One Last look at Mass Effect 3.

gwilym101

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I really liked the Indoctrination theory.

However what I would have done for the ending, was not have a choice at all at the end. I'd have had the final battle with all you allies then you activate the crucible. Depending on your decisions made through out the series would alter what it did (you could argue that the different people left alive interpreted the blueprints differently or something). On top of that I would have used the EMS score to determine how much damage the reapers manage to do to the crucible before it fires, the lower the ems the higher the damage and the crucible has nasty side effects.

So a really high ems and paragon, it would shut down the reapers and cause no damage to anything else. Slightly lower and shepard dies, lower still it also destroys the relays, lower and it also wipes out all synthetic life including EDI and the Geth and lowest of all it kills almost everyone.

High renegade, could cause the reapers to turn on fly into stars, the lower your ems and the less reapers affected so the controlled reapers fight the normal reapers and cause lots of destruction.

I would not have synthesis at all, it is bullshit. If organics have no weaknessess anymore then they are immortal, which would eventually mean the galaxy would become over populated and people would clamour over eachother to stay in the sunlight. Plus how the hell does a greenlight simulatneously make AI's alive somehow and make organic life partially synthetic. If have other reasons why synthesis is bullshit but can't be bothered to list them all.

One final note to bioware if they read these (they won't but I feel better for saying it): DON'T USE DEUS EX MACHINA TO END A SERIES!!!! Plot twist is fine but never a sudden random change to the lore that makes no sense at all.
 

Aurora Firestorm

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Sigh. Why? Why are we doing this again? Do we have to? We've beaten this horse into the ground, resurrected it, and beaten it again, until the only thing that's left to bring back are maybe its teeth and a hoof, and we're still beating those.

I liked the endings. I thought they were clever, neat, and any plot holes were pretty minor. I thought the Internet was a bunch of sillies for reacting the way they did. I thought that even if the endings had been a total piece of flaming donkey poo, that this fact would never negate the rest of the games. And I just wish everyone would shut up about this and move on with their lives.

Authors will do what they want. They don't owe anyone anything. I'm not going to use the E-word here, because the OP explicitly said not to (heh), but honestly, I don't give fans really any credit. I also loved the big middle finger that Bioware put there in the form of the Rejection ending.
 

DioWallachia

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Kopikatsu said:
The indoctrination theory is born of denial. It just leaves us with a non-ending.

If you want to wrap around the incomprehensible minds of the bioware writers I would suggest this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiN8gL40d84
It really is the best 'last look' at mass effect. And he's done ME2 and DA2 as well.
Not really. The ending in the case of the indoctrination theory is that Shepard, deluded and controlled by the Reapers, bled out and died in front of the pillar leading to the Citadel. I'm completely fine with that outcome. They spent three games building up the Reapers as a threat that absolutely could not be fought conventionally and any attempt to do so would fail spectacularly. It also leaves the Reaper's goal shrouded in secrecy, befitting their role.

Basically, the Reapers winning was a foregone conclusion from the beginning of the series. They had wiped out countless inhabited galaxies previously, why should this one be any different? I mean, Sovereign would have destroyed the CDF and recaptured the Citadel had Shepard not dealt with Soren. It took the entire Geth/Quarian fleet (One of the strongest in the galaxy on both counts) multiple salvos to take down a single low class Reaper ship, hitting it's weak point with every salvo. Every soldier that fell in the defense against the Reapers merely increased the size of their army. Chance of victory was 0%.[/quote]

Well, since the Reapers acted like idiots for not going after the Citadel FIRST (until TIM told them to), no wonder why people though they could defeat them. Then again, we just killed one with a Cain so.....maybe we can??? this narrative is just plain painful to understand, and i havent even brought up the "smudboy" videos yet.

Now, to the OP: Sooner or later, the "Artistic Integrity" card is going to pop up and be used Ad Nauseum everytime a developers feels lazy. We, the "entitled" hedonistic monsters that only care about games as our safe zone for masturbation fantasies, will be unable to stop them just like how we are unable to stop EA for raping more games since the Ultima series. Since people think that games are not art even before doing ANY research (*COUGH*ROGER EBERT*COUGH*) that means that no people of high caliber is actually analizing this monstruosity of story telling (not even Metroid Other M is being studied as an example of a platonic relationship for sexist males), we are the only vanguard that games have to be considered art.............and we are becoming more and more drained by this.

