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Old 11-29-2012, 10:18 PM   #1721
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Originally Posted by stingerhs View Post
you know, maybe its because i've always been more of a fan of shooters than RPG's, but i fail to see how an ending "destroys" a game. from where i stand, it really just makes everybody sound like a bunch of whining nerds that care too much about whether or not Han shot first. if you have a 5 course meal, and the first 4 courses are amazing, then how does a "mediocre and rushed" final course "destroy" the entire meal??
I wouldn't say it destroys a game, but it certainly harms it. Many people will recognize the Mass Effect trilogy had very powerful moments and at times really was amazing. But if you set up a story as a trilogy with a clear beginning, middle and ending, you can damn well make sure your ending is satisfying, at least make it consistent with what came before.

So yes, even with the endings we got, the great things from the trilogy still exist, but they are made rather inconsequential with those endings in hindsight. I know you can't please everyone and with expectations so high, there were bound to be people who wouldn't accept how the trilogy ended, but this wasn't about some artistic choice, it was promises made over several games (choice matters!) thrown out the window so they could make three simple endings, introducing a game-changing element in the universe in the last five minutes to make it possible, that made people so unaccepting of the endings.

Also, I don't feel like this is just bitching about the ending just because we didn't like it. I think it's worth discussing how the ending influences your experience of the rest of the game, how you perceive everything in hindsight and if it made people not care about replaying, and so on.


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Old 11-29-2012, 10:41 PM   #1722
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if you want to get constructive, then lets get constructive. the whole point is that everyone gets so focused on the problem that there's no solutions being presented, and its just the same old comments reiterated again and again.

look, i respect your opinion, and i apologize if anyone takes what i've had to say too personal as its not intended that way. its just that if you say it once, thats great. twice, and your highlighting your original point. more than that, it gets repetitive fast, and it doesn't really contribute to the discussion unless you're offering a different take or an actual solution.


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Old 11-30-2012, 12:50 AM   #1723
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Suddenly we're BioWare Okay folks, time to offer up some solutions so we can re-release Mass Effect 3 with a much better ending, chop chop. Hurry up now or EA will fire us all. Solutions by people have been presented in the past, I'm pretty sure I presented solutions as well... but so what if we come up with solutions or not?

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Old 11-30-2012, 01:39 AM   #1724
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@ Tot: I'm aware of what I said, and then Mass Effect 3's ending comes along and shows you just how bad an ending can get that it ends up turning the journey sour... that is for a rerun. I cherish my one and only journey through the Mass Effect trilogy until that ending... however, because of that ending, I find that I can't go through that journey again to take all of those different choices I never took. Because of that ending, once is enough for me. No more.
Was merely tweaking you, lynk. Just figured it was a good excuse to turn your words back on ya is all. Frankly, though, given the nature of the enemy in that game, not really sure how anyone expected it to be too much different. The star child was nothing more than a lame manifestation of the AI you had to confront anyway and was foreshadowed throughout. So, while I agree that the ending was underwhelming, it wasn't a deal breaker for me. However, as I also said, not rushing to get any "sequel" in the franchise.

Quote:
Suddenly we're BioWare Okay folks, time to offer up some solutions so we can re-release Mass Effect 3 with a much better ending, chop chop. Hurry up now or EA will fire us all. Solutions by people have been presented in the past, I'm pretty sure I presented solutions as well... but so what if we come up with solutions or not?
It'd be interesting to see what some other peoples' solutions were. Asked that question in a thread (this one?, don't remember), but very few people seemed game to answer. I figure if people are gonna complain that the pooch was screwed, that perhaps they have definite ideas of their own about how it should have gone down.


Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.---Patton

There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism.---Teddy Roosevelt

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Old 11-30-2012, 01:59 AM   #1725
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I mentioned before that they could've gone the more Silent Hill route where the endings would be drastically different from each other and even come at different times, maybe even earlier... for example, Sheps death if he tried to sex up Samara's daughter... that said, I also acknowledged the fact that trying to achieve such a route would be pretty damn ambitious. But it would have been the driving force that would have spurred a lot of people to replay the entire trilogy to try to get all of those different endings.

