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By the way, Bioware announced today that there is a free "Extended Cut" DLC pack coming this summer that will expand on the game's ending.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Scott Betts wrote:
By the way, for a rough idea of the ludicrous extreme to which internet people have allowed their heads to explode over Mass Effect 3, EA was just voted the Worst Company in America via a significant online poll.
Quote:
Internet polls are irrelevant, because their selection is awful. They do not generalize to larger populations at all. But the one thing that popular internet polls are good at is measuring the reactions of people on the internet who are motivated enough to bandwagon on a poll!

So internet polls are irrelevant. But you want to get worked up about an internet poll? That seems like a self-contradictary position.

In addition, polls work by getting people who feel strongly about a situation to take a stand. Whilst there are selection issues, the simple and unavoidable truth is that if there were masses of people out there who were really happy with the ending, they'd be rushing along to vote on the polls. And they are not, certainly not in any substanital numbers.

Quote:
Gamers have just made a royal laughing stock out of themselves.

Some gamers have, indeed. Not all of them. Gamers are not a homegenous group. You are a gamer, so you're saying that people voting on some irrelevant poll have made a royal laughing stock out of you? I don't think so.

Quote:
I make it a personal policy to defer to the judgment of professionals over the judgment of angry people on the internet.

Computer game critics aren't doctors. They're geeks with journalism or English degrees who can string words together coherently who succeeded in passing interviews. There isn't some kind of special college that video game journalists go to where they spend hours immersed in the history of gaming and philosophically debating the merits of game as an artform. They're some guys with word processors and access to early review code whose jobs are paid for by the companies whose products they are reviewing.

Quote:
Does it have a negative effect on the entire series, then?

I would say no. I can imagine revisiting both ME1 and ME2 in the future and enjoying them (though probably not until a Windows 7 fix is provided for ME1 to stop it crashing with an LAA error every 2 hours or so). Some fans have said it ruined the entire series for them, which I consider to be a rather hyperbolic position.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I can understand the people who say a bad ending can ruin an entire series for them. I've personally read books before that have an ending that basically soured me on everything else that had been written, especially since it meant that I'd never want to read an entire series over again. I've read books where a bad ending to a series of novels I'd enjoyed up until then, has meant that I've not looked at anything else that author has published since. I've also played games/read books where the awesome ending has made me want to play through/read through the game/book multiple times, even if there are rough/slow spots I'd need to go through again. I know there's a great payoff, and that helps me get through the rougher parts without giving up on the game/book.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Scott Betts wrote:
magnuskn wrote:
Bank of America is only a vile plague upon the USA. They are virtually unknown elsewhere. EA is a worldwide known bad company.
You're seriously trying to defend the idea that EA deserves this more than BofA?

In the context of their clientele, I'd say they both pale in comparison to Goldman Sachs. It's not my place to say who "deserves" more being the worst company in the world. Just pointing out why EA "won" over BofA. The world is pissed off at EA. America is pissed off at Bank of America.

And although some Americans would like to believe otherwise, the world still outnumbers America to a substantial amount.

Scott Betts wrote:
I make it a personal policy to defer to the judgment of professionals over the judgment of angry people on the internet.

I prefer passionate, yet obviously honest people like Angry Joe.


Werthead wrote:
So internet polls are irrelevant. But you want to get worked up about an internet poll? That seems like a self-contradictary position.

Way to bludgeon the point.

Internet polls are meaningless because of their selection. For those without a background in statistics, the way the participants in any kind of poll are selected is very important. The whole purpose of an opinion poll is to produce generalizable results. That means that the results of the poll provide an accurate picture of how the greater population views the issue(s). If your polls results are not generalizable, it's a pretty worthless poll - it doesn't tell you anything except what the poll's respondents think.

This poll, like almost every other public internet poll, has terrible selection. There are two primary problems with it. The first is called self-selection. A poll's audience is self-selected when they are able to seek out and respond to the poll of their own volition. This is distinct from polls that are not self-selected; for instance, when you receive a call on your phone from a polling agency, that is not a self-selected poll because you did not seek out that poll on your own. A self-selected poll is almost always a fundamental confound. Self-selection alone, in an otherwise perfect opinion poll, is enough to invalidate the results. This is because the people who seek out the poll themselves are typically more invested in the issue than your overall audience. They are active, aware, and motivated. It also touches on the idea that a satisfied customer rarely goes out of his way to voice approval, while a dissatisfied customer does so far more often. This makes certain polls - especially controversial ones - even more susceptible to being invalidated by self-selection.

The second problem with the poll's selection is that it's limited to the internet. Users who spend more time on the internet are more likely to hear of the poll - and respond to it - than those who spend less time online. Now, it may be that this is less of a problem for Mass Effect 3 than other products, since Mass Effect 3 is a digital product and I daresay that Mass Effect 3/EA's audience is fairly internet-savvy. But Mass Effect 3/EA isn't the issue here. The issue is every other company nominated in the poll. Bank of America, for instance, is utterly ubiquitous in America. Everyone from high school kids to the very elderly, from impoverished to wealthy, all ethnic groups, all orientations, etc. - they all have strong representation in Bank of America's customer base. And, as we're well aware, certain demographics spend more time on the internet - and are more aware of events like the Consumerist's Worst Company in America poll - than other demographics. The disparity in internet-literacy and time spent online between the audience for Mass Effect 3/other EA games and the customer base of Bank of America (not to mention nearly every other company on that list) is the issue. Because gamers spend more time online than the average customer of every other company on that list, EA was bound to receive more attention than the others because of the venue in which the poll was conducted (the internet)!

As you can see, there's a lot that needs to be considered when it comes to dissecting opinion polling. And I've really just scratched the surface here. This is an issue that must be addressed with nuance. Trying to falsely equivocate my saying that internet polls are generally worthless with thinking that they don't say anything about the people responding to them is not nuance; it is a bludgeon.

What this poll is able to tell us is that the people who responded to it thought that EA/Bioware should receive the Worst Company in America award. And, because a huge number of those respondents were gamers (otherwise EA/Bioware wouldn't have been anywhere near the top) we can safely say that there exists a segment of the gaming community which thinks that EA/Bioware deserves to be named Worst Company in America more than Bank of America does.

And that's what so many people find so disturbing about this whole thing. The idea that certain gamers see anything having to do with video games as categorically worse than the many consequences that Bank of America has had on the country is sort of revolting.

Quote:
In addition, polls work by getting people who feel strongly about a situation to take a stand.

No, as explained above, that's precisely how polls do not work. In fact, that breaks polls.

Quote:
Whilst there are selection issues, the simple and unavoidable truth is that if there were masses of people out there who were really happy with the ending, they'd be rushing along to vote on the polls.

