Matt's Podcast 9: Massive Effect or Affect?

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Matt Barton's picture

Mass Effect 3Mass Effect 3I was having such a good time this morning WRITING about Mass Effect 3 that I decided to do a 40 minute podcast about it, too. In addition to elucidating why I like the ending, I also jabber on about why gaming NEEDS this sort of thing--indeed, why sheltering kids from unpleasant realities may do them more harm than good in the long run. I also nitpick about the game and why it needs a lot more variety in its gameplay. (Note: I don't address the internal logical inconsistencies of the story here; I admittedly don't pay enough attention to this kind of thing to care if plot point A in the first game doesn't jive with plot point B in the second and makes utter nonsense of plot point C in the third. I'll leave that kind of thing for the alpha nerds.)
Download the mp3 here.

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Matt Barton
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Yes, there is definitely

Yes, there is definitely confusion here with all the anonymous posters. Just put a handle or nickname in there if you're unwilling to identify yourself, though I think it's a bit unfair to remain anonymous in these situations--I'm not anonymous, so insulting me while hiding behind anonymity seems a bit cowardly to me.

Also, I have tried (unsuccessfully) many times to single out the targets that *I* dislike. As I've said, if you hate the ending of this game and want to complain about it, for any reason, more power to you. I have nothing against you! The *only* people I am criticizing here are the ones that are attempting to FORCE or COERCE Bioware to change the ending by going to the FTC (the most ludicrous) or the petition. In my opinion, Bioware has no responsibility to give us what WE want in terms of THEIR story. On the other hand, Bioware has no right to expect us to LIKE it.

That's really all I'm saying.

In any case, though, I think it's a bit ridiculous to claim the whole game sucks and to draw so much attention to that one flaw--assuming you thought the rest of the game/s are great. A lot of the comments I've seen seem to be written in the midst of a rage, and people forget that the whole reason they are upset about the ending is that the game did such a good job getting them invested in the story. That's remarkable in and of itself.

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Gavin Knight (not verified)
For clarity, I have written

For clarity, I have written the posts on this thread but not anywhere else.

At least I'm calling you out on something you have actually said, which is more than what you did.

The first time I heard of the whole ending debacle was from a news piece that included your "grow up, gamers" quote. My first reaction was "what an incredibly infantile thing to say", and that was before I even knew what you were talking about. After about fifteen minutes of reading the other side of the story, I found out you didn't even know what you were talking about (incidentally, none of the fans behaved as badly as you have).

Fifteen minutes, Matt. That's all it took to learn what the actual complaints were. Instead you decided to conduct yourself like a fifteen-year-old troll and publically humiliate them based on your own conjecture. You've written several book on games and you are an editor of this website, so I'm not sure how how you can accuse someone else on taking games "too seriously". Just because you think someone else is being childish doesn't mean you should start acting like one yourself. You really should have known better.

I think this storm over the ending is annoying too, but mostly because of people like you. The Mass Effect fans have, by and large, been bending over to be polite and respectful. People who have been throwing accusations at them have been anything but. People like you make me feel embarrassed for the whole gaming community.

That's all. I won't be visiting here again.

clok1966
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so long
Gavin Knight wrote:

That's all. I won't be visiting here again.

If thats true, good luck, no ill will from me even if ... i think im done too.. but for the opposite reason. you have posted a few times you said, and NONE of the post explained why you feel the game has issues with the ending. or why matt is wrong about any point.. just calling Matt out for "name calling' s and then saying Matt is infantile.. more name calling from you.

I do laugh at one thing "The first time I heard of the whole ending debacle was from a news piece that included your "grow up, gamers" quote. My first reaction was "what an incredibly infantile thing to say", and that was before I even knew what you were talking about."

if you dont think games need to grow up (not all of them, but many for sure) you havent played a round of anything on XBOX live with voice on, WoW in a raid or instance, pretty much any FPS team game online.. pretty much any game forum that talks about anything people like/love/spoooge over. They are full of people who need to grow up.. not in a 'your to old to play games" sence.. but insults, crybaby attuitudes way.

