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View Full Version : Mass Effect 3 - The universe without telephones (or twitter)



Labbes
15-02-2012, 04:28 PM
Demo spoilers (i.e. first ~30min)
So I just finished the ME3 demo, and apart from all the quite fun (but uninspired) shooty and squady bits, there is one thing that bothers me: The plot is absolutely ridiculous.
Now, I realise that ME1 and 2 don't have the best story either, and I think everyone was disappointed when in ME2, people still didn't believe the reapers existed. However, there had been only one.

At the start of ME3, a whole armada of reapers starts pillaging Earth. Now you must take the Normandy and fly to the Citadel to get help.
What is this, the middle ages?? Imagine that today, an army of killerrobots would start destroying your country. It would be on twitter and facebook in mere seconds. But I am to believe that in the Mass Effect universe, there is no interstellar communication?
I don't think that a little thought on behalf of the writers is expected too much for the finale of a trilogy (I'm looking at you, Episode 3), or am I the only one bothered by this?

Heliocentric
15-02-2012, 04:38 PM
Maybe the citadel thinks it's a ddos attack.

agentorange
15-02-2012, 04:42 PM
I don't know what kind of light-speed/warp systems the ships in ME utilize, or how far away the citadel is from Earf; but it's possible that ships can reach the citadel faster than a signal.

But it's more likely just lazy writing.

Cooper
15-02-2012, 04:42 PM
Wave-based signalling, even at light-speed, would take years to travel from Earth to the location of the citadel. In ME this is got around by using Comm Bouys which send signals at ftl speeds, using similar technologies to the gates used in the game.

http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Codex/Technology#Communications

One would assume the reapers have destroyed the comm bouys. In which case getting their by ship is the fastest route for communication. What the writers probably didn't make apparent was this disruption in the communication network.

Twitter is not magic. It too is predicated upon a whole range of technologies. Destory phone masts and satellite transcievers and twitter is useless too. But good infrastructure is invisible until it breaks down or is destroyed.

Nalano
15-02-2012, 04:44 PM
What is this, the middle ages?? Imagine that today, an army of killerrobots would start destroying your country. It would be on twitter and facebook in mere seconds. But I am to believe that in the Mass Effect universe, there is no interstellar communication?

One of the first things they say in the ME3 intro is that all communication past the Sol system is cut off. It's been established over the last two games that their interstellar internet and telecom is based off the mass effect portals, which were put there by the very beings that are kicking their asses right now.

Anthile
15-02-2012, 04:47 PM
They tell you in the other games that pretty much the first thing the reapers do is cutting the phone wires.

"During wartime, comm buoy networks are the first target of an attack. Once the network is severed, it can take anywhere from weeks to years to get a message out of a contested system. In systems where a buoy network has not yet been built or has been destroyed, rapid communication means ferrying information through high-speed courier ships and unmanned data drones."
-from the codex

Edit: Too late :(

desvergeh
15-02-2012, 04:48 PM
One of the first things they say in the ME3 intro is that all communication past the Sol system is cut off. It's been established over the last two games that their interstellar internet and telecom is based off the mass effect portals, which were put there by the very beings that are kicking their asses right now.

One of the comments, made my Anderson I think, relates to the lack of communication from Admiral Hackett, who is defending the Sol system with the Alliance fleet. So presumably the reapers are able to enforce some kind of communications disruption, even between forces within the same system.

Convenient, yes. But there does seem to be an explanation there.

agentorange
15-02-2012, 04:53 PM
They tell you in the other games that pretty much the first thing the reapers do is cutting the phone wires.

"During wartime, comm buoy networks are the first target of an attack. Once the network is severed, it can take anywhere from weeks to years to get a message out of a contested system. In systems where a buoy network has not yet been built or has been destroyed, rapid communication means ferrying information through high-speed courier ships and unmanned data drones."
-from the codex

Edit: Too late :(

Wait, so, they know for sure that the enemy will cut their communication off, and have known for years; yet they've never bothered to develop some back up system to avoid being completely cut off.

Serenegoose
15-02-2012, 04:55 PM
Wait, so, they know for sure that the enemy will cut their communication off, and have known for years; yet they've never bothered to develop some back up system to avoid being completely cut off.

If your only method of getting signals out is through comm buoys or courier ships... you can't just magic up a backup that doesn't use either more comm buoys or courier ships. That's not how technology works.

Labbes
15-02-2012, 04:55 PM
I imagine the conversation in the defense comittee went something like this:
"Sir, we're picking up thousands of ships on the long range scanners."
"Could it be the reapers?"
"We can't be sure, sir."
"Very well. We'll investigate and notify the Citadel in...two weeks or so."

Anthile
15-02-2012, 04:56 PM
Wait, so, they know for sure that the enemy will cut their communication off, and have known for years; yet they've never bothered to develop some back up system to avoid being completely cut off.

Well, the council is in denial of the reaper threat the whole time, so yeah.

Nalano
15-02-2012, 04:57 PM
Wait, so, they know for sure that the enemy will cut their communication off, and have known for years; yet they've never bothered to develop some back up system to avoid being completely cut off.

The whole point of the entire series is that nobody has been able to build a mass effect gate. About the most complicated thing they've figured out how to do with the ones that already exist is turn them on, and relied on throwing big rocks at 'em (http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Arrival) to turn 'em off again.

So, I ask: What backup system?


"Sir, we're picking up thousands of ships on the long range scanners."

Remember how Mass Effects 1 and 2 started? I don't remember them ever showing up on long-range scanners.

Serenegoose
15-02-2012, 04:57 PM
I imagine the conversation in the defense comittee went something like this:
"Sir, we're picking up thousands of ships on the long range scanners."
"Could it be the reapers?"
"We can't be sure, sir."
"Very well. We'll investigate and notify the Citadel in...two weeks or so."

If a ship is moving towards you at faster than light speed, you need scanners that can operate in a faster than light capacity, because any emissions from the ships will arrive after the ships. Long range scanners might not necessarily exist in such a context.

Berzee
15-02-2012, 05:23 PM
*waves hand vaguely*
Quantum.

Grizzly
15-02-2012, 05:34 PM
Wait, so, they know for sure that the enemy will cut their communication off, and have known for years; yet they've never bothered to develop some back up system to avoid being completely cut off.

Well, cerberus apperently did, but it is ridiciously expensive.

The JG Man
15-02-2012, 06:03 PM
Apart from using the relays for communications, the only other long-form communication we know of is that used between Illusive Man and the Normandy in 2 (which is actually based off real technology that exists today). The problem with that is that you can only have one bridge at a time, requiring you to have multiple set-ups. If one of those is broken, for whatever reason, it would get incredibly slow. Not to mention the fact that these are the Reapers we're talking about. Their M.O. at the very start of an invasion is to eradicate communications and structure. The best way to get a message really would be face to face.