Worse yet, the following philosophy as popped up more frecuently "You cant objectively say that something is bad or good. Therefore, everything is subjective"

That is SO Orwellian that is not even funny (as i said many times):

"Emmanuel Goldstein, a strawman politician invented by the ruling party in order to draw out dissidents. Orwell uses Goldstein in order to set out his own views of totalitarian societies; in the book he is entirely
correct, but the authorities do not even try to suppress his message. Instead, they attempt to condition the population into being UNABLE TO COMPREHEND AN OBJECTIVE REALITY"

This is the gift of Mass Effect 3 "Artistic Integrity": A world where we just shut down our brains and let this shit happen because, after all, there is no way to know if something is good or bad. Right? Transformers 2, Twilight, Birth Of a Nation, Freddy Got Fingered, Mein Kampf and Daikatana are all equaly good as Melancholia, Brazil, Planescape Tormentm, Legacy of Kain, IJI and Deus Ex.

If there is any end of the world at the 21 of December, it would be the end of the world of storytelling as a whole.
 
Mar 9, 2012
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In a way; I think the most telling about Bioware's reaction is their superficial answers. So far their official reactions long cavalcade of different versions of "Its art, we don't need to explain it" or "You are just too attached to Shepard."

So far, Bioware hasn't tried to answer any of the hard questions like: "Do you agree with the fans' claim that the ending violates the lore?" or "Do you understand why the audience feels that the ending lacks narrative coherence?" Well, guess what: When you make some sort of "bold artistic statement" you should at least be able to defend it when it is subjected to criticism and scrutiny. Since the release, Bioware has only answered pre-approved questions, and only does so in environments they know are controlled and 100% friendly.

Bioware's silence on these matters implies that they are well aware that they won't have a leg to stand if they were ever asked one of those questions, which in turn implies that they know at some level that know they have screwed the pooch.
 

Flippincrazy

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Get over it. Please.

Mass Effect 3 was flawed, yes, but is it really necessary to continue reminding yourself of why you hate it? Do you take some sort of perverse pleasure from it? It wasn't a personal affront on you, the gamer, by Bioware,as the evil company out to get you. It was just a rushed title that didn't survive the pressures presented by a money-centered gaming industry unscathed, and thus unfortunately did not live up to many expectations. It happens.

And if you must think of the matter, instead of obsessing over the negatives as one big conglomerate mass, think of the entertaining debate that is caused, think of how much you invested yourself in completely ridiculous fan theories such as the Indoctrination Theory and in the whole debacle. Laugh, don't grimace.

Think of the fact that frankly, this entire fracas has given far more life to the Mass Effect universe, which would have probably ceased in your minds a while back were it not for the 'E GADS, CONTROVERSY' reaction.
 

dementis

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Basiritz said:
Everybody else has already pointed out everything I hate about the endings. But for me, I didn't completely lose faith in Bioware and Mass Effect until the Ad for DLC after the credits. It was like " Fuck you, and the game you love, give us more money." It was that moment I knew the Bioware I loved, whose games I was always supremely excited for, was dead.
I agree, I've always thought that Bioware's artistic integrity argument goes out the window when the final thing you read is "We'll let you play some more if you give us money".
 

hermes

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Comocat said:
Personally, I think BioWare wrote themselves into a corner and simply could not end it with a reasonable victory. Lord of the Rings did a good job setting the stage for why the ring was invincible except for this very small volcano in the heart of Mordor. The quest was challenging, but doable. BioWare never did that with the reapers. At no point in the series did I ever think, wow I really have a shot at beating these guys. 1 reaper pretty much destroyed the entire galactic fleet in ME1, how could we ever possible win against hundreds or thousands of them? Other than assuming they were killbots with a kill count limit, BioWare never created conditions for victory.
That is a good point.

