Mass Effect Writer's Forum
A forum to discuss the writing of Mass Effect, both official and fan-written. Feel free to take apart the story, analyze the themes and trends in the fandom, or even discuss and muse about your own writing works. Hopefully the best writers of the fandom
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Sorry to say, but while I loved the storytelling of the Mass Effect universe, the third installment was more than a bit of a disappointment, and while there are fans that would argue about the weakest point of the storyline, I have to say that it was the entire premise of the story that lost me. Let me get this straight: The Mars archives have blueprints for a one-shot deus-ex-machina in the form of an untested anti-Reaper gun (that they don't even know IF it'll work, let alone HOW), and so instead of trying ANY other plan, they just throw all the efforts they can get into it? As if even if the weapon shouldn't work, or can't work, the very power of their collective BELIEF would be enough to get it to work anyway. Sorry, but while some might try that plan as a last resort, there's no way that anyone, even Shepard, would be able to get unilateral support from all the races. Beings who, in comparison to humans, have grossly different philosophies to combat as well as more experience in the intergalactic arena, translating into having little, if any reason to listen to any proposed battle plan, even a SOLID plan with a high probability of success, which Project: Crucible was not. All of this, for a weapon that, quite frankly, sounds too good to be true, and has way too many unknowns regarding its operation and use. So I say, time to come up with a new plan.

Therefore, I'd like to open a challenge of sorts to this forum. Does anyone else have any ideas for something other than the Crucible for the means and method against the Reapers? All I ask is that you show your work, i.e. be prepared to explain how your means to be found, how it would be used, what it would do, etc.

5/23/2012 #1
Dr Death DST
What gets me about the crucible is how do you build something without knowing w** it does? They make an atomic bomb reference but the scientist actually did know what it was going to do. EXPLODE. They just weren't sure how big of an explosion it would create. What if at the end of ww2 a little boy appeared saying "yo dawg, I heard you don't want to be killed by nazis, so I made some nazis to kill you so you won't be killed by nazis." Anyway, in me2 EDI showed the ability to use reaper code to break into the omega relay and get them to the collector base. So why can't they use the collector base to devise some virus or shut down code for the reapers?
6/14/2012 #2

They cling onto the plan in desperation. They know that fighting the reapers physically with existing weapons is virtually useless, it won't keep them alive for very long. So they throw themselves at anything that looks like it could possibly maybe hypothetically work.

As for the support from the other races, it's not like Shepard called them and they all instantly came running - Shepard had to prove him/herself to them first. That was the game part you may remember playing? All those missions? Anyway, again, they're desperate. By the time they all rally together at the end they can tell from experience that it's a losing war and their best chances for survival are unity anyway.

6/22/2012 #3

alternatives IF physics actually worked in mass effect the nuclear warhead spam would be the most powerful thing they could use

Argument why

Mass effect dreadnoughts-38 kiloton every 5 seconds = 456 kiloton a minute

Fat Man(bomb dropped on Nagasaki and the bigger of the two) estimated yield 21 Kilotons

Tsar bomba detonated 1961 estimated yield 50,000 kilotons = 109.6 minutes of bombardment from a dreadnoughts main gun

so even if 90% of the force is wasted that would still be 5,000 kilotons of force

and with the use of the mass effect fields you could more easily obtain fusion and make smaller/more powerful bombs

6/24/2012 #4

What we know about the Reapers is:

1.) They rest in dark-space to conserve energy.

2.) They sent someone to take over the Citadel and shut down the Mass Relays, effectively isolating the various fleets and civilisations.

3.) The Citadel is a giant relay. The Reapers use that relay to get from dark space right to the heart of the Milky Way without losing energy.

4.) When a relay explodes, it takes out an entire star system. The Citadel is giant relay.

In this cycle, they didn't get the Citadel to open and had to enter "manually". If the writers weren't so intend on ignoring their own canon, the Reapers should be weakened by that alone - their sheer masses would still pose a giant problem of course.

Had I written Mass Effect 3, the plot would have been about laying a trap at the Citadel, with Shepard and Co. having to a) find a way to gather the entire fleet around the relay (using the Collector Base, Reaper IFF...), b) stealth evacuate the Citadel (via the Conduit, perhaps) c) unite the galactic fleets in order to pin down the Reapers at the Citadel for long enough, d) find a way to make the Citadel go *boom*, likely in another suicide run of SHepard and co.. Perhaps also use the Reaper IFF to shut down the mass relay for the Reapers.

