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Mass Effect 3 Challenge Weekend

EA announces this is an N7 Challenge weekend for Mass Effect 3, offering the chance to earn rewards in the action/RPG sequel. Here's what's happening in the Windows and Xbox 360 editions of the game between now and Monday at 8:00 am EDT:

Operation Goliath

  • Any player who is part of a squad that beats the Reaper faction on Silver difficulty or better will unlock one Commendation Pack. This means that at least one member of the squad must be extracted at the end of the mission – this will earn all squad members the reward. Each player can earn a maximum of one pack and each pack contains a random N7 Arsenal Weapon. Originally only available as single-player weapons via the N7 Collector’s Edition, these multiplayer variants will be exceptionally rare and are NOT obtainable through regular purchasable Reinforcement Packs. The Commendation Packs will contain one of the following guns at random: (1) N7 Crusader Shotgun, (2) N7 Eagle Pistol, (3) N7 Hurricane SMG and (4) N7 Valiant Sniper Rifle.
  • Destroy as many brutes as possible – if the multiplayer community kills a combined 1 MILLION brutes within the hours of the challenge, ALL players will receive a Victory Pack as a reward.

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61. Re: Mass Effect 3 Challenge Weekend Mar 19, 2012, 12:08 Verno
 
Yeah I just don't see that, sorry. The entire narrative felt like filler in the context of the wider story and the arrival of the collectors as some sort of pre-invasion force just feels iffy as an explanation. To me ME2 felt like a game because they wanted to have a second game in the series. That's fine and ME2 is still a good game but it's clear they didn't really have a good idea where to go with the story at all. ME2 was saved by the improved (but still clunky) combat system and strong characterization (though again pointless as very few come back in meaningful ways for ME3), the storyline advancement was small and felt unnecessary.

This comment was edited on Mar 19, 2012, 15:05.
 
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60. Re: Mass Effect 3 Challenge Weekend Mar 19, 2012, 11:57 Bhruic
 
Pointless? I don't know that I'd got that far. From the same perspective, it'd be easy to say that Empire Strikes Back was pointless, and it's widely (and rightly) considered the best of the original trilogy. I don't think ME2 has that distinction, but stopping the Collectors is a significant achievement within the scope of the "grand story". No, it didn't stop the Reaper invasion, but much of the Reaper invasion involves co-opted ground forces. Had the Collectors been successful, there would have been many more such forces, as well as a "human Reaper" (which I admit is an idiotic concept) to deal with as well. Not to mention the Collectors themselves, although they wouldn't have been a major force.  
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59. Re: Mass Effect 3 Challenge Weekend Mar 19, 2012, 08:49 Verno
 
I don't know, I think the second game being entirely pointless is a much bigger exercise in proving Bioware had no idea what it was doing with the series as a whole.  
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58. Re: Mass Effect 3 Challenge Weekend Mar 18, 2012, 18:39 Bhruic
 
Not only that. Why did the Catalyst not just activate the Citadel himself?

That one is dumb too, yes, but it doesn't bother me as much. I'm very used to books doing the same thing, in book 3, they come up with something that invalidates, or changes something from book 1. Sometimes you do that for the sake of the story.

Why I consider this plot hole to be so serious, is it's all self-contained within a single game. There's no way to excuse themselves for having to go back and "change" something - there was nothing previous to change. The entire reason for the plot of ME1 is pointless.

I will give them this, tho' - in their defense, it wasn't until my 3rd playthough of ME1 that I really stopped to think about it. The rest of the game was distracting enough that it slipped me by the first few times. That's probably what makes the ME3 stuff worse, is that it's so obvious and blatant that you can't overlook it.
 
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57. Re: Mass Effect 3 Challenge Weekend Mar 18, 2012, 18:33 Bhruic
 
Perfectly conceivable. Of course, the relays were designed by the Reapers, and the Crucible was designed by unknown amounts of the Reapers' victims. NONE of whom had the capability to create new relays. (They say the Protheans were close.)

The Protheans weren't just close, they were successful - that's what the conduit actually was, a Prothean developed mass relay. A really dumb mass relay, that somehow operated in a completely different fashion than typical mass relays, as it was an entirely indoor relay, but let's overlook that for the moment.

