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Old 03-16-2012, 02:14 AM   #1321
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Found this from looking at the Mass Effect wiki. Third question down offers a little bit of information on why Reapers all look similar.
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:48 AM   #1322
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Yeah that was pretty much my impression after the Terminator in ME2, that Reapers were all giant robo-versions of whatever race they turned into a milkshake wearing cuttlefish suits. Doesn't really make any sort of sense, but then neither does most of the rest of the fluff.
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Old 03-16-2012, 10:20 AM   #1323
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Wait, I still don't get it. They reap the dominant species sure, and they have a streamlined, time-tested exterior design, then why did the Reaper in ME2 look like a giant human? Was he supposed to have a Reaper shell above him? That doesn't sound very practical...


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Old 03-16-2012, 10:33 AM   #1324
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They said it was half built. I imagine the explanation would be that the giant Terminator thing would end up like the nervous system or something, encased in the giant squid outer shell. After all, Reaper dreadnoughts are 2km long, but the Terminator was probably only 100m or so high - plenty of room. Sure it's ridiculous, but then so is the whole concept of turning an entire species into a giant slushie and thereby creating some sort of super consciousness.
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Old 03-16-2012, 11:09 AM   #1325
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Well, something was said about the core resembling the species it was constructed from, so that description sounds pretty spot on. Makes about as much sense as a lot of stuff in pulp scifi stories.


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Old 03-16-2012, 11:53 AM   #1326
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:13 PM   #1327
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So what do Reapers look like? They are AI too
No they aren't. The squid bodies are merely a vessel for an organic super-collective consciousness. Hence the whole "each a nation" line that Sovereign gives you in ME1 on Virmire. It was hinted at throughout the series and Legion tells you directly in ME2:

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It's possible that Karpyshyn or one of the other writers was a fan of Evangelion or Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End (which Anno cited as an inspiration for Evangelion's central plot device that deals with the merged consciousness concept).
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:41 PM   #1328
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Old 03-16-2012, 01:24 PM   #1329
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I would say they are more analogous to
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Old 03-16-2012, 01:55 PM   #1330
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Old 03-16-2012, 01:59 PM   #1331
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Might want to fix that spoiler in the quote so that it is hidden.

Moderator note [03-16-2012 02:17 PM]

fixed - Thanks


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Old 03-16-2012, 03:07 PM   #1332
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Soooo, I finished the game yesterday and can now share a more complete impression. I'll start with the story...

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In terms of gameplay, the biggest issue for me is, as I've stated previously, the limited character interaction, especially with the main cast. Hell, I've had more conversations with some minor characters than I had with my past and present crew. The lack of options in those conversations that are there and their degree of automatization are likewise serious issues, but I did get used to them after a while. It's not something I would want to see in any Bioware role-playing game, but I managed to get past them in this one. One other unrelated gameplay design decision that bothered me to no end was the inability to save in certain areas. Most notably during the final mission, where I couldn't even save in certain non-combat areas and was actually forced to Alt-Tab out of the game in order to backup the finale autosave, because of it.

The action is better and I'm glad I can actually stay out of cover for some time during firefights, instead of being forced to always use it or die, like in ME2. The heavy melee is, however, useless in most situations, because it can very easily miss its target. Too bad the heavy weapons were removed from the regular setup and instead given as a one-hit-kill option in some situations where you need to take out one of the more difficult enemies (Atlas, Harvester, Banshee...), otherwise the shooting was fine. I also didn't like that they used the universal cooldown timer for abilities, but the downside can be minimized by managing your weapons' weight.

In terms of visuals the game could definitely use a high res texture pack, or something. As it stands, the visuals vary from location to location, with most of them looking bad due to low res textures and lack of post processing effects, but there were a few great looking ones too. There is a similar issue with the characters in that their faces use nice, sharp textures and generally look good, while their bodies use low-res textures that look bad even from a distance.

The music was pretty good, as was the voice acting and sound effects, not much more to say about this aspect.

Overall, I'd say the game was OK. It's not game of the year material, but it's not boring either. Unfortunately, due to the horrible endings, I don't really have much motivation to play through it with my second ME2 import.

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Old 03-16-2012, 03:42 PM   #1333
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In terms of gameplay, the biggest issue for me is, as I've stated previously, the limited character interaction, especially with the main cast. Hell, I've had more conversations with some minor characters than I had with my past and present crew.
I said back when ME2 came out that they had painted themselves into a corner with the "everyone can die!" suicide mission central mechanic and it was going to come back and bite them in the ass in ME3. It instantly relegated the entire ME2 cast to small throw-away roles in ME3 to minimise dialogue that might never be seen by players or would need to be duplicated by a stand-in character. Only Tali and Garrus got any sort of reprieve in that regard. Garrus because he seems to be both a Bioware and fan favourite and Tali purely on the strength of fan love alone. As I noted in a previous post, the Virmire Survivor got particularly short shrift which is somewhat baffling after being virtually left out of ME2 (to much fan derision) seemingly to save them for a starring role in ME3. The same was the case with Liara, although she fared much better in ME3. There were a lot of great moments with the squad members, but as you allude to the ambient-style dialogue for the most part instead of proper conversations was a bit of a letdown.
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Old 03-16-2012, 04:01 PM   #1334
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I'm wondering if Me3 is an example that Bioware has reached the budget ceiling which is determined by EA.