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Old 11-30-2012, 02:16 AM   #1726
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Well, considering that TIM resurrected Shep from less than a union with Morinth would have left behind, probably not a permanent end (though you can certainly end your playthrough that way if you'd like). Yes, generally speaking, they could have given the main choices very different endings, but what specifically did you have in mind? It would have been very ambitious indeed, though. Hell, look how they wussed out on the whole issue of Tali's appearance. But a better plotted out ending (in addition to seeing the war assets you acquire--outside of the initial battle approaching Earth--actually used in combat) definitely would have been more intriguing. I'd have gladly waited another year (as would most fans, I think) for them to have "gotten it right".


Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.---Patton

There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism.---Teddy Roosevelt

I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception.---Groucho

And if you all get killed, I'll piss on your graves.---Shaman Urdnot

How would you like to own a little bit of my foot in your ass.---Red Foreman
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:21 AM   #1727
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I don't write fan fiction.

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Old 11-30-2012, 02:25 AM   #1728
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Not a question of writing fan fiction. Just presenting a concrete example/s of better solutions than those offered. I find most people who complain about these things rarely have constructive criticism or better solutions, they just whinge. I figured maybe you were more in the first category than the second.


Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.---Patton

There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism.---Teddy Roosevelt

I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception.---Groucho

And if you all get killed, I'll piss on your graves.---Shaman Urdnot

How would you like to own a little bit of my foot in your ass.---Red Foreman
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:42 AM   #1729
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Now all you're doing is herding me into a position where my views and opinions are rendered invalid by default because I may or may not have thought of solutions to BioWare's problems. If BioWare would like to pay me to solve their problems, by all means, I welcome the money and the opportunity...

But I'll play your little game and give you a single example: The Geth. In Mass Effect 2 you have the power to basically determine where the future of their species will lead... in Mass Effect 3, the same basic thing occurs in the Quarian/Geth arc with just a few character changed around. It's epic, yes... but no real branching paths, just character swaps and a happy/bittersweet or sad variation of the same thing. Why not let us have an ending where depending on our choices made in ME2/3 relating to the Quarians and the Geth, we could have some kind of victory where those two factions played a huge part and even change the course of the entire ending.

Again, I don't write fan fiction so that's about as good an explanation I can give you.

With that said, and I'd like to stress this... What none of us can do in this thread or any other thread relating to something we have no power to change is to give constructive criticism. Constructive criticism requires that we have an actual part to play in the design changes of what is being discussed. *points @ tot* As I said before, what you were doing was trying to render my opinion and views invalid unless I presented a solution that cannot be enacted... even though I did provide a solution in my previous post which was referencing a previous post in this thread to begin with.

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Old 11-30-2012, 04:20 AM   #1730
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Me playing around in Miiverse on Wii U... dunno why my Mii isn't showing up properly on there...

Show spoiler

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Old 11-30-2012, 04:44 AM   #1731
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynk Former View Post
Now all you're doing is herding me into a position where my views and opinions are rendered invalid by default because I may or may not have thought of solutions to BioWare's problems. If BioWare would like to pay me to solve their problems, by all means, I welcome the money and the opportunity...
ahh, don't give up so easily. i'm pretty sure that Bioware doesn't know/care that this thread even exists, but why not? nobody said that you have to be a good writer to come up with a solution to this sort of a problem, and whether or not a solution would ever be implemented is a rather moot point given that you faced a problem and tried to solve it. you never know if you might have an untapped skill somewhere. i believe that you probably have some great ideas, and you've already presented a few to boot.

and before you tell me that its just a waste of time, let me be the first to remind you that we're discussing a video game trilogy that takes about 70-90 hours to complete.


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Old 11-30-2012, 04:48 AM   #1732
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I don't think it's a waste of time, I just acknowledge that my talents are limited I can only go as far as critiquing video games based on my tastes, I would absolutely love to have the talent to make them and know it's tough, but even so, I still must critique away... it's tough love for the developers, no matter who they are.

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Old 11-30-2012, 04:58 AM   #1733
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i think you have more than you think, and i got an idea to test it.

what if....

...you had the option to join the Illusive Man in ME3??

...you could start working with a Reaper defector???

...you had done irreparable damages to human/quarian relations, and they were now enemies???

...instead of being transported into the Citadel at the end, you were transported into an actual Reaper Harbinger itself???


See the struggle of the faithless lot as they negate their time
How low to sink to the depths of their frame of mind

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Old 11-30-2012, 05:07 AM   #1734
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"What if" indeed, those possibilities could branch the game off into multiple directions with very different endings making players go back and rethink what they could have done differently to achieve those other outcomes. That's the kind of thing that gets people to reply games, true diversity instead of just a few different pieces of dialogue and a character swap or extra little animation.

