Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Episode 69 Announcement!

"Episode 69: AfterMass" will be viewable by all audiences on Wednesday, April 25th. ScrewAttack Advantage members can get an early look at this link NOW.

37 comments:

Laserkid said...

If I honestly believed that this WAS Bioware's vision, I wouldn't be upset. Given all that the DEVELOPERS at Bioware have said about the games ending from day one it seemed like there would be a multitude of different endings. The ending as it is would be fine for one of many, but as more or less the only one? It comes off like the art of the game developer's being shortchanged by the publisher, it feels like it was rushed, and so I don'tr call tor etake mass effect for MYSELF? Heck, I haven't personally gotten through the first one myself yet, but when the hoopla came up I read about what was going on. No, I want Mass Effect retaken by its story tellers to do what they saiud they wanted to from the get go.

Now, if they were lying, or got lazy, or just changed their minds, then no. If any of that is the case, the developers wouldn't DESERVE to fix the mess that is the mono ending to a giant choose your own adventure series. But again, that doesn't appear to me to be the case. It appears to me like it was rushed and the developers ought to be ablke to finish what they sauid they wanted to do.

Agaibn, thats running assumptions, but what else can I do, given the lack of other information to the contrary?

Aiddon said...

-gets a giant umbrella to prepare for the shitstorm-

Deadpool said...

Does it matter whose vision it was? The ending failed on every conceivable level. The paying costumer complained. The creator decided to "fix" it.

How does this warrant TWO videos?

Laserkid said...

@deadpool I think Boib is, reasonably, terrified that this is a sign of games beign dominated by redneck hicks with no artistic vision hive minding every good game story idea out of existence and is trying very hard to convince people to not let this happen.

The problem is, at least for what I've seen, as every idea has retards in it I can't speak to everyone, the movement was to give the creators their ending back from EA basically thieving it, not "dammit, Bioware your storytelling sucks, give me better storytelling", which fits what Bob is commenting on.

In short, it's more "Hey EA, let Bioware give us the ending they said they wanted to do but you didn't alliow so you coiuld rush it to market."

It's not even close to the same sort of issue, but can be easily misconstrued for such.

Deadpool said...

"this is a sign of games beign dominated by redneck hicks with no artistic vision"

This would hold water if this was ACTUALLY redneck hicks with no artistic vision trying to dominate Mass Effect 3.

ME3's ending is BAD. Objectively so. There's no two ways about it, it fails on a purely literally level, it fails on a promise keeping level, it fails as a game mechanic... It fails in every conceivable, possible way.

This isn't some deep, philosophical ending that people didn't get. This is a clusterfuck of a trainwreck.

I can kind of see the argument that the line must be drawn somewhere. I don't get why so many people want to draw the line HERE. It was done poorly, people complained, that's it.

To be fair, it isn't clear whose fault it is. EA, Bioware, Casey Hudson... And honestly, from what I gather of the Retake crowd, they don't care. It sucks, they want better.

I think people took offense over the "Retake" portion and COMPLETELY ignored the actual situation.

The situation is Bioware release a shit ending. Fans complained about it. Some got together and decided to show how badly they hated by raising $80,000 for charity. Then a bunch of people denounced them for it. I'm trying to figure out WHY.

When people bitch everyone goes "put your money where your mouth is. Never expect companies to do thing without monetary incentive." Which is, honestly, sound advice.

So they DID. They went "hey, we think we should get a new ending. We're so serious about this we're willing to spend money just to prove a point." And they DID. Quite a chunk of change too.

This is a GOOD thing. This is a smart, and honestly pretty nice way of holding a "protest." It gives a simple, clear indication of how dedicated you are (more so than number of signatures).

Also, it, god FORBID, holds the developers accountable for some degree of QUALITY. It goes "hey, just because we mindlessly purchase your games up until now does NOT mean you can release whatever piece of shit you come up with and it will be okay."

Is that where they went wrong? Demanding QUALITY work out of developers? Or was it raising money for charity? Seriously, explain this to me here because I am confused...

Personally, I think the whole thing was a waste of time. Let's be real here, no DLC is fixing THAT mess and that's that. But, honestly... If the big terrifying consequence of this is that every time a game comes out with a shitty ending a charity gets $80,000 and we get a new, free remake of the ending... Well, that sounds a-Okay with me.

Pat said...

