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Spoilers for Cora’s companion question in Mass Effect: Andromeda

Butch:

That ark thing WAS good, wasn’t it? Besides the cool zero G combat part.

So….we’ve been playing as “Hope is good,” and here we have “Is hope good if it’s based on lies?” I’m genuinely curious what you did, which is odd cuz I usually know. I told everyone the truth. The kid became pathfinder. It was nicely circular.

But one wonders if that will lead to more hope or less. Or which is better. Or if it even matters. That was neat stuff. And I didn’t see it coming.

And then I did more! Went back to Eos to mop up the whole dissent thing and PB’s loyalty quest, and got that exploding satellite. I’m guessing here that I was SUPPOSED to get that MUCH earlier. Like, right after the whole “Let’s take a break on Podromos!” thing, cuz I don’t THINK I’ve been back. Though maybe I have. I don’t remember. I got it, I talked to Addison, I ignored it.

Talked to Gil’s friend, which I expected to lead to good bloggage, what with kids and all, but it didn’t. What was that? Like “Uh….glad we had this chat….”

Then tracked down two Kett beacons (Dude, can’t the first one EVER be the last one?), grabbed a memory trigger, called it a day.

That Asari mission was very cool. And interesting that it convinced Cora that she SHOULDN’T be pathfinder, that someone who believes in order ISN’T the best choice. That was interesting, too. I’m not sure I agree. After all, even though we’re not playing this game as rigid soldier types, we ARE playing as people tied very closely to a certain ethical code. We’re not Drack. We’re not Liam. We have a set notion of right and wrong, as does Cora. We just sprinkle in more jokes. So is she saying what we’re doing isn’t the best way?

Feminina:

Fascinating! I think we’re doing more different things in this game than ever before in the history of…well, of blogging, anyway.

We weren’t completely different here: I also chose to tell the captain the truth about what happened to the original Pathfinder, but then I said “still, you should keep what’s-her-name on the job.” My logic being that whatever she’d done, she was a legend and knew her stuff a lot better than I did, or than the next-in-line kid, so we might as well use her expertise. SOMEBODY here should have a freaking clue!

So I picked truth, no hoping based on lies, but also, you have to set aside the past and live with the horrifying and possibly wrong decisions of others.

Everybody kind of grumbled, but no one outright mutinied. I did still get Cora saying the bit about order, and in my head I was kind of like “well, if that makes you feel better fine, but I think Thessia made a possibly wrong but honest call, and you would have done a perfectly good job too.” If this helps Cora come to terms with what happened, it’s all good.

It’s interesting, though, that we never really talk about the fact that she is (presumably) still second in line for the job, and if I die, as must seem quite probable given the observed fatality rate so far, she still might have to do it. So hey, lady, no checking out here. Your people may still need you!

Those kett beacons went on forever. But there’s a kind of interesting choice at the end! Go do it and see if we once again deviate from our usual perfect symmetry.

Butch:

What is WITH us?

Hmm. I sort of figured that people were following ME, and I was a doofus, so maybe being a doofus is good (there’s theme). And, while someone SHOULD have a clue, she wasn’t a pathfinder. And it hardly inspires loyalty to know she left her own pathfinder to die.

Interesting on “setting aside the past.” I’ve been playing that that’s not a good idea. I’m telling everyone from Suvi to Vetra to Drack that they past matters. Liam’s car, Vetra’s lamp, Drack’s….Drackness. I even saved the weird Angaran fish when there was benefit to killing them! If the good stuff in the past matters, so, too, do the mistakes.

Yes! So long as there’s no reload. I picture her, every time I die saying “Yes! My turn! Finally! Oh, wait, it’s a game….shit.”

Forever? How forever is forever? Cuz now I’m off to one that’s still in the black bits of the map. Luckily it’s sorta kinda near PB’s thing. But watch: there’ll be a big fucking mountain in the way.

Aren’t two on Voeld and three on Eos enough? C’mon, Kett.

Feminina:

Well, yeah, Thessia wasn’t a Pathfinder, but she was the designated second in line–she had Pathfinder training. And I really didn’t get from her that there was malice in leaving her Pathfinder to die: they could have given us the sense that she really wanted the job herself and that was a consideration, but instead it seemed to me that she was making a difficult calculation and doing what she had decided was the best thing for the ship as a whole.

