The Big Picture: Mutants and Masses

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Erlenmeyer Flask:

Gxas:
Would you be able to give an example of how something that has been coded (read: prewritten) can not be an ABC affair?

At some level, every bit of "story" needs to be prewritten. This is true. On the other hand... would you say that the entire Mass Effect series can be boiled down to an ABC affair? No, of course not. Because, while all the possible choices exist in the games before you've even played them, there are so vastly many different combinations of choices that you can make that they simply can't be enumerated. This would be quite reasonable for fans to expect from an ending, as well.

Allow me to provide a more detailed illustration. Let's say that the ending provides two options for closure for all eight ME3 crew members, and allows Shepard to end the game working with any of his crew members, on his own, or dead. That's 16 scenes for the crew members and 10 scenes for Shepard... certainly it's a lot of work, but not beyond Bioware by any means. Now, let's see how many different options that provides... 2^8*10 = 2,560 different endings. What if Bioware were to provide three separate ending options for each crew member? 3^8*10 = 65,610 different endings. Yes, technically you can still enumerate all 65,610 endings (AAAA, AAAB, ..., BAFA, BAFB, ..., DTBL) but absolutely nobody will. Hence: not an ABC affair. I hope this makes it a little bit more clear.

Well, when I see "ABC affair", I assume that we mean A-Z, double letters, triple letters, and greek letters. Not literally A ending, B ending, C ending. Though, I'm starting to notice that more and more people are only showing 3 actual endings to the game. In which case, yeah, maybe there is some slight justification to the complaints. However, if you refer to my previous post, I still stand by that notion and always will.

Stalydan:
If this is true then this really defeats your argument. There is an amount of artistic license that creators should have over their games but when you promise one thing and then totally go against it and say that your fans are part of the creative process, that's too far.

Not really though.

It's only too far if you promise something specific which is beyond the scope of the product, for example by claiming that a sugar pill can cure cancer. That's false advertising, and it's illegal.

It is very, very hard to falsely advertise an entertainment product, because unless you are specifically claiming that watching this film will definately improve your life in some specific way (for example), everything about the experience is vague that enough that short of not actually functioning or just showing a blank screen, there's no way to demonstrate that a claim has been made which could not possibly be lived up to.

You don't have to like the product. You don't have to refrain from telling the people responsible that you don't like the product, but saying things like "it's too far" is, ironically, too far. They have not broken the law, they have not intentionally mislead you (unlike the film industry, which does so quite routinely and visually through trailers). They have produced a product you don't like. Tell them you don't like it and move on.

It might be nice if they changed it, but if they do so it will be on their own volition, not because it's the consumers' right to have a product which meets their inflated expectations.

On Mass Effect 3, and the debate that's going on: I'm not a Mass Effect fan, I don't play those games, I don't really know what the ending is. But I can sympathize. I played FFXIII-2 a few months ago, and that ending WAS WORSE. So I'm going to play devil's advocate here, and stand by the fans against the game company. If they're pissed, they might actually have a legitimate reason.

You know what? Screw the rights of the artist, especially when it comes to video games.

For centuries now its been assumed that the creator has total control over his universe and that the audience just has to sit back and take it. And that's fine for a book, you're basically being read the story about other people doing other things. So you might care deeply about those characters, but you aren't actually those characters. If Tony Soprano's story doesn't end in a satisfying manner, you can pissed about it, but like your own life just ended without meaning.

Video games, however, are the newest form of storytelling. They're a radical departure of most kinds of fiction that we've seen. This isn't just the artist feeding the audience in a one-way street. Its the audience making their own choices in the story. Both the artist and the audience are collaborating on final outcome. For example, if the player gets bored of a game, the plot of Super Mario 64 will end in an anti-climatic whimper as Mario falls down a hole and dies, never to come back. In Mass Effect, this is even more pronounced, since the player makes choices actively during the course of the three games. You get to choice who your true love is, you get to choose who to save and what missions to take, and probably other things. Then when suddenly at the end of the game, all those levels of choice are RIPPED AWAY, you're going to get mad.

I don't see why they didn't let players actually design their own ending. Since there were multiple endings, you could have Bad, Good, Horrible, Bittersweet. That's what makes multiple endings an interesting feature. Maybe the Bad ending is the most artistically interesting, but that shouldn't be forced on people. You should let the audience discover that for themselves.

And you can babble about how the game company is creating "Art", but I still haven't heard ONE SINGLE argument as to how Mass Effect 3's ending is artistically meaningful. What does it represent? I honestly don't know, if somebody can argue that, maybe the Artist's side of this debate has more legitimacy. I have no idea what Mass Effect 3's ending was supposed to be, and it doesn't like many others do either. If they did understand, then they would have accepted it and wouldn't be up in arms about this.

