Mass Effect 3 (Seriously, Use Spoilers People!)

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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Dauric » Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:15 pm UTC

maybeagnostic wrote:But I don't think either of those pools is influenced by your score in the round. For example you get ~1000ish points for killing a phantom (if you deal all the damage), +1000 points for getting 25 assists, +5000 points for fighting an unknown enemy and other kinds of stuff. That doesn't directly influence your xp, at least not linearly, as far as I can tell.

Wasn't sure, I've only had the chance to play the MP twice.

Could be an old-fashioned "highscore" thing, those seem to be making a comeback after having been largely abandoned for a while.

Though IMO the score for the sake of a score always annoyed me. I always preferred useful values that either meant something in gameplay, or that I could spend on stuff that meant something in gameplay, but then again that's just my personal preference.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby VectorZero » Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:31 pm UTC

Pretty sure all those numbers are xp, directly. When I was playing the mp demo, I was getting about 100k per completed bronze mission, made up of the total of all players points for kills, plus individual bonuses (5 melee kills, 25 assists, etc) plus global bonuses (survive 3 rounds, random map, full extraction.)
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby An Enraged Platypus » Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:45 am UTC

Okay, so I have now encountered the Geth in multiplayer. Hardest faction by a mile: small hitboxes, didn't notice a headshot bonus (or maybe I missed?) and their centurion/nemesis tier specials are evil. I shudder to think what they are like at God, tried it at silver and we wiped on wave four.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Obby » Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:02 am UTC

I have to say, I LOVE the little changes they made to the way the crew works. They move around the ship, hold conversations with each other, show up in different places around the neutral zones... It's awesome. I just walked in on Garrus talking with Vega in the lunchroom about who had the most badass story from pre-Shepard days. And then I walked in on Kaidan talking with Liara about biotic powers. The level of detail is astounding.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Yakk » Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:44 am UTC

If you have a ME1 face and you didn't modify it in ME2, ME3 fails to import.

Some people have got a 80% workaround (it misses some colors, hair and eyebrows, and nose):
http://masseffecttools.99k.org/index.php
You have to register for a ME "upload" website (which lets you upload and then decompiles the ME2 save), then you download a particular file that describes your facial model, then you upload it to another website which turns it into a (partial) ME2 face code. Copy that face code, and paste it into the face code section of ME3, and you have 80% of your face reconstructed for you.

They note the parts that they don't parse properly with stars when they do the analysis.

The parts I remember are (eye color) (hair color and style) (eyebrow color) (nose shape) (lip color) (blush color)... and I think that is it. You might want to reload ME2 and write down/screenshot what your shep looks like to get that part right (if you care!). It works differently for fem and mal shep, the above is a femshep breakdown.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Koa » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:27 am UTC

maybeagnostic wrote:I am playing vanguard in the sp and any use of nova that doesn't kill off the final enemy loses me 2+ health bars. I probably just haven't gotten the hang of the vanguard yet but charging when there are more than two enemies around regularly proves to be suicide.

I found that as well, but then I got rid of my shotgun. I only use a pistol and a SMG with reduced weight for the full 200% recharge time on abilities, and I've also gotten every upgrade I can to reduce ability cooldown. I can charge+nova roughly every 1.7 seconds, and given that charge makes you temporarily invincible and restores some of your shield, the only way I can die is if I take a ridiculous amount of damage between cooldowns, which almost never happens with the maxed fortification bonus ability.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Yakk » Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:29 pm UTC

Yes. My opinion is that they seriously screwed up the weapon weight rules. Faster refresh on powers seems way stronger than having another weapon option.

Amusingly, people who aren't you don't have this feature.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby maybeagnostic » Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:56 pm UTC

Koa wrote:
maybeagnostic wrote:I am playing vanguard in the sp and any use of nova that doesn't kill off the final enemy loses me 2+ health bars. I probably just haven't gotten the hang of the vanguard yet but charging when there are more than two enemies around regularly proves to be suicide.

I found that as well, but then I got rid of my shotgun. I only use a pistol and a SMG with reduced weight for the full 200% recharge time on abilities, and I've also gotten every upgrade I can to reduce ability cooldown. I can charge+nova roughly every 1.7 seconds, and given that charge makes you temporarily invincible and restores some of your shield, the only way I can die is if I take a ridiculous amount of damage between cooldowns, which almost never happens with the maxed fortification bonus ability.
I only carry a pistol for 200% cooldown 'bonus' (that's -66% cd time, right?) and I still lose a few bars of health before the animation is over and I can dodge into cover. Waiting for biotic charge to recharge gets me killed nearly every time if there are a few enemies left standing. I have switched to just doing charge and melee attacks because a full barrier is often (but not always) enough to hold off attacks for the 1.7 seconds. Curiously I found the first mission to be the most difficult so far (there was a room in the Mars base that I had to replay 5-6 times before I managed to clear it out) and everything I've played since has been a breeze by comparison. I get killed every once in a while but I haven't gotten stuck on any specific encounter since.

I keep getting the bug where my character gets stuck and can't move until I load another save and come back to the current one. It has happened on missions, on the Normandy, in mp... has no one else had this happen?

Okay, so I have now encountered the Geth in multiplayer. Hardest faction by a mile: small hitboxes, didn't notice a headshot bonus (or maybe I missed?) and their centurion/nemesis tier specials are evil. I shudder to think what they are like at Gold, tried it at silver and we wiped on wave four.
Huh, the geth didn't seem all that hard to me even though they are harder to head shot. More trouble than Cerberus but nowhere near as dangerous as the reapers. I think that is at least partially due to being familiar with all the Cerberus enemies and still being kind of ignorant about the others. For example I still have no idea where to shoot a brute or banshee to do serious damage. Sometimes I take them down pretty fast (or at least I assume it's me because I get 1000-1400 points for kill/assist) and sometimes I empty all my ammo with constant use of warp and can't even take down a banshee's barrier.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby omgryebread » Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:59 pm UTC

So only playing on normal as infiltrator until I get the feel for ME again. It seems a lot harder than ME2. I was playing on Hardcore in 3 for a bit and struggling more than I did on Insanity in 2. In ME2, the supposedly weakest enemies, Loki and Fenris mechs were actually the most scary because they constantly advanced, not caring about cover. They realized this and gave the mechanic to other forces, as well as reducing the linear feel of battlefields. ME2 had a lot of hallways where you had a huge advantage because you couldn't be flanked. ME3 almost always gives you both a way to flank and be flanked. Cerberus will flank like crazy and use guardians to push you out of cover. Reaper forces work well with husks, abusing you when you drop out of cover to fight husks. Grenades are also really really powerful in ME3, which is nice, because it will force you out of cover.

