Organics in Mass Effect suck at war!

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Let's get down to it; the galactic community in the Mass Effect Universe downright sucks at war.
Now, I know well that the war against the reapers was never really going to be in favour of the organic races, but they seem pretty damn hell bent on being destroyed, because they suck at organizing and waging war.

Let's start at the beginning; they, the organics, henceforth to be known as Dumbasses, are idiots. This is something that manifests itself in many different ways.

First, let's look at the salarians. They are supposed to be the brains of the Dumbass community, but they are morons when it comes to strategy. They refuse to facilitate the curing of the genophage because they are afraid of what will happen in the future. Well, you short-lived lizards, if you don't get the support of the krogans, there won't be a future at all! You'll be absolutely shagged if that happens. Actively trying to sabotage the cure shows a magnificent lack of long-term thinking from the salarians, because they think they will automatically come out of a war against the reapers, which they perfectly well know have wiped out all advanced life in the whole galaxy possibly thousands of times, victorious, regardless of what efforts they take to make sure that happens.

In the case of the krogans, we have a race of sentient beings who are extremely sturdy, are expert warriors and breed like bunnies. Against the reapers, a threat against which brute force is the one and only recourse when it comes to direct confrontation, the krogan are the ultimate fighting force. There is literally no race more suited to fighting the reapers.

Second, let's look at what the Dumbasses have done to prepare for the war.

... ... ...

Nothing? Ooookay...who the hell is in charge, and will someone please hand me the biggest sledgehammer you have to whack him in the crotch with, because he deserves it.

I mean, sure, the fleets have been modernizing and building up their strength abit, but they've really done nothing worthy of the threat that's been looming over them for years. They've known for certain, for at least six months, that the reapers are coming, so why haven't they been building droves of the biggest ships with the biggest guns imaginable day and night for those six months? They've been kicking back and playing with themselves, pretty much. And don't tell me it takes time and resources to build stuff like that, you've got multiple civilizations comprised of trillions of individuals, don't tell me they are actually slower at building warships than the fucking swiss navy on 21st century earth.

And where are the huge guns with engines that they should be deploying to take out reapers? There is no excuse for not building big fucking dreadnaughts with mass drivers the size of small celestial bodies. They don't even have to care about the laws of physics, because they have Phlebotinum (Element Zero), the sole purpose of which is to tell Isaac Newton to fuck right off. Just go build a cannon that can shoot a shell the size of a small city at near light speed already! But no, they stick to building the exact same cruisers and battleships they've always built, no bigger or meaner than before, just with some new, slightly more sparkly, guns.

Also, did nobody in the whole galaxy actually tell anyone about anything when it came to the reapers? From the looks of things, not a single military enlisted soldier or officer of any rank had even the faintest idea that they were up against anything tougher than having to rearrange the lavatory cleaning duties to account for an added holiday. Didn't someone at some point tell them that "Hey guys, you see those huge cuttlefish thingies? Yeah, they're bad fucking news, alright?"? I can understand not telling the civilian population about just how bad arse the reapers are, but why the hell are the militaries of all the Dumbass races except man completely unaware of the magnitude of the threat?

No, wait, strike mankind as well, what with the chick in the intro going "How did they get past our defenses?!" in the kind of voice the reverend's wife in The Simpsons would urge people to think of the children. Well, they are Lovecraftian space horrors that have been wiping out civilizations for millions of years, how did you think they made it past our defenses, by sneaking really carefully?

But those things are all parts of the preparations. It gets even worse when it comes time to actually wage a war against the reapers.

Remember those battles we get to see in the game, where the Dumbass fleets just move towards the reaper fleet and pretty much randomly shoot all over the whole place? Yeah, that is pretty much exactly the worst thing you could possibly do against the reapers.

Look at what the reapers are good at. They have extremely strong kinetic barriers and can slice through a dreadnaught in seconds. This isn't some big mystery, these are things we've observed before in the war, as well as with Sovereign a couple of years earlier. But what are their weaknesses? Well, their hulls aren't particularly strong, so once the barriers are broken through, you can blast them to oblivion without too much trouble, and their guns don't seem to have that impressive range.

