Who Really Owns Mass Effect 3?

Dennis Scimeca

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Who Really Owns Mass Effect 3?

The ownership of a story belongs to its editor, as well.

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RaNDM G

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The intellectual property always belongs to the publisher. BioWare makes the games, but EA has the final say in all things.

Why does there have to be a discussion about this? It's a simple fact.

In regards to the ending, it isn't really A, B, and C. It's A and B, with Shepard either resisting the Reapers or assimilating. It's a ham-fisted, dick move by EA and the writers to set up the game for DLC expansions and more games in the series. And EA is known for making dick moves.

KingsGambit said:
RaNDM G said:
The intellectual property always belongs to the publisher. BioWare makes the games, but EA has the final say in all things.

Why does there have to be a discussion about this? It's a simple fact.
There has to be because of how badly the ending was cocked up. We're not talking about the IP here. The points are creative control vs. player-driven narrative and such a badly thought out mechanic. The premise, if you re-read the article, is that as players, we've guided the story/movie the entire time until that point and are then left without suitable options, reward or closure. THAT is a simple fact.
It's a ploy by EA and BioWare's writers to set-up future DLC expansions, like I said in the rest of my post you so diligently failed to mention. BioWare practically admits that right at the end of the game.



It's a marketing ploy. They're basically saying this:

"Hated the ending of Mass Effect 3? 1200 Microsoft points gives you an extended final mission lasting a WHOOPING [insert number of hours here]! Also comes with [insert complimentary in-game item(s) here] as well as [new multiplayer game mode(s) here]!"
The real problem is that this ploy is going to work. EA is going to make bank from gamers wanting a satisfying ending for Mass Effect 3. They will pay any amount of money to get that contrived ending out of their heads, which is the dickiest move of all.

I'm not even sure that's a real word. I'm kinda surprised it's in the dictionary.

Also, you messed up that second quote.

RaNDM G said:
This is exactly the destroy option.
@Nimcha wrote that. Not me. Just want to make that clear.
 

Nimcha

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My Commander Shepard would point out to the Catalyst that synthetics and organics were working together to fight the Reapers. She would point out that in her cycle the Geth were dealt with, and in the previous cycle the Protheans had dealt with their own problems with synthetic life and maintained the balance themselves (Javik tells this story in the "From Ashes" DLC). My Shepard would refute the Catalyst's bad solution to a nonexistent problem, and is smart enough to realize that any species which has the insane technology to build devices like the Citadel, and the mass relays, and the Reapers is also smart enough to know how to turn off some, not all, of that system. She would tell the Catalyst to destroy the Reapers and then get the hell out of her way.
This is exactly the destroy option. You could also choose not to believe the Catalyst, do nothing and watch galactic society being wiped out by the Reapers. I don't think I have to explain why this was not an option.

Furthermore, your Shepard's points do not disprove the Catalyst's theory. All of those things only happened because Shepard made them happen. And Shepard only made them happen because of the threat of the Reapers. Anderson tells you this word for word in the game.

In other words, the second half of this article is built on a foundation of nothing.
 

Crimson_Dragoon

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Nimcha said:
My Commander Shepard would point out to the Catalyst that synthetics and organics were working together to fight the Reapers. She would point out that in her cycle the Geth were dealt with, and in the previous cycle the Protheans had dealt with their own problems with synthetic life and maintained the balance themselves (Javik tells this story in the "From Ashes" DLC). My Shepard would refute the Catalyst's bad solution to a nonexistent problem, and is smart enough to realize that any species which has the insane technology to build devices like the Citadel, and the mass relays, and the Reapers is also smart enough to know how to turn off some, not all, of that system. She would tell the Catalyst to destroy the Reapers and then get the hell out of her way.
This is exactly the destroy option.

Furthermore, your Shepard's points do not disprove the Catalyst's theory. All of those things only happened because Shepard made them happen. And Shepard only made them happen because of the threat of the Reapers. Anderson tells you this word for word in the game.

In other words, the second half of this article is built on a foundation of nothing.
Exactly this. He's claiming there's no choice that he likes, and then asks that there be a choice that there already is. You want to destroy the Reapers? Choose the destroy option. You want them to leave the galaxy? Choose the control option. Both will destroy the mass relays (and yes, this is not explained properly), but it'll get rid of the problem. Its that or let the Reapers kill everyone.
 