Bhazor
15-02-2012, 06:03 PM
"Hey Admiral, we've lost all contact with the Earths solar system."
"Oh well. I'm sure its just a cable that needs jiggling or something. No need to send anyone to have a look."

But don't start picking holes in the fiction or there'll be nothing left.

I mean these people have been living on the relay stations for centuries and never bothered trying to figure out how they work? The reapers wait until their prey has formed a formidable space empire before harvesting them? Wouldn't it make more sense to just harvest in the early industrial phase? What if the prey didn't use the Citadel as the centre of administration? What if they just used it as a hotel and set up their own communication network outside it? Would the great invasion fleet just pull over and ask for directions? In a setting in which sentient robots have been knocking about for centuries why are they even bothering collecting biological entities? Why would you move all government and administration into a building you have zero control of? If Citadel was supposed to just be a big trap why didn't they hide poisonous gas capsules in every room and just trigger them like 6 hours before they arrive? Why are ships with a supposed combat effective range of thousands of kilometers bunched up so close at the end of the first game? Why didn't those extinct aliens just leave a fucking video recording or co-ordinates to the Citadel with a big "FUCK NO" written next to them instead of the incomphrensible oblelisks? Why exactly are humans so high ranking in the council? Why does my galaxy saving spec force task team include only 3 people with military training, a disgraced cop, a known violent criminal, a known sociopath, a horny scientist with zero weapons training and a piece of walking fanservice? Isn't there some kind of elite task force made of legendary heroes available to the council, who are free to work as they please in pursuit of goals of galactic importance? (http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Spectres) Is it worth pointing out that basic genetics render the whole sterilisation bioweapon thing pointless, what about the remote colonies that weren't affected? If reapers are capable of orbital bombardment why does one trailer show a reaper chasing after Shep on the surface where it is killed by a fucking worm? Why do those worms have armour than some spaceships? Are you really telling me chitin is stronger than any synthetic armour?


Apart from using the relays for communications, the only other long-form communication we know of is that used between Illusive Man and the Normandy in 2 (which is actually based off real technology that exists today). The problem with that is that you can only have one bridge at a time, requiring you to have multiple set-ups. If one of those is broken, for whatever reason, it would get incredibly slow. Not to mention the fact that these are the Reapers we're talking about. Their M.O. at the very start of an invasion is to eradicate communications and structure. The best way to get a message really would be face to face.

So the center of power in the galaxy doesn't think to have a direct link to the planets of it's embassies? If power was cut its incredibly easy to set up a dead man's switch, "when signal is cut to x without authorization y automatically transmitt signal z". The phrase "too dumb to live" springs to mind.

Nalano
15-02-2012, 06:48 PM
I mean these people have been living on the relay stations for centuries and never bothered trying to figure out how they work?

They tried. They just didn't succeed. The unlucky folks who became the Collectors were at the cusp of figuring it out when they got clobbered.


The reapers wait until their prey has formed a formidable space empire before harvesting them? Wouldn't it make more sense to just harvest in the early industrial phase? What if the prey didn't use the Citadel as the centre of administration? What if they just used it as a hotel and set up their own communication network outside it?

Because they stand nothing to learn from early industrial production. The way I understand it, the Reapers are very advanced, but unable to adapt and without adaption, any species will die. We're basically really, really long-term petri dishes that they might solidify their lead.

Because all roads point to the Citadel. It was built as a natural center of communications and shipping. And since nobody could figure out how to build gates of their own, they couldn't just build a new center somewhere else.

And even so, look what's changed: They came, and their first target wasn't the Citadel. Their first target was Earth, 'cause fuck Shepard!


So the center of power in the galaxy doesn't think to have a direct link to the planets of it's embassies? If power was cut its incredibly easy to set up a dead man's switch, "when signal is cut to x without authorization y automatically transmitt signal z". The phrase "too dumb to live" springs to mind.

You mean the center of power that hasn't, throughout the first two games, even conceived of a possibility of crazy robot overlords swooping in from beyond the galaxy and kicking their asses. They've been set up for invasions from alien races much more their level, and have taken pretty huge steps to stave that off.

vecordae
15-02-2012, 06:51 PM
Seriously, folks. This is bioware we're talking about. They'll gladly toss out established in-game logic, established characters, and background lore whenever it gets in the way of whatever new half-baked ideas pop into their heads.

Tei
15-02-2012, 07:01 PM
Don't make any sense.

If a whole country "mute" and produce no comunication, everyone will activate the red alert. Total lack of communication is a very strong signal. And If ships can escape the blockade, will inform about it.

Its completelly illogical.

Nalano
15-02-2012, 07:04 PM
Don't make any sense.

If a whole country "mute" and produce no comunication, everyone will activate the red alert. Total lack of communication is a very strong signal. And If ships can escape the blockade, will inform about it.

Its completelly illogical.

They did go on red alert. And it wasn't enough.

Serenegoose
15-02-2012, 07:08 PM
I think this is really just highlighting the divide between shit the player knows to be the case, and shit a country can reasonably prepare for.

How many countries right now do you think have real contingency plans for alien invasion from a race of genocidal robots. How many army divisions will be like DAMN THIS IS WHAT WE GOT HELD IN RESERVE FOR - or hidden communication lines, or whatever. They're caught unprepared because the reapers are an Outside Context Problem. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outside_context_problem#OCP) Just because we, the player, know they exist, doesn't mean that society has spent millenia waiting for magic robots lurking outside the galaxy to descend upon them with ideas of lunch.

Subatomic
15-02-2012, 07:10 PM
We can sit here all day and rationalize and counter-rationalize each and every plot point, but what's the point? In the end, everyone has a different limit to their willing suspension of disbelief. And judging by this thread, a lot of people let their negativity towards Bioware / the Mass Effect series colour their perception a bit too much.

The JG Man
15-02-2012, 07:15 PM
If a whole country "mute" and produce no comunication, everyone will activate the red alert. Total lack of communication is a very strong signal. And If ships can escape the blockade, will inform about it.

Sure...but everyone has to activate their own red alert as soon as they find out about it because the comms are down. The ships that do escape, who do they tell? If they run to the people who are at the top of the structure, that makes sense? Except, they can't do anything because they can't communicate too! At best you need large, fleet-wide movements in close proximity, which means huge gaps in your defence. This is meaningless anyhow because one Reaper, albeit with some help, was unstoppable against several combined fleets.

This is exactly what the Reapers want and do; divide and conquer. Or annihilate.

