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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Default Re: Mass Effect Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    I bolded the operative phrase in all your examples. All those ships/fleets took out A reaper each time. One. Every single example was designed to show you how ludicrous the thought of conventional victory even was - again, fitting perfectly with a cosmic horror theme.
    And some of them only worked because the Reaper in question had obviously read the script and knew it had to lose. I mean, the one that lost to the Thresher Maw should have said after the first attack, "Hold on, I can fly, why don't I take off and blast this thing from out of its reach?".

  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Default Re: Mass Effect Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    Right, and that's a staple of science fiction and cosmic horror. The thing you're up against might very well be just an answering machine or remnant, but in any event beating it in a straight fight is typically impossible. Reasoning with it usually is too, with the best recourse typically being to divert it temporarily or hide. ME added a "reason with it" option but only if you successfully complete the Crucible.

    I bolded the operative phrase in all your examples. All those ships/fleets took out A reaper each time. One. Every single example was designed to show you how ludicrous the thought of conventional victory even was - again, fitting perfectly with a cosmic horror theme.

    Smaller victories that don't solve the larger problem are a staple of the Lovecraftian fiction that Mass Effect was drawing from from the very beginning. You might escape the Shoggoth but go insane anyway, or ram your boat into Cthulhu but he's still alive and the gate and the cult are still around.
    This is just plain revisionist history, to justify a tacked-on ending that comes out of nowhere at the very last minute as a result of bad writing. But let's take this thesis seriously for a moment. Let's say that right from day one, Bioware had this "it's all futile!" twist planned. This means that they did the following:

    --They decided to give players three massive RPG's into which they would sink dozens of hours of playtime.

    --They designed an expansive cast of interesting and relatable characters that players should and do become really invested in, including a host of romance options.

    --They designed a world with a lot of detail and interesting side stories that were still important even though no worlds were being saved.

    --They designed a system where you're playing as Commander Awesome right from the start. You're the ultimate paragon or badass, a man or woman of action who can get stuff done and personally save the galaxy.

    --Through the story, you as Commander Awesome can save or condemn four different species, single-handedly stall the Reaper invasion twice, defy death, and come back from missions meant to be impossible. In short, you're a pretty big deal, a larger-than-life hero even in-setting, and your decisions have weight.

    --While all this is going on, there's a constant message of hope and defiance even in the face of impossible odds, reinforced every time you pull off victory against the odds, make a heroic speech, or flip a finger to the Reapers.

    And then (just as planned all along), they would tell the player "No, it sucks, you can't change anything. All those characters? They don't matter. All those triumphs? They don't matter. The entire setting? It doesn't matter. Really, you just kind of wasted your time in daring to have a moment of hope--by which we mean you, the player. The Reapers, those petty, cruel douches? They're the only things that matter, and the closest thing you get to a happy ending is their boss's answering machine taking pity on you. Bad guys win because happy endings are for dweebs, peace out, y'all."

    Anyone here buying that this was Bioware's actual plan? That the ME series was designed to be an epic troll about how their villains actually are impossible to defeat, and everything you did was just to build up false hope for your character, the setting and you as a player? Anyone at all?

    No. (Also, come off it.)

    Twist endings are not clever just because you fooled the audience, if they come at the expense of retroactively making the entire story up to then pointless. Indeed, a trolling and misleading of the audience on that level would be actually malicious, rather than just plain stupid. And there's a saying about attributing things to malice.

    So I don't believe that was Bioware's intent, especially since Andromeda goes back to the same well of "You're the hero that can make a difference and fight back against a seemingly unstoppable enemy.", which sure doesn't sound like what you'd do if your just-concluded earlier story had been planned to be a tale of futile cosmic horror.

    (For a game that does this sort of twist intentionally and well, there's Spec Ops: The Line, which builds up the feeling of wrongness steadily through the game, rather than having you play 99% of the game as a heroic military shooter, and then suddenly springing "you're actually the bad guy!" on you in the last 1% of the game.)

  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: Mass Effect Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    It's pretty explicit. In Destroy we see:

    1) A close-up of EDI is shown in the same segment as the others who died like Mordin, Legion, and Thane. Hackett's voiceover at this part is talking about "the sacrifices of those who fought and died alongside us; a future that many will never see."

    2) A living EDI is not shown in the "Memorial Wall" scene where your LI puts your name up. She is present in both the Control and Synthesis versions. Later in that scene during the wide shot, you can see her name is also on the board when the LI is walking towards it with your placard.

    3) This one I'm less sure about but I recall an "ending slide" with Joker looking quite sad in Destroy.
    I double checked, and you are 100% correct (except about Joker.). However it is something that only exists in the Extended Cut, which is not the first version I saw or (obviously) remember.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kish View Post
    Psyren addressed this, so I'm just repeating the part you didn't address at all:


    What would the Crucible "executed well" be? Because the only answer to that question I could see, would be: it would need to be completely different from the Crucible in the game. Neither "you can control, destroy, or merge with synthetic life" nor "press a button and something will happen, you'll never know what" is a good answer.
    That wouldn't be an improvement, no. Not really anyways. I'd have just found it immensely satisfying to ignore the Star Child in the most literal sense possible. Preferably by walking through the hologram as he is saying something.


