A Rambling Rebuttal: The Mass Hysteria over Mass Effect 3 is Justified

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(By the way, the following article is going to undoubtedly contain SPOILERS! You have been warned.)

So, as recently seen, Jordan Groves, current President of the Handsome Men of Canada Club (though I hear there is some controversy over campaign contributions) REALLY LIKES the endings to Mass Effect 3. So much so that he wrote an entire article about it. I mean, why else would he write an entire article defending it, right?

He has this whole thing about them, as seen in that article, where he thinks all the fan outcry over them is some kind of misunderstanding. That he didn’t see what was so bad with them, and wants to know why everyone else seems to hate them.

Mass Effect 3 Y U NO Meme Ending

Jordan’s position in a nutshell.

I, being someone who feels the endings are bad enough that they end up detrimental to the game the overall (as seen in my review), argued with my friend of course.

Mass Effect 3 Ending Zoidberg

My position in a nutshell.

I pointed out some flaws, and to this video, which I think makes some of the best cases for why the ending is terrible. I even tried to gracefully broach the subject of his tone, and the assumption that people were complaining because they “didn’t get a happy ending” or “didn’t understand it” basically makes him come across as this guy:

Condescending Wonka Mass Effect 3 Ending.

Without a chocolate factory and rhyming pygmy slaves,er, “workers”, condescension just comes across as tacky.

But at this point, a week later, all I can really say to Jordan and all the other folks who like Mass Effect 3‘s ending on their own grounds: fine, good for you.

Seriously. I’m happy some folks can actually enjoy the ending to the game, I truly am.

I’m happy these folks can overlook the numerous plotholes, nonsensical choices, and the unfortunate implications of the ending(s), and just enjoy them. Even if some of the writers of the game don’t feel that way since their process broke down.

I’m happy they aren’t getting offended or feel “devastated” over the conclusion. I’m guessing they don’t think the series is that important, or not as much as the angry embittered fanbase does. Probably better for their health this way.

I’m happy you get to reap the rewards of fans who complained. The first two DLC packs, for single and for multiplayer are both free of charge, arguably as a way for BioWare to make it up to a fanbase whose loyalty is in question.

So yeah, I’m happy for all of you.

For my part, I just don’t care about the ending enough to “prove” to others that they’re wrong. My review contains my grievances, and I stand by it. Past that, my ruminations turn toward the general state of video game endings being pretty terrible overall. Besides, I’m not even an avid supporter of new or expanded endings, generally just hoping BioWare’s failure here would speak for itself on their next game or DLC.

This isn’t to say I won’t check the upcoming DLC out. It might fit nicely with my a casual, Dude-like hope that BioWare would listen to the fans and actually agree for a new draft:

Mass Effect 3 Ending Meme The Dude

It was a really nice universe, was it not?

Perhaps the new “Extended Cut” DLC will do more than simply dull the edges of the major problems with the magical ending we currently enjoy. Then again, it might not.

Who knows?

Though my guess is that folks who think purposefully creating confusion at the end point of their epic might not be the best people to trust with resolutions containing closure.

Mass Effect 3 Ending Speculation Note

When needless speculation is the goal there are no winners, only losers.

Regardless, I’m not upset, nor do I particularly care if people like the ending because the real issue at this point isn’t the ending; not by itself. Nor has it been for a long time.

No, the real issue that’s been at play with the Mass Effect 3 controversy is how the fans have reacted to the ending, and how BioWare and the gaming press have reacted to the fans. It’s a tragic tale actually, one filled with hopeful gamers that had a relatively good relationship with their favorite developer. A relationship that soured like month old milk at the the first breach of trust, and only got worse from there.

This is what I’m going to talk about today.

13 replies
  1. Redthefister
    Redthefister says:

     ya know what? way back in the day, when i first gave the Collector Base to The Illusive Man, i couldn’t wait to see hoe the coming war would play out… and yes now, as i find out more and more of the BS that went into this debacle, i find EA on the same list populated by my ex-wife, at&t, verizon and sony… Screw ‘Em!

    Screw You, Electronic Arts. Die in the fires of Nerd-Rage and set the developers Free. I’m buying any future EA published games Used! :-p

  2. Stephanie Urch
    Stephanie Urch says:

    I knew about the Javik DLC (which I didn’t purchase), but I didn’t know he was originally intended to be in the base game and that he was supposed to be the catalyst (how did you find out about that, anyway? I’d love if you could link me some info.)  That would have made a huge difference.  Having the catalyst show up as ghost-kid in the last 10 minutes was a bit jarring.

    Also, as a long-time fan of “The Sims” I know how much EA likes to chop everything up and sell it in pieces.  They have the base game, then they have expansion packs, then on top of that they have “stuff packs”, and THEN, on top of that, they have a shop where they sell even more crap.  It’s disgusting.

    I wish Bioware had insisted that they keep Javik in the base game, but I imagine EA pressured them for DLC.  Like you said, they must not have much artistic integrity if they caved in to that.  However, if you’ve ever had a boss, you know that sometimes you have to sacrifice what you want to make the boss happy, or you risk losing your job.  I don’t know exactly how the relationship between EA and Bioware works, or who has more power to decide what goes where, but I have a feeling that EA is as much to blame for that “rushed” feeling as Bioware.

  3. Stephanie Urch
    Stephanie Urch says:

    Also, the people who “donated to charity” were later told that they shouldn’t be using the charity as a means to deliver a protest.  Some of them then demanded their money back.  Clearly they just wanted make their point to Bioware, but had no actual interest in giving money to help kids.  And then the people who sent cupcakes got mad that Bioware then donated the cupcakes to charity.

