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#502 Jun 30 2012 at 6:19 PM Rating: Good
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The One and Only Poldaran wrote:
Actually, there are 4 endings now.


Yeah, but the fourth is likely BW trolling the people who requested a 'shoot the god child' ending. Smiley: tongue

Eske Esquire wrote:
I could totally see the ME3 ending failing for other reasons, but I just don't see how there not being a rainbows and sunshine ending is a detriment.


Because the entire game, from beginning to end, is supposed to be about choices and how they affect the outcome of a chain of events. The canonical ending to Mass Effect is that Shepard manages to stop the Reapers. Unless you try to shoot the god child. Everything else in the story depends on the player's choices. The player writes the story through his or her actions.

If you allow the reader of your story to dictate how it develops then you need to give the reader the ending he/she wants. I spent all my time in the games doing my best to get the happy ending, but it was all for naught. I don't care if the writer or developer wanted a cathartic sad ending. I wanted a happy ending. It's how my version of the story ends. If they're not willing to give me the ending I want then they shouldn't have allowed me to write the story in the first place.

That's why it's a sh*tty ending. Your previous choices, everything you wrote yourself about the story, none of it matters in the end. The writers want you to choose between three shades of the same ending. What's the point in giving us the ability to choose the direction of the story if it ends up in the same place anyway? If you create a story based on choices then those choices should matter in the end. And it's not like they didn't know how to do it. They did it in the second game. The second game can end with everyone dying, everyone living and varying degrees of both in between, depending on the choices you make in the two first games. The third game has you choosing between three color-coded endings that end with a) Shepard dying or b) synthetic life dying. If you've played the games, you'll know why the latter one isn't a happy ending.

There's no doubt they ran out of time (and money) before they could finish this game. There are enough cases of blatant copy-paste from Google and poor Photoshop editing to prove that. And the ending is as far from an epic conclusion as you can get. I mean, the phrase "Still a better ending than Mass Effect 3" is a freakin' meme these days.

Edit: **** spoilers. People ought to know how it all ended by now. And being slightly drunk makes it hard to hit the right keys.

Edited, Jul 1st 2012 2:24am by Mazra
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#503 Jun 30 2012 at 7:04 PM Rating: Good
While you control your Shephard's decisions within the story, the story itself was always written by Bioware. While I too was a bit unsatisfied, initially, that all 3 of the original decisions pretty much ended the same way, I think the DLC mostly fixed that issue. I get how wanting a happy ending & not getting it could make you unhappy, Mazra, especially considering how bleak the endings were initially (All the Relays destroyed, etc.). But you don't think this DLC addressed it?
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#504 Jun 30 2012 at 9:02 PM Rating: Excellent
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Omega pretty much said my response. I understand being upset at the lack of different choices at the end. But that's a separate issue from the lack of a happy choice at the end.

You didn't write any part of the story. You picked from small set of options that were written by Bioware.
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#505 Jul 01 2012 at 7:26 AM Rating: Good
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The DLC addressed some of the loose ends, but the ending where Shepard supposedly lives is half-assed and doesn't provide any form of closure.

  • What happened to Shepard and his/her love interest if he/she did survive the Citadel blowing up?
  • What happened to the Geth and EDI?

The god child said that blowing up the Citadel would destroy all synthetic life and then points out that Shepard him-/herself is part synthetic.
  • If Shepard lives, does that mean the god child was bluffing?
  • If Shepard didn't blow up all synthetic life, are the Geth and EDI still "alive"?
  • If so, why isn't EDI shown in the cutscene where the crew puts Shepard's name on the list of fallen crew members?
  • And why is Shepard on that list to begin with if he survived?
  • Did they manufacture a "Commander Shepard" KIA plaque while stranded in the jungle?

More importantly, why does the grandpa dude tell his grandson kid that this story was just one of many stories about "The Shepard" if Shepard died? What other stories are there?


It doesn't make any sense.

Edit: I guess I'm just angry (disappointed, rather) that the game didn't end the way I'd imagined it. Every other RPG I've played has had an ending that satisfied my cupcake heart and rainbow soul. You know, where the good guy wins, gets the girl and rides off in the sunset or something to that effect. It's how I prefer stories to end. Not a big fan of the doom and gloom fetish that's going around lately. Perhaps also because the endings seem so final. I'd like to think that Shepard and his crew went on to have more adventures (you never know when a company decides to revive a franchise). Now it's just... done.

Edited, Jul 2nd 2012 12:19am by Mazra
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#506 Jul 02 2012 at 12:22 AM Rating: Good
The "Destroy" ending is fairly happy. Shep's love interest hesitates putting the plaque on the wall of Dead in the Normandy, Normandy takes off from the planet it crashed on, & Shephard lives (minus synthetic parts)- leaving hope they could reunite. Pretty sure EDI & the Geth are dead, though. Well, my renegade Shep actually killed the Geth ahead of time, so they were dead before the choice. Heh.

The puppies & Rainbow ending would be synthesis: Shep sacrifices him/herself for peace throughout the universe. Even the Refusal ending now has a silver lining.

Control is still pretty bleak though.
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#507 Jul 02 2012 at 12:58 AM Rating: Good
Omegavegeta wrote:
The puppies & Rainbow ending would be synthesis: Shep sacrifices him/herself for peace throughout the universe. Even the Refusal ending now has a silver lining.


Essentially this. I guess we're not doing spoilers anymore?

The Reapers begin helping the galaxy to rebuild, and the galaxy has access to the collective knowledge of every past civilization harvested and processed into a reaper. Things basically become a utopia. And you see a krogan baby.
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#508 Jul 02 2012 at 11:19 AM Rating: Good
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What? NOW we skip spoilers? After I made that huge *** post with like a dozen spoilers tags all over the place? Smiley: glare

I actually find Control to be the least bleak. Shepard "dies" but assumes direct control over the Reapers. If Cerberus could bring Shepard back to life after he/she decompressed in space and fell onto a planet, I'm guessing Reaper tech would allow him/her to create a clone and download him-/herself into it, like Harbinger did when it assumed direct control over the individual Collectors.

