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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

They must have done something right. I don't recall this kind of uproar when say, Neverwinter Nights 2 had a terrible ending.

Spoiler:
Rocks fall; everybody dies.

The fact that people care enough to keep talking about it means they already succeeded.

Of course, I haven't played any of them yet. I'm a cheap bastard and will probably wait until the entire trilogy director's cut edition is available on steam for < $30.

Taldor

I am not even finished with ME2 yet, you guys are spoiling ME3 aplenty to me.

OTOH : I am fairly confident that the DLCs will fix everything before I am there.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Stereofm wrote:

I am not even finished with ME2 yet, you guys are spoiling ME3 aplenty to me.

OTOH : I am fairly confident that the DLCs will fix everything before I am there.

Pro-tip: Staying out of ME3 threads will help you to avoid spoilers. ;)

I'm not so worried, by the time I get around to playing I will have forgotten everything I've seen here. And there will be awesome DLC to make everything better.


I'm actually glad I played now, as opposed to waiting until the DLC was released. When the new endgame stuff hits, I'll get the double-whammy of a cool new ending experience, as well as a well-aged sense of nostalgia from the intervening couple of months.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
deinol wrote:
The fact that people care enough to keep talking about it means they already succeeded.

Or maybe it's because they came so close.

Phil Hornshaw has a good article on gamefront. One of his concluding paragraphs is:

Quote:
Arguably, gaming continues to fail as a storytelling medium because of a variety of factors. Mass Effect may be a shining pillar of the medium’s ability to tell meaningful stories in many regards, but because of the ending and its resultant backlash, it has become just as much an example of the failures of the industry to deliver competently all the way through. As a Twitter friend of mine put it, Mass Effect has gone from being a classic to being a case study.

So very, very close.


Mandor wrote:
deinol wrote:
The fact that people care enough to keep talking about it means they already succeeded.

Or maybe it's because they came so close.

Phil Hornshaw has a good article on gamefront. One of his concluding paragraphs is:

Quote:
Arguably, gaming continues to fail as a storytelling medium because of a variety of factors. Mass Effect may be a shining pillar of the medium’s ability to tell meaningful stories in many regards, but because of the ending and its resultant backlash, it has become just as much an example of the failures of the industry to deliver competently all the way through. As a Twitter friend of mine put it, Mass Effect has gone from being a classic to being a case study.

So very, very close.

I think that, by every generally accepted, non-arbitrary standard you can think up, gaming has succeeded and continues to succeed as a storytelling medium.

We're way past the point where gaming has something to prove to the rest of the world.


deinol wrote:

They must have done something right. I don't recall this kind of uproar when say, Neverwinter Nights 2 had a terrible ending.

** spoiler omitted **

The fact that people care enough to keep talking about it means they already succeeded.

See, I wouldn't classify NWN2's ending as "terrible." Without spoilers, you had a final confrontation that varied based on your previous actions, a final choice that created wildly different endings, and then an epilogue slideshow that told how your choices and actions throughout the game had played out. Everything was consistent with the story up to that point, with no major plot holes or weird dei ex machina. Other than the spoiler you mentioned being an overused trope, I would say the ending was perfectly fine. In fact, it was everything that people upset with ME3's ending wanted.

As for why we are still talking about it, I think Mandor has it right. Nobody would care about the ending of a bad series, good or bad. It is the fact that Mass Effect got so close that drives people crazy. Speaking of...

Mandor wrote:
Phil Hornshaw has a good article on gamefront.

Good article indeed. While saying it would have "empowered game writing" is a bit hyperbolic, I do think a big part of the issue is that (other than Weekes) nobody from Bioware has bothered to actually defend the ending. I mean, if the ending was such a great work, I would think someone would have been able to write a defense other than "artistic integrity, 75 perfect scores."


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Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:
I do think a big part of the issue is that (other than Weekes) nobody from Bioware has bothered to actually defend the ending. I mean, if the ending was such a great work, I would think someone would have been able to write a defense other than "artistic integrity, 75 perfect scores."

Really, what would a defense of the ending look like? How would that help their case in any way, other than to tick off their critics by appearing to dig in their heels? And, beyond that why should they feel the need to defend it?

Honestly, "It's our creative work, and it has universal critical acclaim, so you can shut the hell up," is more of a defense than they should ever need. The fact that anyone with that level of praise heaped upon them should need to defend himself to a bunch of whining internet people is appalling.

Imagine, for a moment, that a movie comes out. It receives universal critical acclaim. It's widely considered a shoe-in for any number of Oscars. And imagine that a bunch of internet people are furious that the movie's director isn't even bothering to defend its ending. Can you imagine how puerile that would seem? Beyond that, can you imagine if people responded to a lack of defense with, "We're his customers, of course he needs to respond to us!"