@Laserkid

Sorry Laserkid, but I have a hard time believing that EA forced Bioware to rush the ending out considering how even with their concessions regarding the Extended Cut DLC, they've still endlessly repeated that they are proud of their endings and have dumped endless praise and thanks on anyone who has said anything positive about their endings.

Perhaps they're being forced to talk like this, but that's not the impression that I get.

People keep pointing to the things said by the head writers and the producers as word of their true intent, and it probably was, but as with any game, time and money becomes a factor and they have to ask themselves "Is it really feasible to show the rachni in the final battle and does it really matter that much?" If they had interviewed one of the head programmers and asked about it, they probably would have been like "Significantly different endings? Rachni in the final battle? Who the fuck told you this shit? I'm still trying to keep Shepard from clipping through the elevators!"

Also, I don't think EA was pushing Bioware to fit any sort of specific deadline since they had already pushed out their release date once or twice. If Bioware wanted another few months, I doubt EA would have objected too hard if it meant avoiding a shit storm.

JPArbiter said...

Deadpool

I did not take offense at the ReTake Crowed because I failed to understand their side of it. In fact I did take time aside, spoiled the ending of the game for myself and jumped ahead to see what the hullabaloo was about.

I take offense at ReTake because to me, regardless of any failures (Real or Perceived) in the conclusion of the mass Effect Trilogy, Retake is violating a fundamental principle in content creation. The Audience has no right to dictate any portion of content to the creator. no argument from Retake or their contemporaries has been able to convince me that this is a special enough case to provide exception to that rule.

Deadpool said...

@ JPArbirter

This ISN'T an exception to the rule. The rule simply does not exist.

You are thinking of art in the painting/sculptre sense and in that case the rule kind of exists but this is a function of the medium. In short, paintings and sculptre are experienced for free. You can like it or hate it to no cost to you. This coupled with how hard it is to change a painting means it won't be changed.

STILL, if you comissioned a self portrait (or statue of yourself) and it came out perfect except you had horns you'd tell the painter to do it over or not get paid. So the rule fails THERE.

If an architect designs a building and the roof fails, it is well within the project manager's rights to send his ass back to the drawing board for a new one.

If a meals tastes like crap, even at a five star restaurant, you are well within your rights to send it back and ask for a do over.

Even within story telling, be it books (Holmes come back, Ringworld is unstable), anime (DBZ is Goku's story, Gundam Seed has Dearka join the good guys), comics (Hal is back) or movies (Han shoots first) fans can, and HAVE, made changes to the original work.

And in most of those examples the sotry wasn't broken, it was just not to their liking.

So the question is, why is this different TO YOU?

Anonymous said...

What again? Were the hundreds of angry commenters pointing out how wrong you weren't enough?

Are you actually going to do some fucking research for once?

Popcorn Dave said...

JPArbiter: Audiences have told artists what to do for as long as there have been artists. What on earth are you on about?

JPArbiter said...

@ Popcorn Dave: I have not said artist, I said Content Creators. engineers. While the medium is creative as it's core, Video games are not art, at least not yet. that said, audiences have told artists what they want, but that is call "Commission." that would be akin to a Kick Starter funded game. Mass Effect as a Commercial Consumer Product is done at the behest of investors (EA) who are relying on consumers to blind purchase based on prior experience. just like films. the playing audience, who has already payed, is not owed a damn thing, not in the business sense. if we don't like that, our responsibility is to no longer support Bioware but refusing to purchase their future products.

@Deadpool, your retorts are flawed.

if an architect designs a building, and there is a fundamental flaw that causes the roof to collapse, no one in their right mind would hire the same architect to fix it.

if you are at a five start restaurant (or any) and the food they deliver is cold or poorly prepared, you DO have the right to send it back for replacement, but food is also a perishable product, only good WITHIN the walls the the restaurant.

Mass Effect 3, as a completed Product, only gives the audience one recourse. if the ending was so shitty, then it is the ethical obligation of Fans to return it to the retailer in demand of a full refund regardless of the condition of the product. Yet I have not heard of droves of players flooding Best Buy, Wal Mart, or Game Stop demanding refunds from the retailers.

Jannie said...

Uh, actually from what I understand they ARE accepting the game, even after it's been played, and were doing so only a few days after it launched do to overwhelming outcry.

I forget which store, but I'm pretty sure it was...Wal Mart, if I recall.

