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Default Mass Effect 3 - Why the Extended Cut can't fix everything

July 2nd, 2012, 19:58
I dont see Bioware management surprised.

Either they made a decision of living off controversy, considering how much they rely on it to get their game publicized (remember the DA2 homosexual controversy and how Bioware stated it was their honour and duty to stress homosexual romance to teach the players tolerance) or they did not make such a decision to stir controversy to sell, and they did not need to take such decision because they do very well without deciding it.
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July 3rd, 2012, 01:25
Originally Posted by RPGFool View Post
"…the passionate reaction of some of our most loyal players to the current endings in Mass Effect 3 is something that has genuinely surprised us."

Dr. Ray Muzyka, co-founder of BioWare
March 21, 2012


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It's the same attitude that was used with the reception of DA2. It's all you and not us mentality.

"Frankly Sir /Madam I don't give a damn about your opinion."- Couchpotato
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July 3rd, 2012, 02:18
"Dragon Age 2 was incredibly polarising and it caught us off-guard, honestly."

BioWare co-founder Ray Muzyka
September 2011

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♫ "You're out of touch, my baby
My poor discarded baby
I said, baby, baby, baby, you're out of time…" ♫

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From The 1966 Album "Aftermath". Decca


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Last edited by RPGFool; July 3rd, 2012 at 02:43.
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July 3rd, 2012, 08:56
Dont you see a bit of contradiction here? On one hand, you stress that their words should not be given more credit than deserved and that is not much considering the level of disinformation Bioware has been using.

On the other hand, you use quotes by developpers (the same that invent features they knew never to be in their games) in order to see how they cope with a situation they probably wished for.

If Bioware took the path of controversy on purpose, I cant see them telling it outright.

Lets see if they keep marketing their games through controversy. If they do, their statements will have to be considered on the same level as their statements on their games features: hot air.
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July 3rd, 2012, 14:44
IMO you give too much credit to BioWare and too little credit to gamers. I think BioWare must have known that the ME3 endings had problems, but like you, BW underestimated the value of story to RPG video gamers. BW thought it could use hand waving to eliminate gamer's complaints about the shoddy ME3 endings and was surprised when gamers refused to be satiated by arguments that gamers were acting like entitled children; that ME3 was a near perfect work of art; etc.

Just because BW sometimes uses controversy as a marketing tool doesn't mean that every BW problem is part of a grand marketing plan.

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Last edited by RPGFool; July 3rd, 2012 at 15:00.
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July 3rd, 2012, 15:01
Problem is : Nobody knows for sure. Only Bioware does.
And that's why wild speculations blossom like wild roses.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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July 3rd, 2012, 15:05
I personally think that BioWare had cannibalised most of their quality, experienced writers for SWTOR, believing that DA and ME franchises are strong enough, and with lore established to the point where so much talent is not needed. And they were wrong.
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July 3rd, 2012, 18:30
Originally Posted by RPGFool View Post
IMO you give too much credit to BioWare and too little credit to gamers. I think BioWare must have known that the ME3 endings had problems, but like you, BW underestimated the value of story to RPG video gamers. BW thought it could use hand waving to eliminate gamer's complaints about the shoddy ME3 endings and was surprised when gamers refused to be satiated by arguments that gamers were acting like entitled children; that ME3 was a near perfect work of art; etc.

Just because BW sometimes uses controversy as a marketing tool doesn't mean that every BW problem is part of a grand marketing plan.

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It seems to me that controversy has been used more than sometimes by Bioware over the last few years.

The endings were preset. They had to be what they are: the developpment of a universe is too costy to allow multiple and fundamentally different, making sense endings.

Gamers have been given many opportunities to show their behaviour. They behave all the time the same.

I doubt Bioware underestimates the importance of the story. They more or less build their rep on stories. But at the moment, the video game industry has priorities like consolidating its existence and that is achieved by moving from a sale model to a renting, leasing model. Thanks to ME3, Bioware has managed to move forward with its origin exclusivity.

As I see it, Bioware is very good at drawing the attention elsewhere, sweeping more or less valid blames while securing more important aspects of their business.

Bioware management looks like they know what they are doing.
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July 3rd, 2012, 19:58
You claim that gamers don't play games for story content ("Who plays video games for stories anyway?"); You also doubt BW underestimates the importance of story. But since you believe that story is of little to no importance to gamers, a BW story importance value of virtually zero would satisfy your criteria.

Nevertheless story does matter to the RPG gamer market. The ME3 endings controversy establishes that.

As to the competence of BW management, and BW's marketing expertise, you are free to believe if you wish, that the DA2 debacle was actually a great success; and the poor performance of SWTOR was another great success despite an unusually large capital investment, an unusually long development time, and a market that had been begging for release of the game for literally years.

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Last edited by RPGFool; July 3rd, 2012 at 20:14.
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July 3rd, 2012, 20:56
ME3 builds on exceptionalism.

Most of the story can be explained by you, the player who wants to play an exceptional character.

ME3 is only a long succession of events to bring up Shepard's exceptionalism. The Universe could not move a little finger without the dear commander Shepard.

Spoiler


The game goes on and on, providing the player with more and more events to show how exceptional their character is.

