Mass Effect 3

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by PsychoPere, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. Angel4576

    Angel4576 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Certainly an interesting idea, and a good read. Thanks.

    I hated the way they treated Cerberus, and TIM in ME3. In ME2 you always got the sense that he DID have humanity's interests at heart, he was just willing to go to extreme measures to protect those interests. You also had decent lower-level Cerberus operatives like Miranda and Jacob (ok Jacob was a jerk in ME3, but he was decent enough in ME2). All of a sudden in ME3 TIM had become Old Man Winters from the spooky abandoned theme park and the rest of Cerberus were equally as pantomime.

    I liked what they did with Cerberus in ME2, my XBox GT even references them, but by the end of ME3 I was absolutely sick of the sight of them. By the time the Omega DLC came about it already had one strike against it before I'd even begun once I learned it was yet more Cerberus skullduggery......! :lol:

    Mac Walters - screwed up the ending, and single-handedly screwed over what could have been a worthy antagonist.

    TIM deserved better, Cerberus deserved better.
     
  2. DarkHorizon

    DarkHorizon Captain Captain

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    It's one of the things that really pissed me off about the capture of the Citadel - you spend all this time there, helping people, building up relationships, friends and allies are there (Bailey, Kelly, Jacob, Aria), and there's absolutely no recognition of the fact that all of them are now dead, and all of that work was essentially worthless (although you could say that about a lot of the events in the trilogy - all for a couple of extra points on the War Assets chart...).

    The first time around, I was absolutely stunned by that event and the sheer horror of all of those deaths - yet it was never brought up. (Note: I haven't played Citadel yet, so I don't know if any of that is addressed)
     
  3. Angel4576

    Angel4576 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Strictly speaking the Citadel DLC is supposed to be before the game's ending, hence no, nothing is fixed.

    When I first finished the game I felt sure that some of the future DLC would address the obvious Citadel attack problems - like WTF happened to everyone?! Through a combination of DLC schedule leaks and data mining, it became pretty clear early on that one of the later DLCs was going to be called 'Citadel'.

    There's a certain argument that we play as Shepard, we follow Shepard's crew and ship, and neither were present at the Citadel when it was attacked. Some responses to that line of argument - 1) In ME1 we cut to Saren aboard Sovereign, so we're not always restricted to Shepard's POV. 2) In ME2 we play as Joker FFS! 3) Why not utilize Al-Jalani? Have her broadcasting a reporter's view of the attack as it's happening?

    As it is, it's just a glaring omission. An omission that wasn't really helped by Gamble's Twitter canon - where he said that everyone of importance survived. Well if that's the case, would it really have killed you to insert a solitary slide as part of the end-of-game slideshow? Like the one above?

    So many schoolboy errors.... :rolleyes:
     
  4. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    An interesting theory...but I can see a few significant logical holes in it. For one thing, the only reason Jaavik's "wait till the dust clears" plan even got close to working is because it was supposed to be done in secret. The reapers found out (probably through the Prothean cycle equivalent of Cerberus) so they attacked and believed the facility wiped out.

    So basically, there's no way the Reapers don't know that Cerberus has that area of space after the events of ME2. There's no way they can just hide there in secret. Even if they do ram the Omega-4 relay with Omega itself (very cool idea, BTW!) we already know they're perfectly capable of "walking it". It only took them two-and-a-bit years to FTL it from their darkspace relay to Batarian space, then another six months from the Bhak (sp?) system to the Batarian home system. Getting from the most core-ward relay to the galactic core may take a lot longer, but what's a decade or century to the Reapers? Plus, it's not like the reapers don't know where it is, right?

    Another thing that might bugger things up is the Reaper vanguard. One assumes they leave one behind just for this reason and if Javvik's mission had gone according to plan, Sovereign would have jumped all over them. One can only assume that the Ilos scientists only knew about the use of a vanguard after the fact. So even if the reapers don't come to take out Cerberus at the core, you can be damn sure whoever they leave behind this time around will be sure to keep an eye out for them.

    It's not error or oversight. Despite what they say, I can't believe they weren't aware of the glaring plot holes and dropped threads. They *can't* be that stupid. I'm convinced they knew they were shipping an incomplete product, they simply chose not to address them for budgetary/scheduling reasons. The release date push-back and some of the unused Londo dialogue files are pretty strong evidence of a mid-development triage and re-prioritisation IMO.
     