And anyway, even if you were right, and I don't agree with that but even if you were, you're creating a system where the consumer has little or no power whatsoever and the "content creating engineers" or whatever can just put anything they want on the shelves. They could theoretically, under your definition, put blank disks out there and simply say that once you buy them they don't owe you an actual disk with anything on it. That's not a marketplace that's just a con job.

And frankly, your definition of the relationship between consumers and "content engineering creators" or whatever buzz word we're using today is, as described, a situation so idiotically lop-sided in favor of companies that it creates what amounts to hydraulic despotism.

Jannie said...

Let me put it this way:

By your definition, the FDA shouldn't exist. Because that implies that, instead of 'blind buying' things with no input that there is some outside authority which decides what is and isn't dangerous or otherwise simply not functional for sale.

If everyone just 'blindly' purchased everything then you could put cars out on the road with no brakes or no engine and once the contract is signed no one could ask for a refund since they have no right...they're not OWED anything once they already payed for it after all.

Anonymous said...

@JPwhatever: I've seen your random, slapdash defences of all that is Bob and Holy. All your arguements are as tenuous as Bob's, and based on random, self-generated principles of reality. "Art Is Inviolable" is an arbitrary line drawn in arbitrary sand by who, you or some arbitrarily hired art-school teacher who spouted this line from a textbook somewhere? Coming up with reasons why all the reasons why that's silly are silly is, well, silly. I'm a poet, I feel this is poetry, so any attempt to discuss, interpret, argue or disagree with my poem, its contents, logic, spelling or fucking punctuation is invalid, ergo you are wrong. Not only because you are, but moreso because my art demands it sir!

In all seriousness, it's now both you and Bob's current (or far more likely) future relationship parteners I fear for. This kind of blockheaded, dodgy unreasoned backfilling bullshit purely for the sake of not being wrong is exactly the horrible human trait that, if left unchecked, leads to wars. So, my advice is simple: Stop being a fuckwit, listen to arguements without calculating counter agruements, but rather the facts at hand. Reason them out without desperately seeking a way out of accepting them. Try to actually understand and see as valid points of view on something as mutable as societies perceptions of what is acceptable not only as art, but as a reaction to art. Then take a breath and look at your arguements which start with "X is inviolable and pure". Then when X is called into question, you make up 50 reasons why X is violable in all other ways but Y. Then when that's disproven, move straight to "P is now the arguement". That's what you and Bob are both doing. We all see it. Stop being dicks and acknowledge the fact, and you'll be closer to the holy grail of " I'm not wrong" that you seem to be questing for...

Anonymous said...

I wrote this in reply to the posted article, but they don't allow those of us who don't (wish our personal lives to be profitable to others) have facebook or somesuch to post, so here it goes, I hope it hurts Bob's eyes :p

Can someone explain to me this buzzword phrase I've only heard since all this started? Entitlement Mentality. I've yet to work out why it's taken to mean what people use it to mean (at least contextually). It looks like it means that certain people believe they have certain rights or something, but is used in a way that, while in no way as bad or dramatic as racism can clearly be, sounds to my ear like racism does. Or sexism, or any other belittling ism I suppose. "How dare X demand/expect/recieve Y?" seems to be the usage herein, and I don't know about the EA defence leaguers personal politics, but I assume if they replaced the word games with, say, Single mothers, Jews, women, etc, then they might be less than politely inclined towards the poster(s) of said statements. Now, I'm personally not a fan of the whole "Sometimes you need to say/do evil/questionable/dubious things because (insert justification here)..." arguement, so I'm wondering how you guys mean it when you say "These Entilted Gamers think they deserve a not-terrible tacked on ending they paid good money for" in a world where consumer rights are close to eclipsing freedom of speech as the most important basic human right? Are you saying their right to complain falls under neither? Unlike your right to complain about them complaining? Did Shakespeare somehow misunderstand your current position when he derides it by saying that you "jest at scars yet never felt a wound"? If your position is to invalidate others emotional reactions to circumstances you don't share, then I wonder how we've managed to end up on a planet with so many wars on it? Surely the poor, the disease ridden, the opressed, they'd have all heard the clarion call of TL;DR, all I hear is bitch bitch bitch. Surely they'd have calmed down, shut up, and left the internets free for what they were really invented for: YOUR feelings.

Jannie said...

