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    Default Re: Mass Effect 3.5B: Taste the Rainbow (Story and Ending Discussion; Spoilers!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    The difference is that Synthesis (and possibly Control) change the galaxy forever. Even this current take on Destroy would, by annihilating the Geth.

    The point is that it won't simply just be "blow up the Reapers" and have everything get back to normal immediately. Now, it's a whole new frontier with all sorts of new possibilities, and just enough familiar to emphasize the things that have changed, perhaps irrevocably in some cases.
    But you have already been changing the galaxy to this point, rewriting the fates of the Rachni, Krogan, Geth and Quarians. The galaxy is already changed, its going to have this point of unity to hold onto. The grand alterations are done. Its one of the arguments of the "the whole game is the ending" thought process. But this final one is so grand and so jarring and not tied to any thread other than being the final part, that it does not work. Its so big and so sweeping that it overrides the impact of the other choices and basically says "that was all quaint, now for something completely different". This is why so many say "just cut it" because you can do that, and still have a new beginning for a completely new-look galaxy without Snythesis, or Control. And the conversion of Destroy into a non-solution with arbitrary genocide, further degrades the choices.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joran View Post
    I don't think anybody made that point that the mass relays MUST be destroyed because the galaxy is too dependent on them or any philosophical grounds of them being crutches. You're inferring a political or philosophical statement that I don't see anywhere in the ending.

    Instead, my position is that thematically it makes sense as an ending scene. The Mass Relays are a symbol of the Reaper presence as well as an omnipresent symbol throughout the entire series. Destroying them sends the player a message that everything has changed and there is a new beginning.

    It's similar to the beginning of Mass Effect 2, where the Collectors come and blow the crap out of the Normandy. Could the developers have set a scenario where Shepard gets spaced, but the Normandy survives and can be salvaged? Could they have begun Mass Effect 2 without having to kill Shepard at all? Sure, but they decided not to, and it hit with a big emotional punch. No moral, political, philosophical statement in the destruction, just that for story and emotional purposes it works.
    But as I said to Psyren, we know the galaxy is changed. And even then every action has always had a huge and when out of our hands mostly negative reaction in universe. The thought that somehow the lifeblood of the economic and political structure of the galaxy can be wiped out with little to no serious impact is laughable.

    The destruction of the Normandy SR-1 works to establish the Collectors as an eminent and devastating threat. We also get a semi-return to normalcy over the course of the introduction to that game. But more importantly we deal with the consequences. We do, the player and Shepard. But in this ending we do not, its instead shown to us and then we're told that somewhere there is a grandpa and a grandchild, now buy some DLC. I think it could have worked in the means you wanted it to, but it just does not as presently constructed.
    Last edited by Derthric; 2012-04-17 at 02:59 PM.
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    Default Re: Mass Effect 3.5B: Taste the Rainbow (Story and Ending Discussion; Spoilers!)

    I think the forum is eating posts.
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    Default Re: Mass Effect 3.5B: Taste the Rainbow (Story and Ending Discussion; Spoilers!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Fawkes View Post
    Well, yeah. I think it's pretty obvious that there wouldn't have been an outcry if they had actually, you know, put some thought into the ending.
    There are plenty of people that hate D/C/S just on their own merits, though - not merely because of the inadequate details surrounding them or the lack of squad resolution.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derthric View Post
    But you have already been changing the galaxy to this point, rewriting the fates of the Rachni, Krogan, Geth and Quarians. The galaxy is already changed, its going to have this point of unity to hold onto. The grand alterations are done.
    There needs to be a change independent of that, because depending on your choices, there might be NO Rachni, a dying Krogan, NO Geth or NO Quarians.


    Quote Originally Posted by Derthric View Post
    Its one of the arguments of the "the whole game is the ending" thought process. But this final one is so grand and so jarring and not tied to any thread other than being the final part, that it does not work. Its so big and so sweeping that it overrides the impact of the other choices and basically says "that was all quaint, now for something completely different".
    I disagree heartily - it's possible to still have these large, sweeping changes and still have your choices matter, and this is in fact a stated goal of the Extended Cut.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derthric View Post
    And the conversion of Destroy into a non-solution with arbitrary genocide, further degrades the choices.
    Quite the opposite actually - it enables them. Destroy is already seen by most to be the "right choice" - without that possible drawback, even the few people advocating otherwise would have chosen it. There would no longer be anything interesting about choosing an ending, and the other two would merely be seen as nonstandard game overs; unnecessary at best, and evidence of submission to indoctrination at worst.
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    Default Re: Mass Effect 3.5B: Taste the Rainbow (Story and Ending Discussion; Spoilers!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    There are plenty of people that hate D/C/S just on their own merits, though - not merely because of the inadequate details surrounding them or the lack of squad resolution.
    Oh, I know - I'm one of them. But the sheer lack of any explanation or closure, is the much bigger problem. It's just mind-boggling to me how anyone could have thought that leaving it like this was a good idea.
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    Default Re: Mass Effect 3.5B: Taste the Rainbow (Story and Ending Discussion; Spoilers!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Fawkes View Post
    I think the forum is eating posts.
    IT HUNGERS!