  5. Angel4576

    Angel4576 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think it depends on what you did with the Collector base. If you saved it back in ME2 then yeah, there's no way that the Council, and by extension the Reapers, won't know that Cerberus are there. If, OTOH, you blew it up then it's not so obvious that Cerberus have been completing operations through the Omega 4 relay post ME2. From memory Shepard is surprised when they find part of the Human Reaper aboard Cronos Station.

    In previous cycles the Reapers obtain their knowledge of who is where through the Citadel trap. Even though this didn't work in this cycle, the Reapers still achieve the same goal when they capture the Citadel at the end of the game. Of course that knowledge is imperfect, based entirely on what the Council/Citadel races/archives are aware of at the time of the Reapers taking control. Hence, if no one knew that Cerberus were going through the relay then it's questionable as to whether the Reapers would know. It's debatable whether the Reapers even knew where Cronos Station was. This was pretty much how the Ilos Protheans survived - records of their existence were destroyed when the Reapers took the Citadel in that cycle, and as such, Ilos was overlooked/forgotten/missed.

    That being said, there ARE problems - first and foremost, as you say, the Vanguard. 12 scientists surviving on Ilos and covertly working to understand the Reapers' plan of attack is one thing - having enough people to go out and take control of the rest of the galaxy is another entirely. Plus, as soon as you start going about that goal, the Vanguard is likely going to discover the plan pretty quickly.

    The other problem goes back to what you did with the Collector base - if you saved it, then it's a safe bet that people know Cerberus are there, studying it or otherwise. As such it's a matter of time before the Reapers figure out that they're there. If you destroyed it then there's a question over whether you have the technology needed to be able to survive at the galactic core. The Collectors got their tech from the Reapers, would any of the current cycle races have that level of tech?

    TBH, there are problems, but it's still a plot that I'd have actually preferred than the one we got in-game.

    Re the other point - I think they probably feel that they did as much as they could given the time constraints. I don't think it takes a genius to conclude that if you'd offered BW three months to get everything ironed out then they'd have snapped your hand off. Bottom line is, EA gave them one extension and by the looks of it weren't prepared to give them another one. At that point it was a case of finish the game as best they could. That's how From Ashes got separated out from the main game, and it wouldn't surprise me if they cut Omega early on as well for the same reason (before the first extension WAS granted).
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2013
  6. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Actually, there's a relatively good chance that they're all still alive on the Citadel. The one thing everyone forgets is that the Illusive Man got himself super reaper-enhanced right before going to the citadel, apparently upgrading himself with a control signal that allows him to control both reaper forces and even human beings. TIM is indoctrinated, but he never DIRECTLY aides the reapers in combat.

    It's more likely that the reapers let The Illusive Man think he was protecting the citadel by letting him maintain control of it and everyone on it with his little glowfist device (which means he probably put it under cerberus lockdown at the same time, kinda like he did on Omega and had earlier tried to do under Udina's watch). That would also explain why the citadel arms were closed when it arrived at Earth; the Protheans sabotaged the citadel so that it no longer responds to reaper commands, so they evidently used The Illusive Man just like they used Saren and got HIM to close the arms and lock the place down.

    So everyone on the citadel is (or was) still alive when Shepard activated the crucible. Probably half to two thirds of them died when shep chose the destroy option, while about one third committed suicide as a result of the synthesis option. A smaller number -- Cerberus troops, mainly -- would have committed suicide after the control option, of course.
     
  7. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well the thing is, since TIM had been under reaper influence since just after the First Contact war, anything he knew, they knew. So destroying the base or not makes no difference. Indeed, how do you think the reapers found out about and dealt with Sanctuary's breakthrough so quickly? Through TIM.

    As Shepard's line RE: the human reaper embryo corpse: IIRC, she just says she's surprised they managed to salvage *as much* as they did, not that they salvaged anything at all. Plus of course it's no secret on Omega before the invasion that Cerberus were coming and going through the O4R, so I'm sure even without TIM or indeed the Adjutants or any other active Reaper tech (like the Oculus fighters for example) word would have gotten back to them through indoctrinated agents. Hell, just simple deduction. Any hint of reaper tech and Cerberus is on it like moths to a flame. It doesn't take a billion year old AI with the collective processing power of tens of thousands of ancient civilizations to figure out that Cerberus would have *some* kind of presence there.

