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Old January 23 2014, 04:40 PM   #2296
TheGodBen
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Reverend wrote: View Post
I never had a problem with the kid. It was always clear to me that he was a cipher that represented humanity as a whole, and Shepard's subconscious feelings of anxiety and guilt that people are dying and there's nothing she can do to stop it. As well as the growing fear that she can't actually save them.
Indeed. The kid doesn't represent those that the Reapers killed, he represents those that the Reapers are killing right now, particularly the civilians that are dying. Shepard wants to be on the front lines fighting off the Reapers directly, but he or she is forced to play the long diplomatic game and leave the task of saving civilians to others. Kaidan or Ashley don't represent that angle.

That's not to say that I think the sequences with the child were good, they felt to me like a desperate attempt to appear profound. Which is also one of the problems the ending has.

ATimson wrote: View Post
Shepard shouldn't be caring about just humanity, though. As a Spectre, her responsibilities are bigger than just Earth or humanity - it's all sentient races, or at least those who kowtow to the Council.
That's the ideal, not necessarily the reality. Intellectually, Shepard should care about all races equally, but emotionally he or she is going to care more about the birthplace and home of humanity. Garrus spends the whole game talking about events on Palaven, Wrex is opportunistic and uses the crisis to help his own people on Tuchanka, and Liara completely freaks out after seeing the devastation on Thessia. So what's so wrong with Shepard caring about the fate of Earth?
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Old January 23 2014, 05:20 PM   #2297
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Re: Mass Effect 3

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
So what's so wrong with Shepard caring about the fate of Earth?
The 67% chance that Shepard's not from Earth?
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Old January 23 2014, 05:31 PM   #2298
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Reverend wrote: View Post
I never had a problem with the kid. It was always clear to me that he was a cipher that represented humanity as a whole, and Shepard's subconscious feelings of anxiety and guilt that people are dying and there's nothing she can do to stop it. As well as the growing fear that she can't actually save them.
See, that's where ME3 diverges from the previous games. It's giving us a Shepard who is now completely out of our control when it comes to deciding her greater motivation. One of the big choices you can make in the first Mass Effect game was actually putting humanity first above all the other races and thus giving humanity more influence in shaping the galaxy. In Mass Effect 2, you can actually support Cerberus by working towards all their objectives and even giving them the means to not only fight the Reapers, but solidify TIM's goal of "Human Dominance" of the galaxy. While I still hate Shepard's line "Human dominance, or Cerberus?" as if to imply that human dominance is an ok thing to stride for, Shepard nonetheless can tell everyone in her group that they're not fighting for humanity, they're fighting for the whole galaxy.

With Mass Effect 3 Shepard's motivation is all about retaking Earth and the story pulls a lot of dumb things in order to justify this motivation. For one thing we have the child I spoke of earlier, the other is leaving Anderson on Earth to give you a motivation to come back, and finally, lowering Shepard's IQ to 27. I'm serious. Note this exchange in the beginning.
Admiral: Than how do we spot them?
Shepard: Stop them? This isn't about strategy or tactics. This is about survival. The Reapers are more advanced than we are. More powerful, more intelligent. They don't fear us and they'll never take pity on us.
So far so good. One Reaper was enough to hold off an entire fleet at the Citadel, where as this is multiple Reapers ready to descend upon us. The number one thing we should be doing is not putting all our forces where they're going to attack, but withdraw and regroup to plan something out later. That's what I get from Shepard's response. Than we get this.
Admiral: What do we do?
Shepard: The only thing we can do. We fight or we die.
Ok. Shepard not only contradicted her previous statement about survival, she also contradicted herself in that very statement (Fight or die are two things, not one). When it comes to "fighting", you actually need strategy and tactics in order to fight at all. So the Reapers have arrived and are now destroying everything, so Shepard, who possibly has the love of her life somewhere out there, whether it be human or alien, has this exchange with Anderson.
Anderson: We've got to get to the citadel.
Shepard: The Citadel? The fight is here!
Anderson: It will be everywhere soon enough. You told me that.
Goddangit. This is NOT MY SHEPARD! If it was my Shepard, these lines would be in complete reverse. If this was the pro-human/Cerberus Shepard from the last two games, the exchange would make a lot more sense. But the Shepard I played isn't that kind of Shepard. She knows that the Reapers are going to be after everyone, she knows that they're going to attack many systems at once and she sure as fudge wouldn't leave her friends or love interest in the dark just so she can fight on Earth, a planet that so far in this series has had zero relevance to anything. The Moon got more exposure than Earth did.

ATimson wrote: View Post
TheGodBen wrote: View Post
So what's so wrong with Shepard caring about the fate of Earth?
The 67% chance that Shepard's not from Earth?
Yep. Two out of three origins for Shepard don't even have Earth as their home, and the one origin that features Shepard coming from Earth has them join the Alliance to, and I'm not kidding, get away from Earth because it was a bad place.