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

They already have very apparently dug in their heels and defended the ending. Giving a good explanation of why exactly they think the ending is good ( without, as Mort pointed out, recurring to the insipid "artistic integrity" BS ) would probably do their cause a lot of good. While a lot of fans would be upset, a good explanation would mollify a large segment of the upset people.

That is, if they have a good explanation at all. Which it seems they didn't, besides "it sounded kinda cool when we wrote it". Given how Walters and Hudson appparently bypassed the normal process of the ending being vetted by the other writers, but instead wrote it by themselves, had it recorded and then presented it as a fait accompli to the rest of the team, one does not have to wonder very much about the real reasons for their lack of explanations.
But it seems that the blatant lack of any coherent explanation is good enough for the conformist appeal-to-authority crowd.


Scott Betts wrote:
Really, what would a defense of the ending look like? How would that help their case in any way, other than to tick off their critics by appearing to dig in their heels? And, beyond that why should they feel the need to defend it?

If communicating with the audience is "digging in their heels," then relying solely on press releases is building full barricades.

Communication isn't some horrible thing, and there is no need to immediately jump to hyperdefensive terms. Nobody has taken the Weekes leaks as "digging in their heels," because he didn't dig in his heels. Quite the opposite, he has (accidentally) done a bit to clarify, humanize, and pacify. May well have done more, if they hadn't denied the Pennyarcade posts and disavowed the fan interview.

In the end, the question is not "Why should they feel the need to defend it?" but rather "Why wouldn't they want to communicate with their audience?" They already have all the systems set up, with Twitter and interviews and blogs. But they choose to not use them as they could. It is this very sort of assumed need for defense that has helped turn people against EA and Bioware. It isn't "the director needs to respond to us!" it is "people would have responded well to communication and answers." I am not condemning Bioware here, I'm just saying their PR efforts and damage control could have gone far better.

Beyond that, though, I am interested in the fact that there don't seem to be defenses (from anyone) of the ending as "good." Sure, there are throwaway comments about how awesome it is at the end of reviews, but nobody going through and arguing against points people have brought up about it. Or even presenting an argument of their own on why the ending was (not acceptable, not unchangeable, but) good. If the entire argument is simply "art shouldn't change," should I switch to (as Magnuskn mentioned) pointing out that Walters and Hudson cut other writers out of the ending? That the original head writer had different ideas? Would I get more traction if I gave this an anti-corporate spin, blaming the producer for interfering with and bypassing the creative process of the writing team? Does any of that matter, or is there just a set point of no return, a sort of "art begins at publication" line?


Wow, lots of misconceptions in this thread.

The ending to ME3 is objectively bad. There aren't so much plot holes in the last 10 minutes as plot singularities, they go so far as to suck in the previous two games and break them as well as nullifying whole swathes of character development and accomplishment.

Imagine if, in the climactic scenes of Star Wars, a completely new character popped into existance, killed the Emperor and blew up Endor and the Deathstar along with all the heroes. Imagine if you hired out The Godfather but the ending was replaced with the one from The Room.

In essence, that's why alot of people are upset. Bioware can wave about 'Artistic Integrity' as much as they want, the truth is that nobody who had artistic integrity would allow those sorts of plot holes to stand in their work.

On top of that, the developers and producers flat out lied about the content beforehand. They claimed 16 unique endings, if you're generous there's a total of 7. They said that your choices would matter but they don't, really, other than through an arbitrary scoring system. They said you could get the best ending without playing multiplayer, which may be theoretically possible if you have all three games but very close to impossible.

I know it's become fashionable to think that creators simply deserve our money. As consumers, gamers are beginning to discover that, according to the capitalist model, we can vote with our wallets. Mass Effect is a commercial venture, if you want to sell your product you have to fill the needs of the buyers or they'll stop buying, simple as it gets. If you're happy with ME3, by all means, keep buying. Just don't be surprised when Bioware or any other company folds because most people aren't buying their stuff. Heck, it's exactly what's happening with WOTC with 4e and 5e, nothing new.


BioWare aren't going to go bust. Their income from THE OLD REPUBLIC alone (even given LucasArt's and EA's cuts) should keep them ticking over for years to come, and ME3's sales were impressive enough. I'd be surprised if they weren't around for a long time to come.