Nimcha

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Crimson_Dragoon said:
Both will destroy the mass relays (and yes, this is not explained properly)
No, but it does make sense. In order to be completely free from the Reapers, all Reaper technology must be destroyed. The galaxy must be given a chance to advance to that level on its own.

I do agree this point should probably have been elaborated on by the Catalyst. While it doesn't really make a difference as to what choice Shepard makes, it does provide more insight and could've added more weight to the decision.
 

Pontifex

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Nimcha said:
My Commander Shepard would point out to the Catalyst that synthetics and organics were working together to fight the Reapers. She would point out that in her cycle the Geth were dealt with, and in the previous cycle the Protheans had dealt with their own problems with synthetic life and maintained the balance themselves (Javik tells this story in the "From Ashes" DLC). My Shepard would refute the Catalyst's bad solution to a nonexistent problem, and is smart enough to realize that any species which has the insane technology to build devices like the Citadel, and the mass relays, and the Reapers is also smart enough to know how to turn off some, not all, of that system. She would tell the Catalyst to destroy the Reapers and then get the hell out of her way.
This is exactly the destroy option. You could also choose not to believe the Catalyst, do nothing and watch galactic society being wiped out by the Reapers. I don't think I have to explain why this was not an option.

Furthermore, your Shepard's points do not disprove the Catalyst's theory. All of those things only happened because Shepard made them happen. And Shepard only made them happen because of the threat of the Reapers. Anderson tells you this word for word in the game.

In other words, the second half of this article is built on a foundation of nothing.
No. The Destroy option ends all synthetic life, including the Reapers, the Geth, and EDI. The Catalyst allows this option because it sees it as a solution to the synthetic-organic problem. The option in the article would involve Shepard demonstrating that the Catalyst was wrong, and that peace can be achieved without it and its solution.
 

Nimcha

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Pontifex said:
Nimcha said:
My Commander Shepard would point out to the Catalyst that synthetics and organics were working together to fight the Reapers. She would point out that in her cycle the Geth were dealt with, and in the previous cycle the Protheans had dealt with their own problems with synthetic life and maintained the balance themselves (Javik tells this story in the "From Ashes" DLC). My Shepard would refute the Catalyst's bad solution to a nonexistent problem, and is smart enough to realize that any species which has the insane technology to build devices like the Citadel, and the mass relays, and the Reapers is also smart enough to know how to turn off some, not all, of that system. She would tell the Catalyst to destroy the Reapers and then get the hell out of her way.
This is exactly the destroy option. You could also choose not to believe the Catalyst, do nothing and watch galactic society being wiped out by the Reapers. I don't think I have to explain why this was not an option.

Furthermore, your Shepard's points do not disprove the Catalyst's theory. All of those things only happened because Shepard made them happen. And Shepard only made them happen because of the threat of the Reapers. Anderson tells you this word for word in the game.

In other words, the second half of this article is built on a foundation of nothing.
No. The Destroy option ends all synthetic life, including the Reapers, the Geth, and EDI. The Catalyst allows this option because it sees it as a solution to the synthetic-organic problem. The option in the article would involve Shepard demonstrating that the Catalyst was wrong, and that peace can be achieved without it and its solution.
Ah indeed, good point.

However, that doesn't change the fact the article's points are still wrong for the reason I pointed out. The peace you speak of is only achieved due to the threat of the Reapers. Take that away and the peace would not have been able to arise. In that scenario, the Catalyst's theory is much more likely.

The Catalyst is indeed wrong in the end, and he says so himself, but not for those reasons.
 

Candidus

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Sir, congrats on being the only Escapist columnist to get it absolutely right.

Personally though, I think while a reshoot entails all the negatives you suggested, I'm tempted to treat this literature crime like any real world crime. If you don't want to pay the price, don't pull nasty shit on your fans.

We can agree to disagree.
 