That is as far from true as anything can possibly be.

Quote:
Some gamers have, indeed. Not all of them. Gamers are not a homegenous group. You are a gamer, so you're saying that people voting on some irrelevant poll have made a royal laughing stock out of you? I don't think so.

That's exactly what I think. This Consumerist poll is not watched by just gamers. It's a poll run by one of the country's leading consumer affairs media groups. All kinds of people pay attention to what they're doing. And when gamers band together and make fools out of themselves, it's not just themselves as individuals that they are representing; to outside observers, their actions are representative of how gamers in general behave. It's unfortunate that it works that way, but that's how it goes. And so we - all of us - end up sharing in that greater societal image of what it means to wear the label (whether self-imposed or not) of gamer.

So yes, we were all made to look like idiots, to some degree. And the best way to combat that is to loudly repudiate what these people have done. The people who put Bioware/EA at the top of that poll should be ashamed of themselves (though probably aren't) and we should collectively make it clear that they don't represent us.

So don't just say, "Hey, it wasn't me!" That's not good enough. We need to make it clear that this was a truly idiotic move on the part of this poll's respondents, and that we don't have any respect for them or their opinions.

Quote:
Computer game critics aren't doctors.

No, but then again doctors probably aren't all that well-qualified to judge the quality of a video game.

These people are professionals like every other professional. They got to where they are because someone hired them, and they're still there because people respect their opinion well enough to give them traffic.

Quote:
They're geeks with journalism or English degrees who can string words together coherently who succeeded in passing interviews. There isn't some kind of special college that video game journalists go to where they spend hours immersed in the history of gaming and philosophically debating the merits of game as an artform. They're some guys with word processors and access to early review code whose jobs are paid for by the companies whose products they are reviewing.

For some of them, that's true. For others, however, it's not. And as I've already pointed out many times, even the ones who are legitimate think that Mass Effect 3 is a great game.

Quote:
I would say no. I can imagine revisiting both ME1 and ME2 in the future and enjoying them (though probably not until a Windows 7 fix is provided for ME1 to stop it crashing with an LAA error every 2 hours or so). Some fans have said it ruined the entire series for them, which I consider to be a rather hyperbolic position.

I would call it hyperbolic to hold that it ruins any of your prior experience. You didn't give a damn about the ending when you were enjoying the first 39 hours, and I bet you enjoyed all of them.


magnuskn wrote:
In the context of their clientele, I'd say they both pale in comparison to Goldman Sachs.

Goldman Sachs wasn't nominated. BofA was.

Quote:
It's not my place to say who "deserves" more being the worst company in the world.

The Consumerist clearly thinks that it is your place. That's why this was a public poll.

Quote:
Just pointing out why EA "won" over BofA. The world is pissed off at EA. America is pissed off at Bank of America.

I'm willing to bet a lot of money that if you removed every non-American vote from the Consumerist poll, EA/Bioware is still going to come out way on top. You'd have to believe that the international community is primarily responsible for the results of a poll run on an American blog about a list of American companies in order to determine which of them is the worst company in America. I mean, you don't believe that, right?

Quote:
I prefer passionate, yet obviously honest people like Angry Joe.

The idea that every single professional game reviewer is not passionate about video games and is a habitual liar is sort of crazy. You know that, right?

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2014

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

SO ANYWAY

Just lost a long post detailing this, but free extended ending DLC has been announced. The official announcement is a mixed bag.

The twitter correspondence from the community relations head(can't remember her name off the top of my head) is much more promising in terms of

Spoiler:
recovering the setting and getting actual closure, with hints of a possible reunion with your crew and love interest and an easier recovery of the mass relays than originally thought.

Still doesn't make the frustration of Shepard being unable to call out the Catalyst on his lolgic and take his/her own option rather than TIM(Blue Explosion-slavery)/Saren(Green Explosion-Violation of Consent on a galactic scale)/Anderson's(Red Explosion-genocide), but it's something.

Solid details from the DLC announcement:

Spoiler:
It'll be free
Should be out in the summer
The original DLC plans have been repriortized to focus on this
The extended endings will supposedly explain things in more detail and fill some plot holes and give more closure
Endings should be more personalized according to your choices somehow
There won't be any actual new endings. It looks like it's still Red/Green/Blue at the endgame.

What isn't clear, and this worries me, is whether or not ALL the writers are going to be involved and peer-reviewing each other this time around.

Details from the twitter:

Spoiler:
Mass relays aren't down for the count
Lots of Reaper tech and scrap around, which probably ties into the previous bit
People won't be starving to death(whether this applies to the dextro-crew members, the fleet, or outlying galactic colonies that aren't on garden worlds is unclear
You will be able to reunite with your crew and love interest if certain conditions are met.

No confirmation of blue babies though. :(

Hopefully there will be more news(leaning towards good that is) coming from PAX tomorrow.


The community relations manager is Jessica Merizan. However, I wouldn't put much stock in what she says. The impression I have gotten through this whole debacle is that she doesn't have access to as detailed information as some would want to believe. She isn't a developer of any sort, after all.

Honestly, I don't think this is going to satisfy people. If the game had shipped with more thoroughly differentiated endings and an epilogue people would have been more forgiving. For example, parts of the Rannoch story are fairly nonsensical but everyone accepts them because the overall experience was fulfilling. Now that people have had time to thoroughly dissect the current endings, I'm not sure they will readily accept anything based on them. Bioware might buy back some lost fans, but the Extended Edition will have to be pretty darn amazing to undo all this.

At this point, I just feel bad for the DA3 developers. Between DA2, ME3, and SWTOR rage, they have a lot to overcome. I fear for their pre-orders.


Thanks for the truly excellent roundup, Mikaze. That has me a lot more optimistic than the couple of articles I had time to glance over earlier today. I like the idea that the mass relays are salvageable, and the reason behind that touches on a big idea that's been talked about a lot recently:

Mass Effect is the iconic science fiction franchise of our generation.

It's fitting that the most popular, money-making new sci-fi franchise isn't based in books or movies or TV shows, but rather in video games. Mass Effect is a legitimate universe. I mean, truly realized. Independent of the events of the three extant games, the Mass Effect universe remains interesting, unique, and three-dimensional. By far the most disappointing news from the endings (which I still haven't personally experienced! - tonight, maybe!) was that the mass relays were destroyed. The irreparable destruction of the relays would make it difficult to return to that fully-realized universe with anything resembling the extensibility of the fiction presented in the games.

