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Report article RSS Feed Respone to Dr. Ray Muzyka

After reading the good Doctor's post on the Bioware blog, i felt compelled to reply to some things.

Posted by Admiral-165 on Mar 22nd, 2012

This post came from Dr. Ray Muzyka himself (you know they aren't messing around anymore when the top guy responds to the fan outcry :P), please read it if you haven't already. I'll just jump right in to a couple things i found interesting in the blog:

Dr.Muzyka wrote:Our first instinct is to defend our work and point to the high ratings offered by critics – but out of respect to our fans, we need to accept the criticism and feedback with humility.

Okay that's all well and good but it sounds to me like you did the opposite by mentioning that lol. Defending your work is the natural thing to do, you did the same when FOX news attacked Mass Effect 1 so I would expect you to do it now. In fact I, along with many other people, ALSO supported you against FOX news and those who wish to censor video games... Can you understand why it hurts us (the fans) so much when you say these types of things? Making it looks as if we were all the bad-guys trying to destroy the Mass Effect series?

Also that's great that Mass Effect 3 got good reviews, I enjoyed the game a lot in fact. But what if the only people who buy your games are the critics because you made your fans THAT angry? Who are you going to point the good reviews to then? This is not some veiled threat i'm sending to you Bioware, it is a simple fact that some fans have clearly stated their intentions to never buy a Bioware game again, i'm just shedding light on it.

Dr.Muzyka wrote:I believe passionately that games are an art form, and that the power of our medium flows from our audience, who are deeply involved in how the story unfolds ... At the same time, I also believe in and support the artistic choices made by the development team. The team and I have been thinking hard about how to best address the comments on ME3’s endings from players, while still maintaining the artistic integrity of the game.

Yeah i agree, and who would disagree that it is the game designers right to artistic freedom and integrity? To clarify: we are angry that you may have confused "artistic integrity" with a 'linear story' for the ending. You said yourself the "power of our medium flows from our audience" so why is there no real choice in the ME3 ending? And why did none of the things we did in the entire series matter in those last 5 minutes? There is a line between "artistic integrity" and just plain old linear story-telling. The latter i could find in any RPG, the former I find in a Bioware game. Bioware has shown they can maintain Artistic integrity and still allow the player to choose their own actions (and therefore consequences) before, so why drop the ball now? That is why we are angry.

Dr.Muzyka wrote:This is an issue we care about deeply, and we will respond to it in a fair and timely way. We’re already working hard to do that.

Dr.Muzyka wrote:This is in addition to our existing plan to continue providing new Mass Effect content and new full games, so rest assured that your journey in the Mass Effect universe can, and will, continue.

I love the Mass Effect series, and i have every confidence that Bioware will not drop the ball on anything else in the future because i think they have learned from this mistake with the ME3 endings. Now that may be naive of me and if i'm wrong i will be the first to admit it, don't get me wrong, but for now i see no reason not to believe the co-founder of Bioware. As for the real meat of these quotes: it's great to hear that the folks at Bioware are working towards fixing the endings. One suggestion though: MAKE IT FREE DLC or i can guarantee a tonne of even more pissed off fans and even less support (again not a threat just judging from what i've observed of the fans)

Dr.Muzyka wrote:If you are a Mass Effect fan and have input for the team – we respect your opinion and want to hear it. We’re committed to address your constructive feedback as best we can.

I have some constructive criticism for the Bioware devs: claim that the ending was supposed to be a cliffhanger to the real ending (which will be released as DLC) and that Shepard had been indoctrinated. Whether this was your true intent or not is now irrelevant because i think claiming anything other than 'Shepard was indoctrinated" will get you a tonne of hate, so the options are rather limited. I have faith that the Bioware writers will be able to come up with something good, but just make sure it shows the culmination of the players actions from all the Mass Effect games, i would recommend having a lot of cutscenes showing these things but i can also understand if the devs want to make it interactive as well. Also make sure the ending is definitive, the fans have already been through enough BS with the cliffhanger ending in the original game, make sure the ending doesn't leave the player with any more questions basically (unless that question is "will there be more Mass Effect games with Shepard?" - hype is always good for sales on the next game ;D)

And the last, and the most important point - i can not stress enough how important this is: Make the ending DLC free. Having the cliffhanger ending was a fairly troll-y move if you ask me, and i definitely do not like it now. That being said, I, along with a lot of other people i think, would look back on this event in a year's time thinking the move was genius because of the free epilogue DLC released a month or w/e after the game release. This would only work if it was free though, if it costs money (any amount of money) it is equivalent to an author not writing the last chapter of a book until a couple months after and then selling it for $10 - it's greedy beyond all recognition and just not good business practice.

