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It's a complaint about a fictional space soldier behaving and looking something like other fictionalised soldiers

 

It's a complaint about a fictional space soldier behaving and looking something like modern US marines.

Fictionalised modern US marines, unless COD/MW/BLOPS/MOH etc are documentaries. Parallels could as easily be drawn to spartans from 300 or the space marines in Aliens, as examples.

 

When we could have had another Garrus, another Liara - I mean, not those exact characters - but those kinds of characters, with such alien things to talk and learn about... are what drive one's interest in the game. Not talking to generic military machos.

Who knows, maybe a... volus? elcor? ?? companion might have been awesome, Javik was- theoretically- extremely interesting and could have shed a lot of light, but not so much in practice. I'm just rather amused/ bemused by complaints about either having a soldier on a military vessel or him behaving like a soldier.

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Fictionalised modern US marines

 

I don't see how this matter exactly. Whether he's fictional or not, characters serve a purpose in the story. Firstly, they are vehicles to drive the story. Secondly, they are a means to deliver theme and context to the reader. Vega doesn't really do either, or even if he does, he's just redundant, as we had plenty of characters to deliver whatever "down to earth message about Earth and being a human marine" lines.

 

Vega was just purely, absolutely wasted potential. And at times, it's just hard to take him seriously, becaus he's just like we would expect a mexican-american marine to be. That's why I linked freaknin' airplane. Airplane is basically one big fun-poking at serials about world war veterans. "Oh macho grande was so horrible! Striker just couldn't get over it how he lost his whole squad!" The fact Vega is mexican makes it even funnier, because him saying "macho grande" would be soooo perfect.

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Whether he's fictional or not, characters serve a purpose in the story. Firstly, they are vehicles to drive the story. Secondly, they are a means to deliver theme and context to the reader. Vega doesn't really do either, or even if he does, he's just redundant, as we had plenty of characters to deliver whatever "down to earth message about Earth and being a human marine" lines.

That was already discussed- as an 'outsider' he is an info source for new players (or old ones who have forgotten stuff) as they don't know a lot of the stuff he also doesn't know. That may not be super important for veteran players with eidetic memories, but it certainly is something that from a game design perspective has to be done, one way or another. As a wholly new character he's far better suited to it than any of the returning ones who will already know that stuff.

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I think it's also important to note that if the issue is with Vega and the type of character that he is and any perceived failures to serve a purpose, these sort of things are independent of what species he is.

 

So it has little to do with the fact that he's a muscular soldier type. Given the way the story starts off, changes would have to be made to make any non-human character appropriate at that juncture of the game.

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I think the problem with Vega has more to do with the fact he's just a boring character that doesn't have much depth to him. There's nothing quirky, nothing that stands out about him. To varying degrees, most of the other party companions had more depth to their characters that made them unique from just the average red shirt.

 

Vega's the equivalent of Jenkins from ME1, both shallow "grunts" who fill a role to bring the player up to speed. Only difference is Jenkins was killed off after he fulfilled his function, while Vega was kept around the whole game.

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I think part of it is that he's put into the stereotype so whole-heartedly. He's a "meat head", which has always been associated with the standard military stereotype. It fits him so well into a niche, and your interactions with him don't make him break that mold at ALL.

 

Now, if they'd gone the opposite way, that'd have been interesting. This rail thin guy, always found looking over intelligence reports or playing chess with the crew. But still a soldier who has character moments involving him just out right brutalizing your enemies, and co-ordinating tactics of a squad or six. THAT'd make him more interesting. The closest we got was Edi who is the AI and thus it's expected she'd be very into the whole intelligence thing... although she didn't play that much to the whole "royal smart person" of the crew all that much.

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I Liked Vega. I didn't think I would at first, but I thought it was kinda cool when he crashed the UT-47a into the Cerberus shuttle. And his banter with Garrus and some of the others was good stuff. As a character who's main purpose was to introduce new players to the Mass Effect universe, he wasn't bad. Light years ahead of Jacob for sure.

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I didn't mind Vega, my biggest problem with him? He also has issues. Another patient for Counselor Troi/y Shepard.

