Lit HAVAC IS BACK - The Lit Forum Social Thread, v2.0

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Master_Keralys, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. Revanfan1 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    This one is my new wallpaper. Too awesome.
  2. Force Smuggler Chosen One

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    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Mine too! OT FTW!
    Revanfan1 likes this.
  3. MercenaryAce Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2005
    star 5
    Fair enough.

    Plus, it isn't like picking a faction is a lifetime commitment. You can always go back to one of the other ones later.
  4. Force Smuggler Chosen One

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    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
  5. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

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    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    From what I've learned, the faction content is 1-45, and 45-50 is Coldharbour. Upon completing the story quest and reaching 50, you then get to choose another faction's region to explore and the enemies in that area are leveled at veteran rank, which is the post-50 progression system. So even if you start with Ebonheart Pact, once you finish that area you can move onto the Aldmeri Dominion, or vice-versa.
  6. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    Ah, okay. So you can do all the story and sidequests for another alliance post-game? That helps quite a bit.

    Although I don't know how long I plan on staying subbed, so I still need to decide who to maximize content with the first go around. More importantly, I'm the deciding vote between friends who want AD or EP :p
  7. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    That, or, you know, joking. Hence the smiley. Whether it qualifies as in bad taste is entirely up to you, but it should be noted that there are very few subjects that I feel simply should not be joked about (though for better or worse, Hitler has pretty much entered the global lexicon of "okay to joke about").

    And I don't believe any of the endings they put forth were intended to be "full paragon" or "full renegade", it just so happens that one lines up with my view of what paragon represents better than the others. They were going for at least some degree of moral ambiguity, though whether they achieved that is certainly open to interpretation. I still prefer them over the concept of a perfect ending, however. Again, I don't like to believe that paragon automatically means "better".

    I've seen the argument that Destroy represents the ending where Shepard is the most confident in the galaxy's ability to make its own decisions, and I feel like it's very selective reading (which is intentional for many, of course :p) I've never bought it for several reasons.

    1. I'm not sure where the idea that Shepard becomes God King of the galaxy comes from. I thought it was fairly clear from the epilogue that Shepard does not use the Reapers to maintain order, or even interact with the larger galaxy beyond repairing the damage they did. In fact, my impression- and I would have to rewatch it to confirm this- was that Shepard took the Reapers into a dark corner of the galaxy and simply took them out of the equation. There's no imposition there; rather, it's allowing the galaxy, sentient and machines, to carry on in the way they best see fit.

    2. The biggest problem I have with this interpretation is that, by choosing you Destroy, you are making a choice and imposing it on the rest of the galaxy. I keep throwing this word around, and for good reason: genocide. You are making the choice that an entire race is worth sacrificing in order to destroy another. Obviously, if this part of the ending is ignored, than it's a moot point, but as it is I don't think it represents the willingness to leave the galaxy to its own devices at all. By making the choice, you are setting the course of the future; a future where all AI have been eliminated, and will require centuries to see any form of restoration. You decide that the geth and quarian alliance was only temporary. You decide that a part of the galaxy is worth sacrificing to save the rest. More than any other ending save perhaps refusal, you are imposing your will on the galaxy.

    3. For me, it's all about the lesser of two evils. Yes, any one person, no matter how benevolent, with the power to shatter galaxies is a potential danger. But ultimately, it's a potential danger versus a very real danger, and that danger is (again) genocide. It's why I feel Destroy represents the renegade viewpoint so well: you make a sacrifice, but you eliminate all potential danger. Control, on the other hand, represents a leap of faith. Yes, of course there are uncertainties, of course there are dangers. But Paragon Shepard is all about believing in both him/herself, and other people, to make the right choices and come out of the dangerous situation stronger for it. Renegade Shepard, to my reading, believes only in certainties, most of which are made certain by his/her own actions. Paragon Shepard is willing to take a chance if it offers a potential for a stronger outcome.

    I can certainly see why some prefer to just read the Starchild as a liar, and that Destroy is the perfect ending. Fair enough, though I prefer to see the Starchild as an impartial AI; capable of bending the truth to its own designs, but not a straight lie. And even if it was, I like the concept of there being two diametrically opposed, equally "perfect" endings, even if the concept could have been executed much, much better.