I'm not sure whether it's the fact you're out of cover and enemies come up to you more often, or whether it's the addition of heavy melee, but melee is a ton more useful than before. I only ever used it as a Vanguard or a gimmicky infiltrator build in ME2. Playing as a standard sniper in ME3, I still find it advantageous to run to another point, strip shields with an assault rifle, and melee the enemy, taking the cover to flank other enemies. Or now that I'm playing on normal, cloak up, run out, punch some dudes, roll roll roll cloak, cover, heal, repeat.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:35 pm UTC

Xanthir wrote: The MP is pretty fun, though!

Correction - you (and presumably others) find it fun. Your experiences and personal tastes are not universal. Even in the best MP game with the best MP partners , some users would not find it fun.


Like how some people like broccoli, or prefer men to women as sexual partners.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Yakk » Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:53 pm UTC

Correction -- if noun cannot be used universally (for example, it is a description of a subjective experience), "X is noun" implicitly means "X, to me, is noun", or "X, to the implicit actor in this sentence, is noun" as any other interpretation is nonsense.

And the existence of nonsense interpretations of a sentence is not an error (the EONIOASINAE principle).
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Belial » Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:10 pm UTC

You realize "fun" is an adjective in that sentence, not a noun, right?

Specifically, it's occupying the predicate adjective slot in an extremely simple sentence structured around a linking verb.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby An Enraged Platypus » Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:13 pm UTC

maybeagnostic wrote:
I keep getting the bug where my character gets stuck and can't move until I load another save and come back to the current one. It has happened on missions, on the Normandy, in mp... has no one else had this happen?

Okay, so I have now encountered the Geth in multiplayer. Hardest faction by a mile: small hitboxes, didn't notice a headshot bonus (or maybe I missed?) and their centurion/nemesis tier specials are evil. I shudder to think what they are like at Gold, tried it at silver and we wiped on wave four.
Huh, the geth didn't seem all that hard to me even though they are harder to head shot. More trouble than Cerberus but nowhere near as dangerous as the reapers. I think that is at least partially due to being familiar with all the Cerberus enemies and still being kind of ignorant about the others. For example I still have no idea where to shoot a brute or banshee to do serious damage. Sometimes I take them down pretty fast (or at least I assume it's me because I get 1000-1400 points for kill/assist) and sometimes I empty all my ammo with constant use of warp and can't even take down a banshee's barrier.


RE : MP, it's probably a matter of relative experience. I've a feeling the team wasn't too hot on that encounter, and find Reapers relatively bearable now that I know where to aim and how to evade their attacks.

I've had that freezing bug on the Normandy bridge, and nowhere else. Always after talking to Joker.

Also, I have no idea what Yakk is talking about. There was nothing remotely odd about ST's post gramatically.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Chen » Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:19 pm UTC

An Enraged Platypus wrote:I've had that freezing bug on the Normandy bridge, and nowhere else. Always after talking to Joker.


I also had the freezing thing happen up in the cockpit but its happened when I've spoken to EDI or Joker.

Also, I have no idea what Yakk is talking about. There was nothing remotely odd about ST's post gramatically.


His point was someone saying "This is fun" generally automatically implies that that is how THEY feel about the subject and not generally meaning that this thing is objectively (i.e., to EVERYONE) fun.

Now saying multiplayer in a game is fun, could be interpreted in the manner of "if you find the single player fun, I think you'll also find the multiplayer fun" which may have also been the intent. I think the point was ST's comment was being unnecessarily picky.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Yakk » Fri Mar 09, 2012 6:43 pm UTC

Belial wrote:You realize "fun" is an adjective in that sentence, not a noun, right?

Specifically, it's occupying the predicate adjective slot in an extremely simple sentence structured around a linking verb.

Nope. But the EONIOASINAE principle still applies. :)

Regardless, MP is fun for some people, and miniature American flags for other people.

And the game can be completed with the "best" result with no MP at all.

I'm somewhat annoyed by the fact I cannot decouple my MP games from my account (I wouldn't mind being able to apply it to a particular Sheppard -- does it work that way?)
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby ArgonV » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:04 pm UTC

I FUCKING LOVE THE SCORPION!

That is all
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Chen » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:14 pm UTC

Yakk wrote:I'm somewhat annoyed by the fact I cannot decouple my MP games from my account (I wouldn't mind being able to apply it to a particular Sheppard -- does it work that way?)


It doesn't seem to, though a different profile on the console works.

Presumably you don't want to increase the galactic readiness on one playthrough. Since it caps at 50% on the low end and apparently decreases at ~1%/day, you could try disconnecting from the internet, changing your clock time and then starting the game to see if you can trick it back to 50%. Course if that works you're kinda screwed for your high readiness game, so do that AFTER you've done all the high readiness playthroughs.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Ghostbear » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:25 pm UTC

Finished the game last night, was I the only one that found the ending utterly terrible? Further comments spoilered for, well, spoilers. Seriously, big spoilers. Don't read the spoilered parts if you don't want ending spoilers.
Spoiler:
The ending is possibly the worst ending I've seen in a video game. Lots of people complain that it's bleak, which it is1. Many others will complain that multiplayer being near essential to get the best outcome is a dumb decision, which it is2. Still more will complain about the deus ex machina they pull off at the end, which is terrible3. Even others might complain about the fact that the endings are all practically the same anyway, which is also true4. Or even that a lot of it just doesn't make any sense, still true5. Those aren't what made me hate it though; they make it a bad ending, but not truly terrible.

What made it terrible was that it completely ignores and them promptly invalidates every choice you had made in the three games. The ending is not determined in even the barest fashion by the choices you had made. The new setup that it creates for the universe means that all of the answers you had for the big questions earlier just don't matter. Whether you cured the genophage or sided with the dalatross doesn't matter. What you did about the quarians and the geth doesn't matter. Whether you destroyed the collector base or not doesn't matter. Whether you saved the council or not doesn't matter. Your decisions for a love interest (or lack thereof) don't matter. Even the smaller things- such as the loyalty missions or what you did with Fist- are nullified by the endings. No matter what, none of those decisions have any influence on the future of the galaxy. For a series where player choice is supposed to be significant, this is a really big flaw.

