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Old 2013-04-05, 12:50   Link #3701
Eragon
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Yeah, I can be pretty sarcastic as well but, I tend to think AS users deserve better responses. So, tone it down maybe?
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Old 2013-04-05, 13:41   Link #3702
Wild Goose
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I will reply further, but I should note that Destroy has you killing EDI and the geth as collateral damage of killing the Reapers, else the Reapers will kill everyone. You're not choosing to kill EDI and the geth intentionally, but you recognise that they will be collateral damage and press on.

Note, however, that EDI preferred death over being suborned by the Reapers. She would rather die than be brainwashed and controlled by the Reapers. And yet I still see arguments for doinf the same unto the Reapers. *shakes head*

as for Destroy, I can draw parallels to the deployment of nuclear weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which achieved the objective of eliminating opposition from the Imperial Japanese military, at the cost of not-insignificant civilian casualties. I should also note that more Japanese civilians died in the conventional bombing and firebombing campaigns that took place earlier.

More detailed replies coming in the next few hours as I need to sleep.

And Valiant Chaos's analogy is not what I would call sarcastic or insulting, given that it's an excellent analogy for Synthesis ported into present day.
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Old 2013-04-05, 14:10   Link #3703
Eragon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Goose View Post
I will reply further, but I should note that Destroy has you killing EDI and the geth as collateral damage of killing the Reapers, else the Reapers will kill everyone. You're not choosing to kill EDI and the geth intentionally, but you recognise that they will be collateral damage and press on.

Note, however, that EDI preferred death over being suborned by the Reapers. She would rather die than be brainwashed and controlled by the Reapers. And yet I still see arguments for doinf the same unto the Reapers. *shakes head*

as for Destroy, I can draw parallels to the deployment of nuclear weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which achieved the objective of eliminating opposition from the Imperial Japanese military, at the cost of not-insignificant civilian casualties. I should also note that more Japanese civilians died in the conventional bombing and firebombing campaigns that took place earlier.

More detailed replies coming in the next few hours as I need to sleep.

And Valiant Chaos's analogy is not what I would call sarcastic or insulting, given that it's an excellent analogy for Synthesis ported into present day.
Aren't you ignoring the other endings? The Reapers will kill everyone IF Shepard doesn't choose one of R-G-B.

And once again I will say that, the Reapers do not have free will or a purpose of their own. Why is there an AI that is giving you these choices if they had their free will?

And drawing parallels between our world and the Mass Effect universe really doesn't work. Our world didn't have a Shepard.

And I'm not touching the Hiroshima-Nagasaki bombings with a ten-foot pole. That will just open up a whole new argument. Suffice to say, I don't agree with the bombings. So, going by that, I, certainly, am not going to agree with wiping out an entire species - especially not after founding what could be the most important and symbolic alliance in the history of the Galaxy. No, not going to happen.
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Old 2013-04-05, 22:42   Link #3704
Wild Goose
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Right, I've had some sleep. Let's do this. Backlog Breaker, hassha!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eragon View Post
But, the Reapers's function was given to them by the Catalyst. He said as much. He, or rather it, was the reason they were harvesting the organics. That's what I'm trying to say. The Reapers are devoid of purpose without the AI. Indoctrination was merely a tool to serve that function. Without the function the tool is useless.

And I'm honestly missing the point of bringing up brainwashing. I mean, the Reapers were 'given' a purpose in the first place. They do not have a purpose other than harvesting. They were being controlled before. The control ending just puts you in charge. I mean if the Reapers had free will and a purpose of their own, there wouldn't be any need for the existence of the Blue-kid.
Let me further explain my reasoning. We are not looking at the intent, or questions of free will - those are a different question that does not fully bear on this topic we are arguing. The question is this: Is Indoctrination (brainwashing) wrong? It is agreed that it is wrong. Thus, my question: If Indoctrination is wrong, then why do we feel it is right for us to Indoctrinate the Reapers?

The soldier who was taught and trained by his army and leadership to commit war crimes is not absolved of blame because he was indoctrinated to become a monster. Nuremberg and Tokyo established that.

Quote:
The Geth would have destroyed the Quarians. Except for one exception, what the blue-kid says has some truth behind it(I mean it has been around longer than Shepard has). Synthetics and Organics are pretty likely to come to head somewhere down the line and it will mostly end in the defeat of the Organics. So, by destroying all Synthetic life you essentially undo everything that the peace between the Geth and Quarians could have meant for future generations and leave room for that kind of conflict to occur.
I must question your comprehension of the games. The geth chased the quarians off Rannoch during the Morning War... and then did absolutely nothing. They maintained an isolationist existence, wanting to be left alone, until the quarians attacked them. Yes, the quarians were losing in ME3, but that was because they drove the geth into the arms of the Reapers, and the geth were fighting back in self defense.