They could of added more dialogue or even more levels but then the budget would get even bigger and I'm guessing EA won't allow it.

I wish they moved some of the money used for marketing to the actually game development. Everyone knew this game was going to sell.

Can Bioware make a game bigger then ME3 or Dragon Age Origins?
Has the budget ceiling been maxed out?

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Old 03-16-2012, 04:29 PM   #1335
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Old 03-16-2012, 04:53 PM   #1336
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I actually thought there was more conversations in ME3, than ME2...At least I love there was more interaction within missions, so I was happy.

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Old 03-16-2012, 05:10 PM   #1337
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There is more dialogue but due to all the variables what we see more is instead of a foot long sandwich of dialogue we see more of a 2/3 that length but there are loads of more toppings that makes the sandwich wider. That's why it seems there is less choice dialogue wheel interactions.

If there were less variables to check during the dialogue leading to so many different versions- we would have more dialogue wheel moments and choices.

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Old 03-16-2012, 05:39 PM   #1338
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I said back when ME2 came out that they had painted themselves into a corner with the "everyone can die!" suicide mission central mechanic and it was going to come back and bite them in the ass in ME3. It instantly relegated the entire ME2 cast to small throw-away roles in ME3 to minimise dialogue that might never be seen by players or would need to be duplicated by a stand-in character. Only Tali and Garrus got any sort of reprieve in that regard. Garrus because he seems to be both a Bioware and fan favourite and Tali purely on the strength of fan love alone. As I noted in a previous post, the Virmire Survivor got particularly short shrift which is somewhat baffling after being virtually left out of ME2 (to much fan derision) seemingly to save them for a starring role in ME3. The same was the case with Liara, although she fared much better in ME3. There were a lot of great moments with the squad members, but as you allude to the ambient-style dialogue for the most part instead of proper conversations was a bit of a letdown.
Agreed. Though I expected past characters to return simply in a cameo fashion, so I wasn't really disappointed with that aspect. However, the lack of full conversations with the current squad was disturbing. Liara did indeed get more attention than the rest, simply because she's "safe" - I don't recall there ever being a possibility to kill her off in the previous two games. As for the Virmire Survivor, I don't understand why they handled them the way they did either, but at least the VS was handled better than the Surviving Sibling from DA2.

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Those and other similar instances were, IMO, the best moments in the game in terms of story/narrative.

Interestingly, there is a wild theory going on about the current endings (link to Bioware Social thread - it even has pictures!). I don't think the people speculating about this are anywhere near right, but it is an interesting theory.

On a side note, yet related to one of the endings and too funny not to post:

Show spoiler


EDIT: Thanks, mim. Btw, I was just lurking around Bioware Social some more and stumbled upon a thread with a youtube link that made me LOL some more (again related to the endings, thus spoiler tags):

Show spoiler

Moderator note [03-16-2012 06:38 PM]

tried to fix the photo to show up, no luck so just changed it to a link...but worth following the link. I LOL.



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Old 03-17-2012, 01:25 AM   #1339
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I'm wondering if Me3 is an example that Bioware has reached the budget ceiling which is determined by EA.
I don't think that is the problem. A lot of people seem to be trying to rationalise the endings as something other than just piss-poor writing, and one of those rationalisations is they ran out of time/money. That's not the case. You can see from the script leak and that new Final Hours app that was released that these were the intended endings for a long time. They just tried to be edgy and artistic and instead fell flat on their face.

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Can Bioware make a game bigger then ME3 or Dragon Age Origins? Has the budget ceiling been maxed out?
I would say they will never again make a game with as long a development cycle as Origins. That was in development for over 5 years - it's extremely unlikely you'll ever see that again. By the same token, hopefully they learned their lesson with short dev cycle of DA2. ME3 had pretty much an average AA dev cycle of about 18-24 months. That's what I would be expecting for most of their future games.

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you'll see something embarrassing.
To be fair, while they did completely rip off the composition of a stock image in that instance, it's not as bad as the portrait debacle where they did a 5 sec Photoshop job on it. They at least recreated the scene in 3D.

To be honest, neither instance makes much sense when you see how much concept art is done during development. It's obvious they are not short on talented artists capable of coming up with all manner of great ideas. I'm sure they could have easily come up with something original if they wanted to. It just smacks of laziness more than anything.