At least What's-her-name who tried to jump Femshep's bones in the shower was a normal person.

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.

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Vega was boring. In his defense, almost everyone in Mass Effect 3 was boring. My second biggest complaint about Mass Effect 3 is that nobody has any character development but EDI and Javik for companions. And then Mordin and Steve for the entire rest of the cast. I guess an argument could be made for the VS, but it doesn't seem an appreciable development.

 

Jack is a fun example of the problem in that she is the most notably evolved character from Mass Effect 2, but every single bit of it happened off screen.

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Vega is worthy of contempt given this is Mass Effect. In place of Vega, we could have literally had any fantasy space alien or human you could think of. And instead we got another token space marine. A mexican-american space marine. Whose only reason for being was to appeal to that audience of people (you know, Call of Duty players?). That's why people make fun of him, beucase it's like BioWare's shooting itself in the foot with that character design.

 

And before you rail me for saying that - go buy Black Ops 2, MW3, MW2.... or something. Anytthing. Put in the disc and start playing the campaign. James Vega would fit in perfectly in any of those stories. He's perfectly suited to deliver empty military jargon and the occasional nihilistic or mass-market-American-young-adult-male-commodified wise-crack. Would Liara or Garrus fit in with such games? Hell no! This is why Vega is so abhorrent. If I wanted to get a Call of Duty story, I would play call of duty. Give me characters that fit in a space opera BioWare. The characters people liked from KOTOR were HK47, Bindo, hell, even Carth fits in - even if nobody probably liked the guy. He at least contributed to the tone and heart of KOTOR1. Vega is like processed meat or cheetos. It's like, BioWare is realizing that its games have only appealed to a niche market of RPG gamers, and has decided, it would rather be Call of Duty, so one step at a time, it is casting off the things that made its game memorable - like the characters. Like their quirks or aesthetic. James Vega is an inoffensive light-brown man with a buzz cut, muscles, and a grey uniform. He is so generic and unpolarizing that he's designed so that your average consumer can't nitpick. He's a familiar face in what should be a world which at times seems unreal. And that role is unnecessary when we already have Ashley/Kaidan, Hackett, Human Military General X, and Shepard.

 

Vega, in a vaccuum, is... well he's not offensive. His character is flat and fails to evoke anything. So he's not as bad as Jacob, who just comes off as annoying to me. He's not as bad as Kasumi (who just feels out of place in an anime-ish way). Or even Ashley (ME1 Ashely was interesting ME2-3 Ashley was not). So sure, BioWare could have done worse by making Vega annoying or trite or full of one-liners, but he feels like a limp attempt at another true-to-life soldier.

 

Shepard is a soldier and talks like one no matter how you want to play him/her. But Shepard is also more than a soldier due to his/her seeming Jesus-like quality of "doing the impossible" and the fact he/she was risen from the dead. This makes Shepard at least 10% more interesting than Vega and tolerable as a result. There is something supernaturai about Shepard. Vega is about as fantastical as a rat in a fantasy RPG.

 

Vega is not exceptional in any capacity and is so bland, were it not for his massive muscles, he'd be a wallflower.

 

To be fair, the reality is that militaries create military men (and women, despite their not being allowed in combat in most Western militaries.) The Normandy is wildly unrealistic in many senses, especially in the way that its commanding officer conducts him/herself. Romantic or sexual relations between a ranking officer and subordinates is grounds for Court Martial in real-world militaries (I don't know all the details of every military regulation of every military in the world so it may well be permissible in some country/ies.)

 

As an Alliance officer, Shepard engages constantly in conduct unbecoming an officer. Even in the future where you can have sex with anything that suits your fancy and homosexuality is not a controversial issue (still waiting for Bioware to appeal to the transgender community, not because I personally want it, but because I expect they'll eventually do it for political correctness' sake,) a commanding officer engaged in a sexual relationship with a subordinate is a slippery slope given the fact that real world militaries are rife with misogynistic social orders in which females are raped and terrorized into silence, sometimes by superior officers who use their rank as leverage to keep the victim silent or their reports go ignored by superiors who believe it to be untrue or not an issue. Many of these incidents have been reported in the US military, and I'm willing to bet they're just as common, if not moreso, in other militaries operating under governments with less/no governmental transparency and less journalistic freedoms, like Russia and China.

