Do you think Bioware truly fulfilled there vision?

#1 Edited by pyrodactyl (2364 posts) -

March 21, around 10am, the internet cough on fire once again over ME3 related stuff. Except this time, it was serious and level headed people that were beating Bioware with virtual baseball bats. All this new controversy over some comments from Bioware co-founder Dre Ray saying that they might do something ending related in DLC form. Ryan, Patrick, Brendan Sinclair and countless others were disappointed with what they perceived as a coward move on Bioware's behalf.

http://www.gamespot.com/features/who-wins-when-mass-effect-3s-ending-changes-6367380/

(thanks to ) It's staggering to me that journalists, not internet nerds, true professionals would jump to conclusions and start judging Bioware on Dr. Ray's statement alone. Not even reading it correctly!

Most people seem to think that the guys that developed the game caved in to fan pressure. Some are coming out of the woodwork (not having played the game yet) and argue that it diminishes video games as an art form. A few are even accusing Bioware of bringing back the medium 10 years in the past.

So here's my problem with this whole situation/argument:

What if the developer of ME3 didn't think the ending was as good as it could have been?

What if they didn't want to make DLC to fill the plot holes or give more closure because games are suppose to stand on there own?

What if, with all the fan outrage, they decided to add things they didn't have time to add before the game shipped?

What if, shocker, the artist actually wanted to change the painting before it was shipped to the gallery but didn't have time?

And, of course, the part where THEY DIDN'T SAY THEY WERE CHANGING ANYTHING!!! Just clarifying stuff (maybe eliminating some plot holes?)

If I can agree with one thing Jeff has said about mass effect 3, it's that they didn't have enough time to make the game. Most parts are incredible and some are kind of a bummer: http://www.giantbomb.com/mass-effect-3/61-29935/someone-stop-the-bombcast-bummer-train-on-me3/35-539421/

To me, it's a sign that the development studio didn't have the time to come up with, and build, a solution to the game's problems. In short, I think they didn't fulfill there creative vision with the ending. For proof, look no further than the ending cutscene. Its stitched together nature that leaves huge plot holes in a story that had almost none until this point seems to indicate a rushed job. They surely compensated with awesome character interaction and amazing set-pieces in the rest of the game but in the end, it's the final chapter that people remember the most.

On a more business oriented note, I don't feel a lot of hardcore fan of ME3 would have bought DLC content that fleshed out a world that's almost gone by the end of the game. I certainly wouldn't have simply because a new character or location in that world doesn't appeal to me after an ending so definitive.

So, where do you stand on this issue? Do you think it's the chance for Bioware to clarify there ending and bring some closure? Do you think they gave up and are pandering to fanboys? Do you think they fullfilled their creative vision? Do you think they had a vision in the first place?

EDIT: New developments thanks to

http://www.gameranx.com/updates/id/5695/article/mass-effect-3-writer-allegedly-slams-controversial-ending/

Seems that it was not the vision of everyone on staff. allegedly...

#2 Posted by Phatmac (5730 posts) -

their*

#3 Posted by jking47 (1248 posts) -

I think that I don't care

#4 Posted by DonChipotle (2853 posts) -

They fulfilled their vision of selling copies, yeah.

#5 Posted by DeShawn2ks (1058 posts) -

@pyrodactyl: I think Bioware already planned to have some kind of epilogue dlc. I also think they will probably add in more to that dlc based off the complaints they had. I am in the same boat as Jeff too. Lets say ME3 ended the way it does and there is no dlc content that takes place after the ending. I couldn't see myself as invested as I was in the first 2 games when it comes to dlc. Not angry as a lot of people are just disappointed. So I couldn't see myself as interested in dlc this time around that adds on a few extra missions during the main campaign. With that said though I would really like some dlc where you help Aria take back Omega.

#6 Posted by Creamypies (4091 posts) -

I see what you're saying, but the story for this game would've been written out and finalized a long time before it shipped. They knew what game they were making, and they knew what story they were telling. If they wanted to change it beforehand, they had plenty of time to do so. But they didn't, they stuck with it.

