Lit Unpopular EU opinions

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Team Padme, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    May 28, 2003
    star 6
    Unpopular EU opinions?

    I... secretly... love Darksaber. And the Jedi Academy Trilogy.

    In short, KJA isn't all that bad...

    --Adm. Nick
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  2. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Well, there's no shortage of fleet action in Darksaber Nick, though treating SDs as snubfighters always seemed odd!
  3. Doc_Bough Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Sep 6, 2012
    Yuuzhan Vong are cool.
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  4. Havac Some Guy Who Moderates Lit

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    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    I'm banning everyone who says they liked SWDBPODANOTOR better than JVS. You're on notice.
  5. Ulicus Lit'ari

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    Jul 24, 2005
    star 6
    Adult notice. For adults.

    Like me.
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  6. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    I finally have time to comment on this! Well, 20 minutes. I can do it...

    For the two people out there who are interested in playing ME3 but haven't yet...

    Show Spoiler
    You make some fantastic points. Overall, I agree that the concept of the original ending, as well as even the execution, were highly interesting. Partly because something like that has never been done before. Not just in the field of video games. Never has what can be considered a blockbuster franchise ended on such an ambiguous, challenging, and frankly, unsatisfying note from a narrative standpoint. It was certainly bold, and overall, I do actually prefer the ending we got to a "and they all lived happily ever after" ending. From the very beginning of the game, with the death of the boy, it was made clear that Mass Effect 3 was about sacrifices. Players just didn't know how much they might be made to sacrifice. Though then again, it seems the most popular ending is the destroy ending, which involves killing off an entire race... for me, destroy is the ultimate renegade ending, though others seem to see it as the ending. Whatever.

    I think the ending itself, in a vacuum, is quite intriguing. However, it's all about placement. I'll compare it to song structure. I believe that music is one of the most open ended art forms in existence, but even then it is littered with restrictions (how I hate using that word in regards to any art form). One generally does not indulge themselves in a twenty minute guitar solo in a soul song. The solo itself may be fantastic, but overall, it dilutes the song itself and would be of better use elsewhere. One does not generally play a ukelele solo in a heavy metal song (but then again, Spinal Tap have proven me wrong there). What I'm getting at is, in a standalone science fiction game, the ending might widely be seen as appropriate (hell, it was for Deus Ex). In a trilogy that puts character arguably above every other underlying theme, I personally feel it's thematically appropriate to include those characters in some way in the finale of the series and, at this point, the universe.

    Of course, that does raise one question. You mention that, because you play the game through Shepard's eyes, you know only what he or she knows. The results of your actions are only what you imagine them to be. I find this very interesting, but at the same time, I feel that it is, to a point, not only Shepard's story, but the story of the universe itself. I read that article you linked, about how Mass Effect is the most important science fiction franchise of our time, and it made me think of the correlation between the ME universe seen through the games and seen through the expanded material. The ME universe is nothing even close to the SW galaxy at this point; it has very little expanded material, and most of it is fairly uninteresting, in my opinion. With that in mind, the Mass Effect trilogy is the sole look into this interesting universe, at least until whatever the next project in it will be. We occupy our time in it as Shepard. Even so, I personally feel it appropriate that we at least get a glimpse of the results of our actions throughout three games, and the mark they have left on the citizens of the universe.

    Ultimately, the extended cut is essentially spelling everything out. As you say, the ending is not influenced by an arbitrary paragon or renegade score, but only by our prior experiences in the universe. Kill the geth in order to save the rest of the galaxy and bring the greatest killers the galaxy had ever known to justice? Force the final state of evolution on an entire galaxy? These aren't things that can be determined by a good/evil score. I think the problem much of the fanbase had is that they wanted to see these changes. Because nothing was shown, they assumed it was all the same, hence the many "the only differences in endings are the color" jokes (though for the record, I absolutely feel destroying the relays was the wrong move, as it significantly stifles possible futures for the ME universe, and am glad they changed that). One does have to wonder, then, if the general dissatisfaction to the ending is at all tied with the medium. Watchmen, a 12 issue comic book series, ended on an incredibly ambiguous note... the reader is left to essentially imagine the entire ending. Are video games such a visual medium that they demand everything be shown directly? Or is it the fact that the medium is so unused to that kind of thing? I fear the days of games like Planescape: Torment are long past.