    I'm still kind of on the fence about the ending choices' merits, disregarding the badly done stuff. It feels forced; I would have liked to have the option to follow the Illusive man's reasoning for control. Keep the enslaved reapers and use em as a weapon for humanity.
    Last edited by Luzahn; 2012-04-17 at 03:43 PM.

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    Default Re: Mass Effect 3.5B: Taste the Rainbow (Story and Ending Discussion; Spoilers!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    There are plenty of people that hate D/C/S just on their own merits, though - not merely because of the inadequate details surrounding them or the lack of squad resolution.
    Its not just the choices but the conflict that they are meant to resolve, and most everything tying into giving them any level of meaning.

    There needs to be a change independent of that, because depending on your choices, there might be NO Rachni, a dying Krogan, NO Geth or NO Quarians.
    Does there? The effect of causing the genocide whole races not sweeping enough? The presence of a quarian-geth allied society is a fundamental change of the galaxy, borne directly from the reaper conflict. The final rewrite is superfluous. Its there just to be there.



    I disagree heartily - it's possible to still have these large, sweeping changes and still have your choices matter, and this is in fact a stated goal of the Extended Cut.
    It can, we shall see if it works. But as presently constructed and as presented they cannot. That's a flaw, a massive one and one I have a hard time believing that no one in Bioware couldn't see.

    Quite the opposite actually - it enables them. Destroy is already seen by most to be the "right choice" - without that possible drawback, even the few people advocating otherwise would have chosen it. There would no longer be anything interesting about choosing an ending, and the other two would merely be seen as nonstandard game overs; unnecessary at best, and evidence of submission to indoctrination at worst.
    That goes back to my point about how superfluous the entire Catalyst interaction is. There is a saying in design study "An engineer knows he is finished, not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away". The final interaction with the Catalyst exists to serve its own ends. If you had gotten up there and reached the controls with it asking "destroy the reapers(neutral), Subjugate them to your will(renegade), free them from central control and restore free will (paragon)" it would have worked just as well and with a bit of foreshadowing, like Harby lecturing you about his perfect order and his control as you trudge to the controls, it would provide the closure needed. No need to introduce an unneeded plot and story element at the last second.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fawkes View Post
    Oh, I know - I'm one of them. But the sheer lack of any explanation or closure, is the much bigger problem. It's just mind-boggling to me how anyone could have thought that leaving it like this was a good idea.
    Just wanted to repost this for being oh so pertinent.
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    Default Re: Mass Effect 3.5B: Taste the Rainbow (Story and Ending Discussion; Spoilers!)

    Quote Originally Posted by TheLaughingMan View Post
    It's a bit like having a breathing disorder, and then have someone come up and unplug your oxygen supply because hey you gotta learn to breathe for yourself sometime kid.
    Yes.



    However, I think that particular complaint of mine is probably more towards the interpretations like that one linked earlier about the astrobiology and whatnot, so I'll not belabour it any more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fawkes View Post
    Oh, I know - I'm one of them. But the sheer lack of any explanation or closure, is the much bigger problem. It's just mind-boggling to me how anyone could have thought that leaving it like this was a good idea.
    Exactly.

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    Default Mass Effect 3's Ending Controversy is Actually Good for the Industry

    Mass Effect 3's Ending Controversy is Actually Good for the Industry

    In an editorial on GamesIndustry, Matt Ploetcher argues that the controversy surrounding Mass Effect 3's ending is a "watershed moment" for the videogame industry and gaming as a medium. The fact that the ending is criticized for not being impacted by choices is the sign reflects higher standard from the gaming public, according to the author:

    To be fair, the Mass Effect series has always been something of an exception to the standard approach to video games. Unlike popular series such as Halo or Gears of War, Mass Effect has always made the story, and your choices within it, one of the core elements to the experience. The benefit is that players have developed a much more emotional connection to the story world. The downside is that when a story element - such as the grand ending - falls flat, its reverberations can shake the very foundation of the fanbase.

    Often the main lament I have heard about how society views video games is that mainstream audiences cannot, or will not, take them seriously as a form of artistic expression. The question I have heard asked which embodies this dilemma is, "Where is the video game version of Citizen Kane?" Where is an example of this medium that is going to alter the general public's perception? Never mind the fact that games like Ico and Shadow of the Colossus have, in my opinion, already set a standard for player engagement within a game. They were not as commercially successful, and as a result they have not been able to do much to erode the public stereotypes of video games just being mindless button-mashing and/or interactive demos for physics engines.