Shepard just dies in Synthesis. Sure, he saves the galaxy and synthetics and organics live happily ever after, but Shepard is gone. Disintegrated. Not coming back. Makes building a relationship with a crew member meaningless, unless you're looking for the depressing stuff (diff'rent strokes, etc.)

Destroy is the only ending where Shepard seemingly survives, but at the cost of all synthetic life, including the Geth and EDI. It would make Legion's sacrifice completely meaningless (not to mention the Quarians who died fighting the Geth) and would probably break Joker's heart, considering his relationship with EDI.

That's why I need a Mass Effect 4, or at least a DLC that ties all of this crap up. If the Destroy ending showed EDI and the Geth surviving (indicating that the god child was either wrong or bluffing), I'd have settled for that. In fact, the Destroy ending felt more satisfying before the extended endings, back when the whole indoctrination theory was happening.

Still would like a more in-depth conclusion to the series, though.
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#509 Jul 02 2012 at 1:47 PM Rating: Good
Mazra wrote:


That's why I need a Mass Effect 4, or at least a DLC that ties all of this crap up. If the Destroy ending showed EDI and the Geth surviving (indicating that the god child was either wrong or bluffing), I'd have settled for that. In fact, the Destroy ending felt more satisfying before the extended endings, back when the whole indoctrination theory was happening.

.


That was the way I chose to perceive it before the extended endings. I can still believe that if I want to. Smiley: nod Or even that Shep decided to call his bluff and will have to live with the consequences. (more gritty version) Which in a way does tie into a renegade mindset. Victory at all costs and the like. But the fact that none of the choices are easy is what gives it gravity imho.
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#510 Jul 02 2012 at 3:48 PM Rating: Good
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Well, I think the endings lacked gravitas. BioWare said my actions in the previous two games would have a big impact on the third, but in the end it comes down to whether you choose blue, green or red. Might as well have run with that from the beginning and I wouldn't have had to replay the first two games a bunch of times to get the outcome I wanted. Had I known from the beginning that it would all boil down to a) sacrifice, b) sacrifice, or c) blow **** up, I probably wouldn't have given the first two games much thought.

They promised choice, but choosing between three colors of the same ending wasn't what I--and a lot of other players--had in mind. If the writer felt that his artistic integrity was at stake and required a sad ending, they should have just done like Infinity Ward did with Call of Duty and made us follow a predetermined path. I mean, crap, ME3 even has one of those "just take me to the action" single player modes where the game picks the dialogue options for you. It's obvious that the priorities regarding ME3 shifted somewhere between ME2 and ME3 release.

The ending is half-assed, even in the extended version. No conclusion, so much ambiguity you'd think Nolan directed the **** thing, and none of your choices matter. Sure, if you were a good boy in ME1 and ME2, your crew will survive. Sound familiar? That's the ending to ME2. Bad photoshop for Tali's big reveal. Google copy-paste image for the final cutscene. Crappy sprites. An enormous focus on multiplayer... so much that it actually affects the outcome of the single player story through three games.

Yeah, it's pretty clear what their priority was. Multiplayer is where the money is.

I blame EA.
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#511 Jul 02 2012 at 4:13 PM Rating: Good
But the multiplayer was really fun! When I first heard of it I thought, "I won't bother with that part I just like the stories" Instead I ended up being addicted to it for over a month. Playing non stop on weekends until I was pimped out and doing gold matches. Team cooperative wave fighting was way more fun than I would have imagined, especially with RNG treasure boxes to keep your gambling response mind drugs flowing.
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#512 Jul 02 2012 at 8:05 PM Rating: Excellent
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Mazra wrote:
Well, I think the endings lacked gravitas. BioWare said my actions in the previous two games would have a big impact on the third, but in the end it comes down to whether you choose blue, green or red. Might as well have run with that from the beginning and I wouldn't have had to replay the first two games a bunch of times to get the outcome I wanted. Had I known from the beginning that it would all boil down to a) sacrifice, b) sacrifice, or c) blow sh*t up, I probably wouldn't have given the first two games much thought.

They promised choice, but choosing between three colors of the same ending wasn't what I--and a lot of other players--had in mind. If the writer felt that his artistic integrity was at stake and required a sad ending, they should have just done like Infinity Ward did with Call of Duty and made us follow a predetermined path. I mean, crap, ME3 even has one of those "just take me to the action" single player modes where the game picks the dialogue options for you. It's obvious that the priorities regarding ME3 shifted somewhere between ME2 and ME3 release.

The ending is half-assed, even in the extended version. No conclusion, so much ambiguity you'd think Nolan directed the **** thing, and none of your choices matter. Sure, if you were a good boy in ME1 and ME2, your crew will survive. Sound familiar? That's the ending to ME2. Bad photoshop for Tali's big reveal. Google copy-paste image for the final cutscene. Crappy sprites. An enormous focus on multiplayer... so much that it actually affects the outcome of the single player story through three games.

Yeah, it's pretty clear what their priority was. Multiplayer is where the money is.

I blame EA.


Well, this is disheartening. ME3 sounds like DA2, but with multi-player to make up for its craptastic ending "choices."

At least I'm enjoying the **** out of ME2 right now. Totally romancing Tali Smiley: sly
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#513 Jul 02 2012 at 9:42 PM Rating: Excellent
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It's obvious that the priorities regarding ME3 shifted somewhere between ME2 and ME3 release.


Ya, making the 3rd part of the trilogy accessible to ME newbies too. Fair enough, you're unhappy with the endings of ME3 - but the journey was pretty god **** epic, wasn't it?
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#514 Jul 02 2012 at 10:07 PM Rating: Good
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I think the problem is that they say "your choices will have an impact on the game" and people assume they mean the END of the game. People lived or died based on my decisions through the games, and most had repercussions on the world. Sure a lot of it was in "good job" or "you screwed up" emails, but there ya go. The color of button is just one more choice after a long string of them.
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#515 Jul 02 2012 at 10:09 PM Rating: Good
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Sure, more or less everything leading up to the ending was awesome, but it all just falls a bit flat when the ending fails to deliver.

sel, your choices had less of an impact on the events in ME3 than they did on the events in ME2. BioWare said our choices would have a huge impact on ME3 and they didn't. Not even close. Losing random crew members because of what you did in the previous games? Pretty much every character involved in a choice in the first and second game are killed off in the third. If you saved Wrex in the first game and decides to save Mordin in the third then Wrex dies. Otherwise Mordin dies, unless Mordin died in ME2, in which case someone else bites the bullet. If you saved Kirrahe in the first game then he dies in the third game, otherwise Thane bites it.