Earthborn: You were an orphan raised on the streets of the great megatropolises covering Earth. You escaped the life of petty crime and underworld gangs by enlisting with the Alliance military when you turned eighteen.
Another fun fact, having a Shepard who's from Earth is the least "Paragon" Shepard in all the profiles. So if you want to make your Shepard a total renegade, you have to be from Earth!

This is what I'm talking about when the game literally goes out of it's way to retcon the previous games in order to get the player to care about something that was never a factor in any of the previous games. The only thing Earth should have been was a place that the Reapers attacked. So what if they took it? It's not like Earth is the only Earth like planet with breathable air and vegetation that we can all move to. There are a crap ton of human colonies out there in space, even a totally human run planet that stores a lot of historical Earth artifacts.
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Old January 23 2014, 05:50 PM   #2299
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Re: Mass Effect 3

ATimson wrote: View Post
The 67% chance that Shepard's not from Earth?
I'm not from Dublin, but if giant robots were eating people in the centre of Irish civilisation, it would bother me a little.

My primary Shepard was a colonist, but it still makes sense to me that he'd care about Earth. 30 years after joining the galactic community, I'm guessing the majority of the human species still lives on Earth, and that it remains the centre of human culture.
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Old January 23 2014, 06:28 PM   #2300
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Aragorn wrote: View Post
AlphaMan wrote: View Post
At the time I played ME3, the original Mass Effect wasn't available on PS3. I had only a motion comic for any reference of Ashley/Kaidan.
Yeah, same with me, but that didn't make me love ME2 any less (ME2 and Uncharted 2 were my fave games of the last gen by a mile).

Then I borrowed a friend's ME1 for Xbox and couldn't play it. It just felt too clunky to me after playing ME2.

Yeah, it was a little clunky for sure.... but I was able to download a copy from PSN and I loved it!! It provided a lot of good background info on Ashley/Kaidan, Cerberus and the Council. I felt it over used the MAKO land rover, but I definitely appreciated ME2 more after playing it... and it unlocked a lot of peripheral characters and maybe even a mission or two in ME2 & ME3.
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Old January 23 2014, 06:28 PM   #2301
Jeyl
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Re: Mass Effect 3

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
My primary Shepard was a colonist, but it still makes sense to me that he'd care about Earth. 30 years after joining the galactic community, I'm guessing the majority of the human species still lives on Earth, and that it remains the centre of human culture.
We're not trying to say that Shepard shouldn't care about Earth at all. We're just saying that for a series that was able to tell an epic action adventure story that didn't resort to the typical "Aliens attack Earth!" storyline, it deserved a lot better. Heck, having aliens hate humanity was one of the "fake outs" of the original game.

Focusing so intently on Earth really does the Mass Effect universe a disservice because Earth isn't what makes the Mass Effect universe unique. There are a crap ton of science fiction stories that all have an Earth, and a lot of them involve aliens wanting to invade Earth specifically. The Mass Effect games gave us a science fiction setting where for once, Earth was not the center of the universe where everything had to revolve around it, and humanity wasn't the only race who could get things done. Earth was simply a place, a place you couldn't really visit in the first two games. Treating Earth like that gave Mass Effect the benefit of exploring and developing other alien societies as though they are as capable of doing great things as we are. I never looked at Shepard being the hero because she was a human. I looked at her being the hero who just happened to be human.
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Old January 23 2014, 07:26 PM   #2302
TheGodBen
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Jeyl wrote: View Post
Focusing so intently on Earth really does the Mass Effect universe a disservice because Earth isn't what makes the Mass Effect universe unique.
I don't disagree with that sentiment, I think the decision to have the Reapers focus their attention on humans in ME2 was lame and formulaic. However, I do disagree that ME3 focused too much on Earth, that was mostly a problem with the marketing and not the game itself. Most of the game was spent travelling the galaxy to Reaper or Cerberus hit worlds that weren't Earth, including the homeworlds of most of the main species. And whenever you went to the Citadel it was filled with refugees who had stories about the devastation being inflicted across the galaxy. Earth wasn't even the hardest-hit world, the Batarians took the brunt of the invasion. It just so happened that for stupid story reasons, ones that go back to ME2, that the final battle took place at Earth.
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Old January 23 2014, 08:37 PM   #2303
Jeyl
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Re: Mass Effect 3

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
However, I do disagree that ME3 focused too much on Earth, that was mostly a problem with the marketing and not the game itself. Most of the game was spent travelling the galaxy to Reaper or Cerberus hit worlds that weren't Earth, including the homeworlds of most of the main species.
Except the parts where Shepard constantly dreams of being on Earth chasing a human child we do not know and going on and on about how leaving Earth behind was one of the hardest things she's ever had to do. Despite the game giving you moments of helping other races out, it still beats you over the head that it's all about saving the Earth in the end. That is why the kid keeps popping up (Because you left humanity behind) and why Anderson is still there (Because you left a well liked character behind).

And some missions where you're supposed to help other species out usually winds up being just a trip to a planet, quick scan, and your done. That is the entire role of the Elcor race in a nut shell.