The end comes and suddenly, due to developpment constraints, the player is deprived from any exceptionalism feeling. Not only the character feels very common, but the character also appears irrelevant, meaningless, with no impact on the universe.

That is where ME3 endings disappointment come from.

The endings should be the apex of Shepard's exceptionalism and just when you, the player who want to play exceptional characters collect for the exceptionalism feeling, a feeling of meaninglessness is delivered.
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July 3rd, 2012, 21:16
It might be that there's some subtlety in your native language (French I think, please pardon me if I'm wrong), such that "story" carries different subtleties and possible meaning than in English, "plot" for example as opposed to "story". (BTW, I would fail miserably trying to express myself in any language other than English — I'm bad enough at English for that matter — what I'm trying to say is you deserve a great deal of credit for how well you communicate in English). Nevertheless, the material you discuss above is part of the story content, as "story" is normally understood in English. But with that in mind, it sounds like we both agree that story and story content matter to the RPG gamer market.

[Edit] I would also agree that gamers don't typically play video games solely for the story content, There's normally a great deal more to a great RPG than the bare story content viewed in isolation. I think that although story is normally an important RPG element, gamers are normally seeking more than a story; active involvement, conflict, choices in creating and resolving conflict, character building, gameplay, etc, [End Edit]

[2nd Edit] I think you're also saying there's more wrong with the ending than just a broken story; i.e., failures in some of the areas listed above, such as choice, player involvement, character building, etc. I agree. [End 2nd Edit]

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Last edited by RPGFool; July 3rd, 2012 at 23:52.
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July 5th, 2012, 18:57
ME3 endings are not disappointing because they would be a poor conclusion to a story but because they withdraw the exceptionalism feeling ME3 builds on and this happens because of developpment restrictions ( the ME3 universe for later exploitation imposes that the endings remove any meaningful differences between the endings)

I fail to see how story and story content intervene at this point.

Both the story (as a sequence of events narrated to an audience) and the story content (material used within the story) serves the purpose of conveying as it is possible.

The story does not fail. What fails is the angle used for the game: instilling a sense of exceptionalism.

It is not possible for a game to maintain a sense of exceptionalism as it is built in ME3 (and 2) when the constraints brought by developpment forbid to developp meaningful different versions of the universe.

It is not story related.
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July 5th, 2012, 20:39
I had thought we might reach some level of mutual understanding and agreement, as I had thought our views are not actually very different.

As I see it, the "sense of exceptionalism" as you call it, only exists as an element of the specific story and character (Shepard and Shepard's story). Without the story, and without the character of the story (Shepard), there is no "sense of exceptionalism". The "sense of exceptionalism" of ME3 is an aspect of the character Shepard that exists only as a part of Shepard's story. Though a similar sense could be developed as part of a different story, a different character set in different story would still be needed.

Perhaps you would enjoy a game featuring a "sense of exceptionalism" devoid of any character featuring that characteristic. I personally wouldn't know how to interact with an abstract characteristic in place of an actual character set in an actual story.

Sorry we couldn't achieve understanding.

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July 6th, 2012, 12:43
indoctrination theory was just amazing and they should've made it a reality.
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July 6th, 2012, 14:20
Originally Posted by RPGFool View Post
I had thought we might reach some level of mutual understanding and agreement, as I had thought our views are not actually very different.

As I see it, the "sense of exceptionalism" as you call it, only exists as an element of the specific story and character (Shepard and Shepard's story). Without the story, and without the character of the story (Shepard), there is no "sense of exceptionalism". The "sense of exceptionalism" of ME3 is an aspect of the character Shepard that exists only as a part of Shepard's story. Though a similar sense could be developed as part of a different story, a different character set in different story would still be needed.

Perhaps you would enjoy a game featuring a "sense of exceptionalism" devoid of any character featuring that characteristic. I personally wouldn't know how to interact with an abstract characteristic in place of an actual character set in an actual story.

Sorry we couldn't achieve understanding.

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At this point, every game conveys a story as every character through game actions creates a sequence of events that must be called a story.
And consequently, there is no storyless game.
Each stage in Pacman developps a story as the player takes actions through the character.
The issue with that is that players seem to distinguish between pacman type of game and ME3 type of games, attributing a story to the latter, not to the former.
Certain games with open and open ended world like M&B are also considered as providing no story. Yet every character crafts one's story through the player's inputs.

I have no issue with taking the route of the player's inputs and characters'actions shaping a story but a distinction between constrained (scripted) story and open story still is.

Once this distinction is made clear, player's concerns about ME3 were more about the scripted story. A game like M&B provides no plot holes, the story is as the sequences of the player's actions impose.
And that the lack of exceptionalism feeling comes from the scripted story, not so much from the action sequences Shepard is led to take.


As to the last point, most interesting, linked to the first point: a game can deliver a sense of exceptionalism by leading the player through the resolution of exceptional situations. The character would turn into an exceptional character by the results of his actions in the gameworld, without them being part forcefully of a scripted narrative. ME3 uses some mechanics to support this, included a scripted story but it does not have to go through a scripted story.

And yes, I would like to play a game in which at the start and without any script, the character has opportunities to grow exceptional. That could even be a RPG.
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July 7th, 2012, 16:16
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
Who plays video games for stories anyway?
EMS still doesn't matter in the end. That makes this a broken game.
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