I did like how you get a repeat of talking an indoctrinated person into killing themselves, at least. It was nicely evocative of the end of the first game; it even took place in the same room (though modified). I have a lot of other little complaints- Harbinger was getting setup to be the new arch villain, but yet he doesn't speak to you even once- but the nullification of choice is by far the worst.

1. In most cases, Shepard will die, as will Anderson. If Shepard lives, they will be separated from everyone else that they ever knew or loved, presumably permanently. Galactic civilization is essentially completed destroyed, with the relays being gone. Essentially: 99% of everyone dies and is set back thousands of years technologically no matter what you do. I would actually consider an ending where the reapers win to be a happier ending the one the game creates. Bleak is fine- the ending should be bleak- but this one is too bleak.
2. I did every side quest, didn't side with the dalatross and imported decisions that maximized effective war readiness, and only had a score of about 3,400. To get the best ending needs a score of 5,000. Even if I ironed out the few non-perfect choices, I'd still be far short of that ending.
3. The god-child-AI-whatever was just really dumb. There's no reason to expect it, and it makes no sense in conjunction with the rest of the series. It also tries to explain the reapers as an attempt to preserve organic life, but it just felt flat, because it's pulled out of nowhere in the last 5 minutes of the game. Also, I hated that it had the image as that little shit that died on earth; I didn't give a shit about him dying, I didn't care, and the fact that the game kept assuming that I did care was really grating. Especially since when you get there, the deus ex machina basically says "Well, you got here, so you win". It doesn't care enough to oppose you, or to even try to. And the 3 options it gives you is far too reminiscent of Deus Ex: HR's "Push a button to get an ending" choice, which was widely panned.
4. The principle difference between the 3 endings is the color of energy wave thing- it's red in one, blue in another, and green for the last. That's it. You see, more or less, the same exact cinematic in all 3 cases, with the universe left in a near identical situation as per the post credits bit, completely regardless of which you choose.
5. The Normandy is somehow transported from mid climatic space battle to traveling at FTL speeds to escape an energy wave that doesn't damage any other entity in the universe, but forces it to make a crash landing on a planet. When it crash lands, your crew walks out, including the two squadmates you had with you fighting in London (who would have had no ability to board the Normandy with everything going on).

I actually found most of the game far better than ME2, and about on par with ME1, with many solid improvements in mechanics and, with many of the characters feeling more compelling as well. But the ending was just too terrible for me. I'm not sure if I want to play the ME trilogy again, because of how much it tainted the series in my mind.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Yakk » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:36 pm UTC

Chen wrote:
Yakk wrote:I'm somewhat annoyed by the fact I cannot decouple my MP games from my account (I wouldn't mind being able to apply it to a particular Sheppard -- does it work that way?)


It doesn't seem to, though a different profile on the console works.

Presumably you don't want to increase the galactic readiness on one playthrough. Since it caps at 50% on the low end and apparently decreases at ~1%/day, you could try disconnecting from the internet, changing your clock time and then starting the game to see if you can trick it back to 50%. Course if that works you're kinda screwed for your high readiness game, so do that AFTER you've done all the high readiness playthroughs.

Wait, galactic readiness decays? Is that only for the MP contribution, or is it for the game itself?

Ie, if you play the game over fewer (real life) days, you end up with a higher result?
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Belial » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:40 pm UTC

Galactic Readiness And War Assets are different counters.

War Assets are the things you get in the SP game.

Galactic Readiness is the multiplier applied to war assets, and is determined by MP.

So how quickly you play the single player doesn't matter, but how recently you've played MP might.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Vaniver » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:45 pm UTC

So, similarly to my ME1 experience, I stayed up all night (and then some) to finish it. Lots of things to talk about, most of them are spoilers. I've split them up by region so if you just want to read about the romance you don't have to hear my gripes about the ending.

Genophage:
SlyReaper wrote:
Spoiler:
I spilled the beans about the sabotage and Mordin died anyway. In this case, he had to go to the top of the tower to fix the sabotaged system, knowing he'd never get out of there before it exploded. I wonder how that mission would have played out if Mordin had died on the collector ship in ME2.
Spoiler:
My guess is Maelon would take his place... but that would require that Maelon live. Hmm. Not sure.

So, I actually went back and replayed that mission, because I at least wanted to see the cutscene where Mordin is successful. It was mildly bothersome that most of the things that happened afterwards were things that happened in both versions. For example, immediately after that mission someone (Garrus for me) tells you to get some rest, and you have a nightmare- in which Mordin says "Shepard! Excellent timing; glad you're here." Hearing that repeated during a nightmare while I'm playing in the early morning after making the traumatizing decision to shoot Mordin was... heartrending.

And then I play through the version where Mordin succeeds, and it's the exact same Shepard being tired and nightmare. ...is that Mordin putting in a good word for me?


Obby wrote:I have to say, I LOVE the little changes they made to the way the crew works. They move around the ship, hold conversations with each other, show up in different places around the neutral zones... It's awesome. I just walked in on Garrus talking with Vega in the lunchroom about who had the most badass story from pre-Shepard days. And then I walked in on Kaidan talking with Liara about biotic powers. The level of detail is astounding.
This was a big improvement over previous games; walking in on people having phone calls with each other was a neat touch, as is them actually moving around the ship. Garrus doesn't spend all of his time calibrating now- although he does make several jokes about it.

There are also way less squadmates this time around. Probably a good thing- I still ran with the same two people every time they let me, and seeing old squadmates during plot-centric missions was enough for most of them. But for people whose favorites weren't included- or played a very minor role- I can see that being bothersome.

Ending reaction (minor spoilers, similar to Ghostbear's):
Spoiler:
I was... dissatisfied with the ending. I thought I was heading towards the best ending (my readiness bar was off the charts), but the internet claims there are other endings which I didn't have access to due to insufficient readiness (it also looks like the "minimum" is nowhere near the "Earth gets saved" mark). I'm also not happy that the autosave it makes before you make your choice of ending is overwritten immediately after the ending credits, when it says "here, let's put you back before the point of no return and let you play more."

I was happy that you could convince the Illusive Man to suicide, just like Saren, but unlike Saren that was the end of TIM, instead of you just skipping past version 1.

