the roster in later missions, allowing for all manner of interesting permutations of options. I also felt that a bonus objective system that opened up new options without a clear cut power increase in most cases (obviously balance can’t be flawless) was far better than one where getting the bonus just gave you a clean cut buff for the rest of the campaign. However, it again went a little overboard on the power of hero units.

LotV made you chose unit A or B (or C), which meant there were interesting ways in which your army compostions and options could change dynamically, and be shaped for the mission. However, the missions themselves were ultimately too similar, by which I mean they all boiled down to “kill every last one of them!” In a blunt brute strength charge. There also was the problem of too much choice when it game to unit options on a mission, and as a result a small few unit compositions became dominant to the point of rendering all other units irrelevant.

WoL was really good, but suffered from permanent choices pigeonholing you into repeatedly massing the most versatile units. You either got really sick of bio/tank, really sick of Goliath/tank, or really sick of hellion/tank/Viking, take your pick. On the flip side, the level design was quite varied. There were definitely some misses, mostly in the later levels, and the first 5 or so levels started out a little too slow on the options. Granted, I thought HotS and LotV were a bit too slow to start as well, but not as bad as WoL. Ultimately the best part of WoL seemed to be the middle of it.

HotS had some, ehh, balancing issues when it came to Kerrigan. On the bright side, there was a noticeable improvement from WoL on their dungeon crawler design. However, with how the entire game quickly became Kerrigan Party unless you missed every single bonus, 5 dungeon crawlers was far, far too many, even if only 3 of them featured Kerrigan and you had essentially a different Kerrigan for each one. Ultimately, the highlights were the Char missions, even if the first one was too short, and the Korhal missions, even if Kerrigan did a lot of soloing things.

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WoL is just most memorable if you ask me.

Even if I compare levels with the exact same design it wins regardless of being first or second.

Welcome to the Jungle vs Awakening the Ancient.

Actual Tal’Darim base vs Primal Clownfiesta production.

Actually difficult without Tanks vs Easy-peasy because you always have Mutas.

No dumb hero unit vs Kerrigan.

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To be honest it is an interesting opinion.
Also the part i loved in NCO that there is a hidden equipment.

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I know you guy don’t like having Kerrigan in HotS campaign, but I actually like it. It’s her campaign and she supposed to be the most powerful being in Universe. Having her being OP in almost every mission is what sells the theme for me.

Yes, but you know, neither Raynor nor Artanis were in every mission.

Not that powerful that she can solo the final mission.

If you like then it’s good. But still, I do not want any imbalance unit here (Do not mind Dark Templars in LotV, they are very OP but nobody cares).

WoL
NCO
LotV
HotS

When I feel like playing some campaign missions, I find myself almost always going back to Wings. I’m not sure why though. Because I like the missions? Because it was the first? Because it’s the most challenging? Whatever it is, I definitely like it the best. Someone above said they didn’t like the permanent choices, but I do because they make me choose a little more carefully.

I only recently played Covert so it’s still new to me, but what makes it stand out is the unique mission mechanics that hadn’t been used previously. The ability to change out and experiment with Nova’s gear was a fun mechanic as well.

Even though it comes in 3rd, I actually like LotV. It just doesn’t beat out Wings or NCO. (Protoss is my favorite race so that plays into it as well.) My only really heavy criticism was the use of a central defense mission twice, one of which was a copy and paste of All-In.

Heart was interesting initially. But now it’s only good for comp stomping in my mind. The evolution missions were a neat feature as part of experiencing upgrades before making a permanent choice. But, where I do praise Heart is the music. For both SC2 and SC, Zerg has always been my favorite music. The dark, creepy, slimy feel is the most emersive for me.

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I would put it in this order

WoL
NCO
Can’t rank HotS and LotV in order below it. They both have hits and misses for different reasons so are hard for me to compare.

LotV was fun for the Spear of Adun perks and army composition system allowing you to tailor your army to fit the mission. However, only a few missions were memorable. My second time around I counted 11 out of 19 missions that were specifically to capture/destroy five objects scattered around the map and the maps were usually bland arena style maps that felt like they were mirroring how they were designing coop too much.

“Armory” system was a missed opportunity. After the first few missions too many categories make you choose either/or with completely different units, which completely shuts down army comp dreams I had for it. I would have loved to play a big diverse fleet tactic in some of the missions but couldn’t since most air units fell under this category. What would have made more sense is to have some sort of slot system allowing you to select and deselect units for your army, only disallowing you from choosing more than one variant of the same unit. Perhaps one SoA perk could have been to unlock additional slots for people who want diverse comps, or to you know have carriers and mothership together.

SoA abilities did kind of become a crutch that reduced the challenge. The campaign format felt a lot like Mass Effect 2: find and recruit allies and gain their loyalty to join you in the suicide mission finale, broken up by a mid-game confrontation and escape from the main enemy. It is also worth mentioning that the prologue and epilogue missions tied to it are the ones I found the least replayable/enjoyable.

HotS had too many hero missions of mass right clicking and ability spam, adding in complex boss fights with telegraphed attacks. Those missions felt more like Diablo 3 than Starcraft so points off for those. Too little zerg air was featured and too many evolution missions which were, at the time of release, a loading screen as long as the actual mission on my computer to accomplish what the video demo could have. They should have spent more time putting in a way to unlock corrupters, scourges, and other morphed air forms like devourer and guardian. I found myself relying too heavily on Kerrigan mind blast for air units. Her abilities did tend to trivialize the difficulty as the game went on.

Nova was a nice breath of fresh air for a lot of it, giving a return to bigger maps with stuff to explore, extra objectives and a variety of mission types. Some I even got to enjoy up to an hour due to no hard timer. I found the army customization system very appropriate for the theme of it. Only disappointment was the final mission’s “boss fight” emphasis.

