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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. You’ll hear more on this in April. We’re working hard to maintain the right balance between the artistic integrity of the original story while addressing the fan feedback we’ve 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 we’re 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, I’m proud of the team, but we can and must always strive to do better.

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152. Re: Mass Effect 3 Ending Changes Planned Mar 27, 2012, 00:36 Jerykk
 
And I disagree with the notion that to be a good RPG series, you have to tie up every loose end with a neat little bow. Some of the best storytelling, video game or not, comes with open-ended storylines and leads to huge fan speculation.

Any examples of RPGs that fit this description? I can't think of any. The Fallout games all end with your character wandering off into the desert, but that doesn't really mean much because he/she is simply an extension of yourself. His/her story ends when you finish the game. Unlike ME3, the Fallout games (except for Fallout 3), Dragon Age Origins, Arcanum, etc, make sure to explain what eventually happened to your companions, the major factions and the various places you went. That's why those games had satisfying endings.

I don't think Planescape: Torment explained those things but the story in that game was entirely about you figuring out your past. Once you figured that out and accepted the repercussions, there was nothing else to really tell.
 
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151. Re: Mass Effect 3 Ending Changes Planned Mar 24, 2012, 00:32 finga
 
Stop thinking about future Mass Effect games as "ME4". It's a huge franchise now, and it could go in a million different directions by several different teams. What Casey Hudson said in an interview is simply what he's thinking right now, but after BioWare's ME team completes the DLC, gets that much-needed break from Commander Shepard (and maybe spends a few years on a new franchise), who knows what team or what project director be concepting out a future Mass Effect game. It might take place entirely on the Elcor homeworld. Or a thousand years in the past, or two thousand into the future. It might - get this - it might not even be an action/RPG.

And I disagree with the notion that to be a good RPG series, you have to tie up every loose end with a neat little bow. Some of the best storytelling, video game or not, comes with open-ended storylines and leads to huge fan speculation.
 
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150. Re: Mass Effect 3 Ending Changes Planned Mar 23, 2012, 14:21 Draugr
 
Jerykk wrote on Mar 23, 2012, 12:40:

Because ME3 isn't the last ME (just the last Shepard story), leaving some things open ended is fine.

Again, you're assuming that ME4 will resolve anything. For all we know, it could be a prequel to the Shepard series.

Apparently he missed the part where Casey Hudson said any future projects would happen during or before me3, Making this whole line of reasoning a moot point. It'd normally make sense if we weren't told otherwise, explicitly.

“whatever we do would likely happen before or during the events of Mass Effect 3, not after,”
-Casey Hudson


We can't ruin any plans for what happens after ME3, because they've stated they have none. Of course, this is subject to change, and its quite possible it has with the feedback they've recieved about me3/me3-ending.


but now they can't use it because they wrote a few lines of canon back in a silly slide in ME3

Disregarding the fact that they said there is no plans for anything after ME3, let's not pretend Bioware is so averse to retconning things. Rolleyes

That's what makes the ending even more dissappointing. If they said that me3 is the endcap to the universes timeline (or that they are treating it as such) Why would they care if they release more information about what happens afterwards. The answer of course, is LOTS OF SPECULATION1!!!!!one!

This comment was edited on Mar 23, 2012, 14:30.
 
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149. Re: Mass Effect 3 Ending Changes Planned Mar 23, 2012, 12:40 Jerykk
 
But DAO explained those things just fine.

In some cases, yes. In other cases, not so much (like Morrigan's god baby). The DLC didn't really help either.

Because ME3 isn't the last ME (just the last Shepard story), leaving some things open ended is fine.

Again, you're assuming that ME4 will resolve anything. For all we know, it could be a prequel to the Shepard series.

Why must everything have perfect closure and a neat tie-up of all storylines?

Because that's what constitutes a good ending to an RPG, especially one that takes place over the course of multiple games and emphasizes long-term consequences.

Writers don't want to write themselves into a corner, but it's clear that you're not concerned about that. Well, life is full of small disappointments, and this is one of them.

