1260 Nemesis Prime.

It’s been established that Carol is not truly anti gaming. She has her comfort zone, but hasn’t drunk the Kool-Aide so to speak. She’s not invested in the idea that a game world can be as engaging as one in a book, for example, or a TV show. It’s something I’ve seen countless time in my life. Much like the way nerds don’t understand why people like sport, people like Carol haven’t fully grasped the emotional investment nerd make in games. Ultimately they are the same. Sport fills the same emotional needs that games, or books, or whatever, do in others. It’s no different than one person liking savory tastes and another preferring sweets. Over time tastes can change, or be expanded upon. As a child I hated onions, but now I will eat one essentially raw if it’s in the right dish. I’ve never cared for sport, but I try to be understanding now. When someone else posts about how happy they are about their team winning it’s equivalent to me saying how much I like Skyward Sword, and likely as potentially irritating. XD

On the off chance someone hasn’t played Mass Effect who wants to someday I’m placing a spoiler warning here. They are peppered throughout this section.

The first Mass Effect is so different from the third they may as well be two different series. Coming off the heels of KOTOR 2 I wasn’t surprised too much by what was expected of me in ME1. They are very similar. Doing things like unlocking security door, or disabling mines, were based on your character’s skills. If you chose to play as a hammer all your problems looked like nails, but if you decided to be subtle about things it gave you a very different experience. Jump ahead to Mass Effect 3. Now your skills amount to what type of explosion you want to make when you kill a bitch. There are 3 colors and they really don’t have a lot of affect on gameplay. Over time, no matter what your choices may have been in previous games, all your problems became nails, and you had to become a hammer. That’s not to say that I dislike the gameplay in ME3. Far from it, but I do miss the old RPG mechanics where it actually mattered how you chose to build your character.

The gulf between a Biotic and other types of player characters is probably the biggest. I was never much for being a magic user. I like having one on a team, but I don’t want to be it. Biotics are too vague for me. Winging area of effect spells is not something I excel at because I’m a terrible judge of distance. It’s the same reason I never use grenades. They never go where I want. At best they cause the opponent to react to my random placement of them and ruin what chance I had for a clear shot. I am an irritating player. I like tactical cloak and a sniper rifle. Don’t let the enemy get too close, but if they do sweep them clean with a shotgun. In ME3 I keep my encumberance as low as possible so I can use cloak over and over; getting the damage bonus as often as possible. In this way I can take a brute down in two shots and a mech in 3. Everything else is a one shot kill, provided that I actually manage to shoot them at all. I’ve managed to shoot a lot of dudes through the eye slot in their riot shields though. Enhanced perception goes a long way toward increasing my effectiveness.

Still, I miss planning out a strategy, setting up traps, and hacking things. However I don’t miss having to walk a mile between destinations on the Citadel. The streamlining of the more tedious aspects of the game are appreciated. There’s a lot less RPG in Mass Effect 3, but what remains still has a tendency to drag. Not nearly as much as in the first game, where you’d be jogging all over the Presidium for hours at a time, but just touching base with your squad after a mission eats up a lot of time. Part of the reason I’ve never gone back to ME1 is just how tedious parts of it can be. I enjoyed planetary exploration, but only once. I’ve never felt the desire to do it again. I farted around all over every planet you could land on in the first game, and it did a good job of making the cosmos seem vast. As much as I enjoyed my excursions, however, I was glad that it wasn’t part of ME2. Of course it was replaced with endless scanning of planets, but that’s a whole other thing. A whole other thing that was gloriously streamlined in 3.

I’ve thought about what I’d do if I ever did go back to the first game. If I ever tried for a “perfect” play through. First of all I’d romance Ashley, but sacrifice her on Virmire. That way It’s all clear for Tali in 2. (Alternately I’d romance Liara, but stay true to her in 2. I’m torn between Tali and Liara on several points. I err on the side of Tali though. Either way Ashley dies. In retrospect Kaiden is the better person, IMO.) I’d save the Rachni again, cure the Genophage, side against the Illusive Man… Basically the game I’m playing now apart from having saved Ashley. I don’t hate Ash either, it’s a sucky choice to have to sacrifice a good person, I just feel like I made the wrong choice sometimes. I think one of the best things about Ashley is that she does things and has character flaws that make you question if she was the right choice. She’s not written as a perfect avatar of the human female. She wants to be good, and tries to be, but sometimes falls short. In fact, that’s true of all the characters. It’s part of what makes the Mass Effect universe resonate with fans.


Huh… That looks an awfully lot like how it went down the first time my fiance got me to play a game I ultimately got hooked on. He had that same expression on his face too.

I love Carol in this comic. She looks like she’s having a lot of fun already, and the game has barely started.

I strongly disagree with the first paragraph. To put my objection as short as possible, I point to this line:
“When someone else posts about how happy they are about their team winning it’s equivalent to me saying how much I like Skyward Sword, and likely as potentially irritating. XD”

It’s a false equivalence. A more correct version would be:
“When someone else posts about how happy they are about their team winning it’s equivalent to me saying how much I like Skyward Sword, and likely as potentially irritating.”

It’s still not nearly as accurate as it could be, but it highlights the huge difference between the two activities and why playing a game and watching a “the” game are not the same.