WoL was my favorite because it felt closest to a BW style campaign. The objectives and maps varied a lot and required you to make use of a number of approach strategies instead of just “death ball to 5 big rocks” repetitions. Some missions make very specific use of Terran-specific abilities. It is literally the only campaign that ever requires you to use transports at some points. The main “bonus ability” is simply the merc compound to buy instant reinforcements which helps keep mission challenges intact later game. I did find some missions like The Dig to be a little too monotonous and overly simplified by single unit spams but I found diverse comps worked well even on brutal. I wish the archives after the campaign was complete would allow you to reallocate research and credits to replay missions differently, and allow you to play the alternate version of All In that you didn’t select during playthrough. It isn’t a deal breaker as I always enjoyed replaying it.

I appreciated armory/research decisions being permanent as you make some missions easier and some harder for yourself in that approach rather than reallocate throughout the game to make each mission the easiest possible. Love the Terran soundtrack and the fact that you get the whole arsenal unlocked.

I didn’t dig too much into story because honestly, I enjoyed the way the BW story was done, not due to a headfirst dive into the weeds to analyze specific plot details for threads on end but because at a high level they are like two different stories. SCBW is like a TV series, heavily emphasized on plot development and twists, bittersweet victories and long term consequences of some of the missions completed. It’s objective is often to keep the plot going. It used first person storytelling and used map design to create difficulty in macro, micro and approach.

SC2 was like a movie series. It is structured more as a mass market fantasy trilogy with each campaign having a few main events and is very cinematic. The story emphasizes perfect victories as canon and seeks to bring total closure to the story. It focuses more on gameplay that is more divorced from traditional melee play with varied starting conditions and emphasizes unique units and abilities with enemy strength and number varied for difficulty. It also more heavily emphasizes time limits for missions. They are just two very different games so people’s preference will gravitate toward one or the other based on what they are looking for. That is probably what drives my preference.

For me, the order is:

  • “Heart of the Swarm”
  • “Wings of Liberty”
  • “Legacy of the Void”
  • “Nova - Covert Ops”

I really enjoyed “Heart of the Swarm.” Kerrigan has been my favourite character since I first saw her emerge infested from that Cocoon back in '98. The Zerg is also my favourite Race in the franchise, and it was fun to play with them again.

I enjoyed what they did with Kerrigan’s character in the expansion, and what her own focus and struggles were. The cinematic early on when she believes Raynor is dead and she just screams is also my favourite Cinematic in the sequel, as it basically shows and defines the character and the course of the expansion: Everything’s gonna die.

“Wings of Liberty” has a fantastic Firefly feel, and overall, I really enjoyed the Second Great War. The mission design is extremely well done and varied, and it was just great to be back in the StarCraft universe, despite it clearly being less “serious” than the original.

“Legacy of the Void” focused strictly on Amon and the prophecy plot arc, which I simply do not like at all. The characters and mission design are still quite cool.

“Nova - Covert Ops” is a fun little expansion, but feels a bit out of place to me. I thought the reveal of General Davis being the primary antagonist was anti-climactic, and I also found Nova to be very different personality wise than she’s been portrayed in the novels, which disappointed me. Still not a bad expansion, I’ve enjoyed the entire sequel.

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Boo. Boo.

HotS cannot be on top, simply because the gameplay is bland. HotS is stale, so stale.

It doesn’t add anything. Also, it has next to no Air-Air interaction which is pretty abysmal mistake imho.

HotS has the lowest amount of gameplay innovation and memorability.

Of course Nova’s different, she’s an adult now, it’s been more than a decade since First Great War (it takes place a few years after Epilogue which is 2508. A Few means at least three.) Not to mention she’s gone from having everything to having nothing to getting a clean slate, while also getting a mandatory and later voluntary brainwash after every mission until The Keep.

If I compared myself from let’s say 8 years ago and myself now - very different people. And I haven’t even had that eventful life.

Also Nova is now likable, so the change is pretty good imho.

“Heart of the Swarm” can absolutely be on the top. It’s the one I enjoyed the most, so it’s on the top of my list.

Your list is and can be different. We’ll be fine.

Of course, people can change greatly over a few years, let alone a decade. The gap I’m referring to is about five years, from StarCraft: Ghost - Spectres to “Nova - Covert Ops.”

With her constant memory wipes, and no longer being under Mengsk, I expected her to be more loyal to Valerian, certainly less outwardly defiant.

It’s not impossible for her to be such (and it, of course, happened), but it struck me as off and irked me.

I think she was far more likeable, and human, in that novel as opposed to in-game.

SC1 Protoss Campaign: The Fall

And the reason is because I said so.

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This actually puzzles me. We have other more prevalent archetype; why do people complain so much about this one being use more often than once?

My guess is because of the lack of proactivity in defense missions : you do not decide where and when skirmishes will happen, you’re entirely reactive. It’s even worse in HotS and LotV where you can’t even strike at the enemy base to cripple their pace.

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Mostly for creativity reasons. One per campaign is ok. But two, with one essentially being All In both in both objective and story, seems like there was nothing else they could come up with.

The Epilogue is obviously the best by concluding the story in a satisfactory manner especially for both Kerrigan and Raynor.

With Kerrigan’s ascension as a Xel’Naga, she vanquished the ultimate villain once and for all with her newfound powers and peace is restored. Thus Kerrigan finally being able to reunite with Raynor and spend the eternity together.

With this epic conclusion, Starcraft 3 is not a necessity.

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Go away.

How many times do we have to teach you this lesson old man?

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Everybody can come and go as they please. This is a public forum.

You are free to block me. I don’t care.

Alright. I didn’t ask for this, but I will embrace it.

Duty calls.

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