Mass Effect 4

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darkewaffle

Diamond Member
Oct 7, 2005
8,152
1
81
Dude, there's zero of that in the vanilla ME3 game. Not even a slight hint. Nothing, nada. The catalyst kid came out of the left field and gave me three friggin' buttons to press!!! Game over! It's like an ending to a completely different game that I didn't play and by some strange error was put in ME3 at the very end.

You know what? I don't want to go back to this - fuck Bioware for their lies and huge slap in my face for the years I've spent in Mass Effect 1 and 2. And let's leave it at that, OK?
It's not nearly as fleshed out, no, but as you learn about AI and synthetic/organic conflicts and the scale/scope of the Reaper cycle throughout the series you can still make a lot of very logical deductions about the Catalyst when you meet it from the very base ME3 game.

It's evident that it is a synthetic (AI), it is older than an organic can imagine, the Catalyst has been around long enough to conclude that synthetic/organic coexistence is not possible, the Reapers have been following the Catalyst's instructions for much of that time, the Reapers are not necessarily the Catalyst's only solution and the Reapers do not simply 'kill everything' but only harvest those advanced enough to be at risk of producing a 'dangerous' synthetic. It doesn't tell the full story but certainly provides a framework for what the Catalyst is and why it exists.
 

Zenoth

Diamond Member
Jan 29, 2005
5,149
133
106
Well it's not just a "random AI" which is why I mentioned understanding the nature of the Catalyst is key - the Catalyst simply tries to find the most efficient method to accomplish it's directive from the Leviathans - preserve organic life.

The Leviathans observe that all the 'lesser' races follow basically the same path (which they presumably observe many times across the galaxy which they basically lord over) - organics advance to the point where machines gain intelligence/sentience, machines then start to question their existence/purpose/awareness, war ensues and the machines ('synthetics') exterminate the organics. Left unchecked they probably reason that one of these synthetic victors will either then exterminate all other organics to prevent competition/risk or simply multiply to the point where resources are so scarce that organics could never arise again.

To solve this the Leviathans create the Catalyst and task it with "preserve organic life" (essentially). Of course they consider themselves, the Leviathans, above the conflict. Such is the nature of complacency/arrogance - the Leviathan Sheperd encounters says something to the effect of "You cannot fathom being able to bend the galaxy to your very will."

So the Catalyst watches and learns for thousands (more?) of years. How to stop organics from creating a synthetic that will exterminate/outcompete organic life? It decides the most efficient method is to prevent the organics from creating such advanced synthetics in the first place. And from that the cycle is derived (which goes on for millions/billions of years - the whole scale of this process is important to recognize). The line of thinking sounds insane to organics (whom occupy but a single cycle and are concerned with little but themselves) but synthetics do not process information in that same way. To us it seems absurd to destroy organics to preserve them - to synthetics it's binary. The fact that X% of organic life remains and X > 0 makes it a success.

The Catalyst itself, as I recall, states something to the effect that the Reaper cycle was arrived at as the optimal process after many other iterations/attempts. Again, the time behind all this is important to remember. It's not as though the Catalyst was created and it immediately started building a Reaper to begin the cycles. Reapers are much 'younger' than the Catalyst.

As for machines v organics it's not necessarily a matter of machines 'rising up'. They likely could/did in some instances (you could probably consider the Catalyst targeting the Leviathans as an instance of it) but as seen in the Quarian/Geth conflict as soon as the geth started becoming aware of their own existence and asking questions to the Quarians about it it was the Quarians who began the conflict (or that's how it seems during the Geth sequence of ME3 at any rate). The premise here is not so much how but rather when - and in the scope of the ME3 universe it is basically given fact that organics will advance and will create synthetics and will eventually go to war with them - regardless of whether or not you actually agree with that premise.
Yeah...

Except none of that ever made any sense to early adopters of the game, since the Extended Cut and the Leviathan DLC both didn't exist for months following the game's release. I've been one of the unfortunate fish who bit the bait of Day One purchase.

I completed the game I believe three or four days after that. Under 'vanilla' condition the game's ending, the sudden (and literal) out of the blue apparition of the Starkid (Hint: You don't introduce a new character/entity with such an apparent major role in a franchise/universe during the last five minutes of the last installment of a trilogy) and the absolute rubbish of nonsense blahbling that comes out of his mouth was nothing more than material for pure confusion and a raw punch to the players' gut. There was absolutely nothing "fitting" with the context nor the Mass Effect's universe as a whole from the moment Shepard gets up that magic elevator up to the moment the credits start rolling on-screen.

And, to top it all off EA/BioWare decided that instead of writing down a farewell / "thank you for playing and staying with us all that time" message to their fans after the credits they were content to just play the cold and heartless businessmen card by popping-up a post-credits window that essentially said " If you want to continue Shepard's journey don't forget to give us more of your hard-earned money for the future DLCs! " (they actually changed that post-credit message with the Extended Cut, well no shit, the original was more than an insult; I for one felt like I wanted to throw up when I read that especially after I had just witnessed that impossibly-stupid ending that played just five minutes prior).

Both Leviathan and the Extended Cut changed the ending to such an extent that it cannot possibly be argued that they didn't have to be part of the released product to start with. It should be obvious that Mass Effect 3's Leviathan DLC and the Extended Cut releases WERE definitely both such a case as "it should have been in the final game at release". No one sane of mind watching the vanilla endings and then watching them again after playing Leviathan and seeing the changed epilogue with the Extended Cut would ever be able to deny that.

In my own case all I remember after my SINGLE playthrough is me going up that elevator, having a completely pointless "conversation" with Space Magic (it really wasn't, more like me just listening and just nodding and asking some questions and just my Shepard going "Oh? Oh ok I see") and finally taking a decision out of complete confusion, not sure what to do, where to go (which color to pick up and why) walking towards the so-called blue "Control" ending (which I wasn't aware of, of course, being my FIRST time going through the ending) and seeing my five-years old Shepard with whom I bonded (I.E. my original ME1 canon Shepard) getting electrocuted to death on-screen until there's literally nothing left of her, with me staring at the screen entirely numb not even understanding what the fuck just happened, with a combination of internal emotions that I can simply describe as receiving a baseball bat hit right in the stomach... concluding the whole thing with that "let's buy more DLCs please" message after the credits rolled.

THAT is how I remember ME3, and I won't ever change that by giving them more money for that specific product. That's why I never bothered re-playing the game with the free Extended Cut, never bought a single DLC and never took the time to even just freely watch footage of the Citadel DLC on YouTube. I completely ignored everything regarding the campaign ever since I finished it and I don't regret it one bit, since in MY case I feel that both EA and BioWare (ME3's team, more specifically) completely deserved and well-earned the entire backlash that followed, including gamers like me whom on individual basis decided that the ultimate best way to complain about it was to close my wallet on their face.

With all this said, I am at the very least curious about Andromeda due to one major reason, and that is because the team behind it is the same one responsible for ME3's Multiplayer (which was a separate team from the one doing the campaign portion of the game). And since I actually ADORE the multi-player part of ME3 (I actually genuinely do, having played for more than a thousand hours) I do let myself being comforted by hope, if anything.
 
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irishScott

Lifer
Oct 10, 2006
21,568
3
0
I think leaving the Reapers simply as enigmatic threats given nothing more than the cover of "You can't understand us" would be a much lazier copout lol.