Essentially, turn the Reapers' own trap against them for beautiful, ironic justice.

Your EMS, fleet upgrades and so on then determine whether you manage to pin down the entire Reaper fleet (low EMS = lots of Reapers escape, pyrrhic victory or Reapers winning, for example) and whether or not your fleets manages to get away before they get nuked, too and whether or not Shepard and co. manage to get away from the Citadel, too.

8/14/2012 #5

The thing is, nuclear bombs are far less effective outside of an atmosphere as long as you don't manage to explode them pretty close to your target ship. Also, they have antimatter technology, so one guesses they have antimatter bombs, although similar effectivity issues apply.

You can find a great study of space weapons at projectrho dot com, in its Atomic Rockets section.

8/14/2012 #6
The Shadow Syndicate

What about the dead Reaper where you get the IFF transponder? Forgive me if I remember this incorrectly but didn't they say it was hit by a Mass Driver? Why not build a bunch of those weapons?

8/28/2012 #7

I guess there's no time available to build them. That technology is already in use—dreadnoughts have the largest mass drivers—but it would need to be scaled up.

One idea would be to try to subvert the mass relays to use them as cannons against targets inside the systems they are stationed in.

Another is to do the same to the Conduit and use it as a portable version that you can transport to each system to decimate the main body of each Reaper fleet.

A derivative would be to transport a relay to its star's corona and shoot solar plasma against targets in another solar system, so compensating the target drift problem with throwing a large volume of expanding mass.

8/28/2012 . Edited 8/28/2012 #8
The Shadow Syndicate

Granted. I forgot it was a matter of months not years between Mass Effect 2 and 3.

We know Attrition won't work against the Reapers but how about adaptability? With all these species working together they must have alternative strategies than throwing all their resources into the Victory Fleet? Maybe with every attack you change strategies, don't give the Reapers time to adjust.

8/28/2012 #9

if there barriers only stop objects moving above a certain speed mines and special missiles could also be used, but it is never stated one way or the other if the barriers work that way.

8/28/2012 #10

I liked the idea of trying to turn the or a few of the mass relays into an giant gun.

I too feld the whole idea of the weapon(the crucible) in the mars archive was just a bit too "easy" so to speak, as they know from the first game, there engines, shields/barriers, weapon tech, as well as the relays where a reaper construct, as was the Citadel station, is it possible that this could be just a huge a huge something that we the reapers would like us to use our time an resources on, i mean if a galactic empire like the protheans did not got bopped on the head so to speak, with loosing the Citadel from the start, as well as the control of the relays, or the semi united galaxy of the Shepard age, is it not possible that they might be able to stand firm, but anyway I also thought it was a bit strange that Shepard never was given the choice to mention to the council about the keepers that they had heard on Ilos, perhaps have given them the knowlagde of the Salarian and the Volus who had the scan results. or why the the it was never mentioned that another human had maybe seen Saren. or any of the missions to f.ex. Virmire or Ilos, was never recorded on some shoulder cam similar to that of the Eden Prime call for evac?

but anyway on youtube I once saw a video of one harping on the end of ME3, he mentioned BioWare could have made it so that there was a possibility for a choice to be made so that Crucible as the unknown factor it represents beside them being able to recognise it can make huge amounts of energy. that one chose, perhaps on a sugesting from perhaps the Ex-Cerbs one saves at a point. could mention - there are so many unknown variables of what exactly it does beside making energy, perhaps we should instead attach a few huge Thannix Cannons to it. and use it as a giant dreadnaught instead...

1/27/2013 #11

Not a bad read on the Atomic rockets, but it'd still be useful in space. While most of an atomic bombs fearsome power is lost in space where there is to little matter to heat up and form a proper blast wave, the protheans are heralded as having taken down hundreds of reapers and lasted 300 years against the invasion by using energy weapons and shields, and what does an atomic explosion do but release enormous amounts of energy? Reapers, despite their advanced nature over all other races still sick to hardened armor plates and thanix liquid metal accelerators as their main weapons. They don't have shields to worry about and can be whittled away by a nice standard directed bombardment. On a planet a close range detonation by a nuclear device like the Tzar bomba would shatter them, but even in space it would release enough energy to ablate (cook off) large sections of their armor and the missile itself would provide the mass for, at least, a close range blastwave effect. It may not be a good way to get rid of the reapers, but it would be a way.