    The current discussion about the Mass Effect 3 ending, however, and its lack of acknowledgement to the choices the player made throughout the trilogy, reflects a higher standard for video games from the players. Unlike most books, movies and other forms of media, video games are inherently built to allow for different choices that the player can take, and the Mass Effect series has run with this idea more than any other video game series to date. Its strong success with critics and fans (and profit margins) has shown that video games are already at the point where you can have thought-provoking fun, and robust games where the interactivity is part and parcel of the emotional investment. Once the majority of players start thinking about video games in this manner, the general public is likely not far behind.

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    Default Re: Mass Effect 3's Ending Controversy is Actually Good for the Industry

    Quote Originally Posted by Joran View Post
    I think the developers were definitely blindsided by the "Galactic Dark Age" theory, similar to how George Lucas never anticipated the "Endor Holocaust".
    The difference is the Mass Effect universe showed exactly what happens when a Mass Relay goes boom in the Arrival DLC. And for people like me who haven't played it, it tells you in a codex entry. It's a perfectly valid assumption that the universe is toast given the information provided in the game.

    Instead, the biggest mistakes were:

    1) Not including an epilogue of a kind like Dragon Age 1. We've come to care about these characters, we want to know what's happened to them. Also, some of the endings like Control and Synthesis requires an epilogue to explain what happened.
    2) Lack of differentiation in the endings. Re-using the same cinematics with different colors was a mistake.
    3) Lack of customization of the ending. Readiness was a pretty poor implementation of having our choices through the previous games reflected.
    Which are all part of the bigger issue that your choices ultimately don't matter.

    The big problem with the whole ending sequence is that it's painfully clear you're being railroaded into an ending by someone who doesn't give a damn about the Mass Effect universe. It starts with little things like Kai Leng who doesn't feel like he belongs, then snowballs with stuff like the Citadel being moved to Earth and being linked not by Ilos but a brand-new teleport beam in London. It's not just the Starkid - the whole ending keeps throwing this nonsense at you which builds up like a poison. It's that the Starkid is so completely off the rails that it utterly breaks everything.

    I also hated the charge on Harbinger and that blast leaving Shepard in a weak, possibly-mortally-wounded state. It amplifies all the awfulness because the designer is forcibly stripping the player down to a powerless vulnerable state when the game should be building up for the triumphant conclusion. It was at that point that I knew I'd reached the sucky ending that everyone was complaining about on-line.

    Quote Originally Posted by VanBuren View Post
    Mass Effect 3's Ending Controversy is Actually Good for the Industry

    In an editorial on GamesIndustry, Matt Ploetcher argues that the controversy surrounding Mass Effect 3's ending is a "watershed moment" for the videogame industry and gaming as a medium. The fact that the ending is criticized for not being impacted by choices is the sign reflects higher standard from the gaming public, according to the author:
    I agree, although while the choices not mattering is the major part of the disquiet I think a lot of the ire is about the disjunct between the high standard of writing earlier in the game and that ending. I buy Bioware games for good writing and saw them as part of a push for better interactive storytelling in the 21st century. That ending is the sort of crap that programmers would throw at the end of half-assed games in the 90s.

    Bioware was better than that. Now I'm not so sure.
    Last edited by Trazoi; 2012-04-17 at 06:45 PM.
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    Default Re: Mass Effect 3.5B: Taste the Rainbow (Story and Ending Discussion; Spoilers!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    Quite the opposite actually - it enables them. Destroy is already seen by most to be the "right choice" - without that possible drawback, even the few people advocating otherwise would have chosen it. There would no longer be anything interesting about choosing an ending, and the other two would merely be seen as nonstandard game overs; unnecessary at best, and evidence of submission to indoctrination at worst.
    Personally, I disagree. I think that, had they removed the "Kill the Geth" aspect of Destroy, some people would still pick Control, assuming you trust the Starchild. The argument against Controlling the Reapers has, until that point been that it won't work.

    Imagine a galaxy where a benevolent, unbeatable fleet of Reapers stood ready to stop wars or render aid in emergencies, where the Reapers, under Shepard's control, freely shared their technologies and knowledge with the races of the Galaxy. Where new FTL relays are constructed to allow for Galactic expansion.
    If you trust that is possible, isn't that better than a galaxy with The Reapers merely Removed.

    Of course, there is the question of if you trust anybody, even Shepard's Ghost, with that much power, do you believe the Starchild when it says you will be able to Control the Reapers? If not, would it not be better to destroy them?

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    Default Re: Mass Effect 3.5B: Taste the Rainbow (Story and Ending Discussion; Spoilers!)

    Quote Originally Posted by BRC View Post
    Personally, I disagree. I think that, had they removed the "Kill the Geth" aspect of Destroy, some people would still pick Control, assuming you trust the Starchild. The argument against Controlling the Reapers has, until that point been that it won't work.
    The problem is Control was TIM's option, and TIM did a really bad job of selling that choice to the player in the scene before. If TIM made a better case, selling all those points you made, while not being indoctrinated then it would a lot better.

