So I was all set to release my final post on Mass Effect today, when Bioware announced an “Extended Cut” of the ending for Mass Effect 3, so now I have to take some more time to write up an appropriate response (hint: it’s not a happy one). However, this as good a time as any to address the question I’ve been asking myself since my blog exploded with activity after posting my deconstruction of the Mass Effect 3 ending.

What Now?

Previously I had a captive audience, pretty much everyone who read my blog was a friend or family member, and I had the luxury of nagging them into reading my blogs. Of course now I’m getting thousands of hits per day, and I’d love to continue to provide people with cool articles they would enjoy reading. So I’m going to be asking you, my audience, what is it that you’d like me to write about here on this blog? Shall I keep doing what I’m doing and continue writing about my own stories and life,ย occasionallyย broken up by finding bad writing and exposing it for everyone to see like Mass Effect 3? Or should I switch to a more review based blog and begin tearing apart stories, both good and bad, to continue showing people how they work on a basic level?

So I’m asking for input from everyone, write in or comment if you have a game/movie/book you want reviewed, or any general ideas to help improve my blog and give me some some ideas as to how to keep everyone here entertained.

The final Mass Effect 3 article will appear sometime this weekend after I have added some commentary on Bioware’s decision, so stay tuned. I’ll be updating my facebook and twitter accounts when it’s posted.

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Written by John Stevenson

I'm a freelance writer based out of Seattle, Washington.

16 comments

  1. Well jm, I’d like to see you do all those things. You are a good reviewer, a good writer, with a good head on your shoulders. Some stories, fact or fiction, need a good writer to tell. Some issues need exploring.

    I think you did an exceptional job with Mass Effect. A lot of people knew something was amiss with the ending but couldn’t put a finger on the mechanics. Explaining it helped a lot of people to gain a greater understanding of writing. You likely earned a lot of respect with that one keeping in mind it was a popular issue.

    Some writers put up sensational headlines to draw in readers. Some writers take sensational headlines and explore them. I generally like the latter better.

  2. Personally, I think you should mix all of those aspects into your blog. The way you write is very captivating and keeps me glued to the entire post. I would like to see more about your own writing, as I’m always looking to see the inner workings of other authors. However, reviews like what you essentially gave for ME3 would be wonderful to see as well. Yet, like for most people, it comes down to which you think is the best path to go. Your ME3 post got me to read your blog, now, I just want to see more of your writing.

  3. Hey ๐Ÿ™‚

    As my foreposters, i think you should mix it, but maybe center on reviews for popular and/or controversal literature/movies/games, since thats what connects your audience altogether.

    So, when theres nothing really interesting out there to discuss, maybe give us some funny stories to read ๐Ÿ™‚ But when it comes to exceptional events in literature/movie/game industry, review it and point out why people enjoy it that much.

    For example the blockbuster “Hunger games”. I didnt read the books yet, my girlfriend did, but she took me to the cinema to watch it and i enjoyed, though i was a little sceptic about it in the first place. Many critics gave it a good review, but still i wonder what made this so popular Oo
    Maybe its another experience in the book, but to me its a very harsh dystopy to put children into an arena to slaughter each other. Also, i think this dystopy is risky in its conception, since i really cant imagine that people would endure 74 years of suppression with tournaments which kill their children and which they are FORCED to watch.

    But, thats just a proposition ^^ I really dont know anything about the novels yet, only that they went quite popular after their release ๐Ÿ˜€ So i dont know if theres anything interesting or funny to say about them ๐Ÿ˜€

    Oh, and not to forget: Please review the ME3 extended cut when its released ๐Ÿ˜€ id really love to see it torn apart, since i think this is what will happen xD Dont misunderstand, i appreciate that EA after being crowned to the WICA 2012 http://consumerist.com/2012/04/ea-responds-to-worst-company-win-by-name-dropping-past-worst-company-winners.html has chosen to make some good publicity for them ^^ and if they do this well, it will propably give us a (far) more satisfying ending than what we have now. Which shouldnt be too hard i guess xD
    But this is the very minimum they could do, and chosing the absolute minimum leaves a bitter aftertaste…this is just some PR to me, and i really cant hear the word “Artistic” anymore since it was overused and exploited so much. Anyway, i wont buy a single game from them anymore, no matter how much clarification they give us. They destroyed so much of the mass effect lore and simply dont want to repair it…my poor reapers ๐Ÿ˜ฆ And im still pissed that i always thought my actions would matter in the end and they didnt ๐Ÿ˜›

