Sunday, April 8, 2012

I Understand A Little Better Now

Still haven't formulated my thoughts on ME3 into a satisfactory state. I'm working on it, with the imaginary discussions and such.

Meanwhile, I've gotten a better picture of why all this backlash against BioWare exists.

Personally, I hadn't paid any attention to Mass Effect 3 before actually getting around to playing it. I hadn't watched any commercials, read or listened to any rumors, read any company responses to those rumors, or caught any of the pre-launch hype. I simply played ME3 without any of that outside knowledge. It was just me and the game. As such, I finished it and had my opinion on the ending and so forth. None of the out-right anger felt by other gamers. I was confused and a little annoyed by how indignant many of them seemed to be. I felt they had no right to be angry the game didn't end the way they wanted it to. Since then, I've made the effort to understand.

To sum up what I found: Throughout much of the development phase BioWare updated the fanbase with news and little tidbits of information on the game's progress. The big thing is that they made certain promises about certain things that would be included in the final product. These promises weren't kept. At least, that's how the irate gamers feel. I didn't hear about those promises in the first place and so I didn't feel 'disappointed' when BioWare did or did not put something in the game. But others heard and others felt.

My annoyance has decreased somewhat. I now understand some of the anger directed at what seems to have been a bait-and-switch tactic.

To use an analogy: Let's say you invite your friend to a gathering. That's well and good but she proceeds to say she'll bring a cake. Neat. Fast forward to the event and she arrives without the dessert. Disappointment ensues. If she hadn't said anything about the cake and came without it, that wouldn't have been an issue. The problem lies in the fact that a promise of sweetness was made and went undelivered.

I don't know what happened there between the updates and the final product but apparently BioWare did not deliver. Disappointment is to be expected.

On the other hand, the batch of legitimately disgruntled gamers is diluted by what I'd like to call 'bandwagon haters'. Those are the ones who basically sound like this in the arguments.

They might not really feel that mad about the ending, they don't really know why they are supposed to be disappointed, they just heard that real fans and/or real gamers don't like the ending and are up in arms. And so they think, "W-well, I- I'm a real fan and I'm a gamer! So that means I should be mad, too? ! Right? Right??" You can identify some of them when they drop the name 'Jennifer Hepler' to seem more knowledgeable about the situation. In fact, Hepler didn't even work on the Mass Effect franchise.