The crucible was designed to interface with the catalyst (ie, the citadel). Although Shepard had the choice over what signal was sent, it was the catalyst that sent the signal, and the catalyst was of the same civilization/species as the Reapers. So it's no surprise it could cause the relays to be destroyed in a "safe" fashion.

Because not one year ago, they specifically made a whole DLC about what happens when you blow up a Mass Effect gate.

Sigh. They specifically made a whole DLC about what happens when you ram an asteroid into a mass relay. That's a completely different scenario than what we see happen here.

So in the Reapers' minds, they're being very altruistic. Big, bad AI is coming, so we save you by Ascending you into a Reaper.

I didn't really get that impression. I more got the feeling that they were focused on saving the non-developed species from destruction. Like, when they were destroying the Protheans, they were doing that to spare the humans, asari, turians, salarians, etc. "Ascending" the Protheans was considered to be good, yes, but not their primary goal.

So how does that explain what the Reapers did to the Geth? The Quarians were WIPING THE GETH OUT. (which in itself was already bullshit, but okay.) In a panic, the Geth turn to the Reapers, who evolve them into a much more dangerous version of the Geth, who then in turn are about to commit genocide against the Quarians.

Well, they didn't simply "improve" the Geth, they took control of them. The Reapers pretty obviously don't have a problem with synthetic life - they are synthetic life.

It's also pretty obvious that regardless of who won, both sides would have been eliminated by the Reapers. Functionally, it's the equivalent of the Reapers taking control of humans, or asari, etc. They take control of them to advance their own agenda, not because they have any intention of protecting/saving them.

So why did the Reapers bother showing up?

The Reapers act in cycles. They don't keep track of what's going on inbetween those cycles - or to any large degree. I've always thought that was stupid, in fact, I made an argument about it on another forum. Humanity has only had mass effect technology for about 40 years. And yet look at how far we got in those 40 years. Now, imagine that instead of the Reapers showing up now, when they did, they had shown up, say, 500 years ago. Or, roughly 300 years ago from our real world date. They wouldn't have bothered "ascending" us, we would have been too primative to consider. So we would have been spared. But instead of only having 40 years of mass effect technology/knowledge to work off of, we would have ended up with slightly less than 50,000 years to go from. We would have had immediate access to the previous generation's ruins, instead of having them all be buried by almost 50,000 years worth of dust and debris.

The whole "only come every 50,000 years" thing is just dumb. If they'd had any sense, they would have left some sensing devices that could detect the presense of AIs, and triggered their return based on that.

For that matter, the Protheans were UNABLE to be harvested due to something with their DNA, yet the Reapers just decided to fucking wipe them out anyway?? So much for their whole little "We're here to save organic civilizations" spiel.

See above "they weren't really focused on saving higher civilizations". And they were still able to make use of the Protheans in various ways, such as turning them into the Collectors.
 
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56. Re: Mass Effect 3 Challenge Weekend Mar 18, 2012, 16:51 Prez
 
here we are making portmanteau couple names like it's a Glee fanfiction board...

But Glee is awesome!!!

Okay, seriously... it's not done in the interest of making cute couple names like "Brangelina" or "Bennifer"; it's a symbol of the lament for Bioware losing its identity by way of its absorption by the despicable EA. To me, it is inarguable that Bioware is a far worse developer now than it was before the acquisition. I suppose it can be argued that Bioware's downward slide and their acquisition by EA were co-incidental, but I am not of that opinion at all.
 
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Goodbye my Monte boy. May you rest in the peace you never knew in life.
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55. Re: Mass Effect 3 Challenge Weekend Mar 18, 2012, 14:45 Creston
 
Bhruic wrote on Mar 18, 2012, 14:08:
There was no need for the army of geth. But even if there was, they already apparently knew how to get geth passed security scans - as evidenced by them not spotting the geth that Benezia smuggled in on Noveria.

Even if that wouldn't have worked, they could have just shown up with Sovereign and a crapload of geth ships, like they did at the end, and have the geth drop off a bunch of units. With the element of surprise, they wouldn't have needed to appear at the tower.

But the most telling point is that they didn't know what the conduit was. None of the beacons contained that information. So there was no way for them to know that there even was a backdoor on to the citadel.

Not only that. Why did the Catalyst not just activate the Citadel himself? Why did they need the Keepers for that? If the ARCHITECT of the Reapers wiping out the galaxy every 50K years encompasses the citadel, how the hell does he not yank the Reapers back into the galaxy whenever he needs them? Why go through the whole shit with Saren and the Geth etc etc etc, when he could have just opened the damn thing any time he wanted to?

