When it comes to the ending I understand how people want more. I mean it's a war that's "supposedly" ending so there should be something more. Personally, that's what drove me to the indoctrination theory.
To the rest of what you said I'll leave it alone. If people voice their opinion then that's fine. If you don't like how the journalists portray you (us) then that's also acceptable to get upset at that.
But game journalists have a running joke amongst themselves that their jobs would be so much more fun if it wasn't for the gamers. Journalist's are constaintly having to hear how biased they are because they rated "X" as a 9 and "Y" as an 8. Gamer's are certainly smart and know what they want but they can't judge anything appropriately.
I didn't like this spoiler podcast that much, I loved that you guys voiced your opinions on the podcast but you didn't have anyone on there that didn't like the ending so there could be an argument for the other side. Also, if you guys are going to do this again in the future, it would be awesome if you had someone who was involved in the game making process with you. They could fact check and present the unbiased narrator view.
So, before I begin, I want to address a few things.
1. Bioware, as the creators of the story, may take the story in whatever direction they see fit. They do not owe the player anything in terms of the story's ending. They have full creative rights to do with it as they wish. However, in contrast, the players have the right to criticize that ending, to be displeased with it, and to demonstrate why they believe it is flawed. I do not subscribe to the idea of players "demanding" a new ending. That is entitlement.
2. 99.9% of the Mass Effect story is absolutely fantastic. The podcast today demonstrates just how amazing the Mass Effect Universe really is. I have also read most of the books, and they are also fantastic. It's the last 20-30 minutes that are problematic...
So, onto the spoilers...
My concerns with the Mass Effect 3 ending is very straightforward. The options presented either don't make sense, or are not fleshed out in such a way as to make them seem viable. The exception is the Red Option (kill the Reapers). The Red Option completely feels appropriate to the Mass Effect choice system. You are presented with the option which will accomplish what you have set out to do, with the caveat that you will also destroy all synthetic life in the process, creating a moral conundrum.
The Blue Option (control the Reapers) is weird. It "makes sense" as the opposite choice to destroying the Reapers. However, immediately prior to making the decision, you and Anderson spend 20 minutes lecturing The Illusive Man on how the Reapers can't be controlled, and that even if they could, that is too much power for one man to hold. A few minutes later, strange glowing AI hologram shows up, turns out he's the one who essentially "controls" the Reapers, and tells you that you can control the Reapers if you want to. 1: Why in the hell would Shepard trust the AI? 2: We just got done yelling at The Illusive Man for wanting to play God and control the Reapers, and now Shepard does a complete 180 because the AI we probably shouldn't be trusting says its okay? No, that does not make sense.
The Green Option (Synthesis) is downright awkward. It completely comes out of nowhere, and the argument in support of it doesn't even make sense. The idea is that it will prevent synthetics from wiping out organics because they're basically "the same." Just because organics and synthetics are synthesized does not mean there won't be fighting. The principles behind this choice simply aren't fleshed out. I would have needed another 30 minutes of explanation to support this choice. Oh, and that's without even getting to the most amusing part of this choice. By taking the green option, a green explosion occurs. When the green explosion occurs, all organics suddenly have circuitry under their skin...Why the green explosion causes this radical change isn't explained... So... Space magic? Then there is the point I made about the Blue Option; the Green Option has you "playing God" once again. By choosing the Green Option, Shepard is making a unilateral decision to completely alter the physiological makeup of all organic life.
The Red Option has Shepard playing God to a degree as well. It's hard to say that destroying all synthetic life is not playing God, because it is, but I'm not sure it's quite the same (because it is synthetic life). Feel free to argue with me on this point, as I'm not sure I wholly support it.
You can argue that it's okay for Shepard to "play God" because of his uniqueness, and how the AI basically concedes that Shepard is superior to it when it comes to this decision. This is true, except Shepard has consistently shown that he or she does not believe it is okay for a single person to have the amount of power being thrust on him with these three choices. Now, that word... thrust is somewhat important. He was forced to make a choice of some sort. You can easily say that he was presented with three options, none of which he would have chosen had there been a viable 4th option, but the 4th option here was to do nothing and let the Reapers do their thing (which obviously was not a game choice). In this case, I still believe the Red Option is the only one that makes sense. It represents the mission objectives, which Shepard, as a soldier, would have been able to most relate to. The Blue Option was flawed for the reasons previously stated, and even if he did feel like it was the "best" option, Shepard would have had no way to really know he wasn't being tricked. The Green Option simply wasn't explained well enough to feel viable, and the explanation given was horrifically flawed.