In a way, Bioware missed a big opportunity by making Mass Effect 2 about the Collectors and not the Reapers. It gave us an enemy that was tangential to the main quest and didn't raise the stakes in anyway (in more than a few ways, the Collectors are a far less threatening enemy than the Reapers). If they spent the previous game setting the stage for a possible plan to stop the Reapers, this would have been avoided. I guess they made them so all-mighty, they didn't really know how to end them. As it were, it was inevitable that the game would introduce a Deus Ex, but it shouldn't have done it so late...
 

DioWallachia

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Flippincrazy said:
Get over it. Please.

Mass Effect 3 was flawed, yes, but is it really necessary to continue reminding yourself of why you hate it? Do you take some sort of perverse pleasure from it?
Because if we forget our mistakes then we WILL repeat them. People forgot that EA killed the Ultima series, the last long lasting RPG and we didnt stop them from doing the same to Bioware........we forgot.

Also, if millions of people scream "It burns!! It burns!!" Then someone is bound to check it out. And we can get gems of research like this:

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/lb_i.php?lb_id=13373815860B43920100&i_id=13373815860I43921400&p=1
 

DioWallachia

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Machine Man 1992 said:
Even our illustrious Bob Chipman got in the act, with not one, not two, but THREE whole episodes (Crass Effect, After Mass, and Mutants and Masses for The Big Picture), of him reaffirming every negative trait and stereotype he has. Little to no research or even playing the entire game, it's no wonder the backlash he received is second only to Heavens to Metroid.
Well, it was obvious since the Heavens to Metroid that he cares about controversy for the sake of making money even his argument doesnt make any damn sense.

Why people still follow him? he failed all gamers in a time of need, a time where games as art could be defended by saying that the audience really care about them but its just the corporate bullshit that keeps making them suck (EA). And yet we are somehow responsible for something that BARELY reasembles art, and its more like a product for mass appeal and nothing else.
 

DioWallachia

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Akratus said:
Eclectic Dreck, you want your reasons? You want your dry editorial analysis? You wanna know why it's so bad?! Oh I'm gonna give it to ya.

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLiWzMOLohpMmyaUhp8hva3Vxa8Y9jsLRD
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEE7764FAB908A8FB
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL26D09A85B5BCDDE0
Wait!! Let me join in!!:

MrBTongue:

Archengeia:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUqAhKW7498
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGZJC-nY4TA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVU5BHJYgGM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=go4fx5Gf4LY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwzhHbJ5yxI
 

JamesStone

If it ain't broken, get to work
Jun 9, 2010
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Eclectic Dreck said:
beef_razor said:
True, but it was still better than the original. And if a conclusion born of angry fan denial was better than what the developers came up with then something is wrong.
I disagree. The indoctrination ending isn't better. The most obvious reason is this is supported by flimsy evidence that can easily be dismissed. Any piece of evidence used to support the theory simply has an alternate explanation that, in most cases, is more plausible. The less obvious reason is that the indoctrination theory is neither narratively nor thematically consistent. The game is based upon the notion that choice matters - to rely upon an ending where your character is robbed of choice not only undermines that theme, it is quite literally the story equivalent of telling players to go fuck themselves. Beyond that, the indoctrination theory undermines everything you've done as a player in the third game by making you a pawn of the Reapers. Finally, there is the fundamental problem that there is no mechanism for long distance indoctrination presented anywhere else in the fiction and Shepard simply did not spend the lengthy amount of time around a Reaper or notable reaper artifacts to justify his indoctrination.

Simply put, if Reapers were so easily capable of force indoctrinating a group, they would not rely so heavily upon force of arms to achieve their ends. Combine that with the myriad other problems with the theory and you'll find that this explanation, if more satisfying intellectually is actually a worse ending simply because it is inconsistent.
Except the indocrination theory doesn't rob you of choice. It says: "You are indocrinated. Your choices up to this point will be the standoff to what's going to happen next". Choose the destroy ending? Good you are resisting. The choices you did up to that point will decide the battle and your own fate. Choose the Control? You are falling right into the indocrination. Having a choice at this point depends only on your behavior. The right one will unlock the choice of killing yourself, deactivating Harbinger for a while, giving the fleet time to kill him. If not, you are forced to hack the Crucible, with the knowledge of Harbinger, to send a massive shockwave which doesn't hit the Reapers. Synthethise? You are now the main conscience of a Reaper, and must choose, after hearing Harbinger's speech, to accept your fate or to rebel. Refuse? Everyone dies (unless you did REAL good, but even then they will be mostly in the shit) but the Reapers suffered so many losses that the next cycle will probably be victorious."