It wouldn't have mattered if ME3 came on 10 discs, I would've paid for the extra discs happily if it meant I could play a game with such open possibilities... it is an absurd thing to ask for, but at the same time, BioWare started this ambitious trek and went soft at the end instead of getting even more ambitious and going that extra mile or kilometre or parsec or whatever

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Old 11-30-2012, 05:43 PM   #1735
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*points back @lynk* Don't be paranoid. Never shot down any of your criticisms of the game in the first place. Nor did I imply that criticism was invalid without a proffered alternative (though you've obviously inferred that). I've acknowledged in previous posts also that they could have done stuff differently. Just thought you had a few specifics in mind, given all the vidya you've played. After all, this IS a discussion of vidya, right? Not just a big whinging session about ME3 or TOR or whatever game we're talking about in a given thread. I just agree w/stingerhs that rehashing the same complaints gets old, esp if someone isn't providing alternatives. Doesn't matter if they'd ever be incorporated, we're really just talking amongst ourselves anyway.


Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.---Patton

There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism.---Teddy Roosevelt

I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception.---Groucho

And if you all get killed, I'll piss on your graves.---Shaman Urdnot

How would you like to own a little bit of my foot in your ass.---Red Foreman
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:18 PM   #1736
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*points* OBJECTION! *shakes my head you at you*

The problem is this: As already stated, I have already stated that I've offered alternatives in my previous post. You rejected that and challenged me to come up with something in more detail. I told you that I don't write fan fiction and with that you still wanted me to go into detail because if I didn't, I then had to be a whiner and not someone with a valid opinion... and even better, you had the tone of "you're not one of THOSE people are you?" at the end of that post.

Now, even worse is that I wasn't the one that started this new round of "ME3 ending whining" as has been suggested. All I did was mock Wii U and the Mass Effect 3 port released on it and others interpreted that as something else. However, out of the people here. The reason I spoke up was because I would rather defend the people who "whine" about video games than discourage anyone from expressing their opinion, even if it's rehashed.

Yes, things are being rehashed, but how about YOU provide alternatives instead of whining about the whiners? I presented that point to stingerhs too because the obvious point here is that instead of attacking the people in the thread, what could have... SHOULD have been done was to take the thread in a new direction by providing an alternative topic.

Instead, we have come to this. The topic that is being rehashed is merely being perpetuated rather than ignored and making an effort to move the topic on to something else.

The next post will steer this thread in a new direction, how about you do that tot? Because hey, it's more productive than calling the other members in here whiners, right? I'd think so.

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Old 11-30-2012, 08:43 PM   #1737
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Defensive much? Steering this thread in "that direction" is as much your fault as anyones. In the interest of comity, however, I'll provide you with a few things I'd have liked to see differently.

-less auto conversation and more actual conversation among crew members, both with each other and Shep.

-perhaps having a fracturing of alliances that impact the game near the end or the immediate aftermath (say, maybe the alliance having to fight the Krogan or Geth, while still combating the Reapers, depending on the outcome of those missions).

-Maybe, unbeknownst to Miranda, TIM actually had a switch put into Shep that allowed him to seize control and manipulate Shep into turning the Reaper assests over to him (meaning that, yes, TIM somehow manages to avoid complete indoctrination).

-getting rid of the War Assets feature as well as actually finishing the damn game and limiting dlc to mostly cosmetic changes (weapons, outfits, etc..)

-game shouldn't have come to a close so soon after getting to earth. More combat (perhaps where you could see the effects of fractured alliances) planetside.

-EA not obsessing about costs so much when they had an eager and built in audience willing to throw down mucho $$$ to complete their franchise.

Just a few ideas.


Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.---Patton

There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism.---Teddy Roosevelt

I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception.---Groucho

And if you all get killed, I'll piss on your graves.---Shaman Urdnot

How would you like to own a little bit of my foot in your ass.---Red Foreman
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:20 PM   #1738
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Defensive much? Steering this thread in "that direction" is as much your fault as anyones.
Yes. I was pissed off by the fact that people were being called whiners because of their opinions and I'll defend them whether you like it or not and I don't apologise for it at all. And yes, it is as much my fault because I didn't want to back down.