That's the thing though, Reapers aren't characters (at least I don't imagine them that way - Sovereign is not a person/being. It's simply the name of the ship [unit] inhabited by a shard of the Catalyst AI which is what I think drives all Reapers). Reapers are... a system. They don't have a motivation, they simply have instructions. They don't have emotions, they don't hold grudges, they don't 'want' anything. Which in a way encapsulates exactly why their methods are in fact beyond the comprehension of organics - that completely alternate method of decision making.

I don't think I had a problem with the ending because ultimately the ending is "simply" the conclusion of the war/Harvest - it's how organics [do not] survive the Reapers. Many of the decisions you make are tremendously important - but in ways that are irrelevant/tertiary to the war. The Rachni, the Shroud, the Geth, Ashley/Kaiden, the Suicide Mission and more - these are all crucial events in their own way but realistically, short of "Oh thank god the Krogans are our friends they just unearthed an ancient reaper-hacking-supercomputer on Tuchanka" (which would be a terrible piece of storytelling) the net effect they have on the war would be, at best, more bodies to throw at the reapers. It's just not going to make a difference - all along we pretty much knew that success hinged on 'whatever' the Crucible did. Everything else was just to try to stave off defeat until it was able to be activated and hope for the best.

As for post-war, I never felt like it needed a bunch of explicit explanation really. In the near future the consequences of how you played the games should be pretty obvious/logically deduced (and considered at the time) but projecting further than that I think impinges on the player's ability to draw their own conclusions and use their imagination to see the universe in the way they would personally want.
I think leaving them as enigmatic makes them that much more threatening. It implies that even if they did explain the human mind wouldn't be capable of comprehending them, which is inherently freaky. To do it right wouldn't be lazy either, it would take some subtle character development while always leaving a giant bulk of unknown. As it stands Bioware pussified the reapers the same way Voyager pussified the Borg.

As for choices not making a difference, and the story being how organics do not survive the reapers, then why are the first two chapters all about organics surpassing impossible
odds in order to survive the reapers? To switch themes in the third arc and say "haha, just kidding. You thought you were going to save the galaxy from the reapers? Dumb shits." is just bad storytelling and jars the theme for no reason. I'll grant that, say, allying with the Krogan or not shouldn't be the deciding factor, but it should have had a significant influence on the final battle at least, as opposed to just a number of battle points and Wrex either being there or some generic Krogan being in his place. In addition, decisions like choosing to save the council or not in the first game should, say, make it easier or harder in general to get allies in the third game. It makes sense that if Humanity shoved it's way in after the council died other nations would be more reluctant to ally. On the flip side perhaps humanity is more powerful/built-up as a result. Nothing of the sort was in the game. That decision changed a few conversations and characters.

There are also codex entries that state the Turians were able to take out Reaper dreadnoughts through conventional means. That makes a BIG difference even if the final battle is still relatively hopeless in its final outcome. It also goes back to my point of pussifying the Reapers. In earlier games it was stated that Reapers could not be defeated by conventional means, and indeed it's only Shepard's defeat of the Sovereign/AI corpse in the first game that shocks Sovereign into lowering its shields and permits salvation.

For post-war, the options weren't left to the imagination, they were severely cut off by the writers. The Mass Relays are completely destroyed (prior to the revised ending DLC), which means we have a devastated Earth (and other planets), all completely isolated and basically eating themselves as they adapt to isolation. Oh and Shepard's surviving crew gets stranded on some random planet, doomed to start an incestuous new world ala Adam and Eve no doubt. That's what happens regardless of the ending you chose. Sure you can imagine/contrive anything you like to make it a little brighter, but that's true with any ending. As it was you fight for three games to stop, then win the apocalypse... only to see all that effort pissed away. Sure the reapers are gone, but what's left is practically just as bad.
 
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irishScott

Lifer
Oct 10, 2006
21,568
3
0
Yeah...

Except none of that ever made any sense to early adopters of the game, since the Extended Cut and the Leviathan DLC both didn't exist for months following the game's release. I've been one of the unfortunate fish who bit the bait of Day One purchase.

I completed the game I believe three or four days after that. Under 'vanilla' condition the game's ending, the sudden (and literal) out of the blue apparition of the Starkid (Hint: You don't introduce a new character/entity with such an apparent major role in a franchise/universe during the last five minutes of the last installment of a trilogy) and the absolute rubbish of nonsense blahbling that comes out of his mouth was nothing more than material for pure confusion and a raw punch to the players' gut. There was absolutely nothing "fitting" with the context nor the Mass Effect's universe as a whole from the moment Shepard gets up that magic elevator up to the moment the credits start rolling on-screen.

And, to top it all off EA/BioWare decided that instead of writing down a farewell / "thank you for playing and staying with us all that time" message to their fans after the credits they were content to just play the cold and heartless businessmen card by popping-up a post-credits window that essentially said " If you want to continue Shepard's journey don't forget to give us more of your hard-earned money for the future DLCs! " (they actually changed that post-credit message with the Extended Cut, well no shit, the original was more than an insult; I for one felt like I wanted to throw up when I read that especially after I had just witnessed that impossibly-stupid ending that played just five minutes prior).

Both Leviathan and the Extended Cut changed the ending to such an extent that it cannot possibly be argued that they didn't have to be part of the released product to start with. It should be obvious that Mass Effect 3's Leviathan DLC and the Extended Cut releases WERE definitely both such a case as "it should have been in the final game at release". No one sane of mind watching the vanilla endings and then watching them again after playing Leviathan and seeing the changed epilogue with the Extended Cut would ever be able to deny that.

In my own case all I remember after my SINGLE playthrough is me going up that elevator, having a completely pointless "conversation" with Space Magic (it really wasn't, more like me just listening and just nodding and asking some questions and just my Shepard going "Oh? Oh ok I see") and finally taking a decision out of complete confusion, not sure what to do, where to go (which color to pick up and why) walking towards the so-called blue "Control" ending (which I wasn't aware of, of course, being my FIRST time going through the ending) and seeing my five-years old Shepard with whom I bonded (I.E. my original ME1 canon Shepard) getting electrocuted to death on-screen until there's literally nothing left of her, with me staring at the screen entirely numb not even understanding what the fuck just happened, with a combination of internal emotions that I can simply describe as receiving a baseball bat hit right in the stomach... concluding the whole thing with that "let's buy more DLCs please" message after the credits rolled.

THAT is how I remember ME3, and I won't ever change that by giving them more money for that specific product. That's why I never bothered re-playing the game with the free Extended Cut, never bought a single DLC and never took the time to even just freely watch footage of the Citadel DLC on YouTube. I completely ignored everything regarding the campaign ever since I finished it and I don't regret it one bit, since in MY case I feel that both EA and BioWare (ME3's team, more specifically) completely deserved and well-earned the entire backlash that followed, including gamers like me whom on individual basis decided that the ultimate best way to complain about it was to close my wallet on their face.

With all this said, I am at the very least curious about Andromeda due to one major reason, and that is because the team behind it is the same one responsible for ME3's Multiplayer (which was a separate team from the one doing the campaign portion of the game). And since I actually ADORE the multi-player part of ME3 (I actually genuinely do, having played for more than a thousand hours) I do let myself being comforted by hope, if anything.
This. The Leviathan and revised ending DLC are just that, revised after the fact to repair a broken story. The ending DLC in particular was in direct response to fan outcry. I actually didn't buy the Leviathin DLC on principle the original ending was so shitty.