And when I say games, I really mean the first three games. I would be astonished if Mass Effect were not transformed into a legitimate franchise after the success of the trilogy. I don't know that it will be Star Wars or Star Trek big, but the universe has legs, it has fans, it has a wealthy IP-holder, and the new ending will hopefully leave it wide open.

Here's a totally baseless prediction with no grounding in anything other than personal hope: By 2020, Mass Effect will have an officially-licensed tabletop (or tabletop-style) roleplaying game.


Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:

The community relations manager is Jessica Merizan. However, I wouldn't put much stock in what she says. The impression I have gotten through this whole debacle is that she doesn't have access to as detailed information as some would want to believe. She isn't a developer of any sort, after all.

Honestly, I don't think this is going to satisfy people. If the game had shipped with more thoroughly differentiated endings and an epilogue people would have been more forgiving. For example, parts of the Rannoch story are fairly nonsensical but everyone accepts them because the overall experience was fulfilling. Now that people have had time to thoroughly dissect the current endings, I'm not sure they will readily accept anything based on them. Bioware might buy back some lost fans, but the Extended Edition will have to be pretty darn amazing to undo all this.

At this point, I just feel bad for the DA3 developers. Between DA2, ME3, and SWTOR rage, they have a lot to overcome. I fear for their pre-orders.

Their pre-orders are going to be massive.

Sovereign Court Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Scott Betts wrote:


Here's a totally baseless prediction with no grounding in anything other than personal hope: By 2020, Mass Effect will have an officially-licensed tabletop (or tabletop-style) roleplaying game.

I could see that Dragon Age got an RPG people really seem to like it. I didn't get a chance to play 4E much. As a project I have been playing around with using 4E to make a Mass Effect game. One idea I had was using the power system to represent the tech, biotic, and soldier classes. Bloodied would be shields/barrier/armor down. Either way its what I have been up to with my 4E rulebook I am glad I can put it to use. If you are wondering why I don't just play 4E well my group didn't really want to try it.


Pan wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:


Here's a totally baseless prediction with no grounding in anything other than personal hope: By 2020, Mass Effect will have an officially-licensed tabletop (or tabletop-style) roleplaying game.
I could see that Dragon Age got an RPG people really seem to like it. I didn't get a chance to play 4E much. As a project I have been playing around with using 4E to make a Mass Effect game. One idea I had was using the power system to represent the tech, biotic, and soldier classes. Bloodied would be shields/barrier/armor down. Either way its what I have been up to with my 4E rulebook I am glad I can put it to use. If you are wondering why I don't just play 4E well my group didn't really want to try it.

The bloodied = shields/barriers down thing is kind of brilliant, I have to say.

Sovereign Court Star Voter 2013, Dedicated Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Scott Betts wrote:
Pan wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:


Here's a totally baseless prediction with no grounding in anything other than personal hope: By 2020, Mass Effect will have an officially-licensed tabletop (or tabletop-style) roleplaying game.
I could see that Dragon Age got an RPG people really seem to like it. I didn't get a chance to play 4E much. As a project I have been playing around with using 4E to make a Mass Effect game. One idea I had was using the power system to represent the tech, biotic, and soldier classes. Bloodied would be shields/barrier/armor down. Either way its what I have been up to with my 4E rulebook I am glad I can put it to use. If you are wondering why I don't just play 4E well my group didn't really want to try it.
The bloodied = shields/barriers down thing is kind of brilliant, I have to say.

Also healing surge becomes medi-gel application. You can surprisingly re-name things and they fit really well.


Just finished the game (destroy ending; I'm a sucker for allowing the protagonist to live). It's tough to tell how I'd feel about the ending if I were unprepared for it. Probably pretty crappy, but not because I felt shafted by the designers; rather, it's because the end provides no choices that are demonstrably "better" than the others. They're all hard choices - something Shepard talks about a lot in the missions leading up to the end. As it was, though, I thought the final mission was kind of incredible. The combat was kind of lackluster, but part of that has to do with how much multiplayer I've been enjoying recently, so I'm sort of over the Reaper enemies. But the fantastic part was walking through the London Forward Operations Base, and talking with my whole team. There were some really great moments there - Garrus and Shepard reminiscing and wondering whether Turians and humans go to the same heaven, Liara sharing an Asari vision with Shepard, Tali's voice cracking when she says she wants more time. That was far and away the most emotional 20 minutes of any game experience I've ever played. I'm really anxious to see what they end up doing with the DLC, now.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Scott Betts wrote:
I'm willing to bet a lot of money that if you removed every non-American vote from the Consumerist poll, EA/Bioware is still going to come out way on top. You'd have to believe that the international community is primarily responsible for the results of a poll run on an American blog about a list of American companies in order to determine which of them is the worst company in America. I mean, you don't believe that, right?

I think that you vastly underestimate how connected the world is nowadays, due to the internet. If the thing went viral on /v/, then people from all around the world saw it, reposted it on other forums and then the steam was rolled. I mean, you are not internet-averse enough to never have witnessed that before, right?

Quote:
The idea that every single professional game reviewer is not passionate about video games and is a habitual liar is sort of crazy. You know that, right?

Nice of you to prop up another strawman to punch down. As always with you. I never said that. I said that I prefer the passion Angry Joe ( and some others ) exhibit. But, yes, I see how review scores for games have steadily crept up on many sites, from where an 80 is considered a game not worth buying. Which is crazy, but it is the situation. It is difficult to take sites seriously who habitually throw around scores of 90 and above for games which are okay, but not what I'd call a classic.. which the definition of a 90+ title should be.

Doesn't mean that I take people on Metacritic seriously who go "bad endings, 0/10, hurpadurp", but calling video game reviewers in general "professionals" and saying that their high opinion means that all criticism of the fans is unwarranted ( while quite apparently neglecting to look at the accumulated analysis why the endings of Mass Effect 3 *are* horribly written ), that just makes you look like a too-much-corporation-loving shill. You know that, right?


magnuskn wrote:
I think that you vastly underestimate how connected the world is nowadays, due to the internet. If the thing went viral on /v/, then people from all around the world saw it, reposted it on other forums and then the steam was rolled. I mean, you are not internet-averse enough to never have witnessed that before, right?

I absolutely have. Going viral doesn't mean that the majority of votes are now non-American votes. Provide some evidence that this is the case.

By the way, though Bank of America is an American company (much like EA is an American company), it is a multinational corporation with clients in over 150 countries. So even if the argument that the international community being angry at EA pushed it along were true, it's still horrible of them. Bank of America's influence does not end at America's shores.

Nice of you to prop up another strawman to punch down. As always with you. I never said that. I said that I prefer the passion Angry Joe ( and some others ) exhibit. But, yes, I see how review scores for games have steadily crept up on many sites, from where an 80 is considered a game not worth buying. Which is crazy, but it is the situation. It is difficult to take sites seriously who habitually throw around scores of 90 and above for games which are okay, but not what I'd call a classic.. which the definition of a 90+ title should be.

