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I finally worked out why the Citadel felt so odd to me

General chat about Mass Effect or otherwise.

I finally worked out why the Citadel felt so odd to me

Postby Sil » 17 Oct 2016, 21:39

And it's only taken 4 years to realise it. I was running around playing EGM and then it struck me, there aren't many interesting aliens on the Citadel. So, as the boring kind of man I am, I ran around counting all the races excluding turians, salarians, humans and asari, as there are loads of those buggers. These are from pre-Citadel Coup parts of the ship, and not Citadel DLC. I've excluded all squad mates, former or current, from the list:

Pre-Citadel Coup:

Human (176)
Asari (51)
Turian (86)
Salarian (65)
Batarian (18)
Elcor (0)
Hanar (1, only in the Hanar Diplomat mission, and he's an evil sod)
Drell (0)
Keeper (1)
Krogan (0)
Quarian (0)
Volus (12)
Geth (0)
Vorcha (3, though only in the Blood Pack mission)

Post-Citadel Coup

Human (219)
Asari (77)
Turian (116)
Salarian (71)
Batarian (26)
Elcor (2)
Hanar (0)
Drell (0)
Keeper (1)
Krogan (0)
Quarian (0)
Volus (13)

Later on I know there are a couple of Elcor, but from what I remember that is it, there are actually more batarians (a race who left the Citadel) than the others combined! It's not wonder the Citadel didn't feel right, all the interesting aliens are missing...

...So just how far behind everyone else am I with this knowledge? >,>
Last edited by Sil on 19 Oct 2016, 12:29, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: I finally worked out why the Citadel felt so odd to me

Postby giftfish » 18 Oct 2016, 01:38

Have you read Shamus Young's most recent blog series? You really should. With how much you like to discuss ideas and lore, you'd appreciate it.

ME3 has far, far fewer aliens than the other two games. It's extremely human-centric, from Shepard being the "savior" (not set up in ME1), to the Citadel population being far more human-dominated, to the fact we spend most of the game fighting human space marines (Cerberus), rather than Reaper forces.

ProEarth: Reaper forces
Mars: Cerberus
Palaven: Reaper forces
Sur'Kesh: Cerberus
Tuchanka (and sides): Cerberus and Reapers
Coup: Cerberus
Rannoch (and sides): Geth and Reapers
Horizon: Cerberus (and Cerberus-created Reaper forces)
Thessia: Cerberus and Reapers
Cronos: Cerberus

Grissom: Cerberus
Arrae: Cerberus
Lesuss: Reaper forces
Eden Prime: Cerberus
N7 missions: All Cerberus

That is a WHOLE lot of Cerberus, considering ME3 is supposed to be the culmination of a trilogy in which we try to save the galaxy from the *Reapers*. The player, in fact, spends more time fighting Cerberus than the Reapers.

One of the many reasons BW was accused of trying to appeal too much to the CoD crowd.
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Re: I finally worked out why the Citadel felt so odd to me

Postby Tarshana » 18 Oct 2016, 02:40

I never really thought of it before since I run around helping aliens.. but fighting humans. Yeah that does seem weird. I thought the Atlas thing was a bit over the top, too, and all 20 meter drops from the shuttles... that **** hurts. I guess they all have steel enforced legs.
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Re: I finally worked out why the Citadel felt so odd to me

Postby Sil » 18 Oct 2016, 07:31

I've heard of it but I've not actually read it, I sometimes worry that reading something like that would highlight even more problems that I hadn't noticed :D Maybe I'll give it a try sometime.

You're right though, the game does feel like the main threat is Cerberus rather than the Reapers, but I hadn't realised how extreme that was before seeing your list. I can more easily forgive Shep being a 'saviour' because of how he's been fighting the Reapers throughout the series while everyone else dismissed his claims, and that he seems to go around solving everyone's problems, but it did become too earth-centric for me. For example, the final battle should've been at the heart of Council Space, aka the Citadel, rather than on Earth. Despite living on earth I didn't care about it in the story as I'd never been there, but I did care about places like the Citadel, Omega and Illium (which had nothing, which annoyed me).

I thought the Atlas thing was a bit over the top, too, and all the 20 meter drops from the shuttles... that **** hurts. I guess they all have steel enforced legs.


Reaper tech. Explains everything :D
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Re: I finally worked out why the Citadel felt so odd to me

Postby Deager » 18 Oct 2016, 13:37

[quote="Sil"]
I thought the Atlas thing was a bit over the top, too, and all the 20 meter drops from the shuttles... that **** hurts. I guess they all have steel enforced legs.


Reaper tech. Explains everything :D


Definitely don't read Shamus yet because he gets into the whole Reaper tech thing as well. That said, I made some public comments about how people can pick apart something from history and claim that it's over-the-top fake. I always think of a, I think it was a marathon during the Olympics, during the cold war, and some runner got injured, either Chinese or Russian. And I think it was an American and then either Chinese or Russian who helped the runner up and they all crossed the line together. Too cheesy for a even a cheesy movie but it actually happened in real life. So, I love Shamus' retrospective but it has not ruined Mass Effect for me at all. Neither has Mock Effect. I read that while playing Mass Effect and it was not a problem for me. Your mileage may vary of course.
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Re: I finally worked out why the Citadel felt so odd to me

Postby giftfish » 18 Oct 2016, 14:01

I disagree with Deager. Read Shamus. There's good stuff there. Nothing Earth-shattering, but it's nice to read it all laid out over 50 blog posts. As a hardcore ME2 and Thane fan, Mass Effect was already ruined for me with ME3 -_-

What kills me a bit was that the confrontation with Cerberus I was *expecting* in ME3 never happened.

