Spoiler Warning 4×1:
Death is Cheap

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Nov 16, 2010

Filed under: Spoiler Warning 322 comments

No more jokes, this is really the start of our Mass Effect 2 series. New format, new editing tools, new video host. Same band of jerks. We’re easing into this slowly.

Since our video is no longer a half hour long, we’ve been able to increase the video quality. Previously we were stuck in 320p, but now the show is available in glorious 720p. Which is a lot more p.

Link (YouTube)

The changes we’ve made were based on the feedback we got last week. In particular, the leading suggestions were:

  • Try to play the newest games to make the show more relevant.
  • Try to play older games so as to avoid spoilers.
  • More humor.
  • Less joking around.
  • More off-the-cuff banter.
  • Try to prepare our commentary ahead of time.
  • Cover more ground in each episode.
  • Make the episodes shorter.
  • Move to a more popular, established video host.
  • Don’t use YouTube.
  • Do episodes more quickly to hold interest and get through the game fast.
  • Less episodes, so it’s not so hard to keep up.
  • Do blind runs of games.
  • Know what you’re talking about.
  • Less grief and anguish.
  • More Rutskarn singing.

Yeah, we’re doomed.


From The Archives:

322 thoughts on “Spoiler Warning 4×1:
Death is Cheap

  1. DaveMc says:

    Just follow each of the pairs of opposing suggestions in alternate episodes: first one a YouTube-hosted off-the-cuff joke-fest, the next a Viddler-hosted, tightly scripted, serious commentary. I don’t see what can possibly go wrong, except possibly that you’d make *everyone* equally angry.

    1. Moridin says:

      “you'd make *everyone* equally angry.”

      Would that be a success or a failure?

        1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

          I see Jarenth has a new pupil.

          1. Jarenth says:

            The best multi-level schemes always spread without direct involvement from the creator.

  2. Zagzag says:

    Are these daily or twice weekly? I don’t think it was clarified, although Shamus said it would probably be daily if it was under fiftten minutes long.

    1. Shamus says:

      Still working that out. Editing still takes the same amount of time, and Josh is getting used to Adobe Premiere, so we’ll see how it goes before we go making any promises.

      1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

        Making sure you can fulfill your promises before making them? Peter Molyneux is spinning in his grave. And the guy’s not even dead yet!

      2. Fat Tony says:

        I rather enjoyed the longer episodes and viddler wors for me yet youtube doesn’t (probably cuase iv’e had this pc half my life with no hardware updates…i got it at 8 im now 16)but i would love if somehow you updated more often as 2 15 vids a week works as well as 1 30 minute a week. Love the seires, love you guy, your’e awesome and shamus? is there anyway of your st e-mailing me when/if some replys to this? or does it do that and noone has ever replied to me?

        1. Rilias says:

          Let’s try it out shall we?

          1. Fat Tony says:

            no unfortunatly. shamus if you ever get bored and feel like fiddling with the site, implement this please?

  3. Robyrt says:

    It seems like a lot of these contradictions boil down to a couple major suggestions:

    1. Play games that can be completed quickly.
    2. Play games that at least one crew member is familiar with, and one hasn’t played before.
    3. Minimize “dead air” (where nothing new or interesting is happening or being said), by editing or prepared comments or singing or whatever.

    Of course you’ll never please everyone, but you can at least get it higher than 50%.

  4. acronix says:

    I have to ask: Am I the only one who thinks the default female Shepard looks like a plastic doll when she wakes up?

    1. jdaubenb says:


      Even better: Make a female Shepard, with the really large eyes and marvel at the engine being unable to close them fully.

      1. Someone says:

        Still better than “talking with a wide open mouth” bug from Fallout (sorry, just filling my Fallout mention quota).

    2. Kale says:

      I remember having to get used to that shiny skin thing, yeah.

      1. Sigilis says:

        Man, if she doesn’t exfoliate soon, Shamus is going to lose viewers.

    3. bit says:

      Yeah, I think it’s the skin. I’ve come to find that the only skin that doesn’t look ridiculously plastic in ME2 is the whitest of the white, probably because you don’t notice the spots of reflected light. It has an uncanny look unto itself, (although, it makes the most sense, doesn’t it? Hanging around a spaceship full of florescent lights all day) but you take your pros where you can get them.

  5. Kale says:

    Come to think of it, why does that first door explode? No one was there to attack you and the only thing in the hall was a dead body which may or may not have been involved in said explosion. If dead body set the explosion dead body did not remember demolitions safety 101.

    1. acronix says:

      It´s one of those mysteries that aren´t mentioned ever after they happen. Like certain guy who´s shot for being a traitor and starting the mess that start this sequence.

      1. jdaubenb says:

        We still might hope that Mass Effect 3 will shine some light on Wilson’s his reasons.


        Probably not.

        1. Amnestic says:

          Common thought is that he was paid off by the Shadow Broker. Don’t think we’ve had anything close to confirmation, but considering Wilson was whining about money and SB wanted Shepard it makes sense.

          Cerberus has had two successes in their time which we know about. One is Shepard, the other is EDI, who was made from parts of Sovereign.

          Everything else has been a catastrophic failure which resulted in dozens if not hundreds/thousands of deaths. I don’t think they’re evil. I think they’re just bloody incompetent. It’d actually make a lot of sense as to why they need Shepard. They’ve evidently noticed that their group is packed by lobotimised chimps so they need to outsource.

        2. Irridium says:

          Lair of the Shadow Broker shed some light on that.

          It seemed Wilson was an agent placed by the Shadow Broker. The Broker was offered quite a bit from the collectors for Shepard’s body, which he originally got from the planet. I think, I don’t know, it seems at this point 5 factions retrieved his body. Anyway, he was originally going to give the body to the Collectors but Liara foiled his plans and ended up handing you over to Cerberus, since they convinced her that they could bring you back. So the Broker places Wilson on the station to monitor you and prep you to be shipped to the Collectors after your brought back, since I imagine he would get more if you were in one piece and/or alive.

  6. Yerushalmi says:

    I for one am very glad that you’ve shortened the episodes, makes it easier to watch at work.

    1. Lupis42 says:

      Same here!

      Very awesome. Drinks all round!

  7. Nyaz says:

    …Rutskarn… singing? Consider my interest piqued.

    1. Fat Tony says:

      I second this motion.

      1. Nyaz says:

        It should be a rule that Rutskarn must sing for at least 15 seconds every Spoiler Warning episode until I regret suggesting it.

        1. Veloxyll says:

          With mumbles providing the backing music which simply consists of her saying bees with different emphasis.

          1. Supah_Ewok says:


  8. Factoid says:

    Nice episode. I liked how you ended it. Get the credits out of the way up front and just end it on commentary. That was no doubt designed to increase your “watch till the end” numbers.

    I also like the higher quality video. Big plus.

    The only thing I’ll miss is the in-video comments, but moving to Youtube was probably a good move.

    If you get popular on youtube you’ll probably get an offer to join their partner program and then you can upload your back catalog of longer videos.

  9. Someone says:

    I liked ME2.
    Here is some anal retentive fanboyism:

    1. Joker was protected by a forcefield thingy.
    2. Only Joker’s awesome piloting skills and the fact that Normandy is the best ship in the universe (excluding the Reaper ship, of course) saved you from being annihilated in one hit.

    Having said that, the start is still a big slap in the face. They could have handled it much more gracefully than “rocks fall, everyone dies”, looks like the only reason they went this route is to cram character creation into canon.

    1. Aldowyn says:

      and to lockstep you into joining Cerberus…

      But yeah, there was a forcefield there!

      1. Klay F. says:

        Forcefields: The sci-fi version of railroads.

  10. Sander says:

    Like the shorter format, but how about playing with a controller instead of a mouse. The jerky camera movements are incredibly annoying.

    1. Hitch says:

      It’ll take me a few episodes to get used to the shorter format. I feel like it cut off just when I was getting interested. But I love the improved video quality. And I don’t think Josh is physically capable of not jerking the camera around, there might be a spy behind him.

      1. Klay F. says:

        Josh is the SPAH… and he’s sappin’ the ROBOTS!

    2. Rosseloh says:

      Man, a controller would make it worse. He would be constantly spinning around 360 degrees.

    3. Irridium says:

      Controllers are incompatible with Mass Effect 2. At least 360 controllers are.

      1. Zukhramm says:


        Why? Why would anyone ever make a game not compatible with controlers? It can’t be that hard to do considering all kinds of cheap games have done it.

        1. KarmaTheAlligator says:

          Very late to the party but hey: in ME2 on PC, most mouse functions in menu don’t work. You can’t double click or scroll down with the mouse wheel like in any other game. If they can’t get that working, what makes you think they can get a controller working?

  11. Dev Null says:

    More sock puppets.

  12. jdaubenb says:

    Let’s talk about mShep vs. fShep.

    Personally, I can enjoy female Shepard for being a lot more expressive than the male counterpart. Female Shepard is a character in her own right, male Shepard is a piece of styrofoam.
    At the same time, my personal “canon” Shepard is male, because his iambic delivery makes it easier for me to ignore the voice acting. Male Shepards bland blandness is useful if you try to play him more like a traditional RPG-protagonist, rather than the cinematic character in his own right he is supposed to be.

  13. Ham08 says:

    /me looks up and says “Very good.”
    /me goes back to what he was doing.

    I think this might work. Well done. I would offer only that there was at least one occasion where everyone was yelling at the same time which is probably hard to avoid, but do try.

    Go team!

  14. Zagzag says:

    I have watched the episode and am pleased to report that it is not the monstrosity that I had a niggling doubt at the back of my mind that it would be. It’s not really that big a change except for the length, and if it goes up even three times per week then it’ll be enough to make up for it.

  15. Integer Man says:

    It’s a good thing this is part 2 of a planned 3 part story or else they’d have to reboot the series in an awkward manner that wouldn’t flow well with the plot of the previous games.

    Welcome to YouTube. Stupid time limit…

    1. halka says:

      I for one, welcome our… err… new video hosting service, as I’m finally able to download the episodes and watch them laterz. Didn’t have anything against Viddler, and the comment system was certainly novel, but it seemed sluggish (and I wasn’t even one of those constantly bombarded by ads).

      If I recall correctly, the main point against YouTube was the length limit, but 15 minutes seems just enough to contain a coherent episode and not freak me out of watching it entirely, leaving the episode for later (I still haven’t crunched through all of the third series :/).

      1. McNutcase says:

        You can… download? Wha? I have all the Viddler-hosted episodes saved. I can’t find a single thing on YouTube that’ll let me download them.

        Frankly, I’d have gone Vimeo before YouTube. YouTube is popular because it’s the first successful video host, but seriously, EVERY video host that’s not YouTube does SOMETHING way better, and a lot of them do LOTS of things better.

        Except be YouTube. Feh. Sorry, my distaste for 800lb gorillas is showing yet again…

        1. Integer Man says:

          That’s what the show needs! Three 800lb gorillas! In tutus! Next to Christian Bale!

          1. Nyaz says:

            Christian Bale must also be wearing tutus. And a gorilla suit.

            1. Joe says:

              And it must be narrated by Morgan Freeman!

        2. Daemian Lucifer says:

          For downloading things from youtube go here:

  16. Christopher M says:

    What I love about FemShep is that her voice sounds pretty much exactly the same as that of Dr. Elizabeth Weir from Stargate Atlantis. (Who, incidentally, plays alongside John Sheppard, bringing the “crazy similarities” count to two.)

  17. Rosseloh says:

    I prefer longer episodes, as I tend to enjoy sitting down with a drink and watching them.

    But I can’t control you! Yet.

  18. RTBones says:

    My own comments, from the Whatever Its Worth factory –

    — The episode ending was done well. Given that we now have ~15 minute episodes, the need to sign-off is essentially gone.

