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Mass Effect 3 Ending Changes Planned

The BioWare Blog has a post from BioWare co-founder Dr. Ray Muzyka confirming that criticism of the ending of Mass Effect 3 has had a massive effect on them, and they will indeed be changing the way the game ends, as they said they might. Here's a bit on their change in plans, and what lead to this point:

Building on their research, Exec Producer Casey Hudson and the team are hard at work on a number of game content initiatives that will help answer the questions, providing more clarity for those seeking further closure to their journey. Youll hear more on this in April. Were working hard to maintain the right balance between the artistic integrity of the original story while addressing the fan feedback weve received. This is in addition to our existing plan to continue providing new Mass Effect content and new full games, so rest assured that your journey in the Mass Effect universe can, and will, continue.

The reaction to the release of Mass Effect 3 has been unprecedented. On one hand, some of our loyal fans are passionately expressing their displeasure about how their game concluded; we care about this feedback, and were planning to directly address it. However, most folks appear to agree that the game as a whole is exceptional, with more than 75 critics giving it a perfect review score and a review average in the mid-90s. Net, Im proud of the team, but we can and must always strive to do better.

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14. Re: Mass Effect 3 Ending Changes Planned Mar 21, 2012, 15:32 Creston
 
Btw, this is VERY interesting (copied from a post on BW's forum.)

But I saw a thread on reddit, where supposedly a writer for BioWare spoke out on the ending, and then deleted his post. Obviously take with a grain of salt. But he's supposedly the writer for Mordin's death etc. But here is what he said:

I have nothing to do with the ending beyond a) having argued successfully a long time ago that we needed a chance to say goodbye to our squad, b) having argued successfully that Cortez shouldn't automatically die in that shuttle crash, and c) having written Tali's goodbye bit, as well as a couple of the holo-goodbyes for people I wrote (Mordin, Kasumi, Jack, etc).

No other writer did, either, except for our lead. This was entirely the work of our lead and Casey himself, sitting in a room and going through draft after draft.

And honestly, it kind of shows.

Every other mission in the game had to be held up to the rest of the writing team, and the writing team then picked it apart and made suggestions and pointed out the parts that made no sense. This mission? Casey and our lead deciding that they didn't need to be peer-reviewed.

And again, it shows.

If you'd asked me the themes of Mass Effect 3, I'd break them down as: Galactic Alliances, Friends, Organics versus Synthetics.

In my personal opinion, the first two got a perfunctory nod. We did get a goodbye to our friends, but it was in a scene that was divorced from the gameplay -- a deliberate "nothing happens here" area with one turret thrown in for no reason I really understand, except possibly to obfuscate the "nothing happens here"-ness. The best missions in our game are the ones in which the gameplay and the narrative reinforce each other. The end of the Genophage campaign exemplifies that for me -- every line of dialog is showing you both sides of the krogan, be they horrible brutes or proud warriors; the art shows both their bombed-out wasteland and the beautiful world they once had and could have again; the combat shows the terror of the Reapers as well as a blatant reminder of the rachni, which threatened the galaxy and had to be stopped by the krogan last time. Every line of code in that mission is on target with the overall message.

The endgame doesn't have that. I wanted to see banshees attacking you, and then have asari gunships zoom in and blow them away. I wanted to see a wave of rachni ravagers come around a corner only to be met by a wall of krogan roaring a battle cry. Here's the horror the Reapers inflicted upon each race, and here's the army that you, Commander Shepard, made out of every race in the galaxy to fight them.

I personally thought that the Illusive Man conversation was about twice as long as it needed to be -- something that I've been told in my peer reviews of my missions and made edits on, but again, this is a conversation no writer but the lead ever saw until it was already recorded. I did love Anderson's goodbye.

For me, Anderson's goodbye is where it ended. The stuff with the Catalyst just... You have to understand. Casey is really smart and really analytical. And the problem is that when he's not checked, he will assume that other people are like him, and will really appreciate an almost completely unemotional intellectual ending. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it.

