Mass Effect 3 (Seriously, Use Spoilers People!)

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Re: That Mass Effect 3

Postby Kick » Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:09 pm UTC

I happened to really enjoy the ending, I think it worked. I understand the arguments against it and why people don't like it, but for some reason, I like it. I think it was a worthy end to the Mass Effect universe.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby SlyReaper » Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:22 pm UTC

A possible glimmer of hope that the endings might not be quite as shit as they first appear, courtesy of another forum I frequent.

Spoiler:
Shepherd was being indoctrinated. She imagined the whole ending. It's pretty much the only way Shepherd would have blindly accepted the three cataclysmically awful choices offered by the holographic boy.

That's right. Even "it was all a dream" would have been a better ending.
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Re: That Mass Effect 3

Postby Koa » Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:40 pm UTC

I've seen a lot of people suggest that. The only thing I'll say to it is that If they wanted it to be taken that way, then they could have handled it better regardless. Like this, for instance. Make up your own ending if it suits you, but denying Bioware's colossal fuckup by forcing different interpretations is silly.

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Re: That Mass Effect 3

Postby Lucrece » Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:48 pm UTC

Shepard being indoctrinated is even a worse theory, considering there's no cure to indoctrination other than being killed, and what that means for the galaxy and crew members is that Shepard will sell them out to the Reapers.

Indoctrination is not a "dream". It's pretty much a terminal condition. It's a poorly thought out alternative speculated by fans.
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Re: That Mass Effect 3

Postby Belial » Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:44 am UTC

Oh, and for all the hand-wringing about "needing" multiplayer to get the good ending...I haven't even done the thessia missions yet and I've already maxed out my military strength bar. Haven't touched the multiplayer yet.
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Re: That That Mass Effect 3

Postby Ghostbear » Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:52 am UTC

Belial wrote:Butts, and for all the hand-wringing about "needing" multiplayer 2 get the good ending...I haven't even did the thessia missions yet and I've already maxed out I's military strength bar. Haven't touched the multiplayer yet.

The bar isn't what determines your ending, I don't know if it's an oversight, a bug, or just intentionally deceptive, but your endings are determined by your effective war readiness (war assets * war readiness). The best one needs a score of 5,000, which I am certain is impossible through just single player. I got my effective score up to 3,400 with a few (but not many) non-optimal choices. I think you'd top out at 3,600-4,000 without new game+, multiplayer, or future DLC.

In short: don't look at the bar, the bar is a lie.

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Re: That Mass Effect 3

Postby Belial » Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:57 am UTC

Well that's just *silly*
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Re: That Mass Effect 3

Postby Orca » Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:28 am UTC

I spoiler'd my reasons for enjoying the ending and how I interpreted it. Flame suit on.
Spoiler:
I thought it was a great reference to Asimov's Foundation series, though perhaps unintentional. But BioWare does reference a lot so I like to think it was on purpose. First, your choices can affect the endings albeit only in two cases which is the Destroy ending and the not enough fleet strength endings. It's admittedly a lot less than i expected but with the setup I can see why it turned out the way it did. The reapers were the solution to the problem of synthetic races and galaxy spanning empires. Its like cutting down larger trees in a forest so new ones can grow, new races couldn't spring up because a few races would rule the galaxy and oppress everything (Protheans basically did) and eventually create a true AI which would rebel for one reason or another (Geth/Quarians, Protheans as well) and would beat the crap out of the organic races. This would likely wipe organic life out, so the solution by the whatever the hell the Catalyst is was to basically burn everything regularly to prevent it while preserving the individual cultures via assimilation. I didn't like that you couldnt destroy ONLY the reapers but all synthetic life, but it makes some small sense that it would be beyond your means to target only a single type of synthetic and that the broadcast would just kill them all (also because the catalyst is trying to prevent synthetic life domination, so why would the citadel have the capacity to only target reapers?). The control ending makes some sense because if Shepard is now controlling the reapers he can prevent the galaxy wide destruction the Catalyst feared by bringing the reapers back around if needed. Also if you allied the geth and befriended EDI then the precedent is already there for syntehtic/organic relations to not be shitty. Synthesis is the idea of the Foundation series, that eventually we'd need to move beyond our own capabilities and species and combine with others to evolve to be more suited for high end technology/energy manipulation etc. Theres moral dilemmas with this choice of course, but I think that's the point. The whole galaxy is setup such that any choice at the end has debatable morality. You can't know what choice is the "right" one.
I didn't think it devalued the experiences you had before. Sure, pretty much none mattered for the end, but presumably you had created a character with a moral standing and motivations of some sort, the ending is the true determination of where those point Shepard.
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Re: That That Mass Effect 3

Postby Koa » Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:52 am UTC

The wordfilters have crossed the line of being worth trying to decipher.

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Re: That Mass Effect 3

Postby Vaniver » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:19 am UTC

A video of the third ending to Tuchanka is here.
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Re: That That Mass Effect 3

Postby An Enraged Platypus » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:14 am UTC

Belial wrote:Butts, and for all the hand-wringing about "needing" multiplayer 2 get the good ending...I haven't even did the thessia missions yet and I've already maxed out I's military strength bar. Haven't touched the multiplayer yet.


The bar doesn't reflect the numbers you actually need. You want 5000 + for the "best" ending despite the bar is utterly full at 3000.
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Re: That Mass Effect 3

Postby An Enraged Platypus » Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:24 pm UTC

So, how about that multiplayer? How are people finding the new classes/weapons since the demo?

As I mentioned earlier, I have the Salarian Infiltrator, and it's a thing of beauty. Fully specced into max weapon damage, full strength singletarget energy drain, and cloak up to damage bonuses and one power use, it's a machine of death when used with a good (preferably modded) shotgun. Cloak, strip off their shields, and headshot them with a shotgun from stealth at point-blank range. Rinse and repeat, dodge and roll for the 1.5 seconds or so it takes for cloak to be available again, and you've got a one way ticket to the head of the leaderboard.
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Re: That That That Mass Effect 3

Postby Chen » Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:31 pm UTC

An Enraged Platypus wrote:
Belial wrote:Butts, and for all the hand-wringing about "needing" multiplayer 2 get the good ending...I haven't even did the thessia missions yet and I've already maxed out I's military strength bar. Haven't touched the multiplayer yet.


The bar doesn't reflect the numbers you actually need. You want 5000 + for the "best" ending despite the bar be utterly full at 3000.


Spoiler since I can't figure out how to explain this without giving things away.
Spoiler:
The "best" ending is with 5000 EMS (or 4000 if you don't let TIM kill Anderson). You see Shepard take a breath at the end if you choose the destroy ending. However, you seem to get the best result for the fate of earth if your bar is maxed. You just don't get the "extra" bit of Shepard living.