I can thank Mass Effect 3 for getting me off pre-orders. I'll never be burned that way again.
 
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Sabrewings

Golden Member
Jun 27, 2015
1,942
35
51
I think leaving them as enigmatic makes them that much more threatening. It implies that even if they did explain the human mind wouldn't be capable of comprehending them, which is inherently freaky. To do it right wouldn't be lazy either, it would take some subtle character development while always leaving a giant bulk of unknown. As it stands Bioware pussified the reapers the same way Voyager pussified the Borg.
In simpler terms, "Don't show the monster behind the mask."

What's unknown is scarier than known. Kinda like the Cylons in the BSG remake.
 

MeldarthX

Golden Member
May 8, 2010
1,026
0
76
I think leaving the Reapers simply as enigmatic threats given nothing more than the cover of "You can't understand us" would be a much lazier copout lol.

That's the thing though, Reapers aren't characters (at least I don't imagine them that way - Sovereign is not a person/being. It's simply the name of the ship [unit] inhabited by a shard of the Catalyst AI which is what I think drives all Reapers). Reapers are... a system. They don't have a motivation, they simply have instructions. They don't have emotions, they don't hold grudges, they don't 'want' anything. Which in a way encapsulates exactly why their methods are in fact beyond the comprehension of organics - that completely alternate method of decision making.

I don't think I had a problem with the ending because ultimately the ending is "simply" the conclusion of the war/Harvest - it's how organics [do not] survive the Reapers. Many of the decisions you make are tremendously important - but in ways that are irrelevant/tertiary to the war. The Rachni, the Shroud, the Geth, Ashley/Kaiden, the Suicide Mission and more - these are all crucial events in their own way but realistically, short of "Oh thank god the Krogans are our friends they just unearthed an ancient reaper-hacking-supercomputer on Tuchanka" (which would be a terrible piece of storytelling) the net effect they have on the war would be, at best, more bodies to throw at the reapers. It's just not going to make a difference - all along we pretty much knew that success hinged on 'whatever' the Crucible did. Everything else was just to try to stave off defeat until it was able to be activated and hope for the best.

As for post-war, I never felt like it needed a bunch of explicit explanation really. In the near future the consequences of how you played the games should be pretty obvious/logically deduced (and considered at the time) but projecting further than that I think impinges on the player's ability to draw their own conclusions and use their imagination to see the universe in the way they would personally want.

Sep there was no star child original or Lev; it was about stopping dark matter. You know all the stuff from the first two damn games. Second; in the release of ME3 - as someone pointed out there was no foreshadowing of the starchild at all. NONE -

Patrick who took over from Casey as director and head writer had the team change a couple of the DLCs to fix all the issues Casey created with this POS ending. leviathan; the citadel - weren't originally planned. Look at what Patrick said when he took over; that they would fix the issues created by the ending. Hell Patrick was the lead writer on Extended Cut; but Casey was still project lead is why if you refuse you get the middle finger.

Leviathan DLC was created to give the damn starchild at least some foreshadowing *far too late though* The Citadel was created for the fans to placate the utter crap ending as most look at that as the real ending.

The ending was utter crap; it took one of the best Scifi series in last 15+ years and nearly killed it. If it was so great; why did Casey get removed as lead writer and project director for ME3 and the dlc after that. You can see people here still pissed about it; that includes me.

One of the best damn things you can do with ME3 now is mod it; which also means modding out the damn starchild. If you run with the DLC; and that mod the damn game makes a hell of a lot more sense than it does with the starchild. That says it all right there. Go watch the mod on youtube.

Here's another fun fact; Casey doesn't like Drew - in fact really doesn't like Drew and why he reconned or ignored almost everything from the first two games when it came to the Reapers in the 3rd game.
 

ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
14,946
1,077
126
Sep there was no star child original or Lev; it was about stopping dark matter. You know all the stuff from the first two damn games. Second; in the release of ME3 - as someone pointed out there was no foreshadowing of the starchild at all. NONE -

Patrick who took over from Casey as director and head writer had the team change a couple of the DLCs to fix all the issues Casey created with this POS ending. leviathan; the citadel - weren't originally planned. Look at what Patrick said when he took over; that they would fix the issues created by the ending. Hell Patrick was the lead writer on Extended Cut; but Casey was still project lead is why if you refuse you get the middle finger.

Leviathan DLC was created to give the damn starchild at least some foreshadowing *far too late though* The Citadel was created for the fans to placate the utter crap ending as most look at that as the real ending.

The ending was utter crap; it took one of the best Scifi series in last 15+ years and nearly killed it. If it was so great; why did Casey get removed as lead writer and project director for ME3 and the dlc after that. You can see people here still pissed about it; that includes me.

One of the best damn things you can do with ME3 now is mod it; which also means modding out the damn starchild. If you run with the DLC; and that mod the damn game makes a hell of a lot more sense than it does with the starchild. That says it all right there. Go watch the mod on youtube.

Here's another fun fact; Casey doesn't like Drew - in fact really doesn't like Drew and why he reconned or ignored almost everything from the first two games when it came to the Reapers in the 3rd game.
I never played 3 and don't plan to, but I've always wondered. It is fairly obvious they boffed the ending, but what is odd is no one has ever came out and tried to explain why the ending was what it was, or even tried to justify it. To me, the idea of something even bigger than the reapers that comes out of left field would have set the game up for something even bigger if done right, but that doesn't seem to be the direction they were going (at least until the outcry).

You can't tell me the people who tested the game weren't also going 'wtf is this?'. It had to have come up before it came out, but they have been mum on the subject as far as I know.
 

Dahak

Diamond Member
Mar 2, 2000
3,752
25
91
I never played 3 and don't plan to, but I've always wondered. It is fairly obvious they boffed the ending, but what is odd is no one has ever came out and tried to explain why the ending was what it was, or even tried to justify it.
You mean from a developer or end user?.
The developer, BW/Casey pretty much had said that this is the ending, dont like it too bad..
paraphrasing of course

For me 3 was good up until the last ~10 min as everyone else has stated,


Now to get the is back on track some what, I am still excited about ME4 but will have to wait until more info is out to properly judge
 

ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
14,946
1,077
126
You mean from a developer or end user?.
The developer, BW/Casey pretty much had said that this is the ending, dont like it too bad..
paraphrasing of course

For me 3 was good up until the last ~10 min as everyone else has stated,


Now to get the is back on track some what, I am still excited about ME4 but will have to wait until more info is out to properly judge
The Dev, and yea, I get that he said that, but he didn't expand on it, which leads me to believe even he didn't really know what was going on. Generally storylines that are confusing can be explained by the person who created them, even if he would say it was purposely obtuse.
 

darkewaffle

Diamond Member
Oct 7, 2005
8,152
1
81
Sep there was no star child original or Lev; it was about stopping dark matter. You know all the stuff from the first two damn games. Second; in the release of ME3 - as someone pointed out there was no foreshadowing of the starchild at all. NONE -
I remember you mentioning this dark matter stuff before, aside from maybe having an impact on the death/decay of the Quarian star I legitimately recall no mention of it being of any relevance to the Reapers. I don't think there's really support for that.