So this is actually an interesting turn of events, I think. If the players of Mass Effect 3 get the ending changed, it would be a remarkable turn of events for fiction. Yeah, artists are geniuses, but its not like the mass collective of viewers and players aren't creative people either. It would be interesting to see collaboration between the audience and artist in the creation of the story, not just a one-way street of "take it or gtfo". Artists seem too often to get God Complexes, suddenly get filled with endless arrogance, assuming that since they first created the universe, they better than everybody else. Maybe that's not true.

Why does the player have to be a slave to the developer?

All I'm going to say in response to the whole ME3 thing is that there is a difference between not meeting expectation and falsely advertising your product/work of art. Not meeting expectations is simply being disappointed by the end result and as MB implied is not illegal and is sometimes a result of the creative process that we have to live with.

Falsely advertising your product is saying your product is going to be, contain, or deliver a particular thing and then not actually doing so. This only applies to more detailed things, like stating something is totally solid gold and then having it be bronze. In contrast a more general statement that may imply the same thing is not illegal, such as this thing is totally worth its weight in gold. In the case of ME3 the people who filed the complaint (I'm not one) believe that they were explicitly told that ME3 would contain a certain item (most commonly claimed as not having a pick A,B,C choice ending based on a quote from Casey) which they feel was not delivered.

Personally I think that Bioware/EA can deal with any "false advertisement claims" as there is no official promises that was released by Bioware/EA. Likewise the case doesn't have anything like "Mass Effect 3: You will definitely not be choosing between three options at the end". In addition there are technically more endings than 3 that are determined based on a accumulation of actions (choices) throughout the game, although they are hardly noticeable. I can however see how people feel they were mislead which lead to the whole idea of complaint thing.

I agree with Bob completely people have the right to complain to Bioware if they don't like the ending but the aim of the complaining should be to make sure Bioware doesn't do this again with future games not changing the game we already have. There is no way games can ever get better if developers are not allowed to make mistakes and are forgiven by the fanbase when they do get it wrong as long they correct it next time and if they don't they will lose customers and eventually go out of business

Gxas:

So are we complaining about some ending cutscene then?

Like I said above, I have no idea what happens, as I've not even finished the first game. But, if it's an epilogue cutscene that people are complaining about, then this is even more ridiculous to me than it was before.

It's more the whole last section of the game. It's not too hard to read up on why people are angry about it. Forcing a choice where none should be needed, or forcing a 'wrong' choice. The feeling that you could have run through the game doing the bare minimum and get the same ending as someone who 100% the whole game, a Deus Ex Machina turning up so we can have an 'Adam and Eve' ending, a hackneyed cliché that I doubt many people could seriously say is 'art' anyway.

This is usually due to poor storytelling on the designers part, or trying to force a conclusion where the player can clearly see a third option the game refuses to let you take. Fallout 3 was another example(before SHOCK! HORROR! it had it's ending changed via DLC) where the game expected you march to your irradiated death, because 'Destiny!', despite you having a companion who was immune to radiation and had went into another lethally radioactive area for you earlier. But they refuse to quite literally let your character live by walking through a door and punching a 4-digit number because 'It's your destiny not mine'. It was like there was a tabletop RPG DM sitting there trying to think of reasons you couldn't get out of his railroad 'artistic' campaign end.

Critics readily pointed out the BS here, and eventually it was changed via DLC. I don't know why so many people are saying changing an ending this way could never happen and shouldn't happen, because it already has.

Basically, if you end up creating an ending that ends up massively damaging the franchise, you messed up. When you create an ending that has fans saying 'What's the damn point of paying for content DLC since the entire setting will explode at the end of the game no matter what I do? My choices would mean nothing', you messed up. Hell, if they'd stuck with the ending plotted out for the trilogy by the previous lead writer, most people would have been happy.

EDIT: Actually, now I think about it, wasn't Neverwinter Nights 2 the same? The main game shipped with a 'Rocks fall, everybody dies' ending, that got retconned later due to crappiness?

K.

HUGE WALL OF REPLIES BELOW!

--------------------------------------------------

You see Bob, the main difference between a film is that you watch it for two hours and then your done until you want to watch it later in a few years. With a game, you spend anywhere from four hours for some FPS campaigns and a un-countable amount of hours in others. I'm sure a lot of people clocked some 50 hours into Mass Effect one and two in order to get the best endings so that at the end of it so that it will ensure that their hard work is payed off and then at the last possible second it rips off Deus Ex ones ending.

Bob. You may not agree with me, but I felt that the original FTC complaint was a very justifiable action, that soon spiraled out of controlled by ragers who followed suit for all the wrong reasons.

The original FTC complaint was based the fact that the developers specifically promised a game that would end with a scenario where you choices throughout the game series affected the outcome and you could end with 1 of 16 possible outcomes. That is simply false advertisement and totally deserving of that complaint.

I can't help but to feel disappointed about the ending myself but I'm pretty certain that this is the ending I'm going to have to accept. I'm also fairly certain that if a DLC will pop up at a later date, that promises a different outcome if I'm willing to fork over some extra cash, I must certainly am not going to buy it. I'm also certainly not going to buy any other DLC's for that game. Furthermore, I'm finding it highly doubtful that I will ever involve myself this intently in any Bioware product ever again, which are strong words for me, since I used to consider it as one of the greatest gaming companies out there.