    — I liked the opening credits and music.

    — You’ve got essentially 15 minutes of gameplay, including any credits and cut scenes. While there are certainly areas of the game that may call for you to talk about the same subject for the entire episode, the normal SW crew ‘rant’ about XYZ feature/cut scene/plot hole may bog some episodes down. This will be less noticeable later on – as given this is a new format it will likely get smoothed over. This episode, though, it seemed to me like the team got bogged down, and completely glossed over the fact that the initial gameplay is actually a ‘training’ level (a comment not needed for those who have played, but pertinent to those who have never seen ME/ME2.)

    — Given the levels of sarcasm we have come to know and love from the SW crew, I think it was a good call that Rutskarn said, “No, this isnt sarcasm, I really do think this.” Guessing this is probably going to be needed more than once during this playthrough.

    — I dont think you need to be scripted, just aware of time.

    1. Well Rutskarn did miss a big opportunity during the reconstruction cutscene “We can fix him, make him faster stronger…” etc. (hope somebody here catch the reference?)

      1. Aldowyn says:

        That sounds like the bionic man …

        Also, it’s blatantly obvious that it’s a tutorial level to anyone that has played videogames pretty much at all. Mentioning it wasn’t needed.

      2. xuberfail says:

        “We have the technology” exactly what I was thikning.

      3. Rutskarn says:

        I actually considered saying, “I’m really proud that none of us are making a Bionic Man reference,” but then I realized that I would be, you know, making a Bionic Man reference.

        1. MrWhales says:

          When has that stopped anyone before?

        2. Fat Tony says:

          shame on you punlord, you made an oath to PUN-ish all thoose within earshot of your voice i DEMAND a redub of the episode

  19. poiumty says:

    Me, i’d rather next time you play games that are easy to understand by watching them. Not saying ME2 is hard, but a lot of conversations will be drowned out by the chat and the non-combat sections will pobably get boring to watch.

    1. Aldowyn says:

      That’s why they have the subtitles. Personally, I’ve played it several times so I know all the lines already, and their comments on what Shepard says and stuff are absolutely hilarious.

  20. Jabrwock says:

    Awww, how am I supposed to avoid being productive with the show on YouTube? :)

    On the other hand, I can now watch this on my AppleTV.

  21. Integer Man says:

    Funk-o-rama is forever etched in my mind as the spoiler warning theme. Just a nice piece of music that fits the show well.

    1. Zukhramm says:

      Dudu dum dudu, dudu dududu, dudu dum dudu, dudu dududu!

    2. bit says:

      Personally, I prefer Enter the Party, but whatever floats your boat.

  22. rofltehcat says:

    The new format looks nice. Watching a 10-15 minutes video is much better for me. I skipped many other spoiler warnings or just left them running by the side of the screen doing something else and paying only like 10% of my attention to spoiler warning.
    Furthermore, I guess I was one of the people that only watched a few spoler warnings because of how good your other works are and I was always like “awww, it is spoiler warning day again :( ” when you released another one of those long episodes.

    Really looking forward to see how the new format will play out. I really hope to watching a few highlights of loved games and maybe a few one-shots on games I may not know yet. You should do one on Chime. And you should play a round of Project Hex once you are done :D

  23. Kuyo says:

    I’m gonna miss that comments thread.

  24. Zak McKracken says:

    OK, so Rutskarn singing is the major change? Cool!

    Seriously: I like it more.
    Two things you could improve (from my perspective):
    If you could talk less (not not at all, but less) while during plot-defining or otherwise important dialogues …? ok, that probably will be opposed by those who want more banter … yeah. But it’s ok this way, I can usually find a spot where I can stop the video, read the dialogue and continue without missing out completely on what you’re saying.
    Second: The last frame says “www.shamusyoung.com” without knowing that the spoiler warning stuff and so on is in the blog, I’d probably go to that page, click on “videos”, be dissappointed and leave. So either the homepage should contain more information on the subentries, or the link should go to twentysided directly.

    Apart from that: I like you banter, I like the way you’re approaching the game now. I also like the shorter format and the higher resolution (much easier to read the dialogue — ok, I know most of that is just placehoder generic garble, but still), and the intro … the intro juuust does it.

    Well done!

    1. Narida says:

      Yeah, I second talking less during cutscenes seeing as it’s difficult to follow the plot if you’re talking over the game.
      I realize this might be difficult what with the start being rather cutscene heavy… do what you think is best, just a suggestion. :P

      1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

        You could watch at 720p, pause appropriately and read the subtitles.

        1. Viktor says:

          I can read the subs in the default window and without pausing, but I am a bit weird.

        2. Tizzy says:

          Yes, for once they remembered to turn on the subtitles from the start, let’s give those guys credit for that! ;-)

  25. pffh says:

    You have to romance Garrus. The romance dialog (and especially the dialog before the sex scene) had me in stitches.

    1. Robyrt says:

      Seconded. Talk to Mordin about it for extra hilarity.

      1. PhilWal says:

        Surely if anyone’s getting romanced, it’s Mordin. Especially if Shamus has a say in the matter.

        1. Aldowyn says:

          You can’t. Sorry. Otherwise, I’m sure they would :D

        2. Roll-a-die says:

          Mordin can’t be romanced, because while bird people and humans can fuck and fish people and humans can fuck, the lizard kin are stuck fertilizing eggs, and being stogy.

    2. Mumbles says:

      I’m on team Garrus.

      1. scowdich says:

        Team Tali! There’s a reason I always play Biotic male Shepard (so I always have a reason to have her on the team).

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Tali for da win!Its a shame shes not into girls.

      2. krellen says:

        I picked Thane. Because Kaiden was a jerk on Horizon, so forget him.

  26. eri says:

    Shamus’ ranting about the load screen made me burst into laughter just a minute or so into the video. Good form there! 15 minutes feels a bit under-developed, but honestly, I don’t mind if it means more frequent updates.

    Also: no more Viddler! HD videos! This is the most glorious day in human history.

  27. Gandaug says:

    I like the new format. Shorter and higher quality is nice. I can watch in full screen now and it still looks better than it did on Viddler.

    First episode was kind of “forced”. It’s the wrong word, but it’s all I can think of now. Not much to be done about that though considering the first cutscene is about sixteen hours long.

    Josh’s jerky camera movements while amusing may be something you want to tone down. I understand where they’re coming from. Having played games requiring fast aiming myself it’s simply second nature. It’s much more disconcerting though for the person watching as opposed to the person controlling. Also considering the fact you’ll have viewers that haven’t played Mass Effect 2 and may not be used to such fast movements it may be a good idea to let them see things in something other than the nifty motion blur effects.

    All in all an improvement though.

    So I asked this before and got no response so I don’t hold out much hope this time but who knows I might get lucky. Why was there a complaint about YouTube video lengths? Before it was said ten minutes was the max yet there were videos longer than ten minutes. Now it’s that they’ve upgraded to allow fifteen minute videos yet there are many videos that came up as sixteen minutes after searching for “sixteen minute video”. Why? Is it a membership thing?

    1. Newbie says:

      I think yes. You become a “director” you can upload videos 30 mins long (I don’t know the length just guessing)…

      1. HeroOfHyla says:

        From what I understand, it used to be that director accounts had no length limit on videos. Then that changed, and any people made directors after the switch didn’t get an increased length limit. However, existing director accounts could still make their videos as long as they pleased. Now, the partner program (which has to do with advertising and stuff, I think) is the only way to be able to make longer videos.

    2. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

      Try this:
      Watch a friend play a first or third person shooter, best with a PC player and a mouse/keyboard combo. Make note of how well he plays, especially how much he gets shot, has to retry/quickload or how long an average fight goes on.
      Then ask him to aim with slower motions and remind him everytime he slips. Once it’s gotten into his muscle memory so you don’t need to remind him, and assuming he hasn’t thrown you out or something similiar, make note of how much worse he plays, especially how much he gets shot, has to retry/quickload and how long an average fight goes on.
      Then take note that Josh would have to do that while listening commentary, whining and singing from up to three persons that are at least a few seconds behind what’s actually happening in-game to him, while having to think up something to say himself occasionally. You could even try this with your friend, assuming he still considers you one.

      Personal suggestion to anyone suffering sea-sickness from Josh’ playing:
      Grab a bucket, start the video and buckle up land lubber ’cause a storm’s comin’.

      Oh, and if you have enough videos/views or something you get a higher time limit in Youtube.

        1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

          Okay, so I’ll give you a short answer:
          You aim slowly, you get shot quickly. Also it takes longer to shoot enemies, so combat lasts longer, meaning the game lasts longer. We don’t need either, so I’d recommend just getting used to Josh’s playing for anyone who feels nauseous about it.

          In case you meant my Youtube comment, I can’t really clarify. Apparently it’s a system to decrease the likelyhood of Youtube getting filled with 20 min. videos of dross or something. So if Spoiler warning runs long enough on there, they’ll be able to go over 15 minutes, and later possibly over 20 minutes. But I really don’t know about the specifics.

          1. Gandaug says:

            I understand you perfectly. I responded with an “ok?” because what I didn’t understand was how your response really correlated to mine. Except maybe as a very binary “Maybe this will improve something”; “No, just deal with it”.

            I offered an opinion on how to improve Spoiler Warning so it can move from having a small cult following to something that has a large following may potentially make them some money. As was explained exhaustively by Shamus they’re trying to reformat the series for a little more mass appeal. Perhaps a little clarification is needed. In combat quick movements are very necessary. Outside of combat they’re not needed. Outside of combat is when I feel they may become a problem for the uninitiated. I personally am not bothered by Josh’s mouse movements. Other people might be bothered by it. Especially people that haven’t ever seen the show before and are just now checking it out. It’d be a real shame to lose them because the camera’s view is spinning around the room constantly rather than just when there is combat.

            I personally would rather see Spoiler Warning in any form, even a little watered down mass appeal version, than see it disappear completely because the crew can’t drum up enough interest in it to make it worth their time. If Spoiler Warning can be made to appeal to a larger audience and The Escapist can be pitched again to host the series then we’re all one step closer to having the crew’s work entertain us on a regular basis. As opposed to Shamus having to find a real job again and have his time split between the real world and the one we all enjoy a little more.

            My apologies if any this seems rude. It is not intended to be rude. I find explaining myself in text taxing because I’m worried it seems rude or pompous. Simply because I try to convey my thoughts as concisely as possible. It is so easy to project emotion on text that isn’t there because you can’t get a tone of a person’s voice or expression of their face.

            1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

              Man, is ever that the case.

              I meant it as a “think about the outcome of what you’re requesting through, and think if that would really be beneficial”. I didn’t realize that you meant out-of-combat, because if I would, I wouldn’t have responded like that.
              If only because it would really be nice if Josh would stop playing like most of my friends, and actually look around. God knows how much time I’ve spent trying to point a location on-screen, or slightly off-screen, to a friend only to have him spin around ~150 degrees. Is it really so hard to realise you’re not in danger right now and look around slower? Granted, it really is something you need to learn. Most players us the mouse more like eyes than head. (“Snap” on target, which is whatever you want to look at, snap to the next one etc.)

              And the “deal with it” was meant for anyone reading it, and not dealing with it. I didn’t get the impression from you, but thought I’d still say it.

  28. Felblood says:

    “Anybody could have robots.”

    This is a very good point. Robots are even more amoral than ninjas, and could be working for anybody.

    You could even have robots of the same model working for different factions.

    1. bit says:

      Or, of course, you could just go the full way and have robot ninjas work for everybody. Hell, that would proably cause world- err, galactic peace, because at that point it’s mutually assured destruction.

      1. Felblood says:

        No, everyone would just fight for control of the robot factories.