Ahem. You have seen the endings to ME3, right? I'm pretty sure Bioware has already written themselves into a corner, only they managed to not satisfy anyone in the process.

The real issue here isn't that people don't like the ending, and the people that don't mind it (or at least, don't mind it much) aren't telling anyone that they have to like the ending. The issue is that people are blowing it way out of proportion and creating all kinds of crazy plans of action that would be much more productively channeled towards real issues, either in video games or in the real world.

While I agree that threatening to sue Bioware and calling the FTC is a bit ridiculous, nobody here has done either of those things. We're simply explaining the numerous flaws with ME3's ending, while you adamantly defend it for no apparent reason.
 
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148. Re: Mass Effect 3 Ending Changes Planned Mar 23, 2012, 10:09 Verno
 
Ruffiana wrote on Mar 22, 2012, 19:12:
merloid wrote on Mar 22, 2012, 15:19:
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.
And yet the average user score is a whopping 4.8 out of 100. Most folks seem to be juuuuuuuust a little upset.

But Day 1 DLC for $10 and now possible New Ending, or whatever it is they have in mind DLC for another $10? Thanks, but no thanks.

User scores are bullshit. There was a war between the 0 score and 10 score crowd on day one, largely over the day 1 DLC and Origin.

All scores are bullshit including critical reviews. People should go by written opinions and judge those appropriately, not by the number attached to the review alone.
 
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Playing: The Last of Us Remastered
Watching: Intruders, Coherence, The Rover
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147. Re: Mass Effect 3 Ending Changes Planned Mar 23, 2012, 04:58 finga
 
Jerykk wrote on Mar 22, 2012, 20:00:
That's not really a reasonable assumption. Just look at DA2. It barely had any connection to the first game and didn't resolve any of the potentially significant choices you could have made in DAO. Given the underwhelming ending of ME3, why would I have any reason to assume that Bioware will properly resolve anything in future sequels?
But DAO explained those things just fine. And DA3 is still on the way. Because ME3 isn't the last ME (just the last Shepard story), leaving some things open ended is fine. After all, when do you stop telling stories and let the community start speculating? Why must everything have perfect closure and a neat tie-up of all storylines? Why is it OK to go on a ridiculously overblown warpath when they don't?

No, we don't see what happens 20 years down the road; why, was that really necessary?

Yes? Like I said, you can make a number of significant choices in the ME series. Choices that have long-term implications. As the person making these choices, I want to know what these consequences are.
They told you plenty. They just didn't take it as far as you'd have liked. Presumably, you wanted the Fallout-style endings that gave us the full remainder-of-life story of every major character, and you don't care whether BioWare might eventually invent a different storyline for that character in a future ME game, but now they can't use it because they wrote a few lines of canon back in a silly slide in ME3. Writers don't want to write themselves into a corner, but it's clear that you're not concerned about that. Well, life is full of small disappointments, and this is one of them. You'll make it through, though.

The real issue here isn't that people don't like the ending, and the people that don't mind it (or at least, don't mind it much) aren't telling anyone that they have to like the ending. The issue is that people are blowing it way out of proportion and creating all kinds of crazy plans of action that would be much more productively channeled towards real issues, either in video games or in the real world.
 
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146. Re: Mass Effect 3 Ending Changes Planned Mar 22, 2012, 22:50 Creston
 
Ruffiana wrote on Mar 22, 2012, 19:09:
Just so we're clear, I've played all of the ME games on the 360. The ending is not any more palapatable because it's on a proprietary mini-PC hooked up to my HDTV. There's no need to turn this into a PC vs. console debate. The ending is equally bad across all platforms.

That was a jibe at Dragon Age 2, not at ME3. ME3 is a fantastic game, right up until the horrifically shitty ending.

Creston
 
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145. Re: Mass Effect 3 Ending Changes Planned Mar 22, 2012, 20:48 Draugr
 
Sepharo wrote on Mar 22, 2012, 20:25:
Misunderstandings extravaganza!

I'll bring the fodder!
 
