Update: Fan "Fixes" Mass Effect 3 Ending With A 539-Page Rewrite

nexus

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I've still held on to the theory that Shepard was just indoctrinated. It makes the most sense, really. The decisions in the end were an internal struggle within Shepard's mind. This is further bolstered by the split-second scene where Shepard is seen taking a breath in rubble.

In further conspiracy, the three endings served as a gamer vote from Bioware. If enough people chose the ending that denied indoctrination (Red - it was a trick to show the 'defiant' ending in red, as red usually meant 'evil'), then Bioware would have expanded on it. But most gamers went with instinct (erroneously) and chose Blue or "synthesis", fully accepting indoctrination. Gamers failed, gamers indoctrinated. No Shepard resolution..
 

samaugsch

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I don't have as much of a problem with the ending as i do with how shepard dealt with kai leng. I played an engineer. He could set shit on fire, freeze things, overload machines, etc. and what does he do in the cutscenes? Uses a stupid pistol. Shepard should've been able to kill that asshole before he could get a lift from one of the cerberus transports.
 

CloudAtlas

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smudboy said:
It's a giant pile of crap.

http://thesecondslice.blogspot.ca/2014/01/analysis-of-me3v.html
The auther of this blog is equally full of it. Sorry, but if you aren't able to "fix" the stuff he thinks is so bad that it is beyond fixing (nevermind that, for many people, it isn't in need of fixing in the first place), then you're just a shitty/unimaginative writer yourself. Let's face it, if someone believes central story elements like the Crucible, the Catalyst, or the final choice are so awful that the only way to "save Mass" Effect's story is to get rid of them entirely, he's likely either ignorant or so full of himself that he confused personal preferences with "objective" quality.
 

Baron Teapot

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Seems a bit self-congratulatory. Why is he qualified to re-write large chunks of the game in order to appease the fans? It says he's a fan, but that's surely the last sort of person you want trying to fix 'Mass Effect' because it's difficult to critically and objectively judge something that you, yourself are a part of.

Plus, stuffing every possible moment with winks to the fans and nods to your chums is not clever. How does this make 'Mass Effect 3' more accessible to new players, and what does it fundamentally change to make your choices seem more substantial? Very little. It just builds on BioWare's original.

Wow, did we really need over 500 pages for that? I get that he's begging for a job, but you're not going to endear yourself to future employers by implying that they're all absolute morons. He's never made a game, has he? No. Of course not.

So, yes, it's a false state of lazy entitlement and an absolute waste of time. It's like taking the Mona Lisa and sketching in a pair of dangly earrings: at best utterly useless and at worst you're taking something and defacing it whilst claiming you're a thousand times better. Not that 'Mass Effect 3' is comparable to the Mona Lisa, I just chose that to make my point come across easier.

Oh, and there's nothing wrong with complaining when you're duped into buying 'Aliens: Colonial Marines' when the trailers tell you it looks and plays amazingly, but complaining about a game's story seems a little iffy. Did they officially promise you that it would be different to what it is, clearly and obviously, or is it just your misinterpretation? I was actually impressed that BioWare cared enough about their whining fans to improve upon their ending, but at the end of the day it's their series.
 

sumanoskae

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daveNYC said:
Interesting that he decided to keep the Crucible plot. I thought that the 'super anti-Reaper weapon whose plans have been passed on and built on for hundreds of cycles of extermination and that just happened to be discovered in our solar system just as the Reapers show up' was a weak main plot line.

Now if he had made the Crucible plans a trap that had been planted by the Reaper agents as a Plan B once they discovered that their usual 'show up and lop off the head of the government with a strike at the Citadel' plan fell apart in ME1, then we'd be cooking with gas.
Amen. What upsets me so much about the Crucible is that so many of the games problems can be solved by simply removing it.

Why does a war that supposed to seem utterly hopeless need a clear solution? If we needed one, why not go with the Leviathan? If Bioware wanted to explore the motivation and origin of the Reapers but also needed a plot device to move the story along, having Shepard track down the only creature supposedly able to kill them, which is connected to their origin as it turns out, solves both of those problems.

Or just leave it blank, like I said. Shepard and friends struggle to survive a war they have little to no chance of winning. Maybe they figure something out, maybe they don't.