    But then the end is even more like the original Deus Ex.

    Man, that reminds me: I still can't get over how the entire game is about constructing a giant machine, only to have the designers literally pull a god out of it. Like, literally. How could they not see that, or care?
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    Default Re: Mass Effect 3.5B: Taste the Rainbow (Story and Ending Discussion; Spoilers!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Trazoi View Post
    Man, that reminds me: I still can't get over how the entire game is about constructing a giant machine, only to have the designers literally pull a god out of it. Like, literally. How could they not see that, or care?
    Oh how did I miss that. A more textbook description would not be possible.
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    Default Re: Mass Effect 3.5B: Taste the Rainbow (Story and Ending Discussion; Spoilers!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Landis963 View Post
    Oh how did I miss that. A more textbook description would not be possible.
    Actually, I'm not sure the Starchild counts as a Deus Ex Machina. Going by the Wikipedia definition
    A deus ex machina ( /ˈdeɪ.əs ɛks ˈmɑːkiːnə/ or /ˈdiːəs ɛks ˈmækɨnə/ day-əs eks mah-kee-nə;[1] Latin: "god out of the machine"; plural: dei ex machina) is a plot device whereby a seemingly unsolvable problem is suddenly and abruptly solved with the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability, or object.
    I mean, I guess you could call the Crucible itself a Deus Ex Machina, but it's arrival was hardly "Abrupt", but I''m not sure I would apply the label to the Starchild, or if it was it had the shortest lag time between Introduction of Problem and Deus-Ex Machina ever.

    In this case the Starchild IS the problem, it's what's stopping the Crucible from working, and technically it isn't the solution either, it just points you at them.

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    Default Re: Mass Effect 3.5B: Taste the Rainbow (Story and Ending Discussion; Spoilers!)

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    Default Re: Mass Effect 3.5B: Taste the Rainbow (Story and Ending Discussion; Spoilers!)

    Quote Originally Posted by BRC View Post
    I mean, I guess you could call the Crucible itself a Deus Ex Machina, but it's arrival was hardly "Abrupt", but I''m not sure I would apply the label to the Starchild, or if it was it had the shortest lag time between Introduction of Problem and Deus-Ex Machina ever.

    In this case the Starchild IS the problem, it's what's stopping the Crucible from working, and technically it isn't the solution either, it just points you at them.
    The Crucible itself was the Deus Ex Machina for the Reaper problem. Earth is attacked by Reapers, suddenly you find plans for a superweapon to take them out.

    The Starchild/Catalyst/Synthesis Beam is the Deus Ex Machina for the neverending cycle of synthetics versus organics that no-one knew was the problem until five minutes before the end.

    It also works if you consider it the "machine that turns the game into Deus Ex".

    And this is almost certainly unintentional, but with all the Space Jesus Shepard vibes it doesn't help that a proposed etymology for "Crucible" is the Latin for "lamp hung on a cross".
    Last edited by Trazoi; 2012-04-17 at 09:21 PM.
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    Default Re: Mass Effect 3.5B: Taste the Rainbow (Story and Ending Discussion; Spoilers!)

    [QUOTE=Trazoi;13088844]The Crucible itself was the Deus Ex Machina for the Reaper problem. Earth is attacked by Reapers, suddenly you find plans for a superweapon to take them out.
    [QUOTE]
    True, but it's debateable. Usually a DXM shows up suddenly and fixes the problem. Within the scope of the series you could consider the Crucible a DXM, but it takes enough effort on the part of the cast that I consider it more of a goal. Building the Crucible is throwing the Ring into Mount Doom.

    The Starchild/Catalyst/Synthesis Beam is the Deus Ex Machina for the neverending cycle of synthetics versus organics that no-one knew was the problem until five minutes before the end.
    That's what I meant about a quick turnaround. Usually a DXM is a way for writers to get themselves out of a hole they've written themselves into. Here they dug the hole for the sole purpose of getting themselves out. That's an issue in itself, but I'm not sure it's a DXM. Maybe a Shyamalan Twist (Totally unnecessary) followed by a very quick Deus Ex Machina.
    It also works if you consider it the "machine that turns the game into Deus Ex".
    Shepard didn't ask for this [/cyberneticsunglasses]
    And this is almost certainly unintentional, but with all the Space Jesus Shepard vibes it doesn't help that a proposed etymology for "Crucible" is the Latin for "lamp hung on a cross".
    If you're looking for allegories, I noticed that you've got a Shepard killing Reapers. Think of the agricultural origins of the verb "To Reap"
    Last edited by BRC; 2012-04-17 at 09:36 PM.

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    Default Re: Mass Effect 3.5B: Taste the Rainbow (Story and Ending Discussion; Spoilers!)