As for the foreshadowing, what more do you need to know aside from the fact the Reapers are machines? As soon as that is revealed (which is extremely early) it should be an immediate tipoff that the Reapers may be nothing more than proxies/vessels for some central power or intelligence. "Remote control" by a 'man behind the curtain' is a prevalent theme throughout the series: the Illusive Man, the Shadow Broker, the Collector General all reinforce the concept. There's also more information throughout the series in how you interact with EDI/Legion, the distinction between AI and VI and the Geth 'hivemind' which all give you insight into how synthetics work, behave and process in the ME universe.

Except none of that ever made any sense to early adopters of the game, since the Extended Cut and the Leviathan DLC both didn't exist for months following the game's release.
Not to be rude, but honestly what game were they playing then? I mean I know there's no conversation where Mordin says "Reapers are machines. Perhaps these machines are not individuals as interacting with Sovereign would have led you to believe but rather the agents of one individual..." but it really doesn't seem like (and imo wasn't) a particularly difficult conclusion to come to (or even just consider) based on the basic information presented.

As for choices not making a difference, and the story being how organics do not survive the reapers, then why are the first two chapters all about organics surpassing impossible odds in order to survive the reapers?
It depends how you felt about it I suppose. I thought the games gave off the impression that "We don't stand a chance on our own" and destroying Sovereign was really a product more of luck than anything else. In 1/2 there's not really much evidence of us being able to hold our own against true Reapers (Collectors are "minions") and in 3 it's basically all about "Prolong the war until the Crucible can be completed and by god we better hope this works or we are so dead".

For post-war, the options weren't left to the imagination, they were severely cut off by the writers. The Mass Relays are completely destroyed (prior to the revised ending DLC), which means we have a devastated Earth (and other planets), all completely isolated and basically eating themselves as they adapt to isolation. Oh and Shepard's surviving crew gets stranded on some random planet, doomed to start an incestuous new world ala Adam and Eve no doubt. That's what happens regardless of the ending you chose. Sure you can imagine/contrive anything you like to make it a little brighter, but that's true with any ending. As it was you fight for three games to stop, then win the apocalypse... only to see all that effort pissed away. Sure the reapers are gone, but what's left is practically just as bad.
While they are destroyed it's only irreparable in 1/3 scenarios - and in that case you are making that decision knowing full well what will happen. Otherwise Shepherd has either taken control of the reapers and can choose to repair/rebuild them (not explicitly stated originally but logical) or the Reapers are now members of the "synthganic" hybrid race and I think can reasonably be relied upon to repair the Relays (again not explicitly stated - just following logic). Life will go on in more isolated instances but it's not like they're being blown back to the stoneage unless you go with destruction (so it sounds at least).

I think your impression of how a war ends and why it's fought is unrealistic and missing the bigger picture. The effort isn't "pissed away" because life gets harder - obtaining peace has significant collateral damage. It's not like WWII ends and Germany looks like it does today overnight or England goes back to normal just because it was 'on the winning team' - they took losses. A lot of them. It's understood that you have to rebuild and that life will be different. But feigning that life without mass relays is almost as bad as eradication is absurd.
 

irishScott

Lifer
Oct 10, 2006
21,568
3
0
It depends how you felt about it I suppose. I thought the games gave off the impression that "We don't stand a chance on our own" and destroying Sovereign was really a product more of luck than anything else. In 1/2 there's not really much evidence of us being able to hold our own against true Reapers (Collectors are "minions") and in 3 it's basically all about "Prolong the war until the Crucible can be completed and by god we better hope this works or we are so dead".
Well from where I sit I played 2.99/3 games of Stargate SG-1 only to veer sharply into a bad episode of Battlestar Galactica in the last .01. I wasn't expecting a triumphant ride into the sunset, but I at least expected a non-contrived ending that made sense in the context of the previous games and made use of at least some of my previous choices. Instead the writers tacked-on Star Kid to provide 3 wannabe "deep" endings that were never explored in the games and made no sense.

While they are destroyed it's only irreparable in 1/3 scenarios - and in that case you are making that decision knowing full well what will happen. Otherwise Shepherd has either taken control of the reapers and can choose to repair/rebuild them (not explicitly stated originally but logical) or the Reapers are now members of the "synthganic" hybrid race and I think can reasonably be relied upon to repair the Relays (again not explicitly stated - just following logic). Life will go on in more isolated instances but it's not like they're being blown back to the stoneage unless you go with destruction (so it sounds at least).

I think your impression of how a war ends and why it's fought is unrealistic and missing the bigger picture. The effort isn't "pissed away" because life gets harder - obtaining peace has significant collateral damage. It's not like WWII ends and Germany looks like it does today overnight or England goes back to normal just because it was 'on the winning team' - they took losses. A lot of them. It's understood that you have to rebuild and that life will be different. But feigning that life without mass relays is almost as bad as eradication is absurd.
Well so long as we're contriving logical outcomes, we have no idea of the precise effects of control or synergy. It's equally logical that the reapers will need centuries or millennia to rebuild the mass relays, time isn't a factor for them, and that synthesis just changes biology but not consciousness. Synthesis being the "final evolution of life", as the catalysts states, implies that physiology is unified and stagnant at that stage, which means life will have exhausted the laws of physics pertaining to biology. That has HUGE implications that are not even touched, let alone explored. Like I said, tacked on.

Both endings are given such token explanations as to be meaningless. They're literally summed up in 5 minutes of vague dialog, completely ignoring all other themes or decisions in the game. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6kZuSHpWwo

More fundamentally, Star Kid's rationalization that synthetic life invariably kills organic life is particularly undermined if you made peace between the Geth and the Quarians. Why should we assume that this Catalyst knows everything? Because it's ancient and says it knows how things will turn out? For all we know it's just a malfunctioning computer that's been on an endless loop for millenia, it sure sounds like it. It even admits that the addition of the crucible has opened new possibilities it hadn't considered. It also states "the created always rebel against the creators." If that's true, then what happens when the Reapers rebel against the Catalyst? They're sentient. Why are you so quick to believe the Catalyst, let alone trust it?

But no, we don't even get a chance to question and explore any of the endings (which, if these were the pre-planned endings, should have been the major point of all 3 games). And if we chose the one ending that makes sense IMO (destruction), the Mass relays get destroyed without warning after establishing that no present species has the knowledge, let alone the resources given the devastation, to build one. Which is a big middle finger to any player who refuses to drink the writers' tacked-on koolaid.

As for post-war, we're talking about a civilization dependent on galactic trade. Imagine if today we just blew up every airplane and ship at once after fighting a war that left most of our major cities looking like moonscapes and infrastructure utterly destroyed. Imagine if at the end of WWII we nuked every city in Japan and then blockaded it, denying all international aid. That's beyond "life will be different", it's a second apocalypse unto itself. I think you're woefully underestimating the importance of the relays, it underpins the entire galactic economy down to basic needs.
 
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Aristotelian

Golden Member
Jan 30, 2010
1,246
11
76
This. The Leviathan and revised ending DLC are just that, revised after the fact to repair a broken story. The ending DLC in particular was in direct response to fan outcry. I actually didn't buy the Leviathin DLC on principle the original ending was so shitty.