There are a lot of decisions you make in ME3 that look like they're going to have long-term consequences. I was expecting a montage at the end where we see how things play out- how would the Krogan react to the cure failing? (Wrex tries to murder you when he finds out, but he fails and apparently didn't bother to tell anyone else.) If you implemented the cure, would it cause more suffering in the long term, or would the Krogan reform? What's the role of each species in the new galaxy?

But then, in the last minute, you make a decision that has a strong chance of rendering all of your other decisions moot. (For example, the synthesis ending blows up the mass relays, probably ending galactic civilization as a singular thing and preventing any runaway Krogan expansion. You get a brief glimpse of the future, but not much closure.)

You also get a brief explanation of what the Reaper's deal is, which is pretty unsatisfying. They work fine as Lovecraftian horrors from beyond, or even the apex of synthetic life that likes to seed new entities with new advanced species. But what they actually are is a little weird.


Ending reaction (major spoilers):
Spoiler:
As hinted at one point during the game, the Reapers are just tools used by some other force. That force is the Catalyst- the thing you spend the second half of the game looking for- and apparently it thinks that synthetic life will wipe out all organic life, unless advanced species are harvested.

But... that just doesn't make sense. Where did it come from? It's synthetic life, as are the Reapers, and so apparently the Catalyst is what remains of the first organic life to invent strong artificial intelligence. But the goal- wait idly until the species of the galaxy are too advanced, then harvest them for storage in Reapers, rinse and repeat- just seems so mundane. It's not "we have an inscrutable purpose you're too puny to comprehend" but "we don't have any life outside you."

You also can't say "wait a minute, your 50,000 year clock is a poor plan, synthetic intelligence was reinvented a few centuries ago and is cooperative; organics and synthetics can live together." And also, merging synthetic and biological life? Apparently a blast of green light puts circuitboards on everyone that do... what exactly?


Garrus Romance (minor spoilers):
Spoiler:
So, over the course of the game, there are a couple of conversations, a few kisses (which were well-done), a date (which was fun), and a sleepover.

Not sure how to feel about it as a whole. The parts that were there I liked- and the parts that weren't there I don't know how sore I should be that they weren't there. Take the sleepover for example- it seems about as explicit as the Cortez romance scene,* but not as explicit as the straight human romance scenes. Maybe it's just because they have underwear models for the humans? The romance felt mostly reactionary- Garrus asks you if you're still interested, you say yes or no. He invites you out on a date, you either show up or not. You can't even invite him up to the cabin to cuddle like you could at the end of ME2.

Mass Effect is a really interesting game to play because on the first playthrough you're never quite sure what is and isn't the result of your choices. Did Garrus take my infiltrator out shooting on a date because they're both snipers? Or would he take any femshep out shooting, because that's all he does?

*Amusingly, I watched the 4th Panel for that strip as part of my research for this post, and at about 7 minutes they look at the romance options for femshep in ME2, and both go "yuck!" at the option of Garrus.


Yakk wrote:Wait, galactic readiness decays? Is that only for the MP contribution, or is it for the game itself?
I believe that is only the MP contribution.

Well, I've been awake long enough that I should keep going until nightfall. This is probably enough post for now.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby maybeagnostic » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:48 pm UTC

Ghostbear wrote:Finished the game last night, was I the only one that found the ending utterly terrible? Further comments spoilered for, well, spoilers. Seriously, big spoilers.
I have heard the same opinion shared by everyone who has finished the game (so far that happens to be only about 5 people). It makes me really apprehensive about finishing the game especially since I am less than 5 hours into the game and I already find
Spoiler:
the mysterious Prothean deus ex machina
incredibly disappointing.
T: ... through an emergency induction port.
S: That's a straw, Tali.
T: Emerrrgency induction port.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Ghostbear » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:57 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:[Genophage quest stuff spoilered]
Spoiler:
So, I actually went back and replayed that mission, because I at least wanted to see the cutscene where Mordin is successful. It was mildly bothersome that most of the things that happened afterwards were things that happened in both versions. For example, immediately after that mission someone (Garrus for me) tells you to get some rest, and you have a nightmare- in which Mordin says "Shepard! Excellent timing; glad you're here." Hearing that repeated during a nightmare while I'm playing in the early morning after making the traumatizing decision to shoot Mordin was... heartrending.

And then I play through the version where Mordin succeeds, and it's the exact same Shepard being tired and nightmare. ...is that Mordin putting in a good word for me?

I had a different but similar issue with the nightmare scene after that quest.
Spoiler:
After you wake up, you get asked if you're thinking about anyone that died, and my possible answers were "No" and "Ashley". What the fuck happened to my great buddy Mordin who I just saw die; why can't I say anything about him? I didn't care in the least that Ashley died (fuck, I would have killed both her and Kaiden if the game had let me), nor the little kid that kept reappearing in stupid nightmare sequences, but I did care about Mordin dying. He was a good friend of my Shepard, and definitely one of the more liked characters by most fans as far as I can tell. Yet the game stops caring that he died within minutes of it happening.

Vaniver wrote:Ending reaction (minor spoilers, similar to Ghostbear's):
Spoiler:
But then, in the last minute, you make a decision that has a strong chance of rendering all of your other decisions moot. (For example, the synthesis ending blows up the mass relays, probably ending galactic civilization as a singular thing and preventing any runaway Krogan expansion. You get a brief glimpse of the future, but not much closure.)

I already said stuff agreeing with most of what you had said there before, but:
Spoiler:
I think the relays are "consumed" in all of the endings. I did some poking around the internet, and the general idea seems to be that the relays are used to power the energy wave things. Sort of like how Shepard almost certainly dies in all of the endings, even though you're only explicitly told about that for one of the options, I think the relays are destroyed in all of the options.

Vaniver wrote:Ending reaction (major spoilers):
Spoiler:
As hinted at one point during the game, the Reapers are just tools used by some other force. That force is the Catalyst- the thing you spend the second half of the game looking for- and apparently it thinks that synthetic life will wipe out all organic life, unless advanced species are harvested.

But... that just doesn't make sense. Where did it come from? It's synthetic life, as are the Reapers, and so apparently the Catalyst is what remains of the first organic life to invent strong artificial intelligence. But the goal- wait idly until the species of the galaxy are too advanced, then harvest them for storage in Reapers, rinse and repeat- just seems so mundane. It's not "we have an inscrutable purpose you're too puny to comprehend" but "we don't have any life outside you."