Draech:

dragonswarrior:
AGH YOU DON'T GET IT YOU DON'T GET IT YOU DON'T GET IT!!!!!

*Breathes* Okay.

How. How Bob. How do fans with INTELLIGENT RESEARCHED CRITIQUES of a game asking for a Goddamn intelligent ending from a group that has previously managed to provide them with such PREVENT ARTISTS FROM TAKING RISKS?!

They don't!! How does that, I don't even... URHGU It makes no goddamn sense!!

You did make some good points though...

But seriously? Telling someone that what they do was shit doesn't stop risk taking. Asking them to change said shit into something better doesn't stop risk taking. Because people will always make risky shit. And they will always make risky quality. That will NEVER change. How does someone asking for something to be quality change that?

Which brings us to the biggest difference between TMNT and ME3. TMNT is trying to make a story with changes to the original. No one has ANY idea whether it will be good quality or not.

Mass Effect 3 had a shitty ending.

That is the difference between them.

Captcha: Face The Music

Damn straight!!

You have creative rights over some1 else product or not?
Pick one.

If not then you get to critique the ending, not change it.

If you have you get to change it. How can you misunderstand that?

The creative rights bit was silly. That's trying to simplify an incredibly complicated subject. Tuning something (to use the tired but true platitude) that is many shades of grey into a black and white yes or no kind of thing.

There is no such thing as creative rights. People create stuff based on something, other people create more stuff based on that, and so on and so forth. Rights, privileges, titles, rules, laws, and constraining or binding concepts have nothing to do with the freedom of expression. Or the implementation of said freedom.

To be specific I believe you are addressing my TMNT vs ME3 difference. This argument is solely about whether fan critiques or fan changes prevent creative risk taking. A critique of a lore change that may or may not effect the quality of the art piece in question, made before the art piece has even gone into production IS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THEN critiquing a risk that was taken and turned out to be a Bad Idea. Creative rights doesn't factor into this at all. Though I say that because creative rights is a silly idea in the first place.

Yes, escapist, let the butthurt flow through you.

image

By the gods! You broke the hypocrisy meter!

And Bob once again roles out a string of paper-thin straw-man arguments to criticize a group of people he hasn't bother to engage with to even know what their arguments are.

How predictable.

Bob, if you're reading this, Maybe you shouldn't speak about a subject if you're entirely ignorant about it. It's painfully obvious that you haven't bother to spend even 5 minutes to find out what problems people actually have with the Mass Effect 3 ending and what "demands" they are making of Bioware. Maybe you shouldn't base the entirety of your argument on hear-say and shitty articles made by the douchebags at IGN.

Gotta love how pro-ender arguments basically amount to "Stop complaining because I don't like it when you do that!".

Personally, I see no reason to apologise for pointing at a broken thing and saying, "Hey, that thing is broken!"

As gaming continues to evolve and the line between developer and player begins to blur, it becomes more and more apparent that the old ways of judging those who create the stories we enjoy no longer apply to games. We are just as responsible for the stories being told through games as the developers are, and while games empower and encourage us to make decisions to alter the outcome, we must realize that our power in that regard is shared with the developers, and is not exclusively our own. By the same token, the onus of integrity does not solely fall on the developers. We, as participants in the story, must also hold ourselves to a standard, in providing constructive criticism, frank examination, and willingness to adapt or compromise when it comes to the narratives we come to love. Only by doing this can we blur that line between gamers and developers. Only by showing this desire to address these stories as living things in which we have a say and for the benefit of which we will work with their original creators will gamers stop coming across as spoiled brats and start to be considered a vital part of the game creation process.

There is line very large line between players and developers! There two are not even close to the same! They create the stories and we play them! The stories are not ours they are theirs. Developers do not need or should share any power with the players. They gives us the choices and we play them out. This entire ME3 ending stupidy proves that we shouldn't have any say in anything. Retake ME! It is not ours! If fans controlled what was created the industry would grind to a halt and we would all still be playing D&D clones.
They make and we enjoy. We give them money and they give us the game! That line should not be changed until we can show that we are more then brats and we have not shown that. Players think that there options matter. They don't the only think that matters is your money. Players should learn the difference between an ending they did not like and a broken ending.
This reminds me of the DA2 rants that people went on. It was a good but they didn't like it so they called it trash.
The ending to ME was created by the creators! Deal with it!

Fwee:
Just so you know:
Bioware and EA don't owe you a goddamn thing. They came out with a game and you bought it, played it, finished it, and either walked away from it or started crying all over my internet.

Internet quotes and press releases from anyone working on the Mass Effect series are not legally binding.

You should have rented it and saved yourself $55.