Now, with an enemy like that, the logical course of action would be to keep your distance and concentrate fire on single reapers at a time to overwhelm their barriers. So why the flying fuck did the Dumbasses do the exact opposite?

Come on, it's not complicated; the Dumbass fleets have mass accelerators with literally unlimited range. It doesn't matter if they hit a target after five meters or five lightyears, they still have the exact same impact. That means they can very well afford to stay as far away from the reapers as possible. Of course, they are somewhat limited by targeting, but let's not forget that the reapers are the pinnacle of arrogance, they think the Dumbasses are beneath them, and will clearly never even ponder the option of dodging shots, they'll just fly straight ahead right into the midst of the enemy fleet.

So, we have the reapers in one corner, huge monstrosities that have a range disadvantage and always move in a 100% predictable pattern, but deadly at close range, and in the other corner the Dumbass fleets, which have unlimited range, can maneuver more and can never stand up against the reapers in close combat. I figured this out in about 30 seconds, why the hell can't the Dumbasses ever figure it out themselves? They've presumably got hundreds of thousands of people whose job consists entirely of figuring shit out for the fleets, and nobody realized this?!

You're supposed to play to your strengths! There's a fucking reason you don't staff your diplomatic corps entirely with krogan; it's a fucking bad idea! When you've got the range advantage and the enemy the firepower advantage, you don't go in close and personal, you fly off the other way and pepper the enemy from a distance at which they can not shoot back!

In short, the Dumbass fleets should have been flying backwards and concentrating their firepower all on one reaper at a time. Imagine if they would all link their targeting computers, as we already know they can do, and all fire at the same reaper. It would be blown to pieces in seconds! We already saw a cuttlefish reaper get dismembered in the first couple of minutes of the fight at the end of the game, and that was in spite of the shitty tactics of the Dumbass fleets. They could just have focused on one reaper at a time and blown them to bits, and they could have gone away if not with a victory, even without the Crucible.

But I guess they were simply too dumb for that.

Jeez, that's a huge post. That's what happens when I've been spending the weekend without an internet connection and too much time to ponder stupid storyline decisions.

Clever tactics and shizzle get mentioned in the Codex, but you don't see them in action for the same reason that almost all battles in films and games consist of CHAERG! It looks good.

As for the preparations, they had only had a few months warning, and it's never mentioned that they haven't been doing that, it's just not explicitly stated.

There's a big disconnect between what's shown in the fancy scenes and the fluff in the codex (they actually say reapers OUTRANGE turian ships which forced the turian fleet to close in for their big battle), but yeh I'm certainly not about to defend the me races on this one, even with the excuse that they didn't take the reaper threat seriously.

Biggest case of cutscene stupidty was towards the end of me3 on earth.
You had a bunch of allied troops surrounding a reaper (the plan from what you knew was for the cannon fodder to draw fire whilst the support fire inc makos armed with thanix missiles pounded the reaper), and they looked all cool and badass getting into position.

You see the asari squad leader look all serious and stuff listening to things on the mic before ordering the troops to fire. And they do, all D:< like and looking badass but of course doing absolutely nothing to the reaper who just pauses, probably laughs a bit then charges up the lazor.

Asari squad leader desperately asks "wheres our fire support?" before looking up all drama like and the reaper fires and kills everyone, leaving you, shep and your 2 tms to do the entire taskforces job all by yourself.

Now in case I didn't make clear the retard part: asari leader didn't check firesupport was ready/available/alive before making her troops reveal their position and got all members of those battle groups killed cos of that mistake.
Weren't it for sheperd the reapers would be having their easiest harvest ever.

Frankster:
There's a big disconnect between what's shown in the fancy scenes and the fluff in the codex (they actually say reapers OUTRANGE turian ships which forced the turian fleet to close in for their big battle), but yeh I'm certainly not about to defend the me races on this one, even with the excuse that they didn't take the reaper threat seriously.

