VIDEO Mass Effect Series (New Game Announced!)

Discussion in 'Games' started by Valyn, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. Darth_Invidious Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 21, 1999
    star 5
    I'm certain EA paid a hefty sum during that publicity campaign. That may include several "reporters" or "reviewers" across different sites and publications that sold their integrity and souls just to help EA make their game look good. However, it became evident in the last year that there are quite a few (well, no, a LOT) of folks that don't know good storytelling from bad in order to fully understand the failure that the endings are, which can also explain many a good review that should not have been.

    But then I've also seen many youtubes that have effectively deconstructed the plot of the series from beginning to conclusion and laid bare all the flaws to such a degree that the once awesome story now seems like a premeditated trainwreck, whose outcome had no other choice but be the catastrophic mess it turned out to be. Make no mistake, I love the universe and the characters, but EA or the folks at BioWare simply fumbled the ball, starting at ME2 and then with that final chapter.
  2. GenAntilles Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2007
    star 4
    The main problem was they felt like they needed to stick to the idea that 'OH NO THE REAPERS ARE SO POWERFUL WE CAN NEVER BEAT THEM IN OPEN WAR!!!!' which is complete bull. The Reapers won every harvest because they zerg rushed through the Citadel, shut down the relay network and severed the head of the galactic community. Afterwards they just mopped up planet by planet.

    The Reapers never faced organized coordinated resistance with mobility. They won every harvest in the first battle, but they still took losses against foes without organization or mobility. The floating Reaper corpse is proof of that.

    So when the Reapers invade the Milky Way again they are at a distinct disadvantage. They are facing a galaxy aware of their presence and able to mobilize and organize a resistance. The codex even states that 3 dreadnaughts can take down a Reaper dreadnaught. The whole war should've been a slugfest with the Reapers themselves taking substantial losses, and unlike the galaxy, they can't just build a new Reaper and ship it out to combat in a day like the other races can. Turians lose a dreadnaught they can build another one and send it out to the front in no time, Reapers lose a dreadnaught... that's a whole cycle they have to wait for. The fact that until they learned the Citadel was the Crucible they made no effort to take it, despite all logic and sense, shows that the Reapers either felt the Citadel was too well defended for them to take until the threat of the Crucible was too great, or they are just big stupid cuttlefish.

    Reapers will killed in ship to ship fighting, Reapers were killed by worms, by bombs. Reapers are not invincible and not nigh impossible to kill.

    But the game kept forgetting that. To kill a Reaper destroyer on Rannoch you needed THE ENTIRE QUARIAN FLEET. The Quarian live ships were turned into dreadnaughts, three of them are enough to kill a Reaper dreadnaught, the whole Quarian fleet would've curbstomped that little roach of a reaper.

    The fact that Bioware felt that a deux ex machina was the only way to beat the Reapers negates every bit of lore about the Reapers. By taking away the Citadel from them you've already removed their greatest strength. Just marshal the fleets, wait at a crucial relay the Reapers have to use, and when they pop through fire every gun and set off 100 nukes at the relay and watch these 'eternal, invincible' beings turn into wreckage.

    And if that doesn't work ground combat is even easier, swarm it and somebody will get inside and light up it's reactor core.

    Honestly a war of attrition is the only real way to beat the Reapers, they can't replenish their numbers so eventually you'll get to the point where they'll be on the defensive as their own survival would become paramount.

    But I guess EA didn't want Mass Effect 3 to be a retelling of the Eastern Front in WWII.
  3. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    I know this much: going by my Galaxy At War rankings, four random dudes from half a dozen different species are capable of ensuring that the allied forces of the galaxy are holding steady and winning in key locations against the Reapers :D Conventionally unbeatable my ass :D :D
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  4. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    It did take the entire Citadel Defense Fleet to destroy Sovereign in ME1
  5. DarthCane Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 4
    Subjecting myself to what many of you would consider torture - playing Priority: Earth four times in a row to get the remainder of my Sheps to New Game+. Casper does get annoying after a while, hence why my choices have been straight "blow him up." This is the first time I've gotten there with a high readiness score from fiddling with ME3 Datapad, and I was a little bummed - after hearing Hackett's more optimistic assessments of the war's progress, I was thinking Hammer would do a little better. Nope, according to Anderson half of them still got fragged before they even made it to the FOB.