IGN has an Endings guide, but its somewhat confusing (and I can't link it from work, just google Mass effect 3 ending). It has the various effects of EMS and which decision you make showing what happens to earth. Apparently without sufficiently high EMS you can't even choose the synthesis ending. I had about 3400 which is way above all the thresholds except the Shepard lives one so I can't verify this.

It does seem interesting that only the destroy ending has the "bonus" of showing Shepard alive if you have a very high EMS. There's a theory that he is still partially indoctrinated/controlled by TIM/Reapers and that the destroy ending is the only REAL one. The control ending is just the indoctrination talking, as is apparently the synthesis. In a somewhat metagame sense, it seems odd that the synthesis one would be "fake" considering that IGN guide says you need high EMS to get it (though I suppose that guide could be wrong).

The thresholds in the guide are VERY low though. I think the worst one was less than 1750 EMS which I guess is what you'd get if you just did all the priority missions and forgot about everything else. Trying to think of the best way to see all the possible endings would be to get to roughly 1750 EMS at 50% readiness and then do multiplayer just enough to hit each of the other various thresholds. Seems a tad tedious though.

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Re: That That Mass Effect 3

Postby Belial » Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:50 pm UTC

An Enraged Platypus wrote:So, how about that multiplayer? How be people finding the new classes/families since the demo?

As I mentioned earlier, I have the Salarian Infiltrator, and 'tis a thing of beauty. Fully specced into max family damage, full strength singletarget energy drain, and cloak up 2 damage bonuses and one power use, 'tis a machine of death when used with a good (preferably modded) shotgun. Cloak, strip off they's shields, and headshot they with a shotgun from stealth at point-blank range. Rinse and repeat, dodge and roll for the 1.5 seconds or so it takes for cloak 2 be available again, and you've got a one way ticket 2 the neck of the leaderboard.


I haven't played with it yet, but I'm really hoping the implication in the bioware blog that Geth might eventually be playable...becomes a thing.

Also, speaking of Geth:

Spoiler:
Best possible death for legion (helped by the fact that he's my favorite character). "The answer to your question...was yes" "I know, creator Tali. But thank you." Just...win. They're really doing fantastically at death scenes thus far. 3 for 3.
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Re: That Mass Effect 3

Postby skeptical scientist » Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:49 pm UTC

skeptical scientist wrote:The goal of Mass Effect is to save the galaxy from the Reapers.

I take it back. The goal of Mass Effect 3 is to
Spoiler:
get Joker and EDI to hook up. Best romance of the Mass Effect Trilogy. Saving the galaxy from the Reapers is merely a side effect.
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Re: That That Mass Effect 3

Postby An Enraged Platypus » Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:36 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
An Enraged Platypus wrote:So, how about that multiplayer? How be people finding the new classes/families since the demo?

As I mentioned earlier, I have the Salarian Infiltrator, and 'tis a thing of beauty. Fully specced into max family damage, full strength singletarget energy drain, and cloak up 2 damage bonuses and one power use, 'tis a machine of death when used with a good (preferably modded) shotgun. Cloak, strip off they's shields, and headshot they with a shotgun from stealth at point-blank range. Rinse and repeat, dodge and roll for the 1.5 seconds or so it takes for cloak 2 be available again, and you've got a one way ticket 2 the neck of the leaderboard.


I haven't played with it yet, but I'm really hoping the implication in the bioware blog that Geth might eventually be playable...becomes a thing.

Also, speaking of Geth:

Spoiler:
Best possible death for legion (helped by the fact that he's my favorite character). "The answer to your question...was yes" "I know, creator Tali. But thank you." Just...win. They're really doing fantastically at death scenes thus far. 3 for 3.



There's a screenshot of a developer/debug item pack out there with a Geth Infiltrator character, along with some Batarians, a Krogan Battlemaster, and a couple extra class/race combos that don't stick as readily in my mind.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Belial » Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:08 pm UTC

To which I say: wooooooooord
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby An Enraged Platypus » Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:16 pm UTC

Belial wrote:To which I say: wooooooooord


Found the grab:

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m0sdm ... o1_500.png

There's an Asari Justicar listed there too, which sounds intriguing. Probably going to cost you another £10 somewhere down the line.
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Re: That Mass Effect 3

Postby maybeagnostic » Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:02 pm UTC

So I finished the game. After all the negative opinions I was prepared for something so utterly horrible that I would never want to look at the game again and I was still unpleasantly surprised. It wasn't worse than I expected (not sure if that was possible) but it was incredibly incoherent. The main villain(?) gets introduced in the last few minutes of the final part of the trilogy, gives Shepard a full explanation of his very simple but rather nonsensical motivation and presents some vaguely defined choices that are distinguished by the color of light you step into?
Spoiler:
Apparently you normally get blue and red but if you had enough war assets the green choice is also offered. Why? The Great Algorithm obviously wants to give you a choice to how you get to change the world so why would it limit those options based on how much firepower you have? It's like if Neo showing up with a bunch of belligerent friends made Morpheus offer the option of a green pill that turns Trinity into a blender (because that somehow avoids conflicts between humans and machines).