    So, this got longer than i wanted it to be and it somehow lost its focus in the end xD well, keep it up, at last all this mess brought me to your blog ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thats a very positive point ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I’d have to agree with caleb1993, as you are a very persuasive writer (and not in the bad way that would usually apply). Though I may have found you due to my desire for more perspectives on the Mass Effect 3 ending (especially a writer’s perspective), I’m more than willing to stick around and see what else you have to say regarding other things ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Course I would love read your own writing, and being honest and seeing the analysis you did on mass effect I would also like to read your thoughts on Dragon Age Origins for example (which I think is an amazing game ) and why the second part : Dragon Age II has been a great disappointment to many of us. In any case I will like to continue reading you, greetings from Madrid

  6. Mr Stevenson!

    I have new detailed information on the ME3 Extended cut.
    On this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Ai_9LTcwYic
    One from the movement presents information he acquired from Bioware on their twitter to the extended cut. The section is located between 3:15-3:30 in the video.
    They say:
    No one is gonna starve in the extended cut
    The mass relays can be rebuilt

    Maybe you can use this information for your analysis of and the prognose for the extended cut and its outcome.

    Personal opinion: Im not confident with this. This way they took all reasonable lore from the universe. The mass relays are a mysterium, no race ever understood their inner workings, and while they had plans for the crucible, this time they would have to decrypt tons of wreckage and discover how to rebuilt those relays??? And no one will starve?

    There will be too much space magic. I guess they use the catalyst explosion to teleport everyone via mumbo jumbo spacemagic to any planet. Still the universe is shattered and SHOULDNT be able to recreate from this too soon. And if they do, they use their authority as narrators to destroy any logic left in this universe. Hell i think this is gonna hurt so much…this is just an EA Move to minimize the disastrous impact on their image.

    One last thought: This Ending wasnt just set up to “finish” the game in a rush. EA wanted the ending to be as open as possible to create tons of DLC and new AAA games in the universe. And im highly suspicious they are planning on an MMORPG in the next five years. So propably the next ME games will be prequels and when TOR runs out or at last paid off enough, they will begin their development of an ME MMORPG. They announced this one year ago already: http://www.industrygamers.com/news/bioware-on-mass-effect-mmo-you-never-know/
    that they think hard about it.

    Thats my worst case scenario. I hate MMORPGS. They are made to milk a franchise to death, as world of warcraft did it with the warcraft universe. Sacrifice any integrity of the lore for the sake of monthly fees. Or microtransactions in case of a F2P concept. A shattered universe is the perfect place to setup a MMORPG. Everywhere dark places to setup stupid Mobs to grind and bosses to fight. And thats the reason they wont ever give us the conclusion they promised. They once promised the reapers could win in the end. Well, they dont. EA took this away because they need the platform for a sequel…well, why not simply ignore this outcome like they did with the suicide mission in ME2? If your shepard dies, you cant import him…

    so far

    Lang Andreas

  7. 46:20: The citadel isnt destroyed completely Oo comeone its a huge mass relay! *Gurgle* this is gonna be awful…

    1. Don’t forget that it was most likely in low earth orbit, which means that it would eventually collide with earth. Given how heavy even just one of its arms is, it colliding with earth would be another extinction level event…even if the exploding mass relays wasn’t enough extinction for everyone.

      That’s why I get the feeling that the new DLC will answer plotholes with even more plotholes, something SF Debris termed a “voodoo shark” (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/VoodooShark)

  8. um, why do so many of my comments require moderation now?^^ also on the first mass effect 3 article another comment of mine awaits moderation Oo

  9. As a writer you need to find a fine balance between what you want to write and what other people want to read. Honestly, I’d never have found this blog if not for the commentary on Mass Effect, but it seems to have garnered you well-earned attention. Because you have this additional exposure now, you have an opportunity to expand your follower base alongside the content you cover. Best of luck.

  10. The question is do YOU want to continue writing stories that appeal to larger audiences or not. Superficially, your answer seems to be “yes”, thus the reason you are asking. Obviously, to appeal to the masses you need to write stories that apply to them. Those tens of thousands of hits you’ve gotten are from a very small audience. In this case your target audience is 16-30 year olds who play video games. And 90% of those are male. So that leaves pretty much video games and porn as acceptable topics for your blog now.
    You may find that the best solution is to simply increase the frequency of your posts. That is, continue what you were doing before, but do new stuff as well. Writing isn’t THAT hard.

  11. jmsteveson
    I think that staying for a nice reading ride would require to literate us a little bit more (like in your ME3 analysis of the ending), just this time with examples of good and bad writing. To appeal to the masses you’d have to cover popular items (games, movies, TV shows, books), and naturally you should start with whatever is under your preferences.

    Personally I would like see the analyses (comments) you’ve mentioned about ME2 (and possibly ME1).

    1. Thanks! I’d always help lay out the basics of writing techniques, and I’ve done just that in my latest blog about the TV show Breaking Bad and why it’s an important step forward for TV in general.

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