Well, there is a lot in the CODEX that I simply don't buy. That is one example. In order for the reapers to outrange the turians, the reapers would have to have weapons that have greater than unlimited range, what with the whole thing about mass accelerators in space and all that stuff that a conversation in Mass Effect 2 slaps us in the balls with.

Frankster:
Biggest case of cutscene stupidty was towards the end of me3 on earth.
You had a bunch of allied troops surrounding a reaper (the plan from what you knew was for the cannon fodder to draw fire whilst the support fire inc makos armed with thanix missiles pounded the reaper), and they looked all cool and badass getting into position.

You see the asari squad leader look all serious and stuff listening to things on the mic before ordering the troops to fire. And they do, all D:< like and looking badass but of course doing absolutely nothing to the reaper who just pauses, probably laughs a bit then charges up the lazor.

Asari squad leader desperately asks "wheres our fire support?" before looking up all drama like and the reaper fires and kills everyone, leaving you, shep and your 2 tms to do the entire taskforces job all by yourself.

Now in case I didn't make clear the retard part: asari leader didn't check firesupport was ready/available/alive before making her troops reveal their position and got all members of those battle groups killed cos of that mistake.
Weren't it for sheperd the reapers would be having their easiest harvest ever.

In order to cut down the size of my post, I decided to skip the bit about how the Dumbass armies are just as moronic on the ground as their fleets are in space.

Elcarsh:

Frankster:
There's a big disconnect between what's shown in the fancy scenes and the fluff in the codex (they actually say reapers OUTRANGE turian ships which forced the turian fleet to close in for their big battle), but yeh I'm certainly not about to defend the me races on this one, even with the excuse that they didn't take the reaper threat seriously.

Well, there is a lot in the CODEX that I simply don't buy. That is one example. In order for the reapers to outrange the turians, the reapers would have to have weapons that have greater than unlimited range, what with the whole thing about mass accelerators in space and all that stuff that a conversation in Mass Effect 2 slaps us in the balls with.

I would wager that turian weaponry is limited by its ability to target rather than its ability to shoot a slug really, really far. Perhaps the codex is saying that, due to the limitations of turian targeting software, their navies were forced into Reaper range, lest they miss a bunch of shots and hit their planet in the crossfire.

Wayneguard:
I would wager that turian weaponry is limited by its ability to target rather than its ability to shoot a slug really, really far. Perhaps the codex is saying that, due to the limitations of turian targeting software, their navies were forced into Reaper range, lest they miss a bunch of shots and hit their planet in the crossfire.

As I pointed out before, the reapers don't take evasive action. They fly straight ahead, and have done nothing else in all of the encounters the Dumbasses have had with them. If the turians can't get a firing solution at a decent range on an enemy that flies straight forward then it's a bloody miracle they ever managed to develop space flight in the first place, let alone become the dominant military force in citadel space.

Elcarsh:

Frankster:
There's a big disconnect between what's shown in the fancy scenes and the fluff in the codex (they actually say reapers OUTRANGE turian ships which forced the turian fleet to close in for their big battle), but yeh I'm certainly not about to defend the me races on this one, even with the excuse that they didn't take the reaper threat seriously.

Well, there is a lot in the CODEX that I simply don't buy. That is one example. In order for the reapers to outrange the turians, the reapers would have to have weapons that have greater than unlimited range, what with the whole thing about mass accelerators in space and all that stuff that a conversation in Mass Effect 2 slaps us in the balls with.

no No NO, you make a mistake everyone makes. Yes, mass accelerators do have "unlimited" range, but we have two things we have to worry about. ONE, the target could have moved/turned around/went into FTL/started attacking us by the time the "bullet" was supposed to hit. With mass accelerators, don't think of it as "unlimited range", but "maximum effective range", which, with mass accelerators (I forgot how fast they fire, but I think I remember hearing .013c?) would have a distance of about several million miles. That might sound like a lot, but it really isn't. How bad is the time delay? If I was the distance the moon was from the Earth, which is 1.3 light seconds away (about 250,000 miles) it would take approximately 103 seconds. Now, the moon isn't moving much, it probably would hit (though the specific spot we fired at might be about 100km away from the actual impact point). Remember how they had to have the computer say "fire" before they did? Because they needed the computer to run relativistic computations, probability tests, and time delay computations, because if a human wanted to hit a target that was 1 million miles away, They would misinterpret where they should fire before the target.