    Quote Originally Posted by BRC View Post

    If you're looking for allegories, I noticed that you've got a Shepard killing Reapers. Think of the agricultural origins of the verb "To Reap"
    Are the words Shepard and Shepherd etymologically linked? I'd assume so, but I don't know for sure.

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    Default Re: Mass Effect 3.5B: Taste the Rainbow (Story and Ending Discussion; Spoilers!)

    Quote Originally Posted by BRC View Post
    True, but it's debateable. Usually a DXM shows up suddenly and fixes the problem. Within the scope of the series you could consider the Crucible a DXM, but it takes enough effort on the part of the cast that I consider it more of a goal. Building the Crucible is throwing the Ring into Mount Doom.
    It's more like going to Mount Doom because half of an ancient Valar text tells to you to do and then you stand there feeling stupid because the text is missing what you do next.

    But yeah, I'm saying it's a DXM in the scope of the trilogy. I was willing to handwave it away as it's hard to think of a way to defeat Reapers that doesn't seem at least half an ass-pull.

    I did think it was questionable to introduce it right at the very beginning though. I was expecting that was because there would be a whole bunch of twists and turns about the Crucible throughout the story, but they didn't do that until the very end. Which is silly - I'm sure everyone was thinking "what does the Crucible do?" the first time they heard about it. There's a whole bunch of problems with the beginning that more people would be nitpicking if it wasn't a) right at the beginning so everyone has forgotten about it and b) overshadows by the huge glaring issues with the ending.

    Shepard didn't ask for this [/cyberneticsunglasses]
    I've got to get around to DX:Human Revolution. It's in a pile under Bioshock 2 and Fallout: New Vegas. I had to move Mass Effect 3 to the top because the internet wouldn't shut up about it. In retrospect they did me a favour spoiling that the ending would be disappointing.

    If you're looking for allegories, I noticed that you've got a Shepard killing Reapers. Think of the agricultural origins of the verb "To Reap"
    You don't have to dig deep for that one - Buzz Aldrin goes on about the legend of "The Shepherd" at the very end. Space Jesus Shepard is canon.
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    Default Re: Mass Effect 3.5B: Taste the Rainbow (Story and Ending Discussion; Spoilers!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Trazoi View Post
    I did think it was questionable to introduce it right at the very beginning though. I was expecting that was because there would be a whole bunch of twists and turns about the Crucible throughout the story, but they didn't do that until the very end. Which is silly - I'm sure everyone was thinking "what does the Crucible do?" the first time they heard about it. There's a whole bunch of problems with the beginning that more people would be nitpicking if it wasn't a) right at the beginning so everyone has forgotten about it and b) overshadows by the huge glaring issues with the ending.
    I actually liked the way the Crucible was handled. Getting updates about it's construction was a nice reminder that this war wasn't being won by Shepard alone. It also let them incorporate things besides soldiers into the War Effort, and really helped drive home the idea that you were united the entire Galaxy, not just the armies.

    They could also have gone the route of just having you build an army big enough to beat the Reapers conventionally, but I can understand why they didn't want to. For story purposes, The Reapers work best as an overwhelming force that you're racing to stop. If the hope of conventional victory is there, then the threat is somewhat diminished, and it makes Shepard's Quest slightly less Relevant. Right now they had three goals: Assemble a Coalition, Build the Crucible, and Find the Catalyst. Shepard can help with the first two, and complete the third on his/her own, so it worked well.

    I mean, I can think of other ways to do it that hits the same buttons, with engineers building more ships for the fleet, archaeologists researching Prothean records of the last Reaper invasion, and Shepard trying to find out about some weapon that can disrupt Reaper shields, giving the fleets a chance, but let's not re-write the whole game.
    I've got to get around to DX:Human Revolution. It's in a pile under Bioshock 2 and Fallout: New Vegas. I had to move Mass Effect 3 to the top because the internet wouldn't shut up about it. In retrospect they did me a favour spoiling that the ending would be disappointing.
    Put Bioshock 2 on the bottom, I was thoroughly underwhelmed, to the point where I didn't really feel anything when my save file got corrupted. Fallout New Vegas and DX:HR are both great though.

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    Default Re: Mass Effect 3.5B: Taste the Rainbow (Story and Ending Discussion; Spoilers!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Trazoi View Post
    It's more like going to Mount Doom because half of an ancient Valar text tells to you to do and then you stand there feeling stupid because the text is missing what you do next.

    But yeah, I'm saying it's a DXM in the scope of the trilogy. I was willing to handwave it away as it's hard to think of a way to defeat Reapers that doesn't seem at least half an ass-pull.
    The Cruicible, is a bit of a weird thing to suddenly appear. But the real thing is that it and the Catalyst are McGuffins. Which isn't that bad.

