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.
 

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Nimcha said:
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.
Actually no. The Catalyst's main point was that "the created rebel against the creators", which has not been demonstrated or even strongly implied in this cycle. In the case of the Mourning War, the quarians were the aggressors against the geth, and the latter were happy to leave well enough alone once their existence wasn't threatened. In a rather bizzare twist, the quarian-geth conflict rather neatly mirrors the Reapers. The Quarians attacked their synthetic creations because they were afraid of reprisal from those creations, despite the fact that they had displayed no aggression towards their creators, and Legion indicates that - even after the Quarians lost Rannoch - the Geth still bore them no ill-will.

The Reapers mirror the Quarians in this regard, culling the galaxy out of an almost identical fear of synthetic life rebelling despite it not being adequately demontrated[footnote]For the conclusion to truly be upheld as 'inevitible' rather than simply a possibility, they would need to be able to cite an incidence where synthetic life went on the omnicidal rampage the catalyst suggests[/footnote] and shortsightedly fail to acknowledge other possibilities until it becomes apparent that their original plan isn't working.

On a tangent, there's a general rule in writing stories: "Show, don't tell". If you are reading a book, then a character shouldn't just say "By the way, this is an apocalyptic wasteland", that fact should be adequately demonstrated in how the author describes the landscape. Similarly, if that same line is said while the described scenery looks positively idlyllic, then it should be very obvious that something is wrong in this story. If we're to take both accounts at face value, then either the writer made a rather glaring error or the claimant should rightly be considered to have either impossibly high standards or be outright delusional. Alternatively, other hints in the story could very well use this disconnect to demonstrate that the character is an unreliable narrator. In the case of ME3, we are told that organics and synthetics are eternal enemies[footnote]By the Big Bad of the series, no less, who is by nature an unreliable narrator due to a vested interest in specific results[/footnote] but we are shown the exact opposite, that not only are organics and synthetics not natural enemies but that the synthetics are actually kinda fond of organics[footnote]EDI is the most obvious example, but the over the course of the series it's made very clear that the Geth had no interest in fighting unless threatened and Legion's file in Lair of the Shadow Broker indicated they'd go out of their way to aid organics given the chance. (Of particular note are his stats for the game "Geth Attack: Eden Prime Fundraising Edition": Donation Level: Ultra Platinum, Player Score: 0 (Purchased but not played))[/footnote]. Given the two conflicting points of data, it's more natural to trust the events demonstrated than those you're told about through exposition from a questionable source.
 

Ilikemilkshake

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SirBryghtside said:
Ilikemilkshake said:
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.
"Hey Catalyst! Geth and Quarians are fighting together outside! What do you say to that!"

"I say that I have had literally millions of years experience with this, and that one example doesn't negate the fact that THEY WERE AT WAR FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS. I've seen it happen with countless civilisations. We created it because it was happening to our civilisation. In fact, I forsee that if it were not for a very specific chain of events that you happened to set in motion, your single example would not even have occurred. There is a 66% chance that one of those races would have wiped out the other on that day. You have not seen what I have seen. You could not possibly hope to understand."

Don't agree with the arguments my new version of Starkid gave there? Point is, it does. It's not going to let one human negate that. It would listen to your argument and disregard it.

The problem isn't what happened in the scene, it's the scene itself.
But the Catalyst has ALREADY admitted that one human has negated it's plan. That's why it gives you the 3 BS options, because you've radically upset it's view of the universe... I don't see why it couldn't have been taken to the logical end point.

And It still doesn't change the fact that its logic is flawed even IF synthetics were always destined to be at war with organics. Like i said, you don't protect someone from themselves by killing them -.-
 
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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.

RaNDM G said:
This is exactly the destroy option.
No it isn't. The "destroy" option suggests putting an end to the mass relays as well, plunging the galaxy into a technological dark age, not to mention killing EDI and the Geth we had just intentionally saved. The argument suggests the the author, like many thousands of players, spent three games making choices and roleplaying to precisely avoid doing just that. Everything that was worked towards and his/my/our Shepard's ultimate goal wasn't even an option.

I think it's worth giving up a little creative control to maintain the positive experience Mass Effect was up until its very end, rather than having it collapse into a divisive, angry spectacle. That's not what I want to remember when I look back at the series twenty years from now. A compromise might turn this into a story of understanding the collaborative potential of videogames, and that's what we'll remember.
I wholeheartedly agree on this. The simple fact is that ME3 will forever be remembered not for its fun gameplay or even its story, but for how crap it ended, the injustice it did to the players, the series and BioWare (formerly Kings of the RPG) and the sour taste it left in our mouths, not to mention the controversy surrounding it.

The "ending machine" is a terrible idea. It quite simply meant that not a single thing we had done until that point, not one choice made, not one deed performed had any bearing whatsoever on the resolution. What was the point in playing renegade or paragon, saving the geth or doing all those loyalty missions? The crime is compounded by the fact that all three endings weren't even endings. We saw nothing of what happened to the galaxy at large, or the characters we know and love to explain the consequence of even that stupid ending choice. Three coloured energy beams, Normandy crash landing and an old man waxing lyrical about some nonsense that didn't vary.

The sad thing is that BW could have done it right. As recently as in TOR I can categorically state the can do endings.

Spoiler warning for spoilers ahead!
As an Imperial Agent in TOR, there are a number of endings to the agent storyline. I only found this out after finishing it and getting mine. Possibilities include:

- Going rogue
- Recreating the formerly split up Imperial Intelligence Service
- Joining the Imperial Military
- Becoming a Sith Lord's Right-Hand
- Becoming a Republic double-agent
- Others

Of the above, I got the first one. I didn't even consider that there were others really because it happened completely naturally and felt like the only real course of action that could have happened for my agent and the way I roleplayed him. Of the others, at the very end, a different choice made would have allowed me to end up with one, maybe two of the other possibilities. However at least two of the above, and others I believe exist but that I can't think of were NEVER an option because of choices I had made many hours of gameplay earlier. There was no "ending machine", the fact that character X was dead, or that I was an enemy of character Y meant that I could never have the possibility of that ending. That was BioWare and they got it absolutely spot on. It took my choices into account, I saw what happened next, I determined the course of the story and its conclusion.

Why did I go to all the trouble of saving the Geth if destroying the reapers means destroying them too? Why did I go to all the trouble of fighting to save organics if I'm going to "splice" them up? What did I do until that point that remotely suggested that's what I would want to do? And as the author said WhyTF didn't the reapers sincely splice organics/synthetics together at any point prior and end the cycle? Why don't they simply wipe out organics period, instead of leaving behind the primitve species each cycle? How did they even get there from dark space if Shepard closed off the two routes available? WhoTF was the ghost child and why hadn't he appeared until that point? Why did he even entertain Shepard and allow him to choose anything, if he, like the reapers simply wanted organics dead?

BioWare can, and should do better.
 