Mike the Bard

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cool idea. looks like bioware got bits and pieces of the ending you suggested in each ending. adding the forth ending would flesh out those ideas like you said.

overall, bioware had some cool ideas, but they couldn't see the forest through all the trees with gaps in logic and a lack of explanation. They left a lot of things to be inferred. they wanted people to think about their ending,and to do that, they would need things to be inferred. Doing that in any writing is actually really, really, tricky. You have to know what to explain to have the narrative make sense. If memory serves right, no-one in the gaming industry has tried something like this. Though a good example from other medias is Issac Asimov's Foundation series. He was a master of giving you enough information for everything to make sense, but hold enough back to keep the sense of wonder to the foundation universe intact.
 

arcticphoenix95

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Nimcha said:
My Commander Shepard would point out to the Catalyst that synthetics and organics were working together to fight the Reapers. She would point out that in her cycle the Geth were dealt with, and in the previous cycle the Protheans had dealt with their own problems with synthetic life and maintained the balance themselves (Javik tells this story in the "From Ashes" DLC). My Shepard would refute the Catalyst's bad solution to a nonexistent problem, and is smart enough to realize that any species which has the insane technology to build devices like the Citadel, and the mass relays, and the Reapers is also smart enough to know how to turn off some, not all, of that system. She would tell the Catalyst to destroy the Reapers and then get the hell out of her way.
This is exactly the destroy option. You could also choose not to believe the Catalyst, do nothing and watch galactic society being wiped out by the Reapers. I don't think I have to explain why this was not an option.

Furthermore, your Shepard's points do not disprove the Catalyst's theory. All of those things only happened because Shepard made them happen. And Shepard only made them happen because of the threat of the Reapers. Anderson tells you this word for word in the game.

In other words, the second half of this article is built on a foundation of nothing.
Not to mention that we don't know about other past civilizations problems with synthetics, we only know about the geth/quarian war and the prothean's war against the Zha'ti, a war that the protheans were "Turning the tide" before the reapers arrived.
 

ResonanceSD

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Yay! The first piece to cover the issue with some sense!

I personally haven't bought ME3, but with all of the noise made about the ending, I don't think I will now =D

EA should hire you, although I bet they'd claim your idea was just too expensive to put in :p
 

WanderingFool

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I think getting rid of the currant endings is stupid. I would like to see additional endings, but im not really going to hold my breath.
 

Candidus

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zpfanatic81195 said:
Nimcha said:
My Commander Shepard would point out to the Catalyst that synthetics and organics were working together to fight the Reapers. She would point out that in her cycle the Geth were dealt with, and in the previous cycle the Protheans had dealt with their own problems with synthetic life and maintained the balance themselves (Javik tells this story in the "From Ashes" DLC). My Shepard would refute the Catalyst's bad solution to a nonexistent problem, and is smart enough to realize that any species which has the insane technology to build devices like the Citadel, and the mass relays, and the Reapers is also smart enough to know how to turn off some, not all, of that system. She would tell the Catalyst to destroy the Reapers and then get the hell out of her way.
This is exactly the destroy option. You could also choose not to believe the Catalyst, do nothing and watch galactic society being wiped out by the Reapers. I don't think I have to explain why this was not an option.

Furthermore, your Shepard's points do not disprove the Catalyst's theory. All of those things only happened because Shepard made them happen. And Shepard only made them happen because of the threat of the Reapers. Anderson tells you this word for word in the game.

In other words, the second half of this article is built on a foundation of nothing.
Not to mention that we don't know about other past civilizations problems with synthetics, we only know about the geth/quarian war and the prothean's war against the Zha'ti, a war that the protheans were "Turning the tide" before the reapers arrived.
People keep making this bad point that the Quarians and Geth only banded together because of the threat of the reapers, and it's just garbage. How can peoples' memories be so bad?

The geth, according to Legion in ME2, have always been open to peace with the quarians; it's simply that the quarians have attacked them 100% of the time; they started the Morning War, drove the Geth to the reapers by committing genocide on them in space, thereby reducing their sapience and perspective, and then only finally being stopped when (in the OPs playthrough) Shepard allows the geth to upgrade themselves.

This is to say, the most dangerous entities in this cycle are *organics*! But I digress in saying that.

Organics change leadership and change their minds all the time. Those who say that the appearance of the reapers are the difference between peace and eternal war between the quarians and the geth don't have a leg to stand on, because as is made explicitly clear in ME2, the geth are open to it no problem.
 

Ilikemilkshake

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SirBryghtside said:
I always found this kind of funny.

"Well SCREW YOU STARKID! I DON'T AGREE WITH ANY OF YOUR OPTIONS, BECAUSE I'M COMMANDER BADASS SHEPARD AND I DO WHATEVER I WANT!"