I can thank Mass Effect 3 for getting me off pre-orders. I'll never be burned that way again.
You're making an inference from fact (that an extended cut was provided) to value (that it was provided solely to fix a broken story). I think that the ending changes were indeed a direct response to fan outcry, and - to me - this was the biggest mistake they made. Lots of people were pissed off at the Sopranos ending, and the writers didn't go back and write another one to pacify the masses.

I thought that ME3, including its ending, was a masterpiece, even before the DLC/extended cut. Decisions 'mattered enough' to me; the entire feel of the game, including the ending, was bleak - as it should have been. The music was fantastic. And the real reason - to me - why people were so upset at the ending is that, in a way, your Shepherd (who could do and achieve everything) was boxed into an unhappy ending - except if you achieved the 'breath' moment, which gave some of us hope that he was still alive.

I'm with darkwaffle on this one, in general. And - for me - Mass Effect is the greatest gaming franchise of all time - far surpassing Dragon Age after II and Inquisition, and even better than the Witcher series on the whole, to me.

I'm looking forward to seeing where they take this - I mean, I've rarely seen a gaming franchise benefit from such vitriol. Even with the preview of the game where the N7 flashed - huge amounts of complaining came about questioning the lore etc. for a preview. An art form for me generates an emotive response - good or bad, and I frankly can't wait for the next installment.
 

irishScott

Lifer
Oct 10, 2006
21,568
3
0
You're making an inference from fact (that an extended cut was provided) to value (that it was provided solely to fix a broken story). I think that the ending changes were indeed a direct response to fan outcry, and - to me - this was the biggest mistake they made. Lots of people were pissed off at the Sopranos ending, and the writers didn't go back and write another one to pacify the masses.

I thought that ME3, including its ending, was a masterpiece, even before the DLC/extended cut. Decisions 'mattered enough' to me; the entire feel of the game, including the ending, was bleak - as it should have been. The music was fantastic. And the real reason - to me - why people were so upset at the ending is that, in a way, your Shepherd (who could do and achieve everything) was boxed into an unhappy ending - except if you achieved the 'breath' moment, which gave some of us hope that he was still alive.

I'm with darkwaffle on this one, in general. And - for me - Mass Effect is the greatest gaming franchise of all time - far surpassing Dragon Age after II and Inquisition, and even better than the Witcher series on the whole, to me.

I'm looking forward to seeing where they take this - I mean, I've rarely seen a gaming franchise benefit from such vitriol. Even with the preview of the game where the N7 flashed - huge amounts of complaining came about questioning the lore etc. for a preview. An art form for me generates an emotive response - good or bad, and I frankly can't wait for the next installment.
Well I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree about the ending. I thoroughly enjoyed ME3 up until the very end, which I still maintain is one of the worst endings ever written. I'd seriously rather the game had just cut to credits after Shepard goes up the light-beam, and that's not because the ending is "sad", it's because it's not sad. It doesn't have enough substance to be sad, bleak, or any other meaningful emotion beyond a very superficial level. It's like eating a rich 6 course meal and for dessert they give you a single licorice-flavored jelly bean. Just because something is "bleak" and "vague" and "artsy" doesn't mean it's quality writing or storytelling.

Honestly I think the writers had an ego crises. They had 2.99 games of solid space opera and then decided somewhere in ME3's development that they were above that, and wanted to shift gears and go "deeper", and they failed utterly. That's why we got all the whining about "artistic integrity".

I have all the respect in the world for games that want to plunge into literary depths, but the games that do it right are designed that way from the ground up, where Mass Effect clearly wasn't. It was a character-based space opera from the get-go. There's a lot you can do with that, but you don't try to turn it into an art-house film on the last page.
 
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Artorias

Golden Member
Feb 8, 2014
1,918
1,192
136
Well I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree about the ending. I thoroughly enjoyed ME3 up until the very end, which I still maintain is one of the worst endings ever written. I'd seriously rather the game had just cut to credits after Shepard goes up the light-beam, and that's not because the ending is "sad", it's because it's not sad. It doesn't have enough substance to be sad, bleak, or any other meaningful emotion beyond a very superficial level. It's like eating a rich 6 course meal and for dessert they give you a single licorice-flavored jelly bean. Just because something is "bleak" and "vague" and "artsy" doesn't mean it's quality writing or storytelling.

Honestly I think the writers had an ego crises. They had 2.99 games of solid space opera and then decided somewhere in ME3's development that they were above that, and wanted to shift gears and go "deeper", and they failed utterly. That's why we got all the whining about "artistic integrity".

I have all the respect in the world for games that want to plunge into literary depths, but the games that do it right are designed that way from the ground up, where Mass Effect clearly wasn't. It was a character-based space opera from the get-go. There's a lot you can do with that, but you don't try to turn it into an art-house film on the last page.
More like 1.5, ME2 was completely pointless in the grand scheme of things and didn't need exist considering nothing happens during the game. *Spoilers for Endgame ME2*,
like can we not forgot about that stupid Terminator boss, that literally was the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen and the justification was piss poor.
The only redeeming quality about ME2 was the character development, and streamlined combat. The Illusive mas was a joke and working for Cerberus was even more idiotic.
 

darkewaffle

Diamond Member
Oct 7, 2005
8,152
1
81
Well so long as we're contriving logical outcomes, we have no idea of the precise effects of control or synergy. It's equally logical that the reapers will need centuries or millennia to rebuild the mass relays, time isn't a factor for them, and that synthesis just changes biology but not consciousness. Synthesis being the "final evolution of life", as the catalysts states, implies that physiology is unified and stagnant at that stage, which means life will have exhausted the laws of physics pertaining to biology. That has HUGE implications that are not even touched, let alone explored. Like I said, tacked on.
That's precisely the point though, the ending is a foundation upon which we can project our own ideas - it's not there to expound on every possible outcome and ripple. The implications and consequences of a given situation are different under each person's interpretation (and their Shepherd's actions and intentions). You and I each take it to mean different things and conclude different things. Attempting to create an ending that encompassed everything would torch that (which I think is a bad thing) and be monumentally complicated and long. Not to mention doing something like that has a tendency to create a "canon" ending which can be a difficult precedent to work around moving forward - even with such an open-ended finale we're still seeing ME4 attempt to distance itself from 1-3 so that it's not hemmed in by them.

More fundamentally, Star Kid's rationalization that synthetic life invariably kills organic life is particularly undermined if you made peace between the Geth and the Quarians. Why should we assume that this Catalyst knows everything? Because it's ancient and says it knows how things will turn out? For all we know it's just a malfunctioning computer that's been on an endless loop for millenia, it sure sounds like it. It even admits that the addition of the crucible has opened new possibilities it hadn't considered. It also states "the created always rebel against the creators." If that's true, then what happens when the Reapers rebel against the Catalyst? They're sentient. Why are you so quick to believe the Catalyst, let alone trust it?
AI's cannot rationalize. It's simply a conclusion it came to which it claims is supported by observation (over the course of 'countless' Reaper cycles and whatever it observed pre-Reapers as well). It could just be a front but most of the information in the game corroborates the Catalyst's story in terms of synthetic/organic relations and the length of the Reaper's/Catalyst's existence.

