I think it’ll be many more years before Starcraft 3 is announced but I figured it would be fun to speculate about its plot anyway. So here’s my hypothetical pitch for a Starcraft 3 story. Since it’s just a first draft the main focus is on establishing key characters, factions, and a general idea of where the campaigns begin and end. I want to see what kind of feedback this draft elicits before I develop it further or return to square one. If I decide to make future drafts I’ll expand the list of characters and create subplots to accompany the main story.
The base game features one campaign for every race (10 to 15 missions each) that occur simultaneously to show how each faction plays a part in upending the peace. All three campaigns begin in the Koprulu sector before shifting to UED territory and finally converge at the Battle of Earth. Future expansion packs would return to Starcraft 2-style campaigns.
- Auriga Separatists- Without the Khala’s empathy the Auriga tribe is beginning to display tribalistic aggression as if they are descending into another Aeon of Strife. Auriga warriors are increasingly pursuing their own interests at the expense of the greater Daelaam.
- United Earth Directorate- The Directorate controls its vast populace with free public holodecks and a government controlled entertainment industry. Deciding that their first invasion failed due to relying on the impure Koprulu Terrans, the UED have established colonies on a path toward the Koprulu sector to lay the groundwork for another war.
- Niadra’s Renegade Swarm- Only a few broodmothers have defected to her insurgent swarm so Niadra must gamble on shaky alliances if she ever wants to unseat the current Overqueen.
- Daelaam- The unified Protoss now wear white and gold armor to symbolize their integration with Purifier technology. All robotic units are controlled by Purifier personalities. The pilots of obsolete dragoons are able to walk again thanks to Purifier-derived prosthetics.
- Zagara’s Swarm- While the increased intelligence afforded the broodmothers made them deadlier killing machines it also made keeping them in line much harder. Every few years another broodmother deserts the swarm or challenges Zagara for leadership.
- Infested Terrans- Stukov’s knowledge of UED defenses proves invaluable during the swarm’s invasion of Directorate space.
Minor Factions- Mostly neutral but could be drawn into the war at some point (likely an expansion pack)
- Tal Darim- Alarak is most destructive when he’s manipulating his enemies from the shadows. The Forged are biding their time until their enemies are easy pickings. In the meantime they are plagiarizing Purifier technology to create a slave army.
- Dominion- The war-weary Dominion is still enjoying the peaceful reign of Emperor Valerian. Despite officially maintaining neutrality in the conflict the Emperor is willing to look the other way if Dominion soldiers resign in order to join Nova’s crew.
- Hybrid Remnants- With their master dead the Hybrids are unsure of what to do with themselves. Some of their more fanatical members either strive to complete Amon’s omnicidal plan or have started worshiping the new Xel Naga goddess. The Hybrids are negotiating with both Zagara and Niadra to find refuge in one of their armies.
- Primal Zerg- Dahaka’s pack has no interest in Zagara’s stagnant peace. Their primal leviathans wander the cosmos in search of new essence. If they become aware of Niadra’s brood they could be powerful allies to the swarm again.
Major Characters- Original characters may have their names or genders changed in future versions.
- Admiral Qyzohr- The new leader of the Auriga tribe is equal parts brilliant and vainglorious. His personality and flaws are inspired by general Douglas MacArthur. Qyzohr relentlessly hunts Niadra to avenge his predecessor’s death. This myopic obsession often blinds him to the bigger picture.
- Xyrdan- A Blood Hunter who nominally defected to the Daelaam but remains secretly loyal to the Highlord. While other Tal Darim spies are tasked with stealing technology from the Daelaam this spy’s mission is to cause discord and disunity by driving the firstborn apart. To further that end he has offered his tracking skills to the Auriga tribe to ingratiate himself into their ranks.
- Captain Indira Manekshaw- She grew up believing the Directorate always had the best interests of humanity at heart, but she begins to doubt their decision-making after seeing the human cost of waging an unprovoked war on faraway aliens. Manekshaw is slowly drawn into a coup plot against the Ruling Council.
- Niadra- She believes that Kerrigan’s vision for the swarm is less important than following her ruthless example. The Zerg should wage constant warfare to drive their evolution.
- Overqueen Zagara- The Overqueen wants to steer the Zerg towards peaceful co-existence with the other races. She will do anything to honor Kerrigan’s final wishes.
- Alexei Stukov- The infested admiral feels conflicted about returning to his home as its conqueror; however he is gradually accepting that infestation is a gift that should be shared with humanity to further their evolution.
- Abathur- After his attempted coup Abathur is being kept on a tight leash on Char.
- Opening Cinematic: Urun’s Last Stand. A reminder of why the Auriga are so hellbent on slaying Niadra.
