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Ideas about EDI and Allers

User-centric area to discuss ideas and request mods. Toolset modders may also float ideas for new mods here; if pursued, the thread can be relocated to Mods in Development.

Re: Ideas.. Ideas.. Ideas..

Postby giftfish » 08 Jul 2016, 20:22

@Sil -- One of the difficult things about replacing voices (aside from matching VAs) is just trying to match the audio quality to the game.

This is why, for example, in lots of Skyrim mods that add new fully-voiced companions, the content is still discernable as a mod. Some professional VAs have their own sound studios that they record in; others are provided by the game house or whatnot. Either way, it's recorded on professional equipment and then subject to the game house's own audio engineers. I have yet to hear newly-recorded dialogue for any mod that is 100% immersive with the game. It's really just that hard. The audio is usually either too muddy or too crisp. Often there's an ever so slight amount of background noise. Other times you can tell the recording wasn't done in a small, soundproof room, which causes the recording t reflect qualities associated with the size of the room and the actor's location within it.

It's all up the modder, though. Different modders have different goals and different levels of comfort with what they deem "immersive enough" for their mod. If you're looking for 100% immersion, though, it's near-impossible -- if not impossible -- to get that with new VAing.
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Re: Ideas.. Ideas.. Ideas..

Postby Sil » 08 Jul 2016, 21:10

I know it's difficult, I had trouble in the past with similar things for modding other games. I'm just saying that, after reading the previous comments, that a voice actor to replace the lines, rather than a voice actor to replace lines to match another character entirely, is the easier solution. :)
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Re: Ideas.. Ideas.. Ideas..

Postby The Fob » 09 Jul 2016, 05:04

@gift: Yea, Mordin's first line was aweful but the new actor also did his best to approximate, I'll give him that. Personally, I think a bit less sensitive in that regard because after a short adaptation period, I am ok with the new Mordin.
That said, I'd really like to know what happened. From what I read, Michael Beattie was apparently even looking forward to voicing Mordin again in ME3 (but that's all third hand info off the internet, so who knows).

@Deager:
Deager wrote:Wong. Man, I missed her. Didn't even know about the "twitter killing" until sansuni brought it up to me recently. Ridiculous. I don't think we have a chance to get Wong back in. I would love it to no end but it'll have to be an email or two I think.

Of course you know this already but MEHEM does exactly that (resurrecting Wong by email). :D

@Sil:
I think it's actually a rather good idea. The new person could even have some connection to Wong and mention the she does this on her initiative or whatever. Sounds like the best of both worlds to me. And as I said, I am not quite as sensitive to sound as giftfish for example, so as long as decent equipment is used for recordings, I think it could work.
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Re: Ideas.. Ideas.. Ideas..

Postby sansuni » 09 Jul 2016, 08:28

@Giftfish, To be honest, I am ashamed to admit it but at first, I didn't even realize Mordin had a different VA. To me, his voice sounded off to me and at first I thought the VA must have had a sore throat or something, but more he talked, more I realized his voice wasn't same at all. New VA did everything he could to sound like Mordin, but it wasn't enough. It is a shame really. I would have understood if the old VA wasn't available.

@Sil, We want Diana Allers nightmare and everything related to that nonsense to be gone. (mostly because what it represents)
I like the idea of replacing her with a entirely new character with a different name and voice much better.

@Deager Yeah, she is terrible at acting, she can't act to save her life. She has no talent and is annoying at best. And worst of all, she is only there to get a better review and as a publicity stunt. And if what Giftfish says are correct, they got rid of Emily Wong to put her in the game. Unforgivable I say!

@The Fob, Yeah, I like that very much, if she talks about Wong as alive and well, like they are in touch and working together, (maybe with an e-mail from Wong, saying "please take good care of my colleague for me" or something like that. I can see that working.
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Re: Ideas.. Ideas.. Ideas..