Actually that's a very good question, what, precisely, is "entitlement" in this context?

Now from the dictionary I'm reading here it says "entitlement" is...

1--the state or condition of being entitled to something (i.e., a right)

2--a right to benefits specified either by law or contract

3--government programs and privileges provided under a social contract (e.g., medicare, medicade, social security)


So I'm curious as to how the word "entitlement" shifted so dramatically to literally mean either "whining" or "demanding something" when it apparently either means something guaranteed in a contract or social programs set up by a government.

Like many buzzwords I get the impression the term has either been co-opted completely or the current meaning was made up from whole cloth.

Jannie said...

Of course it also says the definition of "risk" is:

A situation exposing one to danger or peril; a hazard; exposing someone or something to danger, harm or loss.


So it appears all the people saying art has to be "risky" are either wrong or should quantify if Jackass 3D was art or not because it certainly did expose Johnny Knoxvile to danger, harm or peril.

Also, if art is by definition "risky", then John Cena is apparently our generation's greatest artistic genius since he flings himself head-first into steel folding chairs for a living (risk, harm, peril).

Daft Oats said...

Now, I haven't played Mass Effect 3 either, but my lack of previous interest in the series made spoiling it a non-issue, so I've been able to do my research. (Which is generally a good thing.)

To a point, I agree with you Bob. Consumer rights are a little more limited in the entertainment industry, and while you have a right to state that the producers that their story should be changed, it is also within the producer's rights to ignore these requests. In this way, you are right to say the developers don't owe the fans a new ending.

But when you say that "Bioware didn't lie to you," that's when I take issues with things. Lets ignore that they explicitly promised "wildly different endings." After all "wildly" is relative, and even changes that are only noticeable through a side by side comparison could be said to be "wildly different." We can ignore the promise for "resolution" of all the questions of your army's fate for similar reasons.

What we cannot ignore, is the promise of "16 endings." Sixteen gives a quantifiable, objective number. You can argue whether the endings are satisfying, resolve anything, or are wildly different different until the cows come home, but since it's subjective, you can't say they were lying. But in the NUMBER of endings promised, there can be no argument that Bioware lied.

It's got three endings. If you want to be generous and include every slightly different variation in those three endings, it can be bumped up to six. But that's still ten short of the promised sixteen. If there's something Mass Effect's fans are owed, I'd say it's free DLC with ten more endings.

Also, I'm tired of people saying that the fans are being frustrated by a lack of a "happy ending."
When these guys say "satisfying ending" they mean an ending that answers the lingering questions about the fates of the characters. I've heard several fans say that they'd find an ending where everyone is sucked into a black hole more satisfying than the current ending, because at least then they'd get some closure.

Popcorn Dave said...

Okay, JP, I'll rephrase: Audiences have told content creators what to do for as long as there have been content creators. How does that change what I said?

"While the medium is creative as it's core, Video games are not art, at least not yet"

If they're not art, why are you defending them like this at all? Are soulless commercial interests really so sacred that we shouldn't dare interfere? I've heard things like "art is inviolable" a lot during this debate, but you're the first person I've heard argue that committee-driven commercial content is inviolable.

"audiences have told artists what they want, but that is call "Commission." that would be akin to a Kick Starter funded game."

No, it's called feedback, criticism, word of mouth, box office, focus groups, whatever you like - there are countless ways for the audience to tell artists what they want, and they do, constantly. The artist can take their feedback on board or they can choose to ignore it (and accept the possible bad press and/or loss of revenue).

"the playing audience, who has already payed, is not owed a damn thing, not in the business sense."

So what? That doesn't mean they're not allowed to demand it. I'm honestly scratching my head at your claim that they have "no right" to tell content creators what to do. Of course they bloody do. Yes, legally speaking they're not "owed" anything, no, Bioware and EA don't have some legal "duty" to provide a satisfactory ending (outside of the false advertising issues), and yes, they're free to just plain ignore the criticisms if they feel their ending is good. How is this different from any other instance of fans giving feedback on something they did or didn't like? Because some of the Retakers are being dicks about it? Because some of their (obviously hyperbolic) rhetoric suggests they "own" the property when legally speaking that isn't the case? Is that really all this is about?

Deadpool said...

@ JPArbirter

Architects don't build buildings, they just design it. If the design is flawed, they are sent back to the drawing board until it is NOT.