    Yes and no. Getting hold of census data and the like by taking the Citadel straight away gives them a rough snapshot of the galaxy at the time of their arrival. This no doubt allows they to better plan their patterns of attack, pick priority targets and where to leave certain areas free to drive indoctrinated refugees into and ferret out any hidden sanctuaries. I don't think for one second that they depended on it too much though. It's just a tool for increased efficiency.

    As for their knowing the current location of Cronos (according to the books, it moves periodically); see above.

    Well, let's be honest, just about anything would have been better, no? ;)

    Oh absolutely and really, while the final product was incomplete, at least it wasn't *broken* in the technical sense. The failure was one of storytelling, not game mechanics, which is more that a lot of recent games can say.
     
  8. Angel4576

    Angel4576 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Ah yes, Evolution. I guess I'm talking more along the lines of how they could have spun out the Omega 4 plot had they chosen to go that way directly after ME2. As soon as Evolution nails down TIM's indoctrination as having taken place as early as it did, then that whole storyline goes up in smoke.

    No, that's right. I wasn't quite sure how far Shepard's quote went, but the quote along with the other reasoning means again that the O4 plot would only have worked if they'd decided to go that way directly after ME2. Even then though, they'd have had to have come up with something convincing to get around the logical deduction fail that would need to have taken place on the Reapers' part.

    The way I'd see it working would be that the Citadel is the starting point to highlight all the positions of power - in this case, Palaven, Thessia, Earth etc - From there, those places are then hit and more information is harvested, ie. they hit Earth, and then obtain information as to where all Earth's colonies are.

    If anything, the Reapers had it easier in previous cycles - From what we're told our cycle is unusual in that there isn't one power ruling centrally. If there had been, and the Citadel was their seat of power, then it's possible that the Reapers might have actually been able to get what they needed just from the Citadel. If information about Ilos had been present in numerous locations then it would almost certainly have been culled along with the rest.

    Well yeah, TIM being indoctrinated kind of kills that argument anyway I guess! :lol:


    I really don't see how they could have handled Cerberus and TIM much worse to be honest......:confused:

    If it were just a case of certain plot points needing to be filled in with DLC then they'd probably have gotten away with it. Lack of context around the Protheans? Here, check out From Ashes. Know that big hole in the plot about Aria getting kicked off of Omega? Here, check out Omega. Hey, say you want to know more about the origins of the Reapers? Well here's Leviathan. All of that would have worked. It would. Unfortunately, there's one area of the game that drastically needed the extra time, and not just from a 'getting it done' POV, but in actual conceptualization terms. The ending, it doesn't work. They put out the EC to add more context. That wasn't the primary problem that people had with it. BW's refusal to acknowledge that fact and their absolute reluctance to change anything meaningful, just leaves a permanent bitter aftertaste to the series for many.
     
  9. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    I didn't bring this up as a theory. I brought it up to explain how I would have handled Cerberus differently in ME3. The points I made in comparison to their role in the actual game was just to showcase that you wouldn't have to change all that much. They're trying to stop the galaxy from fighting the Reapers, they've seized the Omega station and have established a the center of the galaxy where the Collector Base once resided.

    Like I said, if I was writing ME3 I would have handled things a lot more differently. I wouldn't have resorted to TIM being indoctrinated by the Reapers, and I certainly wouldn't have had that bloody Dues Ex Machina "The Crucible" in the game. All those scientists from all those races and not one of them is a Cerberus spy or an indoctrinated puppet? And of course, and this is just purely for self-indulgence, I wouldn't have made Earth the center of the universe.
     
  10. Angel4576

    Angel4576 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm still semi-convinced that there was some misunderstanding between Casey and Mac around the whole 'deus ex' thing - Casey told Mac that he wanted to mirror Deus Ex: HR's ending, while Mac heard that they needed a Deus Ex Machina at the end of the game.....

    In the end we got both - and it DIDN'T work.....at all. :scream:
     
  11. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, "theory" was a poor choice of words. "Concept" was probably what I actually meant. As for TIM, to be fair I think his being indoctrinated was foreshadowed fairly well in ME2. I mean the eyes for one. The only other character with eyes like that was Saren....and husks.

