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Arthur B on Elephants On the Citadel
at 16:16 on 29-08-2015 - link
Yeah, in retrospect overtly introducing the control/synthesis/destroy choices much earlier in proceedings might have cooled off the controversy to a large extent. Not only would it have felt less abrupt, but the sheer massiveness of the choice and all the implications of it could have been explored throughout the game - how cool would it have been to be able to talk over the choice with your various companions to get their views on it?
You could keep almost all the features of the ending intact - have Shepard's superiors mention that the Citadel seems to be key to all the potential resolutions, and the last mission still makes sense, and if you say "There's an ancient VI on the Citadel which only gets activated once it's weaponised; since the high command can't decide on which route to take, it'll be down to you to decide how the Citadel is to be used once you've made contact with the VI and obtained what background information you can from it" then you even contextualise the Starchild.
Craverguy on Elephants On the Citadel
at 08:50 on 29-08-2015 - link
I never really had a problem with the Mass Effect 3 endings (although I came in after the Extended Cut had already been released, so maybe that helped). None of them will be making my personal top 10 list of best video game endings, but they work well enough to satisfy me.
What really annoys me about Mass Effect 3 is that its whole plot is premised on Shepard rejecting the Illusive Man's plans to control the Reapers out of hand and deciding that destroying them is the only option. This is a pretty big thing to impose on my character in a roleplaying game, especially since, if my Shepard previously kept the Collector base in the second game, s/he has been established to have a willingness to attempt to claim control of the Reapers' advanced technology to advance the interests of humanity and/or the Council.
It's not like there's any evidence at all as to what the Crucible will do when they flip the switch, so it's just as easy to believe that it will allow the user to control the Reapers as it will wipe them all out (or blow up the galaxy or whatever). So there's no reason why Shepard couldn't agree with the idea of controlling the Reapers from the get-go, except that the writers have decreed that it won't happen.
This is why I consider Dragon Age: Inquisition's handling of similar issues and themes to be so manifestly superior. In that game, it's up to the player to define what the Inquisition stands for and what methods it will use to achieve those goals. The writers didn't decide beforehand that the Inquisitor should be pro-Templar, that they would focus on military solutions in preference to economic ones, or that one side or the other in the Orlesian civil war would be the ones to go with. It's all up to you.
Janne Kirjasniemi on Several Species of Bizarre Racial Theories Gathered Together In a Mythos and Grooving With a Pict
at 06:42 on 27-08-2015 - link
Yeah, conversion as a condition was something that they tried on several occasions. If nothing else, I suppose it would be plausible deniability for not doing much, if the lackluster help would ever become a subject of debate, which I rather doubt it did.
And true, Poland was only better in comparison with the rest of Europe, which is a very low bar to clear.
Ashimbabbar on Several Species of Bizarre Racial Theories Gathered Together In a Mythos and Grooving With a Pict
at 19:11 on 04-08-2015 - link
• As to the help the Byzantines got, I seem to remember much of it had been conditional to their adopting the Catholic faith, so when they massively said they'd sooner see the turban than the cardinal's hat in their city all the help foreign they got was a troop of Genoese mercenaries who fought creditably until their leader was wounded and decided to leav while the leaving was good.
• As to Poland, it is true that in the 16th-17th centuries the nobility was far more tolerant than the rest of Europe; for instance, they had elected the Duke of Anjou for a king but were dismayed by the reports that reached them of the St.Barthélémy's massacre and the prominent part he played in it so that the French representatives had to lied through their teeth to prevent them from changing their mind.
Jews too, I believe, enjoyed a better status than anywhere else in Europe although it had much to do with the fact that they often worked as agents and tax collectros for the nobility; so that whenever there was a peasant revolt ( ocasionally supplemented with cossacks as the great revolt of Bogdan Chmielnicki ) pogroms were amid the revolters' priorities…
- Arthur B on Kickstopper: Monuments to Marble at 16:56 on 04-08-2015 - link For those interested in getting in on the ground floor: after a few months of teases apparently designed to pique the interest of those who liked Marble Hornets (summarised here), THAC have now put out the first episode of their new series. Pretty enigmatic at the moment but word is that updates will be a little smoother than with MH so hopefully we'll start to see the bigger picture soon.
