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Old 2012-03-17, 01:04   Link #2381
synaesthetic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkWarrior View Post
I think I understand why people hate Origin so badly now. I tried to purchase a Spectre back, but for some reason the transaction didn't work. Fair enough.. except it took my 60,000 credits and never gave it back. This has happened twice now. And the horrible customer service doesn't help either. So freaking frustrated right now.. bleh.
Yes. Origin is terribly buggy. It is also spyware. I am not playing the multiplayer and I have Origin sandboxed so it can't go snooping where it doesn't belong.
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Old 2012-03-17, 01:45   Link #2382
BetoJR
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Originally Posted by Vallen Chaos Valiant View Post
You missed my point.
No, you missed mine. The "forced" bit in italics should have told you that I feel pretty much the same way you do... Just, less aggravated by the whole thing.
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Old 2012-03-17, 02:10   Link #2383
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Originally Posted by Shiroth View Post
Eh, Shepard only walked upto her with uniform still on. I'm sure it was taken off straight after.

Enough with the nitpicking.
Dude, you haven't seen my nitpicking on the armor customization issues. I haven't even begun!
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Old 2012-03-17, 03:37   Link #2384
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Ok, well, I had a long discussion with a coworker over the ending of ME3, and I can't believe I'm saying this, but I think I'm starting to buy into the indoctrination theory.

You've seen how much I've been denying the indoctrination theory in my most recent posts, but hear me out, please.

You've probably all heard most of the reasons already, but here's the one's I know of:

1. Kid on Earth. That kid might not have existed at all, and could have been a construct of Harbinger. Furthermore to support this idea is that Anderson never saw him. I know it because would Anderson leave a kid behind to fend for himself? Hell no. He would have taken him with him. Notice that when Anderson tells Shepard to get going, the kid disappears and the Reaper sound buzzes. A sound from outside? Maybe. But it could be indoctrination.

2. Object Rho, Arrival DCL. Shepard was unconcious for what, 3 days, fully exposed to Object Rho's UNSHIELDED signals and who-knows-what kind of other energy. It might not have fully indoctrinated him/her, but it sure as hell would make me nervous. We can't trust that Dr. Chakwas' analysis of you after you got back was 100% accurate. Even EDI wasn't completely certain of how the Reaper signals functioned, as was evident when the IFF trap triggered the Collectors' response.

3. Ending's COLORS. I know it's a petty point, but I think nothing Bioware does is without purpose. CONTROL option was BLUE. Paragon. DESTROY was RED. Renegade. Opposite of what the other two games were built on, especially the end of ME2, where destroying the Collector base was Paragon and preserving it was Renegade. Barring SYNTHESIS/GREEN, which was the Reapers' ultimate intent anyway, only the Reapers would possibly see their destruction as Renegade and Shepard's control (essentially joining them) as Paragon. A subtle point, but I think it's an important one.

4. Reaper IFF Code. Even EDI didn't know much about it and didn't realize it was a trap until it was too late. And she's immune to Reaper influence, like the new AI-geth. Although unlike the geth, it's because of her advanced firewalls. The point is that the Normandy has been flying around the galaxy the entire time with a Reaper signal. How do we know for certain that it hasn't affected Shepard, who is already somewhat vulnerable due to Object Rho and has synthetic implants? We don't either way. The IFF Code could still have had hidden signals EDI didn't identify, signals more subtle than the blatant "here I am" signal that alerted the Collectors. If that's true, the entire Normandy crew could be at risk.

5. Dream sequences. Could have been just the pressure of having the fate of the known galaxy on your shoulders, but the dream sequences were out of place enough that I'm starting to think that they were somehow messages sent from Harbinger to instill despair in Shepard. Just a theory, no hard evidence. But you have to admit, they were weird, and the Reaper sounds you heard in the dream might have been Shepard trying to fight off the indoctrination subconciously.

