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Weekend Confirmed 105 - Journey, Mists of Pandaria, Mass Effect 3

by Garnett Lee, Mar 23, 2012 11:00am PDT

After a long look at Mass Effect 3 last week, Jeff, Jeff, Andrea, and Garnett turn their attentions to Journey, the upcoming Mists of Pandaria expansion for World of Warcraft, and other games. However, they cannot ignore the interesting turn the controversy over the ending of Mass Effect 3 took with BioWare co-founder Dr. Ray Muzyka directly addressing fans to promise them "clarity" and "closure" through new content the team will create. We also catch up on the announcement of an Epic Mickey sequel along the way to wrapping up with Finishing Moves.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 105: 03/23/2012

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Weekend Confirmed comes in four segments to make it easy to listen to in segments or all at once. Here's the timing for this week's episode:

    Show Breakdown:

    Round 1 00:00:30 – 00:27:20

    Whatcha Been Playing Part 1 00:27:56 – 00:56:50

    Whatcha Been Playing Part 2 00:57:50 – 01:27:58

    Listener Feedback/Front Page News 01:28:49 – 01:58:34

Jeff Cannata can also be seen on The Totally Rad Show. They've gone daily so there's a new segment to watch every day of the week!

Follow the Weekend Confirmed crew on Twitter, too!

Weekend Confirmed @WeekendConfirmd

Garnett Lee @GarnettLee

Jeff Cannata @jeffcannata

Jeff Mattas @JeffMattas

Andrea Rene @andrearene

For our listeners in or near Los Angeles - Double Jump (The show Christian Spicer and Jeff Cannata are putting on) is at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre on Saturday, March 24th. Check our show notes for more info and the link where you can purchase tickets. People can get tickets online at:

http://losangeles.ucbtheatre.com/shows/view/3042

The first 10 people that say "Weekend Confirmed" at the door get their money back! The show is all ages and should be awesome!

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Original music in the show by Del Rio. Get his latest Album, The Wait is Over on iTunes. Check out more, including the Super Mega Worm mix and other mash-ups on his ReverbNation page or Facebook page, and follow him on twitter delriomusic.





Comments


  • Love the show as always,but I have to take issue with the whole Dust 514 discussion.

    I think that one of the things that no one was understanding about Dust is that while CCP won't ever publicly say it,this game IS NOT meant for casuals players.Just by design,the game really doesn't lend itself for casual players to have any real benefit of playing for a couple of hours just to shoot a few people and nothing more.There's going to be way too much going on that,and believe me when I tell you,that casual players will not be welcome by the more dedicated players,due to the fact that this will be an extremely clan heavy game.

    Obviously the devs are taking a huge risk with this game,basically because it appears that they are trying to reinvigorate the general FPS genre with something that's more or less completely new.

    Now apparently Dust 514 will have a game mode just for people that want to jump in a shoot it up with smaller maps and player counts,but let's face it,that's only there just to lure the casual player into the bigger universe.

    One other think that was completely not ignored while talking about the game was the fact that it's going to be Free To Play on PSN.Honestly,aside from gameplay mechanics,that's one of my biggest concerns because of how ambitious the game is,I have to wonder how the devs are going to make money,even with the microtransaction system that's going to be in the game.

    Also,Jeff shouldn't ever talk about MAG again.It's another game that's really not meant for casual players.A game that REQUIRES coordinated teamwork and strategy to succeed isn't a game for casuals.To think that what real players on the other side of the map,doesn't effect what's going on just shows that he didn't play the game enough to really understand what it was about.




  • Sounds to me that Andrea is more angry at her own gullibility then the way EA is handling Micro Transactions in ME3's MP. Frankly I can't be kind about it because it's purely optional. As Garnett Lee pointed out, you make more then enough money while playing in order not to use actual money on those packs. Also, the description tells you very clearly that it's a one time use and the items are random. I can't feel sorry nor agree with people's gripes with issue brought on by their own stupidity.