And maybe she was wrong about that, we could argue about whether stealing the kett’s data was actually a good idea (certainly the other asari are not convinced it was), but she thought it was at the time, and considering the greater good IS supposed to be how she makes decisions.

Not everyone is going to be right all the time, and yes, making a bad judgment call can definitely be a sign someone is unfit for a job, but sometimes it’s one bad call, and that person may still be the best person available.

Absolutely the past matters, but sometimes dealing with the mistakes of the past means giving someone a chance to do better in the future.

Although I do kind of like your Pathfinder as Doofus model. It doesn’t work for the salerians, though–they’re the only ones who kept their original Pathfinder. You should have saved Drack’s scouts and made the salerians pick a doofy new one. Missed opportunity!

I think there were four kett beacons in that series. So you’re practically almost there! But four seemed like a lot when I was in “oh come on, ANOTHER one?!” mode.

Butch:

But she also ignored a direct order. The pathfinder ordered her to come back. Now, you could say that the pathfinder was only doing that to save herself, and not for the good of the ship, sure. But you could also say that the pathfinder’s job was to make the decisions and give the orders, and the decision to let the pathfinder die wasn’t the second’s decision to make.

Nothing works if everyone’s making decisions that aren’t theirs. Usually.

But I thought of that, I did, saving the scouts and giving the Salerians a doofy new pathfinder. Especially as the game keeps implying I messed up. Drack keeps bringing it up (as he do), and even PB said something about wishing there weren’t so many Krogan in Kett hands last night. No one except Kallo seems cool with my decision there. Is that the GAME telling me I messed up or just narrative? Don’t answer that.

More beacons. Oh Jesus. Fuck this game.

Feminina:

This game is fantastic and you love it. The more kett beacons the better! You’re just sad they’re all on one planet–you were hoping you’d have to chase them through 10 different systems as well.

And yes, I definitely agree that there’s a sound case to be made for dismissing Thessia. I chose not to, but was that the ‘right’ decision? What kind of example have I set by allowing someone to get away with disobeying orders, letting her boss die, and taking over the job?

Cora, don’t learn anything from that, all right?

Butch:

Cora’s cool. She accepted her inferiority.

I do like this game, but there are so many others. Can’t play this forever. Well, you can, but I don’t want to.

I just get annoyed because there’s no reason to make these quests such scavenger hunts. This ISN’T a fetch quest, but they’re turning it into one.

Feminina:

Yeah, there are a lot of times on those side quests where it feels like you’re just covering ground for the sake of a sense of movement…going to one part of the Nexus, talking to someone, getting back on the train and going to another part of the Nexus, talking to someone, getting back on the train…

Butch:

Right. And it’s pointless. I can see using it to make the player go to new places, but to go to places you’ve been? Dumb.

Feminina:

I think it breaks up quests in a way that sometimes works, like, “oh, the next step is on another planet, but this isn’t the kind of thing a person would get done in half an hour anyway, I’ll put that on my to-do list for next time I’m on Voeld,” or whatever, but when the next step is something you really want to take care of right now, and you feel that narratively it makes SENSE to take care of it right now, the delays are just annoying.

And can the game be expected to know which quests we’re going to want to take care of in one go, and which ones we’re fine with waiting and getting around to when we happen to wind up in the area anyway? Perhaps not. Still, there’s no denying the back and forth on some of those started to feel excessive.

Butch:

Right. Hitting rocks, I don’t mind that being all over the place. But a narrative quest that ends with a choice and all that, should get it done. It’s like we said with Drack’s quest. By the end of a GOOD QUEST we were all “Wait…Spender…what’d he do?” That’s crappy, as it diluted a good narrative arc.

And this is just REALLY annoying. “Go there! No, there!” There’s NO POINT to this. And, to make matters worse, some of these are tricky to find. I took forever figuring out how to get up that damn mountain yesterday.

This game has taken enough time. It needs no more padding. Shit, it needs far less than it already has.

Feminina:

As you said, it’s one thing if the travel is making you go somewhere you haven’t been before, and maybe the idea is that we won’t already have been everywhere by the time we’re doing this…but there is SO MUCH to do that I think you pretty much have to assume the player will already have gone everywhere for some previous quest, unless it’s somewhere that’s not discoverable before the quest that sends you there.

If there were hexagons in that general area? Other quests on that planet? What do you take us for? WE HAVE ALREADY BEEN EVERYWHERE.

Although I suppose not every player is us.

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