    What would the Crucible done well look like? Good question. First off, get rid of the Star Child outright. None of that crap. Personally, I'd have had the Crucible only have one ending, and then really flesh out that ending. I'd go with Destroy since I feel like that is the cleanest ending, though if we saved the Geth, than I feel it would be a **** move to steal that away at the last second, and I'd remove the part of it killing all Synthetics, or play it up for drama and actually sell that rather than it just being an afterthought. Mordin, Legion, and Thane got their death scenes, EDI deserves one too if she must die. I wouldn't do Control because that's the one that just seems like it has bad idea written all over it, and Synthesis I feel would take up a lot of time just showing up Synthesis actually was.

    Anyways, than I'd focus on telling how our actions over the last three games actually changed the universe.

    If we must have multiple endings, than I'd have the options be presented by the various factions in the game that have been trying to contact someone now that the Crucible has been activated. The various factions (frantically, because they are still battling the Reapers) tell you the options of what the Crucible can do (Destroy, Control, Synthesis), and ask you to choose one because, a) they can't agree on what should be done, b) you are the guy at the wheel so in the end it's your choice anyways.
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  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Default Re: Mass Effect Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Azuresun View Post
    This is just plain revisionist history, to justify a tacked-on ending that comes out of nowhere at the very last minute as a result of bad writing. But let's take this thesis seriously for a moment. Let's say that right from day one, Bioware had this "it's all futile!" twist planned.
    Again, it's not a twist. In Mass Effect 1, you needed a full armada AND simultaneously defeating its avatar in order to kill one reaper. That is objective fact. Then Mass Effect 2 shows you countless numbers of them heading to the Milky Way from dark space - again, objective fact. Assuming that conventional victory is possible was entirely on you, and incredibly naive at that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Azuresun View Post
    And then (just as planned all along), they would tell the player "No, it sucks, you can't change anything. All those characters? They don't matter. All those triumphs? They don't matter. The entire setting? It doesn't matter.
    ...
    No. (Also, come off it.)
    [/quote]

    "You can't win that specific way" != "you can't win." Being told that conventional victory isn't possible doesn't warrant tossing the toys out of the pram at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Quote Originally Posted by gogogome View Post
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  5. - Top - End - #95
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    Default Re: Mass Effect Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    Again, it's not a twist. In Mass Effect 1, you needed a full armada AND simultaneously defeating its avatar in order to kill one reaper. That is objective fact. Then Mass Effect 2 shows you countless numbers of them heading to the Milky Way from dark space - again, objective fact. Assuming that conventional victory is possible was entirely on you, and incredibly naive at that.
    No, you did not need a "full armada" in Mass Effect 1. Sovereign was engaged by only Earth's fifth fleet, and not even necessarily all of that either because the remaining strength is sufficient if losses are taken saving the Destiny Ascension.

    And remember that the whole plot of Mass Effect 1 is predicated on the fact that the reapers use a method of attack which avoids direct conflict with an organised enemy, their first act every time is to specifically prevent an outright conflict by destabilising government and locking down the mass relay network. A force which can't possibly lose has no need of doing that.

    In Mass Effect 2 the Reapers, instead of just driving the six months to the edge of the galaxy, concoct a ludicrously compliated plan to build a new agent within it using a catspaw species that does the whole thing exceptionally secretly only nibbling at the edges of council space and never risking direct confrontation.

    In Mass Effect 3 you are able to hold off the Reaper on Rannoch by shooting it with a machinegun mounted on the back of a space technical, and when it is attacked by the Quarian fleet it is not being attacked with heavy ordnance (because it's being hit by small turrets not spinal mounted weapons which is what the heavy ship guns of the Mass Effect universe are).

    The claim that the Reapers are presented in the games as being this overwhelming and invincible force is simply incorrect. Mass Effect 3 says so but the games repeatedly demonstrate the opposite.

    "You can't win that specific way" != "you can't win." Being told that conventional victory isn't possible doesn't warrant tossing the toys out of the pram at all.
    It would always have been bad storytelling because it would always have been reliant on a new plot device introduced just before the overall climax. There is no "crucible executed well" without the crucible having been present in the narrative from no more than halfway through Mass Effect 1.

    Additionally, the Crucible would have to be the player's direct objective. The other problem with the crucible is that what the player does in Mass Effect 3 is explicitly gather military allies and does nothing that actually influences the thing that really resolves the problem in the end.

    The very structure of Mass Effect 3 and the player's actions throughout it directly require the Reapers to be beaten in open conflict by the alliance the player has built throughout the game. (No, don't give me "but muh war assets", because the game never demonstrates any reason why they should make a lick of difference to what buttons got installed on the Crucible, they're arbitrary and stupid).
    Last edited by GloatingSwine; 2020-01-26 at 04:19 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Default Re: Mass Effect Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Forum Explorer View Post
    I'm saying I remember the complaints differently, but I also acknowledge that memory (particularly my memory) is unreliable. At the same time, I'm not going to go dig up complaints from way back then to see how many people were complaining about the Starchild coming out of the blue vs the ending just being the same with a different filter and voice over.
    I don't care at all what you remember you're flat out wrobg on this matter.