    As for the Crucible; well whatever you call it and however you handle it, you're always going to need some kind of MacGuffin to drive the plot forward. A specific goal against which you can measure your progress. Where it falls apart for me is the way it became this multi-functional thematically differentiated ending generator. Makes no sense at all to me. The end result should have been an organic outgrowth of your decisions, so by reducing all that to a simple trinary selection trod all over what the games had been up to that point. Ironic considering that most of those past decisions were themselves just a series of binary choices.

    It's funny, I did wonder at the time if they'd pull a Deus Ex ending (the literal meaning, not the game which I *still* haven't finished!) One of my *many* theories/speculations to this effect was that the Crucible was some kind of "ultra" mass relay like the Vorlon artefact in B5's 'Thirdspace' that would open a gateway to another place to either banish the reapers indefinitely, or allow the survivors to escape them and this galaxy forever. The DEM part comes in where, like in 'Thirdspace', rather than getting something out, you end up letting something else *in* and it's WAY worse than the reapers.

    It ties in with an idea about reaper motivations I had back in ME2. Basically it boils down to them harvesting as a means of reproduction. Not because of some singularity mumbo-jumbo, but rather out of sheer necessity. Reason being, instead of hanging out in standby mode in darkspace for fifty millennia, they're actively fighting off some terror from across the galactic void and they need to periodically replenish their numbers. In this version of reality, the whole universe would have been dominated by some runaway nightmare von Neumann machine and the milkyway is the last bastion of organic life in the whole universe, preserved only because some ancient race created the reapers and were able to fight them to a standstill. The irony being that the reapers are themselves ' von Neumann' machines of a sort.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2013
  12. Angel4576

    Angel4576 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^^ Yep, you can chalk that up as another case of something I'd rather have seen than the ending we got. :rolleyes: That's actually pretty good too.

    Re the Deus Ex game, don't let the ME3 ending comparisons put you off, it actually works in DE, largely because it doesn't come completely out of left-field at the 11th hour.....
     
  13. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Plus its not that surprising TIM might go for controlling the Reapers I mean in the first game Cerberus was trying to control Rachni and Thorian Creepers as part of a slave army, and in Mass Effect 2 they tried making a VI god to control the Geth, and had in the past tried to create a super biotic, as well as TIM seeing the Collector base as a means to allow humanity to not only defeat the Reapers but any other races he sees as threats.

    So it look obvious that he is after anything that gives humanity an edge over the other races so why wouldn't he try to go for the ultimate one and control the most advanced race in the universe. Especially since if he succeeds no one could oppose Cerberus or humanity.

    Plus it was kind of hinted at in the end of Mass effect when Shepard said he/she was off to find something to beat the Reapers with, and then brought up again in lair of the Shadow Broker when Liara mentioned the previous Broker was looking into the Protheans in a conversion that hinted at them having one last ace hidden up their sleeves they didn't get to use in time.
     
  14. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    The problem with that point Hart is that most of those attempts to control something WERE COMPLETE FAILURES. Sovereign was able to control the Geth without anyone knowing and was able to launch an assault against the whole galaxy. Cerberus' attempt at controlling the Geth with a VI was not only a failure, it killed all but two people in a densely populated science station. The VI also would have caused more damage had it broken free. EDI herself managed to no longer follow Cerberus' commands, and even the collector base didn't amount to jack in the end. And depending on your play, he wasn't able to control Shepard either.

    So why should TIM, who's writers declare that his intelligence is his weapon, think that he'll have more luck controlling the Reapers when he couldn't even control the GETH? Again, the same synthetics that the Reapers themselves were able to control and manipulate with ease. His motivations are like a fourth grader who keeps failing his math classes and decides he's going to tackle integral calculus instead.
     
  15. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Why? Because he's indoctrinated of course.

    It's clearer if you've read the 3rd book as it's partly from the POV of a character implanted with reaper tech (Cerberus's prototype for the troopers we saw in-game) and being slowly indoctrinated. Basically though, part of what they do is get the subject to convince/delude themselves into believing what they're doing/being compelled to do is right, or at least necessary.

    It's not *total* control as some seem to think. That level of control is pretty aggressive and turns the subject into something as mindless as a husk. It's really more subtle and insidious. The drawback of course that with enough cognitive dissonance and willpower a subject can fight the process. There's no breaking free of it though once they have you since if it looks like you're no longer "co-operative" they'll just tighten their grip, even at the expense of diminished mental capacity. Hence why both Saren & TIM topped themselves in the brief moments they were able to wriggle free.