    You're definitely the minority there. Citadel represents DLC at its very best, and is one of the greatest showcases that the entire concept of DLC is not just a cash grab, but an opportunity to do things that could never be done in the game itself, but enriches the overall experience. Citadel proves, along with Lair of the Shadow Broker, that DLC can be, dare I say it, an art in itself.

    Had Citadel been in the original game, it would have been hopelessly out of place. ME3, for all its moments of levity, has to maintain a certain sense of foreboding in order to make it seem like the world is really coming to an end. Citadel is freed from that completely. By letting the player choose when to experience it- I like it right before the final conflict, a final moment of joy before everything goes to hell, but there's also something to be said about it being the "true" ending of the series- it allows itself to be effect the game however the player wishes it. And frankly, the content itself is completely unprecedented, and something that could only be done in a video game; or more specifically, could only be done with DLC.

    Citadel is the ultimate fanservice, but in this case, that happens to be a very good thing. It's the best possible goodbye Bioware could have given the series. Though it has the obligatory action oriented beginning, this almost feels like an afterthought. It's willing to spend a good hour and a half simply reveling in its own history and characters, and as a result, the game, and the trilogy, feel more complete for it. And the ending of Citadel might be the most emotionally resonant thing Bioware have ever done.

    Even if you don't like the content of Citadel (you monster), you have to at least admire it on a technical level. The sheer variety of possible situations, conversations and payoffs you can get in the DLC, depending on your priors actions throughout the entire trilogy is staggering. It's such that you could play the DLC through ten times with ten different characters and get a different experience every time. My favorite sequence that most won't see is the Thane romance. Even an emotionally dead robot like myself can't help but love it

    Whatever else Citadel is, it's a labor of love. You just don't see enough of those any more. You could argue that it was trying to save face for the disastrous reception of the endings, of course, but I don't at all believe the intent should effect the final product. If nothing else, would ME3 really have been complete without one more chance to party with Wrex?
    Last edited by instantdeath, Mar 16, 2014
  8. Revanfan1 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    Having never played Mass Effect, but having watched some of the cutscenes, specifically the Citadel DLC, on YouTube, I find myself intrigued by this conversation. (I did watch the game ending so I am not afraid of spoilers.) So everyone's talking about the Destroy ending, and I believe that might be the ending I saw; what's the alternative? And what does each entail, in a nutshell?
  9. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    Spark notes version...

    Destroy: As the name implies, this is the ending where you destroy the Reapers, the main antagonists of the trilogy. The Reapers are basically giant machines who "purge" the galaxy of all sentient life every "cycle". By this point in time, you've made it your mission to eradicate them, and they've already wiped out millions of people, and have led to the deaths of several of your friends, so suffice it to say you have a very good reason to want to destroy them.

    The catch, however, is to destroy them, you have to also destroy all other artificial intelligence. This is very significant, as one of your crew members is an AI, and throughout the trilogy you may, depending on your choices, have put a great deal of effort into consolidating peace between one race of AI and their creators. The how and why is much more complicated, but in ME3 this race of machines- the geth- gain the ability to think individually. They are, in every but the flesh, sentient. The dilemma with the destroy ending is whether it's worth sacrificing this newly reformed race, as well as a close friend, in order to ensure these big bad machines die and stay dead.

    This ending is also popular because it is the only ending in which your main character lives, through a brief teaser of your character "breathing" at the very end. Some take this as affirmation of it being the "right" choice, others view it as the most "selfish" choice, in that you live where so many others died by your hand. I come down somewhere between those.

    Control: Rather than destroying the Reapers, you convert yourself into an artificial intelligence and override the previous one that was controlling the Reapers. You, essentially, become them. These machines that were previously only used for war are now given new purpose. We see in the epilogue that Shepard uses them to repair much of the damage they inflicted, but we only get hints of what he/she does with them afterwards. I'm of the belief, based on hints in the ending, that Shepard takes them to a secluded section of the galaxy and keeps them there, leaving the rest of the galaxy to their own affairs.

