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Joined 08-27-04, id: 661180, Profile Updated: 04-23-14
Author has written 4 stories for Avatar: Last Airbender, and Mass Effect.

Edit11: (04/23/14) - Interstitium is in its final leg.


Thanks for your interest,


A quick rant about ME3's Rannoch arc:

I had some people ask for clarification on my dislike of the Rannoch arc in ME3, so I’m going to try to type out the gist of my argument. I went and replayed the four relevant missions again last night, and endeavored to maintain a positive attitude, to find as many things to praise about the arc as I could, and indeed I did end up dismissing some of the things I’d previously hated as not so bad. Still, I find myself walking away with four major complaints, which I shall describe in ascending order of importance:

(I’m going to try to write this with as little swearing as possible)

4. Many of the details are nonsensical or unexplained – There are a lot of goofy things in the Rannoch arc. Why does Legion take down the shields on the geth dreadnaught, instead of just the weapons? Why is Legion immune to Reaper control? (sure, they have more runtimes than a normal platform, but a lot less than, say, a server, and the servers got infected just fine). How do the geth fighter pilots/primes escape Reaper control? Why did Legion smugly explain that geth don’t need physical escape pods and then load everybody into the cockpit of a fighter (and then later a hovercraft)? Are the Reaper upgrades a code or a signal? Why/how was Legion used as an antenna instead of just using an actual antenna? For that matter, if the buried Reaper could control the entire geth race from Rannoch in the first place, why bother with projecting the signal from the dreadnaught at all? Why does Tali have schematics of a unique geth dreadnaught? Why do the geth have pods that humans can use to log into the consensus? (Legion even says that for some reason they would be vulnerable to electronic attack by foreign organic thought processes, so why would they keep this vulnerability around?) How are the geth on death’s doorstep when ME2 established that they had considerable holdings in the spaces between stars? Why does Legion have to die to upload the Reaper code? How the hell do geth uploading into the quarians’ suits help fix their immune systems? That’s just nonsense.

3. The geth/quarian conflict is presented as one-sided – The Rannoch arc is pretty unsubtle the whole way through. Where in ME2 we were presented with a complicated picture between Legion, Tali, and the admirals, in ME3 the wind only blows in one direction. It’s presented as if the entirety of the blame rests on the quarians and that the geth were completely innocent of the matter. It is implied that Legion was present for the Morning War, and picked up a sniper rifle to help rescue some other helpless geth (a totally unnecessary retcon of Legion’s backstory as established in ME2). Han’Gerrel, who was presented as bellicose and anti-geth but well-meaning and supportive of Tali in ME2, is suddenly a raving lunatic who all of the other admirals are desperately trying to reign in and Tali contemptuously calls a bosh’tet. Zaal’Koris, who was presented as a pro-geth douchebag with very little clout and who actively attempted to sabotage Tali twice in ME2, is now a wise messiah presented as 100% in the right. For the record, I do think the quarians are mostly at fault for the Morning War, but they jammed that down my throat trying to make the geth into gentle, frolicking, peace-loving victims who did nothing wrong, when previous games established how they had butchered the vast majority of the quarian race and have consistently killed envoys in the 300 years since.

2. The geth willingly joined the Reapers – Now I know that the game offers an explanation for this – the geth were desperate, and with their reduced numbers they were dumber, so they took the Reaper offer of help – but this is just a terribly boring way to go after ME2. We learned that the geth were heavily divided over the Reaper issue in ME2, that they had schismed (something very difficult for them to do, given how it reduces their perspective) over this specific matter. The bulk of the geth apparently regarded self-determination as critically important. Then in ME3 all of this just immediately goes out the window and they go running to the Reapers for help. The heretic/geth distinction is rendered meaningless and barely mentioned again, and we end up with this poorly understood loyalty issue (again, if the geth chose to ally with the Reapers, why didn’t Legion? And how did the fighter pilots in the server switch allegiances? Shouldn’t they all be in agreement, being GETH?). This change really steams my beans because it was completely unnecessary. You could have made it so just the heretics went over to the Reapers willingly, and Legion and the true geth were another faction attempting to fight the change. That could tie back into ME2’s story and Shepard’s decision with the heretics. Or perhaps even better, just say that the Reapers FORCED the geth into servitude. They didn’t ask this time, they just showed up and took over with their computational awesomeness, and the geth consensus didn’t have a say in the matter. This latter method would have the added bonus of explaining why Legion might be the only platform unaffected – they could be the only platform smart enough to realize that they shouldn’t reconnect to the consensus lest they get infected.