6. Lastly, overall exposure to Reaper/Prothean technology. Shepard's been among so many indoctrinated beings, from Saren and TIM to the husks. Not to mention their jaunt on the "dead" Reaper for the IFF code. And who knows if the Prothean beacons left Shepard's mind more open to Reaper contamination, since it made his mind more similar to a Prothean's, and it was known that Protheans were very susceptible to the Reapers' control (e.g. Collectors).

I'm not going to mention it as one of my main points, but the scene of Shepard waking in London for that brief moment during the DESTROY ending sequence also lends some credence to the indoctrination theory.

Call me crazy, but I'm starting to wonder if ME3 was really the last game, or if Bioware did this to make this game a four-part series, instead of doing a DLC to finish it....
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Old 2012-03-17, 03:51   Link #2385
Xion Valkyrie
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The current ending would actually be a 'easy to develop' setup for Mass Effect Online. Having 1 starting planet (Earth) for every race would be much easier than having 6 different starting planets.

Anyways, imagine if at the end of Return of the Jedi, Luke goes to the Death Star 2 and Palpatine tells him the reason he killed all the Jedi was to prevent the Jedi from turning into Sith and killing all the Jedi.

Then he offers Luke the choice of controlling the Sith, merging with the Sith, or destroying all Sith + Wookies. All three choices would destroy all warp capabilities, thus stranding everyone on Endor.

I'm sure that'd gone over REAAAL well.
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Old 2012-03-17, 04:00   Link #2386
Kaisos Erranon
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Originally Posted by Spectacular_Insanity View Post
Call me crazy, but I'm starting to wonder if ME3 was really the last game, or if Bioware did this to make this game a four-part series, instead of doing a DLC to finish it....
Even if so, it's horribly dishonest.

Also it presupposes intelligent thought from the company who edited a stock photo to generate the face of a fan-favorite character, and who thought Dragon Age 2 was a good idea.
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Old 2012-03-17, 04:08   Link #2387
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ME3 is supposed to be the end of the Shepard story arc. There will be more down the road. You ll have to google the source though since i cant remember where i read it.
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Old 2012-03-17, 04:11   Link #2388
Xion Valkyrie
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Originally Posted by Jazzrat View Post
ME3 is supposed to be the end of the Shepard story arc. There will be more down the road. You ll have to google the source though since i cant remember where i read it.
They also promised a bunch of things about ME3 that didn't come true. Never believe anything a company like EA says.
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Old 2012-03-17, 04:51   Link #2389
npal
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O_o Tell me we're not pushing for an indoctrination ending DLC, that theory is even worse than the current choice of endings. I mean seriously, "look, it was just a dream" trope should die a horrible death already.

Personally I don't care much about the ending options, sure they could be better, sure they could be happier, but whatever, it's acceptable up to a point. What I found frustrating besides the whole "crew and normandy teleportation, almost outrunning a mass effect beam", which made no sense whatsoever, was the total lack of extra information regarding exactly what happened, given all the choices you made throughout the trilogy. Characters, races, the galaxy as a whole, where's all that information? What about all these aliens stranded near Earth without a relay to go back home? And that's not even mentioning how a "destroy" or "synthesis" option affects core elements of existence in the mass effect galaxy. All I got was a 2 minute video, half of which didn't make sense.

Leaving the ending aside, they should have relaxed the Paragon/Renegade score needed for some options. I was also pretty frustrated with being forced to play the multiplayer to get assets needed to unlock single player content. Then again, the best you can get a 5 seconds extra video that also makes no sense by picking an option I consider rather crappy, so it's not like I'm going to bother with that.

Overall, the game was nice till the last 3 minutes for me. I would have expected much better from a trilogy's final game. But indoctrination theory? NO! HELL NO!
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Old 2012-03-17, 05:24   Link #2390
Xion Valkyrie
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Indoctrination would require DLC True End, which is what most supporters of the indoctrination theory are hoping for.
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Old 2012-03-17, 05:27   Link #2391
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xion Valkyrie View Post
The current ending would actually be a 'easy to develop' setup for Mass Effect Online. Having 1 starting planet (Earth) for every race would be much easier than having 6 different starting planets.