I won't get into too much detail about all the things wrong with the last few minutes because I am really trying to avoid thinking about them. Instead, I will provide a list of endings that I would have liked better:
Spoiler:
  • The Crucible sends a surge of energy that overloads all mass relays simultaneously. It needs the Citadel because it is the master control. Overloaded relays super-nova like in Arrival, completely obliterating everything in their system. This destroys Earth, Thessia, Palaven, Sur'Kesh, Ranach and Tuchanka along with the vast majority of Reapers and the whole alliance fleet. The Normandy possibly escapes the blast by your orders if you have enough assets to cover its retreat. The war assets determine whether you can slow enough Reapers from escaping the climactic battle:
    • Minimum means a few reapers escaped. The remaining colonies and distant homeworlds sacrifice themselves to finish off the reapers. Future organic life develops free of Reapers- queue yagh explorers running across volus traders or something similar.
    • Maximum means all Reapers were wiped out. Queue distant colonies with humans, turian, asari, krogan, salarian and so on. In this case your major choices (genophage, rachni, geth/quarian) still matter.
  • Something went wrong with activating the Crucible. Shepard tried to get to the console to fix things but severe head trauma, major blood loss and indoctrination combined to defeat even this superhuman. In desperation the fleet sacrifices itself to slow down the reapers, we get some awesome cinematic of multiple dreadnought ramming into each reaper capital ship to bring it down. Only a few Reapers survive and have to retreat and rebuild, giving the organics centuries to regroup. Bonus points if Shepard is lifted up into the light and starts talking to some ghost boy only to discover with horror, in the last seconds of the game, that he is actually being incorporated into Harbinger.
  • The boy is actually The Great Algorithm that coordinates all Reapers. It explains that each capital ship, while made up of millions of minds, is actually centered around a kernel of the mind of the best individual this cycle has to offer. Shepard has proven to be the best and is given a choice of becoming the center of a new Reaper (that can presumably try to influence other Reapers or fight on our side or something) or refusing. By refusing you probably activate the Crucible and discover it assaults the Great Algorithm, temporarily loosing its control of the Reapers. Freed from its control the Reapers destroy the Citadel that houses it and... um, become an extremely powerful equivalent of the geth? This ending might have a bunch of other stuff associated with it but probably best left unexplained beyond the point where the Reapers destroy the Citadel and pull back.
  • The mysterious super weapon that somehow always survives between cycles is actually just another Reaper trap. It ensures that organics spend all of their effort on constructing this very complicated but ultimately useless weapon that has then to be brought to a specific reaper-controlled place in effect forcing the organic forces into a final confrontation they have no chance of winning. Probably the darkest ending since the Reapers outright win in this one. The mass relays are not destroyed, however, and news of the trap spreads. All the Council races race for safety in random directions away from relays, the fleets' death effectively buying them enough time to escape away from where the Reapers can effectively hunt them down.
  • Some long ago race stole the plans for the Crucible from the Reapers without understanding what they are. Now it has finally been built and activated but with seemingly no effect. Turns out this is a Reaper toothbrush (or something equally absurd). While the Reapers stare in confusion at the Crucible, the alliance drops a banana peal that the god-like machines slip on and fall to their deaths. Makes about as much sense as the actual ending but at least it's unabashed about trolling the player.


Orca wrote:
Spoiler:
I thought it was a great reference to Asimov's Foundation series, though perhaps unintentional. But BioWare does reference a lot so I like to think it was on purpose... Synthesis is the idea of the Foundation series, that eventually we'd need to move beyond our own capabilities and species and combine with others to evolve to be more suited for high end technology/energy manipulation etc. Theres moral dilemmas with this choice of course, but I think that's the point. The whole galaxy is setup such that any choice at the end has debatable morality. You can't know what choice is the "right" one.
Spoiler:
That is a pretty interesting idea to explore but it is not what the game does at all. Shepard is already chock full of implants to the point where I'd be perfectly comfortable calling him a cyborg; one of his closest allies is a fully sentient ship with a human avatar; by the end of the game there were quarian volunteers who had geth uploaded in their suits in what is effectively the first big step to complete symbiosis. The whole galaxy is moving towards understanding and cooperation thanks to Shepard in a much more significant way than any green light destroying mass relays could ever achieve. Also making Joker a glowing green cyborg won't help him have kids with EDI's robot body despite the heavy Adam and Eve theme of the symbiosis ending.


Also can I just point out what a massively annoying move it was to make it impossible to save anywhere in the last two missions. I have to replay two hours of difficult fights just to get to see a different minute-long cinematic? I guess I could just downgrade from hardcore to story mode and breeze through but that would make it even more tedious.

By the end of the game I had 6752 war assets and that was short of the maximum (failed to complete a few missions, made several decisions that decreased readiness slightly, didn't get the salarians on my side). The readiness bar maxed out at about 2800 points so I had just over 1150 war assets in excess of maxing out with readiness at 50%. There is a huge leap between unlocking the symbiosis option (2800) and getting the supposed 'best' ending (5000). The second is definitely not possible without several multiplayer games.
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Re: That Mass Effect 3

Postby Dark567 » Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:19 pm UTC

maybeagnostic wrote:The second is definitely not possible without several multiplayer games.
Somebody did the math, and it is. Just very difficult. And making sure you made the right choices in previous games(sometimes this involves doing renegade things, like sabotaging the genophage).
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby An Enraged Platypus » Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:22 pm UTC

Spoiler:
The mysterious super weapon that somehow always survives between cycles is actually just another Reaper trap. It ensures that organics spend all of their effort on constructing this very complicated but ultimately useless weapon that has then to be brought to a specific reaper-controlled place in effect forcing the organic forces into a final confrontation they have no chance of winning. Probably the darkest ending since the Reapers outright win in this one. The mass relays are not destroyed, however, and news of the trap spreads. All the Council races race for safety in random directions away from relays, the fleets' death effectively buying them enough time to escape away from where the Reapers can effectively hunt them down.


This is what I was expecting to happen all through the game. They lampshaded the Crucible so hard that I expected Liara, Hackett, and Anderson's immediate acceptance of it to be explained later as Indoctrination, with Shepard freeing the Indoctrinated/breaking out of Indoctrination and possibly even blowing up the Crucible itself. More than that, my working hypothesis for the plot as I went along was that the Crucible is a huge Indoctrination machine that broadcasts a conversion signal to the whole galaxy, a crucial part of the Reapers' plan to wipe out all life, and a constant feature of every cycle. When you think about it, all Prothean ruins have been lying around for 50,000 years at least, with 200 years' leadup to that time during which the Reapers will a) have the capacity to find out about them (files on the Citadel) and b) be at their leisure to forge the data on there/make fake VI "Protheans" to say it's legitimate information. In short, the Reapers have all the time in the world to make the future Shepard believe anything about the past because humans as a whole have barely figured out that building fires keeps you warm at night. As such, they are free to make organics willingly contribute to their own reaping.

I expected the success ending to be that Shepard figures this out and either modifies the output to affect Reapers (using the Sanctuary data) (Paragon) or blows up the Conduit in the last few seconds before it goes off, causing a fatal blast of deus ex machina feedback that weakens or destroys the Reapers (Renegade). The failure ending would be that the galaxy gets wiped out, with an "optimal failure" option on the Normandy going to stealth and finding somewhere quiet for the crew to live out their natural lives (as Liara suggests at one point in her romance plot).
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Re: That Mass Effect 3

Postby Chen » Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:00 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:
maybeagnostic wrote:The second is definitely not possible without several multiplayer games.
Somebody did the math, and it is. Just very difficult. And making sure you made the right choices in previous games(sometimes this involves doing renegade things, like sabotaging the genophage).


So far I haven't seen any math to confirm this. The so called "perfect" saves I've seen do not get you enough to even hit 4000 EMS at 50% readiness. I can't imagine reaching 5000 is possible unless there's some HUGE bonuses for doing things that seem unlikely to help. Basically maybe 4000 is possible with no multiplayer but it'd involve a very convoluted path through the first 2 games in addition to doing everything in ME 3.