---

If you guys have any suggestions for Bioware post them here.

- Admiral out

Post comment Comments
Headhunter128
Headhunter128 Mar 23 2012, 4:06am says:

Amen.

+6 votes     reply to comment
Ambient_Malice
Ambient_Malice Mar 23 2012, 4:19am says:

I must point out that the Fox News/etc attacks on Mass Effect were only bad because they weren't actually based on facts or experience. Kinda like:

"There is this thing called a RIFLE! And it makes you KILL PEOPLE! Plus it makes you want to HAVE SEX WITH ALIENS!"

I'm torn right now: because for years I've chanted: "Don't listen to the fanbois, don't listen to the fanbois!" Now it appears the fanbois want to personally rewrite the ending... And Bioware might just let them.

-2 votes     reply to comment
Admiral-165
Admiral-165 Mar 23 2012, 4:00pm replied:

The lady they had on the show 'destroying' Mass Effect was absolutely clueless and had never even played the game, yes.

I found it funny how she got destroyed by all the fans though. They went to the page for her new book on Amazon and gave it one star with a review saying "I've never read this book but i know that it's bad and encourages violence/sex". XD

As for your last point, there is a difference between fanboys and fans. I see what you're saying with certain fanboys who will never be satisfied with anything. They are a minor nuisance and probably complained about ME2 just as much as ME3. The difference is that we are not Fanboys here, we are fans. Even if we didn't like the ME2 ending we still enjoyed it because the choices we made in the game AND ME1 actually mattered...

Also i am fairly confident that Bioware will release DLC adding to the ending as opposed to replacing it... But i see what you're saying, and, i don't think we'll ever really know if they intended this or it was an accident. So one can't really make the assumption that Bioware is caving to fans, for all we know this may have been their intent all this time...

+3 votes     reply to comment
Ambient_Malice
Ambient_Malice Mar 24 2012, 12:29am replied:

Of course. That's kinda why I spelt it 'fanboi'.

A fan says, "the newer star wars trilogy isn't quite as good."

A fanboi says, "THERE ARE ONLY THREE STAR WARS FILMS!!!"

On the contrary, this group is not very fanboish at all.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Admiral-165
Admiral-165 Mar 24 2012, 1:21am replied:

Right, just wanted to make sure there is no miscommunication in this group as to our intentions and who we all are... You know, in the off chance and person from Bioware checks here lol. Or perhaps if any fanboys come here and try and spread their stuff around, they'll know we are all actually intelligent :P

+2 votes     reply to comment
Sanguinius
Sanguinius Mar 23 2012, 7:40am says:

Well i hope they release a DLC with better ending or create some other Mass Effect games but i don't think that's possible because the game ended in a way where you can't resurrect the story. I was expecting for Shepard to survive, become next chancellor and marry/have kids with his love interest. I wanted to have blue babies so badly, and of course see Tali's face :(

+4 votes     reply to comment
Admiral-165
Admiral-165 Mar 23 2012, 4:03pm replied:

Well, i honestly and truly believe that IF they make ending DLC, and it IS free they CAN save the series. The only uncertainties after this would be whether they do this type of thing again. For example, I'm fairly ****** off at Bioware right now, if i get free ending DLC as everyone wants (provides a definitive ending where choices matter etc.) then i would be content with Bioware. However i would still be wary of them, and if they pull one of these things again i would probably ditch them totally...

+3 votes     reply to comment
Mdhneo007
Mdhneo007 Mar 23 2012, 11:00am says:

Way to go, Admiral. You not only addressed key points in the Dr.'s response, but you did so in a rather fair and evenhanded manner. I just hope that bioware has learned that they were the hypocritical ones and are not just trying to pacify their fans.

