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  #251  
Old 03-20-2012, 01:55 PM
Zeriel is offline
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Y'know, I'll go out on a limb--*I* want my perfect play to result in a generally happy ending.

But then again, I perceived ME2 has having a happy ending, too--I got my squad through alive through profound dedication, and I told TIM to eat a bag of dicks as I blew up his little prize. That's happy enough for me. I saw the final teaser of the Reapers activating and thought, "hey, y'know, let the metal fuckers come. If we go down we'll go down swinging--they're just big bioorganic assholes, not gods."

Maybe "hopeful" ending is the better way of putting that. Tragedy can happen on the way, but I want the sense that the galaxy AS I LEARNED TO LOVE IT is going to generally survive, perhaps after a prolonged rebuilding.

Last edited by Zeriel; 03-20-2012 at 01:56 PM.
  #252  
Old 03-20-2012, 01:55 PM
Johnny Angel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unauthorized Cinnamon View Post
I assumed
SPOILER:
it would turn out Shepard was the Catalyst and had to climb in and get disintegrated or something to make the thing work. And I was OK with that, because it would fit with the epic hero narrative tradition.
Ah, yes. The Captain Scarlet Ending. "People of Earth, this is the voice of the Mysterons. We have planted a bomb in one of your cities that will destroy your planet unless *snicker* one of you *chortle* throws himself in a commercial sausage press! (Shut up, I'm talking to the People of Earth. Hey, puff, puff, pass, asshole) Where was I? Yeah, sausage press. And get, like ground into chunks. Oh, and put the chunks in a can with Captain Scarlet's picture on it. *snort* Then we want to watch as he resurrects! *SNORGLE* Oh, man. That shit'll be funny. Do it, Earthlings. Mars out!"

But, yeah, I expected something like this, too, because of all the build up in 2 about Shepard being noticed as something special within humankind.

Last edited by Johnny Angel; 03-20-2012 at 01:58 PM.
  #253  
Old 03-20-2012, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Zeriel View Post
Maybe "hopeful" ending is the better way of putting that. Tragedy can happen on the way, but I want the sense that the galaxy AS I LEARNED TO LOVE IT is going to generally survive, perhaps after a prolonged rebuilding.
Or at the very least, hopeful vs something else. Instead of pretty much the same damned ending if you manage to make it through the game, no matter what.

For instance, I'm going to spoiler the potential endings for Dragon Age: Origins here, and I think all of them are quite good endings even though you aren't going to strictly call all - or maybe any - of them unqualifiedly "happy." Quick summary of the "dark fantasy" game: You and a young man named Alistair are Grey Wardens, respected and feared warriors who are the only hope to save your nation and its populace from a ravaging horde of darkspawn (zombies) and their Archdemon (in huge, fearsome dragon form). An Archdemon arises from underground every few centuries or something, and the Grey Wardens are the only ones who can defeat them.
SPOILER:
The problem is, as a third Grey Warden who joins you explains to you newbie Wardens - the Archdemon has to be defeated through the sacrifice of a Warden's life to annihilate that evil soul. Wardens drink a bit of Archdemon blood as part of their initiation and not only does that give them their powers, it also kills them within 20 years or so. No problem, says the veteran Warden, he'll make the sacrifice in the final battle; he's coming up on about 20 years anyway. Except he dies before the battle. And I didn't mention that your buddy might now be the new king of your country. Maybe. Depends on the choices you made.

Meanwhile, a witch traveling with your group says she has another option - these Archdemons used to be Elder Gods but were corrupted. She wants to get pregnant by one of you Wardens and then perform a spell at the Archdemon battle that will pull out its spirit into her Warden-empowered fetus, to raise the godling as her own. Oh, and she's going off on her own afterwards and won't tell you what her plans are for her kid.

So the options are - OK, you may lose one of these or have an alternate character fill in, but for most people the options are - have your buddy Alistair step up and sacrifice himself, sacrifice yourself, or have Alistair (or you, if you're playing a male character) one-night-stand with the bitchy witch and let her run off with a baby with an Archdemon's soul in it and do god knows what. Plus if you're playing a female character, you may well have started a romantic relationship with Alistair, and if you both opt out of the demon baby option and bring him to the final fight, he says he's going to make the sacrifice and there's no way to stop him.

So you can save your country by sacrificing yourself, sacrificing your boon companion (who might also be the next king and/or your true love), or letting a witch have a baby with an Archdemon's soul. You definitely win, and the outcome does vary some depending on the choice you made, and there's an epilogue, even if you die.

That's the kind of hope I had for ME3.

