• Martolives

    Continuity of Mass Effect

    November 28, 2012 by Martolives

    This post actually has little to do with Mass Effect and a bit more to do with EVE Online and DUST 514 as a model for a Mass Effect MMO. First, a little bit about EVE Online.

    If you've played it before, you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't, then you are missing out on a jewel amongst games. Now, I'm not here to advertise it, I'm here to talk about using it as a model for a potential Mass Effect MMO, something that many ME players have (perhaps prematurely) tossed out of the pile of possible ME continuations without so much as a second thought. The failure of TOR may be responsible for this mindset, and modelling an MEMMO off TOR would, indeed, be doomed from the start.

    However, EVE is something else. EVE is, if not the closest thi…

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  • Martolives

    Losing the Plot

    October 18, 2012 by Martolives

    I've heard it suggested by many of my fellow gamers that you can have good gameplay or a good story, but if you try to cram them into the same experience you just cripple the effectiveness of both. Perhaps you agree? Perhaps this is part of why you don't like the ending of the Mass Effect story?

    Yet this uses a very narrow definition of narrative. "Story" and "plot" are often used interchangeably, but in a literary context, the two are distinctly defined.

    Respected literary critic Robert Scholes describes "story" as the raw materials of narrative: the basic sequence of events in chronological order. "Plot" is the refinement of those materials, "ordered so as to engage the emotions and develop the theme." Story is the overall content: plot is…

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  • Martolives

    What is the dialectic?

    September 6, 2012 by Martolives

    The dialectic is the idea that history is shaped by opposing forces. The predominant force, idea, movement, or paradigm (the thesis) is challenged by an opposing force, idea, movement, or paradigm (the antithesis), which results in a third new force, idea, movement, or paradigm (the synthesis). The synthesis, in turn, becomes the new predominant force, idea, movement, or paradigm (the new thesis), and the process begins all over again. The dialectic is the process of creation, and resolution of contradictions.

    It's also how to tell a great story, and Mass Effect, to me, is a great story, with a range of complex dialectic contradictions at its core, not the least of which are at the end of Mass Effect 3. A lot of people were unsatisfied with…

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  • Martolives

    Mass Relays

    March 28, 2012 by Martolives

    Whenever I get told of how bad people think the destruction of the mass relays is, I always think back to Mordin's words about the Collectors in Mass Effect 2.

    “Disrupts sociotechnological balance. All scientific advancement due to intelligence overcoming... compensating for limitations. Can't carry a load, so invent wheel. Can't catch food, so invent spear. Limitations. No limitations, no advancement. No advancement, culture stagnates. Works other way, too. Advancement before culture is ready – disasterous. Saw it with krogan, uplifted by salarians. Disasterous. Our fault.”

    Regardless of who built the relays, Protheans or Reapers, the races of the current cycle didn't, they just found them there lying around, like a child who finds a pill b…

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  • Martolives


    March 27, 2012 by Martolives

    After some weeks of carefully examining the ending of Mass Effect 3, and arguing alternative perspectives with various players (most of the time respectfully, with some intellectual discussion about narrative and interpretation, but some people had no idea what I was doing and were just outright rude with me), I have come to the conclusion that the ending could be a lot better. It's not bad, just that it could be better.

    The ending is good in it's own way; the philosophy behind it is sound, and the mass relay destruction (although controversial) is perhaps a necessity for breaking the cycle, in my opinion and according to lore, but would have to depend on circumstances, or consequences of a a player's choices. However, where it really goes …

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