Structurally the biggest flaw of Mass Effect 3 was that no matter what choice you made, the situations you were put into were the same basic events with slight differences. I feel like even if your suggestions were added into the game, they'd suffer the same way everything else suffered in the game because everything had to be easily interchangeable. Tali dead in ME2? That's okay, she's replaced and the events that occur the same way anyway with one or two small bits changed and no real consiquence. Legion is dead? Same thing. Both dead? Same thing.

The whole conversations with crew thing is a good point though what really hinders ME3 was the fact that most times you were only given two choices on how to answer instead of a more diverse selection.

Also, sue me if I don't provide "concrete alternative solutions"... they're implied





Incidentally, that Tali post I did on Miiverse got flagged for being a spoiler... I sat there for a good minute or so trying to figure out which part of it was a spoiler... I have no idea o.o

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Old 11-30-2012, 10:49 PM   #1739
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I sat there for a good minute or so trying to figure out which part of it was a spoiler... I have no idea o.o
You showed she has eyebrows.
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:31 PM   #1740
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Yes. I was pissed off by the fact that people were being called whiners because of their opinions and I'll defend them whether you like it or not and I don't apologise for it at all. And yes, it is as much my fault because I didn't want to back down.
That's fine. My only point from the beginning was that only complaining about it eventually causes people to eventually tune them out, not that it invalidates the nature of their complaint.

Quote:
Structurally the biggest flaw of Mass Effect 3 was that no matter what choice you made, the situations you were put into were the same basic events with slight differences. I feel like even if your suggestions were added into the game, they'd suffer the same way everything else suffered in the game because everything had to be easily interchangeable. Tali dead in ME2? That's okay, she's replaced and the events that occur the same way anyway with one or two small bits changed and no real consiquence. Legion is dead? Same thing. Both dead? Same thing.
Yes, as they did it, but I thought the whole purpose of this thought experiment was to suggest changes that would have been incorporated into the game, thus changing it from how it ultimately played out. Perhaps the ultimate problem was in the conception of the series. They knew their ending was gonna lack, so they strung everyone along as long as they could to that point. If this was the ending they basically planned 6+ yrs ago, maybe they need better talent.


Quote:
The whole conversations with crew thing is a good point though what really hinders ME3 was the fact that most times you were only given two choices on how to answer instead of a more diverse selection.
Given how they basically bragged about the number of lines in the game, more options would have been nice.

Quote:
Also, sue me if I don't provide "concrete alternative solutions"... they're implied
Ah, it's a mystery, then.

Quote:
Incidentally, that Tali post I did on Miiverse got flagged for being a spoiler... I sat there for a good minute or so trying to figure out which part of it was a spoiler... I have no idea o.o

Only other things I'd add might be that Shep actually live at the end, not quite like in the light side ending of KOTOR, but with maybe a 15+ minute or so dénouement with any/all remaining players brought together. Given this was the end of his story arc, I don't really care that he died (in most of them), but an option where he basically goes off into the sunset would have been ok too. Also, perhaps in the case of the Geth and Quarians, both go out in a blaze of glory (perhaps the option where you killed the heretics in ME2) over Rannoch.


Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.---Patton

There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism.---Teddy Roosevelt

I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception.---Groucho

And if you all get killed, I'll piss on your graves.---Shaman Urdnot

How would you like to own a little bit of my foot in your ass.---Red Foreman
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:44 PM   #1741
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@ DP: Those are animu happy eyes and the little ovals are animu blush marks o^^o


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That's fine. My only point from the beginning was that only complaining about it eventually causes people to eventually tune them out, not that it invalidates the nature of their complaint.
I did suggest ignoring posts that complained and try to move on to a different topic several times. There's nothing wrong with doing that...


Quote:
Yes, as they did it, but I thought the whole purpose of this thought experiment was to suggest changes that would have been incorporated into the game, thus changing it from how it ultimately played out. Perhaps the ultimate problem was in the conception of the series. They knew their ending was gonna lack, so they strung everyone along as long as they could to that point. If this was the ending they basically planned 6+ yrs ago, maybe they need better talent.
The problem is that the writers changed and the series went through rewrites by different people... the front end didn't match the back end... none of what turned out in ME3 was really planned 6+ years ago, it's just what they had to settle with with what they had and the budget and focus EA told them they should have.