Something I don't think many of you think about though is ME starcore propulsion drives. ME propulsion is based around two primary fuels, He3 fusion plasma and or Antimater aniallation. Can you honestly think of two better or more beautiful weapons? The one thing the Reapers and most of the galactic races are infernally weak against is high energy weaponry and they use two of the best high energy detonaters as propulsion. Makes you want to cry. I actually wrote a 1 shot short on that called Mass Effect: Resolution; go read it if you would. ;-D

Also, get ready!... for REAPER INDOCTRINATION!

no seriously, reapers use ultra and subsonic variance to control organics and the Pentagon is funding a project that does something similar.

Military Mind Control

No mind control for these U.S. soldiers on patrol -- yet.

Marco di Lauro/Getty Images

The helmet used by the U.S. military has changed dramatically over the years. In World War I, the M1917/M1917A1 helmets, also known as "Doughboy" or "dishpan" helmets, protected the heads of American infantrymen. They were replaced in 1941 by the M-1 "steel pot," the standard-issue helmet in World War II, the Korean conflict and throughout the Vietnam War. By the 1980s, U.S. military helmets had evolved into a one-piece structure composed of multiple layers of Kevlar 29 ballistic fiber.

The helmet of the near future, however, may contain something more than extra protection from flying shrapnel. An Arizona State University researcher, working under a grant from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), is trying to develop a military helmet equipped with technology to regulate soldiers' brains. The technology is transcranial pulsed ultrasound, which delivers high-frequency sound waves to specific regions of the brain. Under the influence of these sound waves, neurons send impulses to their targets, exerting control over them. On the battlefield, this has enormous implications. Using a controller, a soldier could release ultrasound pulses to stimulate different areas of the brain. For example, he or she might want to be more alert after being awake for many hours or relax when it's time to catch some shuteye. The soldier might even be able to relieve stress or become oblivious to pain, eliminating the need for morphine and other narcotics.

Of course, some people think this type of neurotechnology is pure science fiction. Others worry that Uncle Sam is trying to take over the minds of its soldiers. After all, it's one thing to have a drill sergeant yelling in your ear. It's another thing completely to have one inside your head [source: Dillow].

3/9/2013 . Edited 3/9/2013 #12

id like to say that we already use fusion and that the H bomb and the Tzar bomb were both fusion bombs as well as the fact that anti matter missiles would be to dangers for effective use because there is no whey to prevent premature detonation if there shot down unlike fusion/fission bombs.

3/16/2013 #13

cept that the reapers don't seem to use point defense. according to the last arc where we did the ground assault it said we used those thanix missiles to kill dozens of reapers.

3/16/2013 #14

dont get me wrong Im not arguing the use of such weapons or there effectiveness i posted about them above in the thread Im just pointing out that fusion weapons arnt something that only exist in scifi and you are right about there seeming lack of point defense systems which opens them up to all sorts of attacks but that could just be a limitation of atmosphere on the point defense weapons

3/16/2013 #15

Best I can figure they don't have point defense. These are super advanced artificial intelligences who were designed to take a pounding like a rain shower. They use a beam of hyper metal that moves at a speed of 5% the speed of light that's accurate over the light time distances of space combat versus the 'organics' armada which uses 25-100kg slugs at .5% the speed of light and missiles that barely break the speed of sound in air and don't go much faster in space. I think their beam weapon might BE their idea of point defense.

now, given that they don't seem to regard missiles as a threat despite having dozens of reapers taken down in the ground war with volleys of them, how much better would it be to use something that could take out a reaper a missile like antimatter that generated and or used in every starship drivecore? Something that could split a reaper dreadnaught in a single hit? I'm not denying fusion bombs or saying they'd be a bad idea, but they make a lot more problems that the predet safety antimatter missiles lack.