    Your argument is that they should have continued the Dark Energy storyline, and I attacked it by challenging you to come up with a Dark Energy storyline that was actually good after you said the writer was sour grapes about how good the Dark Energy storyline was. If I've ignored what you've argued since then, it's because you have in no way acknowledged my challenge.
    This is a flat out lie. I was pointing out how ME3 decided to not to follow up with a storyline from ME2 so the argument that ME2 didn't build a storyline for ME3 is fundamentally disingenuous.

    Except you didn't have to do it. It would give you resources sure, but ME1 was pretty easy. You didn't actually need those resources. In ME2 if you didn't have enough minerals you couldn't upgrade your ship. If you can't upgrade your ship, characters will die. So I know I spent way more time scanning planets than I did exploring in the Mako and that's no lie.
    So you actively avoided doung the Mako? Odd choice when your claim is that it was fun.

    The number of characters did double by the time you reached ME3. Potentially anyways depending on who survives. Also I disagree that they messed up on any of the interactions. I would've liked more, but limited time and budget. There's never enough to go around, particularly with such a big cast.
    The crew actually didn't ME3 had 7 squad members while ME had 6. So you're just making excuses for their bad resource allocation.

    ME3 is hardly universally reviled. At best you could argue the ending was universally reviled, but not even that would be true. But the game itself was actually very well received, and was the highest rated game on the X-Box and PS-3 the year it came out. Anyways, I compared the plot device of the Crucible Activation to the Plot device of the Ring's Destruction. I still don't understand why you brought Frodo into it.
    So you just don't know who the main character of LITR is. Kinda an insane position really.

    And The Last Jedi is one of the highest rated of the Star Wars movies doesn't mean that's the reception from the public. I mean even you admit that ME3 is a deeply flawed game.

    Perhaps, but that depends on the journey. If each path keeps the universe the same, then yeah. But if defeating them through trickery for example requires Cerberus gaining power, or Martial Skill requires abandoning the Quarians, than you still end up with a very different universe at the end of the game.
    So where are these rules written? That in a world limited only by the skill and imagination that you need to abandon the biggest fleet in the galaxy. Also a strong Cerberus or a weak quarian fleet doesn't actually change the galaxy much.

    Unlike say having the reapers wandering around or everybody as a synthetic and organic life.

    We literally see them starting to rebuild the Relays during the Extended Cut.
    We actually don't except in the Control ending. Which makes sense cause they built them in the first place. Destroy has them in an unusable state.

  7. - Top - End - #97
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    Default Re: Mass Effect Thoughts

    Just as an aside point about the comparisons between the Crucible and the One Ring:

    We first see the Ring in LotR on page 32, we learn what it is on page 48, and the quest to destroy it is undertaken on page 264 of 1241.

    By comparison the Crucible would, proportionally, be revealed about a chapter into Return of the King and Frodo would have nothing to do with it until three pages from the end.

  8. - Top - End - #98
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    Default Re: Mass Effect Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by GloatingSwine View Post
    Just as an aside point about the comparisons between the Crucible and the One Ring:

    We first see the Ring in LotR on page 32, we learn what it is on page 48, and the quest to destroy it is undertaken on page 264 of 1241.

    By comparison the Crucible would, proportionally, be revealed about a chapter into Return of the King and Frodo would have nothing to do with it until three pages from the end.
    As someone who actually liked the ending, this is actually my main problem with it. The Reapers invade, and then 5 minutes later we find the plans to a superweapon to destroy them. On Mars.

    The way to solve this would have been to change the plot of Mass Effect 2 a bit. The Collectors aren't gathering humans to build a Reaper - they're actually searching the galaxy for the plans to the Crucible. The big fight at the end would be to secure the plans, and you either turn the plans over to the Council or keep them in the hands of Cerberus. Each would have its own benefits/downsides.

    At least, that's what I would do in terms of a bandaid fix. Getting the story of the Mass Effect trilogy properly sorted would mean writing out the full plot before starting the first game. Only then can you decide how to partition it into a trilogy.

    Because the problems the trilogy has are baked into the story right from the start. You have two conflicting story requirements:

    1) There is an alien fleet powerful enough that only the entire galaxy working together stands a chance.

    2) This same alien fleet must be destroyed by a single person, the player. By shooting it, preferably, if the "Marauder Shields" jokes are anything to go by.

    It's a case where the platform of the story is a real detriment. You can't have a Star Trek DS9 situation where the player sits aboard the flagship of a fleet and gives out orders - the rest of the gameplay is shooting aliens in the face. Any form of "allied victory" leaves the player out as the sole person who saved the galaxy. By the time you get to the big fleet battle, the player's role is already complete.
    That leaves two possible solutions.

    A) Star Wars style "weak point". You board the lead ship (Harbinger I guess), destroy some critical component, and the Reaper fleet collapses. This is the Catalyst by another name - the destroy and control options.

    B) Babylon 5 style "talking them to death". You communicate with the Reapers, out-logic them, and they piss off back to their own galaxy. Again, the Catalyst does this - it's just the Synthesis ending. You merge with the Reapers and get them to sing Kumbaya.

    I just don't know what the "shoot them in the face and personally save the galaxy, but also it's the power of friendship that REALLY saved the galaxy" would look like. It would probably require the main plot to be totally re-written. Fortunately, all the best story bits are not related to the main plot. It's the stories of your companions, the Geth/Quarian conflict, the plight of the Krogan, etc. Everything good about the story is in the tales that take place in the galaxy.