Quote:
Ah, it's a mystery, then.
Even a 12 year old Call of Duty fan can see why I was implying. More conversation options, more diversity of scenes rather than copypastas. As I said before, I shouldn't have to give dot point fan fiction every time XD

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Old 12-01-2012, 01:08 AM   #1742
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No offense, lynk, but those sound more like general examples and not specific ones, hence why I said mystery. I did recall reading/hearing that the end was basically in line with what they had supposedly planned from the beginning. If that was true.....well, we see how well that ended. Otherwise, too many writers, in viday, like video (ie film), seems like a bad idea in the end. Especially when the creative people lose their focus (for whatever reason). As to all the complaining stuff you reference, I wasn't even talking about LF but ME fandom in general. It doesn't offend me, more like amuses me b/c the tone is often overly strident. To each his own, I guess.


Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.---Patton

There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism.---Teddy Roosevelt

I never forget a face, but in your case I'll make an exception.---Groucho

And if you all get killed, I'll piss on your graves.---Shaman Urdnot

How would you like to own a little bit of my foot in your ass.---Red Foreman
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:10 AM   #1743
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I'm sitting here trying to figure out what's wrong with general ideas... you're going to have to explain that one to me and why I would ever see that as an offense. It's even more puzzling than the Miiverse admins thinking my Tail post was a spoiler.

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Old 12-01-2012, 12:08 PM   #1744
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I'm not sure if the lack of a big impact of your choices is the real problem, because the ME series never really let your choices have much of an impact. Sure, it often implied that they would have an impact, but after ME2, who honestly expected your choices to matter all that much?
Lacking better examples, ME is nothing like Alpha Protocol or the Witcher when it comes to choices. ME as a series is like a Hollywood blockbuster in many ways, and if they had written the endings consistent with that, I suspect most fans wouldn't care that much about the lack of impact full choices. Instead, we got Casper and an attempt at being clever.


Checking out seems not to do much.
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Old 12-01-2012, 02:50 PM   #1745
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True enough murph, some people may consider it a cheap and easy way to go, but the Hollywood type ending would've gone over a lot better with a lot of people even if it wasn't as "original" as the ending we got.

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Old 12-06-2012, 06:03 AM   #1746
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Anyone played Omega? I really loved the Mass Effect Invasion comics, and would love to continue that on and play the DLC, but I'm wondering if it's worth the 1200MS.


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Old 12-06-2012, 10:18 AM   #1747
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Not really, it was fun in terms of action but there was no "wow" factor to it at all, no standing out moment like any other DLC. It pretty much was shooting the bad-guys up till the end with Aria. No real RPG struggle, etc.

However, it might be fun if you want to get some more EMS
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:23 AM   #1748
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Just finished Omega.

It's ok; IMO not as good as Leviathan or Lair of the Shadow Broker. I think it fits very well with the vanilla game - it felt just like one of the side missions (while Lev and LotSB felt like special story events).

I found the whole thing rather predictable (though that can be said of Mass Effect as a whole) - for example,
Show spoiler



I find it a little funny that no attention whatsoever is drawn in-story about Nyreen's gender, considering that she is the first Turian female Shepard has encountered in months (or ever, as far as the player is concerned). I suppose that is to be expected, since the almost complete lack of non-Human, Asari, and Quarian females up to this point in the trilogy is somewhat of an awkward issue. But thus far, Krogan females have been explained to be rare, and I think Salarian females prefer to remain on their homeworld; I don't know what the lore explanation for Turians is.
I like the Turian female physical design. I hope they're brought to Multiplayer sometime, too.

I also like how the DLC lets us see more of Aria; she is one of the more favoured characters among fans, as far as I know.

There were a few animation glitches, as has been pointed out by Stingerhs. I don't recall ever encountering those bugs previously, so it was a bit strange (and immersion breaking).

It was funny playing Single Player Normal difficulty after playing Multiplayer. In fact, I think even Bronze may be harder than Normal.
I've heard Insanity is a walk in the park compared to Gold, though I have yet to try this.

[EDIT]Confirmed. I just replayed the (DLC) endgame on Insanity, and it didn't even begin to rival Gold. More like Silver. When you add the time perception manipulation features available in single player, it almost feels like you're cheating.
I think I'll try get that Insanity achievement next time I play through...



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it is not a cry of joy.

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Old 12-13-2012, 08:35 AM   #1749
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I've decided that if Mass Effect trilogy ever comes to Wii U, i'm gonna have one last romp through the trilogy.