The SECOND thing? well, they don't fire in straight lines. Now, yes, at that speed, the object would most certainly leave the orbit of the Sun, but it would still be in a hyperbolic orbit (as in, it would still curve, but it would leave the Sun). Now, try to do this. We have a Reaper, he's moving in a straight line, and he's 1.5 million miles away. You do the math on where he'd be (he's not changing speed, vectors, and he won't notice you) and you fire. And you miss, but not by much. You assumed it was a straight line. It's NOT. it's an orbit. Sorry if I came off as angry, I just hate when people misinterpret that. :(

worldruler8:
no No NO, you make a mistake everyone makes. Yes, mass accelerators do have "unlimited" range, but we have two things we have to worry about. ONE, the target could have moved/turned around/went into FTL/started attacking us by the time the "bullet" was supposed to hit. With mass accelerators, don't think of it as "unlimited range", but "maximum effective range", which, with mass accelerators (I forgot how fast they fire, but I think I remember hearing .013c?) would have a distance of about several million miles. That might sound like a lot, but it really isn't. How bad is the time delay? If I was the distance the moon was from the Earth, which is 1.3 light seconds away (about 250,000 miles) it would take approximately 103 seconds. Now, the moon isn't moving much, it probably would hit (though the specific spot we fired at might be about 100km away from the actual impact point). Remember how they had to have the computer say "fire" before they did? Because they needed the computer to run relativistic computations, probability tests, and time delay computations, because if a human wanted to hit a target that was 1 million miles away, They would misinterpret where they should fire before the target.

The SECOND thing? well, they don't fire in straight lines. Now, yes, at that speed, the object would most certainly leave the orbit of the Sun, but it would still be in a hyperbolic orbit (as in, it would still curve, but it would leave the Sun). Now, try to do this. We have a Reaper, he's moving in a straight line, and he's 1.5 million miles away. You do the math on where he'd be (he's not changing speed, vectors, and he won't notice you) and you fire. And you miss, but not by much. You assumed it was a straight line. It's NOT. it's an orbit. Sorry if I came off as angry, I just hate when people misinterpret that. :(

Both of those things would really be answered by the same thing; don't they have targeting computers?

It's not like they invented the concept of launching a fast object at a target yesterday, we're talking about things that were developed thousands of years earlier and have been made more advanced ever since.

You remember the Apollo space program? Yeah, they had targeting computers to accurately calculate their course from the earth to the moon and back, with ridiculously small margins of error. They did that with computing power not much more advanced than a freaking abacus, relative to what we have now. Are you telling me the turians have nothing whatsoever more advanced than that when it comes to targeting? Are they really just flinging shit into space and hoping for the best?

We're asked to believe that the galactic communities can flip off Newton entirely with some magical substance that warps space-time, but they haven't been able to figure out how to make a computer that calculates where you need to fire a hunk of metal to cause it to impact an object moving in a straight line towards you?

With an enemy that actually dodges, you might have a point, but the reapers are sitting ducks in space. Extremely well protected ducks, but ducks nonetheless. It's like battle tactics and targeting technology haven't evolved a single inch since the days of shooting arrows from longbows.

Range in space doesn't exist a bow and arrow would have the same range as a spaceship cannon cause the is nothing to slow it down it just keeps going until it hits something so you don't want to fire when your about 10 minutes away from hitting the target because they will just move.