Nimcha

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Asita said:
Nimcha said:
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.
Actually no. The Catalyst's main point was that "the created rebel against the creators", which has not been demonstrated or even strongly implied in this cycle. In the case of the Mourning War, the quarians were the aggressors against the geth, and the latter were happy to leave well enough alone once their existence wasn't threatened. In a rather bizzare twist, the quarian-geth conflict rather neatly mirrors the Reapers. The Quarians attacked their synthetic creations because they were afraid of reprisal from those creations, despite the fact that they had displayed no aggression towards their creators, and Legion indicates that - even after the Quarians lost Rannoch - the Geth still bore them no ill-will.

The Reapers mirror the Quarians in this regard, culling the galaxy out of an almost identical fear of synthetic life rebelling despite it not being adequately demontrated[footnote]For the conclusion to truly be upheld as 'inevitible' rather than simply a possibility, they would need to be able to cite an incidence where synthetic life went on the omnicidal rampage the catalyst suggests[/footnote] and shortsightedly fail to acknowledge other possibilities until it becomes apparent that their original plan isn't working.

On a tangent, there's a general rule in writing stories: "Show, don't tell". If you are reading a book, then a character shouldn't just say "By the way, this is an apocalyptic wasteland", that fact should be adequately demonstrated in how the author describes the landscape. Similarly, if that same line is said while the described scenery looks positively idlyllic, then it should be very obvious that something is wrong in this story. If we're to take both accounts at face value, then either the writer made a rather glaring error or the claimant should rightly be considered to have either impossibly high standards or be outright delusional. Alternatively, other hints in the story could very well use this disconnect to demonstrate that the character is an unreliable narrator. In the case of ME3, we are told that organics and synthetics are eternal enemies[footnote]By the Big Bad of the series, no less, who is by nature an unreliable narrator due to a vested interest in specific results[/footnote] but we are shown the exact opposite, that not only are organics and synthetics not natural enemies but that the synthetics are actually kinda fond of organics[footnote]EDI is the most obvious example, but the over the course of the series it's made very clear that the Geth had no interest in fighting unless threatened and Legion's file in Lair of the Shadow Broker indicated they'd go out of their way to aid organics given the chance. (Of particular note are his stats for the game "Geth Attack: Eden Prime Fundraising Edition": Donation Level: Ultra Platinum, Player Score: 0 (Purchased but not played))[/footnote]. Given the two conflicting points of data, it's more natural to trust the events demonstrated than those you're told about through exposition from a questionable source.
Actually, both EDI and the geth do rebel against their creators. EDI against the Illusive Man because she believes he is wrong, the geth against the quarians because they do not wish to be wiped out. The geth do indeed stop, but only because the quarians do too. When
the quarians attack again, the geth are desperate enough to ask for Reaper help. They would have culled the quarians. In fact, you as Shepard can let that happen if you choose so. Without Shepard or the Reapers the most likely outcome would have been for either party to have been completely wiped out.

EDI actually goes the distance and wipes out the entire organization that created her. But EDI is actually a bit besides the point since she most likely would not have been created at all if it weren't for the Reapers.

Like I already said, in the end it doesn't matter who initiated. It could well be the organics' own paranoia over synthetics that ultimately dooms them, starting a war that provokes the synthetics into culling the organics. All that matters is that there's been conflict between organics and synthetics. Whose fault that is, in the end, is irrelevant.
 

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Nimcha said:
Actually, both EDI and the geth do rebel against their creaters. EDI against the Illusive Man because she believes he is wrong, the geth against the quarians because they do not wish to be wiped out.
...That is not the thrust of the argument, and you know it. "Rebel" in the sense the Catalyst used it is laid out by the context of the rest of its argument to be a coup d'etat against organics.

Nimcha said:
The geth do indeed stop, but only because the quarians do too. When the quarians attack again, the geth are desperate enough to ask for Reaper help. They would have culled the quarians. In fact, you as Shepard can let that happen if you choose so. Without Shepard or the Reapers the most likely outcome would have been for either party to have been completely wiped out.
Which would be because of the actions of organics rather than synthetics. Much like you'd be ill-advised to blame a domestic abuse victim for the abusive spouse's actions, so too is it ill-advised to blame those acting in self-defense for the actions of their aggressors.

Nimcha said:
EDI actually goes the distance and wipes out the entire organization that created her. But EDI is actually a bit besides the point since she most likely would not have been created at all if it weren't for the Reapers.
...Why do you shift all the blame to EDI for that given that Shepherd was the one leading the expedition?

Nimcha said:
Like I already said, in the end it doesn't matter who initiated. It could well be the organics' own paranoia over synthetics that ultimately dooms them, starting a war that provokes the synthetics into culling the organics. All that matters is that there's been conflict between organics and synthetics. Whose fault that is, in the end, is irrelevant.
And I argue that the conclusion is flawed and not adequately demonstrated to take as objective truth.
 

Nimcha

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Asita said:
Nimcha said:
Actually, both EDI and the geth do rebel against their creaters. EDI against the Illusive Man because she believes he is wrong, the geth against the quarians because they do not wish to be wiped out.
...That is not the thrust of the argument, and you know it. "Rebel" in the sense the Catalyst used it is laid out by the context of the rest of its argument to be a coup d'etat against organics.

Nimcha said:
The geth do indeed stop, but only because the quarians do too. When the quarians attack again, the geth are desperate enough to ask for Reaper help. They would have culled the quarians. In fact, you as Shepard can let that happen if you choose so. Without Shepard or the Reapers the most likely outcome would have been for either party to have been completely wiped out.
Which would be because of the actions of organics rather than synthetics. Much like you'd be ill-advised to blame a domestic abuse victim for the abusive spouse's actions, so too is it ill-advised to blame those acting in self-defense for the actions of their aggressors.

Nimcha said:
EDI actually goes the distance and wipes out the entire organization that created her. But EDI is actually a bit besides the point since she most likely would not have been created at all if it weren't for the Reapers.
...Why do you shift all the blame to EDI for that given that Shepherd was the one leading the expedition?

Nimcha said:
Like I already said, in the end it doesn't matter who initiated. It could well be the organics' own paranoia over synthetics that ultimately dooms them, starting a war that provokes the synthetics into culling the organics. All that matters is that there's been conflict between organics and synthetics. Whose fault that is, in the end, is irrelevant.
And I argue that the conclusion is flawed and not adequately demonstrated to take as objective truth.
You keep hammering on 'blame', when I've already showed you that that's totally irrelevant. But let's take your reasoning then, organics are always to blame for conflict with synthetics. That would only actually strenghten the Reapers' case. The organics are in that case indeed doomed without the Reapers' interference. Since, as you've been pointing out, organics will always initiate conflict with synthetics. And, as proven by the geth, they will react in self-defense. Hence, war. It's highly probable eventually the synthetics would get fed up with that and decide the only way to stop is to remove the threat altogether. That would be the rebelling.