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144. Re: Mass Effect 3 Ending Changes Planned Mar 22, 2012, 20:25 Sepharo
 
Misunderstandings extravaganza!  
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143. Re: Mass Effect 3 Ending Changes Planned Mar 22, 2012, 20:18 Bhruic
 
Sepharo wrote on Mar 22, 2012, 20:14:
Creston wrote on Mar 22, 2012, 11:15:
Uh it did for everyone... Unless the wiki is wrong. Care to explain what happened in yours?

The wiki's wrong. I saved the queen in ME1, chastised her for falling victim to the Reapers again, let her live AGAIN, and she gave 75 War Assets worth of workers to the Crucible... woot?

She never betrayed me.

I addressed that later on in the thread. I was replying under the assumption that everyone in the discussion knew about the "saved" vs. "aritificial" queen and that he was implying a third possibility.

edit: Well I guess there are 4 story possibilities but 2 war asset outcomes.

The wiki is not wrong! I've already explained this once, but again...

If you saved the queen in ME1, then the queen you meet in ME3 is the same queen. If you save her again, she gives you workers that are loyal to you.

If you killed the queen in ME1, the queen you meet in ME3 is a clone. If you save her, the workers she gives you will betray you and damage some other resources on the way out.

Third option, you kill the queen in ME3, it doesn't matter if it's the real one or a clone, she's dead, no Rachni assets.

All of that is what the wiki describes. It's not wrong.
 
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142. Re: Mass Effect 3 Ending Changes Planned Mar 22, 2012, 20:14 Sepharo
 
Creston wrote on Mar 22, 2012, 11:15:
Sepharo wrote on Mar 22, 2012, 01:46:
Uh it did for everyone... Unless the wiki is wrong. Care to explain what happened in yours?

The wiki's wrong. I saved the queen in ME1, chastised her for falling victim to the Reapers again, let her live AGAIN, and she gave 75 War Assets worth of workers to the Crucible... woot?

She never betrayed me.

I addressed that later on in the thread. I was replying under the assumption that everyone in the discussion knew about the "saved" vs. "aritificial" queen and that he was implying a third possibility.

edit: Well I guess there are 4 story possibilities but 2 war asset outcomes.

This comment was edited on Mar 22, 2012, 20:22.
 
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141. Re: Mass Effect 3 Ending Changes Planned Mar 22, 2012, 20:00 Jerykk
 
Seems reasonable that this is what future sequels would cover. Let that writing happen then rather than now. One thing that the developers have never wavered on is that the first three games is Shepard's story, and it ends in ME3 (and presumably the DLC).

That's not really a reasonable assumption. Just look at DA2. It barely had any connection to the first game and didn't resolve any of the potentially significant choices you could have made in DAO. Given the underwhelming ending of ME3, why would I have any reason to assume that Bioware will properly resolve anything in future sequels?

No, we don't see what happens 20 years down the road; why, was that really necessary?

Yes? Like I said, you can make a number of significant choices in the ME series. Choices that have long-term implications. As the person making these choices, I want to know what these consequences are.
 
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140. Re: Mass Effect 3 Ending Changes Planned Mar 22, 2012, 19:16 Bhruic
 
The bigger picture here is that it's 75 people who gave the game a great review

It's a given that the majority of those 75 people did not finish the game before they made their review. It'd be like asking people to rate Battlestar Galactica, and having them only rate and review the first season. It'd get a lot higher marks than if they'd watched the whole thing to the end (in general, I'm sure there'd be outliers).

Which isn't to say that still wouldn't have given ME3 a good rating, but it's the "perfect" review score that's the give-away.
 
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139. Re: Mass Effect 3 Ending Changes Planned Mar 22, 2012, 19:12 Ruffiana
 
merloid wrote on Mar 22, 2012, 15:19:
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.
And yet the average user score is a whopping 4.8 out of 100. Most folks seem to be juuuuuuuust a little upset.

But Day 1 DLC for $10 and now possible New Ending, or whatever it is they have in mind DLC for another $10? Thanks, but no thanks.