And as MY COMMENTS are my own and reflect what I THINK and nobody else.. please do not judge this website or its owners for what I SAY. I think you should stay, read more and judge, but if this thread brought you here and you feel its enough to send you away.. its your choice.. Personally i would have missed alot of great people if i had judged them on single disagreement. (and worse, i would have alot fewer freinds if they judged me on a singel thing i said, I'm not PC, and I can vent with the best of them sometimes).

Matt Barton
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I personally don't care if

I personally don't care if the ME3 ending haters never visit here again; I've had enough of talking about it to last a lifetime!

Apparently, we're dealing with some folks here who don't seem to understand the context of this podcast and earlier post. I've explained it over and over, but I guess you just can't deal rationally with people having this strong of an emotional reaction to this.

The context of my original diatribe about the ending was the posts that *I* was reading at the time, which said nothing about the ending's problems other than that it was sad. These posters wanted a happy ending; that was their only beef.

Case in point:
Support a happy ending.

So, I wrote what I did in the context of debating people who think every game should have a happy ending. That's really all there is to it. Later on, another group of people started attacking me, claiming I didn't understand why THEY didn't like the ending. FINE. But that's an entirely different context and different people. I actually AGREE with the reasons THEY don't like the ending.

However, trying to argue that EVERYONE who dislikes the ending is focused on the logic issues is just plain wrong--objective fact. Even the petition's own text includes a line about wanting a "heroic ending" as an option.

There's probably no need to state this again (since apparently people are unwilling to accept it), but I don't have any issues whatsoever with folks who dislike the ending because of the logical problems. That said, I think it's Bioware's right to have whatever ending they want for THEIR game. Of course, none of us have to like it, and we can hate it for whatever reasons we want.

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clok1966
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right or wrong, no matter

right or wrong, no matter which side you are on.. THEY are changing the ending in the FREE DLC (this is the best marketing campiagn ever! the game will be in the news for months instead of weeks).

now say it togther.. it was just a dream, you can wake up now.. Bobby isnt dead, Rosanne won the lotto and isnt a working stiff. han shot first, there where no guns in ET, Richard Nixion was not a crook.

Matt Barton
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??
clok1966 wrote:

right or wrong, no matter which side you are on.. THEY are changing the ending in the FREE DLC (this is the best marketing campiagn ever! the game will be in the news for months instead of weeks).

now say it togther.. it was just a dream, you can wake up now.. Bobby isnt dead, Rosanne won the lotto and isnt a working stiff. han shot first, there where no guns in ET, Richard Nixion was not a crook.

Are you referring to this?
Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut

They specifically say:

Quote:

Are there going to be more/different endings or ending DLCs in the future?

No. BioWare strongly believes in the team’s artistic vision for the end of this arc of the Mass Effect franchise. The extended cut DLC will expand on the existing endings, but no further ending DLC is planned.

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clok1966
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ah... i may have jumped the

ah... i may have jumped the gun. If they add to the ending, I can see that, From what little i read (i still have not played it so dont want to ruin it with spoilers SO I DO admit i only skim) i was under the impression they had a different ending. As long as they dont suger coat it, then all will be well.. I think?

I wasnt even going to post about it as this ME3 stuff kinda got out of hand and I didnt want to fan the flames to hard... so in the end i may have done worse.. posted misinformed info.. sorry bout that.

Matt Barton
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No worries, man. The whole

No worries, man. The whole thing really leaves a sour feeling in my stomach, too. I can understand why people wouldn't like the ending, but there's just no excuse for the lengths they went to (and the sustained, persistent efforts to bash and browbeat everyone who disagrees with them). I, for example, was quickly brought around to their point of view once someone was able to explain the issues without insults and disrespect.

I don't think Bioware intended this controversy, though perhaps they intentionally left some gaps to be filled in by the DLC. I'm guessing the DLC will reveal that a lot of what happens in the game is either a dream, indoctrination, or something to that effect.