    These details make their “civil” protest seem a bit less civil.

    Protest all you want, but it is in very poor taste to use charities as emotional blackmail.

    • Adam Thomas
      Adam Thomas says:

       Well to be fair, the numbers of people who reneged are also quite small, representing a minority of this minority. So don’t throw out the good because of the bad.

      Also seriously, “emotional blackmail?”

      That’s assigning a lot of negativity for what is again, fundamentally a good thing. This group needed to make their point, and it’s composed of heavy BioWare/ME fans, most can’t boycott the game as they already owned it – obviously as this is about the end of said game – they can’t show their buying power in that way. They have to show that they’re willing to spend money somehow, that these are real potential dollars lost for EA, that’s the point of a boycott you know.

      So the idea of a reverse boycott, to donate to a charity, I find kind of novel. And when it comes to videogames, the only charity anyone really knows is child’s play, so there it goes. I see no ulterior motive in that, just logical extension.

      If you want to see something as sinister, you see it as sinister. For the most part this is a group that’s viewing thing in quite practical terms. The problems with the ending come from practical issues: the devs ran out of time, rushed it out the door. The media reaction seems to me mostly to come from a lack of understanding, from hubris.

      Most of the people who wanted their money back did so because they didn’t pay attention, and thought they were literally paying for a new ending. The heavy PR deflection and slow response to what are at the end of the day, unhappy customers, comes from misjudging the size of the group and the heft of the problem.

      “Never assign to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

      Everyone’s done some dumb things here.

      • Stephanie Urch
        Stephanie Urch says:

        I can understand what you’re saying about reverse-boycotting, but I just think it’s disrespectful to the charity to latch a different issue/cause/message onto it.  Would all of these people have donated to the charity if they weren’t upset about Mass Effect 3?  Because they probably should.  The charity is a good cause in and of itself.  I feel like they hi-jacked it for their own purpose.

        • Stephanie Urch
          Stephanie Urch says:

          “Child’s Play cannot be a tool to draw attention to a cause.  Child’s Play must be the Cause.”   <—  That's basically what I was trying to say.

          "Penny Arcade’s Jerry “Tycho” Holkins, one of the founders of the Child’s Play charity, went into more detail on why the fundraiser had to be shut down.

          “Apparently some of the people giving to the cause seemed to think that they were paying for a new ending to Mass Effect,” he wrote. “[Child's Play] has been asked what the goal is, and how much they need to raise in order to get the ending produced. We’ve also been contacted by PayPal due to a high number of people asking for their donations back. This is in addition to readers who simply couldn’t understand how this was connected to Child’s Play’s mission. We were dealing with a lot of very confused people, more every day, and that told us we had a problem.”

          Holkins concluded: “Child’s Play cannot be a tool to draw attention to a cause.  Child’s Play must be the Cause”.
          Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/210573/childs-play-shuts-down-retake-mass-effect-3-fundraiser/#2r0AgZDpJVzhXImP.99

        • Adam Thomas
          Adam Thomas says:

           Well, yeah. But that happens all of the time anyway.

          I mean, look at all of the businesses who screw up in some way, then make amends by addressing the problem and ALSO donating to charity.

          Charities in general are half about helping, half about publicity and assuaging personal/corporate guilt. That’s the nature of them.

          Besides, once Child’s Play requested it, they stopped. Seems pretty decent to me.

    • Nate Morse
      Nate Morse says:

       I’m with Adam on this one. Anyone who tried to get their money back were idiotic and clearly did not understand what they were doing. I rather like the idea of donating money in protest. Since, as Adam said, they can’t boycott a product they’ve already bought, so they have to do something to show their dissatisfaction. And this has let them voice their complaints while helping people. If I had a heart, I would be touched.

      Also, the folks who got upset that BioWare donated the cupcakes to charity are clearly not too bright. What did they expect them to do? Eat all the cupcakes and feel ashamed? Let them sit there and go stale as a testament to their customer’s complaints? And now I want cupcakes.

  4. Nate Morse
    Nate Morse says:

    If that Javik thing is true, then consider my mind blown. It actually makes a lot of sense and would explain a lot. It also allows me a valid reason to completely blame EA while restoring some of my faith in BioWare, because if they PLANNED something else and EA pooped on it…yeah.

    Anyways, enjoyed the memes. Also that forty minute video, which I didn’t have time to read when you linked it in the comments on Jordan’s article, I watched it today and it was really damn good. So good that I then went through the rest of the guy’s videos to hear his opinions on the rest of it.

    I was also disappointed to see those other videos and articles linked with people like Colin Moriarty and Jim Sterling taking legitimate complaints and making it seem as though everybody making those complaints is a complete moron. I mean, less so with Sterling, because I already knew he was an opinionated fuckwad and have avoided his work for a while now because whenever I read it I have to stop and wonder how someone like him can remain employed in this industry, but…Lost track of what I was saying there. But seriously? That’s like saying “Hey fan-base, everyone that takes time out of their day to read what we have to say, I just wanted you to know that if you think this, you’re stupid and wrong. But keep reading my shit”. It boggles my mind.

  5. Legion
    Legion says:

    That Javik thing is a lie, he plays the part of Vendetta in the leaks, and the Catalyst is still there albeit called the GUARDIAN.

    Also I posted this earlier and it got removed by the looks of it.

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