Last edited by Ferret Herder; 03-20-2012 at 02:24 PM.
  #254  
Old 03-20-2012, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Johnny Angel View Post
The Indoctrination Delusion explanation would at least mean there was hope that there was a real ending besides choosing one of three History Eraser Buttons. You just assume it that Shepard stumbled through the attempted mind fuck and in the end managed to pick an ending that made your hundreds of hours and $180+ bucks worthwhile.
I'm waiting to see what the upcoming DLC is before I assume anything.
  #255  
Old 03-20-2012, 02:34 PM
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I just had a snicker when I saw this on BioWare's new Command&Conquer Front Page

Quote:
Ever-evolving Experience – Enhance your game with an expanding array of downloadable content. From maps and units to factions, campaigns, and more, the fight against terrorism is deeper than ever.
*snicker*
Yeah, good idea. Timing? Terrible.
  #256  
Old 03-20-2012, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Gukumatz View Post
I just had a snicker when I saw this on BioWare's new Command&Conquer Front Page

*snicker*
Yeah, good idea. Timing? Terrible.
Despite Generals being my favourite RTS, I'm probably going to give this a pass. If EA doesn't fix their mistake with ME 3, if they make Generals 2 an Origins exclusive, and if they insist on shoehorning this microtransactions crap into my RTS, I'd rather just see the company die as an example to the others.
  #257  
Old 03-20-2012, 03:50 PM
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Have you guys seen this? I want to believe! (There are spoilers in the link.)

http://uninhibitedandunrepentant.tum...mind-holy-fuck

I feel like they would have said something by now since Amazon is giving full refunds and the game has already dropped in price.
  #258  
Old 03-20-2012, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by velveeta View Post
Amazon is giving full refunds

Really?
What are the requirements to qualify for a refund. I ordered my collector's edition through Amazon and might like to return it if the requirements aren't too onerous.
  #259  
Old 03-20-2012, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by FinnAgain View Post
Exactly. I'd be 100% fine with a Shep Dies!!! ending, but it would have to make sense. And even if Shepherd dies, I'd still want to know what happened to the rest of the galaxy. And even if Shep dies, then smashing all the mass relays and plunging the galaxy into starvation is a lame way to end the series even if you win. There it's not that there has to be a happy ending, but that if all the endings end up the galaxy starving to death, then there's really nothing you've done through the whole series that made a difference, and the whole series is about the effects of personal choice.
That's what really gets me; no matter
SPOILER:
what you do in the previous three games, the three endings are pretty much the same. Shep dies, relays blow up, Normandy crashes.

I'm fine with some bittersweet endings (arguably the best Dragon Age: Origins ending was the one with the Warden dead - but at least you had some goddamn closure! You had a funeral, you had the major decisions taken into account when talking about the fates of people and places. I'd rather see it, but whatever), but to be honest I still wanted to earn my happy ending; marriage, old age and lots of little blue children!

Last edited by Mr. Kobayashi; 03-20-2012 at 04:16 PM.
  #260  
Old 03-20-2012, 06:05 PM
Johnny Angel is offline
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Originally Posted by velveeta View Post
Have you guys seen this? I want to believe! (There are spoilers in the link.)

http://uninhibitedandunrepentant.tum...mind-holy-fuck
Pffft. I still think it makes more sense to suppose that Bioware didn't intend for this to be the final word, though they seem to be suggesting that they did. But if there's a meta-story mind-fuck here it could just as easily be that Bioware spent years building our confidence and swearing that they wouldn't pull away the football just before we try to kick it. The most sinister part of the mind-fuck is that they pulled away the football in Dragon Age II just to heighten the irony that we all fell for it again.
  #261  
Old 03-20-2012, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Crowbar of Irony +3 View Post
wrt to the ending (BIG MAJOR SPOILERS)
SPOILER:
What about all the alien race stuck at Sol? All the Quarians will never see Rannoch again! Will they have to figure out their own FTL?
I just remembered that
SPOILER:
the mass relay in the Local Cluster is in orbit around Sol. As we know from Arrival, that means Earth is going up in a big ball of ralph. So at least we know that

the fleets of the galaxy couldn't possibly turn against each other for control of Earth's already badly taxed resources. So, that's a load off our collective minds.

http://knowyourmeme.com/photos/27128...ings-reception
http://knowyourmeme.com/photos/27148...ings-reception
  #262  
Old 03-21-2012, 02:56 AM
Crowbar of Irony +3 is offline
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Originally Posted by FinnAgain View Post
Really?
What are the requirements to qualify for a refund. I ordered my collector's edition through Amazon and might like to return it if the requirements aren't too onerous.
I have been reading on BSN that it's relatively painless.

There are rumours that Origin will refund digital copies too - some people on the BSN did it. However when I try, the rep only offer to replace the game with some other games...
  #263  
Old 03-21-2012, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by velveeta View Post
Have you guys seen this? I want to believe! (There are spoilers in the link.)

http://uninhibitedandunrepentant.tum...mind-holy-fuck
FWIW, I can verify one ending difference they mention:
SPOILER:
I did an ending with not-quite-100% Paragon and destroying the Collector base in ME2; I also got my EMS over 5000. I picked "destroy" and it ends with a closeup of part of Shepard's chest, among chunks of concrete - and then she draws a breath.


