Escapist Podcast: Bonus: Mass Effect 3 With Spoilers Part 3

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Bonus: Mass Effect 3 With Spoilers Part 3

A further look into all things Mass Effect 3.

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Not done listening yet, but I wanted to post this (again) before I forget by the end. I did some math on the ending(s). For funzies.

Listening to the second half now, but this is in answer to a alt ending Justin was talking about.

http://arkis.deviantart.com/art/Mass-Effect-3-Alternate-Endings-SPOILERS-289902125

That is the ending he was speaking about.

I like the idea behind the krogan and the fish determining the ending. There is a little hidden bonus in the game around your fish. You have to import a save with a live Prejek Paddlefish (purchased on Illium) in Mass Effect 2 where you had Kelly take care of them. Then if you get it back from her in ME3 and then keep it alive through all of Mass Effect 3, if you start a new game with your ME3 character, you get a Intel Bonus from Liara's Quarters on the Normandy which gives you a 10% bonus to either Weapon Damage or Power Damage.

Some comments

I don't think we have to use spoiler tags in the thread, folks, though I do appreciate you being considerate of other readers. The podcast itself is spoilertastic, so it should be safe assuming that anyone chiming in here knows the drill.

In regards to the person filing an FTC complaint.

Last year the most important news to gamers was that video games(interactive media) are now considered art by the Supreme Court of America. This was a great victory for freedom of expression and common sense.

This year a gamer and NOT a politician or demagog is trying to bring legal action against a piece of interactive art(Mass Effect 3). I would have serious doubts that any judge hearing this case wouldn't just laugh the plaintiff out of the room.

Isn't labeling video games art specifically for the purpose of protecting the makers from legal persecution at the whims of a single person or a few individuals? Thus insuring that artists(game makers) are free to create?

Trying to make an exception for one game that you were personally unhappy with does unfortunately ring with the most sour tones of Hypocrisy.

So yeah, I'm that guy who clicked on the spoiler tag and was mad anyway. I dunno if you noticed, but the spoiler in question was what Tali's face looked like, and the thing I was mad about was that out of nowhere it says "TALI KILLS HERSELF."

That likely makes no difference to you, but it seemed pretty unnecessary to put that little tidbit of text in when all you were doing was showing a comparison between the original stock photo and the version that ended up in the game.

Also, why isn't Butts in this? I thought he was a big Mass Effect fan?

Daft Ghosty:
Listening to the second half now, but this is in answer to a alt ending Justin was talking about.

http://arkis.deviantart.com/art/Mass-Effect-3-Alternate-Endings-SPOILERS-289902125

That is the ending he was speaking about.

That ending is fantastic. Wonderful stuff.

I have to say thanks for not brushing aside everyone as whiny fans in this situation. I think this is the first gaming website I've seen give any credence to the fans who want the ending changed.

Rassmusseum:
So yeah, I'm that guy who clicked on the spoiler tag and was mad anyway. I dunno if you noticed, but the spoiler in question was what Tali's face looked like, and the thing I was mad about was that out of nowhere it says "TALI KILLS HERSELF."

That likely makes no difference to you, but it seemed pretty unnecessary to put that little tidbit of text in when all you were doing was showing a comparison between the original stock photo and the version that ended up in the game.

Also, why isn't Butts in this? I thought he was a big Mass Effect fan?

He hasn't finished the game yet! We're trying really, really hard to keep things as spoiler free as possible for him.

This podcast brought up the point of Shepard not being the person who would favor worship. That reminds me of WH40K universe.
(I am not very familiar with it, only played Soulstorm and DoW2, but my friend told me some lore along the way)

Emperor of Mankind did not want to become a god, but wound up as one, despite his efforts (wiki tells me worshiping him was a crime when he was still kicking, without the Golden Throne).

It's kind of a standard plot:
1. become an underdog
2. unify/defend/battle/... with style and appropriate awesomeness
3. tell everyone you're not all that cool
4. ???
5. die and become God

Susan Arendt:

Rassmusseum:
So yeah, I'm that guy who clicked on the spoiler tag and was mad anyway. I dunno if you noticed, but the spoiler in question was what Tali's face looked like, and the thing I was mad about was that out of nowhere it says "TALI KILLS HERSELF."