TsunamiWombat
15-02-2012, 07:49 PM
All FTL communication (and technology in general) uses conduit/mass effect tech, which was created and left behind by the Reapers so that original/distinct technology would never be developed. The first thing the Reapers do is scramble communication, cut it off, or falsify it.

Arguably, yes, the Citadel would realize something was wrong almost immediately, but their knee jerk wouldn't be ALIEN INVASION OUT OF NOWHERE it would be "huh, relays busted somewhere, send out a repair crew". Also keep in mind the Council, with the exception of Anderson, doesn't even believe in the reapers because they're playing the disbelieving superiors cliche. Well, at least the Turian doesn't, and the Asari probably isn't willing to disrupt the political balance by disagreeing for the sake of one humans word, and the Salarians never do anything above board so he remains silent as well.

It does make sense, to be honest, because the Reapers have ensured that socially unevolved species acquire evolved technology before their time - thus, all society and technology proceeds along the lines they deem fit by prior engineering.

goatmonkey
15-02-2012, 08:05 PM
I got the impression that it was more to force the council into action than because they didn't know what was going on.

The Innocent
15-02-2012, 08:05 PM
It does make sense, to be honest...

But it doesn't make sense. As has been said before, Normandy 2 has a point-to-point communication system (the Quantum Entanglement Communicator or something). I'd think that the Citadel would have a similar setup with every council species' homeworld. Because, you know, that sort of backup would make sense.

I'm fine with suspending my disbelief here though. I just have to accept that everyone involved with the Citadel Council is dumb as rocks. Which fits everyone's behavior up to this point, so it's not much of a stretch to assume it's the case with ME3 too.

Juan Carlo
15-02-2012, 08:06 PM
I don't care about plot holes. I just want everyone to die at the end.

EVERYONE!

(and no I don't want this dependent on doing side quests like in ME2)

I want this to be a trilogy and I want ME3 to be the end, not just a shitty cliffhanger where they leave the possibility of super secret reapers no one knew about who might come back just in case ME3 sells really well.

Bhazor
15-02-2012, 08:08 PM
They tried. They just didn't succeed. The unlucky folks who became the Collectors were at the cusp of figuring it out when they got clobbered.
Then try harder. Seriously, they didn't think of robotic probes? Tagging the caretakers? Drilling a hole and just wandering about inside? Given that the blue chicks are heavily made out to be a race of scientists (and fanfic bait twilek stand ins) and they just give up looking? Can you imagine the US setting up an embassy in a mysterious aztec ruin where they can't check for bugs just because it's right on the highway? I mean do they even have control of the life support?


Because they stand nothing to learn from early industrial production. The way I understand it, the Reapers are very advanced, but unable to adapt and without adaption, any species will die. We're basically really, really long-term petri dishes that they might solidify their lead.
Nope. They're too primitive to learn anything from. It would be like the US conquering the Inuit for their ground breaking technology. If they really wanted to pull that angle they should have set up observation posts and watched from a dozen galaxies away. Instead all they're doing is exposing themselves to things they have no defense of. What if the prey had developed somekind of super virus and bam instagibbed the moment they access the Citadel. Just tens of thousands of dead ships and a very surprised ground control team.


And even so, look what's changed: They came, and their first target wasn't the Citadel. Their first target was Earth, 'cause fuck Shepard!
Nope. First target was the citadel but that didn't work because (surprise) the space faring united galactic space fleet was there and thought the scout off. Speaking of which one ship wiped out half that fleet and now in the trailers I've seen three ships destroyed by Shepard. And a worm.




You mean the center of power that hasn't, throughout the first two games, even conceived of a possibility of crazy robot overlords swooping in from beyond the galaxy and kicking their asses. They've been set up for invasions from alien races much more their level, and have taken pretty huge steps to stave that off.
That still doesn't explain how the home planet of a council race can just vanish off the net without any automated distress response.

Grizzly
15-02-2012, 08:08 PM
But it doesn't make sense. As has been said before, Normandy 2 has a point-to-point communication system (the Quantum Entanglement Communicator or something). I'd think that the Citadel would have a similar setup with every council species' homeworld. Because, you know, that sort of backup would make sense.

I'm fine with suspending my disbelief here though.

Cerberus apperently did not bother sharing it with others.

Tei
15-02-2012, 08:16 PM
Also keep in mind the Council, with the exception of Anderson, doesn't even believe in the reapers because they're playing the disbelieving superiors cliche. Well, at least the Turian doesn't, and the Asari probably isn't willing to disrupt the political balance by disagreeing for the sake of one humans word, and the Salarians never do anything above board so he remains silent as well.

I don't remember ME1 and ME2 well, but I remember that at the end of ME1 a big reaper attack the capital city/ship.
It sould be hard to be exceptic about something, wen you are attacked by one of then, and is huge and almost destroy the biggest know city on the whole civilization.

Also, probably have scientist and are already reverse-engineering these reaper "minions".

The JG Man
15-02-2012, 08:21 PM
I don't care about plot holes. I just want everyone to die at the end.

I actually think that's a possibility. Definitely one for the "Everything Sucks" run.


Tagging the caretakers? // Drilling a hole and just wandering about inside? / and they just give up looking? // I mean do they even have control of the life support? // What if the prey had developed somekind of super virus and bam instagibbed the moment they access the Citadel. // First target was the citadel but that didn't work because (surprise) the space faring united galactic space fleet was there and thought the scout off. // That still doesn't explain how the home planet of a council race can just vanish off the net without any automated distress response.

In order:
1. They did. And they found something. Remember that side quest in ME1? It put them down the path to finding something out, but considering we have no idea how long these cycles have been going on for, what exactly do you expect them to uncover in 2 years + duration of and after ME2? I would suspect very little.
2/a/b - To find what, exactly? They believe everything to be Prothean tech. So far, the only people that know the Protheans survived are Alliance command, those who believe it anyhow, Shepard and crew and The Illusive Man, who wouldn't tell anyone until he's salvaged any available tech. Even if they did find something, again, the Citadel is potentially millions of years old; the tech developed is purposefully not as advanced as the Reapers, just different enough. They only allow certain things to be understandable, all to make it easier for them to act later on. So things like life support are accessible and controllable because the Reapers allow it.

3. Then they eliminate the efficient precaution and go for the en-masse devastation, which is exactly what they're doing now.
4. Sovereign was assuredly only defeated because its avatar had been destroyed. This is a ship that rammed through other ships to get to its objective in a straight line, taking absolutely no damage. It didn't care that it was being attacked because they could do nothing. It was only taken out when it ship was 'empty' of defence.
5. I think you're missing the point. Earth is under attack first, sure, but to what degree? Send in a scout first to make sure it wasn't just a tech problem? Send an entire fleet? Oh, you can't do that, because the entire galaxy is under attack! What's more important, one world, which just so happens to be a home world, or scores of others?