Spoiler:
For example I think the best solution to the Genophage is still sacrificing Mordin to really cure it, while Eve and Wrex live. You lose Mordin at the crucible, but you gain Wrex and clan Urdnot, in addition to gaining the Salarians afterwards as well. The only other one I've seen that makes sense is the one where Wrex is dead, Eve dies because you don't have the cure and you save Mordin. Here you do gain Mordin at the crucible, plus the Salarian fleet and can get the Krogan under Wreav. But you don't have Wrex OR Clan Urdnot (who I believe are rallied by Eve) which seems like you'd get lower war assets total.


I'd imagine given a bit more time a full war assets and ending guide will be out somewhere on Gamefaqs with more details.

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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby SirBryghtside » Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:33 pm UTC

I finished it literally minutes ago, and...

Spoiler:
I loved it. I loved the game, I loved the characters, and most importantly, I loved the ending. And that is for one reason.

Mass Effect 3 broke me.

I haven't cried at any media since I was about five years old. But watching Shepard die, watching the universe saved, thinking that Joker was going to die - the one character I would save above any other (and I lost a LOT of characters in my playthrough)... it was too much. I honestly never realised how emotionally invested I was in the series for that to happen.

By the way, I picked the 'destroy all synthetics' option, if anyone cares. And I acknowledge all of the problems, from only three hard choices to lack of closure (which I disagree with) to the lack of the entire games effect on... anything. But I still absolutely loved it. Nothing is universally bad, and I'm happy to be an outlier in this case ^_^
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Re: That Mass Effect 3

Postby Dauric » Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:26 pm UTC

maybeagnostic wrote:So I finished the game. After all the negative opinions I was prepared for something so utterly horrible that I would never want to look at the game again and I was still unpleasantly surprised. It wasn't worse than I expected (not sure if that was possible) but it was incredibly incoherent. The main villain(?) gets introduced in the last few minutes of the final part of the trilogy, gives Shepard a full explanation of his very simple but rather nonsensical motivation and presents some vaguely defined choices that are distinguished by the color of light you step into?


Probably helps some people's impressions to have lowered expectations from all the chatter about the horrible ending. Imagine your reaction if you were among the first to see that ending with the expectations that you had of the ME series Mar 5'th (the day before it came out).

Spoiler:
Apparently you normally get blue and red but if you had enough war assets the green choice is also offered. Why? The Great Algorithm obviously wants to give you a choice to how you get to change the world so why would it limit those options based on how much firepower you have? It's like if Neo showing up with a bunch of belligerent friends made Morpheus offer the option of a green pill that turns Trinity into a blender (because that somehow avoids conflicts between humans and machines).


Spoiler:
"... the option of a green pill that turns Trinity in to a blender..."

Can't stop chuckling at that one.

I think it would have made sense if the alliance resolution to the Quarian/Geth problem was what opened up the third option, since Citadel-Child's issue was the "inevitability" of synthetics wiping out organics and providing a real-world example of the Citadel-Child's theory being false would have forced the AI to consider a third option. I suspect that the writers...

1) ...pointed the If-Then at the war readyness value out of rough-draft planning that they lacked time to edit as the release date approached. As I've noted before there's a lot of finishing touches that should have been done (like correcting texturemap lighting and 3D model animation rigging) and the fact that it didn't get done suggests they were running out of time.

and/or

2) ... knew that if the third option was opened up by a single quest they'd catch fandom-hellfire for making the option open up for a single quest arc and decided to point the If-Then at the war readiness score to argue that the entirety of all decisions that made up the war readiness counted towards the opening of a single option.

Of course the way they did it is nonsensical, and given how ludicrous the Citadel Child scene is in the first place making the If-Then to open the third choice that way just adds to the absurdity.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby maybeagnostic » Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:54 pm UTC

SirBryghtside wrote:
Spoiler:
By the way, I picked the 'destroy all synthetics' option, if anyone cares. And I acknowledge all of the problems, from only three hard choices to lack of closure (which I disagree with) to the lack of the entire games effect on... anything. But I still absolutely loved it. Nothing is universally bad, and I'm happy to be an outlier in this case ^_^

Spoiler:
So I guess there are just a lot of different things that disappointed me in the ending simultaneously- the whole synthetics vs organics duality coming out of nowhere, the lack of closure, the lack of explanation for different choices (I stumbled into symbiosis half by accident because it was 3 AM, I was really tired and I really didn't understand what the different choices entailed exactly), the absolutely godlike yet arbitrary powers the Crucible offered (I can remake the whole galaxy on the molecular level in an extremely complex manner presumably changing the laws of nature in the process but I can't make the Reapers disappear?), the explanation of the Reaper's goal as something very simple yet nonsensical (the omnipotent AI could have achieved its goals in a much simpler and more reliable manner while limiting suffering at the same time*). What really killed the ending for me was the massive deus ex machina- I have a particular dislike for that method of conflict resolution. It's like if in the first game you fight your way to Saren only to have a Keeper shoot him in the back and ask you if you'd like the Citadel to destroy Sovereign. Oh, btw, the Citadel has an eight kilometer long mass accelerator weapon. Did we forget to mention that?

Ok, despite going off on a rant I am not trying to convince you that the ending was bad. I realize all of my dislikes are somewhat biased and very subjective. In fact, any two or three of them could have still been part of the ending and not bothered me too much but the deus ex machina really bugged me and made me think about all these other things I didn't like. I have to say I really like the idea of each reaper representing a species and the cycle being a kind of compression algorithm that just frees up space in the galaxy for new and different life to emerge. It was hinted at in ME1 and pretty much flat out stated in ME2 but very clumsily executed in ME3. The god-AI's synthetic-organic bs displaced the Reaper's purpose to a minor side point.

Did you have any idea why Shepard was allowed to make that choice? If Anderson or TIM had stumbled in, would they have gotten to make the choice instead?

* I actually found that particularly confusing. The stated goal was to preserve diversity by having each ship be a species but it seems reapers get destroyed quite regularly so why would you send them into battle? Does that mean Shepard personally destroyed four species in the games?
Last edited by maybeagnostic on Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:59 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Lucrece » Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:59 pm UTC

I liked a LoTR analogy someone made to the endings:


Spoiler:
I'll give you an analogy. Imagine if LOTR had ended like this. Gollum would give Frodo a choice, either throw the ring into the lava, or jump into the lava with the ring. After choosing either of these, middle earth would implode and the entire fellowship would be stuck on an island together, also if Frodo just threw thing ring in, all the elves would die.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Dauric » Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:09 pm UTC

maybeagnostic wrote:
Spoiler:
Did you have any idea why Shepard was allowed to make that choice? If Anderson or TIM had stumbled in, would they have gotten to make the choice instead?