That likely makes no difference to you, but it seemed pretty unnecessary to put that little tidbit of text in when all you were doing was showing a comparison between the original stock photo and the version that ended up in the game.

Also, why isn't Butts in this? I thought he was a big Mass Effect fan?

He hasn't finished the game yet! We're trying really, really hard to keep things as spoiler free as possible for him.

Dang, that's too bad...I love that guy! Anyway, about the spoiler thing on Tali's face, I realize that was a stupid post for me to make. I said so in an e-mail I sent, and I'll say so again here: I was out of line, sorry about that.

What wonderful timing! I just finished Mass Effect 3 afew hours ago.

I wanted to ask you guys (and in particular Susan) so many questions about the characters and the ending and just discuss stuff. I don't have anyone around me that plays the game so no vent for me as it were :(

Don't suppose I still can here?

Oh yeah, I listened to the first 2 popcats twice each. Once before getting the game. Once after getting halfway. I must say as first it seemed ok to spoil myself alittle. I didn't mind. But after the second time listening to them, they felt... well... lets just say there was more closure than the endings. :)

Bioware donated those cupcakes to a local food shelter ^_^

Did anyone wonder if Bioware just didn't know what the ending ought to be like?
What if they made up a bogus ending just to plow through nerd rage to find out what kind of ending people wanted to see. And *then* make it?

In regards to there only being one way to beat the reapers via a magic space gun.

The Reapers were presented in the first game as unbeatable. When Shepard talks to the Prothean data core he gets to hear how the Reapers come every 50,000 years. Not only this but that every single race that fights the reapers has lost and lost badly.

It is related to the trap that the Reapers set up. They know that intelligent races will find the mass relays and use them. They know that all the relays lead to The Citadel. They know that they will reverse engineer the mass effect technology to make their own weapons, ships, and build settlements throughout the galaxy. That is their plan. The Reapers know exactly what to expect when they come to harvest one species and sterilize the galaxy of all others.

You are able to beat ONE Reaper in ME 1 and 2. Both times it took everything you had and then some. Trying to fight an armada of Reapers it is impossible to win because they have already calculated victory. The Reapers know exactly how many they are going to lose in the fight, how many new reapers they will make from humanity, and how long it will take.

There needs to be some sort of Deus Ex(see what I did there?) Machina used in order to beat them. This happens at the end of Predator 2. After Danny Glover defeats the one predator inside the ship several predators appear. At this moment Danny Glover says "Who's Next?" if memory serves me correctly. It is only by the alien traditions of the predators that Danny is saved as the Predators give him an old gun(trophy) and leave earth.

I love that line that Danny Glover gives. It represents humanities spirit and ability to never give up in the face of defeat. But he would have died if it wasn't for circumstances beyond his control.

Of course I really hope the Indoctrination theory holds true and you can have a Bad Ass moment were you and your crew kill all the reapers. You know to indulge in my hero fantasy.

FTC complaint
I think FTC guy is in the right.
Not necessarily for trying to get them sued for false advertizement (Which they DID) but as a form of protest it works. If he just asked for his money back would you remember him? Would Bioware remember him? Nope.
He just tried to make the biggest splash he could, and succeeded.
What are the chances it's going to stick. Slim to none, but you'll remember what it was about long after it blows over.

Art Vs. Product
Justin, just come out and say it. Game devs and publishers expect us to buy DLC.
What we're asking for (In essence) is more premium DLC.
Fans of Mass Effect are just trying to get a (What was popularly seen as a) crappy system to work for them.
Books, movies, TV shows don't operate that way so changing the ending isn't practical.
Games, and even Bioware has been changing endings via DLC for a long time. (Fallout 3, Mass Effect 2, Prince of Persia, Portal, Dragon Age Origins, Half Life 2, etc)
The only difference is that this time fans are demanding it.

Non-game Alternate Ending
How would they take all your choices into account?
At least with an in game text crawl they could see all the choices you made.
A "separate" alternate ending would have to be vague enough to not change no matter what Shepard chose to do, or even their gender.
It would have to be about the Normandy after it crashed on the Lost Island. (Note: EDI, Tali, Garrus, Cortez, Ashley or Kaiden) couldn't be there, because they might not have survived up to that point depending on your choices.