@Tei - The Council hand-waved Sovereign as being a named lead ship of the Geth force. Whether or not you think they're stupid for not looking into it further, sure, but considering the Geth were going a bit doo-lally with folks anyhow, it makes more sense to believe it was part of them then some ancient robotic super-race that every 50,000 years annihilates the galaxy. Even if it is only denial.

Drake Sigar
15-02-2012, 08:23 PM
I don't remember ME1 and ME2 well, but I remember that at the end of ME1 a big reaper attack the capital city/ship.
It sould be hard to be exceptic about something, wen you are attacked by one of then, and is huge and almost destroy the biggest know city on the whole civilization.
Yeah, to me this sounds like Transformers 2 where the existence of the Transformers is a secret, even though they spent the last movie tearing up a city which apparently doesn't posses a single phone came- you know what, just roll with it.

archonsod
15-02-2012, 08:30 PM
If a whole country "mute" and produce no comunication, everyone will activate the red alert.

Yes, but it still doesn't entail doing anything. It's a fine line between checking on the neighbours and provoking a nuclear exchange because you violated their sovereignty. And that's for individual nations; it takes the UN weeks to do anything simply because meetings have to be organised and agenda's agreed upon, and then everyone from every nation gets their two hour speech on why you should / shouldn't investigate, and after that you need to take a vote. And only then can you start talking about what you're going to do about it. Which needs similar meetings. And votes.
And the Council works on exactly the same system.


We can sit here all day and rationalize and counter-rationalize each and every plot point, but what's the point?

Well, it's a good way of finding out how many people understand what the word "fiction" means.


But it doesn't make sense. As has been said before, Normandy 2 has a point-to-point communication system (the Quantum Entanglement Communicator or something). I'd think that the Citadel would have a similar setup with every council species' homeworld. Because, you know, that sort of backup would make sense.

Why? You think there's a room in UN headquarters with redundant communications to every single member nation on the incredibly unlikely chance their entire nation suddenly vanishes? Some of those nations are small enough that they vanish every time their neighbours open a door ...
The only place on the Citadel likely to even be that concerned about communication with Earth, or indeed humanity in general, would be the embassy. Assuming that's the case (and to be fair it's a likely one) the ambassador would know about it. Except he already knows the Reapers are coming; it's the three other Council members he has to convince that would be the problem.


Can you imagine the US setting up an embassy in a mysterious aztec ruin where they can't check for bugs just because it's right on the highway? I mean do they even have control of the life support?

Anything sufficiently advanced can be impossible to reverse engineer because you're lacking the basic concepts necessary to understand it's operation (and that's before we consider the wisdom of mucking about with something containing sufficient energy to accelerate things to FTL speed. I'm pretty sure any race which had discovered atomic theory would be somewhat cautious about just drilling holes into it at random).
A more apt analogy would be giving the Aztec empire a nuclear reactor. They're not going to understand it because they don't even know what an atom is, and the most likely result of any attempt to investigate it on their behalf is highly likely to wipe out their empire in short and fiery order.

Bhazor
15-02-2012, 08:44 PM
@ JGMan

1) The blue chicks have been there for centuries and never bothered reverse engineering or even thought of tagging the caretakers. Too dumb to live.

2) Hundreds of years and no attempt to work it out. Any engineer or scientist worth his initials would have cracked that shit open and analysed every single component.

3&4) And what if they weren't? What if the races had developed weapons that just happened to by pass their shields in unexpected ways. Or if they're form of electronic communication was deadly to them like passing 40,000 volts through a lightbulb and merely getting hit with a radiowave made their head explode. Either they're too primitive to learn from or they're advanced enough to be a threat. When you have sentient AI theres no need to bother trying to deal with fiddly, fickle, free willed sentient life forms. Maybe there'll be a twist where they aren't after the tech but are after their hot red haired bisexuals (any civilizations most precious natural resource) or something.

5) Huh, you'd think that whole human fleet from the end of the first game would be happy to visit. Again a key planet vanishes off the map with no automated distress call or a little warning light.

TsunamiWombat
15-02-2012, 08:45 PM
Regarding: Normandy 2's P2P communication

Normandy 2's Point to Point communication utilizes quantum entanglement, that is, two quantum molecules created with entangled states - when one thing alters the state of one molecule, the other is also instantly affected. This is based LOOSELY on real life attempts to create quantum computers. In ME2, Shepherd outright asks EDI (or does if you bother to talk to her) why this technology isn't more widely used. Simple answer? It's expensive. Terribly expensive and labor intensive. Mass Effect Relay based technology. Citadel, like any other large bureaucracy, is clinically adverse to 'unnecessary' expenditure - see the state of C-Sec and Space/Landing Control for evidence. Mass Effect Relay based technology has been durable, relatively infallible, and is cheap and easy to produce - developing an alternative communication system for an exorbitant cost when there is no problem with the existing system would draw a tremendous outcry from the vox populi paying for such with their taxes and demonized by political rivals/bureaucrats, effectively being a tremendous snafu for any council member to propose (see also: any modern democracy)

Regarding: The Reaper that attacked Citadel at the end of ME1

The idea of Reapers is outright suppressed by the Council - after Shepherds disaperance pre-ME2, the Council blames the entire affair on the Geth (claiming Sovereign was an experimental Geth Warship) and call into question Shepherds mental stability/quality of word. As democratic politicians (who are admittedly, holding the stories Idiot Ball), the Council 1. Doesn't want to Create a Panic and 2. Wants to convince people they have everything under control to make themselves look better. Acknowleding the Reapers as a threat means publicly acknowledging a race and power outside the sphere of their control - Council Democracy is strongly dependent on the percieved military supremacy and social superiority to maintain control of renegade systems and races and generally maintain a fragile political stability. Status quote is important for these people, and comparisons can be drawn to blind/unambitious Roman era politicians who simply want to maintain the state and their own political dominance.

All of this is explained in the game, people. Does no one read? :\

Re: Lack of Attempts to reverse engineer the Caretakers/the Councils idiotball

I'm open to the theory that someone on the council is a Reaper pawn, personally.

There were attempts to RE the Caretakers, these all generally failed, and was shown to interfere with the upkeep of the Citadel, and was thus illegalized since hundreds, maybe thousands of years passed without incident from them.

Subatomic
15-02-2012, 08:53 PM
5) Huh, you'd think that whole human fleet from the end of the first game would be happy to visit. Again a key planet vanishes off the map with no automated distress call or a little warning light.