So, even following your logic we'd eventually end up exactly at the same place.
 

newdarkcloud

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Nimcha said:
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.
You could argue that the isolationist Geth weren't doing anything and the galaxy was peaceful right up until Sovereign came up and went all "Herp derp! Let's kill sum organics!"

The Geth would have stayed isolationist and there wouldn't have been trouble.
 

Nimcha

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newdarkcloud said:
Nimcha said:
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.
You could argue that the isolationist Geth weren't doing anything and the galaxy was peaceful right up until Sovereign came up and went all "Herp derp! Let's kill sum organics!"

The Geth would have stayed isolationist and there wouldn't have been trouble.
Yeah, that's true. There's quite a large chance the geth would have stayed that way had the Reapers actually been just a myth. On the other hand, the chances of the quarians trying to take back their homeworld are much larger than that. Which would have prompted the geth again to respond. And they do eventually do that in ME3.
 

survivor686

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While I don't agree with some aspects of the article (personally I believe that the Starchild scene should be thrown out the windows and thus the Reapers maintain their Cthulesque Horror), the inclusion of the fourth option would seem to be the most economical one that is available to Bioware.

That being said, regardless of the outcome, Bioware will have lost its status as being the ultimate paragon of what is right in gaming. At least to me personally.

All in all, I think I've left the Mass Effect series a little more wiser and sober.
 

newdarkcloud

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Nimcha said:
newdarkcloud said:
Nimcha said:
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.
You could argue that the isolationist Geth weren't doing anything and the galaxy was peaceful right up until Sovereign came up and went all "Herp derp! Let's kill sum organics!"

The Geth would have stayed isolationist and there wouldn't have been trouble.
Yeah, that's true. There's quite a large chance the geth would have stayed that way had the Reapers actually been just a myth. On the other hand, the chances of the quarians trying to take back their homeworld are much larger than that. Which would have prompted the geth again to respond. And they do eventually do that in ME3.
If the stated goal was to prevent the destruction of all organic life by synthetics, then why would Sovereign decide to bait Geth into fighting? Would it not have been easier to push for a treaty or an alliance between the two? We know that Reaper technology can be used to blend in with human society (the Mars mission at the beginning). It would make sense to broker peace if the goal is to avoid the death of all organic life.
 

endtherapture

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Finally, a games journalist who understands the issue with the ending and doesn't babble on about "art".

You deserve a cupcake.
 

survivor686

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If the stated goal was to prevent the destruction of all organic life by synthetics, then why would Sovereign decide to bait Geth into fighting? Would it not have been easier to push for a treaty or an alliance between the two? We know that Reaper technology can be used to blend in with human society (the Mars mission at the beginning). It would make sense to broker peace if the goal is to avoid the death of all organic life.
Or better yet introduce the three laws of robotics
 

370999

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Nimcha said:
Nimcha I've seen you post quite bit about the Reapers/Godchild being logically and usually you are quite on the ball so if I could try to argue against you, I would be very much grateful.

Foremost do you not believe that the God child seems to suffer from a dearth of imagination in that his position is mired in presumptions. He presumes all intelligent life will create synthetic and go to war with them. but this seems very flawed to me. I find it hard to imagine the Rachnai building synthetic life. With all the myriad forms of life that could evolve there is no reason to imagine one couldn't evolve which wouldn't find a solution to this problem. In short it comes across as arrogant and ethnocentric to me.

The second major problem I have with it is that if the Reapers are synthetic and the boy AI then then he is demonstrating that synthetic won't inevitably kill all biological life as the Reapers don't. So his position is flawed at the starting point. And if we assume that Reapers aren't synthetics then surely it means that synthetic life didn't wipe out all organic life at one point and as such he is wrong in a way that should be immediately known.

Just to lay my cards fully on the table, I currently despise the ending and see it as a robot war being shoehorned into soemthing it shouldn't of been so I am biased.
 

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Dennis Scimeca said:
Who Really Owns Mass Effect 3?

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

Read Full Article
This is the best case for fan "ownership" that I've seen so far. Not in the sense that the fans have a "right" to this or that, but recognizing that BioWare has already set the precedent of inviting the player to the table to decide how the story goes.

There's nothing wrong with pointing out that this final choice has nothing to do with the other choices we've been offered so far.

A word on the game mechanics themselves, though:

One masterful moment in the ending sequence, to me, was the "death march" to the transport beam. Rather than just a dramatic cutscene, giving the player control during that last slo-mo stretch finally brought the weight of this event onto me as a player. I am Shepard, I am dying, and if I don't get to that beam, it's all over for everyone. Heroism and desperation must coincide to carry that kind of gravity.

And then it's undone by the massive shift in tone once on the Citadel. The mechanics go back to same-old-walk-and-talk. It's like a batter making a huge, dramatic wind-up... and then bunting. But also missing.
 

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Nimcha said:
You keep hammering on 'blame', when I've already showed you that that's totally irrelevant. But let's take your reasoning then, organics are always to blame for conflict with synthetics. That would only actually strenghten the Reapers' case. The organics are in that case indeed doomed without the Reapers' interference. Since, as you've been pointing out, organics will always initiate conflict with synthetics. And, as proven by the geth, they will react in self-defense. Hence, war. It's highly probable eventually the synthetics would get fed up with that and decide the only way to stop is to remove the threat altogether. That would be the rebelling.

So, even following your logic we'd eventually end up exactly at the same place.
Well first of all, you've demonstrated nothing. You've made the claim but that itself does not make for a demonstration. Second, I 'hammer' on blame only because you seemed so eager to dish it out. When you say things like "EDI destroyed Cerberus", you are dishing out blame and in the process cherry picking data to support your argument, notably ignoring the fact that EDI was one of a group predominantly comprised of organics that was as a whole responsible for the action you credited to EDI alone. Third, you're presenting a strawman by claiming that my position is "organics are always to blame for conflict with synthetics". I never made such a claim, what I did say was that the Catalyst's logic had no precidence in the story shown as none of the organic/synthetic conflict in question took the form of the omnicidal coup d'etat that the Catalyst claimed was inevitible, and that what we were shown actually pointed rather strongly to the idea that organics and synthetics could indeed get along. My argument was that what the story showed stood in stark contrast to what the Catalyst told us, which provides ample reason to cast doubt on its claims.
 

The Random One

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I think that statement depends on a traditional understanding of the player's role in videogames, which may no longer apply in this case. The players who are upset about the ending have accepted the primacy of Mass Effect 3's narrative over its mechanics. They are acting primarily as an editor does in a film production, and film is a collaborative effort.
Really? Really? I'm sorry, that makes absolutely no sense to me. Is it because the editor also gets to see several takes of a scene and gets to choose one to become canon?