I also found a very spoilery page breaking down the different endings. So, it's not entirely true that nothing you do in previous games helps at all. You need to have made certain decisions in those games and ME3 to get you to a level where:
SPOILER:
you can have a chance at saving Earth at all or at least not leaving it entirely devastated.

Last edited by Ferret Herder; 03-21-2012 at 06:51 AM.
  #264  
Old 03-21-2012, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Ferret Herder View Post
FWIW, I can verify one ending difference they mention:
SPOILER:
I did an ending with not-quite-100% Paragon and destroying the Collector base in ME2; I also got my EMS over 5000. I picked "destroy" and it ends with a closeup of part of Shepard's chest, among chunks of concrete - and then she draws a breath.
Yes, that part makes me believe in the indoc theory. Why is it there if everything before it is the end? I'm finding it hard not to believe the indoc theory now. If it's true, than Bioware will have achieved something no other game company has ever done - indoctrinated their own fan base.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZOye...e_gdata_player

Spoilers in the video of course.
  #265  
Old 03-21-2012, 10:23 AM
Crowbar of Irony +3 is offline
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Newsflash - co-founder of Bioware weighs in on the ending

Quote:
Building on their research, Exec Producer Casey Hudson and the team are hard at work on a number of game content initiatives that will help answer the questions, providing more clarity for those seeking further closure to their journey. You’ll hear more on this in April. We’re working hard to maintain the right balance between the artistic integrity of the original story while addressing the fan feedback we’ve received
It's annoying, at least to me, that he's still using the 'artist defense'. From my point of view the ending is a cop-out, either a rushed one or something that attempts to be artistic and brilliant but fell flat. It's just annoying corporate speak. Can't owe up to a damn mistake any more.

I wonder if the quoted passage means "ending DLC" outright, but this what so annoying - with so many words used I still have no idea what he means. Oh, it's easy to read "ending DLC" into what's he saying but he never actually said that.

If Casey Hudson was sincere when he talked about a non-traditional ending. and sincerely believed the current ending does justice to what he talked about, then I am not sure what's really brewing in the mind of this co-founder too.
  #266  
Old 03-21-2012, 10:27 AM
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Edit: Damn, too slow! BTW, I've been seeing their Twitter feed writer(s) reference things like wanting to give others a chance to finish the game before talking more about the ending - a way to push off criticism, or a delaying tactic before planned DLC?

One of Bioware's cofounders addresses the issue. Summary: We're talking about it at Bioware, we're sorry a lot of loyal fans are pissed, use constructive criticism not dickishness, you'll hear more from us on it next month.

Regarding the ending choices:
SPOILER:
As Paragon as I played, I hated the "we just harvest the old races to give new ones a chance" justification enough to head for "destroy." I hated that it'd kill the Geth but I didn't think I had the right to choose Synthesis for all the sentient races of the galaxy, and Control still sounded sketchy.

Last edited by Ferret Herder; 03-21-2012 at 10:30 AM.
  #267  
Old 03-21-2012, 10:59 AM
Crowbar of Irony +3 is offline
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Originally Posted by Ferret Herder View Post

One of Bioware's cofounders addresses the issue. Summary: We're talking about it at Bioware, we're sorry a lot of loyal fans are pissed, use constructive criticism not dickishness, you'll hear more from us on it next month.
I'm not sure how to read the "genuinely surprise" stuff. It feels rather patronising, like "we didn't expect you to make a mountain out of a molehill" tone. Then again, I may be reading too much into it.
  #268  
Old 03-21-2012, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by velveeta View Post
If it's true, than Bioware will have achieved something no other game company has ever done - indoctrinated their own fan base.
I hate this attempt at defending Bioware. You act like this would be an achievement, but all this would mean is that Bioware released a massively flawed game on purpose, to convince their customers that they've released a massively flawed game. Any idiot could do that if they wanted to; the reason they don't is because they know better.

Last edited by Grumman; 03-21-2012 at 11:03 AM.
  #269  
Old 03-21-2012, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Crowbar of Irony +3 View Post
I'm not sure how to read the "genuinely surprise" stuff. It feels rather patronising, like "we didn't expect you to make a mountain out of a molehill" tone. Then again, I may be reading too much into it.
Especially after you've seen the "Lots of speculation from everyone!" developer note. How are they surprised about it when the note suggests that it was planned all along?

And you know, they can't have it both ways.