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Old 03-17-2012, 12:23 PM   #1340
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To be fair, while they did completely rip off the composition of a stock image in that instance, it's not as bad as the portrait debacle where they did a 5 sec Photoshop job on it. They at least recreated the scene in 3D.
I doubt they did that. It always looked like something done in Flash to me, but until last night I thought they did all the work. Now, I'm thinking they spent a couple of minutes in Photoshop on the background and simply did the silhouettes of the old man and the kid and some additional effects by themselves.

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To be honest, neither instance makes much sense when you see how much concept art is done during development. It's obvious they are not short on talented artists capable of coming up with all manner of great ideas. I'm sure they could have easily come up with something original if they wanted to. It just smacks of laziness more than anything.
Exactly. That's why it's so surprising and disappointing to see corners cut on stuff like these.

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Old 03-17-2012, 01:27 PM   #1341
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It doesn't look like still images to me (in the foreground anyway), but its definitely multi-layered if it is to get that depth of field. Either way, it took a bit of work to do it - they didn't just spit it out of PS in 5 minutes. Which makes it all the more odd that they didn't use an original composition. Even if they were inspired by that artwork, it wouldn't have taken much tweaking to come up with something different in the same style.
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:59 PM   #1342
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:13 PM   #1343
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Finished a few hours ago. I liked it more and more as I played through it, but

spoiler:
Seriously, the endings were really amazing beyond what I'd expected from ME or BioWare.


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Old 03-18-2012, 02:44 PM   #1344
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Just a little something I threw together, rates and subs are appreciated, as I plan to do more of these

Spoilers, obviously!

EDIT: Check this out too, I laughed a hell of a lot
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Old 03-18-2012, 05:18 PM   #1345
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Old 03-18-2012, 05:36 PM   #1346
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might want to spoiler-tag that all up sharpish.
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Old 03-18-2012, 07:04 PM   #1347
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It's not so much the ending themselves that got me, it's that the game went down with a whimper.
Indeed. For me personally, there are two main problems with the ending(s):

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Old 03-18-2012, 07:48 PM   #1348
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Hmm..you know I hadn't made that realization myself. But now that I think of it, it just adds more fuel to the fire that the ME3 ending was really not that good. Or rather, it at least did not measure up to the rest of the game.
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Old 03-18-2012, 07:54 PM   #1349
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Hmm..you know I hadn't made that realization myself. But now that I think of it, it just adds more fuel to the fire that the ME3 ending was really not that good. Or rather, it at least did not measure up to the rest of the game.
I don't think it's that much of a stretch. They make it fairly obvious that the Keepers are necessary for up-keep, etc.
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Is it clean? No. But it's consistent with its own logic.
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:38 PM   #1350
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Ending-wise:

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If all this is true and they do indeed explain it all through DLC or somesuch, then that's despicable and dirty and horrible etc etc etc. But damn, as well as being something of a relief it would be a hell of a coup on their part. They might not even have originally intended it, but it would make sense for them to say they did even if that's the case. Whatever, I like the theory.
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Old 03-18-2012, 11:19 PM   #1351
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it may well be that I'm a) giving Bioware more credit than they perhaps deserve and b) rationalising it all away because I don't particularly like it/can't satisfactorily explain.
Both of those. It is explicitly clear from the Final Hours app that there is no deeper meaning to the end. It's just half-assed writing coupled with a purposeful intent to make things vague. They wanted something "memorable" that caused "lots of speculation". Well they sure got that, although I suspect not quite in the manner they intended.
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:18 AM   #1352
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I heard that the final hours app actually only mentions gameplay mechanics, not story factors, with regard to the viability of the theory. Depends on how you read it. Or choose to read it. Either way, it gives me a lot more satisfaction to imagine I'm right.
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:27 AM   #1353
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Sure, self-delusion is always satisfying - until the delusion ends of course. Good luck with that I guess.

There's a thread over on the official site that provides transcripts of the Final Hours videos, including the ones that deal with the specifics of the ending, both plot and mechanics-wise.
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:37 AM   #1354
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Old 03-19-2012, 03:16 AM   #1355
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The fate of Earth depends on what ending you pick and get...
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But indeed, the ending left a very bad aftertaste. Sort of like if Mass Effect (1) had ended with Anderson digging out Shepard's squished corpse under Sovereign's wreckage in the council chamber.


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Old 03-19-2012, 04:53 AM   #1356
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Apparently
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Old 03-19-2012, 05:05 AM   #1357
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spoiler:
Blue ending cuts off shortly as the Mass Relays are being damaged. Unlike the other endings, you don't see bits of it flying far away, implying that it may just be badly damaged and not entire destroyed.


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Old 03-19-2012, 05:33 AM   #1358
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Heh.
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Old 03-19-2012, 05:48 AM   #1359
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Old 03-19-2012, 06:03 AM   #1360
DarthParametric
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Another illustration of top notch writing. That Walters is a freaking genius.
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