Food is taken home all the time. It is good outside the walls of the restaurant. You pay for quality, and if the quality isn't achieved you are allowed, nay EXPECTED, to demand it.

I've given you SEVERAL story telling examples of this happening. Need a game example? Broken Steel. Fallout 3's ending didn't allow players to continue exploring the world afterwards. Fans complained. A new one was released as DLC, Broken Steel.

So what's the difference? Is it because Fallout 3's ending was just stupid and silly instead of completely broken like ME3? Is it because Broken Steel was PAID DLC and this is free and you believe Bioware should get paid for making a crappy ending? Is it because Fallout 3 fans just whined and complained about it on boards for ages instead of banding together, organizing and raising $80,000 for charity?

Seriously, why is Mass Effect 3 getting two videos denouncing fans for complaining about a bad ending and EVERY OTHER INSTANCE of a story being changed because of fans accepted? WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE HERE?

Btw...

http://geek.pikimal.com/2012/03/20/fans-seek-mass-effect-3-refunds-from-amazon-origin-2/

People DID ask, and get, refunds.

But the idea that this is the fan's only recourse is silly, especially since it has never held true before!

Deadpool said...

@Daft Oats

Don't forget this beauty of an interview:

http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2012/01/10/mass1525-effect-3-cas5ey-fdsafdhudson-interviewae.aspx?PostPageIndex=2

"Question: With the ending in Mass Effect 2, there were so many different variables and possibilities for the outcome and what could happen. As players reached the end, they started comparing notes and trying to figure out how it worked. A few months after it came out, we ran a chart in the magazine that showed the layout of how to get the different endings and how things happened. Is that same type of complexity built into the ending of Mass Effect 3?

Answer: Yeah, and I'd say much more so, because we have the ability to build the endings out in a way that we don't have to worry about eventually tying them back together somewhere. This story arc is coming to an end with this game. That means the endings can be a lot more different. At this point we're taking into account so many decisions that you've made as a player and reflecting a lot of that stuff. It's not even in any way like the traditional game endings, where you can say how many endings there are or whether you got ending A, B, or C.

It's more like there are some really obvious things that are different and then lots and lots of smaller things, lots of things about who lives and who dies, civilizations that rose and fell, all the way down to individual characters. That becomes the state of where you left your galaxy. The endings have a lot more sophistication and variety in them. It would be interesting to see if somebody could put together a chart for that. Even with Mass Effect 2's..."

My favorite part is the second to last sentence: "It would be interesting to see if somebody could put together a chart for that." If Mr. hudson, seriously? IF? Did he means to say IF they could do it in less than fifteen seconds? Cuz that'd be difficult... Doable, but difficult.

Seriously though, I'm sure they are not LEGALLY liable for lying like that. Enough leeway and legalize here to evade any legal issues, obviously.

But did they ACTUALLY lie? I mean, YES. How can you read that response, then watch the ending and NOT feel lied to?

No seriously, I'm asking... Because some people seem to think these endings somehow correspond to those statements...

Btw, here are all 6 ending movies running together... I suppose there be spoilers below, but let's be honest... It doesn't really have anything to do with the plot. Still consider this your warning:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPelM2hwhJA

Does THAT sound like what Casey Hudson was walking about?

Btw, extra hillarity, notice the two blue videos. Can you spot the differences? Seriously, trying to do that is the most fun I've had with the ME3 ending...

Sabre said...

Jannie

"So I'm curious as to how the word "entitlement" shifted so dramatically to literally mean either "whining" or "demanding something" when it apparently either means something guaranteed in a contract or social programs set up by a government.

Like many buzzwords I get the impression the term has either been co-opted completely or the current meaning was made up from whole cloth."

I was/am going to a video rant show with that as one episode. In short, the word came to be a catch all insult because of people with real entitlement issues. The Left 4 Dead 2 and Devil May Cry multi platform 'botcotts' for example, were full of people who were believed they were owed certain things when they weren't. Free DLC, platform exclusivity, ect. They were also childish arseholes, so 'entitlement' was used to mean childish arsehole wanting stuff.

It's more complex than that of course, but it's to long to go into here.

Aiddon said...

Speaking of which, I dug up Spoony's take on ME3:

http://www.twitch.tv/spoonyone/b/312765460

Biff said...