ME1: massive praise from fans = majority loves it
ME2: massive praise from fans = majority loves it
ME3: massive outcry from fans = small vocal minority

No. Just no.
  #270  
Old 03-21-2012, 11:11 AM
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The fact that industry journalists have almost universally praised ME3 is a sure sign that industry journalists are either corrupt or incompetent, not that ME3 is praiseworthy.
  #271  
Old 03-21-2012, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Grumman View Post
I hate this attempt at defending Bioware. You act like this would be an achievement, but all this would mean is that Bioware released a massively flawed game on purpose, to convince their customers that they've released a massively flawed game. Any idiot could do that if they wanted to; the reason they don't is because they know better.
The indoc theory claims they are showing us what indoctrination feels like. If true, brilliant. It's still a shitty thing to use your fan base as a social experiment.
I hold out for it because it's the only thing that makes the ending make any kind of sense. It also gives me a tiny sliver of hope that they are better than this. If the reality is that I'm supposed to swallow this "artistic" bullshit, I will not be buying any Bioware games anymore.
  #272  
Old 03-21-2012, 11:16 AM
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The fact that industry journalists have almost universally praised ME3 is a sure sign that industry journalists are either corrupt or incompetent, not that ME3 is praiseworthy.
I haven't gotten a chance to play it myself, but I've gotten the impression from others that aside from the Battle Strength/Readiness thing and the ending, the game is top notch. I don't think it's fair to use THIS instance against the journalists (there are plenty of other examples you can use).

Last edited by Jragon; 03-21-2012 at 11:17 AM.
  #273  
Old 03-21-2012, 11:25 AM
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Well... the ending doesn't just ruin the game, it ruins the series.
Saying that the whole game is great other than the ending is a bit like saying that the ice cream sundae was awesome except for the dog shit on it. I'm not even aware of any reviewers who've mentioned the ending as a factor in their review, but it's possible I've missed some.
  #274  
Old 03-21-2012, 11:36 AM
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I am still deciding whether to try to refund my copy of the game, through Origin...the rep gave me an offer to replace with up to two other games...mmm...

The ending really kills any desire for me to replay the game. I play through all the action sequences for the story. Without the story, the motivation is gone.
  #275  
Old 03-21-2012, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Crowbar of Irony +3 View Post
I am still deciding whether to try to refund my copy of the game, through Origin...the rep gave me an offer to replace with up to two other games...mmm...

The ending really kills any desire for me to replay the game. I play through all the action sequences for the story. Without the story, the motivation is gone.
It certainly kills my motivation to buy any pre-ending DLC unless the ending is fixed. Why bother saving Omega, let's say, if it doesn't matter in the end? They can't really bunker down behind "artistic integrity" when sales are on the line. Or maybe this is their Waterloo. I don't know.
The game IS really amazing, but I agree that the ending is like finding a dog turd wedged way down in the last bit of your ice cream cone. You say, "Well, that's gotta be a little piece of chocolate." But nope. It's just a turd.
  #276  
Old 03-21-2012, 11:56 AM
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I don't know. I really do think this is a piece of chocolate that happens looks like a turd and nobody's even willing to get close enough to smell it.

You can state that the mere shape of the chocolate is enough to kill your appetite, and that's fair enough, but I really don't think it's a turd.

I keep telling myself to stay out of this thread because I don't have investment in the series and I know how aggravating outsiders can be when you're frustrated, but I have to admit the reactions are both fascinating and baffling.

Last edited by Bosstone; 03-21-2012 at 11:56 AM.
  #277  
Old 03-21-2012, 11:59 AM
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No, the ending has been analyzed in great detail. It's objectively awful to the point where the best possible interpretation is that Bioware was deliberately maneuvering its audience its an emotional state of revulsion in order to show them what indoctrination was like.
  #278  
Old 03-21-2012, 12:10 PM
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No, the ending has been analyzed in great detail. It's objectively awful to the point where the best possible interpretation is that Bioware was deliberately maneuvering its audience its an emotional state of revulsion in order to show them what indoctrination was like.
Quite honestly, I don't see how that's all that much different from Bioshock's
SPOILER:
Would you kindly
except that the game just kind of ends. But it isn't over yet.

Bioware's been trying to encourage people to hold on to their saves. They've got something planned, which sounds like it's happening in April. Folks are already spinning that as Bioware frantically trying to cover their asses after a fuck-up, but this is software development. If a DLC is coming out in April it sure as shit was begun well before the first player hit the ending.

I'm pretty sure they didn't anticipate the overwhelming negativity, but I'm also pretty sure they did not take a dump on the series. You just don't put effort into three giant games like that and just fuck the ending. What I know of Bioware says they don't do that. I think they're trying to do something different by putting part of the ending into content to be made available later, and it backfired horribly, but I'm quite certain they weren't going for 'you feel revolted and we meant you to feel revolted! That's art, baby!'

I could be entirely wrong, but I think that best fits the facts of the ending and Bioware's stance.
  #279  
Old 03-21-2012, 12:17 PM
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Apparently Bioware is working on a modified ending:

http://kotaku.com/5895215/bioware-is...ffect-3-ending

Still haven't beaten the game, BTW, you guys are speed demons!

Another confusing thing is happening to me:

I'm getting emails from people asking me to meet them in the citadel. Except, I've already me them, so I go, thinking that there's a new development with them, only to find that either there is no new dialogue, or they aren't even there.

So I'm basically getting the emails sent to me way after they were supposed to ve been sent!
  #280  
Old 03-21-2012, 12:22 PM
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Quite honestly, I don't see how that's all that much different from Bioshock's
Because control and free will was a central part of Bioshock and the twist was a major plot point which was thoroughly explored. It worked and was awesome because it deconstructed the adventure/FPS genre itself.