    And saying Mass Effect was all about the journey is a very narrow minded way of looking at it because endings are important because as the name suggests it needs to give people closure. Even if the developers wanted to have an ending that was open to interpretation they could have done a better job at it. Ending shouldn't always be happy but they should give you closure. Point and case, the ending to Battlestar Galactica.



  • I'd like to hit on the subject of how this game was marketed and pitched to an audience, because I believe that it is specifically unique to this series as apposed to other mediums of entertainment and gaming itself and should be vital to this discussion.

    You guys brought up Game of Thrones in the ME3 discussion, and as a big fan of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, I think this provides a good example of how Mass Effect differs from traditional narrative. Game of Thrones is a story where the audience has no actual impact on the events that unfold. This lets the author pull no punches in regards to how the story unfolds, making those difficult choices that makes the story so emotionally impactful, memorable and engrossing, and I think it is done brilliantly. We are being led through this tale by Martian, and accept it because we have no expectations of control on these events due to the medium. This is purely Martian's vision of how events unfold and eventually(fingers crossed) conclude.

    Now lets look at the Mass Effect series and how it differs. The PR and marketing for this game trumpeted itself as being reflective of a player's choices in its entirety. Even for games, that is a very unique. Giving players control about how the events unfold and conclude, instead of having a one defined experience. There is still the option to have the same type of dramatic experiences offered in ASoIaF, but there can also be alternatives if the player so chooses. This was Bioware's vision for the game. It is actually Bioware's defining characteristic in the gaming industry, and they have shown multiple times in the past that this can be done successfully and has inspired studios like CD Projekt who have also done this successfully(and have also changed their narrative in the Witcher 2 in response to fan feedback without any attacks on their artistic integrity). So when it comes to the ending of ME3, I don't think our expectations were any higher than what Bioware has set them to.

    I would like to make a comparison to another well regarded Bioware game, Dragon Age: Origins. It provided an ending that was influenced by my choices and leads to some pretty dramatically different and unique endings that still held the same overarching themes, which is what ME 3 was touted as having since they day it was announced.

    The story arcs are pretty damn similar when you think about it. You spend the whole game unifying multiple races, gaining the support of some at the expense of others. Seems familiar. You build relationships with and influence members of your party as you see fit. Also familiar. You are led into a final showdown with an seemingly unstoppable force. Familiar again! So now why is it that DA:O was able to diversify its endings, allow the player's choices to influence the outcome, and provde, what I felt was, proper closure with its ending and epilogue for all the major plot points and characters you influenced (without going overboard like LoTR), while ME3 is only able to give, what was essentially one size fits all ending? Doesn't that go against Bioware's vision, as well as what we were lead to believe we were spending money on? This leads me and many others to feel that the ending was rushed and fumbled to try to meet some artificially constructed release date, that Bioware has earned the right to push back at this point, not developed in parallel like Garnett has suggested.

    And how does changing the ending undermine Bioware's artistic integrity? By adding to the story they already developed? Well then that means they already undermined that artistic integrity, along with many other developers, on their own by providing singleplayer DLC for ME 1,2 and even 3 already. Hell the last thing you see in ME3 is a screen telling you to buy more DLC. If it's all about the journey, then why is it okay for Bioware to alter the journey continually with DLC(which they said before release will be influenced by fan feedback), but the ending, which is apparently less important can't be changed or have alternatives provided?

    I don't mean to sound condescending or insulting to those who truly believe games can be art when I say this, and I really don't want to take away anyone's experience. But Mass Effect was not sold to us as an artistic endeavor like Journey, or a series like Game of Thrones, or a film or a narrative driven game like Uncharted dictated solely by the developer. Bioware is unique in that it gives control to its players. This is why I believe that there is some validity in asking Bioware to provide an ending that is in line with our reasonable expectations that they themselves set, and that I would support them revisiting the ending. I think that this whole idea of mocking with "I didn't like the end of this film, or book because it wasn't happy so lets change it!!!" completely disregards how unique this Mass Effect situation really is.