User scores are bullshit. There was a war between the 0 score and 10 score crowd on day one, largely over the day 1 DLC and Origin.
 
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138. Re: Mass Effect 3 Ending Changes Planned Mar 22, 2012, 19:09 Ruffiana
 
Creston wrote on Mar 22, 2012, 11:04:
Dades wrote on Mar 21, 2012, 22:34:
They made a lot of promises about the ending that turned out to be flat out lies. This is the second time we've seen this recently from Bioware, I am putting them into the penalty bin for a few years and hope that others do the same. No more money until their grandiose claims can be verified.

Oh, absolutely. I was always going to buy ME3, and I'm enjoying the MP a ton, and I enjoyed the SP until you run into Harbinger's laser, but their bullshit attitude towards their most loyal fans has completely soured me on them. If they love their 14 year old Xbox crowd so much, they can go make more retarded "You click a button and something AWESOME happens!" for them.

Maybe some of the old Bioware guard will see all this Kickstart business, tell EA to go fuck itself, and form a new studio that will make the games again that once made Bioware awesome. And they'll leave their fucked up "we're better than you even though you pay our rent" attitude with EA.

Creston

Just so we're clear, I've played all of the ME games on the 360. The ending is not any more palapatable because it's on a proprietary mini-PC hooked up to my HDTV. There's no need to turn this into a PC vs. console debate. The ending is equally bad across all platforms.
 
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137. Re: Mass Effect 3 Ending Changes Planned Mar 22, 2012, 18:55 Ruffiana
 
Dev wrote on Mar 21, 2012, 20:26:
necrosis wrote on Mar 21, 2012, 15:47:
I love how he is comparing 75 people liking the game thousands not liking it. These 75 somehow have more weight than your MUCH larger consumer base. The consumer base that is actually paying for the game.
Of course they have more weight, from the money weighing down their pockets. Actually, most of the reviews probably didn't play to the end before writing the review.

The bigger picture here is that it's 75 people who gave the game a great review. I personally thought the game was great. I even liked one of the endings for my personal journey through the game.

But I didn't like the other two variations and I certainly understand why a huge majority of players who did not like the ending...even if they thought the entire rest of the game was pretty stellar.

If this is it for Bioware, they're done with the franchise completely then fine. Walk away and leave people with the taste of disatisfaction in their mouths. Completely within their rights to do this.

But if they want to sell more DLC for this game, or other games based in this universe, then it really does beholf them to understand exactly why so many people were unsatisfied with the ending and come up with an alternative.
 
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136. Re: Mass Effect 3 Ending Changes Planned Mar 22, 2012, 18:43 Jivaro
 
PropheT wrote on Mar 21, 2012, 23:31:
finga wrote on Mar 21, 2012, 23:02:
Well, now that we're doing this, I'll be writing George R.R. Martin asking him to change A Song of Ice and Fire so that my favorite character doesn't die. Also, I'll need HBO to go back and re-cut all the show scenes to match. And quickly, too!

You realize this isn't exactly unprecedented, right? Fans were upset about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle killing Sherlock Holmes enough that he brought him back and wrote about him for another twenty some years afterward.


Elementary my dear Watson.
 
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135. Re: Mass Effect 3 Ending Changes Planned Mar 22, 2012, 18:12 Draugr
 
finga wrote on Mar 22, 2012, 17:36:
Seems reasonable that this is what future sequels would cover. Let that writing happen then rather than now. One thing that the developers have never wavered on is that the first three games is Shepard's story, and it ends in ME3 (and presumably the DLC).

We saw plenty of choice and consequence in ME3. No, we don't see what happens 20 years down the road; why, was that really necessary?

"Executive producer Casey Hudson says that the events witnessed in Mass Effect 3 is as far as he wishes to go.
While not yet sure what the franchise will tackle next, “whatever we do would likely happen before or during the events of Mass Effect 3, not after,” he says."

So while it may seem reasonable, your assumption was wrong, though this may have changed due to the situation. This is one of the reasons people are interested in more closure.