    Still, it's amusing doing that run with my soldier - him, Ash, and Garrus all with N7 Typhoons. Well, to keep things fair for now I'm leaving Garrus on a Krysae with Rank 6 Squad Cryo Ammo and doing most of my mook blasting with a Disciple or Executioner. For the last fight at the missile battery though ... that little storefront is going to be one prickly bastion for the Reapers to try storming. [face_devil]

    Infiltrator was fun too - managed to snipe the first two Banshees that come in from the left flank before they even got down to the street. One of the few times in the game that felt like real long-distance shooting.
    Last edited by DarthCane, Apr 24, 2013
  6. GenAntilles Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2007
    star 4
    Yes but weaponry got a massive upgrade after that battle. Now 4 dreadnaughts have enough fire power to kill a Sovereign class by themselves.
  7. DarthCane Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 4
    In counting up the dreadnoughts in existence, let's say the galaxy has about 120 on hand, not including the converted Quarian liveships (which don't have the shielding or armor for a stand-up fight) and also not counting how many dreadnoughts got blown up in the opening strikes of the war (or for that matter, how many were destroyed at the Citadel in ME1, since the counts for the Turians, Salarians, and Asari aren't updated after that). I forget what the count was for the end of ME2, but I want to say there were at least 200 Sovereign-class Reapers in those shots. So four dreadnoughts are required to take down one of those, and by contrast one hit from a Reaper's main gun will take out a dreadnought. You're still going to take losses faster than you can take down Reapers, and while they can't replenish their numbers easily you can't exactly turn out new dreadnoughts like loaves of bread, especially since major shipyards were probably among the first targets.

    Remember also that the Alliance tried the "waiting at the relay" tactic at the very start of the war, and got curb-stomped.
    SithLordDarthRichie likes this.
  8. GenAntilles Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2007
    star 4
    I'm pretty sure a full fleet would have as much firepower as a few dreadnaughts so a fleet should be able to take down quite a few Reapers. Reapers can't get those dreadnaughts back, the Citadel races still can.

    And the Alliance's strategy treated the Reapers like a conventional enemy who would need supply lines, the Reapers came through the relay one right after the other until they got to Earth. The Alliance fleets were divided and not concentrated and also were no match for the majority of the Reaper fleet. At most they should've taken a few shots, killed a few dreadnaughts that came through, then retreat and let the Reapers get bogged down on Earth.

    And the reapers seem notorious for dividing their forces. They sent one reaper to Rannoch, one to Tchunchka. One to the Leviathan planet. Just send in a fleet and start picking Reapers off one by one. Either way the Reapers very well could be defeated conventionally without a need for a deus ex machina.
  9. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

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    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    I still don't see it happening, even if 4 ships can take out one Reaper we know they have superior firepower and so would likely take out most enemy vessels before going down.

    No good losing half your ships taking down 20 Reapers only to have another 50 turn up. Plus Reapers can repurpose lost allied soldiers and turn them against you, effectively increasing their combat force while yours goes down. Not sure if they can do that to ships, but they did control the Geth fleet through the Geth themselves so perhaps indoctrinate a few Alliance Admirals and you get a fleet turn against your enemies.