Just because you don't consider many 90+/100 games classics doesn't mean that many reviewers aren't thinking that the games are modern classics when they review them.

By the way, since when are games with 80/100 Metacritic scores not worth buying? Both Assassin's Creed and Assassin's Creed: Revelations, the first and the most recent entries in one of the most popular video game franchises in existence right now, both have exactly 80/100 Metacritic scores. Craptons of people bought them.

Quote:
Doesn't mean that I take people on Metacritic seriously who go "bad endings, 0/10, hurpadurp", but calling video game reviewers in general "professionals"

Hold up. They are professionals. They do this for a living. Reviewing video games is their profession. They deserve the title. And attempt to deny it to all of them is just awful pettiness in an attempt to justify your disagreement with their opinions.

Quote:
and saying that their high opinion means that all criticism of the fans is unwarranted ( while quite apparently neglecting to look at the accumulated analysis why the endings of Mass Effect 3 *are* horribly written ), that just makes you look like a too-much-corporation-loving shill. You know that, right?

I never said all criticism of the fans is unwarranted (you strawman-abuser, you!). I'm saying that decrying Mass Effect 3 as a horrible game just because of the ending is unwarranted. Mass Effect 3 is a truly great game, and absolutely deserving of being labeled a modern classic, even with the ending it shipped with.

Besides, compared to the torch-and-pitchfork internet hordes, everyone looks like a corporate shill. You either want to burn EA/Bioware to the ground, or you might as well be working for them.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Scott Betts wrote:


I absolutely have. Going viral doesn't mean that the majority of votes are now non-American votes. Provide some evidence that this is the case.

Right back atcha. Prove that it isn't.

Scott Betts wrote:
By the way, though Bank of America is an American company (much like EA is an American company), it is a multinational corporation with clients in over 150 countries. So even if the argument that the international community being angry at EA pushed it along were true, it's still horrible of them. Bank of America's influence does not end at America's shores.

Nonetheless, it seems that they are mainly terrible in the US. Some other countries have better banking regulations. I guess I may have seen one or two BofA banks in Germany, but they are quite insignificant here, compared to our local banks.

Scott Betts wrote:
Just because you don't consider many 90+/100 games classics doesn't mean that many reviewers aren't thinking that the games are modern classics when they review them.

Could be my bias against certain game genres, sure.

Scott Betts wrote:
By the way, since when are games with 80/100 Metacritic scores not worth buying? Both Assassin's Creed and Assassin's Creed: Revelations, the first and the most recent entries in one of the most popular video game franchises in existence right now, both have exactly 80/100 Metacritic scores. Craptons of people bought them.

I wasn't talking about Metacritic, but rather "professional" reviews.

Scott Betts wrote:
Hold up. They are professionals. They do this for a living. Reviewing video games is their profession. They deserve the title. And attempt to deny it to all of them is just awful pettiness in an attempt to justify your disagreement with their opinions.

Sorry, the way many of them behaved during the last weeks about the enraged fans ( calling us entitled, whiney, etc. ) is not professional. Real journalists try to actually investigate stuff, instead of making poorly supported arguments.

Scott Betts wrote:

I never said all criticism of the fans is unwarranted (you strawman-abuser, you!). I'm saying that decrying Mass Effect 3 as a horrible game just because of the ending is unwarranted. Mass Effect 3 is a truly great game, and absolutely deserving of being labeled a modern classic, even with the ending it shipped with.

Besides, compared to the torch-and-pitchfork internet hordes, everyone looks like a corporate shill. You either want to burn EA/Bioware to the ground, or you might as well be working for them.

I obviously disagree about the importance of the ending. Torching down the setting and taking away player agency was something which destroyed the joy of the game and even the first two games for me.

Nonetheless, you said, multiple times, that the opinion of professional reviewers is more worth than the accumulated opinion of normal internet users. I also disagree with that, if the opinions of the internet crowd are well-written and thought-out. Of course that cannot be everyone out there, but there are enough who point out the obvious problems in the game endings, that one would wish that people from the gaming sites would actually engage those criticisms, instead of hiding behind thought-terminating clichés like "artistic integrity", "whining" and "entitlement".

If one sees "professional" reviewers engaging in that practice, while ignoring the really well-reasoned arguments from the Retake movement, well, it says something about their ability to actually do journalistic work.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

The Mass Effect panel at PAX is happening right now.

Liveblogs can be found at Kotaku and other places. Currently following this one.

Mordin cosplayer is awesome.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Was pretty interesting. I guess the DLC mollified enough people that they let the pitchforks at home. :p

Also, Casey Hudson and Mac Walters were not at the panel, so excoriating the poor other people would have been bad anyway.


magnuskn wrote:
I wasn't talking about Metacritic, but rather "professional" reviews.

Metacritic scores are aggregated from professional reviews. A Metacritic score is an accurate representation of the combined opinion of the professional review community.

Quote:
Sorry, the way many of them behaved during the last weeks about the enraged fans ( calling us entitled, whiney, etc. ) is not professional. Real journalists try to actually investigate stuff, instead of making poorly supported arguments.

Real journalists call it as they see it. And many of them saw the "fans" as entitled and whiny. They aren't the only ones who saw that, either. It doesn't make them any less professional, though trying to paint them as unprofessional certainly helps your narrative along.

Quote:
I also disagree with that, if the opinions of the internet crowd are well-written and thought-out.

The opinions of the internet crowd are attached to hundreds of 0/10 user review scores. I don't care if a handful of them calm down long enough to string an argument together. The internet rabble, as a whole, is not an accurate barometer of a game's quality.

Quote:
Of course that cannot be everyone out there, but there are enough who point out the obvious problems in the game endings, that one would wish that people from the gaming sites would actually engage those criticisms, instead of hiding behind thought-terminating clichés like "artistic integrity", "whining" and "entitlement".

They HAVE engaged those criticisms. Many of them had those criticisms themselves! What they didn't do was let the quality of five minutes of gameplay dictate their assessment of the quality of the entire game. And that's responsible reviewing. They came away from it and said, "On the whole, ME3 is an excellent game and deserves this score."


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Can a bad ending ruin the entire series for someone?

Yes. At least for me.

A) Torchwood, Children of Earth seriously ruined the entire series for me. I don't watch the reruns, and I don't buy the videos, and if it ever comes back, I doubt I'll watch the new series. It just really really ruined it for me, and I used to REALLY like the series.