Endings: It helps if they make sense with what went before.

LOTS OF SPECULATION FOR EVERYONE! I hope they chisel that on his tombstone in 50 years.

Creston
 
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54. Re: Mass Effect 3 Challenge Weekend Mar 18, 2012, 14:43 Creston
 
Bhruic wrote on Mar 18, 2012, 13:30:
Honestly, I don't know why this one bothers people. It's got such a simple explanation that it doesn't seem worth even considering. You'll note the codex refers to "rupturing". 3rd party destruction of relays does result in a huge explosion. However, it's perfectly conceivable that the race that designed the relays knows how to disable them without causing them to destroy the system.

Perfectly conceivable. Of course, the relays were designed by the Reapers, and the Crucible was designed by unknown amounts of the Reapers' victims. NONE of whom had the capability to create new relays. (They say the Protheans were close.)

So I'm not really sure why the people who designed the Crucible would have the ability to make the Relays explode "safely."

That's even more likely when you consider what is happening at the end - each relay is beaming their "energy" to the next relay. So rather than have the energy on hand to explode, it's all getting redirected. Hence no system destruction.

If we ignore the likely problem that energy wouldn't be able to be Mass-Effected like that, it'd sure suck to live in the quadrant where all that energy winds up. Because then you're talking enough energy of several thousand supernovas worth detonating at the final gate. That's enough to probably sterilize a quarter of the entire galaxy of all life.

With such a simple and logical explanation available, and so many other plot holes available, I don't know why people have got hung up on this one.

Because not one year ago, they specifically made a whole DLC about what happens when you blow up a Mass Effect gate. But I guess Walters and Hudson had forgotten about that.

You want to talk a real plot hole? Ok, how about: Why the hell was Saren/Sovereign after the conduit in ME1? Think about it - the only thing the conduit was, was a "backdoor" relay on to the Citadel. The very Citadel that Saren, as a Spectre, could go to any time he wanted to. There was absolutely nothing special about the conduit beyond that ability. So why were they chasing it down? They could have just done exactly what they did at the end - go to the Citadel to manually activate it - without wasting all the time looking for the conduit, and almost certainly been successful, because they would have had the element of surprise. No beefed up Citadel defenses. No Alliance cruisers on standby.

The entire plot of ME1 was completely pointless. Now that is a plot hole.

Yeah. It sure sucks when you have to write an ending a month before the game has to go gold, and you just scribble a few notes on a piece of paper and expect everyone to just swallow your bullshit. Poor Mac Walters.

If you liked that plot hole, how's about this one: The star child dipshit says that their goal is to save organics by harvesting the advanced civilizations before they create an unstoppable synthetic race that murders EVERYTHING, right? So in the Reapers' minds, they're being very altruistic. Big, bad AI is coming, so we save you by Ascending you into a Reaper. Okay.

So how does that explain what the Reapers did to the Geth? The Quarians were WIPING THE GETH OUT. (which in itself was already bullshit, but okay.) In a panic, the Geth turn to the Reapers, who evolve them into a much more dangerous version of the Geth, who then in turn are about to commit genocide against the Quarians.

Errr... I thought the whole point of you Reapers was to SAVE ORGANICS FROM THE AI. So why are you HELPING THE GETH WIPE OUT THE QUARIANS?

And here's an even better one: The Protheans had already WON their war against their AI-the Metacons. So why did the Reapers bother showing up? For that matter, the Protheans were UNABLE to be harvested due to something with their DNA, yet the Reapers just decided to fucking wipe them out anyway?? So much for their whole little "We're here to save organic civilizations" spiel.

Damn, Mac Walters, it REALLY SUCKS if you have to write an ending that makes sense with what you've written before, huh? Fuck, this whole writing thing is hard...
(Of course, he's just going to say "Well, the star child doesn't necessarily tell you the truth! It's a very 'high level' conversation." The cunt.)

Creston
 
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53. Re: Mass Effect 3 Challenge Weekend Mar 18, 2012, 14:31 Creston
 
Gocows wrote on Mar 18, 2012, 06:25:
"Yeah, we may just retcon that. Come on, man! You got three different color balls!"