    I did think it was questionable to introduce it right at the very beginning though. I was expecting that was because there would be a whole bunch of twists and turns about the Crucible throughout the story, but they didn't do that until the very end. Which is silly - I'm sure everyone was thinking "what does the Crucible do?" the first time they heard about it. There's a whole bunch of problems with the beginning that more people would be nitpicking if it wasn't a) right at the beginning so everyone has forgotten about it and b) overshadows by the huge glaring issues with the ending.
    The introduction of the Cruicible would have been better done as a final part of the previous chapter. Probably would have been a much better story unearthing it in some prothean ruins than being railroaded through Arrival. The context I gathered from the pads laying about on Mars was that the Alliance was actually underfunding the archive project, which is ridiculous given how eager they were for the Beacon on Eden Prime and how the council probably would have footed the bill if it was a budgetary matter.
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    Default Re: Mass Effect 3.5B: Taste the Rainbow (Story and Ending Discussion; Spoilers!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Derthric View Post
    The introduction of the Cruicible would have been better done as a final part of the previous chapter. Probably would have been a much better story unearthing it in some prothean ruins than being railroaded through Arrival.
    I didn't play Arrival so the opening was totally bizarre. Shepard's in lockdown on Earth because of ties to Cerberus? It didn't make much sense given the ending of ME2 and the overwhelming presence of Reapers.

    Like BRC I think the idea of the Crucible works as a method for turning all those decisions in the game into a metric for how well the player is doing. But I think it would have worked better if Shepard was actively looking for the plans before the Reaper invasion of Earth. Make that the opening mission and it would have fit better; Shepard's goal is more closely tied into the Crucible because that's the thing they do first before the Reapers steal the spotlight.

    Heck, I think it would have worked better if the whole plot was about stopping the Reapers reaching Earth all together. Have a huge Reaper super fleet going around consuming cluster by cluster. It might not be the best fleet tactics on their part but they don't care - they're unstoppable. Then the game could throw some really nasty decisions at the player about which clusters you have to feed to the Reapers to buy more time.

    Edit: And no playing tag with Reapers on the system map. Because that was rather silly.
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    Default Re: Mass Effect 3.5B: Taste the Rainbow (Story and Ending Discussion; Spoilers!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Aotrs Commander View Post
    The problem is, the writers who said that clearly haven't thought about it, because they wanted the big explodey-Hollywood/philosphical claptrap ending.
    This is something I DON't agree with. The doom and gloom and hopelessness of the destroyed mass relays is basically a fanwank.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avilan the Grey View Post
    This is something I DON't agree with. The doom and gloom and hopelessness of the destroyed mass relays is basically a fanwank.
    No, it's not. It's a direct extrapolation of what the Codex says about both FTL (Slow, limited range) and exploding mass relays.

    The overwhelming trend is that the more people liked Mass Effect, and the more they read into it's background and lore, the more obvious the problems with the ending were to them.

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    Default Re: Mass Effect 3.5B: Taste the Rainbow (Story and Ending Discussion; Spoilers!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Avilan the Grey View Post
    This is something I DON't agree with. The doom and gloom and hopelessness of the destroyed mass relays is basically a fanwank.
    I don't think that word means what you think it means.

    Look:

    A) In every ending, all the mass relays are destroyed.

    B) The only other time we saw a mass relay destroyed, s**t got blowed up.

    C) Many players believed that in this case, like the one presented before, s**t was going to get blowed up.

    Now, that doesn't mean that belief is true, or that there aren't perfectly legitimate reasons why that isn't true, but those reasons aren't adequately explained in the core game. Given only in-game material, we Just. Don't. Know. what the effects of all those explosions are.

    It's just extrapolating data from a very limited sample set, and assuming that it will apply the same to new cases. Whether you thought that everyone was going to die or not, it's certainly something that was well within the realm of possibility, given how little info we're left with, and that's a lame way to end a series.
    Last edited by Fawkes; 2012-04-18 at 02:12 AM.
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    Default Re: Mass Effect 3.5B: Taste the Rainbow (Story and Ending Discussion; Spoilers!)

    Quote Originally Posted by GloatingSwine View Post
    No, it's not. It's a direct extrapolation of what the Codex says about both FTL (Slow, limited range) and exploding mass relays.

    The overwhelming trend is that the more people liked Mass Effect, and the more they read into it's background and lore, the more obvious the problems with the ending were to them.
    Now let's look at the facts:

    FTL exists, but is badly developed because of the discovery of Mass Relays. Even so, the standard speed (without forcing too much out of the engines) is 12*c, right? This means that from earth you can get to places like Palaven within a reasonable time. As for the "enormous fuel consumption"... The Quarians have been doing the wagon train thing for YEARS (and as far as I know they have not just hopped back and forth between mass relays). They even have ships that are fuel refineries!

    Yes, remote colonies will suffer, but it is not all destroyed. It is more like all airplanes and modern ships were destroyed and we had to sail to Japan instead of flying there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fawkes View Post
    I don't think that word means what you think it means.

    Look:

    A) In every ending, all the mass relays are destroyed.