Also, I find it interesting that you have faith - unfounded faith - that Shepard will remain uncorrupted by the immense power he wields, and that the Catalyst is telling you the truth. Recall that it has its own agenda.

Quote:
In essence the Destroy ending is also based on the hope that a conflict between Organics and Synthetics will not occur in the future. Which, as I said, will result in the Organics losing simply because they are organics and not machines.
As Valiant Chaos noted, this is a spurious argument. Destroy is about ending the Reapers permanently and rejecting the chance to become part of them, at a terrible cost in collateral damage. It is not based on hope or any such thing; it is a ruthless accounting of costs to stop a clear and present danger. Destroy is choosing to permanently destroy the Reapers to ensure that their threat is permanently neutralised, no matter the cost.

Quote:
Saren and TIM are not Shepard. Yeah, that's it. But, that's the only reason I can come up with.
You do realise that on this point, at least, you must concede.

One further thing I will add: A nuclear weapon launch requires at least two men to arm and deploy the weapon. This is called the Two Man Rule. If nuclear weapons, weapons that are weaker than the Reaper fleet, are not entrusted to a single man but to two, for there to be checks and balances... then why is it that you consider the Reaper fleet, a weapon of exponentially greater power, to be safe in the hands of a single man?

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Originally Posted by npal View Post
I kinda prefer the Synthesis ending.

Destroy means turning the war onto its head and destroying any and all synthetic AI, and, unlike what the Reapers claim they do, you did it without merit, no discrimination, no mercy.

Control sounds like a far better option that Destroy but puts a single human sentience onto a god's throne. Even if Shepard himself remains a benevolent god, every other "lesser" species may not like the idea of a god race dictating whatever, thus insuring that a war will eventually break out one way or another for pretty much the same reason it broke up before.

Synthesis has the benefit of not introducing galaxy-scale wars from the get-go or causing genocide of some form, due to entities having one difference less to fight over.
The main issue I have with the endings is that I find them all objectionable in some way.

Synthesis:
You merge everyone into a new species of sorts, against their will. That won't stop wars: So long as there are people, there will be disagreements. And we don't know what the long term effects of Synthesis will be.

Control: You brainwash the Reapers, doing unto them what they did to others, and now control all of them. Again, this does not sit well with me, because, as I've said before, we're becoming like our enemy, and there's always the risk of corruption and temptation. Look to Saren and the Illusive Man.

Destroy: Kills the Reapers, permanently, which few have problems with... but will also kill the geth, who will be collateral damage. This doesn't sit well with me... but out of three options that are morally objectionable, this is the lesser of three evils, because at the end of the day I'm putting down a fleet of diseased ships. I'm not torturing them, I'm not forcing them to merge with anything, I'm not brainwashing them. I just look them in the eye and kill them. And if that means the geth are collateral damage, then the geth are collateral damage.

God have mercy on my soul.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eragon View Post
Aren't you ignoring the other endings? The Reapers will kill everyone IF Shepard doesn't choose one of R-G-B.
Don't put words in my mouth. I acknowledge that a choice has to be made. I also acknowledge that all of those choices are bad, and so I make the choice that is the lesser of three evils, a choice where I stand to my principles, and prepare to face the consequences.

Quote:
And once again I will say that, the Reapers do not have free will or a purpose of their own. Why is there an AI that is giving you these choices if they had their free will?
A dog has no free will or purpose of its own. It acts merely in following its own canine natures. Is it wrong to abuse that dog?

But this is beside the point, and I'm honestly confused as to where your free will angle comes into being. As I said above, my perspective is this: even if we don't consider it brainwashing, there are still the unknown long-term issues with Synthesis, and the dangers of leaving all that power in the hands of one man, relying on him to hold the Reapers at bay. Destroying the Reapers is the only choice that guarantees that they will no longer be a permanent threat, with no risk of them coming back.


Quote:
And drawing parallels between our world and the Mass Effect universe really doesn't work. Our world didn't have a Shepard.
This is a most spurious argument, one barely even capable of being called an argument.

I have found that whenever people are unable to defend their point of view, they rely on trite sayings such as the above.