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Old 12-13-2012, 12:45 PM   #1750
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taak Farst View Post
For me, the ending was so bad that it turned a once-obsessed with and loved series of mine into a mehfest..I haven't bought ANY DLC for ME3, whereas I rushed to buy every single ME2 DLC there was. The ending just ruined it all. I will not be getting the Omega DLC either.
I still get the DLC's that come out. That's because I'm a completionist and, I've gotten them all up to this point; I might as well keep going.

Some of the stuff they release is pretty cool. Like the new Venom shotgun in the Groundside Resistance Pack. That is one badass freaking gun.

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Not going to defend the ending as great, it wasn't IMO, but it is hard to believe people are so upset that they allow the last 5 mins to ruin the entire story. I loved ME3 as part of a trilogy up until the final elevator ride.

...

I have only played through ME3 twice, but that is due to another game taking all my free time, not because ME3 was a terrible game, it isn't, it is a great game with a bad ending. Just like RotJ is average movie, with a terrible ending. Ewoks...need I say more.


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you know, maybe its because i've always been more of a fan of shooters than RPG's, but i fail to see how an ending "destroys" a game. from where i stand, it really just makes everybody sound like a bunch of whining nerds that care too much about whether or not Han shot first. if you have a 5 course meal, and the first 4 courses are amazing, then how does a "mediocre and rushed" final course "destroy" the entire meal??

to me, it just comes across as utter ridiculousness, and what is equally sad is that someone will probably get offended and try to tell me why i'm wrong because this is a "special case". at the end of the day, it really boils down to this: your lofty expectations weren't met. one of these days, maybe you'll realize that, when it comes to the ME3 ending, the game put you on an emotional roller coaster with challenging combat and tough decisions that drove you to the ending in a thrilling campaign. if that part of the game hadn't been so good, you never would've reached the ending.

I think stories are more complex things than coursed meals.
Setting, characters, conflict, resolution.. These things can be modelled as a points on a line, but imho in the context of an abstract experience, they're more like joins in a skeletal tower. You can't always expect to be able to remove any point from it, and expect it to keep standing.

A better analogy may be like the strings on a guitar. They're seemingly separate, but when it comes to music, they're related in different ways on different levels. If you remove one string, you can still play your song, but it's going sound a bit off. People may come and pay to hear that certain song; some of them may think, "If it doesn't sound right, then what's the point?"

You could try imagine playing that string at the right times, but for some people, it just wouldn't cut it.

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But I shall defend their right to make crappy endings as long as the rest of the game is great. Also as in most Video Games choice is a illusion, but only BioWare is held to the higher standard.
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Choices in real life are illusions too, but they're still important and I certainly don't hold BioWare to any higher standard.
I really think as gamers, we have to start demanding better writing in the narrative-focused games we play. Too often, video game narrative quality lags badly behind that of other media. Improvement, or at least recursively consistent quality, is a valid expectation for any artisan endeavour, regardless of the creator.

And don't forget, that narrative is the most relatable aspect of video games to the general public, than any other part. The general quality of game narrative has the potential to make or break public opinion of our medium, and whether it gets taken seriously.

For example, before it was released, L.A. Noire was shown at the Tribeca Film Festival; the first video game to be featured there. It didn't happen because 'the guns felt amazing to use', it happened because of Noire's then-groundbreaking characterization technology, artistic vision, and quality of narrative.


When it comes to Mass Effect 3, I think it's reasonable to expect a high standard of story quality because:
-Bioware explicitly promised it
-It's a narrative intensive game
-We've paid Bioware a boatload of money for it
-It's 2012; 40 years into the history of popularized video games

I think it's reasonable to hold Bioware to a higher standard because:
-Bioware is a self-described story-focused game company*
-They've done better previously

*If someone calls themselves a musician, you immediately hold them to a higher standard than any random guy off the street.

As for gamers not caring about story in story-games,
"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."



mfw I read the Revan novel

it is not a cry of joy.
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Old 12-13-2012, 01:15 PM   #1751
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@ jigos: You misread what I said. I said I don't hold BioWare to a higher standard than other developers. I still hold every developer to a high standard, I just don't hold BioWare to a HIGHER standard because I'd rather place developers on equal ground to each other no matter what kind of game they make.