ME3's ending does nothing of the sort. Even if it's the "indoctrination ending", the best that can be said about it is that the developers abandoned their promises about how personal choice could affect the series, got rid of the thematic content whereby one man/woman could make a difference in a vast universe, and abandoned the core thematic element whereby disparate elements in a chaotic and violent universe all come together and thereby overcome overwhelming odds. It turns the whole damn series, or at least the last bit, into a "it was all a dream!"

It will take a hell of a DLC package to make that into something that isn't utter shit.

And yes, of course they were developing DLC. Their epilogue-free ending told us two things, that Shepherd was a legend and that they wanted more of our money for new DLC. It does seem much more like frantic CYA bullshit. If it wasn't, how hard would it be for an executive to say "the ending on the disc isn't final, we're going to be building on it." Instead, all the things I've seen either say that they're only now considering changes to the ending or that it's an 'artistic work' and complete as-is.

I also don't think that the "you were indoctrinated, and now you feel outraged, aint art grand?" interpretation is correct. My point is that's the best possible interpretation. The worst, and I think the accurate one, is that Bioware simply ran out of time in their development cycle and rather than push back the launch date substantially, they just shoehorned in a much too brief ending that clashed with everything that'd happened so far in the series, and called it good.
  #281  
Old 03-21-2012, 12:37 PM
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No, the ending has been analyzed in great detail. It's objectively awful to the point where the best possible interpretation is that Bioware was deliberately maneuvering its audience its an emotional state of revulsion in order to show them what indoctrination was like.
"Objectively awful" seems to be going a bit far, don't you think? I didn't find the ending to be perfect, but I appreciated the broader picture that Bioware was trying to paint with it, even if I thought the execution wasn't fantastic. Am I objectively wrong because I enjoyed it overall?
  #282  
Old 03-21-2012, 12:42 PM
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The fact that industry journalists have almost universally praised ME3 is a sure sign that industry journalists are either corrupt or incompetent, not that ME3 is praiseworthy.
I'd argue it's a sure sign that industry journalists don't have the time to finish a 25-35hr game before they go to press.
  #283  
Old 03-21-2012, 12:58 PM
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"Objectively awful" seems to be going a bit far, don't you think? I didn't find the ending to be perfect, but I appreciated the broader picture that Bioware was trying to paint with it, even if I thought the execution wasn't fantastic. Am I objectively wrong because I enjoyed it overall?
Yes, you are.
  #284  
Old 03-21-2012, 01:07 PM
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ME3's ending does nothing of the sort. Even if it's the "indoctrination ending", the best that can be said about it is that the developers abandoned their promises about how personal choice could affect the series, got rid of the thematic content whereby one man/woman could make a difference in a vast universe, and abandoned the core thematic element whereby disparate elements in a chaotic and violent universe all come together and thereby overcome overwhelming odds. It turns the whole damn series, or at least the last bit, into a "it was all a dream!"
You're going to hate this answer, but it is actually objectively false that what you do in the series doesn't affect the ending. The various things you do raise your EMS score, and with a high enough one you get that 'secret ending'. The EMS score is raised by doing things 'right', like reuniting the Quarians with the Geth. So yeah, even though it gets boiled down to a single number, what you do does have an effect on the ending.

I will be very surprised and disappointed in Bioware if the DLC they had planned for this did not also take this into account.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FinnAgain View Post
The worst, and I think the accurate one, is that Bioware simply ran out of time in their development cycle and rather than push back the launch date substantially, they just shoehorned in a much too brief ending that clashed with everything that'd happened so far in the series, and called it good.
I simply don't think this is true. There are too many incongruent details in the ending for it to be something slapdash. It's possible it wasn't executed in a way that made a whole lot of sense without thorough analysis, but what's there is what they wanted to say, and I do not believe it clashes with the rest of the story. At worst, it's simply not explained well.

Last edited by Bosstone; 03-21-2012 at 01:07 PM.
  #285  
Old 03-21-2012, 01:19 PM
Johnny Angel is offline
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Originally Posted by velveeta View Post
Yes, that part makes me believe in the indoc theory. Why is it there if everything before it is the end? I'm finding it hard not to believe the indoc theory now. If it's true, than Bioware will have achieved something no other game company has ever done - indoctrinated their own fan base.
That Shepard is experiencing an attempt at indoctrination at the end I think is indisputable, although disputed. *insert smiley here* Specifically, I believe that
  • everything that supposedly takes place on the Citadel at the end is a symbolic representation of Shepard's inner struggle against indoctrination.
  • Neither Anderson or Lulu were really there, and I can be persuaded that they are actually symbolic of Shepard's internal struggle rather than projections placed there in the indoctrination process.
  • Everything the Star Child is horseshit, and only taken at face value by Shepard because of the suggestible state Shepard is undergoing.
  • The blowing up of the mass relays didn't happen, nor the mysterious flight and marooning of the Normandy.
  • We don't get to see what actually happened, but it seems likely that if you choose 'destroy' then you have actually won.