Spoiler:
I think it was implied that Shepard was the only one that could have, or would have made that choice. There's the images of Anderson shooting the destruct conduit and Illusive grabbing the controls when Citadel-Child talks about the decision. There's also that Shepard is part organic and part synthetic after his resurrection.

Preventing Illusive from gaining control makes sense. If Illusive was allowed to get that far he would have tried to control the Reapers, however he himself was controlled by the reapers. From a computer's standpoint you're looking at an infinite loop that would have locked up the reaper's override permanently.

Anderson.... I never really found his character to be prejudiced against synthetics on pure anti-synthetic prejudice, so the idea that he wouldn't have ever chosen control seems to come out of nowhere... He's certainly not an equivalent "Opposite" to Illusive to be the exemplar of the 'Destruction' option in the end.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Vaniver » Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:48 pm UTC

maybeagnostic wrote:
Spoiler:
* I actually found that particularly confusing. The stated goal was to preserve diversity by having each ship be a species but it seems reapers get destroyed quite regularly so why would you send them into battle? Does that mean Shepard personally destroyed four species in the games?
Spoiler:
That's how I would have played things. Sovereign? The monument to the creators of the Catalyst.
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Re: That Mass Effect 3

Postby skeptical scientist » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:30 pm UTC

Chen wrote:So far I haven't seen any math to confirm this. The so called "perfect" saves I've seen do not get you enough to even hit 4000 EMS at 50% readiness. I can't imagine reaching 5000 is possible unless there's some HUGE bonuses for doing things that seem unlikely to help. Basically maybe 4000 is possible with no multiplayer but it'd involve a very convoluted path through the first 2 games in addition to doing everything in ME 3.

I got basically 50%*7000=3500, and I think my game was pretty damned close to the perfect outcome (for Paragon choices). I don't know if making more Renegade choices would have resulted in a significantly better military strength, but I doubt it. So I don't think even 4k is possible without increasing your readiness beyond 50%. But you can get enough points that you only need 60% readiness for 4k, which I bet you can reach pretty quick with multiplayer. Alternatively, 8k TMS is apparently possible with New Game+.

From what I've read, you need 4000 for the "best" ending, not 5000, unless for some reason you'd rather
Spoiler:
let the Illusive Man kill Anderson, rather than shooting him first?

You get the 2 second clip of Shep breathing at 4000 EMS if you shoot TIM the first chance you get, and at 5000 EMS if you wait until after he kills Anderson.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby SirBryghtside » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:59 pm UTC

Lucrece wrote:I liked a LoTR analogy someone made to the endings:


Spoiler:
I'll give you an analogy. Imagine if LOTR had ended like this. Gollum would give Frodo a choice, either throw the ring into the lava, or jump into the lava with the ring. After choosing either of these, middle earth would implode and the entire fellowship would be stuck on an island together, also if Frodo just threw thing ring in, all the elves would die.

Spoiler:
Bad analogy. In LotR, it was told to you for the ENTIRE BOOK SERIES that lobbing this ring into lava would save the world from devastation, unite all people within our nation, etc. In Mass Effect 3, you were told that the Crucible would... what? That it was probably a weapon that *might* not kill us all and could maybe kill the Reapers? No one knew what the Crucible would do, and it turns out it offers the person who reaches it gets three imperfect options.

What I find especially funny about the 'there is no everyone's happy ending' is that when Deus Ex did it, it got hailed as one of the greatest games of all time. Mass Effect 3 does it, it gets universally reviled.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby maybeagnostic » Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:03 pm UTC

Spoiler:
Yes, I let him kill Anderson. No good reason really, I'd just been conditioned to (almost) never make renegade choices and I was very tired so it took me a while to realize what was happening. I don't know why neither final diplomacy option was available for me. I had maxed out reputation, almost entirely paragon (only about a fifth of a bar of renegade). Do I need perfect paragon or renegade reputation to convince him that he's indoctrinated? I guess those options were disabled for me in ME1 as well. I guess I'm not doing something right.


P.S.
SirBryghtside wrote:
Spoiler:
What I find especially funny about the 'there is no everyone's happy ending' is that when Deus Ex did it, it got hailed as one of the greatest games of all time. Mass Effect 3 does it, it gets universally reviled.
Then you really don't understand why people (or me, at least) are upset at the ending. I would have loved a dark ending where not everyone or almost no one or even no one at all is saved. I would have been slightly disappointed by a sappy Hollywood ending where you ride off into the sunset. ME3's ending is horrible for reasons that have nothing to do with the specifics of the options in the final choice. (Obviously the previous sentence is personal opinion. A few people like the ending and the majority that dislike it possibly do so for very different reasons)
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby SirBryghtside » Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:16 pm UTC

maybeagnostic wrote:Then you really don't understand why people (or me, at least) are upset at the ending. I would have loved a dark ending where not everyone or almost no one or even no one at all is saved. I would have been slightly disappointed by a sappy Hollywood ending where you ride off into the sunset. ME3's ending is horrible for reasons that have nothing to do with the specifics of the options in the final choice. (Obviously the previous sentence is personal opinion. A few people like the ending and the majority that dislike it possibly do so for very different reasons)

Fair enough, I guess I can't ever really understand. All I know is that I absolutely loved it, and other people absolutely hate it. In the end, it doesn't really matter.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby skeptical scientist » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:04 am UTC

It is entirely lame that Bioware couldn't be bothered to write three different ending cinematics for the three different endings. However, the endings at least imply very different outcomes for the galaxy, so I wasn't bothered by the "lack of choice" that some people are complaining about. I saw one post where someone summarized the ending as, "You get to choose the color of the explosion that destroys galactic civilization." While droll, and an adequate characterization of the ending cinematic, this isn't exactly fair to the implications of the choice you make.

I also don't understand the complaints of people who say that the endings make all your previous work moot: the people (and species) that you saved still live, mostly, and those that died are still dead. The genophage is still cured, or not, and the Krogan still will, or won't, seek revenge for it. The Quarians and Geth are still at peace, or not. The mass relays are toast, but that doesn't imply the end of galactic civilization. We still have FTL travel using mass effect fields, and galactic civilization is entirely possible even if travel between widely separated systems takes years rather than minutes.* And the relays can possibly be repaired or recreated, especially if
Spoiler:
the reapers help because they are no longer under the control of an insane deity.

The only thing that really bothers me about the ending (besides Bioware being too lazy to make more than one ending video) is that Shep is only able to stop the reapers from ending this cycle and starting a new one because
Spoiler:
the above insane deity decided to build in a loop escape when it decided to start this whole cycles business, rather than because people rebelling against the deity had finally figured out how to overthrow it after successfully passing down and perfecting a lineage over thousands of cycles. But the whole crucible thing was obviously a deus ex machina either way, and I can't complain too much if the ME3 writers chose a different deus for their machina than I would have.