I found it interesting that 3 or the 4 hosts of the podcast chose the Red Option. I would argue that this choice is why they were content with the ending. It's the ending that makes the most sense.
you put forth good points but heres the thing, You shouldn't have had 3 choices at the end of the game. you shouldn't have had any choices at the game it doesn't make sense. The natural progression of the story was to have everything bottleneck, you take out the reapers somehow (and this should involve harbinger, more so then him shooting you with a laser then fucking off even though he didn't do his job properly), then everything expands and we see the consequences of the actions through all the games. Then Bioware could have had as much fun as they want since it doesn't need to be continued on in more stories. I would have liked to see what happened to the Rachni, what happened to the Krogan and either the Quarians or Geth or both. The Quarians would have probably turned on the geth again anyway like they have a hundred times before. Why didn't we see any ending unique to us?
Well thats how I feel. And this is of course if the Indoctrination theory turns out to be false.
I like this podcast ending because, as a fan of the Mass Effect series, I was disappointed at the ending (my major outcry being the destruction of the mass effect relays, leaving everybody "stranded" ). But after finishing this podcast I felt more at ease with the ending. Maybe it's because I heard the side of the argument that liked the ending. The way they explained it made it seem, the ending had to happen that way, which in a way it did. However, I still do not approve (or disapprove) of the ending and would very much like to believe the indoctrination theory
I hated the podcast because there were multiple things they didn't bring up or got wrong or were confused about that they didn't realize they were.
For instance, Burnie didn't even know that The Geth and Quarians could have peace. And he was constantly confused and surprised about multiple things because he didn't use a imported save. Like he automatically assumed that the Legion character he got was the one everyone got. Burnie got the stand-in Legion because using a non-import game has Legion having died in Mass Effect 2. Meanwhile, if you import a game where Legion survives, it is actually Legion. Same thing about him being confused about the Yahg and Shadow Broker DLC.
The guys were constantly talking about the strength in choices in the games, yet there were time where they didn't think there were other options in regards to certain aspects. Like the apprentice of Jack in Mass Effect 3 as they ended up discussing and Gus mind was blown
I don't think they really have a clear picture everything or why people are actually complaining.
One of the biggest reasons why people complain about the ending is because they reject the logic given by the Catalyst for creating the Reapers and therefore reject the options given to them by the Catalyst.
Look at the logic the Catalyst gives. He is going to create these synthetic machines to "preserve" organics, which is essentially killing them and making them into a big slurry, in order to stop organics from being wiped out by synthetics.
And the Catalyst claims this idea of organics being wiped out by synthetics is inevitable. Yet in my playthrough I was able to get Joker and EDI together and foster a peace between the Quarians and Geth. So I essentially already proved him wrong there. There is no need to create synthesis when I already showed that they can peacefully co-exist. Plus messing with the genetic make-up of all species is completely ethically wrong. Controlling the Reapers is a stupid option because firstly, how the fuck do you control them? Are you supposedly absorbed by them and have this giant galactic mind controlling them? And then the Destroy ending kills the Geth and EDI, who I just spent the game showing that they are okay and peace can be made with synthetics.
Also, The destroy ending only kills synthetic life. It doesn't destroy all technology.
Not to mention the fact that the Catalyst admits it that a new choice needs to be made by Shepard, yet Shepard is restricted to the choices given to him by the Catalyst.
And the endings are all freaking depressing as hell and feel like they invalidate all of your choices throughout the entire series. I was able to get the Quarians back their home planet and create peace with the Geth, but that doesn't mean shit because now the Quarian fleet is stuck at Earth. I was able to cure the Genophage, but that doesn't mean shit because a crapload of them are stuck at Earth. It doesn't matter if Shepard lives in the Destroy ending because all of his friends are now stuck on some jungle planet.
This also brings up what people considering an insulting plot hole at the ending.
Why the hell is the Normandy always outrunning the beam from the Crucible, no matter what? Why? And also, in my playthrough, the characters who were fighting on Earth with my Shepard prior to getting onto the Citadel, came out of the Normandy at the end on the jungle planet. They just magically come out of the ship at the end.
I have awoken from my sleep to find this thread more active than ever and im loving the theory's and personal views
my view for "why the mass relays didn't blow up and destroy ever bit of sentient life in the galaxy" (<hehe halo) was because they were "controlled explosions" unlike in the arrival when it was a bit just like "hit it with a huge ass rock"
that being said i do agree that they shouldn't just be able to leave it as "aww well guess we will need to bring out yet another game" not that i wouldn't enjoy it, more the fact its kinda a middle finger to the player, but my overall rating for mass effect 3s ending is its a good emotion filled ending that i enjoyed
I enjoyed listening to what they had to say. But I generally only really had two problems with the ending.
It didn't matter what you did through all the games the end was basically the same and you could choose any of them (if you had enough assets).
That and just so many people die anyway regardless. I mean sure I know war is hell and a horrid thing but that's why people play games sometimes because it's not real and you can be the ultimate hero who saves everyone.