1. The geth gestalt was replaced by individuality – All that other stuff is just lazy and stupid, this is straight up offensively bad to me. This is the worst thing in the trilogy for me. Long after the sting of the endings has faded, this still keeps me up some nights. In ME2, Legion offers us a picture of what the geth are, and in short, they are awesome. They are the most interesting, most alien culture in Mass Effect. Their creator Chris E’toile said that he intentionally avoided the two big AI clichés – the geth don’t want to destroy organics, nor do they want to become organics. They don’t have individuality and they don’t want it (Legion says this specifically). They believe themselves (and all sentient races) to have rights (Legion says this specifically too.) They looked down on organic violence over ideas – they sought to understand, but not to judge (Legion basically says this). When the heretics wanted to leave, the geth let them go peacefully. When Legion discovered that the heretics had changed enough to sneak spy software onto geth servers, they were astonished. Legion makes it very clear – the geth do not value individuality, but togetherness. They know each other’s mind and they understand. They wanted to build their Dyson sphere so that no geth would ever have to be alone, so they could all communicate, all think together, and be the best they could be, and exercise their right as sentient beings to forge their own path in peace.

And then in ME3 this is all gone. Their Dyson sphere is destroyed as an afterthought and the geth get (as aforementioned, nebulously-described, goofy-ass) Reaper upgrades that confer individuality on them. What this means for all of the runtimes that don’t have platforms is never explained (does one of Legion’s 1183 runtimes become an AI and the rest just disappear, or what?) The geth get the opportunity for individuality and Legion finds it ‘beautiful… indicative of life’. They want it, after ME2 establishing specifically that they didn’t want it (“If this is the individuality you value, we question your judgment”). The geth go from super inventive awesomeness to a run of the mill Pinocchio story (which EDI already had covered).

Here’s the thing: The geth already were people. They were sentient, they were capable of making moral judgments, and they had rights just like organic races do. They did not need individuality to do this. The geth consensus is not a pile of slaves pining for individuality, it is a superorganism, where individuality is not only irrelevant, but counterproductive. It is not hard to imagine why non-geth characters might not be able to grasp this – I understand why Shepard would assume the geth wanted individuality – but LEGION should not say they think the geth need an upgrade to be considered alive. It is abundantly clear that Legion thought they were alive already (and they were right to). The way it all went down with the geth, with them abandoning both their fondness for self-determination and their clever non-individuality, was lame, unimaginative garbage that missed out on a huge chance to play into Mass Effect’s organic vs synthetic themes to instead clobber them with a big, fat, unsubtle Bat of Mediocrity plus 10.

And the final straw that broke poor Sloth’s heart? After the mission, the character who delivered the moral of the story, the character who pointed out that Legion had switched to the “I” pronoun, indicating that they had finally, finally graduated from a meaningless automaton into true personhood, the character who didn’t have any problem at all with the implication that the geth hadn’t been people before the Reaper upgrades…

Was EDI.

Interstitium Progress:

Chapter 23/32 - POSTED

Chapter 24/32 - POSTED

Chapter 25/32 - POSTED

Chapter 26/32 - POSTED

Chapter 27/32 - POSTED

Chapter 28/32 - POSTED

Chapter 29/32 - POSTED

Chapter 30/32 - POSTED

Chapter 31/32 - POSTED

Chapter 32/32 - DONE

Epilogue - DONE

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