Anyways, imagine if at the end of Return of the Jedi, Luke goes to the Death Star 2 and Palpatine tells him the reason he killed all the Jedi was to prevent the Jedi from turning into Sith and killing all the Jedi.

Then he offers Luke the choice of controlling the Sith, merging with the Sith, or destroying all Sith + Wookies. All three choices would destroy all warp capabilities, thus stranding everyone on Endor.

I'm sure that'd gone over REAAAL well.
Wow, I can't believe I raged over that prospect far more so than ME3's ending.
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Old 2012-03-17, 05:29   Link #2392
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The indoctrination theory is bad, yes, but it makes some sort of sense.

The current endings standing alone make no sense. This is the kind of stuff that doesn't get past QA--hell, doesn't even make it to QA--unless it's intentional. I have no illusions about EA's willingness to gouge every last cent out of ME fans, to use their emotional investment in the series to wring even more cash out of us. More than the evidence in the game, but the way the evidence shows up. A lot of it is really heavy-handed (Blue God Kid for instance) while some is quite subtle. Too subtle. My theory is that Bioware ran out of time, and EA would not let them push the game's release date back another n months.

So out of desperation they slapped together the ending we have. Running out of time would also explain a lot of the game's weird bugs--bugs that are obvious and shouldn't have made it past the beta testers, assuming they had enough time to fully test everything really well. Bioware's current defensive behavior also suggests to me that they ran out of time and are taking all the heat for what's essentially EA's fault, not their own--the publisher forced a release before the developers were really finished. This happens all the time, and the devs often take the heat for it when it's really the publisher's fault.

So yeah. My take on the non-endings of ME3 are that they're a PR stunt meant to buy time to finish the game. The question is, will the rest of the game be free (as it should, we did pay for a full game, after all) or will EA charge another $10 per player? That is what will seal their fate, as far as I'm concerned.

If the rest of ME3 is released as a patch or free DLC, I'll be satisfied--not happy, but satisfied that at least we'll get some kind of closure--but wary of future EA/Bioware releases. I rarely buy games on release day anyway, unless I've been waiting for them for a long time, but I will still consult player reviews before purchasing.

If the rest of ME3 is released as a paid DLC, I will buy it... and nothing else after. Bioware and EA will get absolutely no money from me after I buy the missing chunk of the game I already paid full price for. For fuck's sake, EA, isn't sixty bucks a pop enough?

If this really is the end and we've all been trolled by Bioware/EA, then I'll never buy anything EA publishes ever again, regardless of what it is or how good it is.
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Old 2012-03-17, 06:22   Link #2393
npal
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@synaesthetic I really doubt EA won't go the paid-DLC road. Looking at the publisher field, I can't see many decent publishers left who aren't forcing DRM down your throat or chopping off essential parts of the game then selling them at insane prices as DLC (and even more DRM, e.g. if EA servers can't connect to verify the From Ashes DLC during each run, I can't load a save that uses it, a horrible practice).

Wasted money? Sure, I'm one of those nutcases that bought the Collector's edition because I had faith in Mass Effect delivering in general. In the end, I felt the game as a whole wasn't worth more than a third of what I paid. Letdown? Pretty much, the ending was too short, half of it didn't make sense to me, felt weird and I didn't see the extra things I wanted to see. Devastated? Not really, I could live with an ending like that provided my other requirements were met, but they weren't. I was also the guy that was content with DA2, even though using the same maps over and over became ridiculous eventually.

The last "old man narrator" video was a bit... pointless, a waste of resources that could have been used someplace better.
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Old 2012-03-17, 06:44   Link #2394
Xion Valkyrie
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I was just thinking, they could have actually made this game really different based on your paragon/renegade alignment. The paragon path would be more or less the same as now, but the renegade path would actually allow you to rejoin Cerberus and help the Illusive Man control the reapers.

