Who Really Owns Mass Effect 3?

Asita

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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.
 

Dastardly

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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.
 

Asita

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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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Mar 31, 2012
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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.