@Jannie:

"So I'm curious as to how the word "entitlement" shifted so dramatically to literally mean either "whining" or "demanding something" when it apparently either means something guaranteed in a contract or social programs set up by a government."

In this context "entitlement" is used as shorthand for "unwarranted sense that one is entitled to things which one does not deserve."

It's similar to how "set of prejudices instilled by a lack of awareness of one's socioeconomic privileges" has been reduced to simply "privilege," thereby ensuring that the communication of the idea is thoroughly hindered.

Jannie said...

This is a bit off topic but I felt the need to say this because I just got done watching Bob's review of the interminably smug Detention (spoiler: it's literally Daria meets Scary Movie) and I felt it needs to be said...

Bob, please, stop using Brain from Pinky and the Brain as a catch-all symbol for "smart". Brain wasn't smart, he was actually quite stupid. That was the whole context of the series' opening theme--one is a genius, the other is insane, it doesn't specify which is which. That's because you expect Brain to be smart but he isn't. It's a joke. You see a guy with a big head named Brain and you suspect he's intelligent but he's actually a nutjob who gets routinely outsmarted by his Autistic savant gay lover.

More so Brain is a nutcase mouse who thinks he can conquer the world with plans so inordinately stupid as to reflect a CHILDLIKE idea of geopolitics--i.e, pointing a WMD at the world's leaders and demanding they simply do what you say, blithely ignoring the fact you're a mouse and therefor can be easily killed by a five-year-old with a hammer. Two-year-old with his bare hands, in a pinch. And that's on his best day, other days he's convinced he can use COUNTRY MUSIC to conquer the world despite the fact it's popular (and heard of) only in a couple of countries.

Thing is, Pinky is the "genius" one, in the sense that he's the one who stops (yes, stops, not bungles) Brain's plans...when he feels like it. Sometimes he just sits back and lets come what may knowing the inevitable result. See sometimes he doesn't have to, in fact about half the time Brain's plans fall through on their own because of his own ineptitude and inability to understand just how outclassed he is by everyone around him. And that's before you include the fact that he basically resets every day like some kind of tragic, Alzheimer's version of Sisyphus unwilling or unable to accept defeat and then forgetting about it in twenty four hours only to repeat the same mistakes again and again and again.

Like most of the Animaniacs skits it's actually kind of sad and horrible when you think about it, like Rita and Runt is really about the last few days of two homeless animals, one of whom is a mentally retarded killer and the other is a melancholic cat, living off their futile dream of finding a home when she knows their only future is one of freezing to death on a street one winter. Yeah it's Plague Dogs the animated series. Yeah they went there.

And this isn't even SUBTEXT, this is outright stated on the show more than once. In one episode he actually gets rid of Pinky, and tries to conquer the world, only to once again fail BY HIS OWN HAND not because of anyone else's intervention.

In other words, Brain is insane, Pinky is the genius, and that show was terrible. If you have to use a cartoon character to represent some ideal of pure intellect, use Dr. Doom, someone who was smart enough to ACTUALLY conquer Earth more than once and has only ever been defeated by a guy of similar(slightly less, but still similar) intelligence.

Or better yet Jimmy Neutron, a character who is considerably more intelligent than Brain and actually uses his intellect to HELP people instead of being a schmuck mouse with delusions of grandeur.

Anyway...yeah off topic discussion is off topic. Go see Cabin in the Woods or maybe Lockout, they're both really fun, Lockout more so but that's mainly because I like to pretend it's a reboot of Escape from New York.

MovieBob said...

@Jannie,

You really need to get a blog, or submit articles somewhere. Seriously, no sarcasm intended. Your stuff here is too consistently good/unique-voiced for you to keep giving it away for free in a comment section. Get paid (or at least KNOWN) for this.

Mads said...

@ Aiddon

I had actually been looking for spoonys take, so thanks for it. As a person supporting the retake charity drive as a means of expression, I found his take invigorating.

I don't think he's right that his type of criticism is fundamentally different from what the retakers employ. Entertainment or not, there's still a fundamental amount of "you should do this differently!" to it - and as such his attack on the retake movement still strikes me as a case of employing double standards.

But you know what, I appreciate his point of view. I even get why he thinks there's a distinction, and his candid approach and demeaning attitude about it forced me to consider that talking this much about people talking about mass effect 3 is fucking ridiculous =P

Xaos said...