Postby Sil » 09 Jul 2016, 11:24

Whatever is done with Diana Allers, whether it's replacing her with Khalisah or Emily or a new character entirely, or redoing her model and voice actress, we really need to work out exactly what is wrong with her and the best way of going about fixing it. I personally like the idea of a reporter on the ship, and I do feel that her part is one of those areas that needs fixing to make the game closer to what it should've been. From what I can tell, the main gripes surrounding Diana Allers are as follows:

1) She represents shady business activities such as the buying of better reviews. Potentially, and most likely, the biggest gripe people have for her character.
2) The voice acting attributed with the character is pretty poor, except for maybe one line people have highlighted already.
3) Her model looks terrible, I think it was obvious it was done on a very quick turnaround.
4) People would have preferred to have Emily Wong on the ship, rather than dying off-screen.
5) People would have preferred to have Khalisah al-Jilani on the ship.
6) People would have preferred no character there at all and a closed room, rather than a poorly acted, poorly modelled character.
7) She uses a room up that could be used for other characters or purposes that would be more interesting.
8) She locks in a romance, rather easily, that is very poor in quality and a bit weird. Edit: I've been told this doesn't happen. I remember it happening, but it's been a very long time and I'm probably wrong.
9) If, for some strange reason, you actually wanted a romance with the character, you don't even get a decent love scene.
9) She's far too sexualised for no real reason; battle-tits anyone? >.<

What are the benefits of editing/replacing/removing her? Here's a list I've come up with so far:

1) Removing her would also remove the sickly feeling that comes when looking at really shady business deals, and is probably the easiest solution after leaving her be. Personally though, I like the idea of a reporter on the ship and would prefer to have it, just done differently.
2) Replacing her with Emily Wong or Khalisah al-Jilani would return potential fan favourites to the game in an expanded manner, more content could be added for them both through the use of a replacement voice actress who can mimic them, and people who are fans of these would be able to romance them because Diana Allers counts as an option for romance. Mass Effect fans would likely love this option the most.
3) Adding a new reporter means that not only can her presence be expanded upon and a lot of interesting things could be done with her, such as maybe even adding more interviews for those galaxy map missions in the Expanded Galaxy Mod, but it lacks the work required to find specific voices that match established characters. Not only that, but with clever editing she could interact with the crew more, meaning more lines and content.
4) Moving her from her current room could free it up for another character to be brought back to the ship, or potentially characters to be added there. My personal wish would be to replace the room with Zaeed's old one and have a Geth living in there, but I'll go into the negatives of all this in a minute. There are other fan favourites who could take up the space; such as Shiala, Giana Parasini, Gillian Grayson or the ME2 squaddies, there are many potentials.
5) Moving her from her current room also makes more sense, why would a reporter get all that space to herself? They're in a war and space is at a premium, only those who are most important would warrant such a large space for themselves.
6) Changing her appearance, but keeping Diana Allers as she is currently, would go a small way to fixing the poor quality aspects of this character and make her a tiny bit more palatable.
7) Changing Allers voice to someone new would, in concert with the above suggestion, fix a great deal of the problems surrounding the character and I would be happy with that. It's also the "easiest" way of fixing her without tampering too much with the game and getting rid of the most gripes.
8) Removing the romance entirely would stop people accidentally getting a lock-in with a character they don't want anything with. Removing the need to reload a save to avoid it.
9) Changing the romance to a fling would serve a purpose, in that a person who wants to can do that kind of thing without it affecting any future romance lock-ins. Problem is that it's still easy to accidentally cause this to happen, so maybe the way to reach it would need to be edited.
10) Adding content to the romance could flesh it out enough to make it worth going for, and it could turn into an interesting one if done right. Reasons not to bother are below.
11) She could be replaced with a non-reporter character, an entirely new one or bringing back an old favourite. People might find it cool to have Giana Parasini on the ship, or well, anyone really. There are a lot of potential routes this could go down.
12) One way of adding a brand new character to replace her would be to make use of the standard appearance and voice of the other gender of Shepherd. So if you play as a male shepherd, the new reporter would look like the standard femshep and use her voice, of if you play femshep then it'd be a maleShep. The benefits of this being that it would give you so much voice content from all three games that you could add them without even needing to get a new voice actress.