    This ending is, on the surface, a tidy one, as no genocide is required, and the big bad robots become nice and cuddly robots. However, it does leave a sinister possibility. The big question of the ending is whether anyone, even your character, can be trusted to control a race of machines with the power to wipe out all life in the galaxy. Can Shepard really maintain control for the rest of time? And even if Shepard could, would the AI that's based on his/her personality truly be an exact copy of the original personality?

    Synthesis: Or, as I like to call it, the Bull**** ending. Essentially, Shepard sacrifices him/herself and, somehow, combines all sentient and artificial life in the galaxy. Humans become these badass cyborgs with green eyes and all the logical benefits a machine would get, and AI receives the "human factor". In a lot of ways this is the "perfect" ending, as evolution is automatically rushed to its conclusion, but its for this reason that so many, myself included, hate it. Synthesis is literally playing God; rather than allow life to evolve at its own pace, its simply picked up and dragged there. Not to mention, it makes no sense at all.

    Refusal: You reject all options, and to quote Rorschach, refuse to compromise even in the face of Armageddon. The entire galaxy is purged. The silver lining, however, is that in the next cycle, the Reapers are defeated with no compromises whatsoever.

    I'd highly recommend playing the games. As you can tell by me refusing to shut up about them, they're some of my favorites.
    Kylun and Revanfan1 like this.
  10. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    OR MAYBE synthesis IS the natural evolution! Punctuated equilibrium! (evolution doesn't have a conclusion)

    I want to be a badass cyborg with green eyes.
    Last edited by DigitalMessiah, Mar 16, 2014
  11. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
  12. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    I need to use HIYOOOO! more.
    instantdeath likes this.
  13. Revanfan1 Chosen One

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    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    Wow, no matter what you choose, it's kind of a Pyrrhic victory, eh? I, personally, don't know what I'd choose, though in the end I guess Destroy makes the most sense. I wouldn't choose "Refusal" if someone had a gun at my head telling me to (okay, maybe that's a bit extreme), and "Synthesis" sounds stupid...Control sounds okay. But Destroy really is the only one that I can say makes logical sense to me without actually playing the game through. As to playing it myself, I'd like to but some of the stuff I saw in the videos (was that a blatant sex scene with Miranda?) have left me leery. They do look awesome, though.
  14. DigitalMessiah Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2004
    star 5
    Wow I guess I'm the only one that wants to be a cyborg.
    Revanfan1 likes this.
  15. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    Being a cyborg could be cool, but I'd have to be able to turn off the glowing green eyes. Can you imagine how annoying that would be when you're trying to sleep? Then again, maybe badass cyborgs don't need to sleep?

    Well, one thing I like about ME is that it's insanely replayable. What may be the "right choice" for one character might be the wrong choice for another. It's how I eventually got to my opinion that control is what I use for paragon characters and destroy for renegade.

    Speaking of which, for years now I've wanted to play the most incompetent, trigger happy Shepard I could possibly imagine. This Shepard would, of course, try to romance every character at the same time. I wanted to name him Zapp (after Zapp Brannigan from Futurama). I even started it years ago, when ME2 came out, but it never went anywhere. One of these days I'm going to do that, and choose the Refusal ending. The saga of Zapp Shepard is just begging to be told.
    Last edited by instantdeath, Mar 16, 2014
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  16. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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  17. Revanfan1 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    I was thinking about it while I showered; I think I've figured out which of my favorite SW characters would've made which choice.

    Destroy
    FOTJ Luke (not necessarily a great endorsement)
    Any character from RC (unless the AI companion that dies were to be a clone, in which case Kal would choose Control)
    Jedi Prince Luke (just for you, instantdeath. :p)
    Revan
    Kyp Durron
    Ben Skywalker

    Control
    Kal Skirata (again, if the AI companion were a clone)
    NJO Jacen Solo (easiest way to gain peace without genocide, albeit sacrificing himself)
    Obi-Wan Kenobi

    Synthesis
    Leia (it just seems in her character)

    Refusal
    Zayne Carrick (he wouldn't want to be responsible for genocide, but wouldn't want the responsibility of controlling such power, either)
    Satine Kryze (blech)
    Early NJO Luke

    So if you go by that list, then I guess most SW characters, even light-side ones, would end up doing the Destroy option, too. Of course your opinions may vary.