Plus you're detracting from real issues in modern entertainment, such as DRM control, DLC flooding, and mandatory Origin signups.

are you in any way familliar with the indoctrination theory? i won't bore you with the details, but it's got quite a bit of evidence behind it and pretty much posits that BioWare and EA's plan was to
SELL US THE F^&*ING ENDING AS DLC.

and if this is true, what kind of precedent does that set? and where does that put folks like Bob who are valiantly flocking to defend the developers and publishers in theire experiment to see how incomplete a game they can sell for $60 before the fans burn down the headquarters?

Gxas:
Well, when I see "ABC affair", I assume that we mean A-Z, double letters, triple letters, and greek letters. Not literally A ending, B ending, C ending. Though, I'm starting to notice that more and more people are only showing 3 actual endings to the game. In which case, yeah, maybe there is some slight justification to the complaints. However, if you refer to my previous post, I still stand by that notion and always will.

You seem to be misunderstanding the context in which Casey Hudson made the remark about A, B, C. Specifically, he was referring to the notion of someone talking to their friend and saying, "Hey, I got the A ending!" It clearly applies to the six color-coded endings that ME3 actually has, and it clearly wouldn't apply to a combinatorial explosion of 65,610 endings. (I suppose you could say "I got Kaidan ending A, Tali ending C, Liara ending B, Garrus ending C, Vega ending A, Ashley ending A, Javik ending C, EDI ending B, and Shepard died." That's a tad long-winded, though... I can't imagine you'd see much of it. Certainly it's not as easy as "My 'splodey thing was green." In fact, it might just be easier to describe the endings by what happened in them - you know, how you'd describe real events.)

And, for the overly legalistic reading of your post, three letters which can be Latin or Greek (52 Latin letters in both cases, 34 Greek letters in both cases which are distinct from Latin letters) would make (52+34)^3=636056 endings. To handily trounce that number, you'd need three endings for each of the eight characters, plus two endings each for Anderson, the Council, Earth, and the Geth, and ten endings for Shepard to produce 1,049,760 possible endings. (And that's only 42 scenes worth of work for Bioware - again, a lot, but still quite doable.)

Fail, Bob ... Fail.

Your philosophical finale made no sense in context. Risk? Hahahaha.

Risk will only come in question when GAME developers stop PR vomiting and asking people to pre-order, then seling them DLC after they payed for it. Movies or books just don't have that kind of convoluted relationship. They ... you know ... end.
I will grant you your point on next game that actually ends. Story wise. Without Ending-O-Tron machine and "buy moar DLC" prompt.

Yes, asking to change ending would be wrong in world without DLC you are supposed to buy after purchase. But in this EA/BioWare world? For same reason I'm not as sure as you that this "dangerous precedent" was entirely caused by insane fandom and not helped along by EA PR machine. PR blew in their faces, that simple.

I'm not so sure I would hold up latest BioWare work to same standard as Leonardo da Vinci. 'Cause asking him to fix a painting would be WRONG! Then again, dude never asked peeps to buy DLC for Sistine Chapel ...

Frank_Sinatra_:
Bad move Bob, very, very, very, very bad move.

It's apparent that you really haven't researched into the whole Mass Effect 3 debacle, so be prepared to hear that the Mass Effect series is a special case, BioWare didn't deliver on ANY of their promises, and they pretty much slapped their own IP in the face in the last 5 minutes of their game.

Remember: BioWare has stated that their fans are equal creators in the story along with their actual writing staff.

You didn't create the content that made your story possible, they did. They made a game that gives you the option to personalize it a bit more, but that still doesn't give you any ownership over it. Everything that is in Mass Effect they made, they gave you the option to choose HOW you experience the story (what decisions you make, what kind of character Shepherd is).

This wasn't a crowd-sourced project where the fans worked DIRECTLY in making the content, you only got to choose how the story would pan out.

evilthecat:

Stalydan:
If this is true then this really defeats your argument. There is an amount of artistic license that creators should have over their games but when you promise one thing and then totally go against it and say that your fans are part of the creative process, that's too far.

Not really though.

It's only too far if you promise something specific which is beyond the scope of the product, for example by claiming that a sugar pill can cure cancer. That's false advertising, and it's illegal.

It is very, very hard to falsely advertise an entertainment product, because unless you are specifically claiming that watching this film will definately improve your life in some specific way (for example), everything about the experience is vague that enough that short of not actually functioning or just showing a blank screen, there's no way to demonstrate that a claim has been made which could not possibly be lived up to.

You don't have to like the product. You don't have to refrain from telling the people responsible that you don't like the product, but saying things like "it's too far" is, ironically, too far. They have not broken the law, they have not intentionally mislead you (unlike the film industry, which does so quite routinely and visually through trailers). They have produced a product you don't like. Tell them you don't like it and move on.

It might be nice if they changed it, but if they do so it will be on their own volition, not because it's the consumers' right to have a product which meets their inflated expectations.

Oh no, I laugh at the false advertising complaints. Those are just weird but hilarious to look at. But the ending was such a disappointment. Especially when it was said as not being a "A, B or C" ending and then pretty much turned out to be.

I love the rest of the game, my opinion is no different on that. But the ending really is sad in that it really felt forced and out of my hands, not part of my story. I understand that somethings are out of your control; that's part of the game. But it didn't flow naturally with the rest of the game.