You also can't say "wait a minute, your 50,000 year clock is a poor plan, synthetic intelligence was reinvented a few centuries ago and is cooperative; organics and synthetics can live together." And also, merging synthetic and biological life? Apparently a blast of green light puts circuitboards on everyone that do... what exactly?

Spoiler:
Yeah, none of it made any sense to me. Trying to explain the reapers was just a terrible idea on their behalf, I think. Also, I find it ridiculous that the plans for the crucible were able to survive to pass through countless cycles uninterrupted. Over the course of probably millions of years, we're supposed to believe that each species was always able to both successfully leave the plans behind- completely undiscovered by the reapers- for the next to find, and find the plans from the prior cycle? The chances that of the plans not surviving or going by without being found seems staggering. Also, the first people that did work on it must have known what it did, yet they made zero attempt to explain that in the plans themselves.

At least if the reapers had won, it would have been sort of a happier ending for future cycles; the reapers would have taken a huge blow compared to before (it seems to be indicated that they almost never suffer casualties to proper reapers), having lost potentially dozens of them to the various fleets. This would have likely been far more than they could replace with this cycle, leaving them greatly weakened for the next one. Not to mention, they'd have a much harder time collecting all of the technology left behind in that case, making it possible for the future races to have thanix-equivalents very early on, and possibly even knowing about the reapers as well.

maybeagnostic wrote:
Ghostbear wrote:Finished the game last night, was I the only one that found the ending utterly terrible? Further comments spoilered for, well, spoilers. Seriously, big spoilers.
I have heard the same opinion shared by everyone who has finished the game (so far that happens to be only about 5 people). It makes me really apprehensive about finishing the game especially since I am less than 5 hours into the game and I already find
Spoiler:
the mysterious Prothean deus ex machina
incredibly disappointing.

If so, I am sorry to say that you will probably be more disappointed as you find out more. The story around that particular point of the game was, for me, entirely downhill.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Vaniver » Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:32 pm UTC

Ghostbear wrote:I had a different but similar issue with the nightmare scene after that quest.
Spoiler:
That was another thing where that made perfect sense to me the first time I saw it- No, I would rather not discuss my great friend who I had to shoot for the sake of galactic peace. Let's talk about anything else. But it's just weird that the Mordin-murdering and Mordin-aiding cases are the same.

(I also had no reservations about killing Ashley- though I did find it amusing that, when you got to know her in ME1, it's clear Shepard thinks she's sort of weird for being religious and you can be an obnoxious atheist to her.)


Ghostbear wrote:
Spoiler:
At least if the reapers had won, it would have been sort of a happier ending for future cycles; the reapers would have taken a huge blow compared to before (it seems to be indicated that they almost never suffer casualties to proper reapers), having lost potentially dozens of them to the various fleets. This would have likely been far more than they could replace with this cycle, leaving them greatly weakened for the next one. Not to mention, they'd have a much harder time collecting all of the technology left behind in that case, making it possible for the future races to have thanix-equivalents very early on, and possibly even knowing about the reapers as well.
Spoiler:
Not to mention that Liara is actively seeding helpful beacons throughout the galaxy, rather than the Prothean ones which assumed users would be Prothean.

Speaking of Protheans, man, does their "experience memory" bug me, as well as Javik talking about DNA. Would be nice if there were a little more science there and a little less fiction, but oh well.


Something else that bugged me:
Spoiler:
So, the three dominant races of the galaxy (pre-human) have these traits: Asari are powerful biotics that can live up to a thousand years long, and can gain useful psychological strengths of other species by mating. Turians are disciplined (and apparently good shots) and have hundred year lifespans. Salarians think quickly, have great memories, and only need an hour of sleep a day- but have 40 year lifespans.

From just that, what do you expect? Age over beauty- the Asari should be the dominant species, followed by the Turians, followed by the Salarians. An Asari matriarch has lived about 20 Salarian lifespans. That sort of gap is hard to make up by lateral thinking.

But what does ME3 tell us about this balance of power? Oh, the Asari got their tech edge from a hidden Prothean beacon that they didn't share with other Council races. Isn't it far more plausible their tech edge comes from not dying young? I mean, hell, imagine if every person ever inducted into the Royal Society were still alive and researching today.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Dauric » Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:36 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:
Genophage:
SlyReaper wrote:
Spoiler:
I spilled the beans about the sabotage and Mordin died anyway. In this case, he had to go to the top of the tower to fix the sabotaged system, knowing he'd never get out of there before it exploded. I wonder how that mission would have played out if Mordin had died on the collector ship in ME2.
Spoiler:
My guess is Maelon would take his place... but that would require that Maelon live. Hmm. Not sure.

So, I actually went back and replayed that mission, because I at least wanted to see the cutscene where Mordin is successful. It was mildly bothersome that most of the things that happened afterwards were things that happened in both versions. For example, immediately after that mission someone (Garrus for me) tells you to get some rest, and you have a nightmare- in which Mordin says "Shepard! Excellent timing; glad you're here." Hearing that repeated during a nightmare while I'm playing in the early morning after making the traumatizing decision to shoot Mordin was... heartrending.

And then I play through the version where Mordin succeeds, and it's the exact same Shepard being tired and nightmare. ...is that Mordin putting in a good word for me?




Spoiler:
If Mordin dies in ME2 (I lost Mordin, Jacob and Zaeed) then he's replaced by a completely new character you meet in the Salarian base where you pick up "Eve", one of the lead researchers, it's not Maelon though so Maelon's life or death doesn't matter, except insofar as Maelon sends you an e-mail after the operation if he's still around.. Although I forget the replacement character's name, he's fairly well written and while the voice acting is he same actor the replacement character doesn't have the same cadence or tone as Mordin so it's not annoyingly obvious that "Hey- They cloned Mordin!"

The Thresher Maw Vs. the Reaper could have used more Maw Vs. Reaper and a little less Shepard running across broken ruins, but still... Mother of all Thresher Maws constricting a Reaper... Currently my favorite cinematic.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Obby » Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:00 pm UTC

RE: Quarians

Spoiler:
RETARDED. RETARDEDLY BAD. What in the fuck were they thinking, going to war with the Geth? Now, not only do I not have the Quarian fleet to help me (seeing as they're all dead), Tali and Legion both have committed suicide. WHY. WHY ARE THEY RETARDED. Going to replay that section, because I'd rather have the Quarians than the Geth. Sorry Legion, you're awesome and all, and the Quarians are huge dicks, but Tali is my romance option.