On another note, it occurred to me that maybe Shepard or one of his/her friends or superiors invented the concept of the Crucible just to create enough hope to ensure the other species would keep fighting.
 

lapan

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Baron Teapot said:
Plus, stuffing every possible moment with winks to the fans and nods to your chums is not clever. How does this make 'Mass Effect 3' more accessible to new players, and what does it fundamentally change to make your choices seem more substantial? Very little. It just builds on BioWare's original.
Why does anything 3 need to appeal to new players?
 

sumanoskae

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Baron Teapot said:
Oh, and there's nothing wrong with complaining when you're duped into buying 'Aliens: Colonial Marines' when the trailers tell you it looks and plays amazingly, but complaining about a game's story seems a little iffy. Did they officially promise you that it would be different to what it is, clearly and obviously, or is it just your misinterpretation? I was actually impressed that BioWare cared enough about their whining fans to improve upon their ending, but at the end of the day it's their series.
I feel like I should point out that what BioWare did WAS false advertising. The made statements that suggested that the ending to the game would be significantly different from the finished product.

There was no abstraction and they were not vague; they straight up said there would be a lot more than three endings and that the story would not come down to A, B or C.

Not arguing for or against the whole "Retake" thing here, just pointing this out.
 

CloudAtlas

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smudboy said:
You wanted objective observations? Here you go:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiN8gL40d84&list=PLEE7764FAB908A8FB
I can barely watch the first five minutes of your first video without disagreeing on pretty much everything you say. To be more precise, you're ask a lot of questions, suggesting that none of which we see makes any sense, even though you could easily explain everything if you just put the tiniest fraction of the effort that you put into making these videos into thinking about these questions for a minute instead. You're so hung up upon pointless details that it's ridiculous.

So much for "objective observations".

You try and fix all those problems, chief. No, really, be my guest. I'll await your 800 page fix. Be sure to point out my "personal preferences" while you're at it.
Well, I don't see the need for major changes, not in ME3 anyway, so I guess I'd have a hard time filling 800 pages. Me writing down my notions on how to improve some of the issues I see with Mass Effect's story would neither benefit me or you, since we obviously don't agree on the issues in the first place.
But let me just say this: Not only would I keep the ending, and the Catalyst, and the Crucible, I would make them even more prominent elements of the story. Whatever issues might exist, I would work from the end and make what happened before fit to the ending (all the way up to ME1), not the other way round.
 

smudboy

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Baron Teapot said:
As a last point I don't think the lead developer saying "There won't be a Reaper Off Switch" or "There won't be a A,B,C" ending is a result of misrepresentation.
"It's not even in any way like the traditional game endings, where you can say how many endings there are or whether you got ending A, B, or C." -- Casey Hudson

I anxiously await your non-interpretation.

http://i.imgur.com/Kd2sj.png
 

CloudAtlas

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smudboy said:
Congratulations! You can rationalize bullshit.

The rest of us, who have thinking minds, can see the problems of such parts of the narrative.
Who is "the rest of you" though? Your thoroughly negative view is a minority position even within the group of ending haters. I mean, there would have hardly been such an outcry if everything that came before was just as bad, would it.

I've put quite a lot of effort into objective observations. Perhaps you should try actually thinking about the problems "as problems" before condemning everyone as "not using their brain enough". I've thought about them for well over a minute, hell, for a few years.
I'm sure Gerry Pugli..somthing did the same, but that didn't exlucde him from your criticism either.

They are really that broken that doing away with them entirely is the solution. A child could write better. You could write better.

If you don't see a need for major changes in ME3, in any part, you're blind, dumb or just not paying attention. Rose tinted glasses and all that.

Oh...you do see problems? Well get listing, chief. I've already given you a head start.
I am aware that my unwillingness to argue with you on specifics is a bit unfair and looks like a cop out. But I really can't, because you make your points in these videos, and if the first 5 minutes, this endless, pointless rambling about details that don't matter, are any indication of what is to come, I really don't feel like torturing myself and watching them. Judging by that... you might be the kind of guy that'll make Hulk mad: http://badassdigest.com/2012/10/30/film-crit-hulk-smash-hulk-vs.-plot-holes-and-movie-logic/

And if you think two deus ex machina devices are good, and you'd keep them, and double down on them, then I'm sorry: you suck at storytelling, editing, or how stories even work. They are contrived, nonsense devices that had no planning or foresight; trying to give them such states just about everything I know about your understanding of storytelling.
What makes a machina a deus ex machina though? If a machina is introduced early in the story, and a central story element throughout the story, it is not a deus ex machina. So the Crucible hardly satisfies the definition here.
A device called Catalyst is first mentioned somewhere halfway in the story, although you don't know yet what it is. The AI controlling the Reapers, and while it doesn't appear totally out of the blue, you can think about whether it would be good to foreshadow it more. There were a couple of instances with the opportunity of doing so that would only require minor changes. These would be the sort of changes I would be considering.