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
Earth wasn't even the hardest-hit world, the Batarians took the brunt of the invasion.
Sure, the Batarians got hit hard, but that's mostly discussed in dialogue and never actually seen. Heck, unless you've played the previous game with "The Arrival" DLC, the Batarians don't really have much of a presence in the game. It's also kind of hard to say that losing their world is on the same level as Earth when Shepard was there when the invasion began, leaves behind her friends, witnesses innocents dying all around her and even having renowned film composer Clint Mansell compose only one piece of music for the entire game called "Leaving Earth".

TheGodBen wrote: View Post
It just so happened that for stupid story reasons, ones that go back to ME2, that the final battle took place at Earth.
And as I mentioned earlier, thanks to that stupid story telling, Earth is now officially the center of the universe since the Citadel now resides in Earth's orbit. I seriously doubt that aliens will be happy that this once neutral station controlled by a council of multiple alien races is now controlled by humanity.
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Old January 23 2014, 08:52 PM   #2304
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Jeyl wrote: View Post
I seriously doubt that aliens will be happy that this once neutral station controlled by a council of multiple alien races is now controlled by humanity.
At least until they can move the thing back, you know the very large space station that the Reapers could move probably because they have a lot of dreadnaught sized ships that don't need discharge their drive cores (because I don't think a Mass Relay can move something that big) and are more powerful than anything the other races have and even then relatively they didn't move it that far.
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Old January 23 2014, 10:27 PM   #2305
Jeyl
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Hartzilla2007 wrote: View Post
At least until they can move the thing back, you know the very large space station that the Reapers could move probably because they have a lot of dreadnaught sized ships that don't need discharge their drive cores (because I don't think a Mass Relay can move something that big) and are more powerful than anything the other races have and even then relatively they didn't move it that far.
Judging by some of the endings...



moving the Citadel seems highly unlikely.
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Old January 24 2014, 12:23 AM   #2306
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Only time will tell if the Citadel continues to be of any long term relevance in inter-species relations.

The status-quo has been smashed, all the major homeworlds have been devastated, galactic commerce and trade would have been knocked all the way back to the barter system and there are likely billions if not trillions of displaced refugees now wandering the galaxy.

If the set the next game after ME3 then I'd fully expect the galaxy to be a very different place than we're used to. The old guard council race will have essentially lost their power base, the Batarians will have replaced the quarians as the homeless wanderers of the galaxy, a lot of minor or previously unknown races will have rushed to carve out their own little empires out of the vacuum and I suspect some *very* old races will start to come out of the woodwork now that the reapers are no longer reaping and they have no reason to hide anymore.

I suspect it's going to be a lot more like the wild west out there. Vast, lawless, full of the unknown, with all the danger and opportunity that comes with it. In such a galaxy the Citadel could either become the last shining Citadel of galactic civilization, or a relic who's time has come and gone. Maybe both.
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Old January 24 2014, 12:55 AM   #2307
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Reverend wrote: View Post
If the set the next game after ME3 then I'd fully expect the galaxy to be a very different place than we're used to.
I can't imagine them doing a post-ME3 game. Since Bioware refuses to lock out content based on your choices in prior games, that means they'd need to either not use the Quarians, Geth, or Krogan; or annoy everybody when they ignore what happened in ME3.
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Old January 24 2014, 07:39 AM   #2308
Reverend
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Do they? Last I checked cutting Leliana's head off after corrupting the sacred ashes doesn't stop her showing up in Kirkwall years later. Twice.

It really doesn't matter which race you think is "dead", there's always a way around it. Wiped out the quarians? No matter, as it turns out, one single ship survived after all. Didn't cure the genophage? Turns out a handful managed to naturally adapt a second time and this time the salarians weren't in a position to correct for it. Well then what about thr Geth? Oh that's easy. They planned ahead and left behind a dormant backup server and a bunch of inactive platforms out in deep space, well away from the relay network. Apparently they'd planned on pulling a Jaavik and survive into the next cycle. Think EDI is dead? Think again.

The only thing that would present something of a problem would be the synthesis ending. Even there you can just hand-wave that the green circuit patterns faded after a while and the remaining reapers left for places unknown just as soon as the rebuilding was done. The differences between organics and synthetics may be done, but it doesn't stop the bio-synthetics from killing each other.

A couple centuries is all you need to make any consequences merely cosmetic. This is why it's called the "illusion of choice."

Last edited by Reverend; January 24 2014 at 09:55 AM.
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Old January 24 2014, 08:42 AM   #2309
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Re: Mass Effect 3

I don't think BioWare is above retconning previously open-ended choices in order to serve their story goals. Just look at what they did with Revan and the Exile in the backstory for The Old Republic.
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Old January 25 2014, 12:28 AM   #2310
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Re: Mass Effect 3

I don't think they'd have to resort to giving Shepard a "canon" sex or love interest, like they did Revan. But yeah, I could see them deciding that "destroy" is the correct ending. Or retconning a whole new ending for ME3 onto ME4's backstory.

Regardless, prequels are inherently bad, and this series is on thin ice as it is. I think forward is about the only direction they can go.
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