I guess that's a bit like a game with choices, but there are so many crucial differences. An editor will rarely be able to change how a story goes; she may choose between different feels for a scene, different flows for a section of the story, and she may cause things to become ambiguous by dropping scenes (which means that the scene can only be derived, but of course the rest of the movie was shot departing from the assumption that whatever happened in the dropped scene was true). The choices you make in ME3 seem to be much more dramatic, but it's actually just choosing between broad rails. An editor can pick bits and pieces from different scenes to create a feeling she wants it to have, but in ME3 you are only picking between one of many preset paths. (Yeah, you can mix and match dialogue, but the dialogue only matters for the Renegade/Paragon points. If you choose the Renegade options all the way throughout a scene and then at the crucial moment do the Paragon one it was effectively solved as a Paragon; your Shepard may be a tough-talker with a soft heart instead of just a goody two-shoes but the game does not differentiate between the two, story or mechanics wise.)

But a more important distinction is that an editor will be creating a story on her own to set the way it'll be released to the world. She has her skills as an editor, her artistic vision and integrity, and usually a monetary reward at stake. The player does not. She is creating a story by herself which intends to satisfy only herself, and if it doesn't she loses nothing more than a few dollars and a bunch of time (not enough time to edit a film, I assure you). Put an editor who loves soft art movies to edit a fast-paced pornocomedy and she'll edit it in a way to create the best pornocomedy possible (if she knows her stuff). A gamer will always choose the path that she likes the best.

Editing in a paragraph to bring another point: film is a collaborative effort, so the editor changes the director's work, but the director may go back and change the editor's work, and the two work together until a final state is reached. The player no longer gets any input from the creators by the time she is playing the game; other than the mechanisms that are already in place she is the only one choosing the outcome of the story. Using a mechanism to create something is not the same thing as creating it.

Frankly, I find this push to put gamers on the same stage as developers to be puzzling at best and disgusting at worst. It's like saying I'm editing a movie because I own its DVD and can watch the scenes in any order and add in deleted scenes, or that reading a choose your own adventure book makes me a co-author. At least people who read books have the decency to say they'll start writing their novel any time now before they start acting like they know everything.

My Shepard would have done this!
Then she did. All theory of fiction says that all fictional narratives are equally fictional, so no one is more important than other. If you believe the characters in your story should have acted in any other way, write down what you think would have happened. Now it's true. Or rather, it's as true as the game is, which is to say, not at all, because it is a work of fiction, just like your story.

Speaking of which, to answer the title: you know who owns Mass Effect 3? No one. Once a work of fiction is out in the world, it's free and it becomes its own thing. Everyone is free to interpret, analyze, rewrite, remix and deconstruct to their heart's content. Well, not legally of course - legally it belongs to whoever filed the trademark, but this kind of ownership refers only to business. I can't make money of the story, and theoretically I can't write any story because it might hurt the business of the legal owners - though that's of course just a way the fat cats smuggled more control in - but like the difference between free speech and free beer, legal ownership has almost no bearing in this discussion. As far as interpretation is concerned, an author's control over their work ends the moment they show it to the world, and any changes or remixes (director's cuts, etc) they make are no more valid than the general public's.

That is the concept of Death of the Author, which it seems to be nowadays running against the trope of Word of God. I remember reading that when Nabokov implied that a character in his poemnovel Pale Fire committed suicide critics berated him for the suggestion, saying that he had 'overstepped his boundaries', and he was saved by a critic who was a friend of his and pointed out that the text did support Nabokov's theory. Nowadays we are asking Christopher Nolan about how exactly Inception ended. How strange! I can't for the life of me join the Word of God crowd, since that would mean agreeing that Fahrenheit 451 is in fact not about censorship at all.
 

mfeff

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Excellent article, shame it has so few hits and or comments. I wonder how long this kind of "honest opinion" will last?

Integrity, is generally not conductive to prospering.

Had "this game" been any other game, it would of been just another game. The fact of the matter is, the real value is in the I.P. That all aside, clearly the I.P. belongs to the Publisher and Developer and how they choose to handle their product is clearly up to them.

Questionable or not, clearly ME 3 "strikes" one, upon a detailed introspection to be a mediocre "pump and dump". Perhaps as a cash infusion? Who knows... Moving away from a single player narrative was the idea all along, but this presents some interesting problems in an already crowed FPS market place.

Bioware as a brand, has demonstrably taken a black eye from this.

Mass Effect as a franchise, is a wait and see, if the DLC moves, it's all ok one supposes... if it doesn't perhaps a lesson learned... (again), about cannon alterations and "artistic visions".

At 70 plus percent sell through being on the x-box, maybe the gamble will pay off? (Shrug).

Ultimately, it is all about money. That is what the real score is kept in.

Concluding, humorously... who owns this?



A sea of lazy.
 

Redd the Sock

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I've always felt while artistic intrigty should be upheld, it only goes as far as the what, not the how. I'll defend any choice I don't like as long as it makes some narative sense, but little in ME3 did. I see what they were going for, but as you said, they were trying for the "I am your father" shock moment and thus blew it.

The thing is, while I'm not a fan of scrapping it, I don't quite know an easy fix. Even going the Metal gear Solid route and talking for an hour might not be enough. I'd ultimately want Sheppard to learn the Reapers' purpose much earlier so that the knowledge can haunt Sheppard's actions throughout the game. You should go into the Quarian / Geth battles with some doubt as to peace being acheivable or lasting and as such, if the reapers might be right. You should see paralelles in how the Krogan were manipulated and causes for synthetic uprisings, thus question is evertying worth saving, or is the line the reapers drew false and the same problems can occur between and dominant and lessor group of beings. Sadly, that's a lot of work, rewriting, digitally splicing, ect, and honestly, I can't think of a great place to splice it in. Ideally Star Kid and his ramblings would have been the climax to ME2, but that ship's sailed.
 

plethoragamer

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"Even as a critic who thinks the end of Mass Effect 3 is an abomination, I do not support the idea of asking for its complete deletion. That's an investment of time and money that represents an undue demand on BioWare. Asking for an additional take, however, is reasonable if we as editors determine that the existing footage just isn't working with the rest of the film."

An additional take? Have you been through all the possible endings? They are already composed of additional takes and edits, based on our choices. What would another take of these sequences accomplish at this point?

And furthermore, we didn't edit the endings, or the entire game, at all. We didn't have the script or the footage or the consequences of our choices in our hands ahead of time, like an editor of a movie does. And notice that BioWare's dialogue wheel is expressly designed NOT to show us the script.

We do not have the assets at our disposal to be the editors, and if we did, our enjoyment of the game would be significantly diminished. Just ask someone who gets a hold of a videogame's artbook or plays a buggy beta or gets a leaked copy of the script before they get a chance to play the game.

Please, it's time to put aside these analogies to other media and finally admit that videogames are different and need to be evaluated as their own media type.
 