What does FemShep get then?

Hahahaha.

Walters and Hudson didn't think about that, obviously.

Creston
 
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52. Re: Mass Effect 3 Challenge Weekend Mar 18, 2012, 14:08 Bhruic
 
There was no need for the army of geth. But even if there was, they already apparently knew how to get geth passed security scans - as evidenced by them not spotting the geth that Benezia smuggled in on Noveria.

Even if that wouldn't have worked, they could have just shown up with Sovereign and a crapload of geth ships, like they did at the end, and have the geth drop off a bunch of units. With the element of surprise, they wouldn't have needed to appear at the tower.

But the most telling point is that they didn't know what the conduit was. None of the beacons contained that information. So there was no way for them to know that there even was a backdoor on to the citadel.
 
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51. Re: Mass Effect 3 Challenge Weekend Mar 18, 2012, 13:50 Lokust
 
Saren, before being declared rogue before you leave the Citadel the first time, could have gotten onto the Citadel anytime he wanted, sure. Afterward it would have been much more difficult. But it wasn't just Saren. It was Saren and an army of Geth. They really did need the conduit for that, so they could strike out of nowhere at the heart of the Citadel, and come out right by the Citadel Tower in the presidium.

You could argue that Saren was already controlled by Sovereign and could have done this all beforehand, but it's possible that Sovereign didn't want to risk it's investment in Saren and wanted to ensure it had other loyal forces present.
 
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50. Re: Mass Effect 3 Challenge Weekend Mar 18, 2012, 13:30 Bhruic
 
Dades wrote on Mar 18, 2012, 01:29:
What's really funny is that in their own codex it specifically states that the ME relays could never be destroyed because the resulting force would wipe the surrounding systems. Someone is flying a screenshot of it around the bioware forums, I had a good laugh. One of the mods actually had the nerve to suggest they might mod it out.

Honestly, I don't know why this one bothers people. It's got such a simple explanation that it doesn't seem worth even considering. You'll note the codex refers to "rupturing". 3rd party destruction of relays does result in a huge explosion. However, it's perfectly conceivable that the race that designed the relays knows how to disable them without causing them to destroy the system. That's even more likely when you consider what is happening at the end - each relay is beaming their "energy" to the next relay. So rather than have the energy on hand to explode, it's all getting redirected. Hence no system destruction.

With such a simple and logical explanation available, and so many other plot holes available, I don't know why people have got hung up on this one.

You want to talk a real plot hole? Ok, how about: Why the hell was Saren/Sovereign after the conduit in ME1? Think about it - the only thing the conduit was, was a "backdoor" relay on to the Citadel. The very Citadel that Saren, as a Spectre, could go to any time he wanted to. There was absolutely nothing special about the conduit beyond that ability. So why were they chasing it down? They could have just done exactly what they did at the end - go to the Citadel to manually activate it - without wasting all the time looking for the conduit, and almost certainly been successful, because they would have had the element of surprise. No beefed up Citadel defenses. No Alliance cruisers on standby.

The entire plot of ME1 was completely pointless. Now that is a plot hole.
 
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49. Re: Mass Effect 3 Challenge Weekend Mar 18, 2012, 10:33 eRe4s3r
 
bah, waiting......^^  
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48. Re: Mass Effect 3 Challenge Weekend Mar 18, 2012, 09:28 Dr. D. Schreber
 
EAware

BiowarEA

I never thought I would miss the time when gaming discourse regularly included working the word "shit" into "Activision" in various ways and calling Bobby Kotick "Bobby Kocktick," but here we are making portmanteau couple names like it's a Glee fanfiction board...
 
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NOT THE BEES! NOT THE BEES THEY'RE IN MY EYES AARRGRHGHGGAFHGHFGHFG!
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47. Re: Mass Effect 3 Challenge Weekend Mar 18, 2012, 09:22 Prez
 
Well if you believe the saying that all publicity is good publicity, EAware is getting lots of good publicity. All this controversy is definitely free advertising. They're probably loving every minute of this.

And about that CNN video, it always amazes me that people like that ditzy anchorwoman can still be so shocked that the average gamer age is in the 30's.
 
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Goodbye my Monte boy. May you rest in the peace you never knew in life.
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46. Re: Mass Effect 3 Challenge Weekend Mar 18, 2012, 06:25 Gocows
 
"Yeah, we may just retcon that. Come on, man! You got three different color balls!"