What I don't buy is any notion that Shepard's indoctrination goes back further, because too many things that don't make sense before that are indistinguishable from slopply, rushed plotting. The bit where you could have seen the child running into the building before you found him in the ducts is intriguing, but I played through that beginning a number of times during the demo and missed it. Looks like you would have to have run right up to the wall and looked down, when there was all this other stuff actually going on to look at, so for most players the first appearance of the child would be when this theory would have that he's already a figment of Shepard's imagination.

Furthermore, I absolutely don't buy that this is a brilliant move on Bioware's part. If there's more to the story that they're withholding that would explain what really happened and they decided not to include it in the game as it first came out, that is an intriguing notion of using the current state of the medium (that it includes supplemental stuff downloaded later and re-imagined by the audience as having been there all along, unlike any other creative endeavor) that particular experiment with this aspect of the medium is proving to have been a colossal blunder that will go down in gaming legend along with "John Romero's about to make you his bitch."

Of course, the fact Mass Effect 3 was otherwise a stellar game may help people get over it. I am waiting for a good reason to be forgiving. But I goddamn sure don't buy that I don't have good reason to hold a grudge as it stands.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowbar of Irony +3 View Post
It's annoying, at least to me, that he's still using the 'artist defense'. From my point of view the ending is a cop-out, either a rushed one or something that attempts to be artistic and brilliant but fell flat.
I think the 'artistic integrity' argument misses the point, or outright dismisses the legitimacy of the fans' grievance. Theories of art that reduce it to the vision of the artist alone have done more damage to art than censorship ever did. Art is always an interplay between the artist and the audience. Yes, often great things were done by artists who arrogated to themselves a more dominant role in this relationship. But that this is the way art is supposed to be is a fairly new notion that is often more destructive than liberating, and it's not the notion that underlies the work of Shakespeare, Michelangelo or really anybody else who came before the 19th century.

That said, it would be terrible if creative people took it as their job to re-fashion their own work ad hoc to please the whims of a crowd. An artist is allowed and may even be praised for subverting the wishes of an audience, but not for its own sake, and certainly not with noting but 'the artist had a vision' as its justification. What happens is that the artist establishes a relationship to the audience by building credibility. We forgive logical inconsistencies and other failings even when we notice them because of this relationship of trust that the artist builds.

In an interactive story, I don't assume everything will turn out great. But when a player engages in the story and saves a child from being eaten by a bear, he's assuming the writer isn't going to then have the galaxy blow up shortly thereafter. If you go on for hundreds of hours and paying hundreds of dollars to engage in a saga filled with you saving children from bears, it usually does not need to be said that you trust the writers not to put you at the end of it all in front of three different colored 'all children explode' buttons. That's the complaint. Your reward for trusting the writers is that they do precisely what you trust them not to do. That is a clear break of the understood contract between the player and the game studio.

I'm still going with the assumption that Bioware did not intend for the game as it stands to be the final word, that they were instead experimenting with the way an adjustable medium as video games now are can be exploited to create new kinds of suspense and controversy. Story content is now injectable, and maybe you can do something really terrific with that. But one of the reasons this attempt turns out to be a terrible misstep is that it'll now be hard to distinguished what they added to the game in order to put out the fires they started and what really was the stuff they meant to add later in their original 'artistic vision.'
  #286  
Old 03-21-2012, 01:23 PM
FinnAgain is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanbarkie View Post
Am I objectively wrong because I enjoyed it overall?
Enjoyment is subjective.
Coherence, thematic consistency, lore consistency, etc... are objective.
You're allowed to enjoy something that objectively ruins coherence and consistency.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosstone View Post
You're going to hate this answer, but it is actually objectively false that what you do in the series doesn't affect the ending. The various things you do raise your EMS score, and with a high enough one you get that 'secret ending'.
Well, fair enough, but the only thing that's changed in the secret ending is that
SPOILER:
Shep isn't dead.


All the inconsistencies, etc... are all there. The galaxy is still doomed to, at best, slow starvation for most of the populace. And those solar systems with mass relays in them have been wiped out. And nothing you do changed any of that.
And I don't think it's at all impossible that the ending was slapdash. You've got a team of writers, the ending isn't done yet, and the boss says "come up with something". They come up with something, and, well, it's a thing and the boss says "okay, go for it." But there's plenty that indicates it was slapdash, from the Star Child to violating series lore about the energies released from destroying a mass relay and so on.
  #287  
Old 03-21-2012, 01:30 PM
Crowbar of Irony +3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Angel View Post
That said, it would be terrible if creative people took it as their job to re-fashion their own work ad hoc to please the whims of a crowd. An artist is allowed and may even be praised for subverting the wishes of an audience, but not for its own sake, and certainly not with noting but 'the artist had a vision' as its justification. What happens is that the artist establishes a relationship to the audience by building credibility. We forgive logical inconsistencies and other failings even when we notice them because of this relationship of trust that the artist builds.
I agree that a line have to be drawn; an artist (or a creator) cannot give in to the whims of all the members of the audience. However, where is the line drawn? I guess this is what Tolkien meant by sometimes the work takes on a life of its own. The product has its own consistencies and logic, and I believe that a fan outcry is justifiable when that consistency is violated, as in the case of the ending.