B) White Gold Wielder. Both trilogies ended in ways I really hated, especially the second one. And I will never read another Stephen R. Donaldson book.

C) Mass Effect. The ending really did ruin the series for me. I played 1 and 2 through as both Paragon and Renegade... but I have only played the Paragon on 3, and have no interest in playing through the Renegade. Why would I? The end is the same no matter what, no difference, so why bother?

I admit that 99% of the game was phenomenal. But.. the last 1% sort of turned all that phenomenal into horrible. It's sort of like watching a former choir boy with a golden voice who grew up got a recording contract, put out one great song and then got high on cocaine and drove his bike into a fence and crushed his larynx and lost his voice. Every time you think about how he ended, it brings back the crushing knowledge of how much potential he had and how he wasted it on nothing.


mdt wrote:
I admit that 99% of the game was phenomenal. But.. the last 1% sort of turned all that phenomenal into horrible. It's sort of like watching a former choir boy with a golden voice who grew up got a recording contract, put out one great song and then got high on cocaine and drove his bike into a fence and crushed his larynx and lost his voice. Every time you think about how he ended, it brings back the crushing knowledge of how much potential he had and how he wasted it on nothing.

As long as we're cool with awful analogies, it's a lot more like a famous pop star releasing multiple platinum albums, going on one final farewell tour before retiring, and then screwing up the last couple songs of the set. And then imagine the fans suddenly deciding that the pop star is a horrible person and they wish he'd never done the tour to begin with because the whole thing is ruined, and that's basically how the internet sounds.


Also, to the complaint that "The end is the same whether I'm Paragon or Renegade," no, it isn't the same.

The end is not the final cutscene. That is part of the end. That is the end of the end. But the end is practically the entire 3rd game. The whole thing is designed to provide resolution to the many stories taking place in the Mass Effect universe. Nearly everything you do is designed to give you closure on one sub-plot or another. Your conversations with your squadmates are spent reminiscing and well-wishing. The entire game feels like a conclusion. Those Paragon/Renegade decisions you made still happened. The imaginary video game people whose lives you changed through your choices are still doing their thing (the ones who survived, at least).


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Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Betts wrote:
The end is not the final cutscene.

The final cutscene is not the end. The End is where the PLAYER stops having control of the game, and the results of his choices are played out.

That means that, basically, everything after Shepherd passes out and rises up on the platform is the End. The 3rd game is not the end. That logic would say that the last third of a book is 'the end' when it's not, the end of a trilogy is the last chapter or two of the third book, where all the loose ends get wrapped up.

That's the biggest complaint, there's no wrap up, no closure, no results, no nothing. It's just as if you took a book trilogy, or a movie trilogy, got up to the point of wrapping up all the plot lines, and then stopped filming or writing, just published as is.


mdt wrote:
Betts wrote:
The end is not the final cutscene.

The final cutscene is not the end. The End is where the PLAYER stops having control of the game, and the results of his choices are played out.

That means that, basically, everything after Shepherd passes out and rises up on the platform is the End. The 3rd game is not the end. That logic would say that the last third of a book is 'the end' when it's not, the end of a trilogy is the last chapter or two of the third book, where all the loose ends get wrapped up.

The "end" of any piece of literature, I would argue, is where we see the story resolved. The Mass Effect trilogy has an over-arching story, and hundreds of little over-arching sub-plots. The third game spends a lot of time focused on resolving all of those sub-plots, or character arcs, or what-have-you. Nearly every story gets resolved, and gets resolved really well. The main story - the galaxy's fight against the Reapers - isn't resolved until the final choice is made, but that's not the only story being told, and frankly the Mass Effect trilogy would be pretty shallow and disappointing if that were the only story being told. The third game is chock full of story resolution, and that's why I view much of Mass Effect 3 as the end of the series, rather than merely the last few minutes. I mean, when you're walking through the FOB and you're having conversations with characters that are clearly going to be the last conversation you have with them, you know that the end is already here.


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Scott Betts wrote:
The "end" of any piece of literature, I would argue, is where we see the story resolved. The Mass Effect trilogy has an over-arching story, and hundreds of little over-arching sub-plots. The third game spends a lot of time focused on resolving all of those sub-plots, or character arcs, or what-have-you.

I agree, in that the game does resolve many of its plots ahead of time (if not necessarily on the definition of "ending"). I wouldn't need an epilogue to tell me what Jacob is going to do with his life, because Jacob already told me himself. I wouldn't need an epilogue to tell me how the Geth and/or Quarians are getting on, because the game already told me how that is turning out. Sure, I'd had loved more (I'm a sucker for Fallout-style flashcard epilogues), but the game (up to that point) did a fair job of wrapping many of its little plots into pretty packages for me.

The ending, however, douses those packages in gasoline and lights the lot of it on fire. Plots I thought were resolved are now blown open, their results wildly changed, made irrelevant, or simply turned to ashes. I knew what Tali WOULD have done, if not trapped on the Impossible Planet. My choices with the Krogan COULD have doomed the galaxy, if they weren't now trapped on Tuchunka regardless. Whether I played tough and dirty political games or brought true unity to the galaxy is irrelevant, since there will be no galactic community to speak of. Whether you scanned every planet and made every right choice for War Assets changes little to nothing depending on ending color, and even those changes are very minor in the grand scheme of the galaxy. Even little kindnesses I did are made bitter, since most of the people I did them for are now dead, stranded, or otherwise had their lives ruined. Which one, I will never know.

Of course, that all this happens from a weird twist ending is even worse. I understand that people disliked "The Sopranos" ending because it was abrupt and ambiguous, but I imagine they would have disliked it more if there was a zombie attack before the sudden fade to black.

Paizo Employee Developer

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I've removed a personal attack, a bunch of people who "+1"ed that attack, and the resulting back-and-forth between several of the parties involved. Keep it civil, folks.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The definition of "personal attack" is getting somewhat broad here. Only because Scott declares it as being one, doesn't make it one. A lot of persons are concerned with Scotts debating style, as is pretty evident by now. Pointing that out, without using any type of ad hominem, should not be something which is considered worthy of deletion. IMHO, of course.

Paizo Employee Developer

If you have a problem with a post another board member has made, flag that post and move on. The posts weren't removed because any one poster deemed them personal attacks, but rather because they were personal attacks, and because they were devolving into a series of "+1"s, and back-and-forth insults of posters telling one another to leave the Paizo boards, none of which has ever been permitted here, and has always constituted abusive posting. Feel free to discuss with other posters their posting style via private message, but don't derail conversations with your negative opinions of other posters.