        You have to be like the robot ninja manufacturers in KOTOR II, whose factory location was so secret it got cut out of the game.

    2. Aldowyn says:

      They do. Mechs for everyone! (or at least all the different merc factions. Of which there are a LOT)

  29. Viktor says:

    Not a fan of the shorter length. You seemed to end right as you got up to speed.

    Also, WHY KILL SHEPHERD? Seriously, they need better writers. The same thing could have been accomplished by having you stranded on the planet.

    1. jdaubenb says:

      They clearly went for comic book writing. Death is cheap, Commisioner Gordon gets killed every other issue and Bathard spouts Duke Nukem oneliners.

    2. Nyctef says:

      Killing Shepard means Cerberus gets to resurrect her, which gives Shepard a valid reason to work with Cerberus.

      1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

        Sounds ham-handed.

        1. Yes and no, it’s as Joseph Mallozzi said (writer/producer/and director?) of the Stargate franchies, “no one ever dies in sci-fi” :)

          1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

            Considering that in the Stargate universe death is cheap, and was established early. Also it’s a TV series, where you might need such things.

            Not to mention that in video games you cause problems with such things. If the PC can be revived, how about all the big bads? Why bother killing anyone since they’ll come back anyway? Why should you consider anyones life important, since if they’re really important you can just have them brought back? And the two latter are the player’s out of game logic, so it has a potential for immersion breaking and apathetic playing.

            Sci-fi can have a lot of things if the writer wants, but that does mean that it should have if it wants to be something more than run of the mill. You should always avoid raising the dead, and rather have technology for staving off dying. And if you put a revivification you should put it under strict limitations, so death could matter.

            But at least there wasn’t time travel. Monorail to Boring Town if there ever was one.

            1. Why bother killing anyone since they'll come back anyway?
              Um! And that is true for 99% of games out there.
              Example: You died! Reload from last checkpoint?
              Example: You died! load last save?
              Example: Your teammeates di…erm passed out and won’t wake up until the fight is over.

              Hardly any game has been made where dying is part of the story. (Heavy Rain being the exception, the story does continue there if you die)
              But almost all other games the story is designed such that you are alive against all odds, you always win, always defeat whatever you are fighting.

              this is why I always cheat in games. using either the dev console (preferred) or a trainer or editing game files, or overskilling a RPG character.
              After all, god mode just means I won’t have to click “Yes” on the re-load from last save/checkpoint all the time.

              1. Daemian Lucifer says:


                In planescape:torment you not only wake up in the morgue after you die,you not only have quests where you need to die to complete them,the whole point of the game is to die in the end.

              2. Zukhramm says:

                But reloading the game never tries to explain itself through the story. If I die and reload in Half-Life 2 I don’t get to watch a scene were Kleiner builds a time machine to reset me dying.

                1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  In lost vikings there are number of jokes based on reloading.

              3. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

                What Zukhramm said,

                and it’s unfair towards the enemies, who aren’t real people. And are not the ones supposed to be entertained.

                When the in-universe has a method of cheating death, without strict limitations on when it’s useful, it starts undermining drama.
                “Oh, my loved one got shot for defending me.” -Character
                “Well boo-hoo. Fill ‘er up with the Revivification Juice and let’s get going.” -Player

                The writers will be forced to Deus Ex Machina important deaths so that they can’t for some reason be saved. And that’s never good.

      2. Atarlost says:

        Doesn’t mean they have to kill her dead. There are lots of ways to kill someone in which a suit with science fictional built in first aid could stave off brain death.

        Or at least don’t cook her. Asphyxiation should be good enough and revivification is more believable even if still impossible.

        1. Heh, Wrex later comments (and admires Shepard) for surviving that incident, saying something to the effect of “good thing your redundant organs saved you (witch Krogans have))” upon which Shepard says that he doesn’t have any redundant organs, Wrex reaction is kinda amusing. and in a way that kinda lampshades the resurrection I guess.

    3. Sekundaari says:

      I feel the same about the length… perhaps it will get better when I/the commentators get used to it.

    4. Gandaug says:

      Killing Shepard is kind of odd. It’s a little ham-handed as Sumanai said. I guess they couldn’t come up with a better way to allow you to completely change your character if you wanted to while still importing your save from ME1.

      1. krellen says:

        You could, you know, just let it happen and not worry about having to explain it. It’s a game, not a movie.

        Anyway, soap operas get away with changing actors all the time.

        1. acronix says:

          It´s true. The game never makes mention of Shepard´s class or specific appareance, so it doesn´t really make sense for the writer to care about it in the beginning if he´ll forget all that was potentially changed later.

        2. Gandaug says:

          You’re right. They could have done that. Then we’d all be complaining that they did that instead of coming up with a good reason for this sudden incongruity in the character’s abilities. Let’s not fool ourselves here.

          Your argument could be used to support the death/resurrection of Shepard word for word just as easily as it could be used to detract from it.

          I agree the way it was given to us is silly and rather jarring. Something as simple as not having the body fall through reentry so there would actually be something left would have improved the method greatly.

          1. Zukhramm says:

            I wouldn’t complain.

          2. krellen says:

            You’re absolutely wrong. Very few people would complain about a game mechanic not getting explained by story, because we’re all quite used to it by now.

            1. Zukhramm says:

              Maybe they shouild explain why you’re using a mouse to aim, by having Shepard remote controling a robot-Shepard.

            2. Gandaug says:

              It’s amazing how opinions can be absolutely wrong.

              1. krellen says:

                “Then we'd all be complaining that they did that instead” isn’t an opinion, it’s a predictive claim – one that is wrong.

                1. Gandaug says:

                  Ah, yes, semantics. You are correct in the strictest sense. Taking the literal meaning of my statement instead of the spirit of it. My use of the word all indicated an absolute that of course could not be correct. Congratulations, sir, you have won six more internets, and your epeen has grown another inch.

                  Should we all go back now and make sure we are absolutely precise in all of our statements? A brief scroll through other statements made show that in fact several of them are incorrect. You’re going to be a busy man making sure everybody’s statements are correct, or is this just about my statements expressing an opinion different than your own and not all of them in general?

                  The previous paragraphs were made with extreme absurdity. I did this to hopefully show exactly how silly this line of “conversation” is. I am in no way personally offended or upset by what you have to say on the matter. Is it really so horrible that what I have to say differs? It doesn’t even differ by much.

                  Now to be a little more serious my opinion of the opening of ME2 is that it is silly, ham-fisted, and a bit too forceful in its execution. It also manages to accomplish its goal. To allow players to start over with a new character with new skills, new loyalties, and no need to canonize any of ME1 while telling the story Bioware wanted to tell. Yes, it could have been done better and accomplished the same goal. I wish it was executed better.

                2. krellen says:

                  Who’s the one taking this too seriously, really?

                3. Gandaug says:

                  I don’t know the answer to that one. I’m having a grand time with it. I haven’t gotten to write such nonsense in a long time.

          3. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

            No, players would have joked about the sudden change in the PCs abilities and no-one even noticing it, but I don’t think they would have hold it against the game.

            Option to retcon the player character between games is not something that players generally oppose, especially if the system has been changed between games. More so if their old class/skill choices/whatever wouldn’t be as efficient this time around.

            1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

              Also, a thought came to me. If Cerberus has figured that they need you, presumably as close to what you were before death, why would they go and fiddle with your looks? Surely that would be a huge part of their plan of using you as a frontman for their dealing with the alliance.

              Also, why would they go digging through your nogging, risking the whole thing, for the purposes of changing your training and biotic abilities?

      2. Veloxyll says:

        Facial burns + Plastic surgery, getting captured or Collector allies (can make Harbringer-Collector help so he’s more than a cutscene mook) and then rescued by Cerberus. The loyalty abilities suggest all Shepards are biotic capable so follow up with Cerberus or Asari training techniques.
        After TIM sends you off on your first mission the rest of the game can play exactly the same (cept Lair of the Shadow Broker I guess) and it’s 100% less stupid.

        1. Winter says:

          (Can you change sex between game? I mean, if you import a character. That’d make for some great romantic scenes, if the game were to explore it… and if you’re into weird relationships :P)

          1. krellen says:

            IIRC, gender is the only thing you cannot change.

            1. Winter says:

              Well that’s a shame.

    5. Cloverhook says:

      Yeah… I realize we’re horribly outnumbered, preferring the longer videos… I’m just gonna have to wait until a few more are out, then watch ’em back to back.

      Some games, 15 minutes might work well. Mass Effect… I’m not so sure. Long cutscenes and dialogues are the norm.

      Still, I definitely understand that Shamus needs to maximize popularity. Not like he’ll lose anyone for having shorter videos… Here’s hoping he gets the boost in numbers he needs.

  30. straphael says:

    Thanks for the shorter format. I never watched the previous Spoiler Warnings, because I felt 30 mins was too long. Now I’m happy to watch 15 mins episodes.

  31. FrontLineCaster says:

    I hate to be this guy, but the reason Joker isn’t in a full space suit is because the cockpit isn’t exposed to a vacuum yet. When you are walking across the map room, you pass through a force field at the beginning, at which point the game makes it clear you are in the area of the hull breach by having all the noise turn off and having you look out into space. When you get to Joker, you pass through another force field at which point the sound returns to normal, indicating that his room still has air, which the force field is holding in. The helmet therefore isn’t protecting him from space.

    1. Bodyless says:

      True but this explaination breaks apart in the next scene, when he floats to the rescue pod, which was outside the force field and space suddenly is noisy again.

      1. 4th Dimension says:

        Not much of a problem. Human body CAN survive for quite a while in hard vacum. The biggest problem with surviving in it is that you want to exhale every last breath out of your lungs, since presure diferential will seriously fuck you up. Also squishy stuff like eyes will go first.
        But if you know this (and he should know since he IS in the navy), and have that nice helmet to protect squishy stuff in the head, you should be fine for those 30sec necessry for Shepard to carry you to the escape capsule.

        BUT Boiware probably didn’t think of it that way. They probably wen’t with the Rule of Cool.

        1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

          I thought the exhaling thing was proven false. I remember reading about lab accidents where someone was stuck inside a vaccuum and survived several minutes because they didn’t exhale and therefore had oxygen.

          The real problem in space should be the radiation.

          1. 4th_Dimension says:

            I really don’t know. The biggest problem that I know is the pressure diferential, because pressure inside your lungs is maybe a bit higher than 1 atmosphere, and outside is 0.
            Radiation and exposure to the Sun/shadows, but not much of the problem with short time.

            1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

              “not much of the problem with short time” Hah!

              Stand in a shade, step into a bright sunlight. Take note that you have the atmosphere to protect you. From what I’ve understood you’d be scorched almost instantly in space, just by radiation.

              According to Wikipedia hypoxia is what has killed people and animals, so the pressure differential shouldn’t be enough to be harmful.

              (Derailing to other’s worries about unprotected trips in space:)
              Closing your eyes, if you don’t have anything to protect them, is a good idea at least if you’re in space. Not because they’ll blow up, but because tears will vaporize (due to low pressure) removing a lot of heat potentially freezing your eyes.

              Otherwise the coldness of space doesn’t matter. Vaccuum is a very poor heat conductor after all. A couple of extracts from TVtropes:

              “The crew of the Apollo 13 had to shut down the heating system to conserve power after an explosion crippled their ship. After three days, the astronauts reported near-freezing temperatures in the Lunar Module and even condensation and ice forming on the interior. The only reason the temperature situation was so bad was because the Apollo command modules, Odyssey included, had been designed to radiate extra heat and make up the difference with internal heaters. After all, it’s a lot easier to make heat than get rid of it. [cut]”

              “Soyuz T-13, or rather the space station Salyut-7 they were repairing, was frozen to -40 centigrade due to power system failure. This wasn’t instantaneous, of course – contact was lost after the onboard batteries were drained in February, but the next crew didn’t arrive until September, which means it took six months for the temperature to drop that low.”