Elcarsh:

worldruler8:
no No NO, you make a mistake everyone makes. Yes, mass accelerators do have "unlimited" range, but we have two things we have to worry about. ONE, the target could have moved/turned around/went into FTL/started attacking us by the time the "bullet" was supposed to hit. With mass accelerators, don't think of it as "unlimited range", but "maximum effective range", which, with mass accelerators (I forgot how fast they fire, but I think I remember hearing .013c?) would have a distance of about several million miles. That might sound like a lot, but it really isn't. How bad is the time delay? If I was the distance the moon was from the Earth, which is 1.3 light seconds away (about 250,000 miles) it would take approximately 103 seconds. Now, the moon isn't moving much, it probably would hit (though the specific spot we fired at might be about 100km away from the actual impact point). Remember how they had to have the computer say "fire" before they did? Because they needed the computer to run relativistic computations, probability tests, and time delay computations, because if a human wanted to hit a target that was 1 million miles away, They would misinterpret where they should fire before the target.

The SECOND thing? well, they don't fire in straight lines. Now, yes, at that speed, the object would most certainly leave the orbit of the Sun, but it would still be in a hyperbolic orbit (as in, it would still curve, but it would leave the Sun). Now, try to do this. We have a Reaper, he's moving in a straight line, and he's 1.5 million miles away. You do the math on where he'd be (he's not changing speed, vectors, and he won't notice you) and you fire. And you miss, but not by much. You assumed it was a straight line. It's NOT. it's an orbit. Sorry if I came off as angry, I just hate when people misinterpret that. :(

Both of those things would really be answered by the same thing; don't they have targeting computers?

It's not like they invented the concept of launching a fast object at a target yesterday, we're talking about things that were developed thousands of years earlier and have been made more advanced ever since.

You remember the Apollo space program? Yeah, they had targeting computers to accurately calculate their course from the earth to the moon and back, with ridiculously small margins of error. They did that with computing power not much more advanced than a freaking abacus, relative to what we have now. Are you telling me the turians have nothing whatsoever more advanced than that when it comes to targeting? Are they really just flinging shit into space and hoping for the best?

We're asked to believe that the galactic communities can flip off Newton entirely with some magical substance that warps space-time, but they haven't been able to figure out how to make a computer that calculates where you need to fire a hunk of metal to cause it to impact an object moving in a straight line towards you?

With an enemy that actually dodges, you might have a point, but the reapers are sitting ducks in space. Extremely well protected ducks, but ducks nonetheless. It's like battle tactics and targeting technology haven't evolved a single inch since the days of shooting arrows from longbows.

Alright, you seem a bit more well versed than I thought. Still a few misconceptions, and I was speaking more in general, not in the ME universe. but let's get cracking.

You are absolutely right, targeting computers with an object that is, for the most part, predictable isn't that difficult. But ships aren't like planets, because they can change their position, speed, and vector independently from simple orbital mechanics. With the Apollo, they were REALLY damn lucky. Their computers were crashing as the Eagle was dropping, and when the Eagle landed, they had 30 seconds of fuel before they reached the "no return" zone. but the moon isn't going anywhere, and we were launching something that wasn't going at relativistic speeds, which makes things complicated. also, since Apollo was moving at a slow speed, and the Moon wasn't a Reaper, they could orbit, and, in essence, take as much time as they wanted. Now, the Moon is about 3000 miles across, a Reaper is about (just throwing a number out here) 1000 feet across. Now, yes, they have much more advanced targetting computers, but that doesn't change the fact that we're hitting a target that would appear as nothing more than a pixel if it were the same distance as the moon.

Now, the rest is just that, well, to put it mildly, the writers of ME do NOT know how space combat works. They don't understand that ships aren't flying like planes in the air, but more like hovercrafts on the ground, but in 3 dimensions, and everything is moving/orbiting, there is no sound, and explosions/fire appear more like globules of smoke/fire than hollywood shit. You know what series did the space combat right? The Halo books, believe it or not. I'd recommend reading them, the combat was less "pew pew lazor beams", and more strategic, to the point that a lowly human ship could destroy a Covenant ship. Play the game "Kerbal Space Program" (there is a free version that will be adequate) to get an understanding of how orbits work. It's not as simple as "moving straight". The computers would have to be holy advanced to know when to fire when an object is moving along its orbit, when you're also doing the same. As for the Reapers being idiots, well, that's just bad writing, and not knowing how space combat works.