On emotional investment, there are at least two reasons for emotional investment in games: investment of personal effort, and story. Applying your own effort into a game naturally carries with it an emotional one, and (good) stories are made to be emotionally investing, thus games with (good) stories are created to be emotionally investing. The same cannot be said for watching sports, and I cannot see a justifiable emotional investment in it.

The only reason for emotional investment that I’ve understood (but not agreed with) through observation is a sense of vicarious ownership of the player’s/team’s actions, and irrational pride as a result (“this is /my/ team, therefore it is the best”; “/we/ won”‘ etc.). This stands for e-sports like DotA as well.

If you are a sports-watcher, what is your justification for your emotional investment? What did I miss while I shook my head as the people I knew screamed at their television screens?

It appears the content within angled brackets was erased. The line below

“It’s a false equivalence. A more correct version would be:”

was intended to read:

“When someone else posts about how happy they are about their team winning it’s equivalent to me saying how much I like _watching someone else play_ Skyward Sword, and likely as potentially irritating.”

No no. Actually still false equivalent. It would be closer to “seeing someone post about how much they like the world cup (or whatever sports thing is going on) is like me posting about how much I enjoy the legend of zelda storyline, and potentially just as irritating”

“more correct” meaning not yet correct, but better, which is why it could be more accurate.
I must also point out that you’ve shifted the goalposts with your comparison, as the former is making comparison to a person talking about being happy that “their” team won, whereas yours is making comparison to a person talking about liking sports in general, which is a different discussion.

I chose my comparison because it boils down to comparing someone talking about watching someone else play a (sports) game, and someone talking about watching someone else play a (video) game.

I dunno about that. I mean people can be emotionally invested in literal GARBAGE. It’s called hoarding. But obsession with sports isn’t unhealthy. I, myself, love watching hockey. But I don’t feel as though I contributed to the hawks almost getting a shot at a second Stanley cup this year. I just like watching the players play. I guess that’s why “let’s play”ers on YouTube don’t bother me so much. I’m not emotionally invested in their play through, but I like hearing THEIR emotional investment.

Investment in sports is not to difficult to understand. It is the rush of not knowing. You are investing in something you have no control over. Each season people fully invest themselves with no guarantee that success will be granted. You cheer and hope your enthusiasm lifts the spirits of the players but you don’t have any real effect. The feeling of having your favorite team make the play that wins the game can give a person amazing satisfaction. Having faith in something you have no control over and being rewarded for that faith is what I seek from sports.

I don’t have to justify anything to you. Fandom of any kind has roots in the same places, no matter if the thing you are a fan of is a sport, a game, a book or any other entertainment product.
When I go off on a rant about my favorite hockey team it is the exacte equ

Uggg working on a phone…
So to finish the thought.
a sports rant is exactly the same thing as rant about collectable cards, manga, anime or video games. It is something you care deeply about for whatever reason and unless your talking to a fellow fan it is going to sound annoying.

Love the blaster and energy sword combo if I’m reading it right. Looking back it could just be intel or those game 3 light weapons, I’m hoping for a blade though. I’ve longed for more heroes that charge gun in their hand and sword in their enemies gut or whatever they have as their melee of choice. Good ol Indie had his whip gun combo and we all know how much of a badass he is.

If you know the Warhammer 40,000 series, check out “Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine” for ecks bawks tree sitty, pee ess triple, and pc. It’s third person over the shoulder like Mass Effect, only this game stresses the brutality of close quarters combat, in an extremely visceral way. The Warhammer universe tends to already be pretty harsh, but nothing can beat the unbridled carnage of seeing your power armour get gore choked after throwing a power axe into an ork nob’s foot, seeing him cry out and taking the opportunity while his mouth is open to shove your hands in his maw and pry his jaws apart until his head comes off.

Good game 10/10 game spot…

Love the various representations of Carol’s face in this one.

Panel 1: Intent; “How do I drive this thing?”
Panel 2: MILF Carol destroy!
Panel 3: All anime battle glee (and molars).

Kind of like when Scully suited up to pull Mulder out of the VR situation. Just something about Cordura and Kevlar.

Biotics made more sense in ME1 before they were revised for ME2. In the original game they were a means of crowd control, and pretty much worked as a form of gravity bending (if I may use an Avatar term). In other words, you could make a bunch of people (and sometimes furniture) go flying, be suspended in the air, or get trapped by a little tiny “black hole” for a bit. And if you watch the biotic’s body movements, they *fit*, like martial arts moves (hence again making me think of element bending a la Avatar).

For ME2 biotics got turned into precision weaponry, targeting only *one specific enemy* that you had to hit with a little blue energy ball. In essence, just another form of magic, and just another way the sequels played fast and loose with the established rules of the original game’s universe.

In any case, Vanguard’s my favorite class to play, even if my “head-canon” Shepard is a Soldier. Then again, I vastly prefer the first game, seldom get tired of joyriding across all those planets, and usually make Shepard jog around the Citadel rather than take the rapid transit cars (unless she’s just there for a quick shopping trip to get better armor/weapons/upgrades). And I rarely ever play male Shep. It’s not just that Jennifer Hale’s voice acting is superb — I simply find the character to be much more interesting as a woman.

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