- Summary: An expeditionary fleet has found Niadra invading a UED colony. Admiral Qyzohr wants to glass the planet but Artanis countermands that order to preserve the lives of the innocent colonists. Qyzohr objects on the ground that the planet was illegally colonized but reluctantly obeys. The Protoss successfully overcome Niadra’s brood in the battle, but Niadra herself slips away when the UED counterattack distracts the Protoss. Qyzohr and his Auriga followers are infuriated that Artanis chose worthless Terrans over avenging Urun’s murder. The Auriga Tribe withdraws from the Daelaam at Xyrdan’s urging. While searching for leads on Niadra’s whereabouts they discover that the Zerg swarm has launched a full-scale invasion of the UED. Qyzohr is frustrated that the swarm has fled beyond the reach of Aiur’s warp network but Xyrdan concocts a plan to commandeer the Spear of Adun to serve as a mobile base. After a short civil war the Auriga fleet absconds with the Arkship into the UED’s sector.
- Opening Cinematic: A starship troopers style newsreel announces that the UED is invading Char in response to a Zerg attack on an outlying colony.
- Summary: The UED’s surprise attack seems successful at first but devolves into a stalemate when the Zerg regroup and counterattack. Captain Manekshaw’s unit is tasked with guarding a strange Zerg creature as it is transported from the surface to the fleet. She is horrified when the fleet abandons the soldiers fighting planet-side to return to UED territory. Manekshaw is reassigned to defend the outer colonies from the inevitable retaliation. Whatever the UED stole from Char has driven the Zerg into a desperate frenzy. The UED is forced to retreat again and again until the Zerg are on Earth’s doorstep. When Manekshaw discovers the reason the aliens are attacking she begins recruiting allies to stage a coup d’etat.
- Opening Cinematic: Evolution. A recap of the major plot points of the Starcraft: Evolution novel.
- Summary: Niadra has challenged Zagara to a brood war to determine the fate of the Swarm. Their battle is interrupted when the UED launches a surprise attack on Char. The suicidal raid is routed but the Directorate makes off with their prize: Abathur. Somehow the UED knew of the Evolution Master’s existence and exactly where to find him; which can only mean that there is a traitor within the swarm. Niadra’s and Zagara’s swarms launch independent invasions of the UED to get him back, as they both know whoever reclaims him may sway the allegiance of many broodmothers. The stakes are raised when Abathur psionically contacts the swarm to warn them that the Terrans are compelling him to create a new Overmind to dominate the Zerg. If the broodmothers are to remain free they must slaughter this infant before it matures enough to become immortal, but the UED’s robust defenses and the Spear of Adun’s interference are stymieing their advance.
Possible Campaign Outcomes- I’m still deciding how I want the campaigns to end so right now there are multiple possibilities.
- Protoss- Qyzohr successfully avenges Urun’s murder OR unwittingly unites the Zerg under a more dangerous leader.
- Terran- Manekshaw overthrows the Ruling Council and releases Abathur OR she becomes infested and helps Stukov conquer Earth. Remaining UED forces flee the Sol System.
- Zerg- Niadra crowns herself Overqueen and either kills or exiles Zagara OR she realizes that the developing Overmind is the only way to unseat her more experienced rival. After freeing the Overmind from the UED’s control Niadra distracts the Auriga fleet long enough for the Overmind to open a wormhole to escape; sacrificing herself in the process.
Alternate story ideas- These are story elements that could be integrated into the main campaigns or expansions.
- Emergent factions- SC3 would be a prime opportunity to develop new Terran factions that split off from the UED.
- Destruction of Gystt- Either Niadra or the Auriga Separatists attack Gystt to kill Zagara and the Adostra.
- Primal Niadra- Niadra travels to Zerus to undergo the same primal transformation Kerrigan endured.
- Flesh vs Machine- The Daelaam are experiencing a schism between biological and machine Protoss. Artanis must find a way to bridge the divide or a bloody civil war may erupt.
- Braxis Mission- The UED mounts an expedition to Braxis to recover whatever remains of the Psi Disruptor.
- UED Psi Corps- What if the Directorate is secretly ruled by a hidden coterie of powerful psychics? Perhaps the UED failed to create a Ghost program before psionic individuals could blackmail their way into positions of power. In this scenario the UED would be similar to the Tevinter Imperium from Dragon Age.
- Stukov’s and DuGalle’s families- Stukov has four children and DuGalle had at least two. It’s not unlikely that at least some of their progeny would follow their fathers’ footsteps into military service and quickly rise through the ranks due to their family connections.
- Infested Terrans- Manekshaw is infested halfway through the campaign after her coup fails. The Terran campaign abruptly switches into an infested Terran campaign.
Thanks for reading. I look forward to any suggestions to rework this story draft.