Well if cannon is consistent, though it rarely is, and we accept that targeting algorithms and FTL navigations are similar, both trying to predict a point in time/space. It's eluded that it's quite a feat for Joker, one of the best pilots, to be only 1500 kilometers off his intended target. True that was coming through a relay, but much of the same principles apply. This would point to their modern targeting computers having at least some degree of effective range vs maximum range.

The range thing is kind of shit. I mean, even if the mass drivers are limited to a few million miles range by their targeting software, how come every battle we see in the game takes place within pissing range? They always fight within visual range, which is stupid.

"Screw tactics! Bring me in close enough to wag my dick at them! Then we fire!"

Good thing the reapers respect that rule too, or everyone would be fucked.

You have to assume the space combat scenes you see in cinematics aren't what is actually taking place, but are essentially translations of the actual events modified so that we can actually appreciate what is happening. If we showed it as it actually would be, it'd essentially be a fleet firing at a tiny speck of light and that speck of light firing back.

getoffmycloud:
Range in space doesn't exist a bow and arrow would have the same range as a spaceship cannon cause the is nothing to slow it down it just keeps going until it hits something so you don't want to fire when your about 10 minutes away from hitting the target because they will just move.

There is range and then there is effective range, while the shot will go forever in space, you can only accurately predict its impact on a moving target so far away when you have the assumption that the target will attempt to evade.

But yeah the action scenes in mass effect have always been pretty different than the fluff, in the first game instead of using rail guns on the sovereign they just shoot it with missiles, I don't recall a single rail gun looking shot, plus they all want to get as close as possible for some stupid reason.

We in modern times have been able to make an object propelled into space from earth, hit a comet. You know, those relatively small chunks of ice/rock orbiting the sun at speeds far exceeding the speed the reapers moved at? It took the probe more than a day, I believe, to reach the comet. Yet it still hit spot on.

Are you telling me that targeting systems in the ME universe are LESS advanced than what we currently have on earth? And don't tell me that the 'bullets' would have flown straight and didn't have ways to correct their trajectory. With slugs that big it's incredibly easy to tag on a few small engines that can make corrections. And 20 kilo's of mass (the weight of the slugs in earth gravity) is piss easy to correct even at really high speeds.

I guess space magic also made some people dumb...Or people were made to look dumb for the sake of artistic integrity.

mad825:
artistic integrity.

I literally cringed when I read those two words...

Well, as for the 6 months warning part, everyone was pretty much in denial, or else Shepard wouldn't have been grounded and stuck on Earth until the attack there. And it seems that way even after the Reapers attack, which is why everyone is so resilient to give up military forces.

Pretty much all of the stupid things that the organics did can you put down to them being in denial about the danger of the Reapers.

the council could, like, just say "fuck everything" and send in Yahgs to fight along Krogans
imagine that =P

Slycne:
Well if cannon is consistent, though it rarely is, and we accept that targeting algorithms and FTL navigations are similar, both trying to predict a point in time/space. It's eluded that it's quite a feat for Joker, one of the best pilots, to be only 1500 kilometers off his intended target. True that was coming through a relay, but much of the same principles apply. This would point to their modern targeting computers having at least some degree of effective range vs maximum range.

Do the same principles apply, though?

The mass accelerators seem to me to simply be big rail guns. They propel an object to quite a high velocity, and that's it.

The relays, though, I seem to recall work somehow by creating a corridoor some kind of space magic through which the ship can travel. It's not a case of the relay pushing the ship until it goes many times the speed of light, because that would just tear the ship into microscopic pieces.

And we're also talking about wildly different distances. When travelling with the relays, the ships are moving lightyears. There is quite the difference between a distance of a million kilometers and a distance of hundreds of trillions of kilometers.