    All that said, I don't think it's unreasonable for ME players to want to see just a bit more, even if it is only reiterating everything. I'll admit I was almost hoping for a Dragon Age Origins style epilogue, but again I suppose that goes against the whole 'visual medium' thing. It's true that the new endings do take some of the fun of imagining the ending away, but even then they're not completely gone. In the destroy ending, for instance, the player is left to imagine just what Shepard's survival entails. In the control ending, the player is left wondering if Shepard will be able to maintain his or her previous personality, or simply go rogue. I do, however, feel it holds your hand a bit too much with certain lines... I suppose that's what the fanbase wanted.

    I do definitely agree that the original endings are more fascinating. Overall, however, I feel like the EC endings are a better send off for the series, and for now, the Mass Effect universe. Now the next Mass Effect game... there's something I feel pretty ambiguously towards. I have no idea whether or not I'd prefer it to be a sequel or prequel... I imagine they'll be going for the latter [/endspoiler]

    Well that was a bunch of nonsensical rambling... don't have time to add a point to it. Ah well, maybe later.

    One the whole Mass Effect note, I can't be the only one who actually enjoyed the "refusal" ending. Most wanted to see Bioware self-righteously snubbing their fans, but I actually felt the speech Shepard gave got to the heart of a lot of fan complaints, and gave them what they wanted; a character who refuses to compromise. Even in the fact of Armageddon (second Watchmen reference in one post... sorry. I read it pretty recently).
    Last edited by instantdeath, Sep 18, 2012
  7. Lane_Winree Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2006
    star 4
    I thought Star by Star was actually one of the low points of New Jedi Order. Logic-riddled mess.
    Dr. Steve Brule likes this.
  8. Duragizer Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2009
    star 3
    The post-May 19, 1999 EU was decent, though heavily flawed, until AOTC was released. After that, everything turned to ****.
  9. Dr. Steve Brule Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2012
    star 4
    I agree entirely. Even ignoring the deaths and violence that most critiques of it focus on, I think the plot of SbS makes little sense at best. It's painfully obvious that there was an outline that said "the YJKs get sent to kill the Voxyn Queen" and the writing was made to bend around that, rather than it being something that grew organically from the storyline and characterization prior.
  10. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    The Episode I Adventures about Anakin's life as a slave on Tatooine are actually really good.
  11. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    I heard that. Makes it all the more frustrating it's so damn elusive :mad:

    They should seriously release those things online.
  12. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    They should. Kitster's subplot was really surprisingly emotionally moving and beautiful..
  13. beccatoria Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2006
    star 4
    @imiller - to continue our off-topic, hidden conversation -

    Show Spoiler
    I'm glad you at least think I'm making sense. I certainly don't think that it's unreasonable for players to want to see more, or to be unsatisfied with a certain type of ending, nor do I hate the extended cut endings. I think they're pretty good actually, even though I'm not the biggest fan of the Catalyst's explanation of synthesis, I think EDI narrating that ending is quite beautiful.

    That said, to talk at least a little more about why I liked not seeing it - I get what you're saying about it being the story of the universe, but I don't think that has to be exclusive of seeing that universe through Shepard's eyes. Your choices as Shepard determine what elements you see. A Shepard who sells Legion in ME2 is going to have a drastically reduced understanding of the Geth situation. A Shepared who kills Wrex is going to have a vastly less optimistic view of the Genophage cure, etc. We care about this universe, you're right, and that is the point. And then, at the end, we get given ultimate control over it, but in an unusual replication of Shepard's experience, we must make that choice with no way of knowing, for sure, what we have wrought, because we are going to (probably, at least in the pre-EC when the breath scene was harder to achieve) die.

