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Comments on Dan H's Super Special Sneak Preview!
Oh God, this is like BSG all over again.
Can they really go from "our understanding of the mass relays is so primitive that even suggesting we attempt to learn to build one is regarded as kook science" to "we can rebuild these things no probs" so quickly?
I'm so sick of Bioware's "artistic integrity, only the most passionate fans are upset, blah blah blah" defense.
I'm telling you, the Jack the Reaper ending is the only way to salvage this.
Oh God, this is like BSG all over again.To a ludicrously specific extent...
If it ameliorates the fans' anger, rehabilitate BioWare's image, and stimulate ME3's sales,
You forgot "and does so quickly and cheaply" from your criteria. ;)
Oh and Dan, I do have one minor technical niggling criticism of the leaked content: they created a major plot hole by using Garrus, who is capable of dying in Mass Effect 2.
good news! the original ending plan was also phenomenally stupid.
Humans as super specially diverse/full of willpower/full of love is always bleh.
Well all the other spacefaring races get, like, two models...
Although it can sometimes be interesting to have someone do bad things for good reasons, a whole lot of the time when people do very bad things (like genocide or serial murder) they're doing them for incredibly bad reasons.
"humanity" in these kinds of texts almost always winds up being represented by somebody like default Shepherd - a white heterosexual American man
Also it's really annoying how they keep inventing lame excuses to prevent squadmates from Mass Effect 2 from joining you. I mean, I get that any of them can die by the end and maybe players might whine if they were lazy and let one get killed and thus denied themselves a squad member, but seriously, isn't consequences what the game is about?
There was an interesting post on the Bioware forums (which I now can't find due to the forums being overwhelmed by oceans of buttmad) where someone had talked to one of the ME3 devs at PAX and got some very interesting answers out of them.
i saw that on one of the forums i frequent.
Honestly, like the ending I think it speaks to the lack of coming up with a really tight series-wide plan from the beginning.
I get that, but it's stupid. Why shouldn't players get locked out of content due to making poor decisions?
Part of me says that we shouldn't expect games companies to do that kind of thing, but part of me says that it's absurd to suggest that something shouldn't be done *right* just because doing it right is difficult.
I mean, something's got to be wrong when you're achieving less with more money.
Part of me says that we shouldn't expect games companies to do that kind of thing
But would it really break the bank to have 30 hours of single-player content where the last 15 hours are different depending on how you played the first 15?
I actually *sort of* see where Bioware is coming from here. Something I hate as a gamer is being "punished" for making "bad" decisions, because nine times out of ten, all you're really being punished for is making a decision that the designer doesn't agree with.
You say this, but people do keep banging on about "replay value"
And as you point out, the way they want this replay value to work is for them to play 99% of the same content again and get a different ending.
I understand why that might be annoying, but really, why *should* every decision you make have a separate but equal outcome?
Decision-making certainly doesn't function that way in real life, and I definitely think there needs to be the possibility in RPGs to make wrong decisions that have irreversible inferior outcomes, because otherwise it's just 'what flavor would you like your upgrades in, sir'.
If certain decisions had unknowable long-term outcomes, it'd give them a lot more weight and make the whole thing feel a lot more real.
They sort of do this in Mass Effect 2 during Zaeed's loyalty mission, where you can choose to save the workers at the exploding refinery rather than going after the guy he wants to kill, which ends up with the guy getting away and Zaeed flipping his shit. If you have a high enough Paragon you can still get his loyalty anyway, but it's cool that you can essentially fail the mission because of being a good person.
I would suggest less committed players wouldn't bother replaying either way and don't particularly care if there's alternate content they didn't see provided that they content they did see was substantial enough to satisfy them.
Again, I think this is a common myth. Unknowable long-term outcomes don't make things feel real, they make things feel arbitrary.
What this means in practice is that taking the *pragmatic* option results in a *practically worse* outcome. This is stupid and annoying, and it happens only because the game has a policy of rewarding "good" actions. Again, this is nothing like real life. This is arguably the *opposite* of real life.
A difficult choice in a video game is not one in which the right decision is non-obvious, it is one in which there *genuinely is not* a clear right choice. If one choice leads to a better solution than the other, then that choice is no longer interesting.
But again, what you're being asked to do is decide whether you want to do what the game thinks makes you a good person, or what the game thinks will make Zaeed loyal to you. And of course on a game mechanical level, you know that Zaeed is likely to die if you don't finish his loyalty mission, so by saving the workers you get Zaeed killed *even though it makes no sense for these events to be causally related*.
Life is not, in fact, an exercise in making optimal decisions. At any given point in your life, there is not a "right" choice that will result in your getting a "best" outcome. And since I'm not religious I don't believe that my actions are being observed by a third party that rewards or punishes me for jumping through its hoops (which is exactly what game designers do). There are definitely decisions I have made in my life which have had consequences, but I have no idea at all if the consequences of making the alternative decision would have been provably "better" or "worse".