I already regret getting involved in this, but whatever... who says there wasn't an alarm / warning on the citadel that earth has vanished from the communication grid? All we got to see in the demo was Shepard's limited point of view, who at the end of mission one flys off on the Normandy to organize a counter offensive. We don't know what the reaction was on the Citadel at that time, for all we know they already declared red alert for the whole fleet and send scout ships to find out what happened.

FunnyB
15-02-2012, 09:03 PM
Don't make any sense.

If a whole country "mute" and produce no comunication, everyone will activate the red alert. Total lack of communication is a very strong signal. And If ships can escape the blockade, will inform about it.

Its completelly illogical.

Yet no one in the council cared when the human worlds were picked off one by one in Mass Effect 2. "It's your problem for settling there." was practically what the entire council said. No one heard about it, and if they did, they certainly didn't care.

Scumbag
15-02-2012, 09:12 PM
Play a demo
Know the whole story

TsunamiWombat
15-02-2012, 09:17 PM
Play a demo
Know the whole story

I see what you did there

Moraven
15-02-2012, 09:31 PM
The Borg just needs to come in, assimilate all and be done with it.

Nalano
15-02-2012, 10:05 PM
Cerberus apperently did not bother sharing it with others.

Not to mention it's point-to-point, ludicrously expensive, proprietary, and doesn't have all that much bandwidth anyhow.


All of this is explained in the game, people. Does no one read? :\

If you have to ask... :\

Kadayi
15-02-2012, 10:38 PM
One of the first things they say in the ME3 intro is that all communication past the Sol system is cut off. It's been established over the last two games that their interstellar internet and telecom is based off the mass effect portals, which were put there by the very beings that are kicking their asses right now.

^This. 10 char.

soldant
16-02-2012, 03:53 AM
Yeah, to me this sounds like Transformers 2 where the existence of the Transformers is a secret, even though they spent the last movie tearing up a city which apparently doesn't posses a single phone came- you know what, just roll with it.
In Mass Effect 2, when you visit the Citadel to talk to Anderson, he makes it clear that the Council still refused to really acknowledge the Reaper threat. Nobody but Shepard spoke to the VI on Ilos, so they won't verify Shepard's side of the story. Basically the Council shoved their heads back up their arse and ignored everything. None of them are satisfied that the threat is real and didn't end with Saren and the heretic Geth invasion.



As for communication: interstellar civilisation is entirely based on Reaper technology, which the Reapers ensure happens specifically so that they can wreck everybody for whatever reason every cycle. The VI on Ilos explains that the Reapers cut everybody off and knocked them off one by one. The mass relays, the citadel, all the Reaper tech is one big Trojan horse. It's not inconceivable that comms have been cut off. It's also probable that the Citadel is going apeshit about it, but because we've basically seen bugger all in the demo when it comes to the story, none of us are in a position to say what the Citadel are doing.

gwathdring
16-02-2012, 04:22 AM
I have a lot of issues with the plotting in ME1 and ME2, but few of them have to do with suspension of disbelief and I really don't agree with and/or mind most of the problems pointed out by the OP.

If I were to pick something that stood out to me as improbable, it is the Reapers farming organic life for improved technology. It is not a sensible course of action in the slightest, for many many reasons. However, I'm perfectly willing to believe that the Reapers (and everyone else in the Mass Effect universe) are capable of making bad decisions. Even basing their existence around such bad decisions. It is very easy to, as the outsider with all of the meta-fiction access, look at characters in a work of fiction and pick out all of their bad decisions as frustrating and unrealistic. It is less easy to accept the occurrences presented to you and work backwards to develop your theories of mind and motivation--and realizing that in fiction even more so than in real life, those minds and motivations are bound to be unrealistic and flawed.

Clearly some people here have payed closer attention to the Mass Effect fiction than others. I've picked up a number of tidbits I hadn't noticed/remembered myself. But the main thrust of this discussion seems to revolve around interpretation: more about whether or not the story works for each of us than whether it matches some objective standard of sensibility. For my part, I dislike many parts of Mass Effect 2 that make relatively objective contextual sense. I simply found the context unappealing.

On that note, perhaps it would be more telling to investigate why Mass Effect's contextual framework causes this reaction among so many (myself included), rather than focusing so much on the precise nature of that framework. I feel it would make a more even-footed discussion; those of us lacking investment in the fiction are much more prone to miss details and misunderstand plot points than those of us dedicated or invested enough to pour over codex entries or make multiple play-throughs or even just pay more attention.

Nalano
16-02-2012, 04:39 AM
On that note, perhaps it would be more telling to investigate why Mass Effect's contextual framework causes this reaction among so many (myself included), rather than focusing so much on the precise nature of that framework.

So... you want us to explain to you why you have cognitive dissonance after a superficial perusal of the setting, but without using any of the details in the related literature?

DigitalSignalX
16-02-2012, 08:16 AM
If it can explain why the ability to crouch disappeared, sure.

Subatomic
16-02-2012, 08:22 AM
If it can explain why the ability to crouch disappeared, sure.

Yeah, that's just stupid design I guess. Crouching gave you greater accuracy at the cost of speed, I can't think of any good reason to take it out... it's not like there aren't enough buttons on a gamepad for it. If one button does almost every interaction with the environment, we can't even blame it on the consoles.

TheGodzillaHunter
16-02-2012, 03:48 PM
I assumed that you were being sent not to inform, but to convince.

The council is known to not be especially helpful, and might decide not to send the fleets to Earth, and rather protect themselves. That's how I saw it, anyways.

Nalano
16-02-2012, 04:11 PM
The council is known to not be especially helpful, and might decide not to send the fleets to Earth, and rather protect themselves. That's how I saw it, anyways.

I always saw the arc of the first two games as clearly pointing out that Shepard was manufacturing a galactic coalition out of whole cloth: Getting humanity on equal terms with the Powers That Be, saving the Asari's fittingly yonic fleet, putting Wrex on the throne where he attempts to unite the Krogan race and getting Mordin to admit that Salarian policy is a mite harsh, saving an entire race of space-faring bugs who would love to return the favor, befriending and uniting all of the Geth and getting Tali not to shoot them on sight, having a girlfriend who happens to be the galaxy's foremost spy... it's almost as if everything Shepard's been doing was meant to pile on the goodwill such that they'd all be receptive if she came around and asked for backup.

(Unless you didn't do all those things, in which case you're probably gonna get the bad ending :P)

Heliocentric
16-02-2012, 04:18 PM
I need only one spoiler when the game comes out and I will play it with a smile on my face. Can I kill the illusive man, if at all possible while he kneels begging for his life. And I'm paragon.
ME2 forcing you to side with cerberus was a massive betrayal by bioware, one they better justify with "you had a computer chip in your brain when they remade you", then proceed to a renegade option where you cut it out using the illusive man's ripped out jaw bone (paragon players just meditative ignore it) and then take off into orbit with him alive but bleeding heavily strapped to the front of the ship.