No point in here you are deprived of choice, unless your previous choices created that scenario. This theory might not be real, but it's much, much better than whatever ending Bioware could come up with. It's not inconsistent, it's not intelectually inferior. It's not going to happen, but it's better in ever way.
 

Seanfall

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spartandude said:
Basiritz said:
Everybody else has already pointed out everything I hate about the endings. But for me, I didn't completely lose faith in Bioware and Mass Effect until the Ad for DLC after the credits. It was like " Fuck you, and the game you love, give us more money." It was that moment I knew the Bioware I loved, whose games I was always supremely excited for, was dead.
/thread

THERE IS NO MIDDLE FINGER BIG ENOUGH
*salutes* Agreed!

A part of me wants to play Leviathan and Omega and get some of the other DLC for it. But with everything that's happened. Not just the ending but how Bioware/EA handled it...that's what gets me and makes me withhold my money. Not so much the ending (anymore anyways) but merely how Bioware Handled it. A company that people trusted more or less taking the company line and tossing 'artfartic inbertigy' (misspelled on purpose I swear) as a catchall shield to justify their decision. BTW I think it's very telling that right after the ME4 announcement two of the companies founders leave. I don't even hate the ending anymore, I think it's bullocks and a pile of horseshit but I'm just not that angry anymore. and I don't know if I'll ever buy from them again.
 

ZorroFonzarelli

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Interesting take; I agree.

I think in the years (if not decades) ahead, ME3 will end up being a watershed moment in video gaming. Essentially, it was something that was inconceivable when it happened (to anyone) and was a moment when an entire industry effectively told its consumers to 'shut up and like it'.

Not one, but several brands were damaged by the debacle. The Juggernaut of the Mass Effect Franchise (as it had been) was ruined. It will continue on but it will never be what it once was or could have been. Bioware's reputation (especially after the Dragon Age fiasco) was obliterated. Then, you have IGN, etc. - and the whole gaming journalism industry - jump on board the sinking ship by not realizing who paid their bills and their reputations suffering in the eyes of their customers.

As an Economist, I found this simply insane - the product of an industry that perpetually saw its customer base as 12-year olds who needed to be told when to be quiet, when many gamers upset with them like me are in our mid-30's. It was protectionism of the gaming industry by the gaming journalism industry which exists to critique them, not to coddle them. It was a moment when gaming companies saw a massive franchise value plummet and reality checks went off all over the industry.

I agree that years from now this will be part of a marketing course. It all comes down to value. Good companies recognize it when they see it and run with what they have instead of trying to manipulate profit by pulling what Bioware tried to pull. Good journalism is a check on what it's supposed to watch instead of being cozy with it and trying to shape its customers perceptions instead of reflect them.

Future game developers and journalists have been warned - their customers do pay their bills, and there are penalties for kicking them and telling them to like it.
 

ZorroFonzarelli

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Jan 5, 2009
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Akratus said:
Eclectic Dreck, you want your reasons? You want your dry editorial analysis? You wanna know why it's so bad?! Oh I'm gonna give it to ya.

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLiWzMOLohpMmyaUhp8hva3Vxa8Y9jsLRD
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEE7764FAB908A8FB
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL26D09A85B5BCDDE0
Akratus, if you're on YouTube, look no further than the enlightened ravings of MrBTongue. http://www.youtube.com/user/mrbtongue
 
Mar 9, 2012
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Aurora Firestorm said:
I also loved the big middle finger that Bioware put there in the form of the Rejection ending.
"Because showing outright contempt for your already angry audience is a great way to earn money!"

...said no company ever.
 

Frission

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May 16, 2011
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BloatedGuppy said:
Souplex said:
I'm still playing the multiplayer.
In a compelling stroke of irony the multiplayer was the best part of the game.
It is isn't it? The multiplayer developers were far better at judging their audience. Well that and the part with Mordin.