The reconciliation between Geth and Quarian is promising - to "us". But again the scale of the Catalyst's existence needs to be taken into consideration. Is one conflict reaching peace out of how many (presumably) hundreds or thousands of failures to do so really statistically significant? It's an outlier. Not to mention the simple fact they were at war to begin with and the extraordinary circumstances required to reach peace weakens the case even more. Further I think the Catalyst would likely attribute it more to Shepherd than anything else - Shepherd him/herself is an anomaly which has made this harvest cycle different. Shepherd is perceived as a threat because he/she seemingly wields the power/influence to de-rail expected results.

I agree that 'synthetic v organic' is really just an extension of 'creator vs created' (or controller vs controlled) conflicts. And that's actually part of the reason I don't think the reapers (eg: Sovereign, Harbinger) are actually sentient individuals. I think the Catalyst recognizes the threat Reapers could pose to it (or perhaps more appropriately: the threat it could pose to the Catalyst's 'mission') if they were capable of questioning why they serve the Catalyst - and would construct/program them in such a way that would preclude that possibility. Because of that I think the Reapers are simply programmed to seem sentient to make them more menacing/able to interact with the organics if needed. But they're actually driven by a "VI" of sorts or maybe some sort of cut-down version of the Catalyst itself. Or maybe the Catalyst has direct control of all of them all at once - probably not - but it could be possible. Regardless, I don't think the Reapers are self-aware.

As for post-war, we're talking about a civilization dependent on galactic trade. Imagine if today we just blew up every airplane and ship at once after fighting a war that left most of our major cities looking like moonscapes and infrastructure utterly destroyed. Imagine if at the end of WWII we nuked every city in Japan and then blockaded it, denying all international aid. That's beyond "life will be different", it's a second apocalypse unto itself. I think you're woefully underestimating the importance of the relays, it underpins the entire galactic economy down to basic needs.
Fair points, though I don't know that the cities are quite so decimated. The industrial areas, iirc, were targeted quickly and early but when you fight on inhabited planets throughout the game (you could also maybe take some of the combat maps from multiplayer into consideration) most of them show quite a bit of infrastructure/buildings still intact - probably residential.

Travel between multiple solar systems would probably still be very slow without the Relays but at some point the Relays and Citadel were discovered without actually using them first so it's not as though travel beyond one's own solar system is out of the question entirely. Moreso it's just much less efficient. I don't think we know enough about Thessia/Palaven/Salarian homeworld to really know how they'd fare but on Earth things would be difficult no doubt. While Earth was experiencing a period of revitalization (prior to the invasion) due to injections of resources and technology from colonies/trade thosewould now be mostly cutoff. But it's also already received enough of them to at least start repairing damage caused in the 21st century (lol). There would probably still be widespread famine depending on the state of agriculture and it's ability to support billions of people without aid though. But it's not like they're dressed in rags living in caves.

And yeah, the
'human' reaper boss
of ME2 was pretty silly and felt out of place. ME2 was a ton of fun and very well done but I can't really disagree that in light of 1/3 it's kind of a super sidequest.
 
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irishScott

Lifer
Oct 10, 2006
21,568
3
0
That's precisely the point though, the ending is a foundation upon which we can project our own ideas - it's not there to expound on every possible outcome and ripple. The implications and consequences of a given situation are different under each person's interpretation (and their Shepherd's actions and intentions). You and I each take it to mean different things and conclude different things. Attempting to create an ending that encompassed everything would torch that (which I think is a bad thing) and be monumentally complicated and long. Not to mention doing something like that has a tendency to create a "canon" ending which can be a difficult precedent to work around moving forward - even with such an open-ended finale we're still seeing ME4 attempt to distance itself from 1-3 so that it's not hemmed in by them.
Endings open to interpretation are fine, my point is ME3's endings are almost completely unrelated to the story. The games should have properly prepared the player to make that final decision. Instead we got a character-based space opera that tried to turn into a completely different genre on the last page. Themes of control, destruction, and synergy should have been explored via the plot in at least some detail, and frankly they weren't. Sure there was the occasional moral choice that lightly touched on some (not all) of those themes, but it was always in the context of "the best solution to the immediate problem".

Take the movie Inception. The ending with the spinning top is notoriously open to interpretation, but no one gets pissed off because the plot provides enough information about its notions of dreams for the audience to come up with their own interpretations. In fact the entire movie is about interpretation of dreams and how real they are (or not). It makes sense that the ending should be about that as well.

Now imagine if at the end of any given episode of Star Trek, Picard suddenly asks Riker into his ready room, presents a top, tells Riker that if he spins it and it falls, it's reality. If it doesn't stop, it's a dream. Nothing about this top has ever been mentioned before, and it has no relationship to the episode in question. Then they spin the top, and the episode ends. That's what the ME3 endings are like to me and many others.


AI's cannot rationalize. It's simply a conclusion it came to which it claims is supported by observation (over the course of 'countless' Reaper cycles and whatever it observed pre-Reapers as well). It could just be a front but most of the information in the game corroborates the Catalyst's story in terms of synthetic/organic relations and the length of the Reaper's/Catalyst's existence.

The reconciliation between Geth and Quarian is promising - to "us". But again the scale of the Catalyst's existence needs to be taken into consideration. Is one conflict reaching peace out of how many (presumably) hundreds or thousands of failures to do so really statistically significant? It's an outlier. Not to mention the simple fact they were at war to begin with and the extraordinary circumstances required to reach peace weakens the case even more. Further I think the Catalyst would likely attribute it more to Shepherd than anything else - Shepherd him/herself is an anomaly which has made this harvest cycle different. Shepherd is perceived as a threat because he/she seemingly wields the power/influence to de-rail expected results.
At the very least the catalyst is clearly making judgments based on incomplete/bad information. The presence of Shepard alone does threaten to de-rail expected results, and that's the problem. Shepard may be the first organic to reach the catalyst, but he's hardly the first person to have singularly unique effects on history. From our own history alone we have countless individuals who have changed the course of civilization by mere force of personality. If Stalin didn't exist we probably don't have a cold War, or at least we have a very different one. If Hitler didn't exist, there's probably never a 3rd Reich. And that's just two people in our single species, over a single century.

Outliers are not to be discounted. It's quite possible that Synthetic/Organic peace is an outlier, maybe even a combination of outliers. That does not make it impossible or unworthy of pursuit. The fact the catalyst makes this basic fallacy leads me to believe it's full of shit, particularly given it's mission to preserve Organic life. It's quite arguably that peace with synthetics is the ideal preservation.

You can see that in the Geth themselves. Sure they were technically "at war" with the Quarians, but until Sovereign came along they were just chilling out in the veil in their conquered territory. Likewise there were multiple factions among the Geth, some who favored peace with organics. And sure enough peace was possible.

I don't trust the Catalyst. Its conclusions seem to fall apart or at least be severely debatable upon even basic analysis. The fact that it's really really old and probably has more information lends it no more credibility than my 70 year old Tea Party relatives. Idiots can have access to a library and still be idiots, even if they have smart parents, and especially if their programming makes them that way as appears to be the case with the catalyst.

Given the choice I'd have it show me the data, subject that data to intense independent analysis from all species in the galaxy and justify it's conclusions before accepting the 3 "options" it provides. The reapers could stand down in the meantime, since we're not supposed to be able to defeat them anyway.