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Old 12-14-2012, 01:41 PM   #1752
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@ jigos: You misread what I said. I said I don't hold BioWare to a higher standard than other developers. I still hold every developer to a high standard, I just don't hold BioWare to a HIGHER standard because I'd rather place developers on equal ground to each other no matter what kind of game they make.
there can still be an argument to be made there, though. nobody pours money into game development quite like Bioware (except maybe Blizzard or Microsoft), and yet we get games from relatively small companies like CD Projekt that turn out amazing (The Witcher and its sequel, anyone??).

so, if you're looking for a reason to hold Bioware to a higher standard, that would be the one, IMHO.


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Old 12-14-2012, 03:27 PM   #1753
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But you've just nullified your point within the point itself (Inception), if money doesn't matter to make a good video game, then why should I think it matters to begin with?

As I said before, no matter the developer, I hold them on equal ground because I think any developer can make a good game.

Just because Mass Effect is in the "epic" category doesn't mean I'll hold it higher than say... New Super Mario Bros. U which had a tiny budget in comparison. Both games made promises, both are trying to aim for certain goals in their creation, both developers went about achieving whatever it they wanted to achieve using the tools and budget they had. If it's a good game, it's a good game, the price tag of its development shouldn't matter.

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Old 12-30-2012, 10:56 AM   #1754
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After watching a few episodes of Dexter season 7, I have finally realized that I am actually watching blonde Miranda when Hannah is onscreen. I feel dumb for not realizing it before, since she reminded me of something but I couldn't think of it. Obviously, I need to play more Mass Effect...


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Old 12-31-2012, 01:54 AM   #1755
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So, I decided to try a full back-to-back playthrough of all 3 games. After the whole ME3 ending debacle, I figured I could never bring myself to do it, but with the advent of MEHEM, I thought I might be able to stomach it.

It was interesting playing them so close together, allowing comparison without too much rose-tinting due to faded memories. It did highlight a lot of the mechanical clunkiness of ME1. I probably found the general slowness of just moving around levels the most frustrating. Shepard ambles along like an invalid, obviously one of several methods they used to deal with their loading/streaming issues. There were issues with combat as well, but I still prefer some elements of it. Individual cooldowns, weapon proficiency tied to talent progression, etc. The constant attempts by party members to shoot through walls was not so hot though.

Overall I still like the story of ME1 the best. Both sequels got derailed by focusing their attention on the Collectors and Cerberus. Plus just the general feel of the game. There's just something about the atmosphere of ME1 that the sequels failed to capture IMO.

ME2 is, in some ways, probably the sweet spot for a lot elements in the series. Mechanically, the combat is generally an improvement (although I hate the universal cooldowns with a passion). AI is obviously a lot better. Some of the new powers are good. The interrupt system is too QTE-like for my tastes, but some of the outcomes are nice, at least for those of us that enjoy setting people on fire or pushing them out windows. One thing that really bugged me was the prevalence of clipping/collision issues. A number of times I got trapped trying to exit cover and ending up walking up a wall into a ceiling or the like, having to use console commands to get myself out. Sloppy work.

The story is a mixed bag. The whole Collector and Human Reaper plot was a complete waste of a third of the trilogy IMO, not to mention it transformed Cerberus from some minor terrorist outfit that got a throwaway mention in ME1 into some massive galaxy-spanning organisation with more resources and power than most governments, setting it up to take far too much screen time in 3. And killing Shepard off simply as a means to reset his level and get rid of the original crew was a poor choice, and the first hint of the dreaded space magic with his miraculous resurrection. Where it did well was in the character interactions, always Bioware's narrative strength. It's just a shame that this content (half the game) was focused on housekeeping tasks to gain loyalty, rather than being used to drive the overarching narrative forward. The suicide mission concept was arguably a poor choice. While a nice idea in principle, adding real consequence with the potential for characters to die, they effectively sidelined the entire cast for 3 as they couldn't rely on any of them being present. That's a real problem when you just devoted a significant portion of the game to building up said characters.