Probably somewhere around the halfway point based on your paragon/renegade alignment as well as certain choices made earlier, you could change your allegiance. Some additional choices in the earlier segments of the game would help cement you towards your path could include:

-Mars Archives: Here EVA offers you a deal in secret (provided you gave the Collector base to TIM in ME2) and gives you a secret data disk. Once onboard the Normandy, you can open the disk and TIM will tell you to use this disk to erase EDI. EVA takes over the Normandy while pretending to be EDI and acts as her replacement.

-Extracting Eve mission: In the last cutscene where Shepard goes over to the almost dead Cerberus soldier, the soldier tries to give him a data disc and you can choose to take it. This will trigger a cutscene later on the Normandy where Shepard gets a direct message from TIM telling him about his plans.

-Salarian Councilor deal: The Salarian Councilor will still offer the same deal, but you get an additional choice to convince the Councillor to ally with Cerberus.

-Tuchanka: You will need to trick Wrev/Wrex, then kill Mordin to prevent him from fixing the Genophage. Eve get's secretly kidnapped by Cerberus forces while you lie to everyone that she died from the cure. If Wrex is alive, he will later confront Shepard on the Citadel (like if you lied to Wrex) about working with Cerberus and kidnapping Eve, and Shepard will kill him.

-Cerberus Attack on Citadel: Instead of the Salarian Councilor (who's now allied with Cerberus) it'll be the Turian or the Asari councilor that Kai Leng goes after. However, you get a message from Thane/Kirrae about them trying to stop Kai Leng, so your reason for that part of the mission is to kill Thane/Kirrae and help Kai Leng kill the Turian/Asari Councilor. You pretend to help Thane/Kirrae only to stab them in the back, allowing Kai Leng to kill the Councilor. At the elevator area, you tell your squadmates to stay behind and guard, while you head to the top. When you arrive, you can trick Ashley into thinking it was the other surviving Council member as the main culprit behind the attack, and get her to kill him.

-Rannoch: Everything mostly plays out like normal, except you infect Legion with a Cerberus modifed version of the Reaper upgraded code. When Legion upgrades the Geth with it, they become fully under the control of Cerberus. The Quarians are destroyed.

After this point, your teammembers finally figure out that you have been working for Cerberus this entire time. Some crew members will stay while others will leave:
EDI: If you did not replace EDI with EVA, you will need to use a Cerberus data hack to destroy EDI. Joker will leave/die if you do that. If you did replace EDI with EVA, EVA will pretend to be EDI and convince Joker to side with you and Cerberus.
Ashley: If you convinced her to become a Spectre and tricked her into killing the other councillor, you can make your other teammates think she is working with you, forcing her to join you.
Liara: If you romance her, she will join you. Otherwise, she will leave.
Javik will join you because he believes the ends justifies the means, while Vega, Garrus, and Tali will leave.

If you do not have EVA, you will get EVA2 as a replacement. Kai Leng will be a new squadmate. You will also get a new modifed Krogan clone (what capturing Eve was for).

At this point, since you are no longer undercover, all N7 missions involving Cerberus will be reversed. You will kill Alliance/Allied forces trying to take the Cerberus bases. The Citadel will have also been taken over by Cerberus with Udina in command.

-Thessia: You learn from TIM that your former squadmates are going to Thessia to find the key to the Catalyst. You basically trail them and attack them at the end, taking the VI and killing one of your former team members.

-Horizon: Your mission here is to get the DATA from Miranda's father. You kill Miranda's father but can choose to spare Miranda or kill her. She plants the bug on you either way, leading the Alliance to the Cerberus Base.

-Cerberus Base: You actually receive a distress call from TIM that the Alliance is attacking. The mission still goes the same, except this time the Alliance has already infiltrated deep into the base and you fight them to get to TIM. In TIM's observation room you fight the rest of your former teammates and kill them. Meanwhile the Alliance fleet is destroyed by Cerberus forces.