The comparison with WotC also doesn't really stack up. WotC itself is doing fine (thanks to a resurgence in MAGIC sales). The D&D division is somewhat in dire straits with them banking a lot on 5th Edition, but if 5th Edition fails than WotC will (most likely at Hasbro's direction) offload the franchise onto another company. It wouldn't kill them altogether.


magnuskn wrote:

They already have very apparently dug in their heels and defended the ending. Giving a good explanation of why exactly they think the ending is good ( without, as Mort pointed out, recurring to the insipid "artistic integrity" BS ) would probably do their cause a lot of good. While a lot of fans would be upset, a good explanation would mollify a large segment of the upset people.

That is, if they have a good explanation at all.

See, this is the issue. The angry internet people aren't going to consider anything a good explanation - everything Bioware says to defend the ending will be seen as further evidence against them, so they're better off just keeping quiet, beyond talking about their future plans. Which, honestly, is how game companies should have learned to behave right now. If there's one thing the gaming community has demonstrated loudly and consistently over the last five years, it's that they can't be trusted with more than a token level of communication.


Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:
If communicating with the audience is "digging in their heels," then relying solely on press releases is building full barricades.

Communicating with the audience isn't digging in their heels. But trying to publicly defend something that the community will never accept a defense on to begin with would be seen as that.

Quote:
Communication isn't some horrible thing, and there is no need to immediately jump to hyperdefensive terms. Nobody has taken the Weekes leaks as "digging in their heels," because he didn't dig in his heels. Quite the opposite, he has (accidentally) done a bit to clarify, humanize, and pacify. May well have done more, if they hadn't denied the Pennyarcade posts and disavowed the fan interview.

That's because he didn't do much defending. And he disavowed the interview because his words were apparently given quite a slant in its retelling. Weekes should have known that would happen. I'm glad he spoke, personally, but it remains to be seen if it'll do more harm than good.

Quote:
In the end, the question is not "Why should they feel the need to defend it?" but rather "Why wouldn't they want to communicate with their audience?"

Because their audience is out for blood, and the internet can always get angrier.


Scott Betts wrote:
Communicating with the audience isn't digging in their heels. But trying to publicly defend something that the community will never accept a defense on to begin with would be seen as that?

Why would the community never accept it? Unless you are calling the ending undefendably bad, there is no reason to assume that people would universally reject explanations or clarifications. Heck, they are currently banking on clarifications working with the Extended Cut DLC. If they thought that there was no way to acceptably respond to people's issues with the ending, making a DLC to respond to people's issues with the endings seems like an odd choice.

Quote:
That's because he didn't do much defending. And he disavowed the interview because his words were apparently given quite a slant in its retelling. Weekes should have known that would happen. I'm glad he spoke, personally, but it remains to be seen if it'll do more harm than good.

Obviously, there is no way to really measure response here. However, as far as I can tell, Weekes is still getting overwhelming love. Even when people found his answers weak or nonsensical, they love him for responding. At worst, I see people saying "Wow, Bioware really did screw up that badly." And better they to think them innocent failures than malevolent ones who purposely phoned in the ending because they didn't care.

Quote:
Because their audience is out for blood, and the internet can always get angrier.

They are also capable of becoming less angry. The whole premise is "Communication could have made people less angry," to which "But they were angry!" isn't really a response. Regardless of what Bioware does, their blood is nice and safe up in Edmonton. Answering a question on twitter doesn't put one in mortal danger, and using a less defensive tone doesn't make them less protected. If no such answers are possible, it is a sign that the ending is really and truly bad and the only reason not to change it is "artistic integrity" doesn't allow it. Hence the follow-up: if I argue that the "artistic integrity" of the series was already sufficiently compromised, does that make it acceptable to want a different ending?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Can't really say it better than Mort did.

Andoran

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

Someone at the Better Business Bureau is a Mass Effect fan and did not like the ending.. ;)


Mort the Cleverly Named wrote:
Why would the community never accept it? Unless you are calling the ending undefendably bad, there is no reason to assume that people would universally reject explanations or clarifications.

Because people have already made all the possible defenses of the ending for Bioware, and the people who made those defenses have been accused of being shills/drones/sheep/whatever, and told that they're just plain wrong.

Quote:
Heck, they are currently banking on clarifications working with the Extended Cut DLC. If they thought that there was no way to acceptably respond to people's issues with the ending, making a DLC to respond to people's issues with the endings seems like an odd choice.

Defending an ending as-is is very different from turning that ending into not-an-ending by adding an even more end-ending onto it.

Quote:
Obviously, there is no way to really measure response here. However, as far as I can tell, Weekes is still getting overwhelming love. Even when people found his answers weak or nonsensical, they love him for responding. At worst, I see people saying "Wow, Bioware really did screw up that badly." And better they to think them innocent failures than malevolent ones who purposely phoned in the ending because they didn't care.