Everyone who stands against the Mass Effect fans who ask for a different ending is completely powerless.

A shocking claim, but true nonetheless.

If all else fails, all the Mass Effect fans have to say is "Fix your story's problems or we are done with your company. This is not a threat, this is a fact. The only way to our wallets is through that place in our hearts which you might have already destroyed."

And, if it comes down to that, they totally will be able to make that statement to the company and back it up.

Even if you make (quite frankly, useless) arguments about "art" or "creative control", even if you say it's practicially impossible for them to dictate some kind of custom-specified ending to the company, hell, even if you say they aren't entitled to a refund...

You cannot protect Bioware's reputation (and therefore save "gaming as an artistic medium", or whatever) without the help of those "whining, entitled fans" you've been so busy treating like dirt. If anything, you really should've tried being diplomatic with them.

You basically would've had to have a heart-to-heart chat with thousands upon thousands of distraught people, and convince each of them to take a painful hit for the team.

And you simply cannot do that without at some point admitting "Yes, its not fair, and just letting it go would be hard to live with, but the alternative would be blah blah blah...so, could you please stop what you're doing, oh and buy the next game, even though this series is technically dead to you?" Because that's pretty much everything you have to ask of them to not have any negative effects on EA's bottom line as a result of this.

And you simply cannot do that AND act like the smug egotistical asshole you're just dying to act like when you know you are "right".

Deadpool said...

The problem with the argument goes deeper than that: It is flawed at its core.

The audience dictates the art by judging its quality EVERY time. In every artistic medium, if the artist delivers low quality product he can either raise its quality or be abandoned by the audience.

Moreover, welcome to captalism, where the consumer's voice is his money and a company that provides a bad product will either make it better or lose money.

Artistic Integrity does NOT mean "produce poor works of art."

Xaos said...

@Deadpool

Amen, Brother.

And does anybody have a counterarguement for that?

I'm tempted to say "No, of course not. They would've used it by now.", but that might be smug egotistical asshole I'm just dying to act like because I know I'm "right"

The real answer is "I genuinely don't know if someone has a counterarguement because nobody actually sits down and talks to anybody."

And really, you don't. You just casually ignore the comment line.

Sylocat said...

@Xaos & Deadpool:

Except, of course, that EA already knows that no matter how much of a self-righteous frenzy the internet rolls itself into, they will never actually stop buying EA's games. All the game companies know this and have known it for a long time.

I believe Grey Carter said it best: "Gamers will do anything to prove a point to game companies, except, y'know, not buying their products."

So, the question becomes, since a boycott is doomed to fail (and it will be the instant a shiny object is waved in front of the faces of the people "participating" in that boycott), what method of quality assurance (did I just type the words "quality assurance?" Jeez, you've got ME talking like a suit now) could we ACTUALLY employ?

Well, in case you haven't been paying attention, here's the problem: If BioWare caves now, then the marketing goons in every major game company will have a shiny new weapon to use in their endless quest to stifle innovation and creativity: "Remember What Happened To BioWare!" will be the new buzzword at board meetings. The publishers are already terrified of taking any sort of risks, do you think they'll allow writers to do anything outside the box when they know that the choices can be just overridden by internet crybabies who would all buy the game either way?

Deadpool said...

Of course, there's two problems with that statement. First, Bioware already caved. Free DLC to explain the ending (prediction: It will still suck).

Two, the slippery slope argument of "no one else will ever try this again" implies that the "this" is something that SHOULD be tried again.

ME3's ending wasn't reviled because it was new, or different, or smart, or innovative. It was revile because it was BAD. If this stops other companies from putting out bad endings, then HOORAY! That's, honestly, a bigger victory than the stupid DLC

Sylocat said...

First, Bioware already caved. Free DLC to explain the ending (prediction: It will still suck).

Yes, I'm aware that the "if" was already decided. My point stands.

Two, the slippery slope argument of "no one else will ever try this again" implies that the "this" is something that SHOULD be tried again. ... If this stops other companies from putting out bad endings, then HOORAY!

Except I didn't say, "Nobody will ever try to make a similar ENDING again." I said, nobody will ever try to make something like Mass Effect ITSELF again. And when I say "like Mass Effect," I mean, a game series that is itself new, different, smart and innovative.