Did I mention I despise the illusive man?

I see 2 plausible 'good endings' human racial supremacy, and united races. The endings of. Mass effect 1 quite clearly earmarked this.

Nalano
16-02-2012, 04:38 PM
ME2 forcing you to side with cerberus was a massive betrayal by bioware

I, too, didn't like working with Cerberus, especially since I took Sole Survivor trait in ME1 and immensely enjoyed killing them where-ever I went, but not being dead goes a long way (and being able to work where the Alliance military abjectly refuses to go was nice) plus I bankrupted them, stole their best ship and fucked up the Illusive Man's over-arching plot in the meantime. How's that for gratitude, huh?


I see 2 plausible 'good endings' human racial supremacy, and united races. The endings of. Mass effect 1 quite clearly earmarked this.

I fail to see how the first is a "good ending" when it's fairly evident humanity can't win this on their own.

Heliocentric
16-02-2012, 05:02 PM
On its own? No, but as a master race leading the others (ala startrek) I think it might work.

Anthile
16-02-2012, 05:53 PM
I played through both Mass Effects as renegade, throwing people out of windows left and right. I ended up murdering ("made it look like a noble sacrifice") the council at the end of the first game only to see that the human-dominated council isn't any smarter, go figure.
I hope I can end ME3 the only possible renegade way: crowning myself god-emperor of mankind and take over the galaxy.

DigitalSignalX
16-02-2012, 06:03 PM
I need only one spoiler when the game comes out and I will play it with a smile on my face. ....

take off into orbit with him alive but bleeding heavily strapped to the front of the ship.

This would be possibly the best thing ever. Completely Firefly Reaver style ftw.

The JG Man
16-02-2012, 06:11 PM
I ended up murdering ("made it look like a noble sacrifice") the council at the end of the first game

The only 'renegade' decision I made in all of ME1. It wasn't even the renegade one, it was the middle one. "The Council is important, but ultimately, it's one ship. We need everyone we can to save everything else." I went for what I thought was the tactical decision, but come 2, I was actually a bastard to all other races.

Heliocentric
16-02-2012, 06:44 PM
It's hardly bastardry, they were hardly sacrificing their own to save humans were they?

Scumbag
16-02-2012, 06:48 PM
Since people are talking about the technical oddities of the ME series and how ME3 has changed some things. Aside from Ash, has FemShep had a bit of a boost as well? Dunno if it was just the preset I picked for the demo here or what she is wearing / stances she used seemed to make me look more.

843

Bhazor
16-02-2012, 07:26 PM
Speaking of endings.

It's precursors therefore the will be an ending where Shepard is turned into a god like reaper. Bioware have already ticked every other box in the sci-fi cliche checklist so I'd be much more surprised if they didn't than if they did.

Kadayi
16-02-2012, 08:24 PM
I hope I can end ME3 the only possible renegade way: crowning myself god-emperor of mankind and take over the galaxy.

tell me of your homeworld usul


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_fzSc_i0Tc

They totally need to made a Dune RPG btw.

Tei
16-02-2012, 08:47 PM
The Teilaxu are the best race ever. But you powindah will not understand.

TsunamiWombat
16-02-2012, 09:02 PM
I played through both Mass Effects as renegade, throwing people out of windows left and right. I ended up murdering ("made it look like a noble sacrifice") the council at the end of the first game only to see that the human-dominated council isn't any smarter, go figure.
I hope I can end ME3 the only possible renegade way: crowning myself god-emperor of mankind and take over the galaxy.

Would be the best Warhammer 40k Tie In Game ever, thats for sure.

ShowMeTheMonkey
17-02-2012, 12:34 AM
Hmm, you can't code information on entangled particles. My Professor was very adamant about this.

DarthBenedict
17-02-2012, 02:37 AM
Your professor forgot to invert the polarity of the phased technobablium matrix.

TsunamiWombat
17-02-2012, 04:32 AM
Hmm, you can't code information on entangled particles. My Professor was very adamant about this.

Prof doesn't live in the fucking future with Scientist Salarians

TheGodzillaHunter
17-02-2012, 05:49 AM
The Teilaxu are the best race ever. But you powindah will not understand.

This man speaks the truth.

archonsod
17-02-2012, 06:38 AM
Hmm, you can't code information on entangled particles. My Professor was very adamant about this.

Of course you can. As long as it can switch between two states (or even just speed up / slow down) you can transmit binary.

Nalano
17-02-2012, 06:49 AM
Of course you can. As long as it can switch between two states (or even just speed up / slow down) you can transmit binary.

But archon-- his professor!

ShowMeTheMonkey
17-02-2012, 04:06 PM
Nope. Not even binary. You can not encode information in quantum entangled particles. Michio Kaku and other members of CCP6 (Collaborative Computational Project on Heavy Particle Dynamics) of which my Professor is a member of work with things like this.

As soon as you meddle with the entanglement (such as with information) you lose the entanglement.

Dolphan
17-02-2012, 05:02 PM
It appears to be a somewhat controversial result according to wiki - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-communication_theorem

Not that it matters. This being a space opera story with FTL travel, psychic powers and so on and so forth.

gwathdring
17-02-2012, 10:12 PM
So... you want us to explain to you why you have cognitive dissonance after a superficial perusal of the setting, but without using any of the details in the related literature?

Fair comment. The word focus was the operative word, but I've been sleep deprived for several days running now and I'm bound to have worded the idea strangely. I should also mention that I played and, for the most part, enjoyed both games and read a good deal of the codex material (not that I read or remembered all of it, hence learning a few things from the discussion here). I just thought it would be nice to steer away from the "this is or isn't plausible based on x amount of specific details from the fiction" argument and move more towards the "this did or didn't generate investment" discussion. No one bit, so it doens't fit the temperature of the room. That's fine.

Since you asked, though ... ;)

Pointing out where everyone wasn't paying attention doesn't do much to reveal whether the game implemented the "better" explanations for seeming logical inconsistencies well enough in the first place. Using a codex to explain inconsistencies is easy. It is more difficult to eliminate the need for explicit explanation in the first place, and much more player friendly. I personally feel as though playing through every gameplay segment and seeking out every side mission and side conversation possible should be enough to provide a sense of coherence to the setting. If failing to read more than half the codex counts as a superficial perusal of the setting ... then I would fault the game for failing to communicate more than superficially about its setting during the course of play before I would fault players. Of course, I'm very fond of games that treat the player to information in as natural and in-world a fashion as possible ... so I'm not entirely closed to the idea of important information about the setting being kept out-of-play. And Bioware heavily signposts the existence of their codices and such. So it is a little more complicated than my first post was meant to imply.