    I'm not negating your perspective - I get what you're saying - I'm more trying to clarify, I don't see it as "Shepard's story" instead of the story of the universe. I see the two as inextricably linked, and the existentialist, humanistic tragedy and triumph of the ending is that same as the triumph and tragedy of our lives (according to those philosophies). They are brief and finite with limited perspective. Shepard goes further than any other sentient towards achieving true meaning with her actions in a universe that is so large such a thing should be impossible for an individual, but even she, at the end, contends with the fact there is an endpoint to her existence. And I'd argue that's more powerfully rendered as an emotional experience for the player by denying them clear knowledge of the outcome. While I'd personally disagree, I do understand that that's an experience not appreciated by many who were looking for a more conclusive end to their narrative.

    And you're right, I think a lot of it is to do with the way we experience stories and the fact that an RPG experience like Mass Effect is vastly more immersive and experiential. Does "more realistic experience," equate to "better story"?

    For what it's worth, I think destroy is such a popular ending because it's the one that feels most defiant. I also think it's popular because it's the closest to what people were expecting, so it was easier to fit into the narrative that they wanted. There's nothing wrong with that, although I did get really tired with the minority of fans who managed to turn righteous "destroy is the only ending!" crud into a fandom meme for a while. That was a shame.

    The refusal ending, I'm conflicted about. I have no problem with it existing - I think it's rational that it does, and I think that it ends in the only way that's reasonable - not with immediate victory, but still with hope. I honestly don't think it was intended as an insult, but rather a desperate attempt to give fans what they wanted while not ruining the threat of the Reapers or undermining the cost of the ending for those who didn't refuse. In theory I think it should exist. I don't think I could ever bring myself to choose it though - I just feel it's so self-righteously selfish, or, at best, perhaps, tragically misguided.

    Anyway, it's been really interesting to discuss this stuff with you - so difficult to find places where it's possible to hold opposing views on this topic without it descending into madness! ;)
  14. TheAvengerButton Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2011
    star 1
    I hate that people keep bringing the Sith back into EU.

    I also don't like too much EU, but I like enough that I feel I can post here.

    The Force Unleashed game and everything contained within it were amazing.

    Splinter of the Mind's Eye was awesome and it should have been a television special instead of the Holiday Special.

    When people ask me what my favorite Star Wars movie is, I always tell them it's Shadows of the Empire. I also love the soundtrack more than I like any of the movie soundtracks as a whole.

    I like the new TCW series better than I liked the CW comics and the micro-series.

    I didn't think Shadows of Mindor was all that great. It was actually kind of hard to understand when it came to the description of some of the tech. Stover actually had a weird way of describing just what was going on a lot actually.

    I like elements of the Jedi Prince series, and I wouldn't mind seeing them adapted again and made better.

    That's all I can really think of for now.
  15. imiller Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2004
    star 3
    @beccatoria:
    Show Spoiler
    Indeed - the civility level of conversations about Mass Effect, and in particular 3, have been one of the reasons I've not contributed much to the discussion. That and I liked the first game best :) But it is nice reading such an articulate defense and exploration of these issues - so thank you!

    I agree about the refusal ending - but I think it's the least interesting of the endings. I think it would have been nicer if they'd actually given the player the freedom to choose to refuse at the beginning - which would be hard to understand the first time, but more Hollywood "all pull together" - and they could have ended just as ambiguously - no answer if they win or lose - and I think it would have been a lot more satisfying than a dying PC looking at the space battle after shooting at the star child thingy.

    You raise excellent points about expectations - and I think here's where blame really can be placed at the feet of the developers. It'd be one thing if they'd just said "the ending is amazing," but they consistently said things like "it won't be three differently colored but same animation ending cutscenes" or "you won't just have to choose options A, B, or C." I see where you're coming from when you say that being stripped of all companions and other options, all you have is the history of your choices - but I was frustrated by the fact that nothing you did really changed the three options you had. I know it's unrealistic, but I thought statements from the developers like "All your choices will come together in the end to form a unique ending for every player" meant more than "you will remember everything as you face the same three choices no matter what you did before."