    B) The only other time we saw a mass relay destroyed, s**t got blowed up.

    C) Many players believed that in this case, like the one presented before, s**t was going to get blowed up.
    I know exactly what it means. And I know, it was easy to draw the worst possible conclusions because the ending was leaving so much out.

    The one thing in that list isn't a fan wank, but clearly badly told, is the actual explodiness of the relays; the one time we see one up close exploding, it destroys a star system. However there is a huge difference between "destroy" and "explode".

    My point is that in a world without mass relays, there is still no need to cry that the setting is ruined because interstellar traffic will be destroyed! If you think that, you just haven't paid enough attention to the lore.
    Last edited by Avilan the Grey; 2012-04-18 at 02:33 AM.
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    Default Re: Mass Effect 3.5B: Taste the Rainbow (Story and Ending Discussion; Spoilers!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Avilan the Grey View Post
    Now let's look at the facts:

    FTL exists, but is badly developed because of the discovery of Mass Relays. Even so, the standard speed (without forcing too much out of the engines) is 12*c, right? This means that from earth you can get to places like Palaven within a reasonable time.
    ...

    Look at the raw numbers.

    Even at four thousand times the speed of light1 (12 lightyears/day, which is not 12c, which is less than Star Trek speed), that's a pretty small number.

    The galaxy is over a hundred thousand light years across. If the galaxy map on ME is even remotely to scale, the relay-cluster are scattered across the breadth of that! Something half-way across the galaxy map from Earth is ELEVEN YEARS constant transit away, even assuming you could carry or find the fuel and run an FTL engine at 12 lights years speed continuously (which is highly unlikely, since for the obvious reasons, current FTL technology is geared up for fairly short bursts.) And that is the absolute best case scenario.

    Quote Originally Posted by Codex
    Mass relays function by creating a virtually mass-free "corridor" of space-time between each other. This can propel a starship across enormous distances that would take centuries to traverse, even at FTL speeds. Before a vessel can travel, the relay must be given the amount of mass to transit by the ship's pilot before it is moved into the approach corridor. When a relay is activated, it aligns itself with the corresponding relay before propelling the ship across space.

    ...

    There are two kinds of mass relay, primary and secondary. Primary relays can propel a ship thousands of light years but only link to one other relay, its "partner". Secondary relays can link to any other relay over shorter distances, only a few hundred light years.
    That is the data on the Mass Relays we were given from the start in Mass Effect 1, that the writers chose to throw away at the last minute. Without the relays it takes orders of magnitude longer to get anywhere. We know, because THEY TOLD US THAT THEMSELVES. I don't need to extraoplate anything, I'm just looking at their own universe data.

    Will this permenatly isolate everyone? No, as I've said.

    But in the time it takes to re-establish new routes (assuming that, for example, they don't run into anybody else on the way, since the danger of activating relays was of running into hostile aliens (e.g. the Rachni) implies the possiblity of running into somebody else in a system where there was an unexplored - or even no - relay) is going to be larger than the potential time it takes people to die of starvation.



    As I have said, it is like suddenly taking all combustion engines and roads and air-travel away, and meaning people have to go back to canals and barges. It's an order of magnitude slower, and requires a fundemental change to infrastructure. And industrialised civisiations are just naturally - due to the much denser urbanisation - require more supplies.



    And as for the Quarians, the certainly DO have to use the Mass Relays.

    Quote Originally Posted by Codex
    The Migrant Fleet consists of roughly fifty thousand starships that house seventeen million quarians. The Fleet is so large it can take days for all the ships to pass through a mass relay.


    1One wonders if they actually calculated that one out, as either there are a lot more relays than is indicated on the galaxy map between star systems (which there must be, if it's braodly accurate, given the size of the galaxy). Or the galaxy map is complete rubbish, and ME is confined to a miniscule area and conventional FTL is as near as dammit as fast as the relay network, as at 4k light-years/day verses "thousands" of light-years instantaneously is not much of a gap, as at that point, you're really only a day or two behind at conventional FTL, rendering the relay nothing more than first-class delivery to second-class. This, latter, however, does not appear to be supported by the events, as it would have mean that the importance of the Citidel as a decapitatable hub would be greatly reduced, since even the isolated worlds in the region would be a week or two at most apart, and therefore much easier to mount a defense and carry information.
    Last edited by Aotrs Commander; 2012-04-18 at 05:03 AM.

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    Default Re: Mass Effect 3.5B: Taste the Rainbow (Story and Ending Discussion; Spoilers!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Aotrs Commander View Post
    ...

    Look at the raw numbers.