I do want a new ending for the game. Not demanding one but I really want it to be fleshed out with more options. Let me refuse the options given to me and chance out if I was able to bring enough to the battle with me. That was what I was expect. I knew the main device of the game wouldn't work the way the other characters thought it would but I was sad that the options were forced on me without me understanding fully why I had to and why my Shepard had suddenly stopped being my Shepard and became somebody else's and didn't do things the way he had before.

Jesus Phish:

Baby Tea:

Frank_Sinatra_:
Remember: BioWare has stated that their fans are equal creators in the story along with their actual writing staff.

Fans are equal creators in the same way that readers of 'choose your own adventure' books are equal authors.
Read: They aren't.

"But they SAID we are!"
Yeah! And the cover of my 'Choose your own Adventure' book says I pick where the character goes!

But even IF every choice I make in the book ends up at the same, unsatisfying conclusion on the final page, the bottom line is: That's how it was written. I might not like it, and I might even feel cheated, but that's the creator's choice. I can not buy from them again, I can critique it like crazy, I can even bitch about it on the internet, but to DEMAND that a creator, that an artist CHANGE THEIR WORK because I am unsatisfied is the height of self-entitled bullshit.

No, it's not false advertising.
No, they don't owe you a thing.

Geez, I'd be happy with another bullshit 'boycott' rather than this garbage.
People need to grow up. Seriously.

I've not finished ME3 yet, but obviously by visiting any internet page I've come across headlines of rage from fans at the ending. I don't know what the ending is, I'll hopefully find out when I finish it.

Your argument is the same as my own though. I even thought of the adventure book comparison too, you pick your own path of A B and C but you're always going to end up at D, maybe E and F if the writer could get it in, but overall your experience of going through the book (or mass effect) is different than someone else who owns it.

Nice to see some people still understand basic concepts.

Don't know which 'choose your own adventure' books you two have been reading, but most of the ones I've seen have multiple endings.

Mr. Omega:
What people need to get is that he isn't saying you don't have the right to complain. You can complain all you want. But DEMANDING that you get a better ending because it was OWED to you is just plain silly, and the unbelievable extremes the "Retake" movement have gone to to get what they are "owed" are just downright pathetic.

Now becuase this is the internet, and because the "Retake" movement tends to make strawmen of people who disagree with them, I'll spell this out in big letters for them.

Nobody is saying you need to like the ending.

Nobody is saying you can't complain.

But there's a line that can be crossed

And the "Retake" movement crossed it veeeeery quickly.

Except that Bob doesn't know fucking ANYTHING about why people are mad and what they are saying. He's completely misrepresenting the people who are complaining, why they are complaining and how they are complaining.

He didn't bother doing 5 fucking minutes of research to find out what the whole thing was about.

Bob is the one making the Strawmen here.

Moviebob, I almost believed, no I did believe the fans when they said that the ending was terrible before I even played the actually game. I played ME1 and ME2 and loved the games for different reasons. I actually believed the fans were justified in being angry and luckily a very close friend of mine purchased ME3 and told me about the ending. Now I am actually disappointed in the gaming community over this mess. I'll use some of their own logic against them.

As said before, the consumer has no actual ownership over another IP that they put no money into making. A person's "commissioned art" view point is flawed for the sole reason that the majority of us never put any real money into the creation of the game. We mostly are not stock holders of the video game company nor did we send an anonymous check to Bioware to make the game. We bought a copy of the art, we did not give money into the creation of the art. The money we spend on the copy is usually to make up for the money the "artist" spent themselves into creating the art. We never ever commissioned the creation of ME3 in 99.9 percent of the cases present.

Marketing, marketing, marketing. Do you "fans" of ME3 have any idea how many lawsuits there would be for Disneyland/World for their marketing? The happiest place on earth? So if I go to that area and get a "meh" experience, I have every right to sue Disney for false advertisement? All those "promises" were nothing more than marketing the video game. Now if the promises were along the line of delivering a RPG, but we got a racing sim instead than maybe a lawsuit would make more sense. But those were never promises, they were marketing the game to get people to buy it.

We, as consumers, have every right to be upset. What we should never do though is act the way "Take Back ME3" has acted. ESPECIALLY bringing in Child's Play. To use a charity organization to bring attention to a fan hissy fit is what chaps my hide more than anything else that Activision or EA has done knickle and diming the community.

Wow, that was a cheap swing (and a miss) at the whole ME3 "controversy."

You'd think this was something new. Thing is, it isn't even the first (or last) time this has happened. Public pressure is far from a new concept.

2 gaming related ones come straight to mind. First being Fallout 3s DLC that extended the ending and gave what the fans want. I heard no one from the games media jump at that one.

2nd one not everyone remembers. A particular game called InFamous 2. When it first showed up with trailers, the main character, Cole, had suddenly changed from a grizzle voiced, bald guy with a scar going down his face to a Nathon Drake 2.0s. And the fans went nuts. So what did they do? Changed him into his original look and all where happy.