    I'd like to also say I really appreciate the lack of "fanboys just want a happy ending" condescension in your responses - that was perhaps the most galling of the arguments in favor of the original endings, and I just didn't think that was appropriate or understanding of what people were really upset about.
  16. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    When you are little, the idea of Admiral Ackbar taking on an SSD with a single MC90 cruiser is wicked cool. As you get older and become a seasoned Fleet Junkie, it does get a little hard to explain. Expecially once the SSD becomes 19km long. :p

    That said, love that scence at the end when Ackbar's cruiser is fleeing a large group of Imperial ships when all of a sudden a whole New Republic fleet arrives. It always imagined this as Star Wars version of the battle of Helm's Deep. Ackbar's cruiser is Theoden and the New Republic fleet is the Riders of Rohan coming to the rescue. :D

    --Adm. Nick
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  17. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    There was a great bit in the Technical Journal where it explained that, despite having around half the armament of an Imperial Star Destroyer, the Mon Cal gunnery crews' proficiency and accuracy was such that any capittal ship engagement ended up being far more even than would have been expected!

    Obviously, this doesn't apply to duelling an SSD!
  18. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

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    Nov 15, 2004
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    I still contend that an SSD made by Delvardus is not an SSD that one should compare to an SSD built by the Empire before Byss went bye-bye.

    Ditto an SSD that is on the run all the time e.g. Iron Fist or an SSD that has been maintained by a world bereft of shipyards e.g. Lusankya.

    There are very few battles which I would consider an SSD to be at full strength. Any engagement pre-Endor is a given. Post-Endor, the SSDs in central Imperial control only. Post-Byss, only SSDs built by the original Empire and maintained by a faction with more than a sector of territory i.e. not Delvardus or X1!
  19. Jedi Ben Chosen One

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    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    And THAT is a Fleet Junkie (tm) response! :)
  20. imiller Force Ghost

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    Apr 26, 2004
    star 3
    So, Reaper and Megador vs. Lusankya was three SSDs (or dreadnoughts, whatever) at full strength?
  21. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

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    Megador may not have been at full strength, or even an Executor-type Star Dreadnaught, but yes.

    Being as Megador is explicitly mentioned as having a different number of engines to an SSD and being the equivalent of five Imperial II-class Star Destroyers during LotF.
  22. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    I never quite knew what to picture every time LOTF mentioned Megador. Sometimes it sounded like an SSD, others just an ISD.

    With some of the new classes in between from EGTW, I'm tempted to wonder if it's one of them instead.
  23. imiller Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2004
    star 3
    Well, it's definitely more than an Impstar Deuce, though I agree that nothing confirms that it's an Exec-class. Though I personally think if it were a 7.5km class, it would make me much happier about my whole "Orinda messes with Starfighters of Adumar" problem :) Still a dreadnought, but nothing close to a SSD, so Rogriss's attitude makes more sense.

    Still bitter, yes, why do you ask? :)

    Oooh, that reminds me of another unpopular (which is to say, incorrect) opinion: I liked it better when SSDs were 8km. Made the Mon Remonda vs Iron Fist duels much more plausible. Though I might be persuaded by your "not at full strength" argument.
  24. AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature

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    Five bucks says that Denning, in his mind, imagines her as a 8km SSD. :p

    --Adm. Nick
  25. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

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    Nov 15, 2004
    star 7
    Being as he referenced Super-class ships in DNT and is commenting about 8km Killik Nest Ships...

    Yes, I'd say he is.

    But to me Super-class is just what the Mandator-class end's up labelled for neatness sake. Because I don't see the point of dozens of ships bigger than an ISD if they don't appear in the text more than once. Vengeance-class Super Star Destroyers befuddle. Bellator-class Star Dreadnaughts offend me outright.

    The Megador being a smaller Destroyer would work well with Rogriss' comments, agreed, imiller.
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