Whale eating vegetarian
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Southier than thou
Sabre: I agree on the Crucible thing, and especially the pointlessness of ME2.
However, it seems logical that it started out as some long forgotten organic races' attempt to stop the reapers, and whenever organics are about to loose without being able to complete the Crucible they attempt to (or unintentionally) leave instructions for the next organics.
If I could change the ending (and not the rest of the game(s)).
I'd change the Crucible into a simple weapon that could direct enormous amounts of energy (at least the "channeling a lot of energy" is mentioned in game). The Citadel would simply act as the power source (IIRC it's a relay meant to handle the entire Reaper fleet, so not that far fetched that it's the only source big enough).
Casper wouldn't exist, and the Illusive man doesn't have much reason to be on the Citadel anymore (what happens to him could be determined by what you did on the Cerberus base). Also, with a high EMS the Reapers will pull all their forces back to defend the Citadel (because they react to the threat posed), this will matter later.
Once you get your armor ruined, you'd listen in to a com-conversation between EDI and Hacket (they let Shep listen in just in case he/she survived). As you lumber around, EDI discusses the possible ways to use the Crucible (and the likely consequences), and once you are almost at the control panel, the others realize Shep is alive, while Hackets ship is about to be destroyed, Hacket leaves the choice to Shepard before dropping out of the conversation.
Choices would be
1: The "hoping for a happy ending" ending
Attempt to use the "death ray" from the crucible just against Reaper forces.
Since it's not a precision weapon, there will be collateral damage, which risk sparking new conflicts. Also, with a low EMS the Reapers outside Sol would still need to be dealt with, and more collateral damage would occur (less time to aim). Also, because, a lot of Reapers are between the Crucible and Earth, much of the planet is devastated. Mitigated by: choices promoting peace between races, however, even in the best circumstances, everyone would distrust humans and incidents would occur (with the implication that war might erupt sometime in the future). Also curing the genophage would make the Salarians wage a brutal secret war, while not curing it would make things easier for the Alliance.
Ending movie: beam of destruction, and then a "some years later" scene were Shep makes his/her way to address the Council, being bombed by questions which depend on your choices.
2: The "some might see this as the Paragon choice" ending
Direct it against the Charon relay (and with a low enough EMS, the relays where reapers still are, causing more collateral damage). Everyone in Sol dies, however, the Reaper war ends right there. In addition, with the rest of the universe uncertain about what happened, the fear of Reaper attacks will act as a unifying force. Relations between races, the balance of power, and the fate of the few NPCs not present in the Sol system would to some extent depend on your actions.
Ending movie: Seeing a monument to those killed in the battle for Sol, with a big screen in the background showing a council member giving a speech about the future, mentioning your choices indirectly. Also, the races seen paying their respects around the monument would depend on your choices.
3: The "because your Shep have acted as a human supremacist for three games" ending.
Similar to 1, except this time it's not collateral damage (though the Alliance will claim it is). The Alliance then use their possession of the Crucible to force concessions from the other Races. Eventually this leads to war, (which will be very messy if Reapers are left outside the Sol system). It drags on as it becomes clear that the Citadel can't take the strain of firing the Crucible too much. The Alliance still ends up winning, with an end result similar to the Prothean Empire (however, whether Shepard contributed aside from wanting humanity to take its "rightful place" is left to your imagination). Your choices would affect both the length of the conflict, who participates and how well the races integrate after.
Ending movie: Shep and LI dozing on the couch watching a quick documentary called "a fresh start" going quickly through the above.
Of course these endings assume a larger budget for the ending. So assuming budget constraints just replace my "ending movie" bits with the AP ending (a news report that depends on your choices while the credits roll)
Edit: Jeez, I have way too much time on my hands, sorry a bout the wall of text.
Checking out seems not to do much.