In any way, introducing devices early enough, foreshadow them enough, have other machinery in your world that kinda sorta works similar in some way, that can turn any deus ex machina to a regular machina... by definition. If you think all that is not done enough for the Catalyst and the Crucible, well, you really don't have to stretch your imagination all to hard in order to come up with changes that help here. The ingredients are already there, and they're plentiful (except for the Synthesis part maybe).


(hint: You're a biased fanboy.)
Through and through, you caught me.

Except... I didn't play any Mass Effect game until 2012. I didn't finish ME1, I found the gameplay too awful and sorta kinda knew the outcome of the story. The Mass Effect universe in general has quite a few elements that I don't like that much, that I find silly, cheesy, or weird. I think the whole main plot of ME2 doesn't make much sense in the context of the trilogy and doesn't move the story forward in any meaningful way, and I'd call its combat at best serviceable. It is only ME3 that I thoroughly enjoyed. Oh, and I didn't enjoy any other BioWare game as much since Baldur's Gate II? back in 2000 or something. If any of that is indicative for me being a fanboy to you, well, your call.

Nice avatar.
Thanks. She's quite something, isn't she?
 

smudboy

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CloudAtlas said:
Who is "the rest of you" though? Your thoroughly negative view is a minority position even within the group of ending haters. I mean, there would have hardly been such an outcry if everything that came before was just as bad, would it.
The rest of "us" refers to everyone who sees that ME3 is a goddamned pile of nonsense. And have the brain to explain why. Hence, "The rest of us, who have thinking minds, can see the problems of such parts of the narrative."

I'm sure Gerry Pugli..somthing did the same, but that didn't exlucde him from your criticism either.
So, what's your point? He wrote crap, and I called it that.

I am aware that my unwillingness to argue with you on specifics is a bit unfair and looks like a cop out. But I really can't, because you make your points in these videos, and if the first 5 minutes, this endless, pointless rambling about details that don't matter, are any indication of what is to come, I really don't feel like torturing myself and watching them.
Then everything you stated is pointless, meaningless, and pure subjectivity. Either quote me or stop wasting my time by listening to your opinionated nonsense.

I welcome your opinion, but if you can't be bothered to read not only his ideas, or listen to mine, then you have nothing valuable to state.

Judging by that... you might be the kind of guy that'll make Hulk mad: http://badassdigest.com/2012/10/30/film-crit-hulk-smash-hulk-vs.-plot-holes-and-movie-logic/
No, I'm not reading someone who can't turn off the caps lock key.

I asked you for your opinion. Explain yourself or be quiet.

What makes a machina a deus ex machina though?

If a machina is introduced early in the story, and a central story element throughout the story, it is not a deus ex machina. So the Crucible hardly satisfies the definition here.
A deus ex machina is nothing but a plot device. It doesn't matter when it's introduced in a story. The problem (or why a a deus ex machina is bad) is because of how it's usually used: as a contrived form of resolving the plot.

When you can break down a story into it's devices (plot, theme, etc.), there's usually something wrong with the story.

In the classic example of The Bacchae, Dionysus (the god), is not only the Deus Ex Machina device, he's also a character. He's introduced right in the beginning of the play, and is throughout it. (But even if he wasn't, and he came out of nowhere at the end, the Greek audience of the time still had knowledge of the pantheon of gods.) There's even allusions to his "powers" that we're not aware of yet. We don't know what he's going to do. And then he brutalizes his non-followers near the end.

Plot devices by themselves aren't good or bad: it's how they're used. Both The Crucible and the Catalyst are deus ex machinas, and they're used poorly. Unless the author is worth their weight in ink, it's a crap plot device.

Mac Walters is not worth his weight in ink. Casey Hudson...

Guess what? ME3 has the worst ending, ever. And yup, those two plot devices? Contrived nonsense (mysterious super-weapon of unknown function...out of nowhere! Ghost boy...out of nowhere!) If you think other wise, prove it. Might want to start watching the last few episodes of Bookends of Destruction.