That hasn't stopped anyone from looking for people to blame. It just means they're not blaming Weekes.

Quote:
They are also capable of becoming less angry.

With time. Not by trying to vocally defend something no one wants to see you try and defend. Nine times out of ten, engaging the community directly on matters of controversy has turned out poorly for the industry. Maybe the industry sucks at it. Maybe gamers can't handle it. Probably some mix of both (I lean towards gamers being unable to handle it, myself). But the fact remains that it's not a good bet. Address criticism with action, not words. Talk is cheap, and your words will be twisted by people who only pretend to have love for you. Actions are much harder to spin.


Dragnmoon wrote:
Someone at the Better Business Bureau is a Mass Effect fan and did not like the ending.. ;)

It's important to note here that if Mass Effect 3 is guilty of false advertising, so is pretty much every game ever. They all make wildly exaggerated claims about the quality of the experience. There's a reason this is a blog post, and not something more substantial.


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Okay... played it through now. Saw all the endings, AFAIK. I think it will have to take a while to sink in... but my impression isn't what most people scream about.

Wall of Spoiler Text:
The way I see it, once you commit to saying this series is about a 50.000 year cycle of destruction (communication with Sovereign in ME1), you need an explanation for how THAT resolves. THAT becomes the driving issue in the series, the one you absolutely must answer. That is sort of the definition of a plotline, to me, and I would guess to most other people. Once you have a defining question/issue, the story ends when that has been resolved.

So... is it resolved?

Yes, I think it is.

We have the reapers, which return every 50.000 years, combined organic and synthetic creatures, that act as a storehouse of what creatures have come before. That was why they were making a human reaper in ME2. Arguably, they are the "final stage of life" already, in that combination. They are now crashing the party in the galaxy, and their strength is such that nothing can stand against them. There is literally no successful military ending to their invasion. This needs to be answered too, since it's the actual current situation. Note, though, that the prothean VI sees them as expressions of something even greater, i.e. the cycle is not their doing, or at least not all theirs.

Javik says: Synthetics know they have a purpose, while organics do not. Synthetics will see no value in organics, and they WILL surpass them eventually, since synthetics adapt far faster than evolution does the same for organics. The geth and the quarians, the zha'til from the earlier cycle - it will keep happening, that the created destroy the creators. The catalyst, an expression of order, says that the reapers are the solution to that conflict and chaos. Essentially, it asks Shepard to choose between order and chaos. As always, the one thing you can't have is keeping the status quo.

Order means, as far as I can tell, that the cycle continues. The reapers have their job, and will keep doing it, Shepard or no Shepard. If Shepard controls them, what of it? The job is the same, the setup is the same. How else to do what must happen to avoid synthetics taking over?

Chaos is no less deceptive. If you destroy all synthetic life, all AIs, all geth, all reapers... the conflict still ends up in the same place. The catalyst tells Shepard so. Now, the argument could be made that the catalyst was WRONG all along - that organics and synthetics CAN coexist. Perhaps. But all we've seen so far deals with a very short timespan. And if the synthetics are taking over (Matrix style...), then there will be no reapers to handle it next time.

Finally, there is a third option. Synthesis will cut the heart of the conflict straight out, by making EVERY LIVING THING both organic and synthetic. This will go for reapers, humans, aliens, animals, plants. There will be a new DNA, and life in the future will carry the best of both sides. There will never again be a need for the reapers' assaults. To my thinking, it is the only feasible way to stop the cycle.

So, a few remaining questions:

Why can't Shepard tell the catalyst to f%&# off? Because the forces of the reapers are truly massively overwhelming. Cycle or no, you STILL need to deal with the situation at hand.

Why break the mass relays and get the Normandy dumped on a garden planet? Well, I have no idea what they were thinking. This is the area where they need to do better in the coming DLC. My suggestion is to ignore it, it feels better. It primarily feels like a rush job.

Isn't Shepard being indoctrinated at the end? Well, if s/he is, the endings needed to reflect that in some way. Some say Destroy is the way to beat the indoctrination, well, in that case, what is the result? In what way does destroy differ from the other two? Not a bloody lot, I say. And if there is no way to beat the indoctrination, it becomes just a pointless exercise.

Taldor

Very interesting, thank you Sissyl.

Reading of the above, my main reproach would be : it feels like a half-done corporate bungle, and while it is not good by any stretch, it does not deserve unholy hatred.

Will see about that probably next week end, when I finish ME2.


I think the paradise planet part was a misguided try at including what someone originally saw as a good ending, not realizing that the series demanded something else by now. That is why you do not decide on an ending too early, you know.