-At this point the reapers take over the Citadel and move it to Earth anyways (for harvesting purposes). Cerberus attacks the Reaper forces surrounding Earth and Shepard still has the same mission from before. However, you only need to fight your way to the end. Here instead of getting wiped out by Harbinger, TIM sacrifices most of his troops to get himself, you, and a few bodyguards safely into the Citadel. When you reach the control room it turns out one of the bodyguards that came along was Anderson in disguise. Here Anderson tries to convince you one last time to destroy the reapers. You can choose to kill him or TIM. If you choose to kill him, TIM will try to control the reapers. You can choose to kill TIM while he's attempting to control the reapers, then take over the Reapers yourself. If you kill TIM and spare Anderson, you get a choice of destroy or control the reapers. If you choose to control, you will be forced to kill Anderson anyways.

The ending basically ends with either you or TIM controlling the Reapers and dominating the galaxy.
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Old 2012-03-17, 06:54   Link #2395
Merilyn Mensola
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there is a news..probably everyone know it already..however i post it

The ending has produced a popular uprising of many fans who, with a petition which has resulted in a fundraiser that has already reached the incredible sum of nearly $ 50,000, are clamoring for a new conclusion of the game. All implemented using a DLC, possibly for free.
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Old 2012-03-17, 08:51   Link #2396
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Originally Posted by Xion Valkyrie View Post
I was just thinking, they could have actually made this game really different based on your paragon/renegade alignment. The paragon path would be more or less the same as now, but the renegade path would actually allow you to rejoin Cerberus and help the Illusive Man control the reapers.

Wall of text
If only that was true...
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Old 2012-03-17, 09:14   Link #2397
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merilyn Mensola View Post
there is a news..probably everyone know it already..however i post it

The ending has produced a popular uprising of many fans who, with a petition which has resulted in a fundraiser that has already reached the incredible sum of nearly $ 50,000, are clamoring for a new conclusion of the game. All implemented using a DLC, possibly for free.
Wow really? thats awesome XD i'd donate but I'mbroke as it is.
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Old 2012-03-17, 09:22   Link #2398
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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I am just amazed at how badly the Bioware PR is handling all this.

I guess I am just so used to companies making direct and honest responses to customers, from watching Minecraft being made, that I forgot how it usually works.

Most gamers are old enough to know when they are being brushed off. Diplomatic responses that tell us nothing, isn't fooling anyone but the Press. ME3 is 15+, so they should stop pretending we are preschoolers.

And of course, anyone who started playing since sale of ME1 would be more than twenty years old.
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Old 2012-03-17, 09:53   Link #2399
Merilyn Mensola
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Originally Posted by Kyero Fox View Post
Wow really? thats awesome XD i'd donate but I'mbroke as it is.

Yes..is confirmed....wow..to think that people are going so fare..

I have to finish this game,i don't know how is supposed to be the end...because i didn't read the spoiler..i only read that the end sucks...however..seems that people really want a great conclusion(happy ending) of this wonderful trilogy...

I'm curious to see what BioWare will do.., and do a Dlc with an alternative ending..isn't a bad idea..especially for people that like me,have played all three chapters..however..i have to finish the game first..and after,i will express my thoughts.
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Old 2012-03-17, 10:03   Link #2400
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Going to repost some long posts from Bio-forum from someone who worked in Corp PR before:


I think the most important, and intelliegent, post I've read on these forums since this controversy started has been this one from a user named atghunter. I shall quote his post:

atghunter wrote...

Posted this yesterday, I'll repost here. Hope it helps to see what's on the other side of the mirror atm.

I don't think Bioware is out of touch with their customers though I agree with an earlier poster that right now they are assessing their options. Nor do I think that everyone speaking up for them at the moment is a "yes man" or shill. That said:

I don't for a moment think there are any other endings, this was a hallucination, etc. Bioware/EA is letting these speculations go on for two reasons. First, they are letting people vent. Secondly, they are weighing options.

Years ago, I worked for a PR damage control team and everything right now is going by the book. First, re-affirm and ignore (also known as doubling down), then try and define the detractors in the mainstream with things like "this is all a big mistunderstand", etc. while remaining civil in the hopes the detractors go rabid. Meanwhile go dark and use countermeasures through third part sources to prop up your position and brand the outcry as driven by hacks, haters or a minority trying to wear out the detractors on these outlets or "shock troops" while protecting the corporate core. Next, offer something distracting (notice SWTOR is free this upcoming weekend) known as the "faux olive branch"/ask the angry people to explain their concerns (without agreeing to commit to a compromise), buy more add time (definitely going on right now), and hope it dies down. If the pressure is still on, determine the economic viability of 1) ignoring the outcry and banking on the fickle nature of consumers to get over it or 2) determining if we can make money off of fixing it.