Edit: The other option isn't much better. Instead of Legion killing himself to upload the reaper code, Tali and I had to murder him. Anyone know if there's a way to get both to listen to you in this? There was no reason for the Quarians to go to war, so I feel like there should be a way to make them listen to you and stop attacking the Geth, while still being able to upload the Reaper code. That way you get both the Geth and the Quarians on your side. The way ME2 was going, I was sure that would have been an option.
Last edited by Obby on Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:28 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby SirBryghtside » Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:23 pm UTC

First 5 hours:

Spoiler:
Yeah, it's a lot of fun. It started off a little dull, but once I got on the Normandy - and actually on the Normandy, not just using it as a bus - it improved so much. It feels like Mass Effect again, and right now I just feel like I have so much to do in terms of sidequests I don't know where to start. It's great!

Planet scanning coming back is irritating, and the new system isn't any better, but at least it's quicker than before. I was right 6 months ago when I said the combat was unchanged, but that doesn't matter too much - it's still great. Favourite moments so far have been becoming tired of someone's tabloid journalism and EDI becoming humanoid. I couldn't stop laughing XD
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Ghostbear » Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:05 am UTC

Speaking of story things that bugged people:
Spoiler:
Why are the reapers so strategically stupid in this game? In all the prior cycles, they won by taking over the citadel and then shutting down relays that they weren't using. Yet they waited until being tipped off to their potential doom to do so this time. It wasn't apparently a significant undertaking for them either, so I don't understand why it wasn't the very first thing they'd have tried to do this time. Obviously a story breaker, but they could have added in some text about the citadel relay being heavily fortified this time around, or something.

Not to mention, they immediately went straight into the harvesting, instead of flying around the galaxy just destroying everybody's fleets and industrial centers- for a group with no supply lines and such, this would be hugely logical. If nobody is able to travel around- either through no fleets or no relays- the reapers then have complete control over the battles taking place.

Vaniver wrote:Something else that bugged me:
Spoiler:
So, the three dominant races of the galaxy (pre-human) have these traits: Asari are powerful biotics that can live up to a thousand years long, and can gain useful psychological strengths of other species by mating. Turians are disciplined (and apparently good shots) and have hundred year lifespans. Salarians think quickly, have great memories, and only need an hour of sleep a day- but have 40 year lifespans.

From just that, what do you expect? Age over beauty- the Asari should be the dominant species, followed by the Turians, followed by the Salarians. An Asari matriarch has lived about 20 Salarian lifespans. That sort of gap is hard to make up by lateral thinking.

But what does ME3 tell us about this balance of power? Oh, the Asari got their tech edge from a hidden Prothean beacon that they didn't share with other Council races. Isn't it far more plausible their tech edge comes from not dying young? I mean, hell, imagine if every person ever inducted into the Royal Society were still alive and researching today.

Spoiler:
Some of that could have possibly been explained through population differences, but the asari seem to have similarly sized populations to the other big races as well. Actually, the total technological advantage they have over the other races seems puny (I don't think it's ever truly shown to exist beyond them being larger economically) considering that they're supposed to have had such a large jump start, not even taking into account their lifespans.


Vaniver wrote:
Spoiler:
That was another thing where that made perfect sense to me the first time I saw it- No, I would rather not discuss my great friend who I had to shoot for the sake of galactic peace. Let's talk about anything else. But it's just weird that the Mordin-murdering and Mordin-aiding cases are the same.

(I also had no reservations about killing Ashley- though I did find it amusing that, when you got to know her in ME1, it's clear Shepard thinks she's sort of weird for being religious and you can be an obnoxious atheist to her.)

Spoiler:
That would make quite a bit of sense if you had killed him, but even then, an option for Shepard to say "Yeah, I feel kinda guilty about it even though I think it was the right thing to do..." would seem logical. It's supposed to be your (not Bioware's) Shepard after all, and just because an option might not make sense to everyone doesn't mean it wouldn't make sense to many.

Obby wrote:RE: Quarians

Spoiler:
RETARDED. RETARDEDLY BAD. What in the fuck were they thinking, going to war with the Geth? Now, not only do I not have the Quarian fleet to help me (seeing as they're all dead), Tali and Legion both have committed suicide. WHY. WHY ARE THEY RETARDED. Going to replay that section, because I'd rather have the Quarians than the Geth. Sorry Legion, you're awesome and all, and the Quarians are huge dicks, but Tali is my romance option.

Edit: The other option isn't much better. Instead of Legion killing himself to upload the reaper code, Tali and I had to murder him. Anyone know if there's a way to get both to listen to you in this? There was no reason for the Quarians to go to war, so I feel like there should be a way to make them listen to you and stop attacking the Geth, while still being able to upload the Reaper code. That way you get both the Geth and the Quarians on your side. The way ME2 was going, I was sure that would have been an option.

Spoiler:
Yes, you can get them to get along successfully; I was able to. From what I understand, you need 5 "points" to get it. You get some for destroying the heretic geth (not reprogramming them- reprogramming gets you more war assets though), some for rescuing the downed admiral, some for getting Tali acquitted during her trial, and I think some for doing her pilgrimage quest way back in ME1. It is truly a much better ending for the Quarian-Geth standoff.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby SlyReaper » Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:11 am UTC

Obby wrote:RE: Quarians

Spoiler:
RETARDED. RETARDEDLY BAD. What in the fuck were they thinking, going to war with the Geth? Now, not only do I not have the Quarian fleet to help me (seeing as they're all dead), Tali and Legion both have committed suicide. WHY. WHY ARE THEY RETARDED. Going to replay that section, because I'd rather have the Quarians than the Geth. Sorry Legion, you're awesome and all, and the Quarians are huge dicks, but Tali is my romance option.

Edit: The other option isn't much better. Instead of Legion killing himself to upload the reaper code, Tali and I had to murder him. Anyone know if there's a way to get both to listen to you in this? There was no reason for the Quarians to go to war, so I feel like there should be a way to make them listen to you and stop attacking the Geth, while still being able to upload the Reaper code. That way you get both the Geth and the Quarians on your side. The way ME2 was going, I was sure that would have been an option.