I'm not expecting them to be able to aim over several lightyears, but surely they aren't firing at max range if they have to go in close enough to actually be rammed by a cuttlefish reaper?

PrinceOfShapeir:
You have to assume the space combat scenes you see in cinematics aren't what is actually taking place, but are essentially translations of the actual events modified so that we can actually appreciate what is happening. If we showed it as it actually would be, it'd essentially be a fleet firing at a tiny speck of light and that speck of light firing back.

Hmmm, no, I won't assume that. Why would we assume that what we see is just some imaginary envisioning of the already imaginary battle? There is nothing to suggest that what we see isn't what is happening.

If you allow for that line of reasoning, then you just open up a whole can of cosmic plot holes. Did that reaper that was damaged really become damaged, or was that just a flight of fancy? Who was it that made that little fictional, in the context of the game setting, representation of the battle? Did the Normandy ever really fly around up there before retreating?

No, I won't just assume that what was shown simply never happened, because there is no reason to believe that.

Elcarsh:
There's a reason you don't staff your diplomatic corps entirely with krogan;

I read most of your post (honestl), but this little snippet keeps popping into my head, I want to see the Krogan Diplomatic corps!

Off course they're diplomats! Look at how tiny their shotguns are...

Elcarsh:

First, let's look at the salarians. They are supposed to be the brains of the Dumbass community, but they are morons when it comes to strategy. They refuse to facilitate the curing of the genophage because they are afraid of what will happen in the future. Well, you short-lived lizards, if you don't get the support of the krogans, there won't be a future at all! You'll be absolutely shagged if that happens. Actively trying to sabotage the cure shows a magnificent lack of long-term thinking from the salarians

Actually, this shows the dominance of crippling long-term thinking, rather than the lack of it.

I want a cookie, but I don't want to get fat, so I won't eat the cookie. Long term thinking.
I want a cookie, om nom nom. Short term thinking.

I want to kill the reapers, but I don't want a race of insane warrior lizards to wrex my kid's face.

I want to kill the Reapers, CHECK OUT MY INSANE WARRIOR LIZARDS.

Elcarsh:

PrinceOfShapeir:
You have to assume the space combat scenes you see in cinematics aren't what is actually taking place, but are essentially translations of the actual events modified so that we can actually appreciate what is happening. If we showed it as it actually would be, it'd essentially be a fleet firing at a tiny speck of light and that speck of light firing back.

Hmmm, no, I won't assume that. Why would we assume that what we see is just some imaginary envisioning of the already imaginary battle? There is nothing to suggest that what we see isn't what is happening.

If you allow for that line of reasoning, then you just open up a whole can of cosmic plot holes. Did that reaper that was damaged really become damaged, or was that just a flight of fancy? Who was it that made that little fictional, in the context of the game setting, representation of the battle? Did the Normandy ever really fly around up there before retreating?

No, I won't just assume that what was shown simply never happened, because there is no reason to believe that.

You mean except logic and every single word of the codex?

I enjoyed reading that, and I haven't even played past the first Mass Effect (and I'm not going to, either). Thanks for going to the trouble of writing this.

People keep suggesting there wasn't time tom prepare. But sadly the game told us that the Asari have known the truth about the Reapers for thousands of years and were just keeping it secret so nobody would know where they got their own technology. This fails to explain why they hadn't done anything to defend their own planet with anything other than footsoldiers.

PrinceOfShapeir:
You mean except logic and every single word of the codex?

You must have some special edition of the game that I don't, because mine doesn't say a word about the space cutscenes being nonsense that never ever happens in the Mass Effect universe and are just pretty but irrelevant movies to distract you while the developer sleeps with your girlfriend or whatever.

There is no reason whatsoever to believe that those cutscenes are not what actually happens in the game universe. The sentiment is nonsensical.

But maybe the whole game never takes place in the ingame universe. Maybe whenever I nail a great headshot, it's actually a matter of someone completely different just cutting the guy's head off with a massive axe!

Yeah, let's go with that.

maninahat:
I enjoyed reading that, and I haven't even played past the first Mass Effect (and I'm not going to, either). Thanks for going to the trouble of writing this.

