Friday, April 13, 2012

Re: Sound and Fury

Sorry, I'm going to delay your regularly scheduled post in order to respond to !Blogger's comments.

1) Per my belief that the ending is not happy
I think it’s a bit harsh saying that there was no way the Synthesis ending was “happy”. Yeah, the Quarians get totally screwed, as do all the other survivors now stuck without Mass Relays, but the fact that the cycle of organic destruction gets broken via everyone becoming half and half synthetic/organic is a happy ending, isn’t it? I mean, it’s a fresh new start for the ENTIRE galaxy. That should be exciting!

I simply don't buy it. I too chose Synthesis in my game, and I see the ending as being just as unhappy as I initially said. The relays are gone, and as such so is the supply chain of the galaxy. Everyone left in the Sol System will now be fighting for scraps, with the same occurring in every other system.

To be honest, I was happier when I was under the impression everyone would die when the relays blew. I thought "that sucks, but it's sacrificing everyone so the cycle can finally end once and for all". That seemed like the best choice. I was much more disappointed with it when I realized the horrible truth of the situation: I had just caused the inevitable, painful death of everyone as they slowly ran out of food and supplies. But hey, at least Joker and EDI will have robo-babies, right?

2) Per the Extended Cut
Additionally to be clear – the Extended Cut DLC isn’t re-writing the ending; in fact BioWare said specifically that it’s not. The purpose is to create a bit of closure and answer a lot of the questions people had when the game finished up. The way they described it in their blog post actually has me very excited; I feel like they’re really trying to make people happy.

Yes, in my ranting haste I didn't handle the Extended Cut DLC paragraph well. The offending line is:
Now I don’t follow the crowd with their “rewrite the ending” gusto, as you can’t just change the ending to make fans happy; that’s one of the worst ideas out there.

Basically, that line needs to be moved/removed. It was not my intention to imply that BioWare was changing the ending. This line was my response to those fans who believe BioWare should change the ending. In other words, I think they're idiots.

3) Per the PA Report
Also, unrelated to your post specifically, you should check out the PAReport’s editorial on the ME3 panel at PAX; apparently everybody seemed to come away happy. That should mean something, right?

What I notice most in that:
The panel pointed out that this content wasn’t in the game because they didn’t know fans wanted it. “The dev team stands by what was released in the core product, and we’re very proud of it. It was important though for us to listen to the community, and a lot of that feedback didn’t come until the game came out. Once we were listening we decided to include the extended cut. It wasn’t in the game because we didn’t know there was such a huge demand for it, to be honest with you.”

What content did they not realize the fans wanted?
“We want to give more closure about some of the questions you have,” Gamble explained, “and in general we wanted to give the players a sense of personalization with the endings. Many people mentioned that some of the choices they made in the game are not necessarily reflected in the ending scenes. We’re definitely going to focus on things like that. We want to make sure that when you see the ending of Mass Effect, you now have the information and context to be satisfied.”

So, the content they didn't know fans would want was specifically the content which showed the audience how their choices mattered. In addition, more information and context as to what exactly is going on at the end. I'm sorry BioWare, I don't buy it. You want me to believe that you created a game where personal choice is at the core of gameplay and story, and then decide the fans don't want to know how their choices are reflected in the ending scenes? That load of bullshit would dwarf anything you'd come across in Pamplona.

What I hear from that: BioWare didn't want to delay the game to deliver a solid ending. So instead they delivered an incomplete game initially, planning on adding the ending the audience wants (or even needs) a few months later. That makes me mildly sick, simply because I didn't think BioWare would pull such nonsense. Oh wait, that's right, EA's the publisher. Suddenly the world makes a little more sense.


  1. I find it confusing that you're arguing a happier ending would have been one in which everyone the entire universe dies forever. What? In the final hours of creating the Crucible *everyone* bands together and throws their skills into keeping *everyone* alive. Why would that change when the Reapers leave? Don't get me wrong - with every species in such close quarters I have no doubt it would be difficult. But saying it would just be better if everyone had died is pretty pessimistic. They have amazing technology at their fingertips and amazing people in immediate proximity. Who's to say they're doomed to an "inevitable, painful death"? THAT'S REAPER THINKIN'! ^_^

    I think I'm forced to agree with you on your analysis of the PAX panel (how could they possibly "not have known" people would want personalized and meaningful endings?), though I will point out that everyone seemed to walk away happy; I'm glad BioWare is at least willing to fix their mistake. My assumption is that they were focused so hard on how to actually end the series that they let the details slip by - details that are important to all dedicated fans.

  2. In lieu of a post because I'm jetlagged (also lazy), I'll just respond here real quick and possibly have a real post later today >_>

    Where did I say "everyone in the universe dies forever"? It feels like both ways are "Everyone dies, cycle is broken". So I'd prefer everyone to die quick instead of long, painful, drawn-out deaths due to starvation and battle. Just imagine it as this being the final time the cycle is restarted.

    Also, I've heard people say "they can rebuild the Mass Relays", which is bull. You need one on both ends, so assuming they could scrounge up the materials to build one, they'd then have to travel (the hard way) across the galaxy to build another. The one and only possible salvation is the quantum entanglement communicators so they could possibly still talk to other systems. However, remember that nearly all the resources (people and ships) are basically in the Sol System, so who'd build it on the other ends anyways?

    Another example: Krogan population booming, but they'll have nowhere to go because they're stuck on one planet with no ships. They might get off the planet, but they can't exactly scour for new planets without a Mass Relay. That situation will turn ugly quick.

    That's the exact kind of thing that means this ending sucks for everyone.

    Also, Aria and Aethyta are likely dead because they were on the Citadel when it was taken. So that sucks too. Not really part of my point, just another "lame!" response to the end of that game.

  3. When you posit that everyone is going to die in a long and drawn-out manner, I interpreted that as meaning "everyone in the universe dies forever." Because that's basically what you're saying. What I'm saying is that I don't agree with you that the Symbiosis ending is an absolute indication that everyone will die, be it slowly or quickly.

    I think a lot of this has to do with whether you're simply willing to be positive or negative about the facts given us. I'm choosing to have hope that the remaining population will make an effort to survive and not collapse on itself. I also choose to have hope that they *can* rebuild the Mass Relays. Yes, you're right - you clearly need one on both ends. But if their only other choice is dying I can only imagine that they'll eventually want to send ships to scour the galaxy with an end-point Mass Relay in tow. With their current technology is it *really* that improbable that they'll work on rebuilding their transportation system? In the face of death due to overpopulation and quickly depleting resources, what other options do they have?

    Maybe they would immediately all turn on each other and fight over what's left of the Sol system. Or maybe they'd do exactly what they did for the Crucible and continue working together (now that Shepard's helped broker some peace) to figure out a way for everyone to live in their own corner of the universe.

    Additionally you have to remember - everybody is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT now. Honestly, assuming that everyone in the last 3 games would act exactly the same way as they would post-Symbiosis is a poor assumption at best; their DNA has been physically altered; everyone actually has something in common now. That's what *I* mean when I said "'s a fresh new start for the ENTIRE galaxy."