If it is any consolation, the decision whether or not there is a fix DLC, etc, won't be made by the writers so illusions to things they wanted to convey don't matter much atm (to wit: the leads comments yesterday). I suspect he's been called in and politely told by the PR guys to not do that again. This is now a corporate problem, not an artistic struggle with fans. Somewhere in the EA bunker, attorneys, PR guys, writers and brass are sharing numbers b/c in the end this will come down to hard currency.

As one who despises the endings, I'm hoping the suits tell the visionaries that the customers are loud enough and numerous enough to swollow their pride and get them out of this storm. For those that love them, I readily accept your position and respectfully disagree.



His post was written yesterday (Thursday, March 15) and today (March 16) Bioware announced the N7 weekend "Operation: Goliath" baloney encouraging gamers to play a weekend event that promises them "FREE STUFF".

social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/324/index/9993278/1

Sadly, a lot of the same people who were swearing off Bioware were posting in that thread asking how they can be a part of the event. I was disgusted, so my question to everyone was - does no one see what's going on here?

Soon after I created this thread, atghunter posted again. Please read for more wisdom...

atghunter wrote...

Greetings All,

First, I’m flattered someone would repost this. Many thanks.

A couple follow-up thoughts for those wondering what is likely going on with the other side of the mirror in the last couple days:

First, Operation Goliath, the free Star Wars online weekend, and the recent noncommittal overtures to listen arefaux olive branches. Sorry. Customers intrinsically want to believe companies they patronize listen and when they stop believing that, the company has to say they are listening and do anything to get the detractors off-message. There are a dozen names for this, but the most memorable was "The Shell Game."

You will know that there’s a genuine need for dialogue in the corporate bunker when the message turns from “we’re listening” to “we acknowledge we may have a disconnect with our consumers and are willing to discuss a meaningful solution to the problem.” It signals an end to non-committed deflection and opening genuine talks to solve the problem (it’s knows as “Exposing Your Throat” btw). At present, you’ll notice Bioware/EA has only said they will “explain” the endings. That’s not a give, that’s a delay tactic.

But here’s the part that amazes me as an old PR guy and is totally new. The disenfranchised base here is changing the old methodology. It’s akin to comparing old-style bunker PR defenses to new blitzkrieg-style consumers. To date, the “bunker strategy” was always used because it was virtually foolproof. However, social media and the 24 hour news cycle have simply changed everything. Twenty years ago, you could not mass 30,000 protesters into a networked base without some luck, money, a GREAT cause and (most importantly) time. By the time you did get organized, folks were either burned out or lost interest. Groups like Take Back have altered the landscape and suddenly the contest is taken from the old paradigm to a crazy new (and wonderful IMO) place. Preorder sales took away customers biggest weapon in the past (i.e. don’t buy the product). Now customers who feel they have received poor value have been potentially re-empowered by the internet. Bioware/EA is feeling the full brunt of this thing while passion is hottest. They are deploying countermeasures faster than the old strategies ever would have ever suggested. To some degree, they are being outmaneuvered atm. But now it depends on how long the protest/outcry holds up.

Two more quick points and I’ll close. First, the Child’s Play movement was brilliant. Notice over the past few days how some of the most visceral detractors to the outcry have had to shift their vitriol from “you’re spoiled selfish haters” to “sure you gave to charity, but you are spoiled selfish haters.” Nobody is drinking that Kool-Aid. Better yet, some outlets are now saying “maybe the game has problem but its still art” from the precedent message “best game ever.” That won’t fly with the mainstream. If its one thing they know is that when “art” hits the marketplace, it is a commodity, nothing more. You’ve changed the countermeasures from "unbiased" critics of the movement into drum beaters simply trying to get you angry. EA’s PR guys probably envy you (grudgingly) atm.