What does FemShep get then?
 
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45. Re: Skyrim Versus ThreatFire Mar 18, 2012, 06:17 yonder
 
briktal wrote on Mar 18, 2012, 03:44:
yonder wrote on Mar 18, 2012, 03:04:
The sad/funny thing is that EA is what's the most damaging. Just look how completely ruined (by comparison) the Dragon Age franchise is. Sure, they had their hands on DA:O a BIT, but DA2 was the very first fully BiowarEA game. And look how we took it.

The problem is that EA will choose 5 million sales in 2 years over 10 million sales in 4 years EVERY SINGLE TIME. The only long-term in EA's eyes is the continual plundering of new short-term assets.

Once EA buys a studio you will NEVER get me to believe that they're completely hands-off. I've seen EA buy development studios and run them into the ground time after time after time.

And even if they DIDN'T... it's no coicidence that numerous lead writers have left in the past few years. I can't believe that it has nothing to do with EA. And who decided to move Karpyshyn from ME to SWTOR? I can't help but notice a long, long, long string of coincidences where EA is the one constant.

Yes, I know it happens in every company, but it happens all the friggin time when EA buys a developer. When they only publish, they're actually not half bad. But when they actually buy... well... the list of corpses is long.

For example... Bioware's next game is an RTS sequel to a mediocre C&C game from 6 years ago that no one cares about. BW is dead. Sure, EA will continue milking the corpse (specially with SWTOR), but the Bioware that many gamers grew to love starting in the late 90s is completely, totally, and utterly dead.

From everything out there, this whole ending thing is 100% Bioware. EA wasn't the one making notes on the ending saying "Brave New World", "First Matrix movie" and "LOTS OF SPECULATION FROM EVERYONE". And in the end they are getting the speculation, but it's all about how the ending could be so bad.
 
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44. Re: Skyrim Versus ThreatFire Mar 18, 2012, 03:44 briktal
 
yonder wrote on Mar 18, 2012, 03:04:
The sad/funny thing is that EA is what's the most damaging. Just look how completely ruined (by comparison) the Dragon Age franchise is. Sure, they had their hands on DA:O a BIT, but DA2 was the very first fully BiowarEA game. And look how we took it.

The problem is that EA will choose 5 million sales in 2 years over 10 million sales in 4 years EVERY SINGLE TIME. The only long-term in EA's eyes is the continual plundering of new short-term assets.

From everything out there, this whole ending thing is 100% Bioware. EA wasn't the one making notes on the ending saying "Brave New World", "First Matrix movie" and "LOTS OF SPECULATION FROM EVERYONE". And in the end they are getting the speculation, but it's all about how the ending could be so bad.
 
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43. Re: Mass Effect 3 Challenge Weekend Mar 18, 2012, 03:04 Creston
 
Well, it made CNN.

http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/tech/2012/03/17/new-video-game-reviews.cnn

Mass Effect part starts at ~4 minutes.

Creston
 
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42. Re: Skyrim Versus ThreatFire Mar 18, 2012, 03:04 yonder
 
nin wrote on Mar 17, 2012, 12:16:
The sad part about all of this is I fear it will only increase EA's tight control of Bio, and I'll tell ya why:

(Slight spoilers follow, but nothing anyone else hasn't already said here in the last week.)

SST: While I've not played 3, it's my understanding that pretty much everyone dies at the end. That's a risk Bio took, and it didn't go over well.

But from an EA standpoint, it's criminal. EA wants people heavily invested in the series, so it can sell the inevitable sequels (of which the plan was an additional 3, I think?). When Bio kills most of the characters off (and in this case, does so in a really cheap/crappy way) people have that much less attachment to a potential sequel that doesn't feature them.


So I can't help but think that EA will be heavily scrutinizing Bio's future moves, to ensure the cash cow isn't further damaged.



The sad/funny thing is that EA is what's the most damaging. Just look how completely ruined (by comparison) the Dragon Age franchise is. Sure, they had their hands on DA:O a BIT, but DA2 was the very first fully BiowarEA game. And look how we took it.

The problem is that EA will choose 5 million sales in 2 years over 10 million sales in 4 years EVERY SINGLE TIME. The only long-term in EA's eyes is the continual plundering of new short-term assets.
 
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