One more thing. People say they don't feel closure... I call BS. There is nothing hanging at the end. Maybe the bit about Haestrom's sun. Everything else is well and truly handled through the game.


Sissyl wrote:

I think the paradise planet part was a misguided try at including what someone originally saw as a good ending, not realizing that the series demanded something else by now. That is why you do not decide on an ending too early, you know.

One more thing. People say they don't feel closure... I call BS. There is nothing hanging at the end. Maybe the bit about Haestrom's sun. Everything else is well and truly handled through the game.

Instead of randomly calling BS, try to read the last couple pages of thread where it was explained time and again all the parts left without true closure, the plot holes opened by the endings, the lack of choice in the endings, the implied galactic dark ages, etc.

Hope the DLC helps, but I don't really expect much.


Things aren't left without closure. Conrad Verner, Kelly Chambers, Jalisa al Jilani, even the couple who need to decide about daycare are resolved. People's parents resolve. Samara's two other children resolve. Seriously... EVERY plotline flung up into the air in game one and two is meticulously dealt with... Excepting Haestrom's sun. What people are complaining about are things that the ending itself poses. That ending was, as I said, a rush job. So, closure it has.

Paizo Employee Developer

Ultimately, there are only so many possible outcomes any game can do real justice. Especially in something like ME where there are simply so many choices you can make that affect the universe, from a choice of dialogue in one conversation that carries through all the games to whether a particular character lives or dies to whether you save one race over another. As someone who tells stories in which other people are the protagonist every day, I completely understand that they have to, in the end, tell the story their way. Do I think they did it well? No, the last thirty minutes of the game could have been much, much better. But virtually every other plot from the very beginning of ME1 was wrapped up in some way throughout the final game. And that's all I really asked for. I never expected one final cinematic to show all the conclusions of every decision I made over 140 hours of gameplay.

My theory is that they ended things how they did (and all so similar to one another) is that they're planning more games set in the same universe and they want to have a semi clean slate from which to build more games with only a few major questions (genophage, quarians/geth, destroy/control/synthesis) to set the stage from square one of the next series/MMO/whatever.


I'll preface this, by saying that I found the ending pretty stupid, but don't really care that much either way. I'm not someone who's demanding that BioWare change anything. I'm just vaguely disappointed that they couldn't come up with a better ending than something I might have cooked up at 1am the night before running an RPG session. Whether it was a good or a bad ending, the final tally for me was: Mass Effect 2: Six playthroughs on various characters (three of them on the same character!). Mass Effect 3: One playthrough, and halfway through on a second, before realizing that I couldn't really be bothered.

Spoiler:

The thing is, to me, the series was always about going against impossible odds and fighting so-called inevitability. Not succumbing to it. If the theory presented to Shepard at the end is really true, and that the destruction of organic life is inevitable, then nothing nobody ever does really matter, and neither do any of the choices at the end.

Destruction? You've set galactic civilization back, but not nearly as much as the reapers are doing, so it will probably be a fair bit less than 50,000 years before organics can rebuild and self destruct. With no reapers to 'fix the problem' this time around.

Synthesis? Since this is, apparently, inevitable, what is really stopping these synthetic/organic hybrids from creating true synthetics that will eventually surpass them? If the Starchild is right, this will happen. And, yeah, how does Synthesis even happen? Magic? Does the Starchild just press a button, and boom, every species in the galaxy instantly becomes part synthetic? Really?

Control? I suppose Shepard can now fly around in an army of Reapers and lay the smackdown on anyone who tries to build AIs, but he'd have to be omniscient to catch them all. Or go "ah to heck with it" and just wipe out everyone, thus continuing the reaper cycle. Since it's still inevitable, someone will create those synthetics, and without the Sheepers (Shepard-reapers, gettit? :p) coming around every 50,000 years it will end with the destruction of all organics anyway, so this doesn't actually solve anything.

And why are we so arrogant as to assume that synthetic life taking over is really a bad thing? If the "solution" to that problem, seriously, is collective suicide of every post-stoneage species every once in a while, why do we really care if the next "cycle" is populated by not-us-aliens or robots? Why does the Starchild care? Maybe he's just an AI who's been programmed to put off the inevitable, but if synthetic life is really the next step on the evolutionary ladder, isn't it just better to give up and let it happen? Somehow, I don't think 'give up and let it happen' is supposed to be the message of the series.

This is a series that has, over three games, gone out of its way to show how organic and synthetic life can co-exist. It is the driving point of Mass Effect 3. EDI's sole purpose is to hammer this point home. Note how the Geth were never agressive towards the Quarrians. The Quarrians flipped out, and the Geth defended themselves. They have never (save when being controlled by the reapers) been hostile towards organic life. And then the game ends with a "oh, btw, none of those other things we told you are true. And you're okay with this." The game has offered us reason after reason why the Starchild might be wrong, but in the end we just have to take his word for it, anyway.