    Which perhaps makes the failure of Andromeda less surprising. They left the galaxy where all the interesting stuff happened, and then failed to introduce the new galactic setting sufficiently to enable new tales.

  9. - Top - End - #99
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    Default Re: Mass Effect Thoughts

    I think that, perhaps, making it a war was a mistake to begin with. Stopping the Reapers from returning in the first place might have worked better with the core gameplay being shooting enemies from behind chest-high cover. Or perhaps not. Either way - a satisfying ending would have required building up to it from the start of ME2 at the very latest. But by the time ME3 started, there wasn't any other way for it to go. ME2 ends with the Reapers powering up and heading for the Milky Way, and then "fight the Reapers and take back Earth" was used to create hype for the game.

    The focus on Shepard didn't really help, either. RPGs in general need suspension of disbelief due to the protagonist(s) being the only people capable of solving problems. Mass Effect makes it more noticeable because the "problem" is a gigantic fleet of omnicidal god-machines.
    Last edited by Morty; 2020-01-26 at 05:30 PM.
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  10. - Top - End - #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    As someone who actually liked the ending, this is actually my main problem with it. The Reapers invade, and then 5 minutes later we find the plans to a superweapon to destroy them. On Mars.

    The way to solve this would have been to change the plot of Mass Effect 2 a bit. The Collectors aren't gathering humans to build a Reaper - they're actually searching the galaxy for the plans to the Crucible. The big fight at the end would be to secure the plans, and you either turn the plans over to the Council or keep them in the hands of Cerberus. Each would have its own benefits/downsides.
    The way to solve it would be not to have a magic "I Win" button that the player never has anything to do with until it's time to press it.

    If they wanted the Crucible, it should have been introduced half way to two thirds of the way through Mass Effect 1, no later, and the player's objectives for the rest of the series should have been directly related to it, finding out more about it, and doing things that are directly required to make it work.

    As it was, the rest of the entire narrative of Mass Effect 1 and 3 (given that 2 is a massive sidequest that resolves nothing) are about overcoming the various conflicts, present and historical, between factions of the galaxy and enabling them to make a cohesive stand. Because that was the thing the player was doing all this time, that should have been the thing that directly solved the problem.

    1) There is an alien fleet powerful enough that only the entire galaxy working together stands a chance.

    2) This same alien fleet must be destroyed by a single person, the player. By shooting it, preferably, if the "Marauder Shields" jokes are anything to go by.
    Nah, the alien fleet didn't have to be destroyed by a single person. A representational conflict between Shepard and Harbinger as the identified "boss reaper" that didn't get resolved in ME2 would have been enough. With all the same kind of responsiveness on how phyrric the victory is or isn't depending on how thoroughly you've resolved all the conflicts that the suicide mission had in ME2.

    A big old battle where things are present or absent based on what the player did throughout the series (save or doom the Rachni, side with Geth or Quarians or make peace) and there's concrete feedback on the choices you've made all along, whilst you and your squad board Harbinger and kick his brain to death. If you're making heroic military sci-fi, you need to deliver the appropriate climax.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty
    I think that, perhaps, making it a war was a mistake to begin with. Stopping the Reapers from returning in the first place might have worked better with the core gameplay being shooting enemies from behind chest-high cover.
    Ultimately, if you introduce a problem and only make it not actually happen rather than resolving it then your story lacks a climax. The Reapers had to be defeated and their cycle broken to have a complete story.

  11. - Top - End - #101
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    Default Re: Mass Effect Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by GloatingSwine View Post
    Ultimately, if you introduce a problem and only make it not actually happen rather than resolving it then your story lacks a climax. The Reapers had to be defeated and their cycle broken to have a complete story.
    Obviously. I meant that maybe it didn't need to require an all-out galactic war. Then again, maybe anything else would have been unsatisfying.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GloatingSwine View Post
    No, you did not need a "full armada" in Mass Effect 1. Sovereign was engaged by only Earth's fifth fleet, and not even necessarily all of that either because the remaining strength is sufficient if losses are taken saving the Destiny Ascension.
    The 5th fleet is an armada: "Under constant bombardment by a full armada of Systems Alliance starships, Sovereign is finally destroyed by a fatal shot from the Normandy."

    Even if you had been correct though, the nitpicking between fleet vs. flotilla vs. armada is besides the point. Rather, the point is that it still takes many, many of our ships to take down one of theirs that wasn't even dogfighting or focused on the attack at all. ME1's premise was that stopping Sovereign would "trap the rest of them in dark space" (per Vigil) - and that premise ended up being incorrect in ME2, not ME3.

    Quote Originally Posted by GloatingSwine View Post
    And remember that the whole plot of Mass Effect 1 is predicated on the fact that the reapers use a method of attack which avoids direct conflict with an organised enemy, their first act every time is to specifically prevent an outright conflict by destabilising government and locking down the mass relay network. A force which can't possibly lose has no need of doing that.
    "Need" is irrelevant, it's more efficient to do it that way. They're machines, they're always going to try the most efficient route first.