Furthermore, any DLC or whatever they do to 'change' the ending, you don't need to participate in. Things can stay just the way you'd like them to! So you can have it the way you want it, and then others can have it the way they want it. (Though as you said previously, there is no pleasing everybody.) At least that sounds more in line with what they promised.
 
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134. Re: Mass Effect 3 Ending Changes Planned Mar 22, 2012, 17:58 RollinThundr
 
finga wrote on Mar 22, 2012, 17:36:
Jerykk wrote on Mar 22, 2012, 12:37:
Jerykk, I found it pretty easy to figure out the ends to the genophage, Geth/Quarian, and species relations stories in my playthrough. Those choices did make it through from the first through the third game for me, and I don't need the game spelling out every event to their last letter. Maybe future DLC will handle that, but if it doesn't, is it really that difficult for it to be left a little bit open?

I seriously doubt you could figure out the long-term (and by long-term, I mean well past ME3) impacts of curing the genophage, saving the Rachni queen or giving the Geth individuality. If the Krogan Rebellion was any indication, allowing Krogan to breed without hindrance ends badly. However, with Wrex and the Queen in charge, maybe that wouldn't be the case this time. Both possibilities are equally viable but the ending doesn't provide any closure. And I'm sure that saving the Rachni would have implications that extend far beyond getting some extra workers on the Crucible. 20 years after ME3, would they still be so cooperative? Or would they be trying to regain their former glory? And would the newly empowered Geth remain peaceful or would they eventually become the next Reapers?

There are tons of loose ends that ME3's ending doesn't tie up. Sure, I can try and imagine the long-term consequences of my choices but that kind of defeats the whole point of choice and consequence.
Seems reasonable that this is what future sequels would cover. Let that writing happen then rather than now. One thing that the developers have never wavered on is that the first three games is Shepard's story, and it ends in ME3 (and presumably the DLC).

We saw plenty of choice and consequence in ME3. No, we don't see what happens 20 years down the road; why, was that really necessary?

That meant nothing since the entire fleet was stranded on earth to starve to death, and your crew, that was on earth with you 5 mins prior magically warped onto a fleeing Normandy for no reason.

I don't think the ending/bioware defenders get it, people aren't looking for a rainbows and unicorns ending, one that may any sort of sense and presented at least a tiny bit of closure however would be nice.
 
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133. Re: Mass Effect 3 Ending Changes Planned Mar 22, 2012, 17:36 finga
 
Jerykk wrote on Mar 22, 2012, 12:37:
Jerykk, I found it pretty easy to figure out the ends to the genophage, Geth/Quarian, and species relations stories in my playthrough. Those choices did make it through from the first through the third game for me, and I don't need the game spelling out every event to their last letter. Maybe future DLC will handle that, but if it doesn't, is it really that difficult for it to be left a little bit open?

I seriously doubt you could figure out the long-term (and by long-term, I mean well past ME3) impacts of curing the genophage, saving the Rachni queen or giving the Geth individuality. If the Krogan Rebellion was any indication, allowing Krogan to breed without hindrance ends badly. However, with Wrex and the Queen in charge, maybe that wouldn't be the case this time. Both possibilities are equally viable but the ending doesn't provide any closure. And I'm sure that saving the Rachni would have implications that extend far beyond getting some extra workers on the Crucible. 20 years after ME3, would they still be so cooperative? Or would they be trying to regain their former glory? And would the newly empowered Geth remain peaceful or would they eventually become the next Reapers?

There are tons of loose ends that ME3's ending doesn't tie up. Sure, I can try and imagine the long-term consequences of my choices but that kind of defeats the whole point of choice and consequence.
Seems reasonable that this is what future sequels would cover. Let that writing happen then rather than now. One thing that the developers have never wavered on is that the first three games is Shepard's story, and it ends in ME3 (and presumably the DLC).

We saw plenty of choice and consequence in ME3. No, we don't see what happens 20 years down the road; why, was that really necessary?
 
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