Paizo Employee Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Back to the original topic, I completed the game earlier this week after a two-month Mass Effect marathon of my first playthroughs of the preceding games. I love the setting, I love the intricacy of the stories, and the level of real emotional attachment I felt to the characters. Having beaten it with the green ending with my Paragon Shepherd on Monday, I went back today to see how different the other endings were and was shocked that even the cinematics were essentially the same. I hope the Extended Cut DLC this summer adds a little more variation and explains some of the repercussions of each outcome, which currently seem to be only which squad member walks out of the crashed Normandy with Joker.

Despite the endings' many shortcomings, I think the entire series is easily one of the best gaming experiences I can think of and certainly one I am going to run through a second and likely third time to try out different options. I'm even working on adapting a tabletop rules set I found for use with Spycraft to my own Mass Effect game here in the office.


It hasn't been verified, yet, but if it's legitimate this post - currently on the front page of reddit - illustrates the consequences of fueling or supporting in any way the angry internet mob mentality.


The post was removed. What was it about?


Ah, interesting. It looks like they did verify that he was telling the truth before it was removed.

Apparently the individual in question works for EA, in an unnamed (not Bioware) studio as a fairly low-level employee. He was outed as an EA employee on reddit a few days ago, and since then his life has basically been a living hell. He's dealt with his accounts being hacked, verbal harassment, etc. He posted asking people to please direct criticisms at the company, not its people, because they were ruining someone's life with no regard for whether or not he was responsible for anything they were angry about. I'm not sure why the post was deleted; probably for his protection, or maybe at the request of his employer.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Unconfirmed unofficial interview from PAX. Very spoilery clarifications from one of the writers that did some of the parts we all loved.

Grain of salt, but hopeful.

Full post:

Spoiler:
Okay, here is what I asked Patrick Weekes, and his answers as best as I can remember them. I've paraphrased but I'm doing my best to stick to what he said rather than introduce any interpretation.

THESE ARE NOT DIRECT QUOTES.

-Is there still a setting to explore after the ending? Is everything ruined?

The setting is definitely not ruined. We still have a big, lively galaxy.

-Will long-distance superluminal travel still be possible post-Ending? (will Tali or Wrex or Garrus see their homeworlds again? Will everyone starve?)

Galactic civilization will rebuild. The mass relays were not necessary for interstellar flight. Remember, what does it say in the Codex about the speed of ships? That's right, 12 lightyears per (day? hour? minute?). And that's only the cruising speed, not the maximum speed.

People have never needed to research basic FTL improvements before because they have mass relays. With the relays gone, new technology will increase that speed. Additionally, the element zero cores of the dead/controlled Reapers can be used to improve FTL drives. Starflight will continue using conventional FTL.

-Why did Joker leave Shep behind?

Joker would never abandon Shep without a good reason. Hopefully this will be clear in the Expanded Cut.

-Why can EDI survive the Destroy ending?

We argued a lot about this, I said that she was made of Reapertech and should therefore be destroyed, but (unclear, don't remember - wish I'd been able to ask a followup as his response doesn't make much sense)

-Did anyone on the Citadel survive?

Yes. We would never, ever do anything that made the player feel, on replay, that it would be better for everyone on the Citadel if they just died. The Citadel has emergency shelters and kinetic barriers - even if it blows up, millions might survive. You should assume that everyone plot-important on the Citadel survived.

-Is it better for Kelly Chambers if we talk her into suicide?

No, see above.

-Who wrote the death of Joker's sister?

I did! We intentionally did not connect the dots. We were very interested to see how fast gamers figured it out.

-Whose idea was it to make the Rayya fall out of the sky if you destroy the Quarian fleet?

Someone in the audio department, it was brilliant.

-Did the mass relays pull an Arrival and go supernova?

No, they didn't. (i'm paraphrasing here, please don't interpret this too hard) They overloaded, they didn't rupture. We really didn't mean to imply that the whole galaxy had been destroyed. People interpreted the ending in ways we really didn't expect.

(Mr. Weekes dropped a lot of hints that he really didn't like the ending. He also said something that was almost 100% verbatim from the Penny Arcade Forum post often attributed to him)

-Why did Legion pull a 180 from his Mass Effect 2 philosophy?

He and the Geth were backed into a corner. They'd been made a lot dumber by the attack on the Dyson swarm. There was no other choice for Geth survival.

-What was up with the Rachni story? Why did we get railroaded?

Welcome to game development. In some games (Alpha Protocol) they make a bold choice where some decisions can knock entire missions out of the story. At BioWare, we never want people to be locked out of content due to a decision several games ago. We just didn't have the resources to do an alternate for the Rachni mission, so we decided that the Rachni mission could occur whether or not players saved the Queen.

-Why didn't (X squadmate from ME2) return?

There was a very ugly month of development where we fought out who would return. We knew we had to have a smaller cast so we could fit in more squad banter. Eventually we decided to bring Garrus and Tali back, so they could be squadmates in all three games. We also knew we'd have Vega in order for new players to have someone dumber than they were.

I was very resentful of Vega at first because I thought he was taking a slot that could've gone to a ME2 character, but he grew on me.

-Why did EDI have cameltoe?

We don't get a lot of feedback from the art department but (unclear, wish I remembered this better )

Lots of discussion about how he was uncomfortable doing Pinocchio stories for both Legion and EDI because 'EDI was fine, she was an AI, she was cool - do we really need her to turn into Commander Data? We had seven seasons of Data, that was enough.'

-Why did you write Pinocchio stories for all the synthetic characters?

See above

-What was up with the Human Reaper in ME2? Why did it look so dumb?

We wanted to use the Suicide Mission to show several steps of the Reaper development process, from human reaper embryo all the way to cuttlefish. But the mission grew too complicated so it was cut for time.

Do the Reapers really only generate one capital ship per cycle? How do they ever break even?

Well, we never totally pinned that down. But this cycle was really anomalous. They don't normally take any capital-size Reaper losses at all.

-What was up with Kai Leng? How do you feel about him?

We really wanted to have a recurring antagonist for Shep, a 'Darth Maul' (his words). But I feel like there was some definite conflict between cutscene and gameplay there, and I think it's something we have to work on.

'He was a great antagonist in the books'

-Why did we only get top and bottom dialogue choices, no middle?

Part of it was resources. Part of it is that Mass Effect 3 is a war story and it's really hard for Shep to feel middling about the Reapers.

-How did YOU feel about the ending?

(I didn't ask this, but he seems to have gone to GREAT lengths to think ways around a lot of stuff the ending implied.)

Why no female (alien X?)

Resource limitations. They have a very strict budget for how many different characters they can use in a given area. Some are basically free - if you have human males you have Batarians because they're humans with funny heads, if you have human females you have asari, etc.