That's why I think the Dragon Age Origin/Animal House flash cards would work in a kind of hand waving half arsed way.

How about if the Crucible was just a Giant cannon that could blow up a Reaper, and the end was just Shepard blowing up Reapers while the credits rolled in the back ground.
It could play out like an RTS where you have all your fleets and you maneuver them around to buy the crucible enough time to charge up the next shot. Wouldn't that be something?

Favorite character
Looks like everybody took Garrus on all their missions huh?
I hardly ever took Garrus, unless I wanted his personality around. The most mechanically useful squad mate (Not to mention my favorite character) was Tali. Shield drain > Overload. Combat Drone > anything else.
Also Mordin resonates with me a lot because I spontaneously break into singing Tom Lehrer's Element Song the same way Mordin sings Scientist Salarian.

Would I think less of Bioware if they changed the ending?
I could not possibly think less of Bioware than I do right now.
They could come to my house and kick me in the balls, and I would not think less of them.
I also come from the unpopular vantage of saying the ending isn't even the biggest problem Mass Effect 3 has, and after Dragon Age 2.

James Cameron just returned from the bottom of the Marianas Trench because he was looking for where Bioware has set their bar. Ba-Dum Tish.

Mass Effect 4?
Have you already forgotten Dragon Age 2.
Bioware can not write a small personal story to save their lives.
Every problem DA2 has stems from the story being personal and ultimately irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.
Letting players choose their own personality in a situation where the universe isn't in peril leads to contrived party member motivations, (EG: why did Verric help you if you didn't get along?) and even more contrived player character motivations. (EG: why did goofball Hawke care about who ran Kirkwal. Why did mean Hawke care if you lived in Hightown or not)

The only situation I can see working is the First Contact War because at that point all the human characters thought they were going to get wiped out.

Or how about this. A prequel to your Shepard's story. where you play through their origin story that you picked. (Soul Survivor, Ruthless, War Hero) I don't know that they could stretch a whole game out of that, but it would be more Shepard.

I would play Citadel Noire though.

Question
Does anybody else remember Leliana's Song from Dragon Age Origin?
How would you feel about a compilation of mini stories in that same vein but about Garrus on Omega. Or Tali on Hestrom. Mordin running the clinic. Or Miranda and Jacob stopping the Batarians on the Citadel. How Jack ended up in Purgatory.

Stuff like that where you didn't have any real control over the outcome or the personality, but stuff you want to see none the less?
End question

Hosting an intelligent and civil conversation about Mass Effect 3?! Did that really happen?

I wanna hear another story about The Susan.

Seriously though, thanks for the pod.

Mikeyfell, I think a compilation of small stories similar to Leliana's Song would be awesome, and I'd probably buy it. They've proven that they can make combat for different species in the multiplayer, so it wouldn't even be a big jump.

If this was BW's plan the entire time props to them, I'll go re-buy all of their games and DLC just to say thanks for being so creative. Great podcast, looking forward to the other podcast. This was the best of the 3 and its ending was good...unlike Me3's :p

Hoplon:
Some comments

Part of the issue was that they retconned you in to the corner by removing stuff like the Thranix cannons (beam weapons) and the armour etc so that you didn't have as much of a chance, despite them not really meaning that anyone was going to one shot a reaper.

Thanix weapons were present, they're just not effective at long range as per the Codex. They do more damage against the Reapers, but are still far from instant kill weapons. The missiles you were defending at the end were a variation on Thanix design.

I really do think they can do smaller, more personal stories well. I've always wanted to be a Turian trying to prove his worth in the military, or a Quarian on his or her pilgrimage.

How do they top a galactic struggle against an ancient sentient race of machines is irrelevant. They don't need to. Just tell a good story and I'll be glad to play a part in it. Humble tales are often fantastic.

Firstly, thanks to Susan for changing my question up, you already gave me a good answer in your last bonus podcast, and ya hit a point I was curious on.

We see eye to eye on the DLC. If the indoctrination was planned, bloody awesome, especially if it's free DLC.