    Quote Originally Posted by GloatingSwine View Post
    In Mass Effect 2 the Reapers, instead of just driving the six months to the edge of the galaxy, concoct a ludicrously compliated plan to build a new agent within it using a catspaw species that does the whole thing exceptionally secretly only nibbling at the edges of council space and never risking direct confrontation.
    Do you not remember that the whole point of the sneak attack is so they can leave as little evidence of their presence as possible? Attacking every single world in a full-scale attack is much messier. So much so in fact, that even if the Crucible fails, ours was the cycle that was able to leave the plans for making it on every world thanks to Liara.

    Quote Originally Posted by GloatingSwine View Post
    The claim that the Reapers are presented in the games as being this overwhelming and invincible force is simply incorrect.
    It is quite correct, you simply hadn't been paying enough attention.
    Last edited by Psyren; 2020-01-27 at 09:57 AM.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Quote Originally Posted by gogogome View Post
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    On a rare note unrelated to the endings, it took me some retrospection to realize just what a wild ride the Mass Effect romances were. You can romance a different person in each game. ME2 sidelines the ME1 romances, but four out of six ME2 romances are subsequently sidelined in ME3.

    It took me a while to actually romance someone in ME2, but when I did romance Garrus, I was mostly surprised how short it was. Just one extra branch of the "reach and flexibility" conversation and then the scene before the suicide mission. When I looked at Miranda's romance on YouTube, it seemed similarly short. Again surprising, given how big a deal people had made it out to be. But I guess fandoms' ability to make mountains out of molehills shouldn't surprise me.
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    By that same site, the Alliance apparently has eight such armadas. And are not the largest military in Council space (that's the Turians).

    Sovereign really did not take a significant fraction of the Council's military resources to defeat, even with a fleet of Geth at his back (If Reapers are so powerful, why did he need them and a cheeky back door to the Citadel?, Surely he could have just swept the Citadel's defence fleet aside alone).

    Remember as well that the Reapers' ship technology was not actually considerably more advanced than anyone else's. Their weapons were reverse engineered in under a year because they turned out to be a new application of existing technologies and presented almost no difficulties to build and power.

    Need is irrelevant, it's more efficient to do it that way. They're machines, they're always going to try the most efficient route first.
    How is it "more efficient"? The only measure of efficiency by which it wins is preventing losses, which, well, you're trying to argue wouldn't be a concern because the Reapers are too powerful.

    Do you not remember that the whole point of the sneak attack is so they can leave as little evidence of their presence as possible? Attacking every single world in a full-scale attack is much messier. So much so in fact, that even if the Crucible fails, ours was the cycle that was able to leave the plans for making it on every world thanks to Liara.
    They still attack every world in a full scale attack, they just do it methodically one at a time after denying anyone else strategic mobility. They have as long as they need to tidy up after themselves.

    It is quite correct, you simply haven't been paying enough attention.
    It is not supported by the actual contents of the work. It requires especially the events of Mass Effect 1 to have not happened the way they did in order to be credible. And it is clearly because the crucible element of Mass Effect 3 was kludged in despite not making thematic sense or logical sense (see also: why does the player have nothing to do with it?.

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    Default Re: Mass Effect Thoughts

    regarding the actual power of a reaper, we are given some hard data in one of the games; their main gun has a yeild of some 200 kilotons, which is 7-8 times the main gun of a battleship. and the humans have 5 or 6 battleships total.
    So, while the actual power of a reaper and its actual capability of standing up to a whole fleet of lesser ships is a bit inconsistent through the games, in the end it's not a big leap of logic to accept that a thousand reapers are far more than the united armies of the galaxy can handle.

    by the way, superior technology rarely means trading blows with more powerful guns. it means firing from out of range. modern military ships would not defeat their ww2 equivalents by exchanging shells at close range - in fact, ww2 battleships may win such a contest. modern ships would win by blowing up the old ships form hundreds of kilometers with missiles and stealth planes while the old ships can't ever get in range. so, an advanced ship should just fight from further off. but i know it's not cinematic enough.

    regarding the ending, i found it far less problematic than some because i took control. i am decently paragon and i trust myself with the reapers, thank you. and instead of the other options "good job completing a dozen sidequests to save the geth, now they are dead anyway" (and how do you randomly blow up cybernetic systems across hyperspace anyway?) or the complete scientific bogus that was the synthesis ending, I just did some plain old "hack the machine army". It's not too much of a let-down when seen that way.

    regarding andromeda, i liked it enough. i even liked the combat mechanics, since i never wanted to do a caster - the game plays well as a fps, i tried to be a caster but it got repetitive. From my perspective, it's main problem was the plot; again there is a precursor race leaving behind some super powerful artifacts that you have to do something with. please. i'm sick of precursors races. they are just convenient plot devices.
    and my scientist side also cannot forgive the planet with the sun standing still. tidally locked planets are a thing. but a moon tidally locks with its own planet, and so it would still be moving respective to it. also, accepting it was that way, why not settle the twilight zone? it should have been comfortable enough.
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    Quote Originally Posted by King of Nowhere View Post
    regarding the actual power of a reaper, we are given some hard data in one of the games; their main gun has a yeild of some 200 kilotons, which is 7-8 times the main gun of a battleship. and the humans have 5 or 6 battleships total.
    So, while the actual power of a reaper and its actual capability of standing up to a whole fleet of lesser ships is a bit inconsistent through the games, in the end it's not a big leap of logic to accept that a thousand reapers are far more than the united armies of the galaxy can handle.