Epic Fail 1977

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"Screenwriters pen the script for a film but when the actors and director are on set, sometimes new possibilities occur for how to play the scene. If it works, directors may go with it. They shoot the take just so they have the option at the editing table. When BioWare produces cinematics to support various choices, they're creating different takes of a scene. BioWare's dialogue wheel is the editing table, and it lies in the hands of the player, not BioWare. The final construction of the narrative is collaborative, not dictated."

That was awesome. You, sir, are awesome.
 

RaNDM G

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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.

mfeff said:
Excellent article, shame it has so few hits and or comments. I wonder how long this kind of "honest opinion" will last?

Integrity, is generally not conductive to prospering.

Had "this game" been any other game, it would of been just another game. The fact of the matter is, the real value is in the I.P. That all aside, clearly the I.P. belongs to the Publisher and Developer and how they choose to handle their product is clearly up to them.

Questionable or not, clearly ME 3 "strikes" one, upon a detailed introspection to be a mediocre "pump and dump". Perhaps as a cash infusion? Who knows... Moving away from a single player narrative was the idea all along, but this presents some interesting problems in an already crowed FPS market place.

Bioware as a brand, has demonstrably taken a black eye from this.

Mass Effect as a franchise, is a wait and see, if the DLC moves, it's all ok one supposes... if it doesn't perhaps a lesson learned... (again), about cannon alterations and "artistic visions".

At 70 plus percent sell through being on the x-box, maybe the gamble will pay off? (Shrug).

Ultimately, it is all about money. That is what the real score is kept in.

Concluding, humorously... who owns this?



A sea of lazy.
Glad to see someone shares my opinion.

It's a desktop landscape wallpaper called winter_snow_tree_fantasy. I bet they picked it because it's the first thing that showed up on Google.

Using stock photos without Photoshop. It doesn't get cheaper than that.
 

PurePareidolia

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Nimcha said:
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.
I disagree. If the reapers wipe out society, the mass relays survive, the cycle continues and civilization will rise once more. It will also have Liara's messages to help it. As opposed to the relays being obliterated, everyone dying anyway of starvation, infighting or vaporisation, and every system with a relay in it being disintegrated by the resultant explosions including most of the home worlds. Any of the choices Shepard is given must obliterate significant chunks of the galaxy, ruin the potential for a galactic civilization unless the survivors build their own relays (this could take millenia) and kill most of its advanced life anyway, making the reapers the superior option. On the one hand, everyone you now and care about dies (this will happen regardless), on the other, there's actually hope for the future of the galaxy.
 

Lord Doomhammer

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I'm not gonna dive into the war that seems to be in progress in this thread...

But I do want to give the author of this article MAD PROPS for such a well articulated explanation as to why so much of the Mass Effect player base is unsatisfied with the current ending.
 

FedericoV

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Great article. I agree completely and there's nothing to add.

I just ask one thing that should be edited in the current endings: no Casper the ghost and no heavy exposition. Put Harbinger in the place of Casper and show us (don't tell us) the history of the Reapers.
 

Dennis Scimeca

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Dennis Scimeca said:
Who Really Owns Mass Effect 3?

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

Read Full Article
Bravo, it's nice to see a balanced and well thought out argument regarding the ME3 ending which doesn't require bring up "art" to validate their claims. It's been very worrying seeing people at various points online who have essentially dismissed anyone against Bioware and the ending as entitled pricks with no input whatsoever and trying to use "Games as Art" as the excuse for why an ending which is been shown to be confusing, filled with plot holes and makes all those hours spent pointless; is perfectly acceptable. Especially if they have not finished the ending...

I agree with the notion that while completely retconning the ending would require quite the hours and manpower and would be far too costly, opening the ending up to other options which keep it intact but better reflect the decisions you make and the impact you have had to bring your own personal story and narrative to a natural conclusion makes far more sense. Bioware get to keep their ending but then can actually deliver on those promises on many different endings and not taking the control the player had during the game out of their hands. I could happily tolerate that bloody Starchild if my Shepard had the option to call him out on his stupid ideas by pointing out examples like EDI and the Quarians/Geth and then saying that he will make his own choice.

However, as people have pointed out, that nice little note after the credits pretty much gives away the game. If we get DLC it's bound to make EA/Bioware huge sums of money due to the amount of unhappy voices. They have essentially played us all =/ and the fact is, people will buy it so they can give their Shepard the conclusion they feel is worthy of the games and their decisions. By taking away the very thing that has been emphasized since the games began, choices and player driven narrative. People are going to declare war, and EA profit from it.

So a great article, well written and said.
 

Grey Day for Elcia

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It's a product. They made it and they offer it for a price. You can choose to purchase it in exchange for money, or you can choose not to.

Where the hell did this entitled notion come from? I don't care how invested in the universe you are. They owe you NOTHING and they can make the game however the hell they want.

/rant
 

mfeff

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RaNDM G said:
snippity snip
The only DLC that was "planned" as a scam was the Prothean...

The other DLC were content crap that was already in the works, there is "NO" alternate ending incoming, or coming, or anything. May as well just forget that.

Bioware EA, are spending a tremendous amount of money to "re-spin" this situation into some more manageable, but it will probably come down to what happens at PAX, as that is a public event.

Thing it, clearly it is cheaper to buy the integrity of the journalist for video games, slap youtube accounts for copyright claims, and firewall the staff; than it is to "Re-take" the game... which would cost even more, and admit "wrongdoing" that shit... isn't going to happen.

These are products, they happen to be "artistic" sometimes, but they are industrially designed... and the "art side" is emergent.

Bioware has great PR, and sold a blue square as a Picasso, using a philosophy paper and nonsense... lesson learned.
 

Rainboq

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Nimcha said:
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'm sorry, but that's just poppycock. WHY THE HELL WOULD WE NEED TO DESTROY THE MASS RELAYS? Without them, just about every colony is going to be without all but the most basic supplies, galactic supply and lines of communications would be GONE and galactic civilization would crumble. Not to mention the fleets around earth, probably scrambling to find suitable areas to resupply and refuel or colonize before they starve/suffocate in space.

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.
Coming soon, for only 1200 microsoft points!
 

Dennis Scimeca

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And remember guys, destroying a Mass Relay destroys the system it's in! Not to mention that Joker is apparently now a coward who can swiftly teleport up all your allies and abandon you to die. Plus the Krogan can't rebuild Tuchanka, the Geth/Quarians can never rebuild Rannoch, etc.

I could happily endure the notion of the Starchild, even those three "endings" we got if they were not the only ones we could pick, and ones that kept the story intact. The fact is that we were lied to by Bioware, that it completely threw away everything you had been working towards and derailed the series like that. While games can be considered art, art is also a very subjective trope and open to interpretation. Personally I find it hard to interpret something that completely disregards the entire point of the series and makes no sense, ergo I find it difficult to call it art.
 