A device called Catalyst is first mentioned somewhere halfway in the story, although you don't know yet what it is. The AI controlling the Reapers, and while it doesn't appear totally out of the blue, you can think about whether it would be good to foreshadow it more. There were a couple of instances with the opportunity of doing so that would only require minor changes. These would be the sort of changes I would be considering.
Yes, you can do minor edits, but the problem still persists: it's a contrived piece of nonsense. It's a pile of crap no matter how many clearer details there are. Foreshadowing, or subtle indications, allusions and the sort, are only good if there's some substance to the damn thing you're foreshadowing. You can't just be subtle for the sake of it. There has to be meaning, some solid foundation to base a plot upon, or everything's up in the air and characters are worse than hoping on a prayer -- they're moving forward on an idea of some device that does something. Really. That's not a military strategy. That's not a goal. And the Catalyst wasn't even figured out before the Crucible was being constructed. Everyone just started building the nonsensical monstrosity! What's that? We need a "Catalyst"? A what? Oh well, Earth time!

In any way, introducing devices early enough, foreshadow them enough, have other machinery in your world that kinda sorta works similar in some way, that can turn any deus ex machina to a regular machina... by definition. If you think all that is not done enough for the Catalyst and the Crucible, well, you really don't have to stretch your imagination all to hard in order to come up with changes that help here. The ingredients are already there, and they're plentiful (except for the Synthesis part maybe).
What is "regular machina" in regards to deus ex machina?

Nothing is "done enough" for the Catalyst or Crucible. They're both giant piles of contrived nonsense. They both have no meaning aside from "it'll end the war" and "I'm the Catalyst."

And thus, the destruction of the ME series.

Through and through, you caught me.
Yeah stop that. Or learn to understand things without those stupid rose tinted-glasses on.

Except... I didn't play any Mass Effect game until 2012. I didn't finish ME1, I found the gameplay too awful and sorta kinda knew the outcome of the story. The Mass Effect universe in general has quite a few elements that I don't like that much, that I find silly, cheesy, or weird. I think the whole main plot of ME2 doesn't make much sense in the context of the trilogy and doesn't move the story forward in any meaningful way, and I'd call its combat at best serviceable. It is only ME3 that I thoroughly enjoyed. Oh, and I didn't enjoy any other BioWare game as much since Baldur's Gate II? back in 2000 or something. If any of that is indicative for me being a fanboy to you, well, your call.
ME1 is the only worthy game of the series.

Thanks. She's quite something, isn't she?
A sad, pathetic flat brick.
 

CloudAtlas

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the hidden eagle said:
Anyway I still regard the Crucible as being a convenient plot device that was introduced because the writers didn't know how to write the Reapers.
Well, it certainly doesn't seem like they were knowing where they were going with the Reapers right from the start. Otherwise I think there would have been more foreshadowing of the purpose of the Reapers, for instance, and we wouldn't have a middle part of the trilogy with a main plot that is oddly out of place and inconsequential in the big picture. And yea I agree that's a pity, and the Mass Effect trilogy as a whole might well have been better if things were different. It's also weird as the secondary main conflicts, the Genophage and the Quarians and such, seem more consistent... at least as far as I remember them.

For Crucible being a convenient plot device... maybe. They wanted to tell a story about a war that you cannot win by conventional means, no matter how smart or badass or galaxy-uniting you are. So if you take that as starting point, I'd call a device like the Crucible more a necessity than a convenience. It also makes a lot of sense for the ending they were telling, as allowing the final choice at all is pretty much contingent on the Crucible.

But of course, on the other hand, you don't have to tell such a story, nor such an ending, and thus don't need such a device, and... now we're running in circles. Either way, it is as it is.
 

CloudAtlas

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smudboy said:
Explain yourself or be quiet.
I will be opting for the latter. I'm naturally not enjoying a discussion with someone who is both very hostile in tone and so full of himself that he believes his own preferences, his every word to be the absolute truth. Case in point:

ME1 is the only worthy game of the series.
 

smudboy

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CloudAtlas said:
smudboy said:
Explain yourself or be quiet.
I will be opting for the latter. I'm naturally not enjoying a discussion with someone who is both very hostile in tone and so full of himself that he believes his own preferences, his every word to be the absolute truth. Case in point:

ME1 is the only worthy game of the series.
Hostile? Where? If you learn something, that's what matters.

You yourself stated that ME2 was a "total mess." Well guess what? This is a trilogy. Stories are built upon themselves. If the second chapter has faulty structure, the third is sure to follow that mess. Internal consistency, especially in non-contemporary works, needs to be even more prevalent. Dark energy?

Face it: ME3 is a catastrophe. The beginning and ending were destructive. The only thing it had going for it was a solid plot in the middle. The writers were in over their head and didn't know what to do.

That, amongst many other things, is not how you write a story.