    by the way, superior technology rarely means trading blows with more powerful guns. it means firing from out of range. modern military ships would not defeat their ww2 equivalents by exchanging shells at close range - in fact, ww2 battleships may win such a contest. modern ships would win by blowing up the old ships form hundreds of kilometers with missiles and stealth planes while the old ships can't ever get in range. so, an advanced ship should just fight from further off. but i know it's not cinematic enough.

    regarding the ending, i found it far less problematic than some because i took control. i am decently paragon and i trust myself with the reapers, thank you. and instead of the other options "good job completing a dozen sidequests to save the geth, now they are dead anyway" (and how do you randomly blow up cybernetic systems across hyperspace anyway?) or the complete scientific bogus that was the synthesis ending, I just did some plain old "hack the machine army". It's not too much of a let-down when seen that way.

    regarding andromeda, i liked it enough. i even liked the combat mechanics, since i never wanted to do a caster - the game plays well as a fps, i tried to be a caster but it got repetitive. From my perspective, it's main problem was the plot; again there is a precursor race leaving behind some super powerful artifacts that you have to do something with. please. i'm sick of precursors races. they are just convenient plot devices.
    and my scientist side also cannot forgive the planet with the sun standing still. tidally locked planets are a thing. but a moon tidally locks with its own planet, and so it would still be moving respective to it. also, accepting it was that way, why not settle the twilight zone? it should have been comfortable enough.
    Yeah, TIM thought he was a good candidate to control them as well. The control ending might have had some small appeal if one of the major underlying themes of the trilogy wasn't that everyone who tries to control or work with the Reapers ends up as their indoctrinated puppet. Or if you could trust Starkid at all.

    Actually a lot of the ending's problems would be eliminated by just getting rid of the Starkid stuff entirely and having Shepard choose what he wants to do from the catalyst. It would still be unsatisfying, but at least then the ending wouldn't be entirely reliant on you trusting the word of the being who has spent the entire trilogy manipulating and corrupting the mind of every single being that interacted with it. Not to even mention the fact that he shows up out of nowhere, and 2 of his 3 "solutions" involve you killing yourself, while his third solution involves randomly blowing up what is presumably an important part of the catalyst. What a totally trustworthy fellah.

    We know that his choices are genuine because it's a video game, but Shepard would have to be a complete idiot to believe anything he says. Maybe we're supposed to believe that he suffered some severe head trauma on his way to the bridge.

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    Default Re: Mass Effect Thoughts

    I have every single-player and multiplayer achievement for ME 1-3 including DLCs. That took me years of gameplay to accomplish. When ME3 came out I got about 4h sleep a night for a fortnight. It didn't quite stick the landing, but that doesn't devalue the journey. If I had to change anything, I wouldn't have had a choice at the end. You'd have got the ending that best embodied your playstyle over the three games. I also object to the "screw you, player" of not being able to achieve a perfect ending - Destroy kills EDI and the Geth, which is unacceptable to someone who believes in AI rights. Control is pretty mind-rapey and kills Shepherd. Synthesis is unsolicitated body modification for the entire galaxy, plus Shepherd dies too. But those are pretty minor complaints really.

    ME:A... I had it on pre-order and I finally finished my first play through a year after release. I never really got the hang of the profiles system, taking advantage of just 3 powers that worked for me. It was almost impossible to build a good-looking Ryder with the character builder. The animations were a significant step back because there were just too many interactions that they couldn't motion capture the lot. The aliens were boring, and the fetch quests tedious. The loading and travel screens combined into an excruciating experience. The crafting system was basically an impenetrable menu of menus, much worse than ME1. I haven't even touched the multiplayer. There no were memorable scenes or set pieces. It felt like it took 3/4s of the game to find the main plot. I guess I like the Tempest, but it never kicked any butt.

    Basically, ME:A just didn't do it for me. I think it was too big and too ambitious. The exploration has always been the weakest part of Mass Effect games and it was a mistake to make that the whole game, rather than something more tightly plot and character focused.
    Last edited by RCgothic; 2020-01-27 at 02:49 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anteros View Post
    The control ending might have had some small appeal if one of the major underlying themes of the trilogy wasn't that everyone who tries to control or work with the Reapers ends up as their indoctrinated puppet. Or if you could trust Starkid at all.

    Actually a lot of the ending's problems would be eliminated by just getting rid of the Starkid stuff entirely and having Shepard choose what he wants to do from the catalyst. It would still be unsatisfying, but at least then the ending wouldn't be entirely reliant on you trusting the word of the being who has spent the entire trilogy manipulating and corrupting the mind of every single being that interacted with it. Not to even mention the fact that he shows up out of nowhere, and 2 of his 3 "solutions" involve you killing yourself, while his third solution involves randomly blowing up what is presumably an important part of the catalyst. What a totally trustworthy fellah.