Marketing goons HATE good writing in games, because it isn't quantifiable. And now they'll have even more ammo to override creative decisions, which they already have too much leverage to do anyway, and force companies to churn out even blander pablum.

And you know what? They'll be right. Because now the fans will get the message that they can force developers to change a game just by whining loud enough, and if you give fans an inch, they'll take a mile. And if you think game publishers are releasing tripe NOW, you can't even begin to imagine the kind of dreck they'll be photocopying out if they think any creative decision can be vetoed by internet whiners.

Deadpool said...

But no one has complained that Mass Effect's ending was too new, different, smart or innovative. Actually, most fans complaining about the ending have agree that these are things they LIKED about the series.

If ANYthing, this should stop people from releasing rushed, half assed endings because they take their audience for granted. It should actually give developers MORE ammo against publishers who go "just end it however the hell you want, you know they'll buy whatever shit you put out" because they can just point to Mass Effect 3 as an example that "no, you can't."

See, in order for this to hurt innovation the problem would ACTUALLY HAVE TO INVOLVE innovation. And it doesn't. The ending wasn't innovative at all, so using this as an example as to why innovation is bad would be silly.

The innovation the game DID have were universally aplauded. It's rushed, issipidly stupid, theme ignoring, completely broken ending was universally lauded. If there is any lesson to take from this it's THAT.

Xaos said...

"Except, of course, that EA already knows that no matter how much of a self-righteous frenzy the internet rolls itself into, they will never actually stop buying EA's games. All the game companies know this and have known it for a long time."

@Sylocat

Except, of course, I am already boycotting EA.

*I* cannot speak for them because I haven't played any Mass Effect games.

The bastards CANNOT tell me "Well, too bad, you already gave us your money. *Woody Woodpecker laugh*" because they haven't got anything from me yet.

And you know what? I'm not buying any Mass Effect games. I got interested in them and their potential recently. They really sounded like an epic project that merged the best of Western RPGs with the best of JRPGs. Shepard might be a "player-insert", but s/he still has actual lines and dialogue and does things in the plot, in addition to

Also, like a JRPG, everyone on the crew had a story to explore. But any one of them could die (could be dead), you don't know for certain who is and isn't going to die.

Fans are "whining about the game not tying up every single plot point?" From what I've heard, the game DID tie up every single plot point. Minus actually finishing off the Reapers. And to finish off the Reapers, you got to talk to the God Child and he uses Space Magic and you have to possibly blow up the universe and all of this OPENS UP BRAND NEW LOOSE ENDS THAT DIDN'T EXIST BEFORE.

When I first heard about the ending, my first reaction was "How bad could it possibly be?"

Then I broke down and watched Angry Joe's "Top 10 reasons we hate the ME3 ending" video and, welp, here we are.

If you're so scared about game companies sending out xeroxed garbage, then

Everyone who says that the Mass Effect fiasco doesn't sound different enough to not influence the industry? They've got it backwards.

It will influence the game industry because it is different. It was a massive trilogy unlike anything gaming has ever attempted. All this support, all this raving fandom just dried up over this one thing.

And remember: We don't want a specific ending (in fact, we were promised fucking 16 originally.), we just want them to erase what's bad, and try again.

Sylocat said...

@Xaos & Deadpool:

Here is a very helpful thing to keep in mind when discussing business, politics, or anything else:

"Shouldn't" and "Doesn't" are two very different things.

You can't magically wish a better world into existence just by acting like you already live in one. The fact is, we live in a world in which toy company marketers are allowed to walk onto movie sets and override creative decisions to ensure that the movie will make for better action-figure lines.

But don't take my word for it. Just read this prediction, then wait and see what happens:

What will happen when the new ME3 ending DLC is released: Half of the Re-Take movement will love it, the other half will still hate it and want to keep the campaign going, and the two halves will start flaming each other on forums.

Deadpool said...

Two things to keep in mind:

COULD doesn't mean WILL

Just because the outrage over a shitty ending COULD be used to prevent good games from coming out, doesn't mean it WILL.

The blame for an action lies with the person who DOES it, not with the motive

When a publisher quashes a good game idea, it is the PUBLISHER'S FAULT. It is not the fan who didn't buy the last one, nor the critic who didn't "get" the prequel, nor the previous publisher who got crucified for screwing up. If a guy whose job is to find and fund GOOD GAMES refuses to fund a GOOD GAME then HE is at fault. Regardless of WHY.