It would be like Tolkien (or his son, or grandson) suddenly adding fire-ball tossing and other D&D style wizardry into Middle Earth. I'm sure there will be a justifiable outcry at that too.

At a certain point, your creation ceases to be your own. Technically, it's still yours, but your fans may also abandon it. What is the point is your created work then?

Last edited by Crowbar of Irony +3; 03-21-2012 at 01:30 PM.
  #288  
Old 03-21-2012, 01:39 PM
Bosstone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FinnAgain View Post
All the inconsistencies, etc... are all there. The galaxy is still doomed to, at best, slow starvation for most of the populace. And those solar systems with mass relays in them have been wiped out. And nothing you do changed any of that.
Not if the Indoctrination Theory is true. And I think it is.
SPOILER:
If you go with the blue or green endings, you give in to indoctrination and as far as Shep is concerned, that's it. He's broken. Reality doesn't matter any more. But if you go with the red ending and have the knowledge and confidence that you've fixed the galaxy, that you've beaten the Reapers and proved their creator's assumptions about biologicals and synthetics wrong, the horror of what gets thrown at Shep doesn't break him. He breaks free of the mindfuck and wakes up on Earth, since he never went to the Citadel at all. The Mass Relays were not destroyed in reality, only in the mindfuck. The Normandy never crash-landed on some random planet, it's still over Earth.

I don't know, it makes sense to me.

Last edited by Bosstone; 03-21-2012 at 01:42 PM.
  #289  
Old 03-21-2012, 01:52 PM
velveeta is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Angel
In an interactive story, I don't assume everything will turn out great. But when a player engages in the story and saves a child from being eaten by a bear, he's assuming the writer isn't going to then have the galaxy blow up shortly thereafter. If you go on for hundreds of hours and paying hundreds of dollars to engage in a saga filled with you saving children from bears, it usually does not need to be said that you trust the writers not to put you at the end of it all in front of three different colored 'all children explode' buttons. That's the complaint. Your reward for trusting the writers is that they do precisely what you trust them not to do. That is a clear break of the understood contract between the player and the game studio.
This is an awesome way to explain it. Very succinct.
  #290  
Old 03-21-2012, 01:58 PM
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I went looking for the ME3 leaked script from several months ago, the one that supposedly has a different ending. Well I found a copy of it.

I'll save you the trouble -- the ending in that leaked script is nearly the same (the same three choices), but with a few references about dark energy in the expositional dialog (i.e. plundered ideas from the first writer Drew Karpyshyn's original script for ME3).

It really looks like Bioware screwed the pooch on this one, which is what happens when non-writers 'design' an ending. It makes no logical sense, is not a result of the story that preceded it, but it got through because "everybody signed off on it" during the script approval meeting.
  #291  
Old 03-21-2012, 02:04 PM
Crowbar of Irony +3 is offline
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For me, I find it strange that many people in the industry are using the 'artistic integrity' defense. Why?

For AAA games over years, it has been all about the bottom line. Streamlined interfaces, appeal to the mass, simplified mechanics, catering to the common crowd and even dropping 'unpopular' genres for the profit. Are there any high ideal or artistic vision while those decisions are made?

So it's strange when fans are complaining about a rushed ending that makes no sense they would use 'artistic integrity' to defend themselves. Games aren't art because of their fantastic CG or music or writing, but because of the uniqueness of interaction. That ideal has been long gone. How is Bioware, or those industry writers, justified in using the art defense when they have long ago forsake ideals for profit?

If they have cared about 'game being art', the industry would have stick to its guns about providing innovative and exciting gameplay first. Since that's gone when the corporate suits take over, what right do they have to claim the artistic integrity defense? True, they are still entitled to what they have created and I may be talking about different things together, just that looking at the overall picture I find the entire situation...rather ironic.

Last edited by Crowbar of Irony +3; 03-21-2012 at 02:09 PM.
  #292  
Old 03-21-2012, 02:05 PM
velveeta is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosstone View Post
Not if the Indoctrination Theory is true. And I think it is.
SPOILER:
If you go with the blue or green endings, you give in to indoctrination and as far as Shep is concerned, that's it. He's broken. Reality doesn't matter any more. But if you go with the red ending and have the knowledge and confidence that you've fixed the galaxy, that you've beaten the Reapers and proved their creator's assumptions about biologicals and synthetics wrong, the horror of what gets thrown at Shep doesn't break him. He breaks free of the mindfuck and wakes up on Earth, since he never went to the Citadel at all. The Mass Relays were not destroyed in reality, only in the mindfuck. The Normandy never crash-landed on some random planet, it's still over Earth.