    We know that his choices are genuine because it's a video game, but Shepard would have to be a complete idiot to believe anything he says.
    true.
    on the other hand, what starchild says fits with what you already know (especially with the leviathan DLC, that gives you some intel). and what else can you do there? you are in the inner chamber, you are barely clinging to life, and you have three buttons, and no other source of information. whatever you do can't be worse than going random. the downsides of assembling a super-weapon that you don't know how to actually use.

    I agree that removing the starchild would have made a more cohesive ending. on the other hand, somebody needed to deliver the exposition.

    as for everyone else getting dominated by the reapers, i actually didn't think of that when i played the game, but the context was different enough that i can feel safe this option to control the reapers was genuine. and it may still lead to long-term change of personality, loss of humanity and reaper again, but on the plus side, the galaxy now has reapers to reverse-engineer. give it a few years, they should be able to field a new fleet that's actually capable of defeating the reapers. And liara still has sent her probes everywhere.
    all in all, it's all the backup i can think of in the situation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by King of Nowhere View Post
    regarding the actual power of a reaper, we are given some hard data in one of the games; their main gun has a yeild of some 200 kilotons, which is 7-8 times the main gun of a battleship. and the humans have 5 or 6 battleships total.
    So, while the actual power of a reaper and its actual capability of standing up to a whole fleet of lesser ships is a bit inconsistent through the games, in the end it's not a big leap of logic to accept that a thousand reapers are far more than the united armies of the galaxy can handle.
    If the whole Reaper fleet always sticks together (which they don't). Bearing in mind that the Council controls the Mass Relay network because they control the Citadel, and so have a gargantuan advantage in information gathering and strategic mobility.

    Any time the Reapers split up they can be engaged in force by a Council fleet that can use the relay network to its full advantage, every time they concentrate they can be avoided, and the relays leading to the Citadel can be turned off as they are by Saren/Sovereign in Mass Effect 1 so the Council fleet has an unassailable base of operations.

    It's a recipe for defeat in detail for the Reapers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GloatingSwine View Post
    If the whole Reaper fleet always sticks together (which they don't). Bearing in mind that the Council controls the Mass Relay network because they control the Citadel, and so have a gargantuan advantage in information gathering and strategic mobility.
    yes. which gives you time, as the reapers cannot split up to conquer many planets at a time. still, they are going to devastate a major planet every few days - leaving it full of their twisted constructs, which work well as area denial weapon. and you cannot stop them. and all your victories were against individual reapers that split off for some reason.
    Any time the Reapers split up they can be engaged in force by a Council fleet that can use the relay network to its full advantage, every time they concentrate they can be avoided, and the relays leading to the Citadel can be turned off as they are by Saren/Sovereign in Mass Effect 1 so the Council fleet has an unassailable base of operations.
    not sure about the relays. after all, the reapers did manage to storm the citadel near the end. Also, the citadel is an immobile target, if they just converge there first, there is little that can be done. not so unassailable after all
    It's a recipe for defeat in detail for the Reapers.
    it would be if the reapers were a regular army - one that has to stretch to defend its own land and supply lines, and so can be engaged and defeated in detail while it is stretched.

    the reapers have no supply lines, no land to defend, nothing. they are just going to burn and pillage through the galaxy until the council cannot find the resources for war anymore. it will take a while, but the reapers can do it. while you explore the galaxy you find many destroied supply depots, and many destroyed fuel-producing installations; it was mentioned, shortly before the last battle, that
    the council fleet was low on fuel.
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    I've been thinking about giving the original trilogy another go. Or... well, ME2 and ME3, anyway. I wouldn't get far in ME1 nowadays. I know I want to play Paragon, since last time I played Renegade, and either an Adept or an Engineer, as I haven't played those yet. Beyond that... it's a toss-up.
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    If you're going to skip ME1, I recommend downloading a save file with the world state you want (on PC), or if you're on console, downloading the Mass Effect Genesis DLC that will let you import certain choices into ME2 like saving Wrex or the Council.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    If you're going to skip ME1, I recommend downloading a save file with the world state you want (on PC), or if you're on console, downloading the Mass Effect Genesis DLC that will let you import certain choices into ME2 like saving Wrex or the Council.
    Yes, that's what I did last two times I played. Finding a Paragon save that suits me ought to be easy.

    A friend once told me about a mod that considerably alters ME3, adding more content and generally making the war harsher and forcing us to make hard choices. Not sure if I want to go for that. I might try to have some people not make it through the suicide mission, though. I'm told the Grissom Academy mission is considerably darker in tone if Jack isn't there.
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    Default Re: Mass Effect Thoughts

    Engineer remains one of my favorites. I did a run that was Engineer, plus Tali, plus Legion. Everyone having drones out. Creates a target-rich environment, and reduces the damage taken.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    Engineer remains one of my favorites. I did a run that was Engineer, plus Tali, plus Legion. Everyone having drones out. Creates a target-rich environment, and reduces the damage taken.
    I played a Vanguard last time, so an Engineer does sound more tempting.
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    My second playthrough was as a female Engineer after I saw a poll that showed that to be the lowest class/gender combination by a significant margin. I decided to do my bit to bring the numbers up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodin View Post
    My second playthrough was as a female Engineer after I saw a poll that showed that to be the lowest class/gender combination by a significant margin. I decided to do my bit to bring the numbers up.
    Huh, that's weird. Whatever the reason for that, I might as well run with a female Engineer too. I kind of had a plan to romance Jacob or Thane in ME2, then romance Samantha in ME3 once the ME2 LI cheats on Shep or dies. But I don't know if you can hold off starting the romance until after it happens.
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    My Paragon FemShep was an engineer - Spacer/War Hero, my headcanon was that she stopped the Blitz by basically overclocking all of the colony's static defenses to a ridiculous degree. Shacked up with Garrus.