    And how many Classes of Reaper are there? Surely they have more than just generic Sovereign types and one elite in Harbinger.
    Last edited by SithLordDarthRichie, Apr 25, 2013
  10. DarthCane Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 4
    Remember that of those ~120 dreadnoughts, the Alliance had nine of them (the remaining count being Turians 39, Volus 1, Asari 20, Salarians 16, Geth "almost as many as the Turians," and a few Batarian examples). So ... yeah. If all nine Alliance dreadnoughts were at Arcturus, which was hit by "over a dozen" Reaper capital ships, they're still screwed and the Reapers have plenty of firepower handy to go ahead and trash Earth almost unopposed. The Turian fleet, which presumably constituted about a third of the available fleet strength in the galaxy, could manage a losing stalemate at best. Remember also that until then the Alliance had no intel on how Reapers would operate as an invasion force, so their initial assumptions regarding their use of the relays and needing supply lines were as good a guess as any. And on that topic, as far as concentrating all the fleets and picking off Reapers here and there - remember, the Citadel races need supply lines. The Reapers don't. You'd be leaving your own jugular unguarded just to nick the enemy's extremities.

    Short form, when the odds are stacked against you by perhaps 300:1 (taking Garrus's reference to a thousand of Sovereign's friends literally) or more there's not a hell of a lot you can do in the way of clever strategy. See General Corinthus's comment on Menae about attempting to flank the Reapers.

    Also, from a storytelling perspective - a grinding slugfest of strategy and tactics is all well and good for an RTS, but not for a RPG/FPS where you play a single individual taking point in a massive war. There by default has to be a deus ex machina of some kind for one person's actions to win a war, especially since that one person is firing a gun and commanding a SpecOps squad rather than ordering fleets.
  11. TheRevanchist Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 13, 2012
    star 2
    I disagree with this part. You must never use a deus ex machina. The conventional way of winning against Reapers was almost impossible but I think that BioWare should have got a better scenario than just doing a copycat of Deus Ex ending.
  12. Clone_Cmdr_Wedge Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2006
    star 3
    Reaper tactics across the series make no bloody sense when you think about it.

    1) If the goal was to "preserve organics" against all synthetics (like HoloJoffrey says), then why did they try to incite the geth to attack organics not once, but twice (Sovereign in ME, and the Destroyer in ME3)? In fact, why not just wipe out the geth and be done with it?

    2) If the Reapers had so much firepower and thousands of ships, then why only send a single ship (and a dinky Destroyer at that!) to both Tuchanka and Rannoch? The only way that would make sense is if they didn't have that many ships, and needed to use all the Sovereign-class ships to fight everyone else.

    3) Perhaps the biggest one, why didn't the Reapers blitzkrieg towards the Citadel from the outset, shut down the relay network, and take out everyone piecemeal? You know, like they did successfully for the past billion years or so? Why change a winning strategy?


    Actually, that would be the "entire Fifth Fleet" that took down Sovereign, not the Citadel Defense Fleet. We only ever see the geth fleet engaging the Citadel fleet (unless you count the one turian cruiser that Sovereign rams while rushing towards the Citadel). Also, food for thought, in ME2, if you saved the Council and talk to al-Jilani, Shep lists the casualties as 20 turian cruisers, and 8 Alliance cruisers. It's a little vague if that was just saving the Council, or if that was for the entire battle though.

    Also, speaking of weapons, BioWare did seem to forget about those thanix cannons (which were based on Sovereign's weapons, by the way). ME2's codex says the turians developed it within a year of ME1, and that it could already be placed on frigates and fighters. To add more hilarity to this, ME3's codex says: "By the time of the Reaper invasion of the galaxy in 2186, the Thanix and its variations have seen widespread use among Alliance fleets and beyond. An up-scaled version has also been made for use on dreadnoughts." So yeah, a Reaper-based weapon that the Normandy used to kill a Collector ship in at most two hits was widely installed in at least Alliance and turian ships, with an even more powerful version installed on dreadnoughts. Someone forgot to pass that along apparently (or was just conveniently forgotten), as no one ever uses the bloody things.