So did the games media go on about artistic integrity or any of that? Course not. Actually, one of the IGN guys has been very loud about all this is. Colin Moriarty, who has gone on about how it goes against the artistic integrity and how people shouldn't demand this or that and entitlement this and that and rabble, rabble, rabble.

But skip back to when this happened with InFamous and suddenly:

"But with the new Cole design, Sucker Punch heard loud and clear what fans of Infamous wanted, and they delivered. Infinite amounts of kudos to them for doing right by their community. Fans of Infamous won't soon forget it. Sucker Punch is one of Sony's most valuable developers. They are tuned-in with the PS3 faithful, and it's things like this that prove it."

Hell, the this aint uncommon outside of games either. Sherlock Holmes was killed off by Doyle and for 8 years people protested for a change and eventually gave in. This gave us some of the best Sherlock books.

Blade Runner, a great sci-fi by Ridley Scott had its whole ending changed after early preview showings.

Go back far enough and you see that Beethoven revised his opera Fidelio multiple times at the behest of his fans, cast members, and creative peers. I dare someone to say Beethoven lost his artistic integrity.

How many forms of completely interactive art is there anyway? We've even gotten to a point where we a consumers are funding game projects. Which is wonderful.

Gaming can't be just lumped into one category of "art" and then leave it as that as some form of blockade.
Art can change depending on the audience, depending on the demand and so much more. Again, this is hardly the first time this has been done or ever will be done. Just the biggest highlighted one by gaming media.

This whole "entitlement" accusation just need to stop. If you can't back away from that kind of attitude, we eventually pass the point of having meaningful dialog on this topic anymore. Then neither side is listening anymore. Everyone has made up their mind about not only the ending, but about everyone who disagrees with them as well.

If you liked the ending, then everyone who didn't is a crybaby whiner who has nothing better to do than throw fits about video games. If you disliked the ending, then everyone who didn't is a judgmental douche that's either too stupid to understand why the ending sucked, or too far up EA/Bioware's a**es to acknowledge it.

There can be no middle ground anymore at that point and are no longer allowed to have different opinions. Then comes the name calling and things you generally see from 10 year olds.

Dear Bob:

Please shut your pie-hole when it comes to anything in, on or about Mass Effect. You clearly have no idea where the complaints stem from or even why there are complaints to begin with. An ill-informed rant is still ill-informed and does a huge disservice to the fans who actually have some nuance in their arguments about the ending. I suppose due diligence and journalistic integrity are hard, while name calling is easy, and I would offer my condolences on all the hate mail that is hurtling towards you, but you brought it upon yourself.

Sincerely,
A former viewer

Frank_Sinatra_:

TorchofThanatos:

Frank_Sinatra_:
Bad move Bob, very, very, very, very bad move.

It's apparent that you really haven't researched into the whole Mass Effect 3 debacle, so be prepared to hear that the Mass Effect series is a special case, BioWare didn't deliver on ANY of their promises, and they pretty much slapped their own IP in the face in the last 5 minutes of their game.

Remember: BioWare has stated that their fans are equal creators in the story along with their actual writing staff.

MovieBob has it right, you are wrong!
In fact all the crying fans are wrong!
Yes, I own and played through all the ME. ME3 ending was not the greatest but it in not that bad! There is a difference between not liking the ending and it being a bad ending. The story was wrapped up and playable. It didn't end in a way you liked it! SO GET OVER IT!
Also it would be impossible to get an ending that the crazy fans wanted. The game still has one set story. One story line that you follow. It would be impossible to create an endings that reflected what your chooses were along the way. Impossible!

ME is not a special chase because it is a game you like!

Thanks MovieBob for saying this, to bad it is falling on deaf ears.

I'm redirecting you to an earlier post because I don't like repeating myself

Your boy Blue's working on faulty logic though. Particularly the opinion that players and developers are starting to merge. To the extant that's true, but only in that many developers probably play video games. In no way do I think players are "becoming" developers of works they enjoy.

He raises the point of how people like editors, producers, etc. will influence a writer's work, then connects the professionals with things like fan feedback, focus testing, etc. He's essentially equating the players and their criticisms with the paid professionals and their criticisms. Here's the difference though (which I've been subtly hinting at), the producers and editors are in those positions usually because they've shown themselves to be fairly competent at that job. Meanwhile, the average consumer is fairly useless in terms of story mechanics (see: every fanfic forum ever). Even criticism can be nonsensical from the average person.

Part of being a writer is learning how to deal with criticism, what is potentially valid and what should just be ignored. With your superiors, they're paying you to write this stuff to begin with, so you're sort of stuck with listening to them. With the audience, the writer is under no obligation to ask them to approve their rough draft, nor are they under any obligation to act on criticism even if they do ask for it.

TL;DR: Responding for community feedback is a courtesy, and sometimes a smart move as well. It does not entail the least bit of ownership.

