Thread: Mass Effect 3
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Old March 22 2014, 11:22 AM   #2368
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Re: Mass Effect 3

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Another way? You mean there's *another* linked network of devices capable of channelling massive amounts of dark energy, spread throughout the galaxy and all controlled from a central hub? Well why did you say so!?
There's no reason you can't use the existing relay network. It's a network, network's can be hacked. If only you'd managed to recruit a race of AIs who knew their way around networks like the back of their hand....Clearly the relay network's plot armour was as invincible as Kai Leng's earlier in the game!

As for what the Catalyst did and didn't know; it's not omnipotent. Never claimed to be. If they had reason the believe the plans were still out there, then they would have made sure that they were eradicated before they returned to dark space. The fact that they didn't means they had no reason to have such a belief. QED.
And again you go back to basic risk management - the plans existed for 'several' cycles - presumably at the end of each cycle the Reapers/Catalyst would have thought them eradicated, otherwise you're leaving a loaded gun for someone to pick up in the next cycle. The fact that the plans repeatedly permeated across cycles should in itself prompt countermeasures. This is a race that was intelligent enough to create the Citadel trap - but one that isn't smart enough to realize that you can't possibly completely guarantee that something like these plans can be eradicated. The only action completely within their own control was to try and nerf the plans for following cycles.

They also didn't know that Javik survived. That the facility on Ilos managed to wait out the Prothean extinction and board the Citadel. Or that the Leviathan were still out there in hiding. Honestly, those seem to be greater oversights then the existence of some encrypted data file buried in a massive archive that's damn near impossible for non-Protheans to even comprehend, much less decipher.
This doesn't really matter - by the time of the invasion the Reapers are well aware that the Citadel trap has failed, and thanks to Saren/Sovereign, they know exactly why. This is the first time in countless cycles that the Citadel trap has failed. From the get-go it puts them at less of an advantage than they've enjoyed in previous cycles. For a race supposedly as intelligent as the Reapers you'd think that this might prompt some sort of urgency. They've lost direct access to the Citadel. The very thing that they know is crucial in the designs of the weapon aimed to be used against them. What exactly happens if the Crucible arrives at the Citadel and there's no Reaper fleet to stop them? The Reapers are clearly concerned enough at the end of the game when TIM tells them that the Crucible is coming, enough to seize the Citadel and defend it with the vast majority of their fleet. Why bother doing that if the Catalyst can so easily repel any attempts to use the Citadel to activate the weapon? On the other hand, if they're concerned that the Catalyst might not be able to repel such an attempt then why would they not take the Citadel straight away once the invasion is under way?

That aside, being aware the organics are building something they think will wipe out the Reapers isn't the same as actually knowing how it works, or even caring. Indeed, when you speak to the Catalyst, it's implicit that it's just then analysing it's capabilities. Something it couldn't do until after it had engaged with the Citadel.
Which is utterly ridiculous. Not your point, but the fact that this IS true. But again, this is just reflective of convenient naivety on the Catalyst/Reaper's part. They had access to the plans in at least the previous cycle, and most likely cycles before that. The last cycle, at least, was via indoctrinated agents - why wouldn't one of the first questions upon indoctrination be "Explain to us in detail exactly what this device is and how it works"? even that aside, the Reapers aren't intelligent enough to figure out a way of building a scale version and testing its capabilities? The whole notion of the plans seemingly being beyond either the Reapers' ability to understand, or beyond their will to care, is equally ludicrous.

Remember that the Catalyst is an AI. It thinks like a machine. After a billion or more years, tens of thousands of cycles, it's had a 100% success rate in it's harvests. It not capable of being paranoid about what else *might* be out there the threaten it because so far nothing has. It can only conceive of such possibilities in terms of infinitesimally small statistical provabilities. In short: "no data available".
Performance in previous harvests is largely irrelevant. It will simply follow a routine. or at least it would, until it encounters a change within the parameters of that routine. The Crucible plans (or whatever they're called in the previous cycles) are a new element. At first, they probably didn't determine that they were a threat. As they re-appeared across cycles, then that threat should escalate. Despite their seemingly best efforts, the plans DO permeate across cycles - the probability of the plans re-appearing in THIS cycle are likely far from infinitesimal. You're effectively suggesting that the most advanced race of artificial intelligence ever created, in the history of the galaxy, cannot undertake basic risk analysis, something that countless software packages can do today?

Action wouldn't solely be determined by probability/likelihood, but also impact - in this event, whilst the likelihood may appear to be low, the impact is significantly high. A lack of mitigating measures against a high-impact risk, low likelihood or not, is just asking for it, and an incredibly basic fail, for an intelligence that is supposedly superior. At this rate Shepard might as well have turned up on the Citadel armed with a Macbook and an Excel spreadsheet full of Macro commands! Makes about as much sense!
I am a Ranger. We walk in the dark places no others will enter. We stand on the bridge and no one may pass. We live for the One, we die for the One.
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