    Even at four thousand times the speed of light1 (12 lightyears/day, which is not 12c, which is less than Star Trek speed), that's a pretty small number.
    You are right (regarding my misremembering "light years" and "speed of light". Anyway:

    FTL is poorly developed because about the time you invent it (or just before) you come across your first relay and stops FTL research (like comparing the combustion engine in an ultra-modern car with that of one in a late 19th century car).
    It will take a few years, but FTL can be by itself optimized far better rather easily. On top of this the knowledge to build new relays is not something that will take ages to acquire. The Protheans knew how to do it. The Asari are pretty damn close; maybe they already have the full theoretical knowledge. We have a ton of reaper corpses (or living reapers) to reverse-engineer.

    Etc.
    Last edited by Avilan the Grey; 2012-04-18 at 05:19 AM.
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    Default Re: Mass Effect 3.5B: Taste the Rainbow (Story and Ending Discussion; Spoilers!)

    Or more likely: the fragile peace brokered by Shepard evaporates and without the Council and the Citadel to keep everything in check the various races fleets go back to their natural state of blasting the hell out of each other.

    Maybe the survivors can scavenge enough resources from Sol to limp home, although there's probably not much industrial capacity that hasn't been blasted by the Reapers. Meanwhile the undefended worlds outside the Sol cluster get taken over by whatever mercenary forces that didn't take part.

    But hey, look on the bright side. If you earned the Synthesis ending, Joker's hat gains sentience!
    Last edited by Trazoi; 2012-04-18 at 05:32 AM. Reason: sp.
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    Default Re: Mass Effect 3.5B: Taste the Rainbow (Story and Ending Discussion; Spoilers!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Avilan the Grey View Post
    You are right (regarding my misremembering "light years" and "speed of light".
    Easily done, I made that mistake myself before I caught it!

    Now, don't get me wrong, 4K c isn't bad, per se, if in isoloation, it's the fact that the relays set up basically - to use D&D terminology - a bit of almost a "points of light" situation, where all transit is between nodes, and the more than 99% of the galaxy is in the unexplored bits between.

    A better analogy than the road/canal one would be if the size of Earth's oceans suddenly increased by a factor of ten to a hundred, and most of the ports and shipyards were damaged during the event. Lots of place rely on imported food or goods, which is going to be considerably disrupted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Avilan the Grey View Post
    FTL is poorly developed because about the time you invent it (or just before) you come across your first relay and stops FTL research (like comparing the combustion engine in an ultra-modern car with that of one in a late 19th century car).
    It will take a few years, but FTL can be by itself optimized far better rather easily. On top of this the knowledge to build new relays is not something that will take ages to acquire. The Protheans knew how to do it. The Asari are pretty damn close; maybe they already have the full theoretical knowledge. We have a ton of reaper corpses (or living reapers) to reverse-engineer.

    Etc.
    It's the "years" bit that's the problem. I agree, it probably won't take them many years to try and re-establish the galactic economy (new enemy civilisations notwithstanding - if, for example, they run into a large, hostile non-relay civilisation slap in the middle of the proposed trade route between, say, Thessia and Palaven, they're going to have problems!) I'd say if it took 'em ten to get cracking they were badly fragging it up (especially if pretty much everyone got saved).

    The problem is the short-term disaster relief. Aid (food, supplies, medical aid) is just not going to get to the smaller colonies for a good while, and that's where people are going to die. Things may be tight on garden worlds or the homeworlds, but they'll be okay in the long-run. It's the rest that are going to suffer.

    Take Noveria, for example.

    (Ooh, that was a good example for me to pick! It's in a known spacial feature, which means we know the actual distance to it!)

    It's 1500 lightyears away, which is 125 days at 12ly/day1. Noveria is "barely habitable" and has no garden worlds (that we know of) in the cluster. They are in serious danger of starvation with no food imports (as it's unlikely they grow enough to be significanlty self-sufficient.) Now, they might not all die, but I suspect there is a high likelihood of significant casualties (on top of any Cerberus/Reapers inflicted.)

    That's one of the closer landmarks - both the Eagle and Omega nebulas, which make an appearance, are about 5-6k light years away from Earth.

    (By the by, Omega station, - in the Omega Nebula - could well be buggered!)

    Now, of course, there may in reality be other alien clusters nearer, of course: we don't know. (Equally, of course - and given the relatively small proportion of the galaxy explored, perhaps probably not) However, this does illustrate that ME, does, in fact, take place over non-trivial FTL transit distances, and that reaching more isolated, less important clusters is going to take time, during which they are at risk.



    1Nearly screwed up the speed/ distance thing again myself there! I was thinking "1500/4000 (the speed, in the amount faster than c speed, not the distance travelled to give us time!)= 3, that doesn't sound a lot", until I remembered it's 1500/12...!
    Last edited by Aotrs Commander; 2012-04-18 at 06:23 AM.

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    Default Re: Mass Effect 3.5B: Taste the Rainbow (Story and Ending Discussion; Spoilers!)

    The Yahg we know are merely an isolated offshoot of a massive galactic empire. Just watch.
    Last edited by Luzahn; 2012-04-18 at 07:40 AM.

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