I sort of want to be happy with Mass Effect 3. Some parts were quite definitely good enough for me to overlook the imperfections. However as someone else said, the last line of the series being "buy more dlc" and the general fiasco that was the ending of the controversy just leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.


Conclusion? It could have been great, but now it can serve as an examples for some things you shouldn't do. Now let us never speak of this again.
 

TK421

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You know, at first I was angry. I didn't understand why Bioware would put such shit endings to the entire ME series, and I really didn't understand why my choices affected jack shit when they were supposed to change everything. I also thought the day-one DLC was absolute horseshit, and the ad after the credits was like a kick in the balls. After a day or two, my anger faded into apathy, and a massive amplification of the cynicism that I was slowly building towards the gaming industry anyway.

What I came away with was that money has now truly taken over the entertainment that we love. Yeah, even at the beginning it was partially about money, coders have to feed themselves after all, but now, that is all it's about. I should have seen it coming, as the exact same thing has happened with nearly everything else in the world, but I guess that I still had enough childhood naivety to believe that something so many people loved and had a passion for could rise above the muck of the corporate world that we live in today.
 
Aug 19, 2010
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I'm quite conflicted concerning this issue, because as much as i hate the endings, I think it would be a mistake on bioware's part to change it. Not only would they lose even more respect, since that would show that if the fans whine loud and long enough they can get whatever they want, but it would probably have resulted in an even worse ending. When the extended cut was released, i still wasn't satisfied, but i was a definite improvement, since the original ending butchered everything we fought for in the trilogy AND any sequels. With the EC now only the sequels will suffer.
I'm also in the minority in regards to DLC. Of course i despise day one DLC, since that's just content from the game that was cut post-production to milk the fans, but post-release DLC is fine by me. You are in no way obligated to buy it if you don't want to, but if you liked the game and want more than DLC gives you more.
Another un-popular opinion about ME3 that I have is that the actual game DID NOT SUCK. Up until the last 2 minutes i was having a blast with it. It certainly was not up to the level of the previous two, but by no means was it bad or mediocre, it was a good game that was overshadowed by it's predecessors greatness.
Recent releases on bioware's part weren't too popular with the larger community, but i like both ME3 and DA2 (yes, you read that right, i liked DA2) and by no means have I "lost faith in bioware" or think that bioware is "dead" or some butthurt bullshit like that. Mass Effect is and will be my second favorite video game series, and my number one favorite trilogy.

Now i'll fly off to kill some geth in the great multiplayer mode in ME3, and let you haters get back to whining.
 

Pockydon

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Machine Man 1992 said:
I have my own issues with Mass Effect 3, besides the craptacular endings and the internet fights it created. I thought the plot was simple and uninspired (even by Bioware standards), The Crucible was a blatant Deus Ex Machina to the overarching plot, Cerberus went from "Space Illuminati" to The Empire from Star Wars with little to no explanation, TIM is completely bonkers to detriment of the plot, Liara is shilled relentlessly, other characters either prove to be completely useless, annoying, or just plain creepy (here's looking at you EDI). Gameplay feels gutted and half-finished, with a distinct lack of polish. One button does not need to control running, rolling, taking cover, leaving cover, vaulting over cover, and activating a thing. There's little of the gameplay variation from the last games; no hacking minigames, no giant vehicle rampages, and sidequests that are the very definition of tacked on. Fights are very unimpressive and boring, and the Atlas stealing gameplay element is utterly superfluous. And lest I forget the galaxy at war bullshit that required I play multiplayer to see the best ending, effectively damaging the singleplayer with the multiplayer.

The fan reaction to the endings was something have never seen before, and probably will never see again. There are so many different accounts and spins on the story, I could write a book on it.
Agree with everything you said. Mass Effect 3 was easily the most disappointing game of the year for me, and I don't think i'll ever forget it. I'm done with Bioware, not only because of how awful the game is, but because of their reaction. Although, I have to give them some credit, Tuchanka and Rannoch were two of the best missions I've played in a game. But everything else was simply 'meh' to downright insulting to the audience.