    My others if anyone's interested:

    Renegade Femshep Infiltrator, Earthborn/Ruthless, hardened and banged Liara.
    Paragon Maleshep Adept, Colonist/Sole Survivor - my main, got with Kaidan.
    Renegade Maleshep Vanguard, Earthborn/Ruthless - Cheated on Ashley with Miranda, then stayed with Miranda.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    But really, the important lesson here is this: Rather than making assumptions that don't fit with the text and then complaining about the text being wrong, why not just choose different assumptions that DO fit with the text?
    Quote Originally Posted by gogogome View Post
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    Default Re: Mass Effect Thoughts

    ME1 remains to this day one of my all time favourite games - top 5 at least, possibly pushing top 3. I'll admit that it has a few problems with regard to combat compared to later games but the theme, the story, the overall feeling of it, to me, trumps that and the later games by a long way.

    ME2 was fun, but had a lot fo stuff that made little sense. Cerberus changing from some former minor black ops group that you ruthlessly crushed to becoming this massive organisation that rivalled the entire human alliance? And the ammo change? That made no sense either. It was just shoe-honed in to appeal to the bro-shooter crowd. In ME1, if you lacked fire discipline you had to wait a couple of seconds before you could fire again. In ME2/3, if you lacked fire discipline you ended up with a glorified club - not to mention the logistics of having to supply ammo to all your troops. Combat was better and the characters were fun, but the story and plot made no sense.

    As for ME3 - well, I really hated the ending. So much so that, despite my adoration for ME1, I couldn't go back to the SP game again. Still haven't. I regularly listen to the soundtrack because it was so good, and I played the MP game a ridiculous amount. It was the bright spot of ME3 by far.

    The big problem of ME3, besides the Star Child (retch) and Kai Lung was they flat out lied to us in the lead up. They promised us that our choices made through the trilogy would matter (they didn't) and it wouldn't just be a matter of choosing one of three coloured endings - which in the end they went with anyway.

    Another big problem is that there were so many contradictions between what was shown and what was said in the lore notes you find through the game

    We were told that the Protheans fought on for centuries, despite being decapitated right from the start with the Citadel taken as the very first thing and the gates shut down. It meant their forces were scattered an unable to group and yet it took a long time for the Reapers to slowly destroy them. The Reapers needed that surprise decapitation strike for their plans to work.

    And they didn't get that with the current cycle. Yet, somehow, in a couple of weeks, they managed to over run everyone anyway. If that was the case, why did they need the Citadel first anyway?

    There were actually more Reapers destroyed that have been mentioned - the Turians were holding the Reaper fleet at bay and inflicting losses on them. It was only when a second Reaper fleet jumped in and began to attack their home world that they were forced to withdraw. And then, when the Reapers were on the ground, they destroyed more of them, by sending volunteer suicide bombers carrying nuclear charges into the Reapers and blowing them up internally.

    The other thing was the ratio of Reaper dreadnoughts to destroyers - it is stated that 90% of the Reaper fleet were the smaller destroyers, and that the big dreadnoughts were made from the best races, and even then not every cycle had an ideal candidate. So loosing reaper dreadnoughts in battle would be a net loss for that cycle for them.

    It is also said that the smaller reaper destroyers could be taken out by a cruiser or even fighters.

    And it is also said that the main defences of the Reapers dreadnoughts are their shields, which could withstand the firepower of four dreadnoughts - conventionally armed dreadnoughts.

    Back to the first battle of the citadel - Sovereign came in in a surprise attack with an entire Geth fleet. He was not alone. He actually took little part in the fighting. Most of that was done by the Geth. He went straight for the Citadel to take back control of it. And once his shields were disabled, it didn't take much for conventional weaponry to destroy him.

    Once destroyed, it didn't take long for his weapons to be reverse engineered into thanix weapons, which were specifically stated to be able to bypass shields. And what was the Reapers main defences strength? Shields.

    Not saying it wouldn't be costly, but they had, right there in their own lore, all the elements for a defeat of the Reapers. It is just like they failed to communicate between the lore writers and the plot writers.

    And don't forget that the Reapers were said to have brought back their entire fleet to the final showdown at Earth.

  30. - Top - End - #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corvus View Post
    And the ammo change? That made no sense either. It was just shoe-honed in to appeal to the bro-shooter crowd. In ME1, if you lacked fire discipline you had to wait a couple of seconds before you could fire again. In ME2/3, if you lacked fire discipline you ended up with a glorified club - not to mention the logistics of having to supply ammo to all your troops. Combat was better and the characters were fun, but the story and plot made no sense.
    What would have made sense is if the ammo change offered an advantage (e.g. the gun is more powerful) but the weapon could fall back to the old system in the event you ran out of "bullets". I did hear that they originally intended it to work that way, but feared it would confuse people.

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