Paid DLC... still brilliant idea, but damn scummy.

Pretty good podcast, props to Justin for disagreeing with the team. Arguments make the podcast more interesting.

No fun to listen to people just agreeing with eachother.

loved the podcast so well done and very informative and interesting :)

Dont mind me, derailing the topic slightly.

What was wrong with either of Bioshocks endings?

Pontifex:

Hoplon:
Some comments

Part of the issue was that they retconned you in to the corner by removing stuff like the Thranix cannons (beam weapons) and the armour etc so that you didn't have as much of a chance, despite them not really meaning that anyone was going to one shot a reaper.

Thanix weapons were present, they're just not effective at long range as per the Codex. They do more damage against the Reapers, but are still far from instant kill weapons. The missiles you were defending at the end were a variation on Thanix design.

Codex says absolutely nothing about the range of the cannons. Missiles using the same tech seems hilariously out of step with the description of them being the result of an effect of very large EZ cores, even if scaled down for the Thanix version.

One problem I have with all of this talk of different endings is exactly what this conversation devolved into... I'm not done yet, but just wanted to comment on what started to happen around 35 or so minutes in.

*** MASSIVE SPOILERS OBVIOUSLY ***
(But then, the whole podcast is spoilers anyway, so you knew that)

At first the talk was about how they wanted to see some things that more clearly showed the impact of having the various forces in your fleet at the end. But then they start talking about the idea that there should be an ending where if you can get ENOUGH war assets you can actually beat the Reapers! This idea changes a hugely fundamental aspect of the entire game. Multiple times it's stated in the game that you can't defeat them conventionally (Despite what Justin said, I believe they mentioned it at least 2 times just in the last 2 hours of the game). During the final trip to the Citadel, you can see that EVERY point in the galaxy has a Reaper icon in it because they've now invaded every major system.

The whole point of the story that Bioware wanted to tell was that the Reapers were not able to be defeated by conventional means, no matter how strong your forces were. To demand that this be changed is changing the basic fabric of the story that they're telling. I mean, why stop there? Why do I have to choose between who to save on Virmire? I mean, if I believe that MY Shepard could've saved both, that apparently trumps the story that Bioware wants to tell. Or why couldn't I have saved Saren and gotten him on my side? Or convinced the Illusive Man to abandon his quest to control the Reapers. I mean, if MY Shepard could talk down Biotic terrorists, get Saren to shoot himself, etc...wouldn't he be able to do that?

This line of thinking inevitably makes it so that Bioware really has NO control over the story that they want to tell. The idea of "This is what MY Shepard would do..." has trumped all. It's one thing to point out a bit of a plot hole (how did Joker get to the relay?) or say that you wanted to see the effect of the war assets more, but to suddenly say that Bioware should be compromising their entire idea of this story so that you can beat it with just war assets seems arrogant to me.

Hoplon:

Pontifex:

Hoplon:
Some comments

Part of the issue was that they retconned you in to the corner by removing stuff like the Thranix cannons (beam weapons) and the armour etc so that you didn't have as much of a chance, despite them not really meaning that anyone was going to one shot a reaper.

Thanix weapons were present, they're just not effective at long range as per the Codex. They do more damage against the Reapers, but are still far from instant kill weapons. The missiles you were defending at the end were a variation on Thanix design.

Codex says absolutely nothing about the range of the cannons. Missiles using the same tech seems hilariously out of step with the description of them being the result of an effect of very large EZ cores, even if scaled down for the Thanix version.

Also, I believe that they said that the Quarian Liveships were equipped with Thanix Cannons.

Naw, the liveships were just upgraded to have enough firepower comparable to a dreadnought.

A big snail dreadnought made out of tissuepaper apparently. The flotilla quarians are not known for their high tech, its that they can make good and usable tech out of crappy materials.

''Please Shepard, im a quarian. Give me some scrap metal, wiring and a lump of eezo and ill have it make precision jumps for you.''

Escapist Podcasters:

No love for Jack? Sure, Miranda and Jacob and Ashley and Kaiden are fairly one dimensional plus exposition, but I thought Jack was really an interesting case of a character who grows signicantly between ME2 and ME3, psychologically.