The only reason they're having to address this, is because they are losing potential sales and having to deal with refunds over this ridiculous controversy. The entire thing is being dealt with in this way because the business side of things demands it.

They are pandering to fanboys, and it makes me so sad to see all this happen. They are having to change their creative vision because a vocal group of fans think that they own the Mass Effect license and are angry that it wasn't taken in the direction they intended.

Maybe what they end up creating will be fantastic, but I still see this as a real sad day for the videogame industry.

#7 Posted by big_jon (5789 posts) -

@Phatmac said:

their*

Beat me to it.

#8 Posted by pweidman (2365 posts) -

I do think they fullfilled their creative vision with the game overall, but there's no doubt they were pressured to put the game out before they were ready. The game lacks the polish that ME2 had imo, and like Jeff said, this franchise deserved better.

I still think it's a fantastic game. As a huge fan of the trilogy I'm satisfied completely, and didn't find the ending options insulting at all. But it's too bad they didn't get more time to fine tune everything, and avoid many obvious compromises in the final game as it is. The mp which is really well done and obviously got a lot of attention, can partly be to blame too I spose. I, for one though, am ok with it as I love it, and will play it off and on long after my sp playthroughs are done.

#9 Posted by pyrodactyl (2364 posts) -

@Creamypies said:

I see what you're saying, but the story for this game would've been written out and finalized a long time before it shipped. They knew what game they were making, and they knew what story they were telling. If they wanted to change it beforehand, they had plenty of time to do so. But they didn't, they stuck with it.

The only reason they're having to address this, is because they are losing potential sales and having to deal with refunds over this ridiculous controversy. The entire thing is being dealt with in this way because the business side of things demands it.

They are pandering to fanboys, and it makes me so sad to see all this happen. They are having to change their creative vision because a vocal group of fans think that they own the Mass Effect license and are angry that it wasn't taken in the direction they intended.

Maybe what they end up creating will be fantastic, but I still see this as a real sad day for the videogame industry.

looking around, I found stuff indicating they didn't stuck with what they had planned. The dark mass rumors, the deleted scene from Keighley's ME3 app, part of the script floating around, anderson deleted dialogue,etc.

#10 Posted by OldGuy (1575 posts) -

  

#11 Posted by Sackmanjones (4762 posts) -

It's a helluva game so ya. I'm sure they are upset about the ending outrage. But people who think they are gonna rewrite the ending are just stupid. Probably more so than the original outcrys. They way he words it is they will CLARIFY the ending. Tha more sounds like they are gonna do something to explain it not create a brand new one. People just need to chill

#12 Posted by Irvandus (2899 posts) -

No, it's a good game but you can tell they were aiming higher.

#13 Posted by Zaph (274 posts) -

At first I was against Bioware making any changes to the end of ME3, but today all the game journalists raging on about 'artistic integrity' made me realize something - why are we assuming video games are the only medium in existence that's immune to artistic compromise and corporate meddling?

We're assuming internally at Bioware everyone is completely happy with the current ending and sees it as their artistic vision and hates the idea of changing it. But don't the comments made prior to the release of ME3 by Casey Hudson (Lead Designer), which suggest a completely different type of ending, just prove that the artistic integrity was compromised way before fans even played the finished game?

What's to say there wasn't already a power struggle at Bioware (due to time/budget/resources compromise or maybe EA interference) and the fan reaction just aligns with the developers? For all we know this reaction just gave the developers an opportunity to do a Director's Cut and create the ending they always intended.

#14 Posted by MooseyMcMan (11414 posts) -

I think what happened was that EA pressured them to make he game in less time than they wanted to (and less time than they took with the previous ones), so as a result the game suffered a bit. Personally, I loved it up until the final hour or so, and even then I was still enjoying it until the last few minutes.

So no, I don't think this is the game that the originally envisioned Mass Effect 3 would be when they made Mass Effect 1 (which is when the vision was first made, as they were saying it would be a trilogy all along). Is it better or worse? I don't know. I don't think anyone knows.