 

And honestly? Shepard is frequently just as flat as Vega. Vega punches people and makes risky moves. Shepard punches people and makes risky moves. Vega isn't much less than a semi-renegade Shepard. At least Vega is more fleshed out as a character with a past and connections beyond the characters surrounding him. Most of the companions talk at some length about their pasts and their lives outside of the Normandy, but Shepard is almost entirely restricted as a character to the bubble of the Normandy and the Mission. That wasn't true of ME1, but it was of 2 and 3, to Shepard's detriment as a character. "But wait, Spacer Shepard has a mother who sends him/her an email!" - Afterthought, Shepard has no words or reply.

 

 

Vega was boring. In his defense, almost everyone in Mass Effect 3 was boring. My second biggest complaint about Mass Effect 3 is that nobody has any character development but EDI and Javik for companions. And then Mordin and Steve for the entire rest of the cast. I guess an argument could be made for the VS, but it doesn't seem an appreciable development.

 

Jack is a fun example of the problem in that she is the most notably evolved character from Mass Effect 2, but every single bit of it happened off screen.

 

Mass Effect 3 is just plain problems. Characters, narrative and spacebars. I got 99 problems and ME3 is one of them. Although EDI's robobutt isn't one.

Edited by AGX-17
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re: rebuking legion's death: it makes no sense because the geth are software, and are therefore made of code, that can be copied. legion therefore requiring "personality dissemination" is nonsensical to anyone with half a smidgeon of programming knowledge.

 

This is probably why I didn't care. It made no sense at all, even if they are individuals, they can still be backed up and restored. The Geth's (and Legion and EDI's) personalities are software, not hardware.

 

The entire Geth/Quarian arc was a bit of a disappointment in fact. Sure the Quarians might hate the Geth, yadda yadda, but a frontal assault with their entire fleet...really? Anyway, that was my personal feeling, I still enjoyed visiting Rannoch all in all but it was so...utterly predictable and some of it just failed to be convincing. I guess my expectations were just too high.

 

It was done purely for emotional impact, and on that note, it worked (it was the only moment in the game that brought me close to tears, mainly due to the sheer magnitude of all the combined happenings in the scene), but logically it is a fail of galactic proportions.

 

I only had that with Mordin, that scene was rather epic and a lone peak in ME3's storytelling (imnsho).

 

My favourite characters were Garrus, Tali, Wrex, Mordin and Liara. The rest I don't really care about or certainly not as much. Kaidan/Ashley ruined it with that dumb scene in ME2 and while I haven't seen Kaidan in ME3 Ashley didn't exactly make a better impression there (also her appearance got objectified quite a lot more, which sort of annoyed me, guess they needed someone to replace Miranda's "DAT ASS" for ME3).

 

There were some other fun characters but they were just that: "fun", not characters I really cared about (I heard Jack is supposed to be the Anomen of ME2 though, maybe I should look into that one day). A lot of them were just superfluous or even downright detrimental (Jacob, I sorta liked him, until all the clichés started hitting...).

 

I think both Jacob and Vega were superfluous, they seemed to be there just to fill the "bro" role and as a previous poster already observed: Garrus fills that role way better. On top of that as a Turian he's just more interesting, we already know what humans and their civilization are like, Turians, not so much. Same goes for a few others, it seems like they just wanted to show off how good they are at character creation, resulting in a whole bunch of could-have-been-interesting characters that ended up not being worked out enough to actually be really interesting.

 

I guess in general I just wish they'd stuck with less characters and given us more detail on them and their backgrounds.

 

I also have to agree that their choice of journalist on board made no sense, there were already two you had prior contact with and as such already an emotional bond (in some sense). Using either of them would have worked a lot better (that is Emily Wong or Khaleesh al-Jalaani, if I spelled that right). Especially Khaleesh could have made for some seriously interesting dialogues I think. I also felt that she was severly underused, she only has things to talk about at 3 or so major points in the game.