I agree that 'synthetic v organic' is really just an extension of 'creator vs created' (or controller vs controlled) conflicts. And that's actually part of the reason I don't think the reapers (eg: Sovereign, Harbinger) are actually sentient individuals. I think the Catalyst recognizes the threat Reapers could pose to it (or perhaps more appropriately: the threat it could pose to the Catalyst's 'mission') if they were capable of questioning why they serve the Catalyst - and would construct/program them in such a way that would preclude that possibility. Because of that I think the Reapers are simply programmed to seem sentient to make them more menacing/able to interact with the organics if needed. But they're actually driven by a "VI" of sorts or maybe some sort of cut-down version of the Catalyst itself. Or maybe the Catalyst has direct control of all of them all at once - probably not - but it could be possible. Regardless, I don't think the Reapers are self-aware.
It's stated that the Reapers are preservations of previous sentient species, down to their consciousness. That implies some level of self-awareness, given that the physical forms are clearly destroyed/melted down. That or the Catalyst has it's own bizarre definition of "preservation" that doesn't really preserve anything meaningful beyond knowledge. Would fit well with the rest of its irrationality.

I think the implication that the writers were going for is that the Repears are willing participants, because when you sum up the consciousness of millenia of sentient species from countless reaper cycles, that consciousness realized the necessity of the cycle and become complicit. If that's the case, I think the writers could use some antidepressants.

Fair points, though I don't know that the cities are quite so decimated. The industrial areas, iirc, were targeted quickly and early but when you fight on inhabited planets throughout the game (you could also maybe take some of the combat maps from multiplayer into consideration) most of them show quite a bit of infrastructure/buildings still intact - probably residential.

Travel between multiple solar systems would probably still be very slow without the Relays but at some point the Relays and Citadel were discovered without actually using them first so it's not as though travel beyond one's own solar system is out of the question entirely. Moreso it's just much less efficient. I don't think we know enough about Thessia/Palaven/Salarian homeworld to really know how they'd fare but on Earth things would be difficult no doubt. While Earth was experiencing a period of revitalization (prior to the invasion) due to injections of resources and technology from colonies/trade thosewould now be mostly cutoff. But it's also already received enough of them to at least start repairing damage caused in the 21st century (lol). There would probably still be widespread famine depending on the state of agriculture and it's ability to support billions of people without aid though. But it's not like they're dressed in rags living in caves.
http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Codex/The_Reaper_War

After destroying Earth's comm buoys, smaller Reaper destroyers wiped out all GPS and communications satellites in Earth's orbit and cut the undersea fiber-optic cables that linked the continents. Earth's resistance now relies on outdated radio towers and a few quantum entanglement communicators whose matched pairs happen to be on other continents or outside the Sol system. Communication is so limited that the fate of entire nations remains unknown.

The capital ships bombarded defense installations and industrial centers, annihilating entire cities with populations in the low millions, including Adelaide, Hamburg, Al Jubail, and Fort Worth. Meanwhile, Reaper destroyers descended into the atmosphere to melt roads and capture population centers with minimal loss of life. This is not an example of the Reapers being merciful. More likely, they are herding their prey to make the coming harvest that much easier.
http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Codex/The_Reapers

The rate of killing is phenomenal. Intelligence estimates suggest there are more than 400 processor ships on Earth, killing approximately 1.86 million humans per day. In combination with battlefield deaths, disease, and famine, this pace will result in the complete depopulation of Earth within a decade. As the husks and indoctrinated slaves build more slaughtering facilities, the kill rate can only increase.

As for other planets:

The Reapers countered instantly. Their destroyers performed a jump of their own to the skies above Palaven, beginning orbital strikes on turian cities. The turians, forced to defend the planet, found themselves in a pitched battle far from the relay, from which emerged a seemingly endless line of Reaper ships. After massive casualties, Coronati ordered retreat.


The turians insist that Palaven is not lost--the battle has merely moved to the ground. Reaper troop transports have dumped hordes of husks to capture Palaven's inhabitants, but met with little success. Reaper capital ships are destroying city after city. But much of the turian fleet is still operable, and the citizenry is heavily armed. The turians refuse to be intimidated.

Unfortunately, the Reapers' greater numbers allowed them to accept certain losses, so they soon ignored the attacks against them and began orbital bombardment of Thessia. This in turn forced the asari to defend their homeworld with a more traditional stance, facing the Reaper forces directly. As soon as the Reapers landed on Thessia, the harvesting began.

A swift and brutal slaughter of the asari ground forces followed. Resistance from trained biotics barely slowed the attackers down. In the end, Thessia's minimal military forces, combined with unpreparedness in the face of an overwhelming enemy, resulted in the fall of the planet.
Sounds pretty devastating to me. Even if FTL is still possible, all of the ships in that last battle have to be seriously damaged and the Reapers have certainly destroyed any shipyards. I'm not saying it would be impossible to rebuild, just that there's likely to be a fairly long dark age regardless.
 

darkewaffle

Diamond Member
Oct 7, 2005
8,152
1
81
Endings open to interpretation are fine, my point is ME3's endings are almost completely unrelated to the story. The games should have properly prepared the player to make that final decision. Instead we got a character-based space opera that tried to turn into a completely different genre on the last page. Themes of control, destruction, and synergy should have been explored via the plot in at least some detail, and frankly they weren't. Sure there was the occasional moral choice that lightly touched on some (not all) of those themes, but it was always in the context of "the best solution to the immediate problem".
In terms of a perspective examining ME's story as a piece of 'literature' I think that's valid, but I never really approached it that way. I think it's more like a documentary/docudrama in that the events aren't intended to make a point or 'spin a yarn' so much as they are simply intended to depict a 'real' series of events. To that end I think it's more like, say, Band of Brothers than Star Trek. It's real to sometimes be blindsided, for things to sometimes not make sense, to have to make decisions without knowing all the information. "Real" doesn't follow artificial convention, it just is what it is.

I think I did look at it as a normal story at first. I remember in ME1 when, in my game, Ashley died and my reaction was "Crap, I must have done something wrong. Well I'll just find out what and re-do it so she doesn't die." - but that's not how 'real' works and that's not the ME experience.

At the very least the catalyst is clearly making judgments based on incomplete/bad information. The presence of Shepard alone does threaten to de-rail expected results, and that's the problem. Shepard may be the first organic to reach the catalyst, but he's hardly the first person to have singularly unique effects on history. From our own history alone we have countless individuals who have changed the course of civilization by mere force of personality. If Stalin didn't exist we probably don't have a cold War, or at least we have a very different one. If Hitler didn't exist, there's probably never a 3rd Reich. And that's just two people in our single species, over a single century.
I don't think the Catalyst would state that the Reaper cycle is a perfect solution or that it knows everything. Merely that the Reaper cycle is effective (in a binary sense - organic life still thrives until it is culled) and that it is the best solution it has created given the information it has and the observations it has made. Synthetics (seem to) lack the same level of creative ability that organics have - probably due to their very binary, rational way of processing information. So what the Catalyst 'knows' to be possible may be "limited" by what it has observed/what knowledge it was given at it's creation.

As a very simple, kind of stupid example: if a 'blank' version of the Catalyst was presented with two opposing cliffs and tasked with crossing from one to the other it may say the task is impossible at first. An organic posed with the same scenario may opt to jump, to use a rope, to build a bridge, etc. Once the Catalyst is given evidence of/witnesses these possibilities it likely then is able use that knowledge to construct different iterations of those solutions. To that end, until the Catalyst finds some evidence of coexistence it may not even be able to consider it possible.