I don't know, it makes sense to me.
It makes perfect sense to me too, but it's quite evident that they haven't made it clear enough.

SPOILER:
If Shepard had said, "Something is wrong." during the Citadel scenes I would have immediately picked up on it. I was suspicious already because of the kid dreams and how everything went wonky after the beam. If the purpose was to never let on and to basically indoctrinate the players themselves then I can see why they chose this route. I doubt they ever imagined this amount of backlash although the "speculation" note seems to indicate that they at least expected some. I will be completely satisfied if there is (free) DLC where my Shep wakes up still on London. Their Tweets seem to indicate that this is the case.
  #293  
Old 03-21-2012, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowbar of Irony +3 View Post
For me, I find it strange that many people in the industry are using the 'artistic integrity' defense. Why?

For AAA games over years, it has been all about the bottom line. Streamlined interfaces, appeal to the mass, simplified mechanics, catering to the common crowd and even dropping 'unpopular' genres for the profit. Are there any high ideal or artistic vision while those decisions are made?
Given that everyone is up in arms about a story they loved and were deeply invested in being ruined, this seems a double standard. It's a fantastic science fiction story that got utterly ruined to you, but to them it's just money so they should be appeasing their customers. That seems wrong somehow. If it's meaningful to the players, can't it be meaningful to the creators?
  #294  
Old 03-21-2012, 02:21 PM
Crowbar of Irony +3 is offline
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Originally Posted by Bosstone View Post
Given that everyone is up in arms about a story they loved and were deeply invested in being ruined, this seems a double standard. It's a fantastic science fiction story that got utterly ruined to you, but to them it's just money so they should be appeasing their customers. That seems wrong somehow. If it's meaningful to the players, can't it be meaningful to the creators?
Not really, I am not saying that they are revising the ending only for the impact on the bottom line, though it is one of the reasons. Hopefully the ending crafted is meaningful to the creators. However, the cynical me is saying that it is a rushed work, and they aren't that invested in it. Of course, I have no solid evidence on that, and I am willing to change my mind on that.

Perhaps I could be clearer - for me, it's strange that all the while they are making changes to gameplay and mechanics to suit the audience and suddenly use the 'artistic integrity' defense for the ending.

Last edited by Crowbar of Irony +3; 03-21-2012 at 02:22 PM.
  #295  
Old 03-21-2012, 03:37 PM
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Moderator's Note: I've been remiss in my duties here and this thread is completely spoilered. I've added a warning in the thread title and the OP to warn off anyone who should wander by and would like to take the occasion to allow anyone who wants a low/no spoiler discussion of the game to open a separate thread. I could split up the threads, but that would just disrupt the conversation and make the thread largely illegible. Sorry about the lapse.

- Gukumatz,
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  #296  
Old 03-21-2012, 03:48 PM
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An interesting post from one of the writers for ME3 was briefly up on the Penny Arcade forums before being taken down. A copy of that post can be read here.

An excerpt (discussing the ending):

This was entirely the work of our lead and Casey himself, sitting in a room and going through draft after draft. And honestly, it kind of shows.

...

The stuff with the Catalyst just... You have to understand. Casey is really smart and really analytical. And the problem is that when he's not checked, he will assume that other people are like him, and will really appreciate an almost completely unemotional intellectual ending.
  #297  
Old 03-21-2012, 04:00 PM
Unauthorized Cinnamon is offline
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Thank you Gukumatz!

You know, I think it's perfectly possible for the ending to be the product of overly rushed, underly edited economic pressure, AND for the writers to feel artistically invested in it. To read that it was the product of two people shut up in a room together in a massive push makes perfect sense. They were desperate, and they came up with something that seemed profound and appropriate to them in those circumstances, with little opportunity for reflection or outside input. I think anyone who has studied writing has had that horrible realization during a workshop of "Holy shit, they're right - this is crappy. Why did I think doing it like this was a good idea?"

The problem here is that the criticism happened after the "final product" was published, and it was very emotionally charged and very public. Again, anyone who's had their writing workshopped knows how hard it is to not take it personally, even in a closed setting where you get to turn around and criticize the critics' work right back, and you signed up for the criticism in the first place. I can really see the writers being hurt and flummoxed by the reaction.

Their writing is still objectively crappy, as so eloquently described by FinnAgain above, and IMHO subjectively crappy. But I understand how it could have come to be and how they could genuinely feel hurt by the response.

Edit: and when I say that the ending was crappy, I'm saying it as a really smart and monumentally analytical person. I don't think that part of the explanation makes sense.

Last edited by Unauthorized Cinnamon; 03-21-2012 at 04:02 PM.
  #298  
Old 03-21-2012, 04:01 PM
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Aaaand it looks like it was a fake posting.
  #299  
Old 03-21-2012, 04:07 PM
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I'll just delete this in light of new info.

Last edited by velveeta; 03-21-2012 at 04:10 PM.
  #300  
Old 03-22-2012, 06:42 PM
FinnAgain is offline
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Finally, Yahtzee.
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