I guess, in the end, I simply don't buy the 'inevitability theory'.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Slaunyeh wrote:


** spoiler omitted **...

That touches on a number of the issues I have with the ending, all of which I think stem from two writers bypassing the standard vetting process, which really shows once you get to the endgame area. The quality in writing and presentation just seemed to drop off noticably

Spoiler:
once you get to London.

Shepard, from the full spectrum of Paragon-to-Renegade, going completely out of character once s/he meets the Catalyst was the biggest wallbanger as far as writing quality. Here's a wo/man who practically has "taking a third option" and "doing the impossible" as fundamental character traits. But s/he just goes along with what the Catalyst presents(slavery, galactic violation-of-consent, genocide) without shouting back at him. Without throwing in his face all the examples of how the inevitable was anything but. Is it any wonder that Indoctrination Theory gained so much traction with so many folks?

Then again maybe there was a reason Hudson and Walters only allowed Shepard the option to "softball" the Catalyst. If Shepard had been allowed to actually speak his/her case, the Catalyst probably would have shot itself.

...I think I'd prefer that ending.

It's funny, but honestly I've been finding multiplayer to be more true to the overarching themes of the series than the endings.

Spoiler:
A celebration of diversity and the strength that can come from it. You have all these disparate races finally coming together for a common goal. Even the batarians are getting in on it now.

That feels closer to the themes running through the series than Destroy(genocide is the answer, so is collatoral damage!) and Synthesis(forced homogeny, end of diversity, whether you want it or not) at least. Control, the one I'm settling with for my Paragon Shep, is still blurry, but at least it doesn't wreck that theme.

I don't know....it just feels like ongoing Multiplayer stays more true to the game that gave us the Tuchanka and Rannoch arcs than the actual end.


Excuse me, but... Violation of consent??? Synthesis does not force anyone to have sex with anyone else, unless I mistook things gravely. Especially since plants too were synthesisized...

Things will change. The problem of the pattern will not simply go away.


Sissyl wrote:

Excuse me, but... Violation of consent??? Synthesis does not force anyone to have sex with anyone else, unless I mistook things gravely. Especially since plants too were synthesisized...

Things will change. The problem of the pattern will not simply go away.

It doesn't ask everyone in the universe if they want to be part robot. It just uses magic to turn everyone into partial synthetics whether they like it or not. Because "we know best."

I think that's the consent being violated.


Synthesis just puts a cheap circuit texture on everything. In most light you barely notice. What's the difference?


So if you asked everyone in the universe first, then that would be okay?

"Yeah, say I can fix that reaper business for you, which is going to kill all of you dead and turn you to husks/banshees/brutes/whatever, if you accept getting your DNA changed into part synthetic. Would you?"
"Uh, will it hurt?"
"No."
"Will I look different?"
"Yeah, you'll have glowy eyes and circuits in your skin."
"Will it change anything else about me?"
"Not that you'll know."
"Okay, I am game for that."
"Yeah, too bad I don't still have that option. When I had it, I didn't want to violate people's consent. By the way, I need to be going, those reapers are coming here. Have a nice day!"


Sissyl wrote:

So if you asked everyone in the universe first, then that would be okay?

It doesn't really matter. You would still have to murder everyone on the off chance they might one day build a synthetic race.

That, or mind control everyone to only think correct thoughts.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The whole underlying theme of Synthesis is pretty disturbing. According to the Catalyst, because people are partly synthetic, the feared singularity cannot occur anymore.

Uh, why? If we go by common sense logic, then nothing would stop people from building some new pure synthetics in the future. Unless every matter particle in the universe now is a synthetic/organic mix. Which is ridiculous.

More disturbingly, if we use Catalyst logic, then nobody will want ( I guess? ) to build synthetics anymore. Which... would imply a degree of mind control and therefore a massive scale of "lack of consent" of the people when you decided to half-synthesize everyone.


The singularity is such only to unimproved minds. If everyone is part synthetic, having pure synthetics is no longer useful, and would not produce singularities.


Sissyl wrote:
The singularity is such only to unimproved minds. If everyone is part synthetic, having pure synthetics is no longer useful, and would not produce singularities.

Again, what is stopping someone from building a synthetic life form? Mind control? And this is the 'good' ending?

Honestly, compared to the alternatives, I don't really see what's so bad about just letting nature run its course. Let organic life continue, let it slowly die out over the next millennia (if that's really what's going to happen), and eventually only have Geth left to run the show.