Quote:
And I'm not touching the Hiroshima-Nagasaki bombings with a ten-foot pole. That will just open up a whole new argument. Suffice to say, I don't agree with the bombings. So, going by that, I, certainly, am not going to agree with wiping out an entire species - especially not after founding what could be the most important and symbolic alliance in the history of the Galaxy. No, not going to happen.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki were cruel necessities - just like Destroy. It was the lesser of two evils: either you bomb Japan and shock the nation into submission, or you invade and cause horrific casualties to both sides. So many Purple Hearts were made in anticipation of the casualties of invading Japan that to this day, no new Purple Hearts have been made: Every single Purple Heart issued today was made in the 1940s.

At least you're acknowledging that you're sticking to your beliefs. That's fine, I can understand that. Likewise, I am sticking to my guns as well. I don't agree with killing the geth and EDI - I hate the fact that they're collateral damage in ensuring the safety of the Galaxy from the Reapers - but the fact remains that Destroy is the safest option that is the lesser of three evils in dealing with the Reapers for good.

All three options are immoral, but Destroy is the lesser, by some degree, of three evils.
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Old 2013-04-05, 23:15   Link #3705
Eragon
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Okay, that Geth example was stupid. I could see the cracks while typing it - my bad.

Not my intention to put words in your mouth. That was how I interpreted your statement.

One honest question - Didn't the Dalatrous give similar kind of reasoning for sabotaging the cure for the Genophage? Why did you cure the Genophage(I'm assuming you did) then? The Krogan will obviously want revenge with only Wrex holding them back. And with the Genophage cured, the Krogan are pretty much unstoppable if history is to be believed.

This will be my last post anyhow. Moral arguments aren't my forte'. And the "lesser of the three evils" is subjective. I find giving a new purpose to the Reapers better option than wiping out an entire race.
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Old 2013-04-06, 00:26   Link #3706
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Originally Posted by Eragon View Post
Okay, that Geth example was stupid. I could see the cracks while typing it - my bad.

Not my intention to put words in your mouth. That was how I interpreted your statement.
Fair enough.

Quote:
One honest question - Didn't the Dalatrous give similar kind of reasoning for sabotaging the cure for the Genophage? Why did you cure the Genophage(I'm assuming you did) then? The Krogan will obviously want revenge with only Wrex holding them back. And with the Genophage cured, the Krogan are pretty much unstoppable if history is to be believed.
The Dalatrass did attempt a similar argument, but my counter to her is simply as follows: the krogan have two heavily moderating influences in Wrex and Eve to hold them back from waging a war. Two Man Rule. Furthermore, they have demonstrated a willingness to cooperate and get with the program - note the Miracle at Palaven. The turian and human militaries provide a counter to the krogan. Lastly, with the way casualties are going, the Dalatrass doesn't need to worry about any overbreeding.

Also, the krogan do not possess the power of the Reaper fleet, nor are they unshackled the way Shepard is.
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Old 2013-04-06, 01:00   Link #3707
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Actually, none of the endings are free of moral quandaries. All of them are bad in some way.

Control places a great deal of power in the hands of one individual--though I hesitate to say whether or not Shepard maintained her human tendencies when uploaded into the governing intelligence of the Reapers. Clearly that trade-up from squishy human brain to Mecha-Cthulhu Armada did some major expansion of consciousness...

Synthesis takes self-determination away from everything in the galaxy by forcibly altering them into a different form. Without their consent. I consider this one the worst, personally, and also on a meta level because it's an incredibly lazy ripoff of the Helios ending from the original Deus Ex and the JC Denton ending from Deus Ex: Invisible War.

Destroy obviously has problems because you're exterminating the geth, who have (depending on your actions) proven themselves to be pretty decent folks--probably the least "bad" of all the races combined. You also kill EDI, and (sort of) yourself since you're partially based on Reaper tech. The latter's fine because Shepard can freely choose to do away with herself to save the galaxy. Even sacrificing EDI is tolerable, because EDI wouldn't have gone through all this shit only to give up at the last minute. But slaughtering the entire geth species is pretty... harsh.

Refusal is self-explanatory. Reapers win, everyone dies, problem is kicked down the road for the next cycle to deal with who were obviously not stupid enough to refuse to use the Crucible to win.

Basically, like the endings of Dragon Age 2, none of the endings of Mass Effect 3 are perfect. They are all quite bad in one way or another--and while many gamers dislike this, I find it very interesting and a sign that maybe the industry isn't as doomed as I previously thought.

There are some things even the most improbably plot-armored of heroes just can't do. In DA2, you could not stop the war between the mages and the templars no matter what you did. It was bigger than you. The conflict had been brewing for hundreds of years. Hawke's actions were just a catalyst.