      2. Avilan says:

        I have looked at that scene a million times and they don’t leave the cockpit! They are still in air, until the second attack hits. Shepard doesn’t “float” to the rescue pod, she floats after putting Joker in it because the second attack kills the forcefield. Up on to the point where she is actually dangling, there is gravity and air in the area.

    2. Tzeneth says:

      That moment was one of those cool moments for me. For some reason it struck me as majestic as you go from all this noise to almost complete silence with just your breathing to be heard. Also a cool view out the hole in your space ship if you look up.

    3. Heron says:

      They just don’t mention that Joker has to expose himself to space to get to the escape pod…

      1. Good point, but he did have his helmet on so if that is sealed properly he should be ok for a short while.
        And since Joker’s condition makes him more vulnerable to gravity and athmospheric pressure he’ll suffer less in a zero grav/vacuum than a regular person.
        Also..Cerberus does actually “fix him up some” as he mention later on when he re-teams up with Shepard, I do believe Shepard broke Joker’s arm in that cutscene getting him out of the chair for one thing.

        BioWare is surprisingly good at sticking (not exactly but) at least close to Sci-Fi reality unlike many other Sci-Fi games.

        1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

          I think you meant that Bioware has harder sci-fi than most video game companies. I hope, because I don’t know what else anyone would mean by “close to Sci-Fi reality”, unless you mean that Bioware does hard sci-fi. In which case I deem you nuts.

          I’ll explain the lingo in case anyone is interested:
          There’s lingo for how “realistic” a sci-fi thing is, and that is it’s hardness. Harder the sci-fi, the closer it is to reallife science. The softer, the further from reallife.

          More on tvtropes.org:

          For those who don’t want to visit, the scale goes from 0 (softest) to 8 (real life). Faster Than Light travel gets dropped at 4, meaning that Mass Effect could at most be 3. It actually kicks in at 2. I’d argue that ME2 makes serious attempts to go for 1.

          1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

            After some thinking, I’m actually pretty sure Mass Effect 1 was a mixture of 1 and 2 on the sci-fi hardness level. While a lot was explained, there were things that were left as “alien tech, it just works ok?” the Geth tech being prominent in my mind. I might be remembering wrong of course.

  32. Fat Tony says:

    Hey Shamus/Josh/Rutskarn/Mumbles you should put links to your respective sites incase this gets big so that you can get more publicity for them……..iv’e seen the end now disregard the youtube comment also no ad for Ruts?

  33. GoodApprentice says:

    Wow. There really is a lot more p!

    1. krellen says:

      And krellen saw that the p was good.

      1. You must be confusing pi and p,
        one is endless or delicious, the other is well…

      2. xuberfail says:

        I find this extremely ironic. In New Zealand P is crystal meth…

        1. Joe says:

          Ah, but that’s P, not p.

          720P is probably lethal and a half
          720p is gloriously HD. So we can see the lethality-and-a-half of video gaming more clearly than our forefathers could have ever imagined!

          1. HeroOfHyla says:

            When youtube says that a video is in 1080p, it still doesn’t fit my 1080p monitor. It puts a large black border around it, and it looks the same size as the 720p stuff. Very confusing.

            1. Shamus says:

              YouTube is lying to you. We record in 720p, so any claims of 1080p on the part of YT are big fat fibs.

  34. malcolio says:

    Maybe take a poll of suggestions, work out which of each opposing view has more support?

    Also, having a weekly roundup of highlights from that week’s smaller episodes would please most people’s differing views.

    1. Nah, if people think they can do better they can do it themselves then shut up and watch Spoiler Warning quietly when the find out how hard this is :)

      Suggestions are fine, but I do believe creative control should still be 100% in the hands of the Spoiler Warning team.

  35. Cookie Of Nine says:

    I didn’t mind Pressley dying since I didn’t like him much in ME1. The big problem I had with him was that he was essentially useless storywise and apparently served no real function on the ship.

    As far as I know, he has two dialog trees in the entire game (now series):
    – Before Eden Prime (Something fishy is going on)
    – After Taking command (I don’t like the aliens on the ship)

    Apart from a few lines (no more than a handfull) he has during cutscenes, he has no dialogue whatsoever. This is odd considering that with Captain Anderson stepping down, he is now second in command of the ship. Yet every conversation you have over the radio when on mission, or whenever you want anything done on the ship, you talk to Joker.

    Also, what “Navigating” does he do in the entire game? You always choose the destination on the holo-map and then optionally tell Joker to go there.

    Most likely, they wanted to get the most bang for their buck WRT having Seth Green voicing Joker, and gave him most of the “Ship Commands” dialogue, but still…

    Considering you get dropped in much better locations in ME2 to where you would want to go, maybe the bad landing locations and Mako hijinks were the result of his “Navigating”, and not Joker’s fault at all, as Shamus would suggest:


    1. Actually if I recall correctly he is actually mentioned later in the game, where the loss of Pressley is mentioned. (I forgot where it might have been news network or something)

    2. 4th Dimension says:

      That non military protocol is one if things that anoyed me in ME1. Joker should be a realy good helmsman, but nothing more (a helmsman is probably a NCO). He basicaly goes where Capitan (or XO when Shepar is not on board) says, so he shouldn’t be ‘commanding’ in fight cequences. Also he shouldn’t be the one that answers your calls. HE ain’t an comm tech whou should route you to Presly as your XO.

    3. Another Scott says:

      Speaking of the escapist, I’m still surprised that they turned down taking on Spoiler Warning, only to take on a really dry let’s play from the Loading Ready Run crew. Don’t get me wrong, those guys are usually hysterical, but I think Shamus & co. have them out classed in the let’s play department.
      This let’s play (as well as the older versions) would have made for a better series that the Loading Ready Run crew is doing.

      1. Andrew B says:

        The LRR Let’s Play is a carved up repeat of a two hour live special they did. Makes sense for the Escapist to have given it a shot first time around (Unskippable is not too dissimilar in general concept) and also makes sense to re-use the content they’ve already paid for.

  36. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Wow,so much more p!

    Also,one thing I think no one was against,but many were for is new titles every episode.

    And yay,no ashley!Did I ever mention that I hate ashley in 2?Yes,I hate that bitch so much.

    Well,you can say all that you want about female shepard,but male can romance tali.You cant beat romancing tali and having her uncover her face for you.

    As for the beginning,this is probably the worst way to begin the game.Yes,its a good way to reset the character and add some motivation for listening to cerberus,but why didnt they do it in 1 then?They knew theyd make a sequel,so why did you survive that fight with saren then?That was the perfect place to die.

    1. krellen says:

      I suspect it’s because, like with A New Hope, BioWare wasn’t 100% sure they’d be able to make the follow-up titles, so they wanted a “complete” ending to Mass Effect.

      1. Probably. As it does have a proper ending. But enough loose threads (the reaper was stopped but there other reapers are still out there, and what’s next with the council the rachni, krogan etc.)
        They better pull out all the loose threads from ME1 and ME2 during ME3 though.

  37. Varewulf says:

    I personally liked the longer episodes, but I do understand why you’re doing it like this. Hope you get more viewers. :)

  38. Dreamshadow says:

    I’ve come to the decision that Me1 was the big movie opening of a franchise, and ME2 is the TV series. That’s just how the second one feels to me, it’s like they were trying to write it so that it was broken into small 1 hour chunks.

    1. More or less yeah.
      Though in ME3 it’s the end of the Shepard story arc,
      so that should allow more extreme player influenced endings (one canon for the future of the franchise obviously) like going evil on the galaxy non-canon ending. (I always love those, KoTOR darkside is fondly in my memory still)

      1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

        Bah. Real writers would make the evil ending canon.

        1. Oh I’d love a game that actually dared do that!
          That actually have a evil protagonist.

  39. Bodyless says:

    The problem with kaidan wearing pink is actually, that most shades of red are going to look like pink in some areas. when you customize your armor, there is a lot of red to choose from but the lightening is dark. As soon as you enter a room with more lightening, your red is suddenly pink. you need to stick with the red which almost looks like black to have something that looks like red.

    I dont mind the 15 minutes episode. except when you are really only going to make two episode per week. i rather want 30 minutes in 320p than 15 minutes in 720p.

    1. Avilan says:

      Not really true; the big problem area color wise is

      1. the first room in the game; for some reason you cannot accurately judge how your face / character looks until you get to the first mission, the lighting is just “off” in the first area. AND…

      2. The heavily greenish / blue light that is used in the second area, when you have left the first base. Since you can change your armor there (you don’t have to wait until you are on the Normandy) it makes it hard to get the colors right sometimes.

      This means that the first area (not counting the conversation on the shuttle) where you can really see how Shepard looks like is when they land on the first mission.

  40. Jarenth says:

    Kevin MacLeod has his own title!

    Everything is right with the world.

  41. Leviathan902 says:

    I really dig the new format. Worked perfectly for watching at…er…work.

    Anyway re:Mass Effect 2, can anyone explain to me why they bothered killing off Shephard?

    There’s no need for the 2 year time gap they always bring up (the sepeartion of your crew maybe? That can be explained 100 different ways).

    There’s no need to do it to explain a potential change in Shepard’s look/behavior from playing as a new character, they don’t make much reference to ME1 anyway.

    All it does is create a jarring opening sequence that requires a suspension of disbelief of the highest order. I mean it’s immersion-breaking. What was the reason for this?

    Anyone? Bueller?

    1. krellen says:

      The new lead writer is a hack.

    2. Not sure, but the “real story” is that it was the only way to allow new players to create their character, and still allow those carrying over the save to get a chance to edit their character.

      If they had locked out those carrying over the save from changing the character players would have complained.
      If they had not let you edit the character at all (i.e. use what the save has or a default if no save) then players would have complained.

      But you are right, there are other ways that would have been just as good (or bad depending on which players you ask).
      One idea I thought of right now is:
      At the start you are asked to import your save from ME1, allowed to tweak looks etc if you want. New players just create the character.
      Then the game starts with a intro. “Previously on Mass Effect” kinda thing like it almost was a TV series, aka it could show “2 years earlier” and then re-cap a few key events from ME1 (but with your ME2 character looks etc. Unless you had a save game in which case ME2 looks and the armor/suit etc. you saved with in ME1)
      Once the re-cap part is done ME2 starts proper.
      The recap part would only need to be a few minutes long for even newcomers (that never played ME2) to catch up.

      And here’s the brilliant part, those buying ME2 would get a 50% discount on ME1 if they buy both at once. (and get ME1 fully patched up with all DLC and bonus stuff)

      *pokes BioWare, um I’m a Freelancer looking for work so *cough* email or sumpt? I got plenty more ideas than that. Heh!*

      But yeah, you are right, it could have been handled differently.
      They tried to balance newcomers and those who played the first game together, which obviously failed.
      My suggestion above would have been better, although I haven’t seen the sales numbers, I’m pretty sure that almost all that got ME2 already had ME1 previously.

      Let’s hope that the start in ME3 is more along the lines I pointed out above, as it’s kinda silly to try to introduce newcomers in the middle of a trilogy that is this heavily story connected unlike many other sequels.
      The Force Unleashed 2 also did something very similar to ME2, but for some reason the resetting of skills didn’t feel so odd there.
      Then again the whole story is railroaded there unlike Mass Effect trilogy where stuff you said/did is actually carried to the next game in the savegame.