Geth are cool.

Taldor RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Mikaze wrote:
Shepard, from the full spectrum of Paragon-to-Renegade, going completely out of character once s/he meets the Catalyst was the biggest wallbanger as far as writing quality. Here's a wo/man who practically has "taking a third option" and "doing the impossible" as fundamental character traits. But s/he just goes along with what the Catalyst presents(slavery, galactic violation-of-consent, genocide) without shouting back at him. Without throwing in his face all the examples of how the inevitable was anything but. Is it any wonder that Indoctrination Theory gained so much traction with so many folks?

I for one enjoyed the ME 3 ending. It was exactly as I expected the game to end, once I got off earth. Grim most of the time, bitter-sweat at best. Each of the endings is thorny at best, horrific at worst.

It is not a shiny hero's triumph. It is Shepard's swan song. One last time, more dead than alive, Shepard pushes the scales into one direction. But "You can't help me" is still very much in effect. No matter what you do, you're not going to get off without paying the piper this time. You bucked and cheated and got the better of the tough choices so many times - but this one time, you're not special enough.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Ending was terrible, and is still terrible. Bioware is probably going to use Indoctrination Theory (IT) as the official "clarification". Tons of threads out there on how IT doesn't explain everything.

It didn't need to be a happy ending. It just needed to make sense. Apparently they ran out of money to make a decent ending.


BYC wrote:
It didn't need to be a happy ending. It just needed to make sense. Apparently they ran out of money to make a decent ending.

Sometimes I wish the Starchild had just gone "Dude, it's been 500 cycles. What made you think you're special?" and then the game ends with the reapers harvesting everyone. I could have accepted that. :p

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

Sissyl wrote:

So if you asked everyone in the universe first, then that would be okay?

"Yeah, say I can fix that reaper business for you, which is going to kill all of you dead and turn you to husks/banshees/brutes/whatever, if you accept getting your DNA changed into part synthetic. Would you?"
"Uh, will it hurt?"
"No."
"Will I look different?"
"Yeah, you'll have glowy eyes and circuits in your skin."
"Will it change anything else about me?"
"Not that you'll know."
"Okay, I am game for that."
"Yeah, too bad I don't still have that option. When I had it, I didn't want to violate people's consent. By the way, I need to be going, those reapers are coming here. Have a nice day!"

The problem is, there's no way Shepard could have known any of that when s/he chose synthesis. For all Shepard knew, synthesis could have been incredibly painful. It could have turned everyone into half-husks, or something like the borg from Star Trek. It could have changed the way people think and feel on a fundamental level, or done any number of bizarre and horrible things to their bodies and minds. All Shepard knew was that it was going to mix us all up, and that the starchild (who s/he just met 2 minutes ago) said it was the best path (never mind the fact that the starchild's previous "best plan" was killing all organic life and storing it in reapers every 50,000 years).

And furthermore, Synthesis affected all biological life in the galaxy, not just those races at risk of getting murdered by Reapers. The primitive and developing races got altered too, despite not being under direct threat.

If aliens abducted you and performed surgery on you without your consent which fundamentally changed the way your body and mind worked, would you care if the outcome was beneficial to you? Or would you feel at least a little violated?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Agreed. It's like forcibly changing a group of people's ethnicity or whatever else sets them apart(beliefs, sexuality, etc.) to spare them from hate crimes.

Pretty much sticking with Control for my Shep.

Spoiler:
Sure it's still shady, but at least it's only screwing over the guys that were committing galactic genocide and turning people into juice. And the uploaded Shepard could actually put them to good use.

That is if the Catalyst was actually being truthful, but that applies to all three options he hands you.

TerraNova wrote:


I for one enjoyed the ME 3 ending. It was exactly as I expected the game to end, once I got off earth. Grim most of the time, bitter-sweat at best. Each of the endings is thorny at best, horrific at worst.

It is not a shiny hero's triumph. It is Shepard's swan song. One last time, more dead than alive, Shepard pushes the scales into one direction. But "You can't help me" is still very much in effect. No matter what you do, you're not going to get off without paying the piper this time. You bucked and cheated and got the better of the tough choices so many times - but this one time, you're not special enough.

The thing is, I really didn't expect a shiny happy ending.

Spoiler:
I fully expected something bittersweet, and entirely expected Shepard to have to sacrifice him/herself as well as make some other terrible sacrifice. Heck, I fully expected the sacrifice of Earth itself to save the rest of the galaxy would be a possibility.