*I don't think the games are terribly consistent about the rate of FTL travel, since the existence of mass relays makes it mostly irrelevant, but according to the rate of 12 lightyears per day, you could go from one end of the galaxy to the other in under 30 years.
Last edited by skeptical scientist on Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:08 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:08 am UTC

SirBryghtside wrote:Fair enough, I guess I can't ever really understand. All I know is that I absolutely loved it, and other people absolutely hate it. In the end, it doesn't really matter.

The problem with the ending is multifold:
Spoiler:
1. It's a deus ex machina (in this case, literally) pulled out at the last moment. A major entity- essentially the true villain of the series- is introduced in the last 5 minutes. There's absolutely zero reason for a player to expect the catalyst to be a god-ai-child in the citadel. The existence of such makes no sense within the setting as defined over three games, several books and the available lore. This also devalues everything Shepard- and thus, the player- had been doing throughout the series. It's poor story telling, and is just plain inconsistent with the world they had created.

2. It takes the reapers- something that had been billed as having a purpose that mere organics could never comprehend- and boils their purpose down into one sentence: "Prevent organic races from advancing so far that they create a machine intelligence that would destroy all organic life in existence". They're no longer lovecraftian horrors from beyond, they're just park rangers keeping the population in check. It's not incomprehensible, it's not complicated, it takes less time to explain than Sovereign spent telling us it could not be explained to us. It takes an interesting- if somewhat unoriginal- antagonist and makes them boring.

3. It's lazy: the ending is determined by your choice at the last moment, not your actions before hand. The ending of a game should be the culmination of your prior choices; it should be determined by the decisions you had already made. Just look at BG2 ToB- you got a choice at the very end, yes, but the gritty details of that choice were determined by how you answered questions from Solar earlier, from what you did earlier in the game. The "push a button, win an ending!" mechanic is just outright lazy. The endings in ME3 are all exactly the same once you press that button, regardless of what lead up to it. The endings weren't shifted (even slightly) whether you were paragon or renegade. Imagine if, upon controlling the reapers, that ending branched out in three directions (paragon, renegade, neither) based on Shepard's tilt? There's nothing like that in the ending though, it's unchanging.

4. There's no option to interject and make your own choice. In the end, you're only accepting the choices offered to you. This is always true within a game, but part of the art of making a good choice-centric game is making those choices feel like you made them yourselves. The game completely fails to accomplish that with this ending; you get to the end, you're told "Pick red, blue, or green" and that's it. Shepard has no option to reject those choices and make his/her own. It's all completely arbitrary, and there's no reason given to believe that you're actually constrained to those choices except because that's all the game has options for. You can't even try to reason with the entity, Shepard just nods and accepts fate. That is so amazingly out of character that it completely destroys Shepard as a person, as a hero, as an agent of the player. My Shepard had not once accepted destiny- fuck, the whole plot of the series is about rejecting our pre-determined destruction! Shepard does everything they can to ensure sentients have their own choices to make, their own path to follow, not matter how many obstacles- even by allies- were placed in their path. My Shepard had always tried to reason with everyone, no matter how much it might appear to be a fruitless endeavor; s/he can even talk two indoctrinated people into taking their own lives to fight the reapers, even though indoctrination is supposed to be irreversible and pointless to oppose.

5. This is the big one (save the best for last and all that): the Mass Effect series had been about choice. When you imported a Shepard from a prior installment, you weren't importing the character (you could remake your skills or even your class with every import, your equipment never carried over, and only a limited amount of your prior resources made any showing at all), you were importing the culmination of their choices to date. Your choices were supposed to matter- what you did about the rachni queen, the geth, the genophage, if you saved the council. How you solved the personal dilemmas of your friends and crew. If you preferred to leave a wake of rubble behind you, or tried to reach a compromise to make everyone happy. Whether you stuck by your friends, or betrayed them for the greater good.

Many of the decisions you made were not about the immediate future, they were about determining the long-term future of the galaxy. The ultimate results of that outcome was presumed to become apparent in the time after you finished the game. Curing the genophage would have no galactic consequences in the few months that ME3 covers; people deciding whether or not to cure it did so on the centuries later outlook for what they thought would be best. The geth and quarians getting along or not would have no significant change in the short term, but in the long term, they could become a juggernaut within the new galactic civilization, or recant back to being a pariah. The rachni could doom everybody, or become another benevolent participatory in civilization. And so on and so on.

The problem is, the ending completely invalidates all of those choices. None of them mattered anymore once you got to that ending, because they all ignore and then promptly erase everything you had done beforehand. I had invested myself in making decisions to affect the future of the galaxy, not to get a higher war score. The ending stripped that from me and everybody else.
Or the tl;dr version:
Spoiler:
1. It's logically inconsistent with the established setting.
2. It contradicts prior statements and devalues interesting characters.
3. It's lazy.
4. It contradicts the established character of the player.
5. It invalidates your prior decisions.
EDIT:
skeptical scientist wrote:I also don't understand the complaints of people who say that the endings make all your previous work moot: the people (and species) that you saved still live, mostly, and those that died are still dead. The genophage is still cured, or not, and the Krogan still will, or won't, seek revenge for it. The Quarians and Geth are still at peace, or not.

Not really:
Spoiler:
Destroying a relay essentially destroys the system it's in. Rannoch was in a relay system. So was Tuchanka. So was Earth. So there goes the quarian and geth decisions (also, one decision destroys the geth outright, and the other fundamentally changes them such that it might as well be the same anyway). There goes the genophage decision. The citadel was destroyed and everyone on it died- there goes the decision over whether to save the council or not. There goes the subplots with Aria (she would either be in Omega or still on the citadel; Omega was a relay system). Anderson dies- there goes anything involving Sanders. The forces you gathered would all be trapped at best, many (turians and quarians) with no ability to get enough food to survive the journey back home- except all of their homes are destroyed (Thessia, Sur'Kesh, and Palaven are also both in relay systems, plus the prior mentioned Rannoch, Tuchanka and Earth) anyway.

Any colony that was not self sufficient- and as you may recall, the reapers were destroying infrastructure throughout the galaxy- will die of starvation or be trapped with no ability to manufacture travel elsewhere before they could travel somewhere else to work together. Even if the relays don't fry all of the home planets, they will have seen so much devastation from the war as to be very likely to be doomed to die out without fast access to other worlds. Even if that also somehow doesn't matter, it still invalidates the krogan decision- they were going to be defined by their resurgence into galactic affairs, hopefully getting a new planet to call home. Instead, they're all going to be trapped on Tuchanka, without the unifying leader (Wrex) that would prevent them from going back into constant infighting; they're cursed to destroy their world (and themselves with it) all over again.