Did they really change it? Or did they fill a role that could/would have been filled by someone else? Consider that over the course of human history we've had something like 7-10 years of war for every year of peace. The wars may have been fought for different reasons and may proceed radically differently but someone starting a war isn't bucking any trends. The ones that truly defy expected results would be the peacemakers, not the Generals. Of which, and I'm no history buff, I think there are likely far fewer that come to mind. Further I would think the likelihood of someone being a 'difference maker' would scale inversely with the scope of the conflict.

Plus, who knows, maybe every cycle does have a Shepherd individual. Kind of in the same way every incarnation of the Matrix had a Neo - they're not all the same, some accomplish more than others. But if that's the case than it's possibly accounted for as an X factor. If the Catalyst always observes a Shepherd individual then it probably expects some percentage of results to deviate.


Outliers are not to be discounted. It's quite possible that Synthetic/Organic peace is an outlier, maybe even a combination of outliers. That does not make it impossible or unworthy of pursuit. The fact the catalyst makes this basic fallacy leads me to believe it's full of shit, particularly given it's mission to preserve Organic life. It's quite arguably that peace with synthetics is the ideal preservation.

You can see that in the Geth themselves. Sure they were technically "at war" with the Quarians, but until Sovereign came along they were just chilling out in the veil in their conquered territory. Likewise there were multiple factions among the Geth, some who favored peace with organics. And sure enough peace was possible.
Even if Geth/Quarian peace were taken into account you have to reconcile with how unsustainable and risky that approach is for the Catalyst('s mission). They were at war long before Reapers ever factored into the equation and the Geth practically brought the Quarians to the brink of extinction on Rannoch. They were a hair's breadth away from fulfilling exactly what the Catalyst's data expects to happen. To the Geth's credit they did not pursue the fleeing Quarians - but at the same time the Geth in this scenario were not the instigators.

It's not a fallacy to discount something that cannot be relied upon or recreated. It simply means there can be other variables in play. To return to the cliff scenario, if a thousand people jump and fall but one actually manages to make it across does that really make it a valid solution? Or is it more likely an anomaly where the conditions were just right to make something extraordinary happen?


It's stated that the Reapers are preservations of previous sentient species, down to their consciousness. That implies some level of self-awareness, given that the physical forms are clearly destroyed/melted down. That or the Catalyst has it's own bizarre definition of "preservation" that doesn't really preserve anything meaningful beyond knowledge. Would fit well with the rest of its irrationality.

I think the implication that the writers were going for is that the Repears are willing participants, because when you sum up the consciousness of millenia of sentient species from countless reaper cycles, that consciousness realized the necessity of the cycle and become complicit. If that's the case, I think the writers could use some antidepressants.
I always envisioned the preservation as more of a 'cold storage' type deal - accessible but not with any active purpose really. If that collective conscious actually drove the actions of the reapers, then yes, it would almost have to mean that the organics that have been 'preserved' have become complicit to the cycle and are now carrying it out themselves. Or that whatever form they exist in can still be indoctrinated. Or that there have been so many cycles that you can still form a massive fleet of Reapers with consciousnesses willing to carry out the cycle despite whatever the miniscule chance of that happening is.

Personally I think those are simply less logical/less likely than Reapers simply being the tools of the Catalyst rather than sentient.

Sounds pretty devastating to me. Even if FTL is still possible, all of the ships in that last battle have to be seriously damaged and the Reapers have certainly destroyed any shipyards. I'm not saying it would be impossible to rebuild, just that there's likely to be a fairly long dark age regardless.
It's going to be ugly, but the alternative is even uglier. The reapers wipe out about 2m humans each day on Earth and the population ME provides for Earth is about 11.5B. If a reaper is responsible for the death of every human that's about 10-15 years of playing "The Most Dangerous Game" on whatever kind of hellhole Earth becomes before everyone's finally exterminated. "Our" life without the Reapers and Mass Relays will go on. Lots of people will probably suffer, struggle and die. "Our" life with the Reapers and Mass Relays will not go on. Everyone will suffer, struggle and die.
 
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darkewaffle

Diamond Member
Oct 7, 2005
8,152
1
81
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rn98FdSg-Fo

For N7 day (November 7th) another teaser of sorts for Andromeda was released. Interesting how it actually features Shepherd's voice. Could just be for the promo but at the same time it does sound like it could be something of a send-off from Shepherd to whomever is, presumably, being sent outside of the Milky Way.
 

Dahak

Diamond Member
Mar 2, 2000
3,752
25
91
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rn98FdSg-Fo

For N7 day (November 7th) another teaser of sorts for Andromeda was released. Interesting how it actually features Shepherd's voice. Could just be for the promo but at the same time it does sound like it could be something of a send-off from Shepherd to whomever is, presumably, being sent outside of the Milky Way.
I believe it is more of a general send send off / passing the torch to whoever our new character is in the new game, which someone over at reddit pointed out might be called Ryder/Rider? based on a freeze frame of the dog tags in the trailer, and would kinda fit with the ghost rider song in the announce trailer

One thing that it does show is the ship we use to go from the Milky Way to Andromeda
 

KentState

Diamond Member
Oct 19, 2001
8,397
393
126
Looks like we have an official release date. The one thing that I'm unclear of is if any save game information from the previous titles carries over. I originally played the series on the Xbox, but would like to pick this up for the PC.
 

cbrunny

Diamond Member
Oct 12, 2007
6,791
405
126
March 21. sweet. Might get this on launch... but probably not. It is EA afterall.....
 

bigi

Platinum Member
Aug 8, 2001
2,414
131
106
Like DAI, will not continue Shepard story, but looks like a typical ME game...also, the MACO is back. Anyone looking forward to this, or just a "wait and see"? IMO, the game needs to have something unique in plot, et al to be worthwhile. :whiste:

The Wife
+1 for MACO. I love driving it.

Just installed ME1 to drive around with MACO
 

Mem

Lifer
Apr 23, 2000
21,476
13
81
They have the release date, but where are the minimum PC specs?...I'm sure some people that pre-ordered are hoping their PC is up to the job.
 

Mem

Lifer
Apr 23, 2000
21,476
13
81
I never played 3 and don't plan to, but I've always wondered. It is fairly obvious they boffed the ending, but what is odd is no one has ever came out and tried to explain why the ending was what it was, or even tried to justify it. To me, the idea of something even bigger than the reapers that comes out of left field would have set the game up for something even bigger if done right, but that doesn't seem to be the direction they were going (at least until the outcry).

You can't tell me the people who tested the game weren't also going 'wtf is this?'. It had to have come up before it came out, but they have been mum on the subject as far as I know.
I have played them all and yes ending of ME3 was pretty bad, rest was fine however, they could of carried the storyline over from ME3 to ME4 with Shepard ie miss out the crappy ending of ME3, I do feel they wanted to start fresh with ME:Andromeda so were not too bothered about how great or bad the ME3 ending was.

It makes you think what are they going to do with the ending of Andromeda and what's going to happen with ME5?..Time will tell I guess.
 

Red Storm

Lifer
Oct 2, 2005
14,207
216
106
I just hope it isn't going to be another "save the galaxy" plot. You can have an interesting story without having to resort to such grand cliches.
 

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