"Um... okay. Are you... are you sure you don't want to pick any of the options?"

"YEAH!"

"So what are you planning on doing?"

"I'LL SHOOT YOU IN THE HEAD!"

"I'm a ghost, Shepard."

"WELL, THEN... I'll... um... I'LL KILL ALL THE REAPERS WITHOUT YOU!"

"...yeah, good luck with that. I'm sure you have a snowball's chance in hell. Bye, then!"

Come on, the 'Shepard tries to fight the catalyst' idea makes even less sense than the current ending.
That's not the point at all.
The 4th option would be to point out that the catalyst is an idiot and it's logic doesn't hold up.
If it really wanted to protect organics from synthetics they could
A) fuck off and let organics get on with it (you prove this is possible with both EDI and the Geth)
Or
B) If they're so awesome they could actually kill synthetics themselves, rather than kill organics o_O

I mean, Police want to stop criminals from killing innocent people. So do the police go wiping out entire towns of people so that the people won't either be killed by criminals, or some of them become criminals and kill others? No because that would be retarded.. much like everything the catalyst says.
 

Nimcha

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Candidus said:
Edit: I keep messing up quotes.. hang on.

People keep making this bad point that the Quarians and Geth only banded together because of the threat of the reapers, and it's just garbage. How can peoples' memories be so bad?

The geth, according to Legion in ME2, have always been open to peace with the quarians; it's simply that the quarians have attacked them 100% of the time; they started the Morning War, drove the Geth to the reapers by committing genocide on them in space, thereby reducing their sapience and perspective, and then only finally being stopped when (in the OPs playthrough) Shepard allows the geth to upgrade themselves.

This is to say, the most dangerous entities in this cycle are *organics*! But I digress in saying that.

Organics change leadership and change their minds all the time. Those who say that the appearance of the reapers are the difference between peace and eternal war between the quarians and the geth don't have a leg to stand on.
Except it doesn't really matter who starts the war. Legion explains that the geth acted out of self-defense. If the geth come to the consensus that the quarians will never let up (and this is a legitimate possibility, as shown by ME3 and your points) they might come to the decision the only option is genocide. Remember, the war between these two factions has been raging for 300 years before Shepard is even born. Peace has never been in sight. There is nothing indicating there would ever be peace without the necessity of opposing the Reapers. It doesn't matter who the initial aggressor is. If the choice is between your species being wiped out or theirs, you will choose your own.

Also remember that the Reapers already believe organics will destroy themselves eventually by way of creating AI that destroys them.
 

Something Amyss

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Dennis Scimeca said:
Who Really Owns Mass Effect 3?
Honestly, I don't see why ownership is an issue here, and this article (Though I did find it a decent read), did nothing to convince me.

The core of the argument doesn't seem to be about who owns it, but promises v reality and the commercial nature of Bioware's "art."

Though one of the first things that came to mind was Babylon 5's major climax.

That said, we are the audience, actors and (in games like Mass Effect) editors to some extent, but we have no actual propriety in video games. The only real pull we have is commercial. Our say, even in "Sandbox" games is already limited by what they have decided we can do, often with very limited fields of freedom. Same with stories. While Mass Effect 3 promised to be the grandest and most ambitious "choose your own adventure" yet, it's still a choose your own adventure.
 

Dennis Scimeca

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I don't honestly expect BioWare to do something like create my proposed fourth ending, but they could, and that's my point. It's not outrageous for fans to ask them to accommodate them somehow, because this:

http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=15395

And this:

http://doycetesterman.com/index.php/2012/03/mass-effect-tolkein-and-your-bullshit-artistic-process/

And this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MlatxLP-xs&feature=youtu.be


I don't think everyone comprehends just how bad these endings are and why. If we did, I don't think we'd be debating whether asking for a change is justified, and I don't think so many pundits would be outright mocking the fans who are bummed out at how badly one of their favorite franchises of all time ended.


@Zachary -

I chose to address the issue of ownership because it's such a popular retort to the idea of why no change is warranted. I reject the notion that it's okay to ask for a patch to a mechanical bug, to which no one pontificates about artistic integrity, but it's not okay to ask for an alteration to an ending in a video game where constructing the story IS one of the chief mechanics, and there exists formal, narrative analysis to explain why that ending is broken.
 

Candidus

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Nimcha said:
Candidus said:
Edit: I keep messing up quotes.. hang on.