And on to ME3. I'm still not sure what the deal is with the start. I really wish they hadn't cut the trial. If you played the Arrival DLC in ME2, the idea is seemingly that you were prosecuted for wiping out a Batarian system in a show trial, a scapegoat to forestall a war. That's fair enough, although they could have thrown in a few extra lines of dialogue to make that more apparent. But if you didn't play Arrival, the Codex says a team of Alliance marines blew up the relay, not Shepard, in which case his/her apparent incarceration at the beginning of ME3 is somewhat odd (collusion with Cerberus perhaps?). Whatever explanation they originally intended was obviously sacrificed in the name of getting to the action as quick as possible to keep the shooter crowd interested. Then there's the kid. I guess this is now the archetypal example of Biowarian hamfisted attempted emotional manipulation. As to the rest of the story, that has been done to death by now, so there's probably no point rehashing it. I have plenty of issues with it, but I will say that one area where it improves over ME2 is that most major character interactions are in service of driving the main plot forward.

Combat-wise, there were some nice additions like combinations of powers, but overall I think I preferred the combat in ME2. The introduction of multiple levels with ladders and such is a nice concept, but it is never really taken advantage of in combat areas. Plus instant kill melee enemies in a cover shooter - bleh.

One of the most striking things was the amount of auto-dialogue in ME3. Playing all 3 games back-to-back, you really notice it. In ME1, everything Shepard says is chosen by the player. There are also "investigation" options to ask about specific topics in virtually all convos. In ME2 this is mostly the same, although auto-dialogue makes an appearance and there are less investigate options. There are also fewer Charm/Intimidate choices offered, mostly being replaced with interrupts. In ME3, auto-dialogue makes up the majority, and when you do get a choice it is almost invariably just 2 options. This is probably one of the more egregious missteps of ME3 IMO. They pared back so many features, but player choice in characterising Shepard was one of the hallmarks of the series. Given the direction they seem to be trending, I wonder if ME4 will be a straight out shooter.

As far as MEHEM goes, it's pretty amateur in its execution, but I'm willing to give the guy a pass because, according to the readme, it was the first time he ever did any editing like that and the fact that we even got such a mod is something I never thought would happen. Plus it completely excises Casper from the game, so that earns it major points. It doesn't really resolve the major underlying problems with the plot, but it trims out the space magic and does the best it can within the limitations of the available source material and editing tools. Worth a look for anyone that found the original ending/s distasteful enough to prevent a replay.

Last edited by DarthParametric; 12-31-2012 at 02:01 AM.
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:05 AM   #1756
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One of the most striking things was the amount of auto-dialogue in ME3. Playing all 3 games back-to-back, you really notice it. In ME1, everything Shepard says is chosen by the player. There are also "investigation" options to ask about specific topics in virtually all convos. In ME2 this is mostly the same, although auto-dialogue makes an appearance and there are less investigate options. There are also fewer Charm/Intimidate choices offered, mostly being replaced with interrupts. In ME3, auto-dialogue makes up the majority, and when you do get a choice it is almost invariably just 2 options. This is probably one of the more egregious missteps of ME3 IMO. They pared back so many features, but player choice in characterising Shepard was one of the hallmarks of the series. Given the direction they seem to be trending, I wonder if ME4 will be a straight out shooter.
For a while I thought I was one of the only ones who noticed that. At first it wasn't too obvious since I was caught up in the euphoria, but playing ME3 a second time really made me realize how it's basically a Gears of war clone. While there were a lot of good moments in ME3, they were overshadowed by a lot of bad things in ME3.

I agree that Mass Effect 1 had the best plot. It really made me fear the Reapers, and it gave the feeling that you are exploring the unknown when out in the Attican Traverse. Mass Effect 2 tried to continue that, but the Collecters made the Reapers simply seem a challenge. In Mass Effect 3, Reapers seemed more like stupid robots. This came from the God kid explaining how "the reapers are not interested in war".

I think they should never have explained the motives of the Reapers, keeping their history mysterious would probably have made for a better ending
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:45 AM   #1757
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Yes, I have argued before that the concept of the Reapers was much better when they were the unfathomable Cthulian monsters with motives beyond human comprehension, as they were depicted in ME1.

As to the auto-dialogue, I think it was mentioned a number times throughout the thread. I was already aware of it myself, it was just much more obvious having played the previous games right beforehand.
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:05 AM   #1758
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The monster is always scariest right before you actually see it.

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Old 01-01-2013, 01:41 PM   #1759
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The monster is always scariest right before you actually see it.
Yet had Bioware stayed true to the ideals of ME1, we'd probably be discussing an entirely different ME3
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:48 AM   #1760
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Yet had Bioware stayed true to the ideals of ME1, we'd probably be discussing an entirely different ME3
I wasn't arguing against you. I was agreeing with you. Jeebus. Do people actually read these threads?

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