After playing through ME3 twice with two very different Shepards, I can say without a doubt that all promises of player agency were completely fulfilled and anyone trying to claim otherwise is being either purposefully ignorant or clinically dense. OPINIONS of the final decisions and cliffhangers are reasonable to have, but I'm pretty sick of the patently false accusations being hurled left and right.

What all the whiners really wanted was a video reel at the end of Mass Effect 3 detailing everything that is going to happen in Mass Effect 4. What? You didn't know there would be another game in this multi-million dollar series? Please...

dragonswarrior:

Draech:

dragonswarrior:
AGH YOU DON'T GET IT YOU DON'T GET IT YOU DON'T GET IT!!!!!

*Breathes* Okay.

How. How Bob. How do fans with INTELLIGENT RESEARCHED CRITIQUES of a game asking for a Goddamn intelligent ending from a group that has previously managed to provide them with such PREVENT ARTISTS FROM TAKING RISKS?!

They don't!! How does that, I don't even... URHGU It makes no goddamn sense!!

You did make some good points though...

But seriously? Telling someone that what they do was shit doesn't stop risk taking. Asking them to change said shit into something better doesn't stop risk taking. Because people will always make risky shit. And they will always make risky quality. That will NEVER change. How does someone asking for something to be quality change that?

Which brings us to the biggest difference between TMNT and ME3. TMNT is trying to make a story with changes to the original. No one has ANY idea whether it will be good quality or not.

Mass Effect 3 had a shitty ending.

That is the difference between them.

Captcha: Face The Music

Damn straight!!

You have creative rights over some1 else product or not?
Pick one.

If not then you get to critique the ending, not change it.

If you have you get to change it. How can you misunderstand that?

The creative rights bit was silly. That's trying to simplify an incredibly complicated subject. Tuning something (to use the tired but true platitude) that is many shades of grey into a black and white yes or no kind of thing.

There is no such thing as creative rights. People create stuff based on something, other people create more stuff based on that, and so on and so forth. Rights, privileges, titles, rules, laws, and constraining or binding concepts have nothing to do with the freedom of expression. Or the implementation of said freedom.

Then why the heck are people trying to force someone to rewrite something?

This is no different than censorship. The fans are more or less shouting "we dont like it! Make it not exist!". It is funny how fast ones own audience would turn on you when you dont pander to it. Takes one bad ending and we are no different than the people who decided that "you cant do that in games! I dont like it!".
Worse than that some fans believe they own it, while some only believe they should own it.

370999:
So once again Bob doesn't understand the difference between games and movies. And misrepresents the retake ME movement. Standard stuff from him them.

I think your last word is supposed to be Then.

Personally I'm not going to hold my breath for this movie but I'm not gonna freak out over it. I've always loved the turtles but not enough to bitch piss and moan over it.

As far as the "Mass Effect" thing goes. STFU! People are cry over something so dumb that people need to apologize for something that isn't even wrong. How about instead of using all this energy and time talking about how bitching saying "Me, I could have made a better ME3 ending" and do it. Take up a course in game design and make your own stuff instead of trying to get them to change it to suit your needs.

MonkeyPunch:
Surprise, lots oh ME3 whining again.

I'm also noticing a trend where they are using the fact that Bioware said that something was going to be one way during development and on release it turned out not to be.

O.M.G! First game ever to not release in the exact same state it was during production (for what ever reason)!!11one111!!!

Except half of those things, they said after the game went gold.

Casey Hudson:
(Director) 2/17/12
http://www.computerandvideogames.com/336331/interviews/mass-effect-3-we-cant-go-on-holiday-our-dlc-is-really-good/?page=2
So it's not like a classic game ending where everything is linear and you make a choice between a few things - it really does layer in many, many different choices, up to the final moments, where it's going to be different for everyone who plays it

If Extra Credits was still here they'd use this as a "gamer call to arms" moment (though, granted, pretty much everything was a "gamer call to arms" moment for them). Why exactly is it that all the rights with artistic content belongs with the artist? I reject this new argument sprouting up that games must either be "art" or a "product," but never both. I've got shocking news, the vast majority of "art" is created with the explicit purpose of being sold for profit. Art is a product by any definition.

When da Vinci took money to present a finished product and never delivered, why were the patrons justified in their complaints then? When did Bioware (and game companies in general) develop this immunity armor? They are allowed to lie, sell incomplete products as finished, and ream the consumer with crap like DRM, but we are the ones in the wrong for pointing out how immoral and unjust this is? They just rely on us to "get over it" and "move on" and then they continue these despicable business practices. The worst part is, we always do...

Why are gamers being treated like second-class consumers? As far as I can tell, there is no other producer-consumer relationship this one-sided.

fitting captcha: face the music

So basically:
"Bend over and take it you entitled brat, because how dare you attack the people who pay for ads on our website"

Yeah no.
Maybe if anyone on the escapist staff could write anything beyond a straw man representation of the Retake movement.

The ending was shit, grade A smelly good for nothing misrepresented ripped off shit.
Maybe if Bob or Yahtzee actually knew what they were talking about in this case I would care, but from the way they write/talk they dont.