      I can’t help but feel that the writers overcomplicated the “reset” story part.
      “Writer X: Hey I know, what if Shepard needs to be re-built from the ground up on a molecular level due to an accident, that would explain the skill/level reset right?” *laughs*
      Instead it should have been “Writer R: Why don’t we just let people create their char or if they have a ME1 save they can edit their character, then we just do a quick re-cap of key stuff in ME1 and we go right into the ME2 story, no need to explain skill reset in the story…”

    3. Daemian Lucifer says:

      It is so that you could play a soldier in 1,and then vanguard in 2,and not have that clash.Basically,you have a completely new character that shares only memories with the old one.Plus,it also gives cerberus some leverage when dealing with you(and yet,they dont use it at all *sigh*).I get why it was done,I dont get the when.It wouldve made perfect sense for shepard to die in the fight for citadel,and then become a fallen hero,with a statue and all.This way,its just stupid.

    4. Bodyless says:

      Because…you need a reason to work for cerberus in the first place? if they deleted the dead of shepard then shepard would still be working with the alliance and the whole plot had to be rewritten.
      even if the alliance refused to do something about the reapers and collecters, you wouldnt just betray them and work for a group which is know for its terrorism. And you are still a spectre so you would only need them as the information source. For information you didnt knew exist (like the reaper iff).
      And would you trust them anyway? after their actions in ME1 certainly not.
      Your resurrection is central to the plot. you cannot just take it out and invent some other excuse for modifing your existant shepard.

      1. krellen says:

        You say “the whole plot would have needed to be rewritten” like that’s a bad thing.

        1. acronix says:

          It also almost make it sound like this beginning was conceived after the rest of the plot.

        2. Bodyless says:

          Your point was that finding another excuse to redo the me1 character is easy.
          My point is that rewriting the entire story is not. Are you a professional writer who works for a dime a day so bioware can rewrite the story till everyone is happy?

          1. acronix says:

            How do we know they are payed a dime? Unless you are the writer…in which case I`d want to punch you.

          2. krellen says:

            I am a well practised amateur writer that works for free. It starts with a simple rule: you don’t kill the protagonist on page one. You have to earn breaking the rules – you can’t just do it.

            The concept of the story was broken. “Working for Cerberus” shouldn’t have even been an option after “defining moment was when Cerberus killed your team” was a choice in the first game. It’s really not that difficult, and it doesn’t take a professional to see it.

            If BioWare wants to pay me a dime a day to write ME3, I’ll take it, and I guarantee I’ll do a damn finer job than the moron that wrote ME2 did.

            1. Rutskarn says:

              “You don’t kill the protagonist on page one.”

              Tell that to Planescape: Torment, mind.

              1. krellen says:

                Chris Avellone has earned his right to break the rules. And he earned it with his work before Torment. (Torment was actually exactly what I was thinking of when I put in the line about having to earn breaking the rules.)

                1. acronix says:

                  I don´t agree with that, but I do think that if you are going to break the rules, you better do it right. Torment does it right, and thus it works. If Avellone had done it poorly, then it wouldn´t work, no matter how much he had earnt the right to break the rule in the first place. There has to be some elements that are present in one and absent in the other: details that make one succeed and the other fail.

                  Adendum: Never played Torment!

                2. krellen says:

                  Well, the general idea is that if you’re earned the right to break the rules, you’ve proven you’ve got the chops to do it right.

                3. Bodyless says:

                  Earning the right to break the rules? sorry but this is nonsense. These rules are at best a guideline to make good stories. You shouldnt judge it only for breaking some unwritten rule.
                  I certainly prefer an original story.

                  Oh and insulting biowares writers wont make them employ you. Even when you are going to do a full time job without earnings to pay for your food and housing.

                4. acronix says:

                  You are implying that you prefer originality over everything, including good writting.

                5. Felblood says:

                  I never looked at any of Avalone’s pre-torment work, and I still went along with the opening scene of Torment. The work stands on it’s own, which means that Torment earns the right to kill the PC (repeatedly and often) on page 1.

                  If Torment can do it ME2 could have done it, but ME2 didn’t do it. A good writer could have sold this scenario during the conversation with the Elusive Man, but that is the scene where the game totally breaks down.

                  Just because Cerberus resurrected Shepard doesn’t automatically make him/her their lapdog, and the railroading here is so tight that it hurts. –which is deeply tragic in that the game could have remained basically the same without it.

                  What does Cerberus lose if they just give Shepard a ship, and set him lose on the galaxy? Shepard will still fight the collectors for them, and they come across as cunning and manipulative, for using Shepard whether he/she acquiesces or not. What was the point in press ganging you, except that the writers wanted to contrast your working for the Citadel in ME1? It’s not like the Elusive Man couldn’t phone you up with quests, if you weren’t specifically working for him.

                  The only reasonable explanations for either side’s actions are entirely meta (unless you are playing a Shepard who would accept working for Cerberus when given the option).

                  A side quest where you get to shoot the Elusive Man (right in his smug face) would have also solved this problem, though I understand that they want to keep him around for the sequel. (Again, meta logic is the only rule.)

            2. Daemian Lucifer says:

              Actually,working for cerberus can still work,even with that background,if written properly.For example,the game starts with you investigating the disappearance of one of the colonies,and present the collector threat to the council.They refuse to listen,so you do one rogue operation and half save another colony.The council then wants to arrest you,so you have to run away(this would mark about half the game).While doing this rogue mission you get connected with miranda who offers you money and intel(where to get mording and some others).Afterwards,you turn to miranda for full support,and she spills the beans about the inactive reaper.She also confesses to you that she is working for cerberus.Here,you can wack her and do the ending on your own,having three enemies now(alliance,cerberus and the collectors),you can turn her to your side if you are charismatic enough(high paragon/renegade),and have her become a double agent against cerberus(maybe even have alliance forgive you for giving them dirt about cerberus),or you can get over the past and work with cerberus.This way,not only would the story and motivation make more sense,but youd have to make the crucial decision way before the last few seconds(destroy the station if you are completely rogue,or give it to alliance or cerberus),which would make it even more meaningful,and increase replayability.

              There,me2 story saved.

          3. Shamus says:

            The death of Shepard was a horrible, stupid hack.

            Remember: They have another game to do. Will they kill him again?

            1. Jarenth says:

              No, no no.

              This time you’ll have amnesia. And then you spend two years working in a cantina on a far-away desert world where nobody recognizes you.

              1. acronix says:

                Or a clone. We can´t discard that option yet.

              2. Shamus says:

                Please tell me you you secretly work for BioWare and are writing ME3.

                1. Velkrin says:

                  No no, he’s going to be a clone with amnesia who turns out to be the evil/good twin (depending on if you go Para or Ren) twin of a Shepard, who time traveled back from the future, and is also from an alternate dimension. To stop him you have to travel to the future to prevent him from traveling to the past and defeat him by using the power of Rock/Love/Friendship/SCIENCE! except that you don’t really defeat him because the entire thing was a dream by a Morden who fell asleep while playing Minecraft. In Space.

                2. Jarenth says:

                  While I’m not authorized to give out spoilers, let me give you a sneak preview of the series ending we’ve got planned:

                  It turns out that all the events of the past three games only took place in your character’s imagination. In real life, commander Shepard was crippled and severely traumatized during the Cerberus tresher maw experiment / the Skyllian Blitz / the slaughter on Torfan, and has fallen into deep psychosis as a result.

                  That’s right: minor details of the ending depend on your character background choice. That’s the kind of writers we are here.

                  1. mixmastermind says:

                    It’s like a 100-hour long version of “Jacob’s Ladder”.


                3. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

                  Oh god. You’re not actually going with that story? Please tell me you’ve dropped the rest of it. The whole “main character finds a statue of a past hero, who looks exactly like him” thing alone is overdone, but the bit about the past hero going through all the same stuff that Shepard went in his dream just throws it overboard.

                  But I must commend on the drama you pulled by making Shepard spend several decades in coma so he wakes up as an old man. With no relatives, regardless of background, and is doomed to live his last days alone.
                  Especially the thing about being a war hero getting retconned at the last minute, so even if you have it, Shepard never actually achieved anything? And is actually despised for being a coward, with delusions of grandeur, who tried to run but got shot? Damn that was a good pull.

                  The fact that it’s always a male Shepard in the ending is kinda so-so, but I can dig it.

                4. Jarenth says:

                  I’m personally kind of proud of the fact that we were able to create fifteen hours of gameplay to take place after that introduction.

                  You’d think a game about yelling at kids to get off your space-lawn, doing grocery shopping in your wheelchar (a Normandy-brand wheelchair ho ho ho) and wistfully reminiscing about the amazing dream life you were forcefully pulled out of under the guise of ‘curing you’ wouldn’t make for a very good game, but there you go.

                5. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

                  I think it helps that you added that “try to avoid getting hit by rotten produce/biological matter while in a wheelchair” -minigame. I know some complained it was too close to that old barkeeping game, but I think that the reversal of avoiding incoming objects, instead of catching them, really invigorates it.

                  And QTE to clean up really gives the feeling of shame and humiliaton the situation brings.

            2. Irridium says:

              Hopefully not.

              If it was up to me, new players would just create Shepard and go, people who import would be given the chance to change things. If not they go in, and if they do want to change something, they change it then go it.

              Those who want the same face can have it, and those who don’t, won’t.

              What I think they’ll do is Shepard sacrifices himself for someone, falls into a coma, then wakes up in some hospital. Kind of like going from Saints Row 1 to Saints Row 2. only minus the exploding boat.

              1. acronix says:

                Which is basically the beginning of this game: you sacrifice yourself for that stupid pilot, and then you wake up in a hospital-ish facility.

                1. Aldowyn says:

                  I agree that having Shepard die at the end of ME1 would make more sense, but it’s also a bad ending for the first game, even though it sets up the 2nd game. The whole “But you’re DEAD!” lines would have a LOT more punch.

                  Overall though the whole dying and then Cerberus resurrecting thing didn’t really matter. If you think about it, you’re not even really working for Cerberus – TIM just provides information, some squadmates (who can end up flipping him off :D), and occasionally screws you over with missions you can reasonably NOT get anywhere else.

                2. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  But imagine the sequel hook such an ending would have:

                  You fight the final battle,then get buried by the rubble.Animation starts,they clear the rubble and recover your lifeless body.Your romance cries “its not fair!”,and fade to black.The council gets reestablished(based on how you did that last fight),some narrative is given,and camera slowly goes around the citadel to find your monument.And then,as it zooms in on the concrete face,transition to your newly made face opening its eyes.Camera goes to your point of view again,heavy breathing,frantic looks,some sort of hospital room,and some people come to sedate you.Fade to black,and the end.

                  Another bonus is that you can use this same cutscene as the beginning of 2,as a sort of “previously in mass effect”.

                3. acronix says:

                  Daemian, such thing would require that the writers to have planned a trilogy, which all evidence we have suggest they hadn´t until after ME1 success.

                4. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Then how come it says “Mass Effect was originally conceived as a trilogy”?


                  1. Shamus says:

                    I think there’s a difference between:

                    “I have a coherent story arc planned that will span three games.”


                    “If this games does well we’ll do two more.”

                    In fact, having seen 2, I’m not getting the feeling that they had a third one written yet. I will be very surprised if 2 and 3 fit together any better than 1 and 2.

                5. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  True,true.But you know whats the funniest thing?There are so many games with cliffhanger endings that never got the sequel.There are so many games that end in lame cliffhangers(like f.e.a.r.).And here is a game that would actually make more sense if it had a cliffhanger ending.And it was being developed by someone with a very high success rate(lets say there was 70% chance of it selling well).Yet it had a safe ending.The real world really works in weird ways.

        3. Avilan says:

          Well unlike you, I actually enjoy the ME2 story. Maybe it’s because I am not a writer, or maybe it’s because I do not intentionally go and look for minor flaws.

          1. acronix says:

            “Minor flaws”…? Bwahahahaha!

            Sorry, I couldn´t resist. They are not minor flaws if when noticing them the whole plot suffers.