Personally, I think Mass Effect has a well established back fiction that consistently struggles to connect with a somewhat wibbly player arc. The bigger picture ties up surprisingly well for me given how much trouble I have buying into a lot of character motives and so forth in the heat of gameplay. I just wasn't at all invested in it, despite not perceiving it as the hole-filled mess the OP suggested.

I don't know, maybe I'm projecting but I thought it was worth bringing up. Perhaps a lot of the people perceiving glaring plot holes where they don't exist (or at least, aren't quite so obvious as suggested) are picking up on a failure of the plot to connect its various pieces together coherently while simultaneously giving the player a narrative path along which to run, gun, and converse that is both convincing AND enjoyable. A tall order, to be sure, but one that is the founding concept of the Mass Effect series.

deano2099
17-02-2012, 10:53 PM
I'm not entirely closed to the idea of important information about the setting being kept out-of-play.

It's not important info. The game abides well by action sci-fi movie logic. It all works and fits together without the codex. So you get to sent to the Citadel to get the council on-side. You can either say:

a) okay, communications must be cut off, otherwise they'd just call them, let's go, or

b) how come communications are cut off? I'll look that up in the codex.

The problem of this disconnect only occurs if you go into the game without giving it the benefit of the doubt. If you assume bad writing over the existence of a justification that isn't spelled out as it's not that important.

The game, setting and plot is fairly consistent and coherent. If you believe that to be true you don't need all that extra information, you can take it as read that if earth are yelling at you to get out of there and get to the Citadel to report, there's a reason for it.

IDtenT
17-02-2012, 10:53 PM
I find it odd that people are looking for hard sci-fi in a very soft universe.

Tei
17-02-2012, 11:45 PM
I find it odd that people are looking for hard sci-fi in a very soft universe.

Sure, most aliens are humanoids, and the ships have artificial gravity withouth rotating parts. But at least the world make a effort to be believable, "realistic", and even do things, like different reproduction systems (no sexual ones) that are very weird for the average joe. It take these minor risk. I think part of the appeal of ME is that supposedly is "realistic".

archonsod
18-02-2012, 12:14 AM
As soon as you meddle with the entanglement (such as with information) you lose the entanglement.

Theory states it should be possible. While your professor may indeed be doing well for being a talking ape manipulating the building blocks of the universe with a big hammer, he's in no position to conclusively disprove the theory, nor categorically state what talking apes of the future may be capable of. I bet he can't even build a faster-than-light capable space transport.

Nalano
18-02-2012, 12:27 AM
Sure, most aliens are humanoids, and the ships have artificial gravity without rotating parts.

Well, the applied phlebotinum in the Mass Effect universe is the titular Mass Effect particle, which can manipulate gravity. It answers for every single thing that's fantastic about the way things work: The FTL travel, the telekinetics, the hard light and the artificial gravity.


It is more difficult to eliminate the need for explicit explanation in the first place, and much more player friendly.

You can either have constant info-dumps every time somebody opens their mouth (or mouth-like orifice) to explain some concept, or you can put it in the codex whenever something weird is mentioned. I'd prefer the latter.

One of the reasons I like the Witcher and Stalker series is because they don't treat the protagonist like a goddamn idiot. The worlds are internally consistent, and if you wanna figure out their inner workings, you're free to infer from the dialogue or read the damn codex.


Personally, I think Mass Effect has a well established back fiction that consistently struggles to connect with a somewhat wibbly player arc.

Dude. Shepard is the exception to the rule. Shepard is a goddamn hero. Of course Shepard doesn't fit received wisdom.

soldant
18-02-2012, 01:12 AM
I find it odd that people are looking for hard sci-fi in a very soft universe.
Especially when most of it boils down to "The Reapers made it, we just use it." I mean we've got massive sapient machines going apeshit along with biotics and so on, and people are arguing over quantum entangled particles in Mass Effect? This isn't Ringworld.

Nalano
18-02-2012, 01:14 AM
Especially when most of it boils down to "The Reapers made it, we just use it." I mean we've got massive sapient machines going apeshit along with biotics and so on, and people are arguing over quantum entangled particles in Mass Effect? This isn't Ringworld.

I sometimes wonder why people have a hard time with the fiction part of science fiction. Hell, the writers are doing us a favor by even considering quantum entangled particles.

ShowMeTheMonkey
18-02-2012, 01:35 AM
Theory states it should be possible. While your professor may indeed be doing well for being a talking ape manipulating the building blocks of the universe with a big hammer, he's in no position to conclusively disprove the theory, nor categorically state what talking apes of the future may be capable of. I bet he can't even build a faster-than-light capable space transport.

I'm not sure what "theory" you refer to states that it is possible. I would suggest you learn a little more about how quantum dynamics works. For the same reason that quantum computing is many, many, many years ahead of us. Say for instance a type II impossibility (Over 100,000,000 years ahead when civilisation can harness the energy of an entire solar system).

Nalano
18-02-2012, 01:56 AM
I'm not sure what "theory" you refer to states that it is possible. I would suggest you learn a little more about how quantum dynamics works.

Oh, great swami, tell us why it's impossible, when Cambridge fucking University posits that quantum teleportation is possible (and successfully used by the Chinese defense department in 2010), just not complete - which is to say it's currently useful for cryptography but not outright communication. Yet.

And, really, we're talking about a work of goddamn fiction.

Heliocentric
18-02-2012, 02:00 AM
Cambridge fucking University

Truely the school of the worlds greatest whores.

Nalano
18-02-2012, 02:05 AM
Truely the school of the worlds greatest whores.

I would love a partner equally capable of stimulating my mind as she does other parts of me. >.>

DigitalSignalX
18-02-2012, 03:57 AM
Any idea why the demo is released so early? I mean we're still 6 months away from retail.

The JG Man
18-02-2012, 04:11 AM
You mean weeks, right? The game is out early March, or something thereabouts. And hey, it's not an issue considering how ridiculously well-packaged it is demo. Single player, multiplayer (that doesn't seem to have a cap!) and will hopefully be constantly available? I welcome it.

soldant
18-02-2012, 04:57 AM
Any idea why the demo is released so early? I mean we're still 6 months away from retail.
As opposed to what, releasing it 6 months after the full release like some developers/publishers think is a good idea?

And as JG pointed out - it comes out in early March (9th for Europe and everywhere else, earlier in the US for no apparent reason) which is what, 3 weeks away now?

DigitalSignalX
18-02-2012, 05:12 AM
As opposed to what, releasing it 6 months after the full release like some developers/publishers think is a good idea?