Erlenmeyer Flask:

Gxas:
Well, when I see "ABC affair", I assume that we mean A-Z, double letters, triple letters, and greek letters. Not literally A ending, B ending, C ending. Though, I'm starting to notice that more and more people are only showing 3 actual endings to the game. In which case, yeah, maybe there is some slight justification to the complaints. However, if you refer to my previous post, I still stand by that notion and always will.

You seem to be misunderstanding the context in which Casey Hudson made the remark about A, B, C. Specifically, he was referring to the notion of someone talking to their friend and saying, "Hey, I got the A ending!" It clearly applies to the six color-coded endings that ME3 actually has, and it clearly wouldn't apply to a combinatorial explosion of 65,610 endings. (I suppose you could say "I got Kaidan ending A, Tali ending C, Liara ending B, Garrus ending C, Vega ending A, Ashley ending A, Javik ending C, EDI ending B, and Shepard died." That's a tad long-winded, though... I can't imagine you'd see much of it. Certainly it's not as easy as "My 'splodey thing was green.")

And, for the overly legalistic reading of your post, three letters which can be Latin or Greek (52 Latin letters in both cases, 34 Greek letters in both cases which are distinct from Latin letters) would make (52+34)^3=636056 endings. To handily trounce that number, you'd need three endings for each of the eight characters, plus two endings each for Anderson, the Council, Earth, and the Geth, and ten endings for Shepard to produce 1,049,760 possible endings. (And that's only 42 scenes worth of work for Bioware - again, a lot, but still quite doable.)

Haha, I've never even seen the video or anything of him being quoted as saying such, so I'm just questioning as an outside party. But this has definitely cleared a lot up for me. Thank you.

I've been doing nothing but lurking on these forums for quite some time, including every recent ME3 feature and article. This is the first video I've actually wanted to respond to.

It seems like every person who writes off the reactions as outrageous or over-the-top haven't played the game (Bob, Andy Chalk) while others (Shamus Young, Critical Miss, the podcasters) have all acknowledged that the ending probably should be at the very least clarified and closed up in a way that makes it seem like it was written by professional writers instead of 12 year olds writing bad fanfiction after seeing 2001 for the first time. And Bioware is saying they will at least "clarify" the ending, which means they ACKNOWLEDGE at least some of the problems the fans have complaining about.

As for me, I know I don't have creative license, so I can't "demand" anything. The only thing I can do is beg. I'm begging them to improve the ending. Even if they are using the word "demand", they are really just using their soapbox to beg that Bioware does not leave us with this ending. Why? It's not just because of the money or the time invested. It's because Mass Effect was one of the great ones. It could have been the Star Wars of this gaming generation, and that's not an exaggeration. A sci-fi epic that could transcend this generation and could make people from here on out think differently about their real world and the choices we make. It could have been something I could give to my kids when they were old enough, and they could craft their own epic and experience it the way I did, just like when my own father watched Star Wars with me for the first time.

Instead... it's a joke. A freakin' joke. Instead of looking upon the Shepard with starry eyes and good memories, all anyone will remember was how bad the ending was, and how it nullified and made meaningless all of the brilliance that came before it. There's no way I'd subject anyone to the kind of emptiness and disappointment I felt at the end of ME3. The only thing that came close to that kind of disappointment when it comes to entertainment was the baseball steroid scandals. To find out that players that you rooted for your whole life were taking steroids, that their names would have an asterisk next to their names, that that would be their legacy... the ME3 ending felt like that. That there would always be some kind of cultural asterisk around the games. "These games were good but the ending was so bad it sparked the biggest fan outrage around a video game ever".

So I and many others are begging Bioware by giving to Child's Play and getting the word out... please do something with this ending. Make it so that I will feel comfortable buying your games again, and that I can give it to my kids when they grow up.

And I also beg Bob and anyone else who feels like commenting on this whole outrage with disdain, calling those of us entitled and whiny... play the games to their conclusion and then formulate your opinion using first-hand experience, don't snidely comment how silly the whole thing is because it's just a game. You should know that's no longer true more than anyone else, Bob. We, as the fans, have a right to ask that you fix this offensive insult that they passed off as a professionally-written "ending". They might as well have ended it by having a naked Wolf Blitzer slit Shepard's throat and played with the corpse while screaming racial epithets. Everyone would have agreed that ending should be changed because there was no artistic integrity to protect. Same thing here.

Taking an IP and applying it to standard Hollywood movie formulas is not what I would consider risk. At this point, I don't think there is an IP that Hollywood hasn't ruined for someone. Given Hollywood's record on butchering IP, I am not surprised anymore when fans get upset when people working on the movie talk about it. It doesn't help that the media might take things out of context and/or not know enough about the IP to ask relevant questions that might clarify what the person might have meant.
There are always going to be the hardcore geeks for an IP and that won't go away but if you are doing something to the IP that even the people that barely know the IP are upset about it, you are doing it wrong.

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