I get it, war is ****, people die and sacrifices are made for the greater good. That point was pretty clear by the time I had to say goodbye to Mordin in a scene that will forever haunt my memories as the point in time where a certain amount of awesome died.

In the end, though, who cares? Shepard dies or everyone else dies. End of story. Unless you played the multiplayer portion of the game enough to get the high score and watch the "secret" Shepard lives cliffhanger. Who puts a cliffhanger in the end of the last story in a trilogy?

There's a reason why the ending was ridiculed across the net.

Edited, Jul 3rd 2012 6:27am by Mazra
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#516 Jul 03 2012 at 12:54 AM Rating: Excellent
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There's a reason why the ending was ridiculed across the net.


**** hath no fury like nerdrage.
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#517 Jul 03 2012 at 7:20 AM Rating: Good
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The Internet also thinks Prometheus is a bad movie because they wanted a prequel to "Alien+32 years of nostalgia."
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#518 Jul 03 2012 at 10:12 AM Rating: Good
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The internet is stupid in many different ways, but it does provide quantitative empirical evidence that something wasn't to the liking of a lot of people. Maybe it's the vocal minority, I don't know, but when something bad about your product becomes a meme, you're doing something wrong.

Spoilers incoming from all three games.

Like I said earlier, I get that the writers went for a downbeat ending, but they put so many downbeat missions in the game with sacrificial endings that the last sacrifice by Shepard completely lacked gravitas.

Just to name a few...

  • Mordin sacrifices himself to cure the genophage.
  • Kirrahe/Thane sacrifices himself to save the council member.
  • Salarian commando sacrifices himself to stop a terrorist.
  • Turian leader's son sacrifices himself to disarm the bomb.

By the time you get to where Shepard sacrifices himself to save the galaxy, his sacrifice just seems obvious. I was expecting every mission I went on in ME3 to include the death of some character I liked. Where ME2 and ME1 had you choose which characters lived, ME3 has you choose which characters die. I just don't like that.

That said, I think I've raged enough on this matter now. I've chosen the Control ending as my "happy" ending because it's the only ending where no one dies. Shepard's physical body dies, but his consciousness is still alive. And he's like a space god. Win.

Edited, Jul 3rd 2012 10:06pm by Mazra
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#519 Jul 03 2012 at 11:46 PM Rating: Good
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I was expecting every mission I went on in ME3 to include the death of some character I liked.


Depending on what you do in ME2, most of that crew lives or dies during their missions in ME 3 so...

Is it 'cause you finally had to make choices that killed people that mattered or...???
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#520 Jul 04 2012 at 2:27 AM Rating: Good
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It's all about the costs and the people who pay them. Mordin sacrifices himself to correct an action he willingly made but now sees as a mistake. Thane is a repentant assassin at the end of his life, seeing sacrificing it for anyone as a positive trade. Kirrahe kinda comes out of nowhere, I admit. The leader's son is trying to make up for his *****-up and poor leadership.

The whole series has been emphasizing that you can't win without paying for it. Virmire, saving the Council, various points in 2 (though aside from the ending decision with TIM I don't think any choices were "two bad ones," making it the most positive of the three games, there was still fallout). The various sacrifices in 3 are all about facing death on your own terms, because the alternative is too terrible to consider. There's no perfect ending to aim for, no set of flags that leaves everyone sitting around drinking a beer. If they let Shepard live unscathed in an ending it would devalue every other choice (look at everyone insisting that the ending with half a second of twitching was the "good" one and complaining at the # of points needed to get it). You can pick from a bunch of bad options, you can spit in the god-child's eye, but you're choosing your death any way you slice it.

I just don't understand how people could expect a perfect ending.
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#521 Jul 04 2012 at 6:51 AM Rating: Good
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selebrin wrote:
I just don't understand how people could expect a perfect ending.


Because some people like happy endings? I mean, call me crazy, but downbeat endings rarely do anything good for me. I know it's considered cheesy as **** by the movie connoisseurs out there, but I prefer a happy ending.

Now, I understand that putting a happy ending on a story isn't always what the writer wants and I'm fine with that. Most stories don't end in a color-coded multiple choice scenario. If they went through the trouble of making us choose an ending, why not make a happy ending? Control smells a lot like the happy ending that was changed last minute. I don't think Shepard was originally meant to be disintegrated when he took control over the Reapers. Hence the handles on the machine. Why would the machine need handles to disintegrate him? And it's the only ending in which the Citadel isn't destroyed, merely shut down.

I don't think he was supposed to have died in the Control ending, but they changed it last minute because forcing the players to choose a depressing ending would make the ending epic by default, like all those epic downbeat endings in movies. It worked for some, apparently, but others... not so much.

Edited, Jul 4th 2012 2:52pm by Mazra
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#522 Jul 30 2012 at 7:55 AM Rating: Good
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Anyone still playing the mulitplayer? I don't play often, but I drop in every so often. Played a decent bit this weekend, trying to get a new class option (which didn't really pan out--I mostly got updrades to what I already had, or combos I didn't care for. Like Vorcha... anything).

I still haven't actually beaten ME3 because I have so much distracting me nowadays, and the Steam sale didn't help. :P I'm determined to finish it by the end of August though.
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#523 Jul 30 2012 at 2:14 PM Rating: Good
I haven't played in ages. How was queue time to get matches? What were you mostly playing silver or? There are a bunch of new weapons and classes since last time I played, I am kind of tempted to give it a spin again but I kind of feel like I would have some serious rust.