But still, it would be on Shepard's own terms. As it's presented, s/he seems to just blindly trust the Reaper's controller with barely a token bit of resistance or rebuttal. S/he stops feeling like the galaxy's shepherd and more like a Judas goat during that final conversation.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
BYC wrote:
It didn't need to be a happy ending. It just needed to make sense. Apparently they ran out of money to make a decent ending.

From some of the words we're finally getting from Bioware, time and money do seem to have been an element. But the two current lead-writers locking out the rest of the writing team and bypassing the normal peer review seems to be where things really went off the rails.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

BioWare did their own poll about the ending before the game released. 90% of the polled people said it sucks.

Words fail me.

Andoran RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

Is anybody else playing the ME3 multiplayer? If you're any good at Silver I'd like to friend add and invite you. It can sometimes be hard to find a decent group.


I have never played Mass Effect, though it is on my "to play" list down the line. I've vaguely familiar with the series because it is one of my best friend's few links to sanity and because I've kept an eye on Bioware's games since Baldur's Gate II. And I've got to say, the ending and reactions to it are an interesting trainwreck to watch. It doesn't make me not want to play the games - it just intrigues me.

My initial reaction to hearing about the ending is that it's not worse than the ending to Neverwinter Nights 2, although I'm not totally sure that's true anymore. As bad as the Neverwinter Nights 2 ending is, it doesn't invalidate anything else in the game, and it ties up most of the loose ends. If you ignore one part of that ending, you get a pretty decent finish. You also get to complete the actual plot through gameplay. And there's the bonus that even with the ending, the story's continuation, Mask of the Betrayer, is one of the best RPG stories out there.

Mass Effect 3 doesn't seem to have as big a lame cop-out as Neverwinter Nights 2, but it does seem to screw with the story more and doesn't have the benefit of a nifty expansion pack coming out down the line to fix things. On the bright side, it does seem that some of the damage can be mitigated if Bioware puts some effort into their extended edition. One thing that I think they probably could do that would appease a lot of fans is to add an epilogue of some sort that shows the long-term effects of the choices you've made. Storytelling-wise, I think a narrator telling you how so and so ended up is a bit cheesy, but it's a good way to really drive home the impact players had on the setting.

All of this is just random musings on my part. I'm thankfully disconnected from the trainwreck, and by the time I get to playing Mass Effect I expect that there will be an ultimate edition or something that includes an attempted fix at the ending. The reactions to this ending, though, are endlessly fascinating, and I'm as intrigued to watch this unfold as I am sorry to the fans who feel like the rug has been pulled out from under them.

Grand Lodge

Sissyl wrote:
Some say Destroy is the way to beat the indoctrination, well, in that case, what is the result? In what way does destroy differ from the other two? Not a bloody lot, I say. And if there is no way to beat the indoctrination, it becomes just a pointless exercise.

The destroy option is the only one that ends with Shep in a pile of rubble on Earth and, if your war assets are high enough, the very last thing that happens is he breathes.

You don't get that sequence if you choose control or synthesis.

Charlie Bell wrote:
Is anybody else playing the ME3 multiplayer? If you're any good at Silver I'd like to friend add and invite you. It can sometimes be hard to find a decent group.

My xbox live name is the same as my name here. My friends and I are on the East cost, so we normally play after 8pm EST or during the weekend. Shoot me an add and I'll make sure we invite you to our next ME3 party.

Taldor

I have just started ME3, so I'll reserve my opinion for now, though given what I've seen of the series, I don't see how I could possibly choose anything else than "destroy".

Other points :
Cool Graphics, Yay !
What have they done to my Normandy again ! Them Bastards !

Grand Lodge

Stereofm wrote:

Other points :

Cool Graphics, Yay !

I know, right? I especially love what they do with the camera. The integration of "cutscene/gameplay" is beautifully done.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Not to mention the actual in-game action itself. Going back to ME1, the difference is really jarring at times.

Singularity/Warp combos and pistolwhipping never got old. And ME3 grenades are so much more satisfying than the old straight-shot ones.

Near end-game spoiler

Spoiler:
Earned the Eye of the Hurricane achievement during that last big battle around the Thanix missile launcher in London. By pistolwhipping a charging Brute to death. With an adept.

Felt great.

Grand Lodge

Mikaze wrote:

Not to mention the actual in-game action itself. Going back to ME1, the difference is really jarring at times.

Singularity/Warp combos and pistolwhipping never got old. And ME3 grenades are so much more satisfying than the old straight-shot ones

Definitely. By the time I made it to Thessia I realized that the only gameplay gripe I had was that you can't holster your weapon anymore. That's the worst I could come up with. Everything else was great.

Andoran RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

Lulz adepts. Weapons are for soldiers. Biotic detonation FTW.

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