Second, don’t buy the only X people voted in the poll out of 1 billion customers, so they don’t care. That’s bunk. Are there "drum beaters" on both sides of this issue that just want to see controversy, sure. But if I was sitting in an office looking at that Bioware poll, I’d be reaching for a cigarette.

Finally remember, they have much more data at their disposal. They know how sales are going, how much time people are playing that are synced into Origin, etc. They will watch those numbers this weekend. If sales slow, watch for price cutting within 10 days (just over the two week US release date). It will mean that retailers are getting nervous and will slow new unit orders. As I’ve said before, this will come down to hard currency. If the protests start having an effect on that front, the response will come.

I’m an older gamer and again appreciate the repost. To everyone (on both sides) continue to let your voices be heard. You are consumers and have every right to engage in this discourse. The boards being locked yesterday proves someone is watching and knows this is an issue. I'm in the hated-ending camp to be sure, but I admire everyone one of you who is arguing for what believe on both sides!

Cheers.

Many men may be willing to die heroically for a noble cause, but few men will live humbly for one. Wilhelm Stekel




And tonight Casey Hudson responded precisely as atghunter predicted.

social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/324/index/10089946

And here is atghunters thoughts on Casey's statement:

atghunter wrote...

Greetings All,

Really flattered with the responses. Respectful regards and thanks to all. Been spending a few minutes reading over Mr. Hudson’s response. Here's my PR insider perspective. Hope it helps a bit.

First, let’s simply look at strategy over content. 1) They definitely released this on a Friday evening to bury it in the news cycle (because it does acknowledge in passing there are unhappy customers, but more next paragraph). Btw, kudos to those who pointed that out earlier in the thread-Solid catch. 2) Several of the “anti-ending” articles (most notably Forbes) are now creeping into front page searches for “Mass Effect 3” instead of “Mass Effect 3 endings” and they are hoping this release will knock those stories to page 2. 3) They are hoping to deflect some of the current silence anger by combining this message with this weekend’s faux olive branches (discussed earlier).

All in all, the message release strategy is nothing too interesting at this point.

The content, however, is interesting. Most of the statement is doublespeak meant to let you see whatever you want as to as to the direction this thing is heading. Mr. Hudson then clearly tries to give validity to the greatness of the game by citing a couple news sources in the hopes of getting those stories more hits and onto search page one (nicely played EA PR), but the main thing is a clear acknowledgement that Houston has a problem with “some” fans. Mind you, he uses the term “some” and “most passionate fans” to try and minimalize the level of the outcry, but the disenfranchised fan base has reached the level of acknowledgement. That is important. Does it mean those disenfranchised fans have won? Not by a long shot. But Mr. Hudson’s statement was written (or at least approved by someone running damage control). And ultimately any time you have to acknowledge a problem with your product or customers, you have issues.

Does he continue on holding his own line that they intended “bittersweet” endings? Yes. Is the comment that you’ll see more of Commander Shepard an illusion to an “ending” DLC? Not certain but probably not at the moment. Does he utilize the “we’re listening to feedback but not promising we’ll do anything” line used on the boards yesterday? Sure.

It is clear most of his statement is insubstantial and leaves tons of room for spin either way down the road. Whether it gets used or not, management is trying to find some wiggle room in case they have to change course.

Last bit. A warning. PR guys know that right now many people’s emotions are on edge and often use a tactic called “Sound and Fury” (Shakespearean reference see Macbeth) to see if it gets people raging. It helps that strategy that people are looking at anything coming out of Bioware to detect wind changes. That said, I was reading through the thread burning with Mr. Hudson’s statement (though to be fair it is a Bioware/EA statement) and it seems for the most part folks are being passionate, but civil. EA PR will probably chalk up that aspect of this release as a failedruse de guerre (trick of war).

Stay civil, stay passionate, and stay vocal no matter which side you take. For myself, I’ll shamelessly

Hold the Line
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