Edited, Jul 30th 2012 1:15pm by Shojindo
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#524 Jul 30 2012 at 2:21 PM Rating: Good
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Queue was still instant for me. No time spent searching or all. I was playing Bronze, because I tend to go so long between matches that I forget how to play. Smiley: lol The fact that I'm typically either shaking from too much coffee, or boozing it up, when I play doesn't help either.

I really want to try out some of the new Earth options, they seem pretty awesome.
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#525 Jul 30 2012 at 2:56 PM Rating: Good
I think their is even platinum difficulty now. Smiley: eek I would do the same as you if I play again, warm up in some bronze. I was playing silver and gold before I quit but after sucking it up in single player to see the new endings I could tell I was seriously rusty.

But I still got a bunch of Steam games to get through and for some reason I started leveling a monk in D3 this weekend.
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#526 Jul 31 2012 at 6:11 PM Rating: Good
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The N7 Soldier (Can turn into a turret), Adept (pairs well with a Justicar), Engineer (2 grenade abilities and a grenade dispenser, be prepared to have teammates humping you), Infiltrator (teleport behind guys and sword them in the head), and Sentinel ("Hi, I'm a wall! Why don't you and me get to know each other better while my allies lob grenades into the crowd of ya trying to kill me?") are all very nice, though they take some getting used to. I'm not impressed by the N7 Vanguard, who does everything the Infiltrator does but without cloaking.

New Maps:
London -- the bottom area's a kill box and the sniper top part's got no ammo crates. Painful.
Vancouver -- It's a map akin to the ruined building roofs at the start of the SP game. Not bad.
Rio -- Very pretty (the Cristo Redentor is visible off in the distance to one side) but very painful if done wrong. People camp the middle and it leaves you vulnerable to every sniper on the map. Head for the storage crates on the far end or hole up on the near end.

New mission:
Escort -- Activate a drone, then escort it to the destination. More folks in the bubble the faster it moves, and all escorts aren't the same length, meaning this can either be cake or painful. It'll often wander away from cover, so do what you can to clear the area and protect your ***.

New Difficulty:
Platinum -- Wave 1-3 have the foes you picked. 4-6 mix in another group, and 7-10 has everything trying to kill you. You would think that means a mix of Banshees, Primes and Atlases, but I find the mix is more 3/4 Banshees and 1/4 Primes. It's painful. Rewards about 140K for a full completion.

Edited, Jul 31st 2012 5:13pm by selebrin
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#527 Jul 31 2012 at 10:00 PM Rating: Good
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I unlocked the Sentinel with the victory pack. Didn't play him at all, but looking at his abilities? ****. You can give that omni shield something like 4k shield, and it boosts melee by at least 35%. Eventually you get to upgrade it with a fire or cryo effect.

They get incinerate, which is meh, and shield drain which provides ridiculously strong synergy with their already crazy powerful shield. Last ability is a flash freeze plus AOE which can apparently be used through walls (I'm guessing the AoE portion) to cause some great CC--you can even upgrade it to snare.

I'm excited to try him out. Will be interesting to try a melee-based Sentinel for once. I'll probably toss a Shotgun on him, maybe with a lightweight SMG, and see where it goes.

Only complaint looking at it is that they gave him incinerate instead of reave. I get it--they were going for the fire and ice duality, and this allows the Sentinel to set up and detonate fire explosions, but he has no counter to barriers now. But what really irks me is that there are no biotic powers, when the Sentinel class is supposed to be a biotic tech user. Whatever, not the end of the world.
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#528 Jul 31 2012 at 10:29 PM Rating: Good
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I don't have one to play around with myself but the consensus I've heard is to go for the cold powers (better than fire if they live) and make Mr. Freeze puns all game long.
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#529 Jul 31 2012 at 11:49 PM Rating: Excellent
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selebrin wrote:
I don't have one to play around with myself but the consensus I've heard is to go for the cold powers (better than fire if they live) and make Mr. Freeze puns all game long.
Ice to hear.
#530 Aug 01 2012 at 5:57 AM Rating: Good
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So the N7 Paladin = Kao?
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#531 Aug 01 2012 at 6:51 AM Rating: Good
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Also, I'm really hoping all these cool new abilities and units don't stay solely in MP land. I'm fully expecting a DLC to retake Omega, and I'll be ****** if we don't get to include these badasses. Ideally, in my mind, Shepard will be commanding the army to take back the station, which will be made of everything from Blue Suns to Alliance forces.

So you'll have portions where it's Shepard and her squad, and portions where you have to dish out orders (like in ME2) to other units, and then you'll actually play as them. What will be available will vary, too. Like, you can get Geth units if you save the Geth, Quarian if you save Quarians, etc.

Really, I just want to be able to play with the abilities without worrying about bringing my team down. XD

[EDIT]

Okay, played a couple matches with the N7 Paladin.

First off, it's definitely VERY powerful. At least at lower difficulties.

Your melee is absurdly strong--your standard melee is essentially a small cone heavy melee attack. It flat-out kills cannibals on Bronze. Marauders without their shields too (didn't try it on any with shields). Took a ravager down in 2-3 hits. Maybe 5-6 for a Brute. Similar for a banshee, once the barrier is down. The AoE aspect makes getting rid of the swarmers quite easy.

Down side is that your "strong" melee attack is planting the shield in the ground. This might do a very small amount of damage to anything right near you, but that's it. Once you plant your shield, you become stationary (with the shield defending you in one direction). You are free to move in a circle, changing your defensive angle. You hit the melee attack again (or do something else) to cancel the effect.

Not actually a problem, but a big issue for me. I quite often end up heavy melee-ing when I want to just use my shield bash. Nothing worse than planting yourself in the middle of a group of enemies, when you had meant to take them all out with one blow. I'm going to see if I can bind the heavy melee attack to another key. Honestly, this has always been an issue for me, but I just solved it by not playing melee-intensive classes. But I really like the Paladin...

Another big weakness is that, despite being a melee-heavy class (well, having that option), you have no way to close the gap between yourself and the enemies--not even a speed buff. REALLY sucks if you're playing with a Vanguard, because everything will be dead before you can get to it. I essentially was useless for the first 5 waves one match. Once the swarms start coming thick and from all directions I was definitely super useful (finished last in points, but not by a ton, so I definitely made up for it).