This whole situation also exposes something else that goes beyond gaming...Social media is going to be the downfall and savior of the old media industry. We're in a strange new world now. Before this stuff, a few lonely ingrates could what--perhaps get riled up enough to send a letter to the artist? Try to make a call and leave an angry voice mail? Sure, they could lash out to their friends and anyone else, but good luck finding anyone who really cared. Now they can team up in sufficient numbers to really do some damage. I remember reading about the show Lost and all the problems the producers had keeping people from tearing it apart online. They had nerds actually trying to use satellites and anything else to ferret out the secrets...Then they'd cook up elaborate explanations that would often surpass what the writers were able to come up with on their own. In all cases, guess who took the brunt...the producers. Hate, vile, hate, vile, the only thing these hardcore "fans" seem able to dish out.

It's like this...YOU create a fictional universe and a storyline, characters, etc. Those are YOURS. You put them out there...at first you might be thrilled by the attention (assuming it takes off). Most of your fans are normal--just regular folks who enjoy the work you did. But among them are the alpha nerds--the intellectual bullies. They see that you did something nice, and the bullies, even though they had *NOTHING* to do with the creation, begin to assert ownership. They can because they have the "muscle," in this case, loud mouths on their well-connected social networks. THEY start telling YOU what to do. Sure, you can ignore it, but there will be HELL TO PAY. These bullies, these alpha nerds, will stop at nothing to hurt you if you dare to spite them. But just like real bullies, if you give in to them, it just makes them stronger and more entitled to harass you.

That's the negative.

The positive is that while social media has connected the alpha nerds, it's also connected the true fans. That's the kind of folks who are tired of seeing their favorite designers or projects get unfunded by the industry, so they're ready to chip in. Instead of leveraging the social media for collective moaning and bitching, raising online petitions, spewing hate on every forum, shoving everyone who disagrees up against a locker, leaving unfair and harsh reviews on Amazon, etc.--in short, rigging the system--these folks are more interesting in helping to BUILD something great.

I only hope that the two don't become one--the bullies both deciding what gets made and then how it gets made. Because there's no way a mass of people, no matter how smart they think they are, can create anything great. A great work needs a great artist to make it. Sure, that artist might work with dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of people, but he or she must have the liberty to achieve THEIR vision. Once you remove that element, you're left with nothing but insipid clones.

To put it another way:
People can't want what doesn't yet exist! Would Fargo and company have gotten to $2 million if they were promoting some new, weird-sounding, totally foreign kind of game? Would it get off the ground?

My guess is that these "fans" wouldn't toss a dollar into that hat. They'd just say, "Yeah, whatever, go make Wasteland 2, and then 3, and then 4," or whatever. If they DARED make any changes to the formula, no money for you--oh, and since we're feeling UBER ENTITLED because we "paid for you to give us what we want," we're going to rub your name in the shit all over the web until nobody will ever hire you to do anything ever again.

This all frightens me to be honest. As I said, I think it goes beyond just gaming...Perhaps we're on the brink of destruction.

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TimtheTaxMan (not verified)
Unhappy Ending isn't the Problem

I don't dislike unhappy endings and I don't think the majority of people out there do either if they are executed well. My main beef is that your choices don't matter. The entire Mass Effect saga was sold as a huge interactive story where choices carry forward and affect future game play. In the end, however, it doesn't really matter what you do. I'd be happy with nothing but bad endings if my choices could significantly alter those endings in a logical and thoughtful way. But it ends up just being generic. We probably should have seen this coming with the transition from Mass Effect 1 and 2 where the choices (like saving the council or not) really didn't impact game play.

I also strongly dislike the stripping out of RPG elements (to the point where 2 and 3 no longer qualify as RPGs, but are action adventure games in my opinion). Mass Effect 1 with all of its flaws is still my favorite.

strony internetowe (not verified)
strony internetowe

Hi, all is going nicely here and ofcourse every one is sharing information, that’s actually excellent, keep up writing.

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