Where was Harbinger? Can we ASSUME DIRECT CONTROL of him?

I definitely want more closure on Harbinger. That'd be hilarious. Stop punching yourself, Harbinger.

How did the Reapers storm the Citadel? Why didn't they shut down the relays as per their original plan once they had control?

Originally we planned to have a cutscene of Reapers taking over, Reaper monsters punching buttons, et cetera. But we cut it, partially for resource reasons and partly because it disrupted the pacing.

The Reapers didn't shut down the mass relays because the Keepers interfered with that. (I wish I could've asked a follow-up here, it doesn't make much sense.)

Why don't Ken and Gabby have more dialogue?

They actually have a bunch more on disk, but we somehow introduced a bug where their dialogue is tied to your approval level with Ash. If Ash has low approval, or isn't present, most of Ken and Gabby's dialogue won't play.

Why do you guys do Star Wars style space battles instead of the battles described in the codex?

We want to provide a familiar, compelling visual experience for people who grew up on Star Wars and stuff like that. These are some of our favorite parts of the game.

***

Things I wish I'd asked:

Why the drat Starchild?

What was up with the Stargazer? (He touched on the Stargazer once and pretty much said 'oh, yeah, the Stargazer.'

Again: NOT DIRECT QUOTES. These are NOT OFFICIAL BIOWARE STATEMENTS. Please don't gently caress Patrick Weekes over by posting these as 'official BioWare PR' or whatever. Please feel free to ask me follow-up questions, as I definitely didn't cover the whole conversation with him.

My takeaway was: the epilogue DLC is probably going to do a lot of good and be pretty well written, and Patrick Weekes should've been lead writer on ME3.


If I've gotten anything from all this, it is "Patrick Weekes is awesome." The direct responses and little tidbits from him really have smoothed things over a bit, at least for me.

On the reddit post, what I saw was that it was verified that he worked for EA, not that his accounts were hacked or anything. Also, he was "outed" when he posted an "I work for EA, ask me anything" thread to reddit and 4chan (with a username the same as his XBOX Live handle). I feel bad for the guy, but I think the major lesson here is "don't toss around personal information on the internet." Especially at sites known for going real-life on people for flimsy reasons.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Gotta say, Weekes and Merizan have made me feel better about ME these past few days too.

I'm still not a fan of the RGB situation and what it does to everyone's Shepard but a lot of the inferred bleakness has faded.

Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:
he posted an "I work for EA, ask me anything" thread to.... 4chan (with a username the same as his XBOX Live handle).

DEAR GOD

It's a damn shame what happened to him, but damn.


Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:

If I've gotten anything from all this, it is "Patrick Weekes is awesome." The direct responses and little tidbits from him really have smoothed things over a bit, at least for me.

On the reddit post, what I saw was that it was verified that he worked for EA, not that his accounts were hacked or anything. Also, he was "outed" when he posted an "I work for EA, ask me anything" thread to reddit and 4chan (with a username the same as his XBOX Live handle). I feel bad for the guy, but I think the major lesson here is "don't toss around personal information on the internet." Especially at sites known for going real-life on people for flimsy reasons.

Well, there really ought to be two lessons in play - don't post personally identifiable information on the internet (says the guy posting under his real name), and don't harass people. One of them is much more likely to be heeded than the other, though.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

That "interview" with Weekes really helped.

Heh, I loved the added link that it was really him on the PA forums. Kinda clears up who is mainly responsible for this mess.


Scott Betts wrote:
That is as far from true as anything can possibly be.

The polls in question were posted and popularised on gaming websites, on MASS EFFECT fansites, on the MASS EFFECT wiki, on the official BioWare forums and many other places where people who play MASS EFFECT are likely to hang out, pro or anti-ending. And the people who voted, overwhelmingly, disliked the ending. Logically, if your hypothesis that the 'dislikers' are in the minority, than the polling would run more evenly or even in favour of the endings. These polls weren't popularised on the 'WE HATE MASS EFFECT 3'S ENDING' websites, they were popularised on all of the general, popular ones, the ones which were all but burning with anticipation for ME3 before release.

It should of course be emphasised that the "We hate BioWare and will never buy another game from them evaaaah and they killed all my enjoyment of the entire series," crowd are a tiny minority as well, but the overwhelming evidence at this point is that most gamers are 'disappointed' (if in some cases fairly mildly) with the situation.

Quote:
The people who put Bioware/EA at the top of that poll should be ashamed of themselves (though probably aren't) and we should collectively make it clear that they don't represent us.

Oh, agreed, and this is especially ironic given that BioWare and EA have just this week stood up for equal rights for gay gamers by telling the hatemongers complaining about the gay relationships in both ME3 and TOR to get knotted. The 'worst company in America' thing was indeed totally moronic (and I'll clarify that most of my comments about polls were about the ME3 ending polls, not that one).

Quote:

I would call it hyperbolic to hold that it ruins any of your prior experience. You didn't give a damn about the ending when you were enjoying the first 39 hours, and I bet you enjoyed all of them.

Blatantly, because no-one had any idea of the ending when playing through for the first time (unless they'd spoiled it for themselves). However, when replaying a game or series of games, the motivation for doing so is coloured by knowing what's coming up in the game, savouring the good parts and looking forwards to maybe trying something different. With ME3, if you really hate the endings (and to make clear, I do not 'really' hate them, but find them illogical and nonsensical), that can certainly effect your willingness to replay either ME3 or the entire series. That is certainly understandable.

Quote:
The idea that every single professional game reviewer is not passionate about video games and is a habitual liar is sort of crazy. You know that, right?

It's not so true any more, but certainly in the 1990s there were quite a few magazines who employed people who were journalists first and maybe weren't even gamers at home. At one stage, AMIGA POWER magazine in the UK was run entirely by people who did not own Amiga computers or game at home, and if anything they were one of the stronger games magazines around at the time.

It should also be noted that quite a few online sites (such as Kotaku) which gave ME3 top scores are now publishing articles and taking it as read that the ME3 ending sucks, which I find rather hypocritical. Either they had a problem with the ending originally, and should have mentioned it in their reviews, or they don't have a problem with it and are leaping on board the bandwagon of the fandom. Predictable, certainly, but still disappointing.

Quote:
Mass Effect is the iconic science fiction franchise of our generation.

Perspective is required here. I think in many was you are right about the background and complexity of the setting outstripping anything else, but MASS EFFECT's sales are still modest compared to other games of this generation. I think HALO probably still has a stronger claim to that title (unless you mean 'this generation' to religiously mean this console generation and HALO doesn't count because it started in the previous one).

Quote:
Their pre-orders are going to be massive.