Negatives/problems with doing these:

1) Removing her entirely is removing a part of the game, reducing the level of story interaction which had already taken a hit in the third game.
2) Any edit, regardless of size or scope, requires time to make, to bug test, and to plan. Time that could be spent on more exciting and more worthwhile edits.
3) Removing her romance entirely could upset that very small player base that actually likes it.
4) Changing the romance to a fling could necessitate the need to add in content/speech from potential other LI's should Shepherd have a fling with her, leading to a lot more work than expected by such a minor change. I don't think it's all that vital though.
5) Adding content to the romance might not even be worthwhile, it's a lot of time and effort for something that very few would bother to even look at, especially if she looks/sounds as she currently does.
6) Replacing her with Emily Wong means that we're essentially going away from the canon (even if it is canon mostly made for promotional purposes), some people won't like that much, then there is the fact that some named characters should die because this is a war of galactic genocide we're talking of here, some casualties are needed. Though admittedly it should've been shown in some way.
7) Replacing her with Khalisah Al-Jilani would warrant a change to the current content with her that is in the game, this would be on top of all the other changes necessary to add her correctly.
8) Replacing Allers with Emily/Khalisah would require the search for a voice actress that is not only of some talent, but also who can accurately mimic their voices. Not only that, but there is the potential for poor audio equipment to be used, for a volunteer to give up partway through, or to pull away from the project at any moment.
9) Replacing her voice entirely, whether for a new character or not, would suffer from the same potential problems as listed in the section immediately above.
10) Changing Allers into a new character would necessitate a lot of work, even if we kept all her current lines (not the voice acting though) and built her up from there to fill a more interesting role. Not only would her writing have to be consistent, but a new model would have to be agreed upon by the various modders working on the project, and you'd need a decent enough voice actress with time to do this voluntarily and with decent audio equipment. Plus, whoever voices her, would have to do a better job than the one who voices Allers at the moment.
11) If a new character is added to replace Diana, we need to be sure she is named in a way that Shepherd can actually say her name, so we are limited in the names we can use for her, especially if a romance is still in there.
12) There are potentially more worthwhile mods out there for people to be working on.
13) Changing her location to another room would require bug-testing to check the viability of it, but it'd also need to be somewhere that makes sense to the various modders around here and since so many mods are made to be interactive with one another, it'd need to be somewhere that doesn't accidentally conflict with one of those. However, the benefits of a free room kinda outweigh the problems on this one.
14) Changing the room itself back to Zaeed's room from ME2 might not be possible (I'm unsure on how well the Normandy can be modified, because I've only heard of battle-maps being experimented with being added to the game, not locations for story).
15) Any new character, or old character, added to the vacated room would necessitate a lot of work to make them feel a part of the ship. They'd need dialogue, a reason to be there, lip-syncing, etc.
16) Re-introducing characters such as Shiala, Giana Parasini, Gillian Grayson, or any character who doesn't have a lot of dialogue (or any) to use from previous games, to the room would not only require new writing for them that matches how they were in previous games/books, but would also require the need for voice actors/actresses who can mimic them, something that would be difficult to find, as mentioned earlier.
17) Replacing Allers with a new reporter voiced and looking like the other gender of your Shepherd might be grating to some people or pull them out of the experience a bit if they play the game as both genders on different saves. Personally though, I'm always maleShep, so it'd not impact me at all to see the character voiced by the actress of femShep.
18) Any new character means adding something that essentially boils down to fan fiction, something some people won't like.