#15 Posted by Fawkes (253 posts) -

They were rushed. I don't doubt that at all.

Online
#16 Posted by pyrodactyl (2364 posts) -

@MooseyMcMan: @Fawkes:

does that make the DLC ok then?

#17 Posted by MooseyMcMan (11414 posts) -

@pyrodactyl: It depends. If it expands on what is already there, then it's okay from an artistic integrity point of view. Conversely, if this is something that's been in the works for some time, then it raises the question of why they didn't include it in the main game, or why they are charging money for it (because frankly, they aren't going to put out DLC for free when they know people will pay for it). If they knew the ending was incomplete, then they should have delayed the game and made it better.

But if what they are planning is to outright change the ending, then it destroys any integrity they have. Especially since the damage is done. The people who would be most angry at the ending are the die hard fans like myself, and of course we've all already played the game (minus a few stragglers). They might make an ending that's better in every way, and give it out to everyone for free. But they don't have the ability to travel through time and change the ending for the people who already beat it. It's like Star Wars. Lucas can change the movies as many times as he wants, but people will always remember the version they saw first (unless it's Return of the Jedi with Hayden Christensen at the end).

If it's DLC that picks up where the game ends, then I'll play it, even if it costs money. Yes, I'm not helping, but I don't care. I've been invested and obsessed with this series for five years now. I want to see how it ends. I want answers, even if I don't like them.

#18 Posted by Fawkes (253 posts) -

@pyrodactyl: Well I'd rather they had the time to make the game in the first place. I don't think the ending DLC needs to be justified like that though. Even if this is the game they wanted to make, the ending is not what the majority of fans wanted, and I don't think there's anything wrong with them listening to their fans. I wish more companies would.

Online
#19 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

@MooseyMcMan said:

@pyrodactyl: It depends. If it expands on what is already there, then it's okay from an artistic integrity point of view. Conversely, if this is something that's been in the works for some time, then it raises the question of why they didn't include it in the main game, or why they are charging money for it (because frankly, they aren't going to put out DLC for free when they know people will pay for it). If they knew the ending was incomplete, then they should have delayed the game and made it better.

But if what they are planning is to outright change the ending, then it destroys any integrity they have. Especially since the damage is done. The people who would be most angry at the ending are the die hard fans like myself, and of course we've all already played the game (minus a few stragglers). They might make an ending that's better in every way, and give it out to everyone for free. But they don't have the ability to travel through time and change the ending for the people who already beat it. It's like Star Wars. Lucas can change the movies as many times as he wants, but people will always remember the version they saw first (unless it's Return of the Jedi with Hayden Christensen at the end).

If it's DLC that picks up where the game ends, then I'll play it, even if it costs money. Yes, I'm not helping, but I don't care. I've been invested and obsessed with this series for five years now. I want to see how it ends. I want answers, even if I don't like them.

Technically, you've already seen how it ends. Whatever comes after will just be the product of whining.

#20 Posted by MooseyMcMan (11414 posts) -

@Hailinel: Unless, as I suggested, this is something they were planning before the game was released. Then it's a product of wanting to make more money.

Either way, it's a product of something bad.

#21 Posted by sheldipez (22 posts) -

No, Drew Karpyshan aimed them at the "vision" for two games and they went of course when he left. They hit something, but sure as hell wasn't the original vision.

#22 Posted by Jost1 (2078 posts) -

Fuck no!

#23 Edited by AndrewB (7691 posts) -

@pyrodactyl said:

What if, shocker, the artist actually wanted to change the painting before it was shipped to the gallery but didn't have time?

Because, while a true artist will probably never be okay with the work they created, they don't rush anything out on a deadline.

I hate people defending the quality of recent Bioware games based on how quickly they turned them around. Sure, it's a testament that they were able to do what they did with Dragon Age 2 and Mass Effect 3 in the time they did so, but if you rush out a deeply flawed product, you will never get sympathy from me when it comes to tearing it down. Take the time to make a masterpiece every time, and you'll pretty much be guaranteed my money, as it remains with Valve and Blizzard.