People keep making this bad point that the Quarians and Geth only banded together because of the threat of the reapers, and it's just garbage. How can peoples' memories be so bad?

The geth, according to Legion in ME2, have always been open to peace with the quarians; it's simply that the quarians have attacked them 100% of the time; they started the Morning War, drove the Geth to the reapers by committing genocide on them in space, thereby reducing their sapience and perspective, and then only finally being stopped when (in the OPs playthrough) Shepard allows the geth to upgrade themselves.

This is to say, the most dangerous entities in this cycle are *organics*! But I digress in saying that.

Organics change leadership and change their minds all the time. Those who say that the appearance of the reapers are the difference between peace and eternal war between the quarians and the geth don't have a leg to stand on.
Except it doesn't really matter who starts the war. Legion explains that the geth acted out of self-defense. If the geth come to the consensus that the quarians will never let up (and this is a legitimate possibility, as shown by ME3 and your points) they might come to the decision the only option is genocide. Remember, the war between these two factions has been raging for 300 years before Shepard is even born. Peace has never been in sight. There is nothing indicating there would ever be peace without the necessity of opposing the Reapers. It doesn't matter who the initial aggressor is. If the choice is between your species being wiped out or theirs, you will choose your own.

Also remember that the Reapers already believe organics will destroy themselves eventually by way of creating AI that destroys them.
Eugh, don't remind me.

Creating synthetics to kill us every 50,000 years so we won't be killed by synthetics. The repears' belief turns them from one among the best videogame villains ever to the most ridiculous and awfully written in three seconds of dialogue.

But no, I don't accept your argument as a whole. The only way in which the reapers even factor in to Shepard's peace brokering is as a mechanic for bringing the geth back from the brink after the destruction of their dreadnaught and the destroyer on Rannok. Say you preserved the re-written heretics, refused Tali the data, counselled against war in ME2 and allowed Legion to warn geth. Even without the repears, the geth and Shepard are in a position to force a peace under similar circumstances- the splendid 'or else' basis. (*hey, I'm only making as many assumptions as you here).

My point is, you say the repears argument has any sort of integrity- despite being a self defeating logical fallacy to begin with- because they're directly responsible for Shepard being able to make the peace. That's just not true.

Their only contribution is their code. Their code is simply a biword for "insurmountable advantage that forces the more warlike and irrational quarians into a peace". Well, there are other ways, such as numbers and Shepard's sabotage of the quarians over several games (which was my approach) to create such an advantage.

That advantage, and not the reapers specifically, is all that was required by the story.
 

Nimcha

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Candidus said:
Eugh, don't remind me.

Creating synthetics to kill us every 50,000 years so we won't be killed by synthetics. The repears' belief turns them from one among the best videogame villains ever to the most ridiculous and awfully written in three seconds of dialogue.
No. Only advanced organics are harvested/destroyed. It's a simple, but vital distinction. You accuse people of being forgetful when you can't remember the most important part of the Reapers' motivation.

But no, I don't accept your argument as a whole. The only way in which the reapers even factor in to Shepard's peace brokering is as a mechanic for bringing the geth back from the brink after the destruction of their dreadnaught and the destroyer on Rannok. Say you preserved the re-written heretics, refused Tali the data, counselled against war in ME2 and allowed Legion to warn geth. Even without the repears, the geth and Shepard are in a position to force a peace under similar circumstances- the splendid 'or else' basis. (*hey, I'm only making as many assumptions as you here).

My point is, you say the repears argument has any sort of integrity- despite being a self defeating logical fallacy to begin with- because they're directly responsible for Shepard being able to make the peace. That's just not true.

Their only contribution is their code. Their code is simply a biword for "insurmountable advantage that forces the more warlike and irrational quarians into a peace". Well, there are other ways, such as numbers and Shepard's sabotage of the quarians over several games (which was my approach) to create such an advantage.

That advantage, and not the reapers specifically, is all that was required by the story.
Nice try. But all of that is only possible with Shepard. And Shepard only factors in the story because of the Reapers. No Reapers means no Shepard having any incentive, motivation or possibility to even attempt any of that. There is absolutely no evidence to support the claim that without Shepard interfering the geth and quarians would have been able to make peace. And the only reason Shepard is interfering is, indeed, the emergence of the Reapers.