In ME3, Shepard can "win" but even the best win conditions are terrible, horrible and inflict great suffering upon the entire galaxy. The Synthesis ending I consider the worst, not just because it overrides the self-determination of every living thing (synthetic or organic) in the galaxy, but because it leaves the Reapers still under the control of their governing intelligence.

Control replaces the governing intelligence with Shepard. As much as absolute power corrupts absolutely, having Shepard in control of the Reapers is better than having a logic-bombed insane AI locked in an endless loop in control of the Reapers.

I can see why people like Destroy, since it's the only ending where a) the Reapers are truly gone forever and b) Shepard survives as a human (assuming your EMS is sufficiently high). But I don't consider sacrificing the geth to be really worth it.

Edit: It's also really important to note that in the Control ending, you aren't brainwashing the Reapers with tech like the Illusive Man was trying to do. In Control, Shepard is replacing the Catalyst with her own mind. She is becoming the governing intelligence of the Reapers. This isn't a case of a human controlling the Reapers--this is a literal case of technological transcendence; you're effectively becoming God.
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Old 2013-04-06, 02:29   Link #3708
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I really don't mind sad endings. But since the resources of the galaxy was wasted on the Conduit that I rejected activating, I can't help but feel we could have won the conventional way. That if not for throwing all of our time and effort building a useless tool, we would have won outright.

The fact that the game doesn't even think there is anything wrong with the Synthesis option, makes me question if the script writers even understand basic morals. Synthesis is certainly the kind of ending that could be dreamed up by a Reaper.
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Old 2013-04-06, 02:33   Link #3709
creb
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I've always sort of assumed that the Synthesis ending is the "canon" ending, if there was one.

But, then, I think I'm one of four players in the entire world that didn't have any problems with the ME 3 ending, even before they "expanded" it.
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Old 2013-04-06, 03:44   Link #3710
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If it's canon it's incredibly lazy writing. The Synthesis ending is the only one that didn't have most of its plot holes and implausibilities filled in by the DLC (including Leviathan, which gives the player a better understanding of why the Reapers are the way they are).
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Old 2013-04-06, 06:44   Link #3711
npal
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Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
If it's canon it's incredibly lazy writing. The Synthesis ending is the only one that didn't have most of its plot holes and implausibilities filled in by the DLC (including Leviathan, which gives the player a better understanding of why the Reapers are the way they are).
Well, the writing did go down the drain when ME introduced space magic in order to conclude the game anyway :P The Synthesis options just happens to be the most glaring case of space magic, not excluding the others though. I didn't care much about the whole "self-determination" thing though, it's not like it just happened to me alone. If I wake up one day and the whole world miraculously evolved to some other form, aesthetics aside, I'm not sure there's a problem somewhere other than the initial shock and a need for a new plan for the future.

As far as grey endings go though, take Witcher 2. After playing both paths, you end up realizing that in saving one or two individuals/kingdoms/whatever, you effectively let an equal amount of people get the worst possible outcome. Dragon Age 2 wasn't that grey (judging mostly by the end result), and neither is Mass Effect, unless you screwed up someplace. In Mass Effect it's possible to get a decent everyone-wins-for-now ending, either using Control or Synthesis.
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Old 2013-04-06, 07:14   Link #3712
Vallen Chaos Valiant
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The difference is that you are forced to build the Conduit. So the only reason you are forced to use it is because you already spent all your resources on it. I can't say "screw the Conduit! Just build warships!"
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Old 2013-04-06, 08:43   Link #3713
npal
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The difference is that you are forced to build the Conduit. So the only reason you are forced to use it is because you already spent all your resources on it. I can't say "screw the Conduit! Just build warships!"
Didn't they argue that just using conventional means wasn't going to cut it? I mean, if I recall correctly, that's the main reason that made them accept Shepard's plan about the Conduit anyway.
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Old 2013-04-06, 09:00   Link #3714
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Maybe they should have stuck with the original script.
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Old 2013-04-06, 10:14   Link #3715
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Generally it was okay, though there were potholes, but the problems were really jarring with the crucible and the catalyst and starchild.

Because fuck it Bioware, all you had to do was END IT RIGHT FUCKING THERE AND GIVE US HOPE. If you faded to black, even if Shep and Anderson died, WE WON. IT WAS WORTH IT.