    I once in a while do wild things in RP games; once I went through all of KOTOR 2 only using a blaster carbine and wearing heavy armor, and using Mandalore as my companion whenever possible. Ironically he was still a light-side character, though.
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  18. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    I have trouble playing evil characters in games. I can almost never manage to do it -- the exception being dark side in the original KOTOR because it's so comically evil and being a jerk in DA:eek: because you can be such a horrifically inconsiderate person that it seems almost cartoonish how awful you are.

    Evil in KOTOR2 and in the Mass Effect games is too realistic and too horrible to contemplate.
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  19. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    Anakin Skywalker would be control all the way. The guy believes he has the power to save everyone with few if any reservations. I was set to say Luke might as well, but then reconsidered it. Luke's always had a problem with having too much power and fearing he wouldn't be able to use it responsibly, so I'd say he'd stay away from control. Good call on Jedi Prince Luke going for destroy, though, but I'd argue he'd prefer an option that allows him to kill the Reapers while killing everyone else in the process.

    And ha, yeah, I'd say Kyp Durron would definitely go for destroy :p
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  20. RC-1991 Force Ghost

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    Dec 2, 2009
    star 4
    @instantdeath- Shep's speech in a renegade Control ending is pretty creepy. He basically says he's going to use the Reapers as an invincible army against anyone who threatens his vision of "peace", from what I remember.

    ETA: @Jello- KOTOR 2 is one of the few games where I can do an evil playthrough. Evil in 2 is more than just going around beating up elderly people and killing puppies. I also once did a Good game where I killed all the council members. It was... interesting, to say the least.
    Last edited by RC-1991, Mar 16, 2014
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  21. instantdeath Force Ghost

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    Jul 22, 2010
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    Oh, I absolutely agree the renegade control ending is catastrophe waiting to happen. The paragon one is a bit more encouraging.

    Y'know, I never did get around to playing KOTOR II as a dark side character, but now I really want to, especially with the cut content mod (which is the definition of essential). Come to think of it, I've actually only played the game once since that mod. I hear that a dark side character with the restoration mod is particularly hilarious, since you can have your crew members kill each other over you.
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  22. Revanfan1 Chosen One

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    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    Same here. I know it's fake but I feel like a horrible person every time that "dum-dum-da duuuum da-dum!" clip played after you left a conversation after making a dark side choice. In contrast, I got a warm happy feels in my tummy every time the light-side track played. KOTOR 2 dark-side characters feel like "chaotic evil" characters, someone who'd be like Palpatine. Actually, from Kreia's description, dark-side Mical the Disciple became a Palpatine-style character, a brutal politician who worked his way to the top through deceit and back-stabbing.
  23. RC-1991 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 2, 2009
    star 4
    Oh yes. If you are a dark side female and have a higher influence over Disciple than Atton, Atton will hunt him down during the Malachor mission. It cuts to black before anything actually goes down, but Atton's dialogue (and Disciple's refusal to fight him) makes pretty clear what's about to happen. Handmaiden can do the same to Visas Marr in a male playthrough. Also, dark side dialogue in KOTOR 2 is positively wicked, whereas it's just kinda generic Disney villain evil in KOTOR 1. There's some great taunts you can throw at the Jedi Masters mid-duel.

    I think I'm starting to like elements of the Indoctrination theory, though that's probably because it supports my views of Destroy and the Star Child and I'm shameless that way.
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  24. instantdeath Force Ghost

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    Jul 22, 2010
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    My favorite part about KOTOR II's decision making is that no matter what you do, Kreia still hates your decisions.

    And it's settled. I'm going to find time for a dark side KOTOR II playthrough sometime in the next decade.
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  25. Revanfan1 Chosen One

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    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    I was considering Anakin for Destroy, but you're right, he'd definitely be Control. And it would probably turn out for the worst.

    It's positively chilling, Atton and Disciple's dialogue is in that scene. On the other hand, the deleted Sion/Atton scene is beyond amazing on the light end of the spectrum...

    Sion: "And I get the fool."
    Atton: "I was about to say that."