Context: I didn't play ME1 prior to ME3, and I only played ME2 1x.

What I was expecting was for TIM to throw all his goons at Shepard to try to retrieve his assets. You know, EDI and the SR-2? Yeah, Shepard telling TIM to GTFO at the end of ME2 was a fun moment, but with everything we learned about him in ME2 I didn't think for a minute that he'd simply let Shepard keep the ship and EDI. Plus, we know directly from Miranda that he had put almost all his capital into Shepard + the new Normandy. He's just going to let all that go? I don't think so. Not to mention that whole thing creates another plot hole for ME3: where the hell did TIM get so much more capital from for the major war he's waging with Cerberus forces in ME3? Convenient.

I also thought it was strange Cerberus apparently never tried to relieve the Alliance of the Normandy. Would it be easy? No. Would EDI's unshackling be a complication? Yes. But, TIM is a persistent *******. I simply don't think he'd just let it go. Not the character as introduced to us in ME2. The answer to these questions are, of course, bad writing. BW wanted the Normandy back in Alliance hands, Shepard in Alliance hands, and the ME2 squad gone. They needed to wipe the slate clean at the start of ME3, and this was the way they did it.

Boooooooo.
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Re: I finally worked out why the Citadel felt so odd to me

Postby Sil » 18 Oct 2016, 14:10

I will take a look eventually, but you're right that its easy to just pick things apart if you keep looking at them. I think this stuff here though, it definitely explains why the Citadel felt odd and somewhat boring. This has become even more apparent to me now that I got bored and decided to finish off the list. A quick thing to mention is that some NPC's alter appearance when you reload the level, so the numbers for humans, asari, turians and salarians may not match up 100% with everyone else. I updated the first post with the numbers, but here are the take aways:

1) There are nearly 200 humans on the Citadel (pre-coup)
2) If you combine all the asari, turians and salarians you can only just top the number of humans
3) Pre-coup, there are more batarians in one floor then there are volus, hanar, keepers, and vorcha across 6 floors
4) Pre-coup you see more vorcha on the citadel (who don't seem to be allowed there) than you do elcor or hanar, who are both in the running for the next council seat

I never actually realised there were this many NPC's on the Citadel. It's quite surprised me.

where the hell did TIM get so much more capital from


TIM had cut ties with Miranda's father when she joined up with Cerberus, I'm 99% sure on that. He was a very wealthy man, and once Miranda turned on TIM, then he ended up working with Miranda's father once more. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of his capital came from there. But then, in a galaxy that big and with all the assets TIM has, I'm sure he had ways of making more money quickly. That and stealing raw supplies and owning manufacturing facilities on numerous worlds could account for how he got hold of all the stuff he had in ME3... Or, well, part of it.

I think there was originally a storyline where someone infiltrates the Normandy to take it, someone from Cerberus presumably. There is concept art for it in my art book.
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Re: I finally worked out why the Citadel felt so odd to me

Postby giftfish » 18 Oct 2016, 14:23

Sil wrote:
where the hell did TIM get so much more capital from


TIM had cut ties with Miranda's father when she joined up with Cerberus, I'm 99% sure on that. He was a very wealthy man, and once Miranda turned on TIM, then he ended up working with Miranda's father once more. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of his capital came from there. But then, in a galaxy that big and with all the assets TIM has, I'm sure he had ways of making more money quickly. That and stealing raw supplies and owning manufacturing facilities on numerous worlds could account for how he got hold of all the stuff he had in ME3... Or, well, part of it.

Funding from a single backer would be enough -- even if they had billions and donated it all (which seems highly unlikely). The problem is that like so many things in ME3 it's simply not addressed. The sheer amount of plot holes and story inconsistencies is mind boggling. Which means one of two things:

1. The lead writer wanted to tell a certain story and was simply hoping players wouldn't notice when things didn't line up... or that players would be such big ME fans they'd be happy to make excuses.
2. The lead writer has such a poor concept of good storytelling that they didn't see the plot holes they were creating.

Either way... booooooooo.
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Re: I finally worked out why the Citadel felt so odd to me

Postby Sil » 18 Oct 2016, 14:49

True, it wouldn't have funded it all, but then Cerberus apparently had their fingers in a lot of very powerful businesses as well. So I would assume that they played their part in it all. It's true though that it really should have been addressed. It was a bit sloppy that it never received an answer, even one from a datapad on the Cerberus Base or something.
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Re: I finally worked out why the Citadel felt so odd to me

Postby Deager » 18 Oct 2016, 17:34

Well, I'd still say if you're afraid of spoiling the game, avoid Shamus. But if you can handle things getting picked apart and still enjoy it, read Shamus' deal; it's very well done. He only makes a few screw ups here and there. Some people think all his entries had problems but that it was not many. Like the one dude on the subreddit who volleyed with me a bit until ultimately he said he mainly plays the game for the characters; to which I refrained from pointing out that perhaps his view of the overall plot not being that bad is perhaps due to his not understanding how plots typically work properly.

Still, like I said, I can see all the flaws, and I'm on run #20 right now. Sure, EGM and ReCalibrated are helping a ton right now, but I still play it without content mods from time to time and I'm fine with it. Could've and should've been better. Your quick work on looking at the Citadel completely sums it up. CoD style and we really lost the ME1 focus on the humans being the new kids on the block. Personally, I wish no matter what had happened in ME1 that the humans would never had gotten a seat on the council. Would have made for some pretty interesting stuff.
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