3/16/2013 . Edited 3/16/2013 #16

Not sure if anyone's going to reply or not, seeing as last post was quite a while ago, but it's very interesting, truly. I have a point, though, to add on the idea of using a mass effect relay to explode the Reapers to tiny bits. It's stated in ME1 that the Reapers know how to work the Citadel and only granted the space-faring races to find only certain functions, and certainly not enough to be able to tell what their goals (or general existence, really) were. Also, the same origins can at least loosely be tied to the more obvious relays as well. Logically, doesn't that mean that the Reapers may be hiding certain functions of the relays too? Perhaps they made some sort of fail safe, unknown to the humans, turians, protheans, and whomever else, that prevents the relays from being blown up or used against the Reapers period. Even if a fail safe doesn't exist, it's quite possible they can just as easily shut the mass effect relays on and off, stranding the organics to slow starvation, especially considering they understand them better than the races, who have yet to fully figure it out (a project they would have little time for). Yes, they might be able to adapt and develop their own FTL craft in time, but with only the resources around them, how far can the squishies get? Especially with those pesky Reapers darkening the skies with their death lasers.

As for the ideas of nuclear and such bombs, it's a worthy concept, but a tad double edged. What if the Reaper just detonates it before the humans (or turians or Javik or whatever) launch it? BOOM! go the squishies. Though I would like to see the universe fighting back with more tresher maws. Trained tresher maws. :D

11/10/2013 . Edited 11/10/2013 #17

That might work on the ground, though how you intent to transport, let's lone train, a thresher maw I'll never know, but its completely useless in space where most reapers are.

While you make a good point with eliminating the bombs before the 'squishies' can use them, all throughout the game the super ai reapers didn't appear to actually be that smart... Take from that what you will.

Also, the explanation for the disruptor torpedoes and their rather pathetic speed was that they used a eezo drive core to increase their half ton mass several thousand times so that they could smash through the best shielding without pause before detonation. because of this the torpedoes were very slow and very durable making the strategy to evade them rather than try to target and destroy them. Taking the concept in-reverse however, you could potentially make the missiles super light and move at fractions of the speed of light with an antimatter warhead rather than a mass effect one, thus shredding the reapers who've adjusted to one strategy and now have to deal with one that actually has a major chance of hurting them.

11/10/2013 #18

I think I'll just take your word for it. I failed high school Physics, after all. :P I like sci-fi and all but never really got into the hows and whys of it. Like biotics - it's space magic? Okay! Conversation ended. Anyway, if the Reapers worked to their full potential, the humans and whatnot would probably be dead, but video games rules and logic apply here, so hence, stupid Reapers. I mean, theoretically, the Protheans had practically all the races under their belt and they still couldn't win. I don't see how Shepard reigning in all the fighting races last minute could possibly outstrip that. Even working together to put down the Reapers, they still wouldn't be buddy buddy all the time (or at all, really, with some, like the Krogan and... well, everyone else), where as the Prothean empire races already can follow one leadership without too much fuss. But again, video game rules, so humanity triumphs all.

Unfortunately, fanfiction writing tends to make you look at such implausibilities and weigh them against the canon. If Reapers were truly all they were made to be, why didn't Sovereign just send a geth or Collector or organic agent to do his dirty work on the Citadel in ME1? I don't recall that he himself personally had to turn it on manually. Just that someone had to. And back to the topic - if we were playing by fanfic rules and more plausible realities, not video game logic, humanity wouldn't even have any strategies. They'd all be dead. (But then, we wouldn't have Mass Effect! D:)

Oh, and the thresher maws was just jest. Because who doesn't want to ride one?

11/12/2013 . Edited 11/12/2013 #19

The prothiens were also limited to single planetary forces where's Shepard could pull in the combined fleets of all races for a single battle. In which they still got slaughtered by the way. The reapers consist of millions of ships and billions of pawns, capable of besieging the galaxy on every front simultaneously. When the prothiens faced them they weren't able to move around through the mass gates and still managed to take out two to three reapers for ever single planet lost. Just by planetary defense forces. Shep is taking entire racial fleets from the while galaxy and going against the main reaper concentration and she still only managed to kill a few hundred while losing most of her fleet before the crucible plot flop.

11/12/2013 #20

I not looking at it from the perspective of what they - and Shepard - actually did. I'm looking at it in the perspective of "if this weren't a video game." If you looked at the situation, starting all the way at the beginning of ME1, and just threw gameplay, Shepard surviving and doing all s/he did by sheer virtue of main character status, etc., etc. out the window. For example, whether the Prothean-bound races actually believed in Reapers or not, decided to act on it or not, didn't matter because if the Protheans deemed it so, they did as well. Therefore, all their resources and weapons and whatnot are collected together in a more cohesive whole than an armada consisting of several races differing in basic strategy belief, ship and total force strength, and even personal beliefs. Yes, Shepard united the whole galaxy basically, but just because they can agree on fighting the Reapers doesn't guarantee anything else in the way of strategy and strength distribution or whatever else. "Kill the Reapers" isn't exactly so much a plan for warfare as just a simple, effective goal. By the time the Reapers had attacked the Citadel, the Prothean empire, undoubtedly, had a hole torn through it, but they had only to regroup and the races would probably fall in line. No one's going to rebel against their overlords with Reapers shooting at them.