And as JG pointed out - it comes out in early March (9th for Europe and everywhere else, earlier in the US for no apparent reason) which is what, 3 weeks away now?

My mistake, was Americanizing the date to transpose the month and the day.

Nalano
18-02-2012, 05:15 AM
My mistake, was Americanizing the date to transpose the month and the day.

lulz.

Funny enough, I've had to rely on third parties to figure out the release date: Neither the Origin store nor the Bioware site list it.

gwathdring
18-02-2012, 05:52 AM
It's not important info. The game abides well by action sci-fi movie logic. It all works and fits together without the codex. So you get to sent to the Citadel to get the council on-side. You can either say:

a) okay, communications must be cut off, otherwise they'd just call them, let's go, or

b) how come communications are cut off? I'll look that up in the codex.

The problem of this disconnect only occurs if you go into the game without giving it the benefit of the doubt. If you assume bad writing over the existence of a justification that isn't spelled out as it's not that important.

The game, setting and plot is fairly consistent and coherent. If you believe that to be true you don't need all that extra information, you can take it as read that if earth are yelling at you to get out of there and get to the Citadel to report, there's a reason for it.

I like your point about giving the game the benefit of the doubt. I tend to try doing that with most works I approach. Especially games, because frustration can spill over from gameplay and tamper with my enjoyment of a story. I just disagree that Mass Effect 2 hits the points of a coherent, consistent story even after tempering my perspective coming into the game.

My belaboring the point about outside information and the codex was simply in response to my (mis?)interpretation of Nalano's comment as suggesting that players not aware of things like, in the example of our OP, the specific details of communication infrastructure in the ME universe have a "superficial" understanding of the setting of the game. He seems to have been saying something different, so my bad.

Coming back to my initial sentiment, I feel like the intermingling of the game and story in ME2 was inelegant. This made it difficult to become invested, and made the small details seem more important--I was unable to convince myself that the seeming "mistakes" were my own misinterpretations and lost hold of the pretense that everything in the game was crafted and intentional. I don't have a problem with the communication cutoff and such, but I started having issues (some of them likewise born of misunderstanding) because of this poor story-game interaction. ME1 worked better for me, though this is possibly simply because it felt more new.

gwathdring
18-02-2012, 06:01 AM
You can either have constant info-dumps every time somebody opens their mouth (or mouth-like orifice) to explain some concept, or you can put it in the codex whenever something weird is mentioned. I'd prefer the latter.

One of the reasons I like the Witcher and Stalker series is because they don't treat the protagonist like a goddamn idiot. The worlds are internally consistent, and if you wanna figure out their inner workings, you're free to infer from the dialogue or read the damn codex.

I completely agree about the Witcher and Stalker. To me, Mass Effect does an ok job applying a similar concept. The reason I belabored this point was (and I realize I wasn't clear about this, sorry!) not becasue I feel Mass Effect did a particularly bad job with it but rather because I thought your post implied that players not aware of certain details made explicitly in the codices had only a "superficial" grasp of the setting. I'm guessing from your response that this was an unintended implication. Mass Effect does a reasonable job keeping the fluff in the codex and allowing players to glean all the information they need either implicitly or through purely in-character interaction--I didn't feel like many people tried to explain basic functions of the Universe to Shepard, at least compared to most RPGs. The Witcher was absolutely fantastic with this and it was one of my favorite parts of the game.





Dude. Shepard is the exception to the rule. Shepard is a goddamn hero. Of course Shepard doesn't fit received wisdom.

I'm not sure what your point is here. I should probably clarify. I didn't find it wibbly becasue Shepard didn't do what I expected him/her to (he/she quite often did, not least of which becasue I got to influence character decisions). I found it wibbly because it gave me a wildly inconsistent sense of who Shepard was with respect to Shepard's actions. When I can best protect the galaxy by futzing about pressing the "send probes" button and cautiously buying engine parts at various hub planets but simultaneously make decisions and take conversational options that impart a sense of urgency and diligence to my quest, the character loses some coherence. It would be one thing if this was merely one out of a few equal(ish) options. I'm ok role-playing my way around that sort of thing even if it gives me a gameplay disadvantage... but here it was so firmly and mechanically encouraged. And the way recruitment worked made it feel impossible to take implied haste of the mission seriously. The game felt like it was fighting the urgency of the narrative at every turn. Consequently, even where the universe felt worth spending time in, Shepard's arc felt weird. Wibbly. And not because he was making his own destiny--there was just an awkward balance in the way various play-style choices are fleshed out in the narrative.

Nalano
18-02-2012, 06:38 AM
but rather because I thought your post implied that players not aware of certain details made explicitly in the codices had only a "superficial" grasp of the setting. I'm guessing from your response that this was an unintended implication.

Well, for my part I took your words as implying that the only way to have an "even-footed discussion" was to ignore the codex as being too arcane/obscure. As yet, if that's not the point, I'd like a clarification of what the point is. If it is, perhaps provide an example of what didn't make sense without reference to the codex?


When I can best protect the galaxy by futzing about pressing the "send probes" button and cautiously buying engine parts at various hub planets but simultaneously make decisions and take conversational options that impart a sense of urgency and diligence to my quest, the character loses some coherence.

I get that, but that's true of all RPGs. "Oh my god the Great Evil's going to destroy the world! So off you go with a wooden sword and a particle-board shield. Go smash giant slimes until you're strong enough to go after him. We're all counting on you!" Conversely, Mass Effect had you start out as a badass, and you just got more badass as you went along. Even with the probing, I could infer a start-to-finish of a few weeks game-time.

I thought what you meant was the division of the (largely consistent) universe and the (rule of cool/over the top) main story.

IDtenT
18-02-2012, 11:09 AM
Say for instance a type III impossibility (Over 100,000,000 years ahead when civilisation can harness the energy of an entire solar system).
That's actually a Type II civilization. :P


quantum teleportation is possible.
It's got absolutely nothing to do with FTL quantum entanglement communication, which is hokum. You cannot communicate anything with quantum entanglement, and secondly there's been a lot of research done to theorise that even entanglement is relativistic or indeed a non-local time independent event - with lots of people on both sides of the fence.

I like my sci-fi with actual science, thank you very much. The fiction part in sci-fi relates to the story - not the science.

ShowMeTheMonkey
18-02-2012, 11:15 AM
And, really, we're talking about a work of goddamn fiction.


How wise you are.


That's actually a Type II civilization. :P



You are very much correct! Now edited.

And for the record I did not say that teleportation is not possible. I did however say that encoding information onto such entangled particles is quite impossible for the meantime. In a similar way that the phase problem exists in X-Ray crystallography. It is intrinsic to the system, sometimes there are ways that you lose information that cannot be helped. However there are "loopholes" that may be possible.