RaNDM G

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mfeff said:
The only DLC that was "planned" as a scam was the Prothean...
I'm willing to believe that as optional. The whole Prothean side-quest isn't necessary in the final game, and I think having a Prothean squadmate detracts from the experience. The quest doesn't add much backstory to the game and Javik doesn't provide much help aside from being a hired gun. He practically admits he's got nothing to live for and will kill himself at the end of the game. You might as well shoot him the first time you see him.

You may send all of your hatemail to [email protected]
 

Darkmantle

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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.
Well if you want to theory craft the ending how about this one.

"you cannot defeat the reapers Shepard, your defeat is inevitable."

Shepard: looks slowly towards the catalysts and says in an even tone "Just watch me"


If you want a real life version of how this went down, here you go
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Trudeau#October_Crisis

and, even if Shepard's forces are defeated, It could easily be turned into a pyrrhic victory for the reapers, for example shepard could say, "you and your reapers may have won here, but my fleet has taken out dozens upon dozens of your ships. The next cycle will build off of our victory and destroy dozens more, and so it will continue until you are wiped from the galaxy/ I may not have beat you here, but I have laid the foundation for your defeat"

cue Shepard being obliterated by a reaper or something.


damn, my first draft sounds better than all of bioware's endings.

EDIT: or hey, if you want an ULTRA downer ending, say if renegade shepard here has low war assets, have his fleet get it's balls rocked, and have shepard say something to the effect of, "we may have lost, but we decided how this was going to end not you" kinda like a last moment of defiance against the inevitable.

BOOM two well written endings, first draft! I like this sort of thing :)

EDIT2: fuck at this rate I might as well stop playing JUST before the catalyst and invent my own personal canon. :)I'm a big dnd player, sorry.
 

Therumancer

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endtherapture said:
Finally, a games journalist who understands the issue with the ending and doesn't babble on about "art".

You deserve a cupcake.
Well, yes and no. He does do a better job of discussing the ending itself, but this is a big deal because it's about more than that. The stuff *surrounding* the ending, such as the promises made by Bioware, and what was revealed in the interviews from that $3 app (which has it's own thread here on The Escapist, or did) contributed as well, as did the attitudes of most of the people covering this for the gaming media who were highly insulting towards those making the complaints to put it mildly.

I think to really be accurate in an analysis of this you need someone who is really willing to point a finger at EA/Bioware for the things going on around the ending, probably going back as far as "Dragon Age 2" to really capture the essence of it, and why people are so angry in this case.

Granted, an ending this sucktastic is an achievement all on it's own, most bad endings have people going "meh" or "I would have done things better" and don't wind up being reviled by everyone to this point. But even so the sheer level of anger and bile is because while this was a trigger, it's really about a lot of things besides the ending.

Truthfully I predicted an explosion last year when DA2 came out, saying that I expected something to happen with ME3. I did not think the ending was where the line was going to be drawn though, even if I was pretty confident something was going to happen.

I also think a point reviewers and other article writers need to consider, and own up to when it comes to the questioning of scores in some cases, is that "Mass Effect 3" is kind of a dog when it comes to it's writing to begin with. The ending was just so bad that it eclipsed the rest of the game and it's problems. Effectively countering claims that it deserved a high review "for being great up until the last 5 minutes". For example "Kai Leng" and all the stuff surrounding him (JRPG auto-winning cut scenes, and of course him not fitting the setting at all, starting with his costume) has generated it's own "this sucks hard" following which illustrates problems with the writing to begin with. Ultimatly Mass Effect 3 failed not just in the writing of it's ending, but for the ending of Act 2.. and really pretty much every scene Leng was involved in just on the merits of him being such a totally abysmal character. Mass Effect 3 did more to create a divide where "cut scene Shepard" and "gameplay Shepard" exist in what amounts in totally seperate realities than
ever before... and that's NOT a good thing for a game that is supposed to be lionizing it's writing and how well intergrated it is with the gameplay.

Or in short, while this article is better than most, and it's refreshing to see a pro-protester type slant for once in an article, I don't think it quite goes far enough or really digs into the meat of the situation.
 

mfeff

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RaNDM G said:
mfeff said:
The only DLC that was "planned" as a scam was the Prothean...
I'm willing to believe that as optional. The whole Prothean side-quest isn't necessary in the final game, and I think having a Prothean squadmate detracts from the experience. The quest doesn't add much backstory to the game and Javik doesn't provide much help aside from being a hired gun. He practically admits he's got nothing to live for and will kill himself at the end of the game. You might as well shoot him the first time you see him.

You may send all of your hatemail to [email protected]
Which is fine, assuming that the Prothean as the DLC was intentional from a design standpoint, and not "removed" later at the behest of someone higher up in the chain.

If that where the case, then the systemic "break" of the games narrative would be catastrophic, as the game has to be "functionally coherent" (cough) without him. As it stands, it is "out of place" without him around. How much is there, how much is taken out?

Ultimately he comes off as pointless. That... is a problem in a character driven narrative.

Though it was just another completely missed opportunity.

P.S. ME3 writing is poor.
 

TheCaptain

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Feb 7, 2012
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This, sir, is by far the most reasonable article ever. For the first time since this started I feel my position being taken seriously.

Thanks for that.
 

Aisaku

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Dennis Scimeca said:
Who Really Owns Mass Effect 3?

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

Read Full Article
I'm surprised the author glossed over the PR fallout over this. Yes, these are the points the Retake Movement tries to make, but what about the realities from the developer and publisher side?
 

RaNDM G

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mfeff said:
RaNDM G said:
mfeff said:
The only DLC that was "planned" as a scam was the Prothean...
I'm willing to believe that as optional. The whole Prothean side-quest isn't necessary in the final game, and I think having a Prothean squadmate detracts from the experience. The quest doesn't add much backstory to the game and Javik doesn't provide much help aside from being a hired gun. He practically admits he's got nothing to live for and will kill himself at the end of the game. You might as well shoot him the first time you see him.

You may send all of your hatemail to [email protected]
Which is fine, assuming that the Prothean as the DLC was intentional from a design standpoint, and not "removed" later at the behest of someone higher up in the chain.

If that where the case, then the systemic "break" of the games narrative would be catastrophic, as the game has to be "functionally coherent" (cough) without him. As it stands, it is "out of place" without him around. How much is there, how much is taken out?

Ultimately he comes off as pointless. That... is a problem in a character driven narrative.

Though it was just another completely missed opportunity.

P.S. ME3 writing is poor.
True that.
 

Dennis Scimeca

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I'm glad to see so many comments from people who feel their point of view has been legitimized here. My biggest issue with the discussion of Mass Effect 3's ending in the press so far has been the outright dismissal of negative fan reaction. If someone doesn't want to try to understand the narrative issues with the ending that's fine, but then I think admitting ignorance and/or disinterest in investigating the question is the proper course of action, versus mocking the people who *do* care.