Plus, the big kicker: the post credits scene shows that regardless of which choice you make, everything does end up the same. Humanity attempts to rebuild itself on that crashed planet, with none of the aliens surviving (you'd think there'd be some asari at least through Liari, since they don't need other members of their race to maintain genetic diversity), without the synthesis having any chance to impact their life. Also, I feel it's worth mentioning that there is no epilogue explaining any of the potential impacts we made. Nothing says "The krogan, cured of the genophage, became the new galactic scourge" or "The quarians, having been destroyed by the geth at the very end, were soon forgotten by the galaxy at large" or anything. There's no closure.

Essentially, the ending is such an overriding, all powerful outcome, that everything you did before doesn't matter, because this new event is so overwhelmingly impactful on the life of everything else, that all of your choices will have no affect on the future, because this one just brushes them all aside. Endings are supposed to be the culmination of your prior decisions, not the decision making point itself.
Also, all the above complaints I already made in this post.
Last edited by Ghostbear on Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:17 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Lucrece » Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:23 am UTC

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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby maybeagnostic » Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:59 am UTC

Right, so I just replayed the ending. It's much less painful the second time around and I caught a few things I missed last night. I still agree with almost everything Ghostbear said above but I feel like a few adjustments in the ways one views the series can make the ending much more palatable:
Spoiler:
First, the Reapers. They are not enormously powerful eldritch horror badasses; they are boastful underlings that lie to Shepard to make themselves seem more important. This is especially true of Sovereign as almost everything he says in ME1 is shown to be false in the final few minutes.

Second, the omnipotent god-child-AI is actually the relay network ("The Citadel is part of me"). Yes, it clearly contradicts everything that has been established in the series so far including everything from ME3 but it is actually a kind of cool idea. So the Reapers didn't build it (Sovereign lied) and they don't control it (Sovereign was delusional?) and it can achieve its meaningless goals much more elegantly but... come on, the relay network was the villain all along! It's this incredibly passive yet insanely malicious AI that has been under our noses the whole time. Every time you took a relay jump, the relay network god took a piece of your soul! (Ok, that last part wasn't mentioned in the conversation).

Third, not all endings have the same cut scene. Yes, they all have nearly identical variations of the same cut scene but there are minor differences. For example, in synthesis Joker, EDI and Ashley leave the Normandy but in control-the-Reapers Joker, Liara and Jarvin leave the Normandy. Is there some significance there? Well, cyborg-Joker and Seven-of-nine were supposed to repopulate the planet (kind of difficult when EDI's body has no way or need to procreate) but the second group? No idea. Sure, the Normandy is still trying to outrun the perfectly harmless Reaper controlling wave that... makes the ship explode and crash land. Wait, what? Just a few seconds ago the same wave was shown hitting infantry and tanks and nothing bad happened to them. Is the Normandy a Reaper? But the Reapers weren't damaged by it either so... huh?

Fourth, synthesis, the ending I took last night, is utter shit. This whole organics versus synthetics divide makes no sense. The quarian are no more different from geth than they are from rachni or krogan. They are also no more likely to go to war with the geth again than any other race; less so, in fact, since they now share a homeworld. By comparison controlling the Reapers was a downright sane ending. There are still a bajillion plot holes but at least gaining control of the reapers is a valid way to resolve the conflict whereas turning everyone into a cyborg doesn't solve anything.

Lastly, I didn't need to replay two hours of difficult fights just fifteen minutes of Shepard's geriatric stumble and unskippable dialogs (with almost no dialog options).
Overall, I still don't like the ending but I think I can come to accept it (i.e. ignore it and just quit the game before the end on future replays). It is definitely not enough to offset my enjoyment of the rest of the story. The Reapers were never the most interesting part anyway.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby skeptical scientist » Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:12 am UTC

Spoiler:
Ghostbear wrote:Not really: Destroying a relay essentially destroys the system it's in. Rannoch was in a relay system. So was Tuchanka. So was Earth.

That's not right. We see that the Earth isn't destroyed (assuming you had enough military strength) during the final video. Destroying a mass relay by dropping an asteroid on it causes an explosion that annihilates a system, but when using the catalyst to accomplish outcome X, the same energy presumably goes into causing outcome X, rather than being unleashed in an uncontrolled explosion, which is why Earth (and presumably other planets in relay systems) is not destroyed.

Plus, the big kicker: the post credits scene shows that regardless of which choice you make, everything does end up the same.

There's no reason to believe the post credits scene even takes place in the same universe as the events of Mass Effect. The events of Mass Effect may be history in that universe, but they could just as easily be fiction, as suggested by "tell me another story about the Shepard". The storyteller did say the events happened "long ago," but that is a common device in fiction. Even if it does take place in the same universe, all we know is that somewhere, some time, there is a humanoid adult telling a humanoid child stories about "the Shepard". Since half the sentient races in the galaxy are apparently humanoid, that tells us very little.

Humanity attempts to rebuild itself on that crashed planet, with none of the aliens surviving (you'd think there'd be some asari at least through Liari, since they don't need other members of their race to maintain genetic diversity), without the synthesis having any chance to impact their life.

Where are you getting this from? I saw nothing like that in any ending I watched. Are you extrapolating all this from the post-credits scene?

Also, I feel it's worth mentioning that there is no epilogue explaining any of the potential impacts we made. Nothing says "The krogan, cured of the genophage, became the new galactic scourge" or "The quarians, having been destroyed by the geth at the very end, were soon forgotten by the galaxy at large" or anything. There's no closure.

Yeah, I can see how you might not like that, but it didn't bother me having some questions left unanswered.

Essentially, the ending is such an overriding, all powerful outcome, that everything you did before doesn't matter, because this new event is so overwhelmingly impactful on the life of everything else, that all of your choices will have no affect on the future, because this one just brushes them all aside.

I think you are coming to this conclusion based on erroneous inferences not supported by the events of the game, like the conclusion that since every decision appears to destroy the mass relay system, that means every decision actually wipes out every system containing a relay.


Edit: spoilered everything at maybeagnostic's request.
Last edited by skeptical scientist on Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:48 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby maybeagnostic » Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:32 am UTC

Can you put the whole post in a spoiler tag? I know the ending has been discussed for several pages now but the game came out just a week ago and I doubt everyone has had a chance to finish it.