            1. Avilan says:

              But that is my point. To me, they are minor, if at all present. I get the death in the beginning (see below). I don’t mind the “working with” Cerberus (since I don’t) etc.

              1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                For me,the feelings about the main story went like this:

                Begining: Ok,a bit of a stupid way to start the game,but I understand why it was done.Plus it is a nice cutsceneof your reconstruction.

                Meeting ashley: You fucking bitch!I was dead!And I did try to find you after my resurrection,but you are on a fucking secret mission!Remember the secret mission YOU ARE CURRENTLY ON?!!!!FUCK!!!!!!

                Ending:What!!Throughout the whole game I was collecting dirt on cerberus,and now I cannot even tell them to go fuck themselves and keep the station for me/the alliance?!!!WHAT!!!THE!!!FUCK!!!???!!!

                Save for those *minor* parts,I kinda tolerated the rest of the main plot.And hey,I got to see tali without her helmet,so Im good.Plus mordin sang.Plus jack is actually a deep character.Plus legion is fun.Plus jackob is deep as well.Plus garrus is still awesome.Plus grunt is a krogan,and they are cool.Plus samara as an interesting quest for you.Plus so does thane.Plus miranda is….errr…well she looks hot.

                1. Avilan says:

                  Why would you expect to be able to keep the station station for yourself / the alliance? Well I guess if you truly played evil you could expect to keep it for yourself, but I think that believing that giving it to the Alliance is a good thing is, to borrow from TVTropes, Completely Missing The Point.

                2. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Because the way I was playing I would neither destroy the station,nor give it to cerberus.I wouldve probably used it to find the way to fight reapers myself.I have a ship operated by one of the very few ais in the whole universe,I have geth on my side,and I have the smartest person alive with me.Plus I have a genetically engineered genius(well,at least she claims to be one)with me as well.My crew managed to make an antidote for the collectors paralyzing insects(bees?),and a way to incorporate reaper tech in quite a short period of time.And now we are the only persons alive on this side of the weird jump gate,and have all this amazing tech on our disposal to find out how the reapers make their slaves,and what are we going to do with it?Either blow it up,or give it to incompetent terrorists.WHAT!THE!FUCK!?!

                  And I never said that giving the station to the alliance was a good option.The beauty of mass effect is that the choices are rarely black and white good and evil.You arent choosing between good or bad options,you are choosing between equally bad options which one you think would benefit the galaxy most.At least,thats how it is when the system works.Which it doesnt in this case.

    5. Avilan says:

      Easy: Shepard was too powerful after game 1. They had to start over.
      It is worth noting that in ME2 you can only get to lvl 30, while in Me1 you got to lvl 60. I have a feeling the lvl cap in Me3 is lvl 60.

  42. 4th Dimension says:

    Youtube makes me happy for two reasons. High definition, and ability to download videos (so I can watch it later without all that buffering nonsense). BUT, I still think 15 min is a bit short. Also, I think the intro was for me a bit confusing. The theme of the Spoiler Warning image doesn’t fit that well into what happened later, and the part when you list who is who went a bit too fast.

    Anyway carry on Regina Cufpert Shepard. :D

  43. a comment on the Joker’s helmet thing. the cockpit was protected with a forcefield, but he is wearing the helmet due to probably loosing a lot of air before the forcefield went up, and with the ship damage lifesupport is unable to replenish the air.

    Anyway, *cough*, enough geekdom.

    i got a suggestion for the video editing etc.
    Um, Shamus and Josh, Mumbles, Rutskarn, how does this sound?
    Start the episode with the “Spoiler Warning” card, put the names next to each character.
    Leave the card up while you do the regular “Hi I’m Shamus….I’m Josh…” etc.
    Then when that is done briefly show the ME2 card (and with the commentary going on obviously).
    and then for the next few secs. show the host names and gag titles for each fade in and out like many TV series does it.
    This should maximize video time (as the commentary runs all the time from the start) and also make it feel more “slick”.

    Otherwise, you guys are really rocking it. and 720p and Youtube streaming is working way better. And is it just my imagination or is the audio quality on the commentary better somehow compared to previously? *scratches head*

    1. Peter H. Coffin says:

      Forcefields aren’t how I’d want to depend on for being able to breathe, either. A 10th-second blink of power and you lose enough air to be flirting with hypoxia, even if there’s “enough” air. Being kitted-up and even just on outside ventilation (using cabin air) means that it’s a LOT faster to flick over to suit support, and you don’t really want to be trying to fit and lock a helmet before blacking out…

      1. MrWhales says:

        If you really want to get technical, what the hell is the helmet hooked to? it looks like nothing, so all it is doing is letting you get LESS air.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          It actually has a microscopic 20l cannister of air on its front.

    2. ooli says:

      That’s a good point. I mean, why do we even need to know who is speaking. I didnt think of the SW team as such an ego-team. Plus Rukskarn isnt even a name , even in russia.

  44. Moriarty says:

    You can actually push one of the flying chairs into the cockpit, where it floats around Joker a bit, he doesn’t seem to mind.

    Altough they don’t show up in the cutscene, which was dissappointing to me when I first tried it.

  45. Rick W says:

    Yay, another game I’ve played!

    * “Rogue elements” was what Miranda and TIM had to say about the guys you encountered in the first game. I never believed it, and every time someone mentioned that I was working with Cerberus I felt the need to point out I didn’t like it much either. As for the fact that their victims in the first game were universally human, the experiments you run across in this game (Pragia, Overlord) have plenty of human victims, too. They just go about human supremacy weird.

    * Kaidan has pink armor because he’s obviously supposed to be Ashley for a male Shepard. I forget whether Liara wears the pink armor too if you’re importing a save where she was the chosen love interest.

    * Mark Meer did get some good deliveries in. I slightly prefer his take on “Because it’s a big, stupid jellyfish.”

    * Re: Joker’s helmet: That’s a recurring theme. See also: Suzy, Samara.

    * For Mass Effect 1, your origin gave you one quest on the Citadel and some different dialogue. ME2 has even less effect.

    * And everybody has those robots. Whoever invented the Norse mytholgy-named mechs is either the richest man in the galaxy (…you know, if it’s TIM, that explains so much…) or dead, killed by his own creations.

    1. Well as a Norse (Norwegian specifically) I have to take blame (and pride) in the mythology naming of stuff as per dictated by my bloodline.
      But I can not be certain if whomever did was of Norse decent as well though.

      PS! Det er tydelig at noen i BioWare er fans av norrà¸nsk mytologi! ;)

    2. acronix says:

      Liara gets the pink armor too. I guess changing wardrobes for specific characters was very cost-ly.

  46. Deadpool says:

    The big difference between Mark Meer and Jennifer Hale is just sheer experience.



    Man’s done some minor work here and there, while she’s got a list as long as I am tall.. Plus, she was Deionarra and Fall-From-Grace in Planescape friggin Torment, and that’s just eight kinds of awesome.

    Anyways, I still prefer the forty minutes format but I TOTALLY understand the switch and I’ll definitely be sticking around for more. Although I THINK you can important a character and change the gender (but not the class and past history). I’m not sure… Been a while.

    And I hated Miranda’s fishlips. That poor actress… They did not do her face justice.

    1. Yeah, and they kinda played up the fact whom played Miranda as well, poor gal.
      Then again it could just be that the Unreal engine is kinda fucked up with certain facial renderings.

      Oh and Jenifer Hale is awesome, I first got impressed by her as Bastila in KoTOR. (and darkside ending with darkside Bastila rocked even more)

  47. Aulayan says:

    I’d love if I could play this game…

    But out of the two games that Gamefly shipped to me…guess which one didn’t arrive? Good job, GameFly.

  48. guy says:

    Cerberus’s actions in the first game actually make sense to me. They were trying bioengineering experiments to get control of an unstoppable army of monstrosities with which to suprise the council and control the galaxy. The only targets they could get away with testing on were minor human colonies. They’re obviously atrocities, but not inconsistent.

    Joker is wearing the helmet in a pressurized area. You can sort of see the faint kinetic barrier as you walk in.

  49. Skan says:

    Didn’t the door in the recovery(?) room explode because Miranda did it to get you out? If Josh wasn’t rushing she would have said something along the lines of “I’m going to blow the door. take cover!”. Because it was hacked shut or something.

    1. acronix says:

      It may be so, but by how it was delivered here, it looks like the dead body on the other side was the one who blew up the door and himself.

      1. Veloxyll says:

        Cerberus fits all their employees with explosive devices in case the doors jam.

        1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

          No, Cerberus fits all their doors with explosives in case of jams.

          1. acronix says:

            That would explain why most of their facilities eventually become ruins.

            1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

              Actually, the truth seems worse. Watching the video again, I noticed that before the door explodes there’s a large… box? Canister? Well, something at an angle in front of the door. A red flame strikes up on top of it, and then boom.

              So apparently Cerberus fits their rooms, at least near doors, with explosives. No wonder their facilites end up in ruins.

              Okay, so it could be just the medical bays or whatever, but seriously. They got rails, but then they have to piss off workplace safety regulations by adding explosives.

  50. Mewse says:

    In the episode, somebody says “I would rather have variety than continuity” at about the 5:30 mark. Who is that? The voice sounds like Shamus, but it clearly can’t be our Shamus.

    My current theory is that it’s an evil Shamus doppelganger from another dimension. This seems to be the only logical explanation that fits all the evidence. :D

    1. Shamus says:

      Clarification: I’d rather things that way in a video series on which I am commenting.

      1. Mewse says:

        Was just teasing. You know we love you. :)

        1. Mrgenji says:

          Phew, had me worried for a moment there…

          Though it would explain a lot of the recent changes…

          1. Sekundaari says:

            I think a Pyro should still test him with fire. Just in case, and it can’t hurt, right?

            1. Josh says:

              I appear to have burst into flames!

  51. Irridium says:

    One problem I have with Mass Effect 2 is the fact that there are 3 major actions bound to one key.

    Sprint/Activate/Take Cover are pretty key actions and it would be great to assign them to different keys. In Mass Effect “sprint” and activate were separate, so why combine them into one key for this game?

    Another issue was the fact that there were no more shortcut buttons. You could hit “j” and open the journal, or “o” and get the Codex. I just don’t think there are any good reasons to do that.

    Sure it makes sense for a console, but the PC is not a console, so it doesn’t make sense on the PC.

    1. Jarenth says:

      But why spend extra time porting the game to PC when PC gamers will pay for and play the game anyway?

      Capitalism, ho!

      1. Galad says:

        Someone’s played Recettear lately? ;)

        1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

          Oh man, four hours I was supposed to be sleeping just whoosh, gone.

          I don’t know how you guessed though.

          1. Mumbles says:

            I threw my back out a week ago and the only thing I could play without hurting myself was Recettear. Good lord so addicting.

        2. Jarenth says:

          Recette’s cheery, money-grubbing voice is now forever the embodiment of my capitalist side.

          Like, good side? Little angel. Evil side? Little devil. Capitalist side? Little Recette, complaining about how bad she is at shopkeeping because that damned Elan has so little money on him I often wonder why he even enters the story in the first place, like, if I placed a tollgate in front of the door I’d be rid of his whining forever.

    2. Veloxyll says:

      It’s not just that there are multiple actions bound to one key, it’s that there are multiple OPPOSED actions bound to one key. ie your Run button and your Stop button are the same. This has lead to more than a few deaths due to controls picking the wrong one. It’d be nice if they could pick a different button for each of those, given the vastly different effects for each.

      1. Aldowyn says:

        I kept hitting shift to sprint…

        Anyway, my only problems with the controls is that sometimes it’s finicky about vaulting cover, and the cover mechanics themselves are a bit wonky sometimes. Not as bad as ME1.