Afterall, the only reason we Mass Effect players are so irritated is because they created a game we could pour our hearts into and watch our actions, either paragorn or renegade, have an effect on the outcome of the game. That degree of control is not only empowering, but also entrancing and has made ME1/2 a joy to play through multiple times (for me, 11 in total).

The disappointment isn't end the ending, because if we played through with little or no effort and made consecutively poor choices the endings are appropriate considering the choices -> result pattern, but rather the fact the development team's utilization of their 'artistic prerogative' robbed the players of the very thing ME promised us: the right to influence the final outcome.

There are alot of us out there who from day one, when Mass Effect came out, made character choices that would build a foundation for a successful outcome to the final battle with the rEApers. There are even more who spent the months before ME3 came out replaying the previous games just to get the ending desired, or set up precursors to get various endings along the spectrum of results we had come to expect from bioware. Then to be faced with Red, Blue or Green and have the ability to choose any one regardless of the game choices culminating at that moment; that is what is irritating for a true Mass Effect gamer. I hope bioware has learned that, maybe not from what they're saying now.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Admiral-165
Admiral-165 Mar 23 2012, 3:51pm replied:

Exactly... and that's what i tried to say in my reply here (i'm glad so many people agree with me as well :D).

When writing these types of things there is a fine line you have to walk between appeasing the fans, and appealing to the company. Obviously i am totally with the fans here, and i pointed that out in the first 3 paragraphs or so in this article. Calling them out on their comments, showing the hypocrisy and all that.

At the same time however I still need to show Bioware that we ARE 'moderates' and willing to be civilized :P Otherwise nothing would get done. So for anyone thinking i went a bit too easy on Bioware, that's the reason... Although i stand by all of the points i made in this article.

I also strongly recommend anyone who reads the article above to follow the link to the Bioware forum and post any new ideas they have to improve the game (it can be for the ending or any more expansions/DLC). I should mention that the Bioware devs look at the forum so if the same ideas come up more than once it would have a higher chance of being successful i think... I'm not saying spam the same stuff over and over but if everyone who agrees with my analysis of the ending and the improvements which can be made then feel free to post your own interpretation of my ideas on the forum... :D

+3 votes     reply to comment
Sab3rr
Sab3rr Mar 23 2012, 3:31pm says:

Said it like a SIR. Good show. The Entire Mass Effect fandom is behind this message in force.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Admiral-165
Admiral-165 Mar 23 2012, 4:05pm replied:

Thanks a bunch! :D I made this instead of studying for me English presentation... Needless to say i messed up a bit in my presentation, but...

It was totally worth it. (may or may not be a Tali reference :P)

+3 votes     reply to comment
Ρrʌжis
Ρrʌжis Mar 23 2012, 7:59pm says:

A freaking Men! Jolly good show! Verily!

Have you posted this to the Bioware ME forums yet? Cause I was think of quoting you and spamming this response myself.

On another not, I think Bioware if anything has been indoctrinated by EA.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Admiral-165
Admiral-165 Mar 23 2012, 9:35pm replied:

Social.bioware.com

yeah i already posted it :P rewording my suggestions and posting them might help out a bit though, if you really want to do that. I don't want to force/command you to copy what i say if you don't agree with it, but if you do then feel free :D

+2 votes     reply to comment
Admiral-165
Admiral-165 Mar 23 2012, 9:50pm replied:

Also just so we're clear: I picked the Banshee for my profile picture because absolutely NO ONE else was using it lol... I liked the Biotic one but i see it all over the site so... you gotta pick what people remember and recognize (which just so happens to give you nightmares and be incredibly ugly at the same time... don't judge me lol)

+2 votes     reply to comment
Ρrʌжis
Ρrʌжis Mar 24 2012, 5:36pm replied:

LOL, I picked Primarch Victus, nobody seemed to be using him much, they were mostly occupied with Garrus. xD

I don't care what anyone says, I've seen many people regard him as an *******, I thought he was kinda cool.

+2 votes     reply to comment
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