I'm not shitting on your whole sentiment, it's just this one particular notion that gets me riled up.

@sheldipez said:

No, Drew Karpyshan aimed them at the "vision" for two games and they went of course when he left. They hit something, but sure as hell wasn't the original vision.

This is also true (as far as I can tell from what has been reported by various gaming news outlets), and knowing this will always make me wonder what could have been. The same gameplay wrapped around a more complete story would obviously have made for a better trilogy. And it kind of answers the question posed in the title: "did they fulfill their original vision." No, by definition, they didn't.

#24 Posted by Jost1 (2078 posts) -

Well let's just say: if THIS was their vision all along then their vision was Matrix Revolutions-levels of terrible.

#25 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -
@Hailinel said:

@MooseyMcMan said:

@pyrodactyl: It depends. If it expands on what is already there, then it's okay from an artistic integrity point of view. Conversely, if this is something that's been in the works for some time, then it raises the question of why they didn't include it in the main game, or why they are charging money for it (because frankly, they aren't going to put out DLC for free when they know people will pay for it). If they knew the ending was incomplete, then they should have delayed the game and made it better.

But if what they are planning is to outright change the ending, then it destroys any integrity they have. Especially since the damage is done. The people who would be most angry at the ending are the die hard fans like myself, and of course we've all already played the game (minus a few stragglers). They might make an ending that's better in every way, and give it out to everyone for free. But they don't have the ability to travel through time and change the ending for the people who already beat it. It's like Star Wars. Lucas can change the movies as many times as he wants, but people will always remember the version they saw first (unless it's Return of the Jedi with Hayden Christensen at the end).

If it's DLC that picks up where the game ends, then I'll play it, even if it costs money. Yes, I'm not helping, but I don't care. I've been invested and obsessed with this series for five years now. I want to see how it ends. I want answers, even if I don't like them.

Technically, you've already seen how it ends. Whatever comes after will just be the product of whining.

Just like Project Rainfall oh dude of the double standard.
#26 Posted by Sticky_Pennies (2019 posts) -

Of course they didn't. They had far too short of a development cycle.

But that doesn't mean it's a bad game. Sure, the ending is sparking a lot of controversy, but a lot of the story was still solid.

#27 Posted by MEATBALL (3504 posts) -

I've really loved the trilogy, Mass Effect 3 might even be my favourite entry. However, it's a series that has had so much more potential than what Bioware have delivered, they've consistently cut corners with the franchise, particularly when it comes to player choice and consequence. It's a shame, but even so they're still some of my favourite games and I struggle to think of a better trilogy that I've played.

#28 Edited by owl_of_minerva (1455 posts) -

This was probably planned from the start. EA's CEO has discussed hypothetically how there could be microtransactions for reloading weapons in Battlefield because "people aren't really price-sensitive during that time", etc etc. It's a new experiment in ending DLC, controversy, and how much money can be made from it.

Edit: Also the writing team changed considerably with Drew Karpyshn leaving and Mac Walters becoming lead. Say what you will, there's no coherent vision in Mass Effect 3. Its narrative is cobbled together.

#29 Posted by Jost1 (2078 posts) -

@owl_of_minerva said:

This was probably planned from the start. EA's CEO has discussed hypothetically how there could be microtransactions for reloading weapons in Battlefield because "people aren't really price-sensitive during that time", etc etc. It's a new experiment in ending DLC, controversy, and how much money can be made from it.

Edit: Also the writing team changed considerably with Drew Karpyshn leaving and Mac Walters becoming lead. Say what you will, there's no coherent vision in Mass Effect 3. Its narrative is cobbled together.

It's speculation whether it was planned or not but John Riccitello probably wouldn't be against it!

#30 Posted by Morningstar (2242 posts) -

Their vision was money and so they rushed it.

#31 Posted by pyrodactyl (2364 posts) -

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