You probably didn't have enough paragon/renegade points.

Spoiler:
I was able to save both the Quarians and Geth.


Anyway I just finished the game.
Spoiler:
You get three options at the end; all of them suck. But that's okay, because it pretty much fits with the tone of the series as a whole. I just wish there was an option that didn't result in the destruction of galactic civilisation.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Vaniver » Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:49 am UTC

Obby wrote:RE: Quarians
Spoiler:
I got a Geth-Quarian love-fest, where I got both fleets. Legion sacrificed himself, but Tali joined up. I had a bunch of paragon points, rescued the civ fleet admiral, went with Legion to the server, where I learned about the Morning War and picked up a bunch of Geth Primes, then went to the Reaper broadcasting a signal, talked down Gerrel from destroying the Geth fleet, and everybody lived happily ever after.

(I also got Tali acquitted in 2, and reprogrammed the Heretics. It looks like reprogramming the Heretics turns Quarian ships into Geth ships. I think I also did her pilgrimage quest in 1.)


Ghostbear wrote:Why are the reapers so strategically stupid in this game?
Spoiler:
The stupidest thing about the reapers? They have one weapon, that swivels slowly. You're shooting a laser, for Azathoth's sake, it doesn't take much effort to rotate, and then people couldn't dodge because they would be dead as soon as they saw you.


Ghostbear wrote:
Spoiler:
That would make quite a bit of sense if you had killed him, but even then, an option for Shepard to say "Yeah, I feel kinda guilty about it even though I think it was the right thing to do..." would seem logical.
Spoiler:
Telling Liara "by the way, remember our friend that heroically sacrificed himself to save an entire race of people? I actually was an accessory to the sabotage of that cure, and I shot him dead." strikes me as a big mistake.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Ghostbear » Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:40 am UTC

SlyReaper wrote:Anyway I just finished the game.
Spoiler:
You get three options at the end; all of them suck. But that's okay, because it pretty much fits with the tone of the series as a whole. I just wish there was an option that didn't result in the destruction of galactic civilisation.

Spoiler:
How does it fit with the tone of the series? The series is about your decisions mattering. The ending completely invalidates all of your prior decisions and makes it so they don't matter. The war with the reapers was about choosing and making a future for ourselves, not just accepting the one the reapers give us. At the end of the game, you're given 3 ending options from an entity somehow aligned with the reapers, and you're forced to take one of those options. Everything about the ending is contrary to the tone of the series. I honestly don't know that they could have made a worse ending if they had tried.

Vaniver wrote:
Ghostbear wrote:Why are the reapers so strategically stupid in this game?
Spoiler:
The stupidest thing about the reapers? They have one weapon, that swivels slowly. You're shooting a laser, for Azathoth's sake, it doesn't take much effort to rotate, and then people couldn't dodge because they would be dead as soon as they saw you.

Technically, their weapon is a particle beam instead of a laser. It just happens to fire at a near light speeds and looks a lot like a laser when interpreted by an art team managed by people that don't care about the established lore.

Vaniver wrote:
Spoiler:
Telling Liara "by the way, remember our friend that heroically sacrificed himself to save an entire race of people? I actually was an accessory to the sabotage of that cure, and I shot him dead." strikes me as a big mistake.

Spoiler:
Well, when you put it like that, yeah it does sound stupid. I guess I'm just really bothered that there was no option to talk about him dying immediately after he dies, when I am asked if I was thinking about anyone that died. It's just such a stupid scenario for people that let him do his thing.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Belial » Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:05 am UTC

It's not even a particle beam, it's a giant relativistic liquid metal firehose. Liquid metal just glows real nice. Works off the same principle as that one Geth sniper rifle, except huge.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Obby » Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:15 am UTC

RE: Tali's face

Spoiler:
Did anyone else notice the picture on the bedside after you finish your business with Tali before you assault Cerberus (assuming Tali is the one you're romancing)? I'm pretty sure that was a portrait shot of Tali without her mask and head gear on. It was quick, and definitely not the focus of the scene since the picture only flashes on the screen for less than a second, and it's partially obscured for most of that time by Shepard's body as he sits on the edge of the bed, but I'd wager that it was Tali sans-mask.

Grey-greenish skin, long black hair, very pointy nose and dark eyes. Fairly exotic. Doesn't look like anyone I've seen in the series before, and since it's a framed picture by Shepard's bed...
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Lucrece » Sat Mar 10, 2012 6:19 am UTC

http://i.imgur.com/SAak3.jpg

There's Tali's face, taken from a stock image. Apologies in advance, as the image is a strip from an anti-Bioware zealot that couldn't hold back from introducing trans panic concerning Ashley.

A hater image. I don't really care when people borrow and retouch. I thought it fit, even if people wanted more alien features -- which defeats the whole point of Tali as Russian fembot.

Also, pretty much the entire BSN is bloodbath and pillaging once people have gotten to the endings. If there's any possibility of a "fix it" DLC or patch for more satisfying variety, this shitstorm is as best an excuse as it'll ever get.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby SlyReaper » Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:28 am UTC

Ghostbear wrote:
SlyReaper wrote:Anyway I just finished the game.
Spoiler:
You get three options at the end; all of them suck. But that's okay, because it pretty much fits with the tone of the series as a whole. I just wish there was an option that didn't result in the destruction of galactic civilisation.

Spoiler:
How does it fit with the tone of the series? The series is about your decisions mattering. The ending completely invalidates all of your prior decisions and makes it so they don't matter. The war with the reapers was about choosing and making a future for ourselves, not just accepting the one the reapers give us. At the end of the game, you're given 3 ending options from an entity somehow aligned with the reapers, and you're forced to take one of those options. Everything about the ending is contrary to the tone of the series. I honestly don't know that they could have made a worse ending if they had tried.

Dark; miserable; anything you do is going to screw someone over. Seems to fit with the tone of the series to me.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby SirBryghtside » Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:14 pm UTC

I just want to ask one question before I continue.

Do you have to play Galaxy at War to get the 'good' ending? Or does it just make it easier?

Edit@: Nevermind, read the thread. That's stupid.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Obby » Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:13 pm UTC

So, finished the game last night.

I gotta say, I am very dissatisfied with it.