I was playing with a Disciple and a Phaeston. You definitely want a pistol or a shotgun, for the melee buff, imo. But I'm not sure I cared for the Shotgun itself. I mean, my melee attack is WAY stronger than any shotgun blast. If they're in short range, I might as well just melee them down. Phaeston worked fairly well, though, primarily because of its accuracy across ranges. I'm thinking I'll try a Pistol/AR or Pistol/SMG setup next.

As for the abilities:
Energy Drain: I take back everything bad I've ever thought about this ability. It's absolutely amazing--strips shields or barriers and replenishes your shields. This should be one of your first skills maxed, easily. Right after your shield, imo.

Snap Freeze: I was not impressed. I'm sure it's far more useful on higher difficulties, but the problem is that it only works on unprotected enemies. Everything unprotected was a joke for the Paladin due to such a strong melee. It has a very limited range, and only seems valuable if you want to set up Cryo Explosions. Might be useful on gold if it's the difference between 2 hits or 3 for your shield to take something down, I guess. It'll shine once fully evolved though, since it'll weaken armor (combined with Cryo shield and the subsequent cryo explosion, you get 100% weakening for 5 seconds).

Incinerate: Honestly, I used this a lot. I only dropped 1 point into it, but it was hugely helpful. I suppose piercing ammo would work just as well, but I don't have any piercing mods. I'm not at all sure why other builds ignore it, unless they are loading up on weapons.

Shield Mastery: First to max. Getting it to rank 3 is 35% to melee, 25% to shields, and an omni-shield (planted) strength of 3300. Then you choose between 30% to your melee or 15% to health/shield/omni-shield (go melee). Then you can double your omni-shield resilience or decrease shield recharge by 15% (I vote shield recharge, unless you're playing the very high difficulties. I don't think you'll be using the omni-shield for that long at a time for this to ever even apply on Silver or Bronze--only good point is that you'll get an extra hit or two from a Brute/Banshee). Last upgrade is Cryo or Fire Shield. Lower difficulties, pick your poison. Higher, you'll want Cryo/Snap Freeze for complete armor weakening.

N7 Paladin: The class tree. Mainly power and weapon damage upgrades. I wouldn't go past 3, personally. Not while there are other things to nab.

Edited, Aug 1st 2012 10:26am by idiggory
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#532 Aug 01 2012 at 1:22 PM Rating: Good
Damnit. That all sounds really cool. It's impressive they have added that much more content to MP since release. I'm so going to have to give it a spin this weekend.
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#533 Aug 01 2012 at 6:35 PM Rating: Good
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Now they just need to get around to adding some SP DLC. I'm not complaining, since they prioritized the extended cut, but I really want to take back Omega, dammit.
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#534 Aug 04 2012 at 10:57 AM Rating: Good
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The One and Only Poldaran wrote:
selebrin wrote:
I don't have one to play around with myself but the consensus I've heard is to go for the cold powers (better than fire if they live) and make Mr. Freeze puns all game long.
Ice to hear.

Allow me to break the ice. My name is Freeze. Learn it well. For it's the chilling sound of your doom.

Wrong Mr. Freeze? Smiley: frown

(I liked Arnold's version, even if it was horribly goofy.)
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#535 Aug 04 2012 at 3:08 PM Rating: Good
idiggory wrote:
Now they just need to get around to adding some SP DLC. I'm not complaining, since they prioritized the extended cut, but I really want to take back Omega, dammit.


Not quite Omega, but still, DLC.
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#536 Aug 04 2012 at 3:43 PM Rating: Good
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Mazra wrote:
The One and Only Poldaran wrote:
selebrin wrote:
I don't have one to play around with myself but the consensus I've heard is to go for the cold powers (better than fire if they live) and make Mr. Freeze puns all game long.
Ice to hear.

Allow me to break the ice. My name is Freeze. Learn it well. For it's the chilling sound of your doom.

Wrong Mr. Freeze? Smiley: frown

(I liked Arnold's version, even if it was horribly goofy.)


Nope, that's the right Mr. Freeze.

Man, I'm getting massive lag today. My BatSol feels like a Vanguard just before the Rapture sets in.
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#537 Aug 05 2012 at 3:49 PM Rating: Good
After doing some more multiplayer to get my readiness up for the expanded ending DLC, I've been too busy with Skyrim DLC & The Secret World to try the Earth Multiplayer DLC.

I'm saving my frustration at not getting what I want from supply boxes for the period just before the new DLC comes out. I still have a couple of the initial classes & all of the Geths unplayable & I put in time during all but the most recent weejend event.

/phooey
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#538 Aug 06 2012 at 3:34 AM Rating: Good
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N7 Paladin just seems really bad to me. It has the same problem krogan soldier/sentinel has, in that it takes them ages to get to enemies to melee, only it's squishier, does less damage and, while its abiltiies aren't that great, still has to worry about weapon weight. Melee in general becomes much less effective at harder difficulties, because everything murders you, and is generally pretty risky due to all those melee executes floating around.

I played through all three games as soldier, but they're kinda lackluster in MP. Even in singe player, the weight system kind of ***** them over. Been playing around with a sniper infiltrator with the valiant instead, which is fun. sadly, anything that might cover the close range weaknesses of the build is just too heavy - even a light shotgun like the disciple weighs too much. One might assume that this is what the shogtun pistol is designed for, but that weighs a ton, too.
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#539 Aug 06 2012 at 6:59 AM Rating: Good
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Kavekk wrote:
N7 Paladin just seems really bad to me. It has the same problem krogan soldier/sentinel has, in that it takes them ages to get to enemies to melee, only it's squishier, does less damage and, while its abiltiies aren't that great, still has to worry about weapon weight. Melee in general becomes much less effective at harder difficulties, because everything murders you, and is generally pretty risky due to all those melee executes floating around.

I played through all three games as soldier, but they're kinda lackluster in MP. Even in singe player, the weight system kind of @#%^s them over. Been playing around with a sniper infiltrator with the valiant instead, which is fun. sadly, anything that might cover the close range weaknesses of the build is just too heavy - even a light shotgun like the disciple weighs too much. One might assume that this is what the shogtun pistol is designed for, but that weighs a ton, too.