    Four types, from what I can tell: Capital ships (the big ships like Sovereign and Harbinger), Destroyers (the ones you see on Tuchanka and Rannoch), as well as Troop Transports and Processors (neither of which are shown, but are listed in the Codex). If you want to be a little generous, you could list Harbinger as his own class (he's listed as such in the Codex, I think, but he seemed more like a variant than an actual separate class to me), and include the oculi drones as well.
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  13. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    The other thing about the Reapers is that, if you go by the CataKid, the Reapers may potentially only number 300. He says that a cycle always ends with the creation of a new Reaper. 300 cycles = 300 Reaper vessels all up. We don't ever get a number on the fleet CataKid had built when the Reapers first exterminate the Leviathan, but that's not really a thousand ships.
  14. GenAntilles Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2007
    star 4
    That's why you use strategy. The Turians defense of Palaven showed that Reapers can be vulnerable, surprise them, get in close and behind them where their main guns can't fire and hit em with everything you got. Or target their main gun first and then just whittle em down for good. Without that main gun they've lost their only real offensive capability that makes them such a threat. And if you take out 20 of them you've severely crippled their war effort, Reapers dreadnaughts likely number no more than 300 or so.

    And I'm pretty sure if an Admiral suddenly ordered his fleet to attack allies the first officer would know to just shoot him and take command. With indoctrination being public knowledge there is no way the military wouldn't have contingencies for that.

    And all the cruisers, frigates, etc.. as well. Which would more than make up for any lack of dreadnaughts. The Citadel races lose because they fight on the Reapers terms, in pure slug match fleet battles the Reapers are going to win. Ideally the Alliance would've let the Reapers fly unopposed to Earth, let them hand in force in major cities, then detonate 100 nukes in each city followed by massive orbital bombardments of every ordinance imaginable on them at the same time. When Reapers land on planets they are already lost so the Alliance wouldn't be losing anything they didn't already have, you may damage Earth for 100s of years but you can guarantee wiping out a good chunk of the Reaper forces. Same with Palaven, Thessia, etc... It's a brutal strategy but it would be effective. As for Citadel supply lines, the Reapers seem not to even focus on them. They ignored taking the Citadel and focus almost entirely on the harvest. They don't show any strategic thinking. I doubt they'd bother supply lines in any meaningful way.

    And yet the Turians held Palaven because of clever strategy. The 38 minute plan, the resistance blowing up the Reapers, Palaven was full of the turians using strategy to beat the Reapers.

    And I agree, from a story telling point of you Shepard had to be the one to beat the Reapers and the only way for that was a deus ex machina.

    I agree. Reaper tactics and strategy are almost non existent.

    1. Likely just to get races off their backs. And if the Reapers feel they need canon fodder for their enemies to deal with instead of them it would lead credence to the idea they are not that numerous and don't want their own forces to do all the fighting.

    2. That to me is a big clue. If say, the Reapers only have a few hundred dreadnaughts, maybe 300 or so, then it would make sense as to why there are only see at Earth, Palaven, and Thessia. Those are where the reapers are hitting the hardest. But it's destroyers everywhere else. That to me says the Reapers don't have the dreadnaught numbers to devote them to every planet. For dealing with the Krogan and Geth they could only spare one reaper destroyer each, that says a lot about their numbers. The Reapers we see at Earth, Thessia, and Palaven are probably 75% of all the Reaper dreadnaughts. The only other dreadnaught was sent to find the Leviathan.

    3. Exactly. The Reapers show no tactical or strategic thinking. Taking the Citadel was the checkmate move in every cycle and it was aways the first thing done. This time they don't even bother with it and immediately start the cycle like it's no different than the rest. They just start harvesting each planet and only when the Illusive Man tells them a deus ex machina may wipe them out do they bother with the Citadel.


    The thanix cannons are used in almost all combat, though they seem to have been underpowered significantly, but they are there.