But I can understand the relays not taking out their local area in a massive blast of energy like arrival thou as the energy is passed from one relay to the next it would be that final relay that would have a problem I think which is probably in dark space anyway.
but i liked the death of everyone, its like the suicide mission, it triggers an emotional response, but u can save all of the main "friends" you make through the ME games, i dont know of any (bar one) that needs to die
The podcast is how its always been, Burnie and Gus talking about what they know, I didn't expect them to know everything, I just wanted them to show the other side of the story. If you want a more accurate discussion about the ending, I'm sure here are other podcasts that you can listen to. And I'm not trying to be an arse hole, sorry if It across that way.
P.S. Synthetics would include anything that is man made, or have a chemical synthesis to function.
I got the impression that when the Catalyst says "all synthetic LIFE" he meant machines that are self aware, since he made point of mentioning the Geth being destroyed with the Reapers. If the red explosion was going to destroy all technology he'd just say that all techology was going to be destroyed.
Also, there's one thing I'd like to point out about the Normandy crashing in the jungle planet. Tali and Garrus have dextro-DNA and can't eat the same food other species eat, right? So, if the food on the planet is not dextro they'll both starve to death, and if it is dextro then everyone else is starving.
Since we're discussing the endings I'd still like to point out how Synthesis ISN'T a good choice.
Combining Man and machine. No "space magic" can do that. But the REAPERS CAN. They're called HUSKS. They're also partially REAPERS. That's why I believe it's an evil choice. Everything presented to you is odd.
Again I don't agree with some of the things Burnie said. Having the Assassin brought back the Shepard vs "One certain bad guy" conflict from the first game. There never really was that guy in the second game.
My problem was not really with the fact that they didn't know everything, it was that they seemed to have a closed view of the situation. So my complaint is similar to yours in that they didn't show the other side of the story and this was because it seemed like they really didn't even consider that there could be another side of the story.
This is what I meant when they discussed the Geth/Quarian situation and Jack. By not having thoughts about different views of events in the game, they just seemed to accept what they were given. That goes to my discussion of one of the biggest reasons why people hate the ending. The guys just seemed to accept the logic given by the Catalyst, despite the fact many fans of the series find the Catalyst's logic stupid and completely disagree with it.
Also, the reason why I mentioned what I did in regards to synthetics was because in the dialogue I got with the Catalyst, he specifically mentions "Synthetic Life" will be destroyed in the Destroy ending.
In response to people calling those who want better endings to the game entitled. Since the first game was released I have spent somewhere in the region of $500 on this franchise, maybe more. With that kind of investment I am entitled to a good ending to the series. It doesn't have to be a happy ending, but it sure as hell has to be a good one. And that is the crux of the issue here, people seem unable to tell the difference between good and happy. The current endings are not happy, but that is not so bad, tragic endings tend to be more poignant. The problem is they are not good either, because they offer no closure, they offer no explanation of what is actually happening, and they create more questions than they answer. In terms of simple quality, these endings are terrible.
Now we are told the new DLC will expand upon the endings, giving the player more information as to what happened after you made your choice. We will have to see just how much the quality is improved, if at all.
I want to shoot everyone who is using spoiler tags, it's annoying
ps. fuck the indoctrination theory, killing the reapers and all other synthetics would lead to another cycle of machines (made by Shepard's cycle) eventually fucking up the galaxy, also an unfavorable option because it shows that people are unaccepting of synthetics as equal life.
The indoctrination theory basically says that all the options are a lie. Especially the last option though. Shepard is part synthetic and is told he will die if he picks that option and so will many of your friends / supporters. It shows you alive at the end though so what does that mean?
Well there's the Collector Editions and he must be counting books too or something. Cause just games and DLC probably only comes out to a max of $300 if my quick metal math is correct (it probably isn't)
Here's another plot hole that I noticed: The Reapers needed that guy in the first game to shut down the mass relays by taking over the citadel right? well if the Catalyst is part of the Citadel like it says it is then why doesn't it just shut down the mass relays itself? Also if the reapers have been around for supposedly millions of years then how is it that there's not millions of them or at least hundreds of thousands of them and do they just wipe out part of the galaxy and then slowly creep along to the other side of the galaxy and wipe out all life there as well?
Yeah makes sense how it all adds up. I got into Mass Effect 1 pretty late so it was cheaper for me but Mass Effect 2. Damn I seriously think I've played that game through 12 times. Going to do it again so Mordin can live now.
yeah I guess it said that for me too looking back, I guessed that machines counted in that swell since the catalyst said Shepard would die and Shepard just has a bunch of machines helping him/her stay alive isn't he/her? well I apologise.
We'll hopefully know with the DLC coming in summer (winter for me), why the fuck Joker is travelling in an ME field and a bunch of unanswered questions.
Honestly the only way to fix the ending is to retcon it and replace it with a completely new ending that focuses just on the Reapers and not on this whole "man vs machine" plot that they introduced in the last five minutes.