Robinson L on Doctor Who and the Distant Sports
at 18:00 on 03-08-2015 - link
Hmm, well, yeah, but at least the existence of a multiverse is an established piece of Doctor Who lore - it's just that the other dimensions are supposed to be really hard to access. This is more like suddenly announcing that the Force exists in the Doctor Who 'Verse - complete with midichlorians - and nobody happened to mention it before.
Plus, the only alternate universe I remember playing a role was Frank/Freddy Force's antimatter home universe - which I suppose could be the home universe of the monster from that one Fourth Doctor story, or maybe Omega's dimension from The Three Doctors. You could maybe make a case that - since that universe appears to be a mirror opposite of our own - it's exempt from the post-Time War "really difficult to dimension-hop" clause. If you're being generous and don't look too hard at the fine print, anyway, which White Guardian knows is an approach the show itself takes often enough. (Though maybe there were more alternate dimension involving Cornelius and all the Second Ether nonsense that I didn't follow on account of how damn obscure that shit was, which would undermine this case, I admit.)
Arthur B on Doctor Who and the Distant Sports
at 22:35 on 01-08-2015 - link
To be honest, the Cornelius stuff is avowedly opposed to making sense so the fact that the middle section is really confusing could well be deliberate.
So far as I can make out there's no actual continuity between the Cornelius-infested incarnation of the Pirates of the Second Aether here and the version of the pirates that feature prominently in the Second Aether trilogy, so I found myself just as lost as you were even in the segments I actually read.
As I understand it, throwing in the Law vs. Chaos deal wasn't the only liberty Moorcock took with the Who metaphysic: he also has people hopping about between different universes with ease, whereas it's my understanding that according to the show bible doing so is meant to be much more difficult in the wake of the Time War.
Robinson L on Doctor Who and the Distant Sports
at 22:00 on 01-08-2015 - link
The Coming of the Terraphiles was my first ever Moorcock novel, which I listened to on audio from the library a few years ago. And you're right, it's not a very good introduction to Moorcock's fiction at all.
(apparently Moorcock wanted to use Jack Harkness for something here but wasn't allowed to)
He did? Aw, man, I would've loved to see that (I think).
Out of curiosity, how far did you get into the book before you gave up? Personally, I thought the Wodehouse sections - though lackluster and as I recall, also lacking in stuff for the Doctor and Amy to do - was still the strongest section of the book. The ending had its moments, but the climax is uninspired, unexciting, and cliche. Apart from the confrontation with General Force - another of the few highlights - I can't even remember the middle section, it was that incoherent.
I'm kind of disappointed you didn't finish the book, though I don't blame you in the slightest. I was hoping you could tell me whether the stuff with all the guest characters in the middle and ending section - the ones who feel either underdeveloped for their role or completely extraneous - makes any more sense if read in terms of Moorcock's meta-plot. Not that it excuses the fact that they don't work in Coming of the Terraphiles as a standalone story*, but I would've been interested to know if it makes sense in any context. As it was, a lot of the later stuff (and the Cornelius bits) had me feeling like I'd just tuned in to a middle episode of an ongoing soap opera.
*Especially since I'm sure I'm not the only reader for whom the Doctor Who book was their first introduction to Moorcock's writing.
Speaking of Multiverse Bollocks, I know Doctor Who is hardly a stranger to weird metaphysics - but even so, dropping in the whole Law vs. Chaos schtick felt like it was really out of place for a Doctor Who story.
I was also a bit surprised to see Moorcock throw in an honest-to-Arioch Robin Hood pastiche as one of the main members of the supporting cast, given his avowed dislike of the Robin Hood mythos.
Oh, and nitpick alert, but you added a superfluous "e" to the end of Christopher Eccleson's name.