    I'd agree. One Reaper for each race each cycle. Now assuming there is more than one race in each cycle that is harvested I'd wager Reaper numbers no more than 1000 Dreadnaught class Reapers in total, and that is a very liberal estimate.
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  15. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    The other thing, as I dimly recall mentioning before and I apologise if I'm repeating it unnecessarily, is that the concept of indoctrination of itself suggests the Reapers are not conventionally unbeatable. If the Reapers knew they would always prevail because of sheer technological superiority and weight of numbers, why bother with indoctrination at all? The cost-benefit analysis makes little sense: if you can hit the Citadel relay in every cycle and paralyse the galaxy thereby, the rest of the operation being basically mopping up piecemeal, then there's no point wasting the time, energy and/or bandwidth to indoctrinate, because the result is a foregone conclusion anyway. We know indoctrination as a strategy predates Javik's cycle, though, mainly because he testifies that was how the Prothean defence was cracked open.

    I'd argue indoctrination is used because the Reapers are not insurmountable opponents, even to the inferior races of the galaxy. The Protheans were, roughly speaking, about as or somewhat more advanced as the species in "our" cycle, and they still managed to put up one hell of a fight before going down to the Reapers. And that's even after the Reapers (IIRC) already used the Citadel relay to start from the middle of their civilisation to begin with; the Protheans who disabled the Citadel relay forcing Sovereign to activate it "in person" did so after the Reapers had already begun the cycle, IIRC.

    EDIT: Although I'm not sure, for the above reasons, about your point (3). The Protheans damaged or disabled the Citadel beacon so the Keepers no longer responded to the Reapers' signal to open the Citadel's relay. That being so, the Reapers first tried with Sovereign to activate the relay, and when that didn't work they switched to plan (b), attacking via the Alpha Relay, which Shepard stopped. They didn't really look at the Citadel option because it wasn't one for them...?
    Last edited by Saintheart, Apr 26, 2013
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  16. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    I was under the impression that the bigger problem with deux ex machina ending in ME3 was that it came out of left field and second, only gave you negative options to win, when the point of the prior games was you could pursue that path or take a higher road. ME3 should have made allowance for that and offered paragon resolution options along with renegade ones, depending on the decision track record for the character set by the player, shouldn't it?
  17. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

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    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    I don't see how Destroy is a negative option, given it's what Shepard has been talking about doing from game 1.

    The main drawback is EDI & the Geth (if you have them as allies) die along with the Reapers.
  18. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    That's the problem right there then - a Paragon wouldn't betray, never mind genocide, his or her allies, would they?
  19. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

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    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    Shepard is a Spectre, Spectres exist to make such tough choices that others won't.

    It's like the Omega-4 relay, destroying that killed lots of Batarians but it had to be done to save the Galaxy from immediate Reaper invasion.


    Destroy had to be done, otherwise all the years of fighting and harping on about destroying the Reapers was a massive waste of time.
    Last edited by SithLordDarthRichie, Apr 27, 2013
  20. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    That's a pretty bad example of what ME games were supposed to be about, that DLC went entirely counter to it - I can see the reason for it sure, but that kind of linearity is more Uncharted than ME.
  21. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

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    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    So what sort of options would you have preferred, an option for Shepard attempting peaceful resolution with the Reapers?

    I don't really see Harbinger going for that.
  22. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Not what I'm getting at - the point of the games is you, the player, gets to decide things but you don't have that option.

    Just as it's a squad-based shooter, but oh look, no squad. That DLC just didn't work for me at all.

    As to options - easy, destroy the Reapers without sacrificing your allies. What Bioware have set up is akin to a hostage / human shield situation. If you kill the hostage, you remove the shield and kill the bad guy but at the cost of someone who didn't deserve to die. Now sure, you can apply utilitarianism and then conclude it was 1 life to save many but should that be the only option on the table?

    This is where I can see players becoming more demanding of games in the future, as graphics and sound reach a plateau, the thing to improve is the AI and player choice consequences - a simple binary option is going to be seen as narrow and artificial. Which is what happened on ME3 in effect, do you accept twist X as part of the story or do you see it as programmer artifice?
  23. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

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    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    I see it as being much like ME1's choice between Ashley & Kaiden. You can't save both of them, to attempt to do so would mean the death of yourself and your squad and all the allies who were attempting to help you. That is a foolish tactic and would lead to Saren & Sovereign's victory and ultimately Reapers destroying everything.

