Thursday, 26 April 2012

(no subject)

Thursday, 26 April 2012 07:50 am
eighthphase: (star trek//space the final frontier)
I wrote an essay for my English class about the Mass Effect 3 ending, uh, thing, and what I think Bioware should do about it. My main argument (or proposal, I suppose, since it was a proposal essay) was "I don't care what you plan on putting in your Extended Cut DLC, this is the kind of thing you should be putting in it", the details of which I don't want to talk about just yet in case somebody gets the big idea I'm plagiarising my own ideas.

But there's nothing saying I can't talk about what I didn't put in my paper, and while to talk about everything I really wanted to write but couldn't (because I had to make it accessible for people who don't know anything about this whole thing - like my professor, who is grading the essay - and also because I only had six pages to use). Most of that is detailed stuff about what exactly was wrong and what exactly could be added, some of which still exists in my original draft, which I still have. But there is one thing - which also still exists in my original draft, but which wasn't very well-articulated - that I had to cut from the paper entirely.

Originally I had listed three things that were wrong and needed to be fixed: the plot-holes, the not-as-advertised-ness, and the passive-aggressive company responses. The ending of the game pissed me off, but it's the last thing that's kept me pissed off. Even when I was explaining my first draft dilemma, I'd describe it as "I know my audience is supposed to be Bioware, who should know exactly what's wrong with the ending despite their seemingly willful ignorance of it all" which is more or less what's wrong with the company responses. It's like they didn't expect the ending to be poorly received, despite the fact that it's exactly the opposite of the ending we, the players, told we would be getting.

These responses have also made me very wary of using the word 'fans' to describe people who are unhappy with the ending, because Bioware's been throwing around the phrase 'most passionate fans' to try and downplay the reactions, and I'm afraid it might be working. Those aren't the only people with a problem, and to act like it's just those people is to insult everyone else. It insults those 'most passionate fans', too, because Bioware's using them as a scapegoat (along with language that gives off the impression of "you just weren't smart enough to figure out our ending so we have to clarify it for you" which is... no) which is the kind of thing that pisses people off. And you kind of need those 'most passionate fans' if you want to have a dedicated fanbase that buys your games without having to wait to hear if they suck or not.

I don't think they're going to have much of that, after this, especially not if they totally phone in the Extended Cut (which I think they might). And if they do that then I'm going to have to stop giving them money forever (which I have only tentatively done, as I want to see how this whole EC thing goes) and that would suck, because they sell cool shirts and stuff.

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