Personally I think the main solutions are as follows:

1) Replace Allers model, replace her voice actress, change the romance to a fling. That would remove most gripes in return with keeping with ME3 'lore', with the least impact on the game as a whole and ensuring compatibility with most mods. This should remove the upset over the shady business part of the game as the IGN reporter will be gone in both looks and voice. Moving her location on the ship would also free up a room to be used for some other purpose.
2) Replace Allers with Emily Wong. It would either mean a reduction in dialogue if modders were to use only her audio files from the previous games, or it would require a new voice actress who can mimic her closely. This would require editing the model of Allers, her voice, and likely needing to change many of the lines. This would be a fan favourite though, many people liked Emily Wong, and since Allers has a romance then those fans of her could get the chance to romance her. Putting her in a different room still frees up that space for something else.
3) Replace Allers with Khalisah al-Jilani. I would say this is essentially the same as Emily Wong, except that it would require some additional planning and editing to get it to match up with her current content in the game. I'd be a fan of this, but I think I'm in a bit of a minority over that! Again, putting her in a different room still frees up space for something else to be put in there.
4) Replacing Allers with an entirely new reporter character gives the modders making the mod free rein to play with her lines, her content and so forth, and could allow them to deliver an interesting new addition to the game. It would also erase the shady business part rather nicely, as Allers would no longer exist.

If she is moved from her current room in all versions, at least it frees up space for something else too.

Have I missed anything? I'll add any more to it if others can think of more.

My own opinion is this: I want the reporter to stay, I want a reporter on the ship as I like the post-mission interviews and I like the idea behind it. I loathe the shady business part of it, but for me, that’d be gone with a model swap and a voice swap. I do feel she is a more important to fix than most people accept or realise, as she’s considered a potential love interest, but the way she was added… it’s almost like she’s a massive bug that needs fixing in the game, to some people a game-breaking one. I’d like to see a solution to her beyond just removing her entirely, as I’d rather keep content than lose it.
Last edited by Sil on 09 Jul 2016, 22:15, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ideas.. Ideas.. Ideas..

Postby giftfish » 09 Jul 2016, 15:30

@Sil -- I'll need to read the bulk of your post later, but I just wanted to clear up something about Allers. She is not a love interest in ME3. Not in BW's sense of the term.

She does *not* lock in. "Locking in" is a specific mechanic that does 5 things for an LI: conveys paramour, locks out all other LIs, opens new LI-specific dialogue, leads to a romance culmination at the end of the game (when on the Normandy), and generates LI-specific epilogue content. Locking in is BW's way of saying "this is a serious level of commitment."

None of this happens for Allers. She does not convey paramour, she does not lock out any LI's save one (more on that in a sec). She does not have any LI-specific dialogue after the hookup and she doesn't have a pre-Cronos culmination to the romance. She has no LI-specific content in the epilogue, and in fact, no epilogue content at all, as far as I know.

Allers is a hook up.

She is the "Shiala" of ME3. The hook up is something the player can have Shepard do if s/he wants, but only if no other romance is already locked in. Participating in the hookup makes no difference for the PT at all. If the player wants, they can sleep with Allers and then go lock in their LI -- with a single exception. Sleeping with Allers will lock out a rekindled or romanced Liara -- who also happens to be locked out by Thane's vanilla makeout. I suspect BW did this with Liara due to her SB feeds/intel, and the theoretical information she can gather from them. She is the only LI that has any type of real break up mechanic after her initial rekindle.

The entire reason I didn't touch Allers for BO is exactly b/c she is not a love interest and there is no romance. She's specifically "eyecandy/hookup candy" for players who RP their Shepard as more casual with relationships. Btw, Javik's hookup in Citadel DLC is handled almost the exact same way, it's just confined to FemShep.
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Re: Ideas.. Ideas.. Ideas..

Postby Sil » 09 Jul 2016, 22:06

I've not been able to play ME3 for about 2.5 years, so my memory of some bits is foggy but I do remember that hooking up made my attempts at an Ashley romance go wrong and I was forced to reload to a save about 3 hours earlier to get past it. I dunno if that was a bug or not, but when I didn't hook up the second time, it worked. So I'm just going by what I remember :/. Even if I'm wrong on that, which is possible as it's been a long time, then all that really changes is the parts I mentioned about romancing Aller's leading to a lock-in, the rest still applies. I'll add it in as a note on the list.
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Re: Ideas.. Ideas.. Ideas..