Also, the Protheans scientists of Ilos gave the people of this cycle more time to use, but really, did they? No. Sovereign was defeated and everyone ignored Shepard's warning (regardless of the giant squid AI that attacked). Though, to be frank, if I were in the ME universe and the first human Spectre starting going on about quasi-mythical beings coming over for an apocalypse scenario, it'd be a tad hard to swallow. Regardless, the potential, extra time the galaxy got was wasted. So, Shepard had to gather the races AFTER the Reapers' threat was proved in full. By this time, mind, thousands have died in the initial wave (not as bad as the Protheans but crippling nonetheless). All while they're fending off several Reapers razing everything, the races have to figure out how they're going to do this. The Quarians, for instance, though a constantly mobile fleet and thus harder to pinpoint in full, have little to contribute against the Reapers in the way of firepower. Yes, they're very effective against the geth and all things technological, and I'm not discounting that. However, the Reapers are not geth. They are steps above the geth, in power, intelligence, and to add insult, there's always indoctrination/mind control. What Quarian could get close enough to a Reaper to study it without their mind being metaphorically exploded? A dead Reaper, difficult to find on the best of centuries, can only provide so much data. So, getting back here, the Quarians could provide little more than mechanical repairs on most occasions, diminishing their value a bit. The rest of the races, like the Turians and Asari, will still hold prejudices against the Quarians (racism and opinions don't go away because everyone has one goal now) and hold their use against them (imagined or not). Tensions so easily risen don't help general cohesiveness and strength of a force.

Not to mention the politics of this. Politicians and laws stop for no man, and even if, say humanity, has some nuclear bombs stored away just in case, the other races might object regardless of effectiveness (humans growing too arrogant and ambitious, possible precautions and consequences of setting them off, someone just thinking in terms of "when this is over" and limiting what future power they may gain from this, etc.), and then politics just blocked you for a short time, all the while Reapers are destroying planets.

With the Protheans, though, everyone is under one rule, and if they had some nukes sitting around, it would only be a simple matter of presenting a good case for it (i.e. death by Reaper) and getting permission. Also, there would be way less infighting in the ranks because they already got along beforehand by necessity. You can cite the Protheans' extinction, yes, but they put up one hell of a good fight, according to Javik at least. I mean, Shepard's races have been fighting against the Reapers how long compared to the Protheans? If we're discussing an ME universe without the Crucible deus ex plot, this cycle has just as likely a chance of withering and dying - if not more so - than the Prothean empire did.

11/12/2013 #21

O.O Wait a minute, I just reread your response. Did you agree with me on the previous point? If so, I'm sorry! XD If you were arguing, then just... ignore this.

11/12/2013 #22

Rofl, your just realized that huh?

even so I liked your dissertation on why most of meu was retarded.

frankly if I could go in there and play Gandalf or other manipulative god type peeps I'd have sent the quatrains to settle a levo world off the relay network and taken volunteers to work as ship tech captains, using the Geth powerhouse as their military contribution. Von numinous machines ftw.

11/12/2013 #23

I was kind of hoping the Crucible was like a Organic's version of a Reaper, kind of like a anti Reaper, a massive super dreadnaught that uses some Reaper tech, like Thanix cannons and high-tech shields and a hull that is super thick.

That way it would of been like "Yeah we have plans for a weapon" we know what it does and how it works we just have to build it and maybe even add upon it as it isn't a Reaper and we can only build one.

Also would of liked EDI and the Geth later in the game to play a bigger role, AI vs AI, pretty much and you have to convince them that Organics can be trusted with the knowledge of a anti synthetic weapons that they build, maybe they built them for their own ships and troops.

Also more reverse engineering of downed Reapers and Collectors, like that Particle Beam from ME2 why couldn't they of learned how to build it and mass produced it

1/21 . Edited 1/21 #24
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