She was a squad buddy through all of ME2 where I could take her and I loved the redesign for ME3, though I missed being able to have her on the crew. I can understand though from the point of view that the pure superbiotic squad mate role is fulfilled by Liara.

Did you like Jack, Susan? Did you think she was a well written character?

Doctor Proctor:
At first the talk was about how they wanted to see some things that more clearly showed the impact of having the various forces in your fleet at the end. But then they start talking about the idea that there should be an ending where if you can get ENOUGH war assets you can actually beat the Reapers! This idea changes a hugely fundamental aspect of the entire game. Multiple times it's stated in the game that you can't defeat them conventionally (Despite what Justin said, I believe they mentioned it at least 2 times just in the last 2 hours of the game). During the final trip to the Citadel, you can see that EVERY point in the galaxy has a Reaper icon in it because they've now invaded every major system.

Yeah, but that's precisely what using the crucible is supposed to be, an unconventional way to beat the reapers.

The fact is that it is NOT a way to beat the reapers but a failsafe put in place by the reapers makes no sense, in light of the whole "we don't know what it does" debacle, which, as any engineer worth his name knows, is impossible when you're building something. Even moreso when you're actually completing the design as you go along.

Also, it might be just me but a galaxy wide alliance is not exactly what you'd call "conventional" in the Mass Effect universe, you could do many unconventional things by using all that different tech at once.

Well, I was on the fence about hearing you guys but after this? Gained another loyal podcaster.

Can't agree with what Susan Arendt says for my life, but at least it adds spice to the show, still think the gameplay is generic cover based third person shooter with a generic action summer bluckbuster story, well done for the most part, but can't get myself to play it over a good ol'fashione DotA 2 PvP match.

II2:
Escapist Podcasters:

No love for Jack? Sure, Miranda and Jacob and Ashley and Kaiden are fairly one dimensional plus exposition, but I thought Jack was really an interesting case of a character who grows signicantly between ME2 and ME3, psychologically.

She was a squad buddy through all of ME2 where I could take her and I loved the redesign for ME3, though I missed being able to have her on the crew. I can understand though from the point of view that the pure superbiotic squad mate role is fulfilled by Liara.

Did you like Jack, Susan? Did you think she was a well written character?

I do, actually, I enjoy the character...if not her costuming, which is at least better in ME3. I liked how she grew as a person, channeling her negative energy into a fierce "mama bear" role.

Tanakh:
Well, I was on the fence about hearing you guys but after this? Gained another loyal podcaster.

Can't agree with what Susan Arendt says for my life, but at least it adds spice to the show, still think the gameplay is generic cover based third person shooter with a generic action summer bluckbuster story, well done for the most part, but can't get myself to play it over a good ol'fashione DotA 2 PvP match.

Anything in particular you don't agree with? Or just that ME3 is a good game?

Susan Arendt:
Anything in particular you don't agree with? Or just that ME3 is a good game?

It's just we have too diferent tastes in games, and look different stuff there, almost diametricaly opposed.

In SW:ToR for example i leveled almost just in warzones doing only the class quests because after level 10 the voice and minor choices didn't made me forget i was grinding to level in MMO less polished than WoW or even Rift; i have yet to hear your SW podcast but will assume that is a way of playing not very appealing to you (with good reasons, I am probably seeing the weakest suit of SW).

And ME3 is a good game, generic doesn't mean bad, I also think The Fifth Element is a generic action Sci-Fi movie, and it is good; generic is kind of forgettable for me though and I use it for this game because even if well done I can't find a single innovation in it (and no, doing bad endings is not an innovation, videogames have been doing that since the beginning of times). To ME credit i must say that after losing my saves now i plan to play ME 1 and 2 because it is good enough to make me care about having a relationship developed with my crew, will probably happen when i am trapped on a cell with only a pc and those games though or when ME4 launches and it's the second coming of Christ.

To resume, you are just the kind of person that i like, but our tastes on videogames are so different i can't relate to even though i understand them, just as you probably can understand why i would say "SC II world finals are like watching a dance by Pina Bausch" even though you might think it's silly.

Edit: Pardon my english, non native and ortography and i aren't on speaking therms in any language anyway.

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