    Destroy seems by far the best option and most consistent with Shepard's actions throughout the game (making tough choices, one life for millions etc). It would have been nice to keep the Geth & EDI alive (although does she really die given she is built into the Normandy?), but it makes sense the Crucible simply wipes out all synthetic life-forms rather than targeting one type.

    You can choose not to accept that option after all, there are 4 choices open to you. None of them are particularly ideal, but I guess Bioware didn't want them to be.
  24. Clone_Cmdr_Wedge Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2006
    star 3
    About Reaper numbers, we could probably figure out a rough estimate pretty easily, I think. Reaper cycles happen every 50,000 years, iirc, and you find the Derelict Reaper in ME2, which TIM said was 37 million years old (again, iirc). If there's 1 new Reaper per cycle, that rounds out to about 740 Reapers. So there's at least that many that were made.

    (Admittedly, I've heard that the Reapers have been around for 1 billion years, though I'm not 100% certain where that number comes from. Leviathan, maybe? In which case, the number comes out to 20,000 Reapers. For a comparision, the quarian fleet numbers around 50,000)

    The only thing that's not really clear to me is if "1 new Reaper a cycle" means either a)"one of the Sovereign types or destroyers", or b) "just one of the Sovereign type." If it's the first one, then some of the tactics make a little more sense. If it's the second, then I just have to ask myself how they are not steamrolling everyone, everywhere (especially if there were about 20,000 capital ships)? My guess is, if the 1 billion year thing is right, that they're talking about both types, based on what they say in the Codex, and what I can see from the cutscenes. And even then, it would be less than 20,000, as there's ample proof the Reapers took casualties even before the Protheans.

    Take all that as you will, I guess.


    True, but all I recall Vigil saying was that the data file he gave Shepard would give him/her "temporary control." Also, I seem to recall Sovereign locking the relay to the Citadel down at least, as Joker tells Shepard to unlock it so that the Fifth Fleet would swoop in and save the day (and the Council if you so desired). So, even if the signal to the keepers was messed up, and assuming Vigil's file didn't mess with the relays (no one says it does, I think), why didn't the Reapers blitz the Citadel and shut down the relays?


    I think you mean the Alpha Relay. Omega-4 was the Suicide Mission to the Collector Base. :p

    In all seriousness though, Arrival didn't bother me too much, though I can understand why someone would have a problem with it. The events in Arrival made sense, I thought, within the context of the universe. Unlike The Part of ME3 That Shall Remain Nameless.

    EDIT:
    @Jedi Ben That's what I thought was funny (and not in the "ha-ha" way) with Arrival about the no squadmates thing. Hackett gives Shep a (somewhat flimsy) excuse as to why he has to do it alone, but if you don't do it, Hackett sends an entire squad to do the same thing, with the same results.

    Also, speaking of Ash, Kaidan, and Virmire, apparently this was going to be one possible outcome (cut, obviously):
    Last edited by Clone_Cmdr_Wedge, Apr 27, 2013
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  25. DarthCane Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 4
    *sigh*

    Off the mass of splattered glue that is the well-beaten ME3 ending/plot dead horse, I've just completed Sur'Kesh with my New Game Plus soldier. So far, that's been a steamroller experience - I have the Typhoon, Piranha, and Valiant at the X level and am working on getting the Venom up there. I also leveled the Black Widow up to X, but even then carrying that and a Typhoon takes me into the red on cooldowns. I can get away with carrying a Typhoon and a Valiant with an IR scope and piercing mod, which lets me shoot Cerberus mooks through the walls for laughs. I wished I had FRAPS turned on when I did the Cerberus Labs mission; towards the end when the troopers and centurions start jetting up onto the landing pad I blasted one in midair with the Piranha and happened to hit pause right then. Would have made a nice screenshot.

    Yeah, at this point with the amount of dakka I half-expect Shep to start yelling "BUUUULLEEETTTSSS!" Deadpool-style.