Unless you're balls-out Paragon, you have to choose between losing a mechanical resource (Zaeed's loyalty) or making a statement about your character you might not want to make. It isn't one complex decision, it's two no-brainer decisions superglued together.
More arbitrary than every individual moral choice having a separate but equal outcome and the player being sure of that from the get-go? Really?
See, I'd disagree with that. I'd argue that some of the time there *needs* to be a decision that ends up having a 'right choice' (but only later) because that adds a lot more gravitas to the decision than if you know for sure that you're never going to miss out on anything and can pretty much just choose at random.
That's a moral decision, should that have some sort of equal reward for leaving him to die, like some new playable character poofs into existence to take Zaeed's place?
But to use your example, are you seriously going to say there isn't a single decision in your life you wish you'd made differently? Really? No regrets at all? *Some* decisions in life have ambiguous outcomes, others have pretty definite negative outcomes, others have pretty definite positive outcomes.
To put it another way, when I have had to make moral decisions in my real life, I have always asked myself "what is the right thing to do?" not "are there going to be any follow-up quests on this?"
That's the thing, it's *not* a moral decision. It's a resource-allocation decision, in which you are asked whether you want to make a small game-mechanical sacrifice in return for a small amount of character customization. The game isn't asking you whether it is morally right to leave Zaeed to die, it's giving you the option to say you'd rather let him die than keep him in your party.
I don't mind my choices having consequences, but whatever I choose I want that choice to be supported. The moment the designers are taking it upon themselves to punish me for making choices they consider "wrong" or "stupid" they have overstepped their bounds and started trying to play my character for me.
To put it another way, you clearly believe that it is impossible for a person to have no regrets, which surely implies that you believe that there is *not* an optimal path through life, and that most of the time we have regrets because we were forced to choose between two things which were equally sucky.
Seriously though, you've only asked whether it's right or wrong and never how it might advantage or disadvantage you personally? That'd be the real-life equivalent of follow-up quests, I guess.
But it is a moral decision, relating to a resource-allocation decision. You're gearing up for a tough fight against the Collectors and need all the resources you can get; are you willing to do bad things (help Zaeed kill some guy you've never heard of and get a bunch of innocents killed in the process) to ensure you have the best possible odds of defeating the Collectors, or do you draw a moral line somewhere and refuse to cross it?
To use a cheap example, imagine you find a wallet with cash in it. The owner's address is inside. You have three basic options: return the wallet with everything, return the wallet but pocket the cash, or pocket the cash and not bother to return the wallet.
If it ended there in the game, it might be rather pointless, but imagine perhaps that if you return the wallet with the cash (or successfully lie about the cash being gone when you found it) then the guy gives you a quest of some sort. If you just pocket the cash and fail at lying, or don't bother to return the wallet at all, you lock yourself out of game content in return for money. That seems like a pretty reasonable scenario to me, even if the reward from the quest is measurably greater or lesser than the cash.
Not exactly, because in general more game content does benefit the player personally, considering it's not really possible to get through a series of quests and end up worse than you were before. You always accumulate items, experience, etc. Especially in the Mass Effect series, where more game content = more resources to fight the Collectors and Reapers, so more game content is absolutely personally and generally beneficial.
To take another example (also from Bioware), when the player defeats Zhevran Dudecorset in the original Dragon Age, they have the option to kill him instead of letting him join the party. Killing him materially benefits the player character by eliminating a potential threat to their life and safety, but it harms the player by denying them access to game content.
It is extremely immersion breaking to - for example - have your megalomaniac Necromancer offering to rescue kittens from trees as part of their quest for arcane knowledge.
JOKER is at the helm of the Normandy, franticly punching at the controls while panicked voices shout over the intercom. Suddenly GARRUS and LIARA burst in.GARRUS: It's no good! We have to retreat. Get to the Mass Relay.JOKER: Garrus? I thought you were in London with Shepherd?GARRUS looks blank.
GARRUS: It's no good! We have to retreat. Get to the Mass Relay.JOKER: Garrus? I thought you were in London with Shepherd?
EDI (VO): Although of course, even if something were to happen to the Mass Relays, it is important to remember that FTL technology does exist, and my extremely fast AI calculations predict that the overall impact on the galactic economy of the loss of the Mass Relay system would be bearable, and not lead to widespread panic, mass starvation, or the economic collapse of known space.
GARRUS: Well here we are. At the end of a truly epic story.JOKER: Yeah. It seems a shame that Shepherd is almost certainly dead.
Because the basic "people would get on if only we utterly erased the differences between them" premise is kind of awful.
This argument has always annoyed me, and I see it a lot because it's one of the go-to arguments for people who think we should stop supporting minority languages
On the subject of which, did you hear about the fucked up stuff in Cornwall when the Olympic flame went past.
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