And then, just to be a dick... what was SUPPOSED to happen was that, say you picked "Destroy the Reapers". When you did that, the system was SUPPOSED to look at your score, and then you'd show a cutscene of Earth that was either:

a) Very high score: Earth obviously damaged, but woo victory

b) Medium score: Earth takes a bunch of damage from the Crucible activation. Like dropping a bomb on an already war-ravaged city. Uh, well, maybe not LIKE that as much as, uh, THAT.

c) Low score: Earth is a cinderblock, all life on it completely wiped out

I have NO IDEA why these different cutscenes aren't in there. As far as I know, they were never cut. Maybe they were cut for budget reasons at the last minute. I don't know. But holy crap, yeah, I can see how incredibly disappointing it'd be to hear of all the different ending possibilities and have it break down to "which color is stuff glowing?" Or maybe they ARE in, but they're too subtle to really see obvious differences, and again, that's... yeah.

Okay, that's a lot to have written for something that's gonna go away in an hour.

I still teared up at the ending myself, but really, I was tearing up for the quick flashbacks to old friends and the death of Anderson. I wasn't tearing up over making a choice that, as it turned out, didn't have enough cutscene differentiation on it.

And to be clear, I don't even really wish Shepard had gotten a ride-off-into-sunset ending. I was honestly okay with Shepard sacrificing himself. I just expected it to be for something with more obvious differentiation, and a stronger tie to the core themes -- all three of them.



pastebin.com/i2cNVDp4

UPDATE:

One of the writers (the one who wrote mordins lines actually IIRC) posts on the PA forums sometimes. He usually posts, then deletes it within an hour. When asked about the ending he mentioned that almost all dialogue and such is peer reviewed, but that the ending was not. He said the leader writer had basically written the ending then didnt allow the other writers to review it. And it shows.


Edit : Followed by

As it's easier to write this once and then link it when necessary, here's what I wrote for Mass Effect 3.

Missions:

(I wrote most or all of the content on these, although other writers did voice passes on followers they owned)

Grissom Academy (Edit: John Dombrow, awesome writer of Overlord, wrote the Overlord call-out here)
Geth Dreadnought
Rannoch: Reaper Base
Illusive Man's Base (but only first line of actual talk with IM, after which Lead Mac Walters took over)
Eden Prime (with heavy consulting with John Dombrow, who wrote Javik)
Citadel Hub (it was a huge team effort with lots of folks doing plots and everyone writing their follower moments, but I was the writer ultimately responsible for managing content there)

Characters
(I did a voice pass on these people whenever they showed up and handled any Normandy or Citadel talks)

Tali
Joker
Traynor
Mordin (John handled the Genophage campaign, and he and I mapped out major Mordin conversations together; we are both responsible for the Shroud tower scene, but John did everything else in that mission, with me just touching Mordin's voice up a bit)

Bits
(small things I wrote)
A bunch of the emails, especially those from imports
The damn journals
PFCs Westmoreland and Campbell
Most Spectre terminal text
Citadel Plots: Hanar Diplomat, Batarian Sabotage, Medigel Sabotage, Krogan Poet, Matriarch Aethyta, Informant Assassination
Citadel Fetch Quests: About half of the ones you can solve by finding things on missions, all or mostly all the ones you solve by scanning planets (including the bestest one ever, the Fossilized Kakliosaur)
Citadel Ambient Bits: Several of the "pick a side" ambient moments, 1/3 to 1/2 of the pure flavor bits (with the awesome Ann and Sylvia picking up my slack): my personal pride ones are the PTSD Asari, the marines in Purgatory, and the incredibly unpleasant cheating spouse in the Commons. Oh, and Blasto.
Citadel Background Noise: The news articles, the background stuff that doesn't have subtitles, and the extremely complex and richly rewarding voices that talk on the elevator and in stores


So anyway, there you have it. It's been a long and wild ride, and it's amazing and humbling to see so many people emotionally engaging with the game. Thanks, everybody.

EDIT: To be clear and avoid future misunderstandings, feel free to offer commentary, positive or negative, about what I wrote, or ask questions about the same. If you wish to raise concerns about something I didn't write, you would be better served by going to the BSN or the wonderful Mass
Effect LJ community.



http://pastebin.com/ZV2QhViG

EDIT 2 : Chris Priestly said this was fake.

So, I saw this and went and asked Patrick about it.

Patrick didn't write this.

No one is getting banned or anything for posting this, but I want you to know it is not real. Just an imitation.


Creston

This comment was edited on Mar 21, 2012, 16:27.
 
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  83. Mar 21, 19:12  endings are the same Trioptimus
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