Edited by marelooke
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Ok. I just read through this again:

http://www.gameranx.com/updates/id/5557/article/former-mass-effect-lead-writer-defends-series-conclusion/

 

And I must ask... why does everyone think that Humanity is magically going to be more genetically diverse than any other species in space?

Victor of the 5 year fan fic competition!

 

Kevin Butler will awesome your face off.

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Because we breed like rabbits?

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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tumblr_marwuvH4kf1rafis3o2_500.jpg

 

BioWare forums never disappoint.

 

That's not a chemical diagram of Tali's sweat! A true bioware fan would be disappointed.

 

 

 

Ok. I just read through this again:

http://www.gameranx....ies-conclusion/

 

And I must ask... why does everyone think that Humanity is magically going to be more genetically diverse than any other species in space?

 

Bioware.

 

I'm already fictionally a human/alien hybrid clone so it doesn't matter, because it's only for infiltration purposes.

Edited by AGX-17
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Ok. I just read through this again:

http://www.gameranx....ies-conclusion/

 

And I must ask... why does everyone think that Humanity is magically going to be more genetically diverse than any other species in space?

 

I think it's more of a work and resources issue than the belief that humans would be that special, but most of the playerbase will be human, they need an excuse in-game for why humans are different and everyone likes feeling special right?.

Edited by Serrano
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Since alanschu is from Bioware, and most people have finished ME3, I'll take the opportunity to ask one thing that still puzzles me about the plot:

 

 

 

What was the purpose of the dream sequences? The "oily shadows" matched the Codex definition of indoctrination, which would have been a great plot twist in the Bioware tradition. (That is, in each of Baldur's Gate and KOTOR, dreams foreshadowed a major plot twist.)

 

Instead, the dreams seemed to serve no purpose. Why did this boy mean so much to Shepherd, compared to all of the longtime companions lost throughout the series?

 

And why did the Catalyst take the form of that child? Did it somehow read Shepherd's mind? That was never made clear.

 

 

Edited by Tasaio
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Because it was the last human child in the galaxy? Did you ever see any in the previous games (or elsewhere in ME3)?

 

No kids on Omega, none on Ilium, none on the Citadel. Such a loss would have been traumatic because of the rarity of kids :p

 

They could probably have used a puppy or a kitten for the same purpose as the kid. I would file it under ideas that looked good on paper, but didn't work out in practice (because it's based on the assumption that the played actually cared about the kid, which is my guess that most didn't).

 

 

 

Edit to add spoiler tags, just because.

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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Since alanschu is from Bioware, and most people have finished ME3, I'll take the opportunity to ask one thing that still puzzles me about the plot:

 

 

 

What was the purpose of the dream sequences? The "oily shadows" matched the Codex definition of indoctrination, which would have been a great plot twist in the Bioware tradition. (That is, in each of Baldur's Gate and KOTOR, dreams foreshadowed a major plot twist.)

 

Instead, the dreams seemed to serve no purpose. Why did this boy mean so much to Shepherd, compared to all of the longtime companions lost throughout the series?

 

And why did the Catalyst take the form of that child? Did it somehow read Shepherd's mind? That was never made clear.

 

 

 

No idea. I actually didn't work on Mass Effect so I can only make my own assumptions:

 

 

They seem to be just a reflection of the continued stresses that Shepard continued to build up. With the references to indoctrination, it's probably also representative of the fact that Shepard has been continually fighting off the effects of indoctrination as well.

 

What they did for me was foreshadow that Shepard was likely not going to be able to survive the trilogy. Though that was confirmation bias because I had been expecting it from the outset.

 

Just my impression of it. I agree with Gorth that it likely didn't work out as well as had hoped, but I don't actually know if this is the case or not.

 

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I always felt Shephard was living on borrowed time, I mean he was a bunch of floating chunks in space at the beginning of ME2, so I didn't really expect him to ride off into the sunset.

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I always felt Shephard was living on borrowed time, I mean he was a bunch of floating chunks in space at the beginning of ME2, so I didn't really expect him to ride off into the sunset.

 

:grin:

 

That made me laugh ..."I mean he was a bunch of floating chunks "

 

I suppose you can only escape the the Grim Reaper for so long :)

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