        1. Irridium says:

          I loved ME1’s cover system. I loved getting into and out of cover by just moving into it/out of it.

          1. Aldowyn says:

            it sticks, though. Occasionally I’ll hit something while I’m trying to move forwards, and it’s a pain to get back out occasionally.

            ME2 does the same when you’re storming because they’re the same button. You just rush at the cover and slide into position.

    3. Avilan says:

      I don’t see a problem; I have never owned a console, but I love the ME2 controls on the PC. It feels extremely intuitive, and Shep always do exactly what I want her to do.

      1. Irridium says:

        It annoyed the hell out of me. Whenever I would try to sprint I would end up in some conversation I was just in, I’d get into cover when I didn’t want to, and I’d end up having to go through menus to get what I want instead of just hitting a button to get to say, the journal. Granted I’d only have to go through the main pause menu, so the last point is nitpicking, but dammit it annoyed me!

        1. Avilan says:

          …How do you end up activating a conversation? Unless you do something very strange like sprinting everywhere in non-combat? And even then I can’t really see how?
          As for cover… that is the POINT of the controls. That Shep will automatically dive for cover if you sprint towards it. It’s brilliant.
          If you don’t want to take cover, release the sprint button before bumping into a wall.

          1. Irridium says:

            When I finish a conversation Shepard is usually still staring at the person. In Mass Effect 1 I’d hold down the “sprint” button(although in that game it just moved the camera while Shepard still ran at the same speed), and turn the camera. Trying to do the same in 2 leads to repeating conversations.

            And yes I do sprint everywhere while not in combat. Or as much as I can at least, since you can’t sprint indefinitely and it cuts out every now and then.

            And in the first game Shepard automatically ducked into cover when you moved towards a wall or crouched behind a hedge or whatever. The only difference in 2 is that your holding a button.

            And besides, one reason I play on the PC is because I can set whatever button I want to do whatever I want. And limiting that just seems absolutely pointless.

  52. Marlowe says:

    A real pity you couldn’t surf a piece of the Normandy’s hull into the planet’s atmosphere at the start of the game.

    1. Veloxyll says:

      It would’ve explained why there was still a body.

  53. somebodys_kid says:

    Since you’ve upped the resolution, I’m okay with the shorter episodes.
    Well done, folks.

    1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

      Wait, they’ve done the very same thing video game companies have!

      Oh you clever little buggers.

      1. Jarenth says:

        This is clearly clever meta-commentary on the state of the games industry.

        1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

          I must protest this unfounded claim.
          I dare you to point out anything in my comment that was clever!

          1. Jarenth says:

            Clever on the part of the Spoiler Warning crew, I meant.

            Your pointing it out was merely observant, which is another merit altogether.

            1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

              Oh right. Though I must protest your use of the M-word.

  54. Milos says:

    This seemed far too short but not much was happening in game so it is kind of expected. I hope you can get the daily schedule up and running in a week or two.

  55. Nasikabatrachus says:

    Looking pretty good so far! I was doubtful that I was going to watch this season, but episode 1 opened up strong and I look forward to watching the rest. Regina FTW!

  56. Tazzlefrass says:

    The choice of having a background for your character (the “Spacer” “Sole Survivor” and other such choices) is one thing that irked me about the two Mass Effect games, as well as Dragon Age Origins. It stung particularly with Dragon Age because the choices in character creation was one of the most hyped features. Yes, yes, I know to take hype with a grain of salt otherwise you end up with Fable-sized wounds, but this is Bioware we’re talkin’ about and Dragon Age is one of their most successful titles.

    My main grievance with it was that there weren’t very many options. The moment you pick a race, several options would disappear. That’s… fine, to an extent, you clearly shouldn’t be dwarven nobility if you’re a human, but when the selection of a class narrowed the choices a second time, it confused me. Why can I only have the mage background if I want to be a mage? There’s such a rich lore in DAO about mages and magic in general. Magic is considered so dangerous that if there are several mages in one sitting performing magic, that they will have armed guards around them to protect nearby people from the mages if they, y’know, come down with a case of demon infestation from using magic. Awesome. Even possessing the ability to access magic is seen as, in some ways, a curse. I thought it would have been very interesting to play out the child of a noble who is angry with you for having these powers, and your grief stricken mother for sending you off to the little magi academy instead of killing you because you’ve now shamed his name- he’s sired a mage.

    It didn’t bother me so much in Mass Effect, but I feel it’s still Bioware dropping the ball on something that could have been an extremely interesting facet of roleplay as Mumbles mentioned, having to fight whatever reputation you build up. Certain NPCs could have been unwilling to follow your lead if you took the Ruthless background, for example. But of course, that goes into a whole different rant about the limitations of voice work.

    Excellent video you guys, and I’m actually liking the YouTube format. Quality is much better, and clicking on the video itself just takes me to YouTube instead of Vimeo’s homepage where I have to sit through yet another agonizing advertisement to watch your insanity.

    1. When I got a chance to try out Dragon Age I actually cheated and made a Noble that was also a Mage, it kinda broke the dialog in some odd ways. Som reffered to you as a Mage while others as a Noble, and the Queen (and this was odd) was ok with marrying you since you where a noble, but that it wouldn’t work since you here a mage. Makes it look like BioWare considered a Noble Mage possibility at some point in the dialogs.

    2. Avilan says:

      Not to start arguing about DA, but… did you pay attention to the rich lore you talk about?

      OF COURSE you can’t be a mage and a noble at the same time. The lore says that a mage has no right to titles, and that you are basically abducted to the nearest circle as soon as you show any signs of magic.

      1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

        Uh. Did you pay attention to his comment? He described a moment where the PC was born to nobility but after exhibiting signs of magic the PC was sent to the nearest circle. You wouldn’t end up playing nobility, but you’d have been born into one, marking an actual background. As opposed to mystically being born into a circle, without parents or anyone left behind to recognize or miss you later on.

      2. Tazzlefrass says:

        @Avilan: Oh believe me, I understand that a mage has no right to titles, but that shouldn’t stop it from being background, I think. Is it inconceivable that a lord would sire a child who turned out to be a mage? I don’t think so. Given the stigma that being a mage carries in the game (look no further than when your group first meets Morrigan), it would make for a great emotional set up where the lord either declares you to be a bastard or that his wife obviously cheated on him and tries every possible way to disown you and prove that his blood is not in your veins.

        For me, it would add more flavor to the character and perhaps a resentment for the curse / powers he’s received. It just feels like if they’re not going to offer another option (such as when, if I remember right, you pick a human rogue, you can only be a noble and there’s no option for a commoner), why even have the backgrounds? It makes the game feel like it’s focused far less on you as a character or your character’s development in the story, and more focused on the world itself.

        @Roger Hà¥gensen: Really? I didn’t know that. At least they made an attempt for it but I don’t think the NPCs would have to acknowledge you as a noble, unless there was a planned confrontation with your “long lost family.” I have a whole other rant about how the NPCs react to the player, but perhaps another time if there’s ever a DAO spoiler warning. I’ve derailed this thread enough as it is.

        1. Yep! It almost seemed like a weighted system or something else.
          As in some situations it seemed like the game checked if you where a mage first then a noble,
          while other times it se3emed like it checked if you where a noble first then a mage.

          Now if it checked by order/list then it would always check say mage first then noble.

          But it seems that under the hood the dialog/origin checking is slightly more complex.

          So I’m assuming the coders made the system flexible enough to handle any combination (which is what I would do).

          So yeah it’s a shame you couldn’t be a noble and a mage.
          The dialog branching works ok mostly, but at times a noble branching or mage branching is done so you can’t get all the mage or all the noble dialog, it kinda jumps back and forth.
          But with some adjustments here and there they could have allowed a noble + mage origin with minimal to almost no extra voice recording.

          So it’s more a design decision that you can’t have certain combos.

          I suspect this is why Dragon Age 2 only let’s you be a human male or female, but will probably let you be whatever else you want characterwise.
          And I’m hoping they’ll allow a alternative evil protagonist ending with that.

          I tend to prefer 3 playthroughs of certain games that allow it.
          A “me” run, where I choose what I would choose, which meas I sometimes say things that I really do not mean (although the NPC’s etc do) because it’s the end result I really want.
          The other is a good (usually the canon) run.
          And then there is the evil overlord run as I like to call it.

          To put it another way my preferred playstyle would not fit in the DnD alignments.
          As it’s neither Chaotic Evil, nor Chaotic Neutral, Nor Neutral Evil, nor Lawfull Evil nor Lawfull Neutral that I prefer as my own personal playtrough.

          Maybe a new alignment is needed. Chaotic Logic which is kind of a paradox but that describes my preferred playthroughs really *shrug*

        2. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

          From what I remember the character creator at least allows for both commoner and nobility to be rogues. Only the mage background is actually limited (only for the mage class, which in turn isn’t allowed for dwarves).

          1. Tazzlefrass says:

            @Sumanai If I remember right, the ability to be either a commoner or a noble rogue is for dwarves only. Humans seem to have gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to choice in this here RPG.

            @Roger Only a human male or female, huh? Yeah, I can see the advantages of that. It’ll definitely allow for a more branching system rather than trying to appease everyone who’s picked up a Tolkien or D&D book ever.

            DAO might be a game I’ll have to pick up again, now that all of the expansions have come out, and force myself to like or at least plow through. There’s so much in there that I want to enjoy, it’s just the shockingly ham-fisted interactions between the player and NPCs made me feel like I was playing Fallout 3 instead of a game made by the developers of Jade Empire. There’s such a wall between the PCs and the NPCs, it almost feels like you’re an invader in their (admittedly well-written) story.

  57. KingODuckingham says:

    When the subtitles say that the “Illusive Man” is speaking, are they sure they don’t mean “Elusive Man”? Or is he actually an illusion? I’m confused.

    1. scowdich says:

      The lore is quite clear that he’s “Illusive”, as in “shrouded in mystery”.

      1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

        From Dictionary.com:

        producing, produced by, or based on illusion; deceptive or unreal

    2. Rick W says:

      In the comics, when Liara is introduced to TIM, she asks “Elusive?” TIM says that while “elusive” would be apt, it’s “illusive.” It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense unless Liara’s speaking English, but it’s there.

      1. Aldowyn says:

        That sounds like a trope. Often, English puns and homonyms and stuff are used even though there’s no way they’re puns or homonyms or whatever in whatever language they’re using, but there’s no way around it.

        1. scowdich says:

          There’s a couple of possible solutions to that. Either
          a) The universal translators obviously being used work at a subconscious level and very well, but still somehow miss out on translating the Volus better, and any and all idioms, or
          b) Liara speaks English.

  58. Velkrin says:

    Cerburus actually had a major role in a string of sidequests in ME 1. Mind you their role appeared to mainly be accidentally killing themselves off.

    I’d go more indepth but the [s] or [spoilers] tags don’t appear to function. Yes I know I’m supposed to use , but it just appears to eat those tags.

    Importing a char that finished the sidequests allows you call them out on it, which either “Mr. Illusive” or Miranda handwaves as a rouge group. I suspect this happens fairly often.

    Illusive: Miranda! Johnson brought me Arabian Roast instead of Arabian Nights Roast! I think he’s gone rogue!

    1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

      Try [strike]-tags.

      1. Velkrin says:

        You mean like this?

        Yep, that works. Thanks.

  59. Aldowyn says:

    I said somewhere up above that I didn’t mind the whole Cerberus resurrection thing as much …

    Thought of more, though!
    I get the feeling Cerberus is MASSIVE, like so big even TIM couldn’t possibly know everything about it. Think about where Jack was kept (Pragia?) – that’s pretty much the same kind of thing as the ones from the first game. It seems very reasonable the first time, but when you have half a dozen “rogue elements” it’s getting out of hand. The only solution is that there are dozens or even hundreds of cells actually doing what they’re supposed to and no one notices them.