The play-style I'm seeing pushed for higher difficulties is a longer range one. You go with an AR, shield is only for emergencies, and you primarily use SD and then SF on anything that gets close. Perk of AR is that they can be good in all three ranges, so that's nice.

Right now, the shield isn't desirable at higher difficulties because it's not strong enough to block out a full volley of powerful attacks, such as from a ravager. You'll end up draining your health, so it's better to get to cover than otherwise. It's a good emergency tool for if you can't, of course, but nothing defining like it should have been. End result is that the Paladin just isn't that tanky. They really need to rebalance him.

Oh, and I found out why incinerate isn't great. It only gets a damage buff against frozen targets. You can't freeze armor/shields, so the evolution is useless on the higher difficulties.

He's ridiculously strong on the lower difficulties, but not tanky enough to play as a melee on the higher ones.
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#540 Aug 08 2012 at 4:50 PM Rating: Good
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This weekend, we get Operation Olympus. We get to go to London and earn Bronze, Silver, and Gold.
Operation OLYMPUS (August 10th-12th)

Increased Reaper activity has been reported around London. Operation OLYMPUS will focus large-scale strikes on the Reapers to buy the Resistance time to investigate.

Squad Goal: Full extraction from Firebase London using any Kit on any difficulty

Allied Goal: Using any Kit/ Map combination against any enemy, complete wave 10 on a combined community total of 200,000 Bronze missions, 175,000 Silver missions and 70,000 Gold missions.

Special Circumstance: None

Squad Goal Success: All squad members awarded a Commendation Pack
Allied Goal Success: All players awarded a Victory Pack

Requirement: Mass Effect: Earth must be installed


Notes:
-- Apparently there will be a status update Saturday so we can tell if one particular difficulty needs attention.
-- "kit"="character"
-- God I hate London. The bottom's a deathtrap and the top's got no ammo. I'll be clearing this with my brother on Bronze and then playing fun maps.
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#541 Aug 08 2012 at 5:02 PM Rating: Good
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The word "kit" forced my brain to a complete stop, ha. Thanks. :P
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#542 Oct 10 2012 at 10:06 AM Rating: Good
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So who else is excited about the MP changes? I am. Sure, some aspect of "challenges" are superficial content. But I get to play a volus so I don't give a crap. :P Plus, new enemies (not so thrilled about their anti-power nature given my love of biotics though...) and more dynamic maps.

Plus, stat tracking site looks decent. I'm in the top 22% apparently. I take that to mean that only 22% of players who ever played MP actually played it more than once. XD

[EDIT]

As for the endings, I thought they were fine.

I did finish the game post-patch, so what I did was alt-tab to YouTube when it was time to make my final decision--I chose destruction (immediately wished I chose synthesis, and I could have, but I decided to treat viewing the ending on YT as my final choice). I haven't watched all the endings, but I've learned a decent amount of the options.

There are definitely problems with the original endings, but I think the expansion really solves all of those. I can get why people would still be unhappy, what with there being no "happy" ending (but really, it's that there's no "perfect" ending).

Was the ending my favorite ever? Not by a long shot. But I think it was roughly equal in quality to the core story line--I was never a fan of the Crucible plot line. It was fine, but it was a little too far-fetched for a game that was otherwise fairly grounded in the realm of possible--if you could accept the idea of mass effect fields being possible, nothing else was too outlandish (even the ancient alien race of destroyer machines). But it wasn't a BAD plot line, just not quite my cup of tea.

But I think the details of the ending were appropriate. I can't comment on when you have <max readiness, because I was WELL beyond what was necessary thanks to MP and haven't done research into the differences, but here's my take on the particulars that come to mind:

Anderson. I get why he had to die. Anderson was always a link the past in the games--a face of old humanity. He was exceptional, yes, but you always see him in normal human situations, or acting on behalf of all humanity. His death symbolizes the death of the old order. Even more importantly, it had to happen, to give Shepard the chance to make a choice. His death gave him/her ultimate control over the galaxy's destiny--her mentor had died, and it was time for her to truly surpass him.

Illusive Man. Well, there's the obvious Saren reflection stuff--the ability to make a choice, even when your free will is being stripped from you, even when that choice is a terrible one. It's a Myth of Sisyphus type scenario. But he can also symbolize humanity's potential for delusion, even in the face of true fact--that we can be our own worst enemies, and that our best intentions can be truly awful. But even more than that, he combines with Anderson to be the face of Humanity. But where Anderson is all that is honorable, the Illusive Man is the lass palatable aspects of human nature. And, like with Anderson, his death means Shepard becomes the ultimate authority for humanity's behalf.

The three choices. Each choice Shepard can make is tied in some way to a few different philosophies, but most important is the philosophy with regards to technology and artificial life that have actually had significant endorsement throughout time. There's a group who believes that technology is progressing too fast--that we are losing a distinct aspect of humanity by coming to rely on it too intensely. Then there's a group that believes technological evolution is simply the next aspect of human development--that learning to control and use our environment is fully natural and good. Finally, there's the most widely held philosophy (generally because most people haven't thought too much about it and would fall into this group)--the group that sees technology as being merely a tool without any inherent good or bad to it, but simply in how we use it.

To use a good example, take guns. You can think guns are inherently good, in that they gave humans control over the wilds. You can think they are inherently bad, because they are tools of destruction (even if destruction can be positive). Or you can think that guns are neither good or bad, but may be used to bring about good or bad consequences (which isn't incompatible with the belief that something like gun control is good).

Destruction is the ending that would be the idea that technology is ruling us, not the other way around. It's the rejection of the reaper legacy of the Galaxy, a refusal to be a tool in a great cosmic game of evolution. The choice to destroy the reapers is the choice to give a huge F-YOU to your past. The Mass Relays and the Citadel are a part of that technological past--the very development of the galaxy was the result of relay positions planned out by the Reapers--everything developed as THEY intended. Destroying the reapers is putting the true destiny of the galaxy in the hands of the people, but it means that they truly have to pioneer the future--the destruction of the current galactic order. It means there will be many battles in the future, between synthetics and organics, and between various organic groups (just imagine the wars there will be when the different races finally start encroaching on each other in a relay/Citadel-less galaxy), and Shepard's survival is symbolic of that.