    Indeed, in hindsight it looks like TIM's insistence on bringing back Shepard *exactly* how she was (which was always dubiously justified at best) may have been the Reapers' idea. *That* certainly make more sense and is consistent with Harbinger's fixation.
     
  16. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Hell, even Joker was -- ahem -- joking about that in the Citadel DLC. Years ago, before anyone knew anything about them, Cerberus tried to create a superbiotic by torturing a small but talented child; that child got loose and killed all their guys. A few years later, Cerberus tried to make an army of Thorian Creepers; they got loose and killed all their guys. Then they tried to create an army of Rachni; they got loose and killed all their guys. They tried to experiment on Thresher Maws, which got loose and killed all their guys. A few years later they experimented on a Geth-controlling VI, which got loose and killed all their guys. Around that same time they resurrected Shepard, who became disillusioned with their methods, got loose, and killed all their guys. Shepard was aided by EDI, a powerful AI construct who later got loose and killed all their guys. On Omega, they were experimenting with adjutants, who also got loose and killed a lot (but not all) of their guys.

    The Illusive Man's whole resume has been a litany of futile attempts to control things that he barely understands on the assumption that they will somehow, someway, become more of an asset than a liability. That's the entire idea behind Cerberus: they cruise around the universe playing with every kind of fire they can find on the assumption that sooner or later they'll figure out how to control it properly. Their attempts to control the reapers would have been equally futile; even if they had any early success, it would only be a matter of time before the Reapers got loose and killed all their guys.
     
  17. Hartzilla2007

    Hartzilla2007 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Plus lets be honest the man was arrogant as hell. It probably seemed inconceivable to him that his plans could blow up in his face like that.

    In fact Hackett even lampshades this during one of the conversation you have with him.
     
  18. Reverend

    Reverend Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think the way TIM rationalizes most of these disasters is that a few dozen deaths are acceptable losses so long as they get viable data from the experiment. Even if that data amounts to little more than: "well *that* doesn't work!"

    For the record though, I'm pretty sure it was only the Overlord project that had the subject breaking loose and killing all their guys. IIRC of the colonies and outposts you come across infested with husks, rachni and creepers, only the two former were the work of Cerberus and even then it wasn't their facilities. With the husks they were deliberately infecting an isolated population to see what happened and I'm pretty sure the outposts attacked by rachni were alliance military. Not sure if that was even deliberate or the result of a shipping error.

    As for the creepers, those were shipped off world by exogenii and infested an outpost. The only time you see Cerberus with creepers is when you wipe out their main base, in which are indeed husks, creepers & rachni, but they were all contained and the base personnel alive and well...until you kill them all.
     
  19. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Looking at things from TIM's perspective, he had two choices if he wanted to stop the Reapers. He could work with the Alliance on the Crucible project, but nobody knows what that is or how it works. It could backfire, or just plain not work at all. It's a galactic Hail Mary born out of desperation with absolutely no guarantee of success. Meanwhile, Henry Lawson's lab is achieving promising results in controlling Reaper tech, and given more time there is a chance that they can scale that up to take control of actual Reapers. It's a desperate hope too, but at least there's actual science going into the project and not wishes and prayers. Knowing what TIM knows, it makes sense that he would pursue the option of control.

    So why is he trying to block Shepard and the Alliance? Because he's trying to buy time. Cerberus has a target on their back due to their role in taking down the Collector base, but by disrupting Shepard's plans Cerberus are making themselves useful to the Reapers, thereby putting off their inevitable annihilation. TIM is hoping that he can buy Cerberus enough time to develop a way to control the Reapers.

    At least, that's how TIM sees his actions. The truth is that he's slowly being indoctrinated and that's affecting his judgement. In the end, he runs out of time not because the Reapers ran out of targets and focused on Cerberus, but because the indoctrination overcame him.
     
  20. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, that plot twist did wonders for the story and for his character.

    TIM is the villain? Nope. He's just a puppet controlled by the Reapers. So the Reapers are the real villains? Nope. They're just puppets being controlled by the Starchild. So the Starchild is the real villain? Nope. He's just some magical god being who kills us with synthetics so we don't get killed by synthetics. So synthetics are the real villains? Nope. Because we can go synthesis on everyone and we can all live happily ever after. Of course, that won't stop synthetics from creating more synthetics that, according to the starchild, will undoubtedly turn on all of us and kill every form of life in the galaxy.

    I'm sure this was all covered in book 4.
     

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