I was like, "Yes! Did it. Wait. What. What. What manner of foul sorcery is this? Fornicate that excrement vigorously."
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Old 2013-04-06, 12:16   Link #3716
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It's just sad that the ending would have been a hundred times better if they had just thrown up the credits after that scene with Shepard and Anderson. Of course still would have had issues, but at least we could avoided the damn Star Child.

Though just had a terrible feeling when you saw how pointless the whole War Assets thing was going into the final battle. With ME2 you had the excitement of seeing these very simple choices matter heading into the showdown. With ME3 it was just "nope, nothing you decided on matters at all." I mean come on, I didn't save the freaking Rachni to have them be engineers! If you had a good enough force built up, then give the choice to fight it out. Suffer the losses that result and live with the consequences.

In the end I just treat the ending as the result of the lead writer finishing the story while under the influence of some serious drugs.
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Old 2013-04-06, 13:21   Link #3717
Eragon
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http://www.strategyinformer.com/news...fect-3-endings

Quote:
The Dark Energy was a force that was going to consume everything. According to Karpyshyn, "The Reapers as a whole were 'nations' of people who had fused together in the most horrific way possible to help find a way to stop the spread of the Dark Energy. The real reason for the Human Reaper was supposed to be the Reapers saving throw because they had run out of time. Humanity in Mass Effect is supposedly unique because of its genetic diversity and represented the universe's best chance at stopping Dark Energy's spread."

The original choice was between killing the Reapers and trying to find a way to stop the Dark Energy threat with what little time was left before it consumed the galaxy, or, "Sacrifice humanity, allowing them to be horrifically processed in hopes that the end result will justify the means."
This was supposed to be what we were going to get, apparently. Why they changed is anyone's guess. Did they change the writer or something for the third game?

*If this has been brought up before, then ignore it.
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Old 2013-04-07, 03:06   Link #3718
creb
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The vitriol towards the "star child" is just...lol.

I thought it was great that it all turned out to be a story (heck, fairy tail really), because...well, it IS a story. It's not real. I don't see this type of outrage over Grimm's fairy tales.

I often think perhaps people took it all a tad too serious after watching the Bioware (and every other) forums erupt in rage.

That type of plot/story structure has been used before in video games, some that are dearly beloved by fans (The Longest Journey, for one), so it's just more than a little funny how vehmenently it was rejected this time around.
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Old 2013-04-07, 04:06   Link #3719
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Originally Posted by creb View Post
The vitriol towards the "star child" is just...lol.

I thought it was great that it all turned out to be a story (heck, fairy tail really), because...well, it IS a story. It's not real. I don't see this type of outrage over Grimm's fairy tales.

I often think perhaps people took it all a tad too serious after watching the Bioware (and every other) forums erupt in rage.

That type of plot/story structure has been used before in video games, some that are dearly beloved by fans (The Longest Journey, for one), so it's just more than a little funny how vehmenently it was rejected this time around.
I'd probably have to completely disagree. The whole old man and grandchild(or whatever) part was just stupid. Seemed like a dumb hook for any potential DLC. "Remember everyone, wait for the DLC so you can hear another story about the Shepard."

Plus this argument seems to go down a common path. "Don't care, because it is just a game, movie, tv series, sport, etc." People can and are allowed to get invested in whatever the heck they want. I'm not surprised the fan reaction turned out as it did. It was cheap, it was stupid, and it was a bold faced lie to their fanbase. Not so much a surprise after Dragon Age 2, but it was still a disappointment.
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Old 2013-04-07, 04:30   Link #3720
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Play the Leviathan DLC and listen to all of the Deus Ex Exposition Kid's... exposition. It's clunky, but the story actually makes sense (more sense, even, than the original Gurren-Lagann ripoff plot they had before).

Leviathans made the Reapers to stop their thralls from making AI that killed them. Reapers were under certain programming constraints and forced into an impossible situation, so their own AI broke and went off the rails.

Reapers harvested the Leviathans. Reapers started harvesting every so often, based on their original programming, but warped and altered by their newfound insanity.

Fact is, the Reapers may claim they're doing what they're doing to preserve life--and perhaps that's what they believe they're doing. In reality, they're just a meta-meta-lifeform evolving over time, reproducing through galactic extinction and absorption cycles as a result of their broken intelligence.

The Catalyst--the governing intelligence of the Reapers--is totally batshit insane, repeating the same task over and over again, always expecting a different result, but always receiving the same one. Because of this insanity they've actually achieved true life--they reproduce (by processing other intelligent species) and they evolve.

So yeah, I don't really have all that much trouble with it. It's a pretty interesting take on the whole "AI is a Crapshoot" trope.
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