I'm glad you liked it. It's something I had been polishing for quite awhile.

Elcarsh:
snip

It's hard to say. The lore states that the mass relays simply keep a corridor of virtually zero mass space open between each other. The scene itself suggests that there is however some human/computer interaction. If the mass relay simply dumped you out at the exit then there would be nothing to praise. It's never fully explained.

Really though at the end of the day, while lore issues always bother me, if I want good hard sci-fi space combat there are some great book series out there. Most video games are going to side with visual spectacle over fully realized worlds. Is it helpful to call them on their BS? Sometimes. Is it going to change? Probably not.

Unsilenced:
The range thing is kind of shit. I mean, even if the mass drivers are limited to a few million miles range by their targeting software, how come every battle we see in the game takes place within pissing range? They always fight within visual range, which is stupid.

"Screw tactics! Bring me in close enough to wag my dick at them! Then we fire!"

Good thing the reapers respect that rule too, or everyone would be fucked.

Everyone follows the Master Space Tactician Shepard's advice for space combat.

Shepard:"Get in close and finish them off"

This is all true, but the story would've suffered if everyone simply followed Shepherd's orders immediately.

As far as the space combat goes, I'd have to say the Reapers acted exactly how a technologically superior force would've. Simply charge straight in, disrupting less organized forces and scattering less disciplined ones. As near as I can tell/remember, Reaper space forces were always outnumbered, so it was always in their best interest to turn a line dance into a tango. Add on top of that the fact the Reapers were never truly concerned with military wins, but rather with subsuming civilian populations. Hard to feel like you're doing the right thing keeping your distance when the people you signed up to protect are being Frakensteined into enemy ground troops.

I'm not sure if someone mention it before but...
Garrus took sovereign's laser and mounted it on the normandy. Said laser can one-shot-kill the collector's ship (which is a big ass ship). I'm guessing that it can also do some serious damage to a reaper.

The human alliance had the normandy for 6 months... WHY THE FUCK din't they build more reaper lazers and equiped every ship with at least one!
They could build the crucible in 4 months (?). The fucking crucible is half the citadels size! made of alien technology they didn't understand! And It even works!
There is just no excuse why didn't they build at least a couple of reapers in the time between sovereigns attack and the reaper invasion...

So yeah, the reapers where right. The other races were just doomed. If not destroyed by the reapers by an AI or anything with half a survival instinct.

Well, I remember according to the first game that Humans were really the first species of this generation to use combined arms tactics. That shows why when the other species are fighting, they usually suck at it. They're adapting poorly to new methods of combat.

As for the space battle, all I'm seeing is Bioware's attempt to one up Revenge of the Sith and failing. Those Everest Class Dreadnoughts fire rounds at relativistic speeds. You do not eyeball your shots. And yet, at a range of perhaps a thousand kilometers tops, they are missing Reapers and pretty much firebombing earth. At that range, it's no wonder the Reapers were tearing them apart, but why were they missing so badly?

In Revenge of the Sith, the reason it was such a close quarters engagement was because it was surprise attack. Droid ships exiting hyperspace were doing kamikaze attacks, smashing into other ships and forcing the Republic into close range fighting. It was a clusterfuck that just kept growing as the Open Circle Fleet arrived. There was a reason to get in close.

The Battle for Earth was the equivalent of fighting people with shotguns using sniper rifles when your noses are touching.

lets face it, everything in the universe of any game does a shitty job of staying alive if the player comes around lol

bluesession:
I'm not sure if someone mention it before but...
Garrus took sovereign's laser and mounted it on the normandy. Said laser can one-shot-kill the collector's ship (which is a big ass ship). I'm guessing that it can also do some serious damage to a reaper.

The human alliance had the normandy for 6 months... WHY THE FUCK din't they build more reaper lazers and equiped every ship with at least one!

I thought they did. The Dreadnought over Vancouver at the start of ME3 was charging a thanix cannon before the destroyer fucked it up.

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