Spoiler:
I understand what they were trying to do. The choices you're given have obvious and relevant mirrors to the rest of the game (synthetics and organics coexisting ties with the Quarians and the Geth, the right to self-determination ties in with the Genophage and the Krogan, etc.). And if they didn't completely invalidate every choice you made in the rest of the series at the end by destroying the mass relays and re-setting galactic civilization back several thousand years, I think that those choices would have been a wonderful way to end the series.

But as it is... the game isn't complete. There's no epilogue that shows how your allies are dealing with everything, no true ending that says "this is the result of your choice" because every choice leads to more or less the same result. It just stops. Maybe that's the point, I dunno, but it felt extremely hand-wavey and glossed over. The rest of the game is fantastic, but it's like the writers got to the end of the game and just stopped caring.

But really. A child AI-God-thing that's only introduced in the last 5 minutes of the game? What the hell Bioware, that's just fucking lazy.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby SlyReaper » Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:28 pm UTC

Spoiler:
I thought it was just reading Shepherd's mind and taking the form of that dumb-ass kid she'd been dreaming about. I thought it was a moderately clever switcheroo - the reapers didn't create the citadel, the citadel created the reapers. But yeah, the endings were disappointing, and an epilogue would have been nice.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby An Enraged Platypus » Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:14 pm UTC

100% Galactic Readiness. Bring on the final missons.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Vaniver » Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:05 pm UTC

Ghostbear wrote:Technically, their weapon is a particle beam instead of a laser. It just happens to fire at a near light speeds and looks a lot like a laser when interpreted by an art team managed by people that don't care about the established lore.
A glowy red line for a particle beam is almost correct. I mean, it should be blue instead of red, but I'm willing to give them artistic license on that one.

I'm not willing to forgive the stupidity of having a single, not very useful weapon, though.

Ghostbear wrote:
Spoiler:
Well, when you put it like that, yeah it does sound stupid. I guess I'm just really bothered that there was no option to talk about him dying immediately after he dies, when I am asked if I was thinking about anyone that died. It's just such a stupid scenario for people that let him do his thing.
Spoiler:
I definitely agree that it's bothersome that you cannot talk about Mordin when you told him about the sabotage.


The ending that I would have gone with, I think:
Spoiler:
The predecessor of the Reapers was made by the first race clever enough to build Strong AI. They called it the Catalyst, and it powered their society. Its goal was a carefully worded version of "life is given meaning by emotion, and so ensure our lives are filled with rich emotion." They didn't want mindless pleasure, but to have both the sweet and sour sides of life. The Catalyst was strongly prevented from modifying its moral code, though it could obviously improve everything else. Things went well for a long time- eventually they discovered eezo, and spread to nearby stars.

Then they found aliens. The trip from the Catalyst's homeworld to the alien's homeworld took light a thousand years, and even for the most powerful ships it took forty years. The aliens were beginning their industrial revolution, and the Catalyst's creators deliberated long and hard over whether they should include these aliens in the Catalyst's responsibility. Eventually they decided that all discovered sapient organic life should be under the Catalyst's jurisdiction. The Catalyst decided that integration would increase emotional valence, and that a forty year trip, though there were juicy emotions associated with going on one, was far too long. The Relays were designed to speed that trip up to a few weeks, allowing significant integration between the races and the creation of many more colonies.

Some of the voices arguing against the extension of the Catalyst's jurisdiction thought that it might dilute how much the Catalyst cared about any particular species. There is a certain romance to being the last of one's kind- and they didn't want the Catalyst to cause that for anyone. Their fears did not come to pass with the first alien race discovered, and so their position was forgotten and expansion continued.

Forgotten by all but the Catalyst. With just two races, one of them just recently uplifted, the Catalyst didn't have any species to spare. But as it became clear that life was common throughout the galaxy, not rare, the Catalyst decided to act on that romance. It secretly created 'invaders from another galaxy,' which it pitted against the uplifted species in a long, losing war, savoring the pains of defeat, joys of victory, and sorrow of loss.

Eventually, when the war was drawing to a close, and only a few colonies remained, the Catalyst revealed to the remaining uplifted species that it could not protect them as individuals, but could fuse them into a monument to their species that would last for eons. They would maintain their rich emotional lives- but would only have a tiny bit of control over the monument's actions. Desperate, they agreed, and the first Reapers were born.

As part of a Reaper, they now learned of the Catalyst's plan, filling them with horror beyond measure. Well, beyond anyone but the Catalyst's measure, who was deeply satisfied with the culmination of a brilliant plan long in the making. It had found the loophole in its morals- emotional life counted if the computer was created from natural biological material, but it only had to respect individual autonomy. By allowing many mortals to fuse into one nation, it could control the nation while still delighting in the emotions of the individuals that made up that nation.

They waited, parked in space, reliving their lives and the stories that made up their civilization, waiting for other species to raise themselves up. Then the Catalyst would harvest them as well, continuing its mission, varying things slightly every time to try and find the best way to satisfy its goal, discovering just how much of galactic civilization should be preserved from cycle to cycle.

The Crucible is a device that allows modification of the Catalyst's moral code. Will it continue its original mission, preserving humanity, asari, turians, and others as monuments that will last for eons, and destroying plans for the Crucible to keep the equilibrium? Will it shut itself down, and send the Reapers to orbit distant stars, self-contained and self-satisfying, leaving current life alone? Will it become attuned to Shepard's morality, guiding galactic life according to her goals, turning her into the closest thing to a god?

Commentary: As D'Arcy Thompson put it, "things are the way they are because they got to be that way." The Reapers have a plausible origin, and their stupidities are seen as furthering some alien goal (Why are they good at killing but bad at killing quickly? Because survivors generate more emotional valence, and a singular weapon generates more emotional valence). This also lets life go on. If you turn the current uplifted species into Reapers, well, the choices you make during the game don't matter all that much, and the epilogue video would probably focus on the yahg, possibly discovering one of Liara's capsules that avoided destruction. If you shut down the Catalyst, then galactic life continues, and you get epilogue stories from everyone, and humanity's stature increases significantly because of you and because the Citadel now conveniently orbits Earth. If the Catalyst becomes attuned to Shepard's morality, you get a different epilogue video based on paragon/renegade for everyone. Humanity's stature is made far higher because of the Catalyst's new human bias.


If parts of this post appear odd, blame it on the filters. I fixed what I could without modifying my original text too much.
Last edited by Vaniver on Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:14 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
I mostly post over at LessWrong now.

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