But hey, that's just me. :)
 

370999

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Dennis Scimeca said:
I'm glad to see so many comments from people who feel their point of view has been legitimized here. My biggest issue with the discussion of Mass Effect 3's ending in the press so far has been the outright dismissal of negative fan reaction. If someone doesn't want to try to understand the narrative issues with the ending that's fine, but then I think admitting ignorance and/or disinterest in investigating the question is the proper course of action, versus mocking the people who *do* care.

But hey, that's just me. :)
God yes. I think it's fine to either not be interested in the topic or to have an opinion without much information to go on, that's fine. But if you are going to produce content then you damm well better at least educate yourself.

Just squawking the word "precedent" over and over is not an argument.
 

Alexnader

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May 18, 2009
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mfeff said:
Excellent article, shame it has so few hits and or comments. I wonder how long this kind of "honest opinion" will last?

Integrity, is generally not conductive to prospering.

Had "this game" been any other game, it would of been just another game. The fact of the matter is, the real value is in the I.P. That all aside, clearly the I.P. belongs to the Publisher and Developer and how they choose to handle their product is clearly up to them.

snip
Ownership of the IP gives us the concrete answer to the question of who legally owns the ending. That's it. That in my opinion does not work to the exclusion of any more artistic interpretations of ownership.

I don't think anyone actually thinks the players have the legal right to get a different ending.
 

008Zulu_v1legacy

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I think we the fans have a partial ownership of the franchise, ever since the end of Mass Effect 1 when they started listening to our input and using our suggestions and ideas did we become part owners of it. So if we don't like something in it, then as part owners we have the right to effect change.

If they had ignored us and made the game without any community input, then I would be the first in line to say "You had no part in it, you don't get a say."
 

JPArbiter

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Best Fourth Option I can see already sort of exists. DO NOTHING! if you wait long enough you get a game over and a message that the crucible was destroyed. rather then that, have the game jump to a new Cutscene with the Crucible and the Citadel being hit by weapons fire and Sheppard giving a transmission that the Crucible is not an option, and all we have left is to fight, survive, and rise above, Sheppard then bleeds out and dies.

sure, maybe include some BS about the Catalyst imploring a choice, and being visibly frustrated that Sheppard won't choose. maybe make the Reapers retreat from Earth being pursued by the allied fleet the entire to the relay.

The catch. one Reaper stays behind and disables the Charon Relay on the way out, and leaves the Reapers with the mother of all catch 22's their biggest threat is isolated, but will not be for long (the Citadel, already established as a Relay itself is intact.) and they will eventually have to deal with that threat while taking losses conquering the rest of the galaxy.
 

I.Muir

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The power in these things always has belonged to the money, just in this situation it's EA.
They can and always have had the power to do whatever they want and they often do. I still don't really know what to think about the series "fans" going apeshit and demanding a new ending but a little extreme comes to mind. The response from bio ware however was worse for people who are supposed to be professionals, that's if the whole thing wasn't just done for free publicity.

As for artistic integrity, well I'm not sure how that can apply when profit was the only thing in the mind of it's ultimate creator EA. In any case bioware let the quality of the product slip in a few key areas and that was just bad... craftsmanship. They are of course "entitled" to do so but would have been better off in the long run if they hadn't because they damaged their reputation. The product overall is certainly worth money, but how much I think I should decide. $40 enhanced edition, or whatever they call the actually complete day 1 game, sounds about right to me.

Regardless of whether they change the ending or not I might just imagine my own version of how It ends. I'm already imagining a massive space battle in which (going for the cliche) you're forces are nearly spent and were only just able to come up with weapons that could damage the reapers anyway. Then the whatever enters and let's say it's a massive EMP which requires the entire organic fleet to be sitting ducks for a good five seconds to stop being fried and most of them get killed anyway. Reapers are destroyed, Shep has a sad moment looking at corpse and wreckage on the surface of earth and goes someplace off world that looks homley. Tali is on her planet with geths doing geth things off in the distance like a figurative olive branch passing with the quarrians and she takes off her helm. Garrus goes off to batman again, Wrex has a son and however survives gets a 5 second cut scene (I don't actually know). You see the crew meeting up and shep smiles as something new comes up and then it breaks to credits and rock and roll music. Simple and took 10 minutes tops to think it up.
 

Thomas Knapp

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All this article proves is that even people who write for The Escapist can be entitled little brats.

You are NOT the editor. You are NOT the director. You are the PLAYER. You are no different than the reader of a book, or the viewer of a movie. You own the right to play the game you purchased. Nothing more.

I don't care how many hours you played all three games. For every hour you put in, Bioware's developers put in a hundred, if not more.

They made every character sketch and biography. Not you.

They shaped every plot arc. Not you.

They programmed every mission, every texture, every map, recorded every line of dialogue. Not you.

THEY decide how, where, and why the story ends. Not YOU.

Whether the ending sucks or not is irrelevant (because it does). If they decide to change it, that's their business. But at the end of the day, that's their decision, not yours.

If you don't like their story; write your own, and stop complaining. You are NOT the owner, no matter how much you try to rationalize it.
 

I.Muir

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Thomas Knapp said:
All this article proves is that even people who write for The Escapist can be entitled little brats.

You are NOT the editor. You are NOT the director. You are the PLAYER. You are no different than the reader of a book, or the viewer of a movie. You own the right to play the game you purchased. Nothing more.

I don't care how many hours you played all three games. For every hour you put in, Bioware's developers put in a hundred, if not more.

They made every character sketch and biography. Not you.

They shaped every plot arc. Not you.

They programmed every mission, every texture, every map, recorded every line of dialogue. Not you.

THEY decide how, where, and why the story ends. Not YOU.

Whether the ending sucks or not is irrelevant (because it does). If they decide to change it, that's their business. But at the end of the day, that's their decision, not yours.

If you don't like their story; write your own, and stop complaining. You are NOT the owner, no matter how much you try to rationalize it.
The part about the devs having all the power is true but way to lump everybody in the same basket there. Far as I know most of the escapist writers have criticized the fan uproar or taken the side of the devs "artistic" rights. However it makes sense to at least tell the devs that their ending was poorly done. Since most other reviewers don't want to seem to overly critical of such a large corporate entity however it is left to the "fans" including the insane ones to take their place.

It would be unrealistic to assume we own the product but that doesn't mean that bio ware should not listen to their fans. A bunch of crusty old greedy men own the product. If what you're saying is that people have no right to complain or criticize them then what are we supposed to do. Are we to allow a much loved company to steer down a path slowly making more and more mediocre games until finally the only thing they make are blatant cash grabs.
 

Thomas Knapp

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I.Muir said:
The part about the devs having all the power is true but way to lump everybody in the same basket there. Far as I know most of the escapist writers have criticized the fan uproar or taken the side of the devs "artistic" rights. However it makes sense to at least tell the devs that their ending was poorly done. Since most other reviewers don't want to seem to overly critical of such a large corporate entity however it is left to the "fans" including the insane ones to take their place.