Control is the belief that technology is ultimately a tool to be used, neither good or bad. Shepard chooses to accept the galactic legacy, but to turn it to her (and organics') best interests. This is also the ultimate *****-you to artificial life, the denial of their right to exist. Destroy doesn't enslave them, it destroys the Geth but leaves open the potential for future life to exist (in Prothean ideology, you earn the right to rule through force). This is an acceptance of your legacy, but a choice to take control of it. The relays suffer slight damage, because no significant change in destiny is painless. But now the Repears and Geth are reduced to what they always should have been--tools. Shepard's tools, to be used for construction and policing. Shepard "survives" as a consciousness, living on in a sense to fight future battles. Or, more particularly, to put down threats to order.

Synthesis supports the last ideology--that technology is intricately tied to evolution in a meaningful way, and that anything "lost" to technology can't be considered bad, because we lost it through evolution--it was survival of the fittest. It also endorses the idea that all life has a right to exist, which also means a rejection of the current galactic order (which was actively anti-synthetic and sought to control certain technologies). Shepard truly ceases to exist, as it is the only path which will meaningfully reduce the needs for warriors. It reaffirms the rights for ALL life to live, and sets the stage for that to happen. The Reapers become allies with all organics, and the galaxy is unified like never before--under a collective understanding for the need for learning. Technological and social understanding explodes.

Total destruction is a decision not to be controlled or influenced, and it is a sign that a complete rejection of such. But the world is a place where you're ALWAYS being influenced--free will itself could easily be a lie. So that kind of choice is a choice for anarchy--entropy, the absence of order. It carries with it a steep price. But the universe toils on, and someone else can always have their chance to make a choice.


That's only the surface of the issues, really. Each ending represents a different philosophy on government, rights of people vs. rights of populations, rights to life, technology, artificial intelligence, the importance of choices, etc. I think it was fairly well done, considering there's no way they could possibly have encompassed all of them.

Am I disappointed in the overall plot? Yes. I wish my choices throughout the game radically changed the ending in a more meaningful way than its outcome. Like choosing to help the Krogan gave me superior Turian/Krogan support making my influence in that sector stronger, which opened up different tactical options to retake Earth. Or choosing to help the Salarians meant I could have used subterfuge to redirect Reaper animosity away from Earth so I could retake it, THEN have the final showdown on Thessia. Etc.

IDK, I feel like a big opportunity was wasted by making it so the final showdown always happened on Earth. Particularly when Earth didn't actually have much practical value in terms of a Reaper assault. It would have made far more sense to take Thessia from the start, then divide the fleets to take Earth and Palaven, IMO. /shrug Unless their plan was actually to knock out Shepard, but that seems unlikely--they never seemed to be targeting the Normandy any more than any other vessel.

All that said, I think the ending was about as good as we reasonably have any right to expect. ME3 overall was worth WELL more than its purchase cost--even with a less-than-amazing central plot line and ending, it ranks as one of the best gaming experiences I've ever had. And that's impressive. And I DO think the endings are interesting, I'm just not into the Crucible plot line. I think they could have more realistically fused it with a conventional war storyline for a more realistic plot. Like how the **** did the Reapers never find that thing? They didn't indoctrinate ANYONE who knew about it? Why didn't they take the Citadel right away? Etc.

At the same time, I can't necessarily begrudge them that plot arc. Because what made the Reapers such a great antagonist also made the convential plot arc super unbelievable. So...

/rambling

Edited, Oct 10th 2012 2:43pm by idiggory
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#543 Oct 10 2012 at 2:16 PM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
IDK, I feel like a big opportunity was wasted by making it so the final showdown always happened on Earth. Particularly when Earth didn't actually have much practical value in terms of a Reaper assault. It would have made far more sense to take Thessia from the start, then divide the fleets to take Earth and Palaven, IMO. /shrug Unless their plan was actually to knock out Shepard, but that seems unlikely--they never seemed to be targeting the Normandy any more than any other vessel.
Humanity, and Shepard in particular, had shown themselves to the Reapers to be something more than the other races. It wasn't about practical value. It was about the species that was worth saving...in the form of a reaper, but saving nonetheless.
#544 Oct 10 2012 at 6:09 PM Rating: Good
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Oh, I get that part. What I don't see is why attacking them first was wise.

Think about it, at just the risk of attack all the other races pretty much abandoned Earth, and that's before they knew that the bulk of the fleet was there. And the galactic politics were already beginning to flounder. But Humans were more-or-less the token Citadel race--we didn't have the same levels of technology, resources, colonization, economy, etc. as the rest of the leading species.

Why not target Thessia first? That utterly destroys the galactic economy, removes the galaxy's best mediators from the equation, and severely limits the ability for the resistance by destroying a significant part of their infrastructure. Though, to be fair, perhaps it's because the Asari had colonized so many worlds, where humans had colonized few. But I doubt that would have been such a problem if the goal was to stop unification, not to outright destroy the Asari.

And Sur'kesh would have been an even easier target. Salarians were amazing when dealing with your typical mortal, but against a behemoth like a reaper just about everything they could do was rendered completely obsolete. Subterfuge means little against them. And because of their particular biological needs, Salarian colonization wasn't as extensive as Asari. And targetting them would be a major blow to the staging of supply lines throughout the galaxy.

Instead they sent the bulk of their fleet to Earth, with most of the rest to Palaven. Palaven could hold its own well enough, given the fact that nearly every Turian was combat trained, their population was huge, their fleets vast and powerful. Not to mention they were decently well colonized, at least in their sector. The fleet they sent to the planet didn't even put their species out of commission with regards to galactic politics and infrastructure--seems to me that same pressure could have done WAY more damage if directed at either of the other species.