    On the new format:

    15 minutes seems crazy short, but I have a lot of time. It’s really weird to be 5 minutes into it, look at the time and see the bar half way done. It’s necessary, though, if it’s to be put on Youtube, which will definitely help increase the viewer base – and the higher quality is a nice side effect.

    1. Irridium says:

      EDI states that there are never more then a dozen cells active at once, since the Illusive Man likes to stay personally involved with everything.

      1. Aldowyn says:

        … ? I don’t remember that… and that makes absolutely NO sense, as then “rogue elements” should be pretty much impossible. That would be like a third or more of them conducting insane experiments. It just shouldn’t be possible for that many to hide from TIM, who is admittedly intelligent and observant.

        1. Irridium says:

          Yeah, she tells you when you talk to her in the cockpit. Just start a conversation and ask questions about Cerberus.

  60. RichardB says:

    This was the first Spoiler Warning I’ve watched in a while, because it’s for a game I’ve already played twice over and for which I’m spoiler-proof.

    I’m sorry to say that I think I’m going to stop watching Spoiler Warning again. It’s great that you critique games severely, and I’ll always follow 20-sided for that, but in Spoiler Warning you always seem hell-bent on throwing out the baby (of the whole, gorgeous emotional experience that the game has to offer) out with the bathwater (of the glitches in gameplay, narrative, etc).

    Hell, I’m gonna say it: there is a pervasively negative attitude and pretext in Spoiler Warning that is *really* off-putting, and I think this may be why Spoiler Warning isn’t getting any wider success. Nobody wants to spend ~30 mins of their life on negativity.

    Contrast the best LPs, such as the one on KOTOR2, where the author rightly points out the flaws but gives equal weight to the things he loves about the game, such as the dialogs with the Mandalorians.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      To be fair,the best things in me2 are in the sidequest and companion dialogues,and thats not coming soon.And the worst things are in the main story,which is what we are introduced to in the beginning.So give it time before the good comes around.

    2. Dovius says:

      ‘Nobody wants to spend ~30 mins of their life on negativity.’

      You have obviously never watched several episodes of Zero Punctuation in one sitting.
      Still, they’re merely giving their opinion, and it’s just the bginning of the game, which is pretty hack, so it might get a lot more positive in the future.

    3. Lalaland says:

      The early part of the game seems to go out of it’s way to annoy with tired tropes and irritating forced choices. It’ll get said over and over I’m sure by the end but being forced to team up with Cerberus never sat right with me. I was consistently disappointed that all the dialog choices with TIM consisted of ‘You’re right, I’ll help’, ‘I’ll help for humanity’ or ‘You’re a jerk, I’ll help you’. Would it have been so hard to allow the player to sever ties with TIM at some point in the second act? Maybe after you earn the loyalty of the crew by ship upgrades/food and complete Miranda & Jacob’s loyalty missions (so you can keep the whizz bang ship and know what to do)?

      1. Felblood says:

        Why wait that long? You could walk away from TIM in that first conversation, and so long as he let you have the ship and crew anyway, what would it change?

        Even paragon or lone-wolf Shepards should realize that a free spaceship (complete with crew, some of whom they trust) isn’t something to blow off.

        This also opens up a lot of opportunities with crew members who behave differently, depending on how much of TIM’s support you accept.

      2. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Hence the stolen pixels quote “Can I punch you in the dick?”

        1. Lalaland says:


          True, I wish it was an option from the start but there is pretty heavy Cerberus involvement in your mission until the second act. It would be strange if Miranda, Jacob or the crew were to betray Cerberus you unless you had proven your self to them. I guess I suggested the method I did as the one with the least impact in terms of having to rewrite stuff.

          Edited for ‘reply’ button incompetence

  61. Blanko2 says:

    this is looking really spiffy! specially now that the quality is up, it doesnt look so washed out.
    we shall see what happens in the next episodes.
    though i still vote that you guys do resident evil 5 at some point.

  62. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Oh,a thing popped into mind,and I want to spread the mis…I mean,spread the pleasant feeling around:
    Taking bets for the episode in which the first probing away appears!

  63. General Karthos says:

    Say what you will about Mass Effect 2, there is one thing that is, absolutely, 100% for sure, better than Mass Effect 1, and that is the music. There’s maybe… three… four good tracks on the Mass Effect 1 Soundtrack. Check out the ME2 soundtrack on YouTube sometime…. Amazing.

  64. General Karthos says:

    Huh. Last time I came in, didn’t show my previous comment. Sorry about the double post.

  65. Noumenon says:

    I did watch all the way to the end (first time ever) and I did not notice any excessive camera jerking despite being on a hair-trigger for it because I complained two times. I say good job.

    1. MintSkittle says:

      I’m not too sure we’re in the clear yet, since Josh really didn’t do anything besides walk around a bit and shoot a robot. Need more actual gameplay before it can be declared motion-sickness friendly. Maybe give Josh a gamepad.

      On a tangent, this is exactly why I did not want shorter vids. You really didn’t get to do anything. Just when things were starting to pick up, you ended it.

      1. Felblood says:

        They gotta leave us wanting more.

  66. Benjayman says:

    Finally a new episode what I’ve been waiting for.

    I miss the longer videos but will get used to this new set up.

    And about the voice acting while I completely agree Jennifer Hale does a much better job a Fem-shep I find the more comical dialogue is far funnier from the male one good example is when you accuse the store of being classicist it’s just much funnier with male-shep saying it, I dunno why

    Looking forward to the next one guys

  67. Zaxares says:

    I’m SUUUURE that somebody’s mentioned it by now, but on Joker’s seeming invulnerability to space with just a breather helmet… You guys probably didn’t notice that you’d walked through some sort of mass effect field that was keeping the atmosphere/pressure in when going into the cockpit. ;)

    On Mark Meer vs Jennifer Hale: Am I the only person who actually LIKED Mark Meer as male Shepard? Everybody thinks that Jennifer Hale is awesome (and I agree she’s pretty talented. She has a lot of experience doing voice acting and she contributed to a lot more voices in the game than Mark did), but… I just don’t like her voice. At least as female Shepard. I think it’s overly gruff and mannish and it grates on my ears whenever I hear her.

    1. X2-Eliah says:

      And you (and lots of other folks) forgot that you then drag Joker in his tiny helmet out of his chir and through the barrier right through the eviscerated sections.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        No you dont.You drag him through the cockpit which is protected by the field,and then it gets hit and loses its protection when the joker is already in the pod.Yes,theres some rubble around,but the hull in the cockpit is intact while you are carrying joker.

        1. Avilan says:

          Exactly. Look close, the escape pod for the pilot has the entry in the cockpit

    2. krellen says:

      Shepard is a Marine. You don’t think a female Marine is going to be a little gruff and mannish?

      1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

        Of course not! She should soft and girly. And giggly, mustn’t forget giggly.

        Maybe even wear a brightly colored armor, possibly with pink highlights, because screw camouflage! Wait.

        1. Sumanai - a grouchy ball of bile and cynicism says:

          Oh for the love of… anyway. “She should be…”

    3. Avilan says:

      Personally I find her voice downright sexy.

      But then I find the Asari bartender the sexiest character in the game…

  68. Andrew B says:

    Why does your suit de-pressurise after taking a couple of holes in the back? If Joker has a re-breathing helmet, shouldn’t that be standard issue on ALL spacesuits?

    And welcome back, SW! I don’t mind the 15 mins length.

    1. Avilan says:

      Not sure if I get the question. You are wearing the N7 Breather helmet, which includes a small (very small) air tank on the back. Joker is the only one wearing the type of helmet he is, and my impression was that it was some sort of emergency oxygen mask, like in airplanes. It is not stated to be a “re-breather” helmet anywhere.

    2. General Karthos says:

      I think that the tubes that connect the helmet to the back of the suit (where the air is) get cut by the debris. I’m not positive on that, but it’s like in any underwater SCUBA-based action scene, someone always gets the tube between their oxygen tank and mask cut. It’s kinda like that. Except IN SPACE.

      1. Avilan says:

        This is exactly what happens.

  69. unnamednpc says:

    The 15 minute format works for me – a lot better than half or even full our updates. I always wanted to get into the show, now I actually can.

  70. Noble Bear says:

    This was well done all the way around.
    The editing and title sequence were great.

    I am pro:
    *Brevity (more, shorter installments)
    *Foreknowledge of game (At least for the “player” and one of the commenters)
    *You Tube

    Please continue to be awesome :)

  71. Leif says:

    So does anyone know how regularly new content will come out? If it’s the same schedule that’s obviously less content per week. Also this may be the only site I’ve ever been to and see replies on the long comments and that is awesome.

  72. LachlanL says:

    I’m in favour of the shorter episodes, but then, I’m a married, working guy with 1 infant & 1 on the way. Just saying I might not be in your target demographic.

    For me though, the 4-person commentary doesn’t work. There’s just too many instances where people are talking over each-other and over the stuff that is going on in the game. For me, all of these collisions mean that sometimes I can’t tell what you guys are saying or I can’t tell what is going on in the game.

    Obviously this is a bit after the fact as all of these decisions have already been made, but…. better late than never? =P

  73. General Karthos says:

    I am BIG TIME in favor of the smaller, shorter episodes. I just didn’t have the kind of time (being in Grad School) to sit down for 45 minutes to watch… well… basically… people complain about a game while playing it. I don’t mind the complaining so much, even if it’s about a game I love/loved but sitting and down and watching it for 45+ minutes really grated on me. It’s like alcohol. Have a little bit, and you have fun, laugh, and enjoy yourself. But have too much, and the fun stops pretty quickly.

    Yes, sometimes I wish that an episode would be mostly positive comments about a particular bit of a game, especially if it was one I enjoyed. (Since Mass Effect 1, this is the first game you’ve done that I’ve actually enjoyed.) BUT! I don’t mind seeing criticisms of a game I enjoyed. And yes, the plot had its problems.

    Just don’t go criticizing the music. :p

  74. Cybron says:

    Like the new format! Much more accessible than the old videos. Keep up the good work!

  75. Johan says:

    I like how Shepard dies because Joker is still an ass
    “please land me somewhere NEAR the objective”

    “please be SENSIBLE and get off the ship”

    Also “And that was the 14th time I died”

    And you know, the opening to Mass Effect 2 feels a hell of a lot like the opening to KotOR 2. I know you made a comic about it, but it feels like… the SAME (except more cutscene-y because when your spaceship exploded in KoTOR 2 you got the tutorial)

  76. (LK) says:

    They didn’t heal Shephard with Gatorade, Shamus, that’s just absurd.

    It was so obviously Brawndo.

  77. Another Josh says:

    Edit: Whoops – meant to post that in another tab.

  78. Fizban says:

    So, Spoiler Warning: Mass Effect 2. I think this was where I took a big break from watching since I hadn’t played the game myself yet and didn’t want to be spoiled. I’ve been watching the last few seasons, but coming back to this now that it’s 4 years old is gonna be weird. I don’t even know who’s here: I think this was when Mumbles was still around, but Chris wasn’t? But someone might have mentioned that Chris was around for one of the seasons I skipped and this might have been it. Apparently there were lots of jokes and stuff this season the cast has referenced again, but I don’t know if I’ll catch the “originals,” so I may feel even more lost. And so much has happened since then: through multiple seasons Rutskarn complained/commented on the process of writing for Unrest, then reflecting on having actually done it, and this is from before when “all” he did was puns. Shamus and the show are on Patreon (which exists now), and oh yeah the last game came out too. I’ve heard youtubers complain about “dating” their content, but for Spoiler Warning I hope the difference won’t be too harsh. Enough talk then, let’s get started shall we?

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