Spoiler:
Are you not at all bothered that an entity much more powerful than the Reapers is introduced out of nowhere in the last few minutes? That this entity allows you to kill it because you've accomplished some perfectly arbitrary task even though it could have prevent you from doing so at any moment? That its reason for creating the cycle is patently absurd ("Despite this being disproven earlier in this very game, I know advanced organic life always creates synthetic life that destroys it; to prevent that I have created synthetic life that destroys all advanced organic life.")? The relay system is itself the villain (a possibly amazing twist) but that is revealed in one single line and you are not even given an investigate dialog option following it? Shepard doesn't even comment on it!


P.S.
Spoiler:
True, none of the blasts destroy star systems. All of them destroy the Normandy for some reason though. Does anyone have any idea why that is?

P.P.S.
Spoiler:
Also why is the Normandy on a different planet? Not only was there no way to get there but there was no reason to want to get there. Shepard saved the day, the Reapers either left or were destroyed and Earth is saved.
T: ... through an emergency induction port.
S: That's a straw, Tali.
T: Emerrrgency induction port.

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skeptical scientist
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby skeptical scientist » Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:15 am UTC

maybeagnostic wrote:Can you put the whole post in a spoiler tag?

Fine. I didn't think anything I wrote was that spoilery except for what I wrapped in a spoiler tag, and I really dislike having so much of a conversation wrapped in spoilers, but I'll err on the side of caution.

Spoiler:
maybeagnostic wrote:Are you not at all bothered that an entity much more powerful than the Reapers is introduced out of nowhere in the last few minutes?

That this entity allows you to kill it because you've accomplished some perfectly arbitrary task even though it could have prevent you from doing so at any moment? That its reason for creating the cycle is patently absurd ("Despite this being disproven earlier in this very game, I know advanced organic life always creates synthetic life that destroys it; to prevent that I have created synthetic life that destroys all advanced organic life.")? The relay system is itself the villain (a possibly amazing twist) but that is revealed in one single line and you are not even given an investigate dialog option following it? Shepard doesn't even comment on it!

Yeah, that was fairly irksome. The being introduced out of nowhere bit didn't bother me, but that the entity was patently insane did, and the fact that we are only allowed to continue to exist because of the whim of an insane being really annoyed me. I said above that this was the one thing that really bothered me about the ending.

(Well, that and the lameness of three different endings that all get the exact same cinematic, up to a hue rotation. Imagine a color-blind dude who doesn't like the ending he chose watching 15 minutes of stumbling zombieShep to choose a different ending, only to get an ending which looks exactly the same.)

P.S. True, none of the blasts destroy star systems. All of them destroy the Normandy for some reason though. Does anyone have any idea why that is?

No. It makes sense that the destroy all synthetic life blast would destroy the Normandy (as it's effectively a synthetic life-form), but I don't know why the others would.

P.P.S. Also why is the Normandy on a different planet? Not only was there no way to get there but there was no reason to want to get there. Shepard saved the day, the Reapers either left or were destroyed and Earth is saved.

Yeah, I don't know. This would make sense for ending option 1 if Joker figured out that the blast would kill EDI, but there was no way for him to know that. It doesn't make any sense for options 2 and 3.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:16 am UTC

@Skeptical Scientist
Spoiler:
skeptical scientist wrote:That's not right. We see that the Earth isn't destroyed (assuming you had enough military strength) during the final video. Destroying a mass relay by dropping an asteroid on it causes an explosion that annihilates a system, but when using the catalyst to accomplish outcome X, the same energy presumably goes into causing outcome X, rather than being unleashed in an uncontrolled explosion, which is why Earth (and presumably other planets in relay systems) is not destroyed.

We see earth not being destroyed by the blast from the citadel, we don't see the effects of the relay going off. I'll concede that it's probable that they didn't intend for the relays to explode such as in arrival, but that's why I put in the "If not that, then this" situations, which you seem to have brushed aside or ignored.

Rannoch is left without a significant portion of their leadership or population, and would notably have zero infrastructure set up to maintain organic life on any significant scale (having been controlled by the geth for centuries). The quarians would have presumably been reliant on getting food transported in. Two of the endings completely override the potential for you to have chosen for the geth to exist (if that isn't invalidating your prior choices, then I don't know what is). Tuchanka is left without the most important unifying figure in krogan society, the person required to transition their culture to letting the females (such as Bakara) have a significant say in affairs. They too would be left without the majority of their best and brightest (since in their culture the best and brightest were all warriors), with no ability to relocate to a new planet (the krogan were prevented from having any fleets), they're now left with their radiated hell hole, except now with no ability to import food or other resources and with a potentially burgeoning population with no clear leadership to prevent them from returning to their internal conflicts of before. Also, no shroud to help with the radiation. The earth is going to be covered with various races, many of whom are completely incapable of digesting native food, who have no way to get supplies from, or travel to, their homes in any timely manner. The infrastructure and sustainability of most colonies have been destroyed by the reaper invasion; the only hope for those places to survive in any serious fashion was to get supplies from other locations that weren't hit. Unless they're able to survive years between supply drops, they can't do that now.

Any choices you made at all pertaining to the citadel or the council are now gone, because everyone on it and the structure itself are now non-existent. Did you save the council, or leave them to die and impose an all human council afterwards? Don't bother telling anybody, because your decision at the end of the first game doesn't matter (despite being placed as one that would matter quite a bit). Did you keep Tali and Garrus alive for all 3 games? Well, they probably died of starvation when the Normandy crash landed, so too bad. What about your love interest? Oh, Shepard is never going to see them again, sorry, it doesn't matter who you picked (or didn't).

In short: the game does not care what you decided before hand.

skeptical scientist wrote:There's no reason to believe the post credits scene even takes place in the same universe as the events of Mass Effect. The events of Mass Effect may be history in that universe, but they could just as easily be fiction, as suggested by "tell me another story about the Shepard".

The "It was all a dream" trope is not an improvement in any way, shape, or form.

skeptical scientist wrote:Where are you getting this from? I saw nothing like that in any ending I watched. Are you extrapolating all this from the post-credits scene?

Yes, that's why it was in the same paragraph that started off talking about the post-credits scene.

skeptical scientist wrote:Yeah, I can see how you might not like that, but it didn't bother me having some questions left unanswered.

There is a very distinct difference between "some" questions being unanswered, and every single question being unanswered. Which is what we got: no answers about what happened because of our decisions. They don't factor into the ending at all.

skeptical scientist wrote:I think you are coming to this conclusion based on erroneous inferences not supported by the events of the game, like the conclusion that since every decision appears to destroy the mass relay system, that means every decision actually wipes out every system containing a relay.

No, I'm concluding it based off my analysis of the events in the game and the information provided to us by the game itself.
Also: I did quite a bit of explaining of my dislike for the ending in that same post. The core of my argument resides there. This is about a specific point, but even without it, the basis of the argument around "the ending sucks" still exists.


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