I'm not sure about this. DRAGON AGE was never as big as MASS EFFECT in the first place and sales on DA2 were down on DA1. Factor in the controversy over DA2 (let alone anything else) and I wouldn't be surprised if it was a more modest success, at least to start with. DA3 has some salvage work to do to get people excited about the series again, although it's far from fatally wounded (lots of people like the ideas behind DA2, just not the execution).

Hopefully, DA3 will be a big return to form for BioWare and EA and we can get on with enjoying some good games, including whatever future MASS EFFECT games come down the pipe.


Werthead wrote:
The polls in question were posted and popularised on gaming websites, on MASS EFFECT fansites, on the MASS EFFECT wiki, on the official BioWare forums and many other places where people who play MASS EFFECT are likely to hang out, pro or anti-ending. And the people who voted, overwhelmingly, disliked the ending.

Exactly. I have bolded the relevant clause. The difference in activism between the satisfied and the dissatisfied is immense. Dissatisfied customers are much more likely to voice dissatisfaction than satisfied customers are likely to voice satisfaction. Furthermore, dissatisfied customers tend to voice their dissatisfaction more loudly than satisfied customers voice their satisfaction, so it's sort of a multiplicative effect.

Quote:
Blatantly, because no-one had any idea of the ending when playing through for the first time (unless they'd spoiled it for themselves). However, when replaying a game or series of games, the motivation for doing so is coloured by knowing what's coming up in the game, savouring the good parts and looking forwards to maybe trying something different. With ME3, if you really hate the endings (and to make clear, I do not 'really' hate them, but find them illogical and nonsensical), that can certainly effect your willingness to replay either ME3 or the entire series. That is certainly understandable.

I played through Mass Effect 3 with full knowledge of what would eventually happen. It didn't make the play experience any less impactful or enjoyable.

Regardless, though, I'm heartened by the fact that you're not one of the foam-at-the-mouthers.

Quote:

It's not so true any more, but certainly in the 1990s there were quite a few magazines who employed people who were journalists first and maybe weren't even gamers at home. At one stage, AMIGA POWER magazine in the UK was run entirely by people who did not own Amiga computers or game at home, and if anything they were one of the stronger games magazines around at the time.

It should also be noted that quite a few online sites (such as Kotaku) which gave ME3 top scores are now publishing articles and taking it as read that the ME3 ending sucks, which I find rather hypocritical.

It's not hypocritical if you're one of the people who think that the ending is mediocre, and the rest of the game is awesome. That doesn't make Kotaku hypocritical. It just makes them level-headed. Which is, frankly, the way a games journalism site should be acting. The fact that Kotaku - known for its informal and editorial presentation - is demonstrating a more reasonable take on the situation than a significant number of supposed fans makes the situation all the more pitiful.

Quote:
Either they had a problem with the ending originally, and should have mentioned it in their reviews, or they don't have a problem with it and are leaping on board the bandwagon of the fandom. Predictable, certainly, but still disappointing.

I'm sure they thought the ending wasn't what it could have been, but it's not like they were going to explain the controversy in their release-day review. The reviewer played through the whole game before publishing the review, so the ending would have been fresh in his mind. But I think you're under the impression that Kotaku thinks the ending is terrible. Well, fortunately, they don't. Kotaku isn't a homogenous organism. It's a bunch of different people with different opinions. But you know what opinion you're not seeing on Kotaku? Anyone saying that Mass Effect 3, on the whole, was anything but exceptional.

Quote:
Perspective is required here. I think in many was you are right about the background and complexity of the setting outstripping anything else, but MASS EFFECT's sales are still modest compared to other games of this generation. I think HALO probably still has a stronger claim to that title (unless you mean 'this generation' to religiously mean this console generation and HALO doesn't count because it started in the previous one).

Oh?

Halo 3 sold 3.3 million copies in its first 12 days.

Mass Effect 3 sold 3.5 million copies in one week.


Scott Betts wrote:

Oh?

Halo 3 sold 3.3 million copies in its first 12 days.

Mass Effect 3 sold 3.5 million copies in one week.

You might want to take a closer look at your sources. Halo 3 sold 3.3 million copies in the US. Mass Effect 3 shipped 3.5 million copies globally. Pretty major difference.

More accurate numbers for Halo 3 and Mass Effect 3. Note that the chart is only for XBox sales, so you should add another million or so to ME3's totals (you can get the exact number on that same site). Still, nowhere near Halo 3.

Not that sales necessarily define the "game of the generation," but still. It is easy for the sort of people who discuss video games on a pen-and-paper rpg forum to misjudge Bioware's general appeal and reach.


Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:

Oh?

Halo 3 sold 3.3 million copies in its first 12 days.

Mass Effect 3 sold 3.5 million copies in one week.

You might want to take a closer look at your sources. Halo 3 sold 3.3 million copies in the US. Mass Effect 3 shipped 3.5 million copies globally. Pretty major difference.

More accurate numbers for Halo 3 and Mass Effect 3. Note that the chart is only for XBox sales, so you should add another million or so to ME3's totals (you can get the exact number on that same site). Still, nowhere near Halo 3.

Not that sales necessarily define the "game of the generation," but still. It is easy for the sort of people who discuss video games on a pen-and-paper rpg forum to misjudge Bioware's general appeal and reach.

Ah, thanks for pointing out the discrepancies. I didn't catch the US-only bit the first time around (it was hastily-done research on my part).

Still, the whole defining-sci-fi-franchise-of-our-generation bit was formalized by PopBioethics/Kotaku/io9/Gawker Media, not by some guy on a tabletop gaming board. While the Halo series may receive more recognition for its gameplay, I feel confident that Mass Effect is better received for its sci-fi elements. It is more celebrated, as a universe, than Halo.


Correction: the article reprinted on Kotaku and io9 says that MASS EFFECT is 'the most important' space opera of our generation (which solely requires critical praise), not the most iconic/defining (which requires much more widespread recognition). On a critical level, both as games and as background universes, I think MASS EFFECT wipes the floor with HALO. However, HALO is far more culturally iconic (the Master Chief Sparten armour is a much more well-known image than the N7) as well as being more popular overall (both in terms of game sales and the sales of spin-off material, such as the HALO novels which are often bestsellers versus the more modestly successful MASS EFFECT books and comics).

However, as I said, MASS EFFECT certainly wins the prize for 'this console generation' (2006-present) by dint of being the only new space opera franchise of any note to appear in that time. Everything else that could equal or exceed it in popularity - Neo-BSG, STARGATE UNIVERSE, the new STAR TREK movies, the CLONE WARS series, THE OLD REPUBLIC game, HALO etc - began in the previous generation or are spin-offs from existing franchises.

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