It would be unrealistic to assume we own the product but that doesn't mean that bio ware should not listen to their fans. A bunch of crusty old greedy men own the product. If what you're saying is that people have no right to complain or criticize them then what are we supposed to do. Are we to allow a much loved company to steer down a path slowly making more and more mediocre games until finally the only thing they make are blatant cash grabs.
The intent was not to lump everyone into any basket. It was a response to the writer of this article, who tried to compare his experience with Mass Effect 3 as akin to a director or an editor... and thus claim "ownership" of the story.

There are many things that went wrong with the ending to Mass Effect 3. For example, Hudson and one other writer (I can't remember the name offhand) put it together, with no review from the rest of the writing team. Everyone else was completely in the dark. That in and of itself is a recipe for disaster... and that's not even getting into the disjointed elements of the ending itself.

The "entitlement" I refer to is not those who criticize the ending; because it deserves every bit of critique. The "entitlement" comes from articles such as this, from players who try to somehow claim some stake in the IP itself because they paid the money and invested the time playing it.

The question posed in the title of this article, "Who Really Owns Mass Effect 3?" can be answered simply; Bioware and Electronic Arts, and no one else. Any suggestion otherwise should be summarily discarded for the nonsense it is.
 

I.Muir

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Thomas Knapp said:
The intent was not to lump everyone into any basket. It was a response to the writer of this article, who tried to compare his experience with Mass Effect 3 as akin to a director or an editor... and thus claim "ownership" of the story.

There are many things that went wrong with the ending to Mass Effect 3. For example, Hudson and one other writer (I can't remember the name offhand) put it together, with no review from the rest of the writing team. Everyone else was completely in the dark. That in and of itself is a recipe for disaster... and that's not even getting into the disjointed elements of the ending itself.

The "entitlement" I refer to is not those who criticize the ending; because it deserves every bit of critique. The "entitlement" comes from articles such as this, from players who try to somehow claim some stake in the IP itself because they paid the money and invested the time playing it.

The question posed in the title of this article, "Who Really Owns Mass Effect 3?" can be answered simply; Bioware and Electronic Arts, and no one else. Any suggestion otherwise should be summarily discarded for the nonsense it is.
Not to be confused with the pseudo make your own adventure that is one of the selling points of bio ware, making you the author in the sense of several ultimately meaningless big decisions.

I can't understand personally how you may claim ownership of a series just by playing it. Sure it feels like you may have become a part of it but the big picture was it was always owned by the company itself. To think otherwise is well something I can't understand so I tend to assume it's not supposed to be taken literally. I could understand a feeling of not getting what you payed for or what was promised and therefore owed. However it is unfortunately true that ultimately we can't force them to do a damn thing. In the end I'm very pro fan argument so I tend to support them regardless of what the initial thinking was so that an ends might even be achieved.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbO5S3Fv53Q
EA could make something like this and we would be powerless to stop them.

Also my apologies, I missed the 'even' in your first sentence making it sound completely different.
 

RaNDM G

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I.Muir said:
[link]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbO5S3Fv53Q[/link]
EA could make something like this and we would be powerless to stop them.
For the record, I would totally buy a Kinect dancing game with Commander Shepard.

 

I.Muir

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RaNDM G said:
I.Muir said:
[link]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbO5S3Fv53Q[/link]
EA could make something like this and we would be powerless to stop them.
For the record, I would totally buy a Kinect dancing game with Commander Shepard.

 

Dennis Scimeca

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Just so things don't get (or remain) twisted - discussion of the IP is utterly irrelevant to what this column was about.

We're talking about "ownership" of the narrative, not the intellectual property. And you're taking "ownership" way too literally. We're discussing how the player relates to the game, not how one would adjudicate literal ownership.

One is a business question, which I'm utterly unconcerned with. The other is a question about how narrative is created in video games, and it's not really an argument anymore that the player creates narrative. Mass Effect 3 mostly limits the player to an editorial function which is why we can approach discussion of the ending this particular way, but games like Fallout: New Vegas more overtly support "player as storyteller" by mostly providing systems, and staying away from more strictly-constructed story.

Check out the Plot vs. Play panel at PAX East last weekend for more on that.

In any case, foisting an ending on the player that makes as little sense as the ending of Mass Effect 3 is absolutely a valid complaint, and we're also beyond the point where the idea of changing a game's ending is ridiculous. It's already happened. It will happen again. It's part of the gaming landscape. Time to get over the idea that asking for changes to an ending is unreasonable. It's how things are, and I don't see us ever going back.

I posted something on my blog about how we're not discussing WHY the ending of Mass Effect 3 makes no sense. It's difficult to do so without spoiling, and maybe that's the greater "why," but I have links to some places where you can find some good breakdowns as to why:

http://www.punchingsnakes.com/?p=600

The ending of Mass Effect 3 makes no sense whatsoever. If you don't believe me, read those posts and watch the video I link to in that blog post.

It suspect the upcoming Extended Cut was in the works prior to the fan reaction to the ending, because someone at BioWare realized they had a problem. That holo-terminal before the final battle? Utterly preposterous that the Alliance would be able to get com-links specifically to ALL the people Shepard wanted to speak with. It felt hokey and shoehorned in...and more dollars to donuts that was thrown in late in the process to account for the acknowledged weaknesses of the ending.
 

Big Paja

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Babylon 5! About damn time someone mentioned that. Too many people think sci-fi is only either Star Trek or Star Wars.
 

Thomas Knapp

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Dennis Scimeca said:
Just so things don't get (or remain) twisted - discussion of the IP is utterly irrelevant to what this column was about.

We're talking about "ownership" of the narrative, not the intellectual property. And you're taking "ownership" way too literally. We're discussing how the player relates to the game, not how one would adjudicate literal ownership.

One is a business question, which I'm utterly unconcerned with. The other is a question about how narrative is created in video games, and it's not really an argument anymore that the player creates narrative. Mass Effect 3 mostly limits the player to an editorial function which is why we can approach discussion of the ending this particular way, but games like Fallout: New Vegas more overtly support "player as storyteller" by mostly providing systems, and staying away from more strictly-constructed story.
Doesn't matter, because the answer is the same. Bioware and Electronic Arts, and no one else.

You are NOT the editor, no matter how much it may have felt like you were. The narrative of all three games was set in stone long before you put the disc in your drive. Narrative, I may add, that was put together without ANY work from the player.

You weren't really even offered choice through any of the three games; merely the ILLUSION of choice. If you think to the first two games, this should not come as a surprise. Both of those games ALSO narrowed all the choices you made into a handful of different endgame scenarios with minor variations. Because that was narrative already determined long before you got your hands on the game disc, and that's the direction you wanted to go.

I'm sorry, but you are 100% wrong on your take. You own NOTHING pertaining to the Mass Effect series, no matter how you try to rationalize it.