And then there is humanity. Less advanced technologically, smaller/weaker fleets (the Normandy, afterall, was a technological marvel to all races, but far closer to Turian designs than Human), fewer dreadnoughts (iirc), much more limited colonization than the other races due to time constraints. While they wanted to harvest humans, they also posed the least risk in that cycle.

Why not take out the Salarians to severely weaken the three remaining species, then divide most of your troops between Asari and Turian sectors, always maintaining at least token forces in the Sol system? That way, the Alliance is still too busy protecting itself to actively seek help, and the rest of the Citadel forces are way too occupied fortifying their borders or saving themselves to even seriously consider helping? If the decimation of a minor race was a motivator to stay out of it, imagine what the decimation of a leading species would mean? They could still have started collection, just at a slower pace. But reaper presence still means indoctrination, and indoctrination means regimes will fall from within regardless of outside interference, given enough time. Send enough ships to move from city to city, so they are always defending or recuperating, and focus on Alliance hubs like Vancouver. That way, they can never really muster the ability to seek aid.

That's my take on it at least. But in my opinion, when you can so easily destroy infrastructure because major hubs are SO exposed like Thessia and Sur'kesh were, at least when compared to (say) Palaven, why wouldn't you? Earth was always the smallest risk. MAYBE more than Sur'kesh was, but with a fraction of the ability to organize the non-Council species.

And it's not like Earth could have really done anything to protect their colonies in any case--those are easy human targets right there...


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#545 Oct 11 2012 at 12:05 AM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
And then there is humanity. Less advanced technologically, smaller/weaker fleets (the Normandy, afterall, was a technological marvel to all races, but far closer to Turian designs than Human), fewer dreadnoughts (iirc), much more limited colonization than the other races due to time constraints. While they wanted to harvest humans, they also posed the least risk in that cycle.
I think you're selling humanity short. Fewer dreadnoughts? Perhaps. But that ignores carriers, a concept introduced by humans to the galactic stage. And I want to say that they were well on their way to matching Salarian and Asari dreadnought numbers since becoming a council race. Maybe not there yet, but getting there.

Human military doctrine is also called out as being significantly different compared to how other races handle warfare. The least risk? No, I don't think that's the case. Perhaps less than the military might currently held by the Turians, but I strongly suspect that the Reapers rightly saw them as a greater overall threat than the Asari and Salarians in the kind of war the Reapers were waging.

And that's before you consider the fact that humanity was actually preparing for them, something I don't believe any other race was really doing. With humanity in a reasonably strong state, they would be the natural leaders to rally a resistance. No, I suspect that a strong hit on earth was, in fact, a good call. Perhaps they went overboard a bit, but nonetheless, I can't really fault the strategy.

#546 Oct 11 2012 at 12:45 AM Rating: Good
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Perhaps. At the end of the day, even if I were right, it wouldn't be a huge plot hole anyway.

The one thing I do seriously wonder, though, is why it took the Illusive Man so long to tell the Reapers about the Crucible project. He had been fully indoctrinated for decades before the Reapers even invaded. So what was it? Was he just subconsciously fighting it that whole time so the process took longer to work on his conscious mind? Or does it have something to do with the fundamental aspect of indoctrination? I mean, all the lore suggests that it doesn't take too long for indoctrinated people to end up mindless. Even if we give a a pretty wide meaning to the word "long" I feel like 2 decades is within that.

At least, IIRC Grayson's indoctrination was that long before ME1, right?
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#547 Oct 11 2012 at 7:04 AM Rating: Good
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Doesn't Anderson survive if you do enough stuff right?
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#548 Oct 11 2012 at 8:30 AM Rating: Good
Spoilers still?
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#549 Oct 11 2012 at 8:38 AM Rating: Good
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Mazra wrote:
Doesn't Anderson survive if you do enough stuff right?
For an additional 15 seconds or so.
#550 Oct 11 2012 at 10:26 AM Rating: Good
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Omega, I figure the fact that there are different endings warrants it. People may have seen one but not others.

The One and Only Poldaran wrote:
Mazra wrote:
Doesn't Anderson survive if you do enough stuff right?
For an additional 15 seconds or so.


Yeah, he tells Shepard he's proud of him/her, his greatest protege, and dies looking out at the Earth. It was actually fairly powerful, imo.
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#551 Oct 11 2012 at 2:40 PM Rating: Good
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Let's face the facts, the reapers have fairly contrived strategies in order to make ground assaults, and thus a team of commandos, more relevant to the plot. If you look at the fluff, when exploring planets for example, you find the reapers mostly orbitally bombard their enemies to death. There's a decent justification in the case of humans, who they want to harvest to form a reaper (having the actual liquid remains be a part of the hull is kind of bizarre, but given their aims it'd make sense they'd want as many brains as possible, to scan and possible integrate as organic computational matter). But it's kind of dumb to land on Palaven just to take turians to make into marauders and brutes solely for the purposes of landing on earth when you could simply roast the turians from anywhere in their solar system.

Honestly, I would have preferred the main force of reapers to show up towards the end of ME3, rather than the beginning. I think it would've made them seem more dangerous, would've given them a better reason to be working through Cerberus and converted troops, and most importantly it might have made for a less unrelentingly gloomy game.

The ME series has always been about being a ridiculous space badass, and I felt the third game did that the worst. It's obviously a conscious choice, but I didn't really feel it fit in with the actual missions, where you're going around duelling reaper destroyers, crouching behind a brick wall to take cover from its giant space laser, banzai charging a dreadnought.... It's kind of weird to see the game take itself almost relentlessly seriously with all of this sh*t going around. I always thought the other two mass effect games did a great job of blending a sense of fun with serious elements. Not so much here. I didn't get to shove anyone screaming through a window or headbutt a single krogan. Basically, I felt the atmosphere was kind of a let down.

Also, I have to say, I was determined to like the endings. I was prepared for a full on Lovecraftian trip-out bizarro ending straight from the mind of some drugged up Gainax fan. But, in the end, I couldn't. When I heard all the sh*t talk about them I assumed everyone was just upset because it ended sadly or ambiguously, but they're just bad. Really, truly awful.

On a brighter note the combat roll is a great addition.

Edited, Oct 11th 2012 8:41pm by Kavekk
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