Postby Deager » 10 Jul 2016, 01:02

The Fob wrote:Of course you know this already but MEHEM does exactly that (resurrecting Wong by email). :D


This assumes my memory is not faulty...it's faulty. :) That's right. You have Parasini too, correct? I was gearing up with MEHEM v0.5 when I got sidetracked by all this lip sync stuff. I'm still stuck in ME2 which is longest I've ever let a Shep sit there and twiddle her thumbs waiting for me to instruct her. She's totally going to blow that base to %#&&, I can tell you that.
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Re: Ideas.. Ideas.. Ideas..

Postby giftfish » 10 Jul 2016, 14:27

Sil wrote:I've not been able to play ME3 for about 2.5 years, so my memory of some bits is foggy but I do remember that hooking up made my attempts at an Ashley romance go wrong and I was forced to reload to a save about 3 hours earlier to get past it. I dunno if that was a bug or not, but when I didn't hook up the second time, it worked. So I'm just going by what I remember :/. Even if I'm wrong on that, which is possible as it's been a long time, then all that really changes is the parts I mentioned about romancing Aller's leading to a lock-in, the rest still applies. I'll add it in as a note on the list.

Yep, I'll read the rest of the post in just a bit. It could be a bug, or a mechanic you misunderstood, or even something else that happened at around the same time as the fling with Allers.

The reason why, is that there are almost no condition checks for the plot associated with the hookup (20630) in the entire game. Liara's break up dialogue is the only conversation that checks for this plot. There are also two conditionals that contain this plot: 2288 and 2620. Neither are checked during any game conversations.

2288 is used to control sequencing for Liara's break up ambient, and the function of 2620 is unknown to me at this time. It could be used for something related to Ashley, but it's unlikely considering it also checks for her romance. I can verify from my work on BO that (unless I missed something) it isn't used in pre-epilogue romance content involving: Liara, Sam, Steve, Kaidan, Jacob, Thane, Samara, Kelly, Miranda, Jack, or Garrus. That leaves Tali and Ash. Taking a very quick look at their sequence maps for the Citadel and Normandy, I don't see 2620 or 2288 checked on any of them. If the plot isn't checked alone or as part of a conditional, then it's incapable of affecting the game.

If you can provide any other details as to where things went wrong with Ash -- which convo specifically -- I might be able to figure out what it was, or let you know if BO already fixes it. Just looking at her Presidium date, the only way you can "fail" is if her relationship integer isn't high enough. There are 3 checks. You need a minimum of 4 to pass the first, a minimum of 11 to pass the second, and a minimum of 6 to pass the third. If you fail either the second or third, you'll get "Was just enjoying the moment, Ash" and dumped out of the convo without the option to romance. If that's what happened, and you then went back to re-play content, it's possible you made different conversation choices with Ash. All you would have needed was another point or two to bump up the integer enough to pass the 3rd check.
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Re: Ideas.. Ideas.. Ideas..

Postby Sil » 10 Jul 2016, 16:12

It's been so long, and was in one of my first ME3 play-throughs, that I can't remember when it was exactly. I do remember that when I reloaded I tried to keep my responses as close to what I'd done the first time round as I could, just lacking the Aller's fling. It's entirely possible that I made slightly different choices without realising I had made 'better' ones that led to an Ashley romance the second time round, but it could've been some kind of bug or corruption somehow. I'm usually pretty decent at getting the things I aim for in the game, I mean, I got the best possible ending for ME2 on my first play-through, so it was unusual to fail on the Ashley romance, as it's the only time I've failed on any romance in the games over many complete play-throughs. If no-one else has had such a bug, maybe it was just user error, or just one of those weird ones that are inexplicable. I wish I could provide more details, if this was 2+ years ago, I probably could have told you exactly when!
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