Fans Tear New Mass Effect Book to Shreds

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Foxtrotk72:
these guys are idiots i reckon i dont really care if there's plot holes in ME i guess some people want to share there frustration with the world. I haven't read any ME novels so i feel sorry for the author who wrote this he/she tried there best to do it but the fans are bitching seems like it to me, i love Mass Effect i really do even though im mocking the fans but to be honest there just whining to me

If he tried his best, he would have made an outline of his major plot points and tech blurbs and checked them against the text of the in-game codices or the wiki; or both, given that the codices exist on the ME wiki verbatim and in their entirety. Internal consistency is hugely important in any story, particularly sci-fi.

No offense intended, but if this really is Mr. Dietz's best effort as an author then I'd humbly suggest he consider a new line of work. Perhaps as a reporter; most of them don't even proofread anymore, let alone fact-check.

There is always going to be nitpicky errors for anything, but that doesn't mean the big glaring errors should be ignored. Even the folks of the Mass Effect Wiki, which Bioware's writers admitted using as a handy reference tool are refusing to add anything Deception story related. They even wrote an angry yet polite letter.

http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/User_blog:SpartHawg948/An_Open_Letter_Regarding_Mass_Effect:_Deception

And another link that goes into the errors in little more detail.
http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/User_blog:JakePT/Handling_Mass_Effect:_Deception%27s_Issues

WMDogma:

Unlike the previous novels, which were written by Mass Effect's Lead Writer Drew Karpyshyn, Deception is written by William C. Dietz.

The fact that prior novels were written by Karpyshyn was about the only reason I gave them a shot. And they were good.

Yeah, it being sci-fi, fiction or any other excuse that might exist to brush aside the problems mentioned here hold no water. Why? because shit like that us bad writing, and bad is bad regardless of content

Kinver:
You have to intentionally ignore the source material when it's staring you in the face.

Or - more probably - just not be at all familiar with it. I can't blame the guy for not wanting to play two video games before starting on a book that he probably wasn't going to be paid a huge amount for anyway. He probably just skimmed a few plot summaries online.

Bit shoddy of Bioware to allow it though, especially if they made an effort with the previous two. Then again, I read the novelisation of the Van Helsing film and that was completely splattered with typos and other errors. So I don't think you can expect much!

Kinver:
And the thing is, as someone who read a 55 page excerpt of the novel, the errors are glaring at times. Some on that list are nitpicky, but others are simple facts. Example:

- Two characters are now 18 when they were 12/13 at the end of ME1, which is said to have taken place two years prior
- One of those characters was also Autistic, now they aren't
- Biotics are now suddenly ranked by power level and can level up if they gain enough experience
- A character who was dead is now alive
- A character who is known as a racist and was introduced to us by talking about how much he hates the Asari now thinks Asari are hot
- Many others (Just look how long that list is!)

Believe me, the list also ignores the simply amateurish writing (Characters getting killed by a sharpened toothbrush, another character stealing cereal to prove how much of a badass he is). It takes actual effort to have this many errors. You have to intentionally ignore the source material when it's staring you in the face.

There's hitting the mark, missing the mark, and shooting yourself in the foot. This book picks the third option.

bwuh? Gillian is no longer autistic? But that was one of her major characteristics , they made a whole point about the fact that she got picked on because she ate her food in parts for goodness sake.

There's not doing the research and then there's just writing with your head in the sand.

Reading those errors turns out to be quite entertaining givin their face palm worthyness.

AstylahAthrys:
Dietz's novel was the weakest in the Halo series, but at least he didn't majorly muck up the lore (mostly due to the fact the book was based off the first game)

I'm increasingly beginning to wonder how such shoddy books can get by with risk to tarnishing the good name of the franchise. First that horrible Elder Scrolls book, and now Mass Effect looks like it has a bad egg too. Authors should be required to study all the source material before writing a novel based on something else.

I think it's because most of the time these books are shameless marketing tie-ins that aren't really aimed at sophisticated readers. They are targeted at fans to be sure, but are probably intended for teen boys (at least in the case of ME) who haven't really developed an understanding of quality writing and are more interested in guns, spaceships, battles and new adventures in the world of a videogame series.

WMDogma:

4. Hand Weapons that fire at "relativistic speeds" - for those who don't know it the term, relativistic speed means close or apprising the speed of light. The term is usually used when talking about speeds higher than 10% of C - considering that a sand corn fired of those speeds will have the impact of 90 kg TNT and also that a main gun on a Everest class dreadnought only fires at 1.3% of C I would say that relativistic speeds might be a bit high. [Error: Technology]

Actually, Deitz has the right of this one. When talking about weapons in sci-fi relativistic merely means that the vast majority, if not all of the weapon's damage comes from the kinetic energy released upon impact and not from any sort of explosive effect which certainly applies to weapons with as low a speed as half a percent the speed of light.

Let me introduce you to the Leftnt Sharpe Tie-in fiction rating scale, starting from worse to best:

-Author needs to be punched in the face (C.S Goto goes here).
-Tie-in bad (Dietz is about here).
-Tie in average (Karpyshan here).
-Tie-in good (Karen Traviss goes here? Also Sandy Mitchell).
-Dan Abnett (Pretty self-explanatory)

It should be noted that when comparing tie-in books to actual works of literature they should be moved down one category. For example a book that is 'tie-in good' is merely average by normal standards and Dan Abnett would be reduced from 'God Emperor of tie-in fiction mancrush level' to merely good.

Please feel free to rip apart my life's work.

Hey folks. A quick note: "element zero" is a human nickname. It should not be interpreted to mean eezo is a literal element. In the in-game codex, it's referred to with the deliberately vague term "material."

When subjected to an electrical current, the rare material dubbed element zero, or "eezo", emits a dark energy field that raises or lowers the mass of all objects within it. This "mass effect" is used in countless ways, from generating artificial gravity to manufacturing high-strength construction materials. It is most prominently used to enable faster-than-light space travel.

Eezo is generated when solid matter, such as a planet, is affected by the energy of a star going supernova. The material is common in the asteroid debris that orbit neutron stars and pulsars. These are dangerous places to mine, requiring extensive use of robotics, telepresence, and shielding to survive the incredible radiation from the dead star... (snip)

It is "unobtainium" (i.e., made-up BS). But it's most emphatically NOT an element. I helped develop the tech base and wrote all the ME1 codex entries, so I can speak with some authority on that. :)

Mimsofthedawg:
It's actually mentioned that most of the Turian fleet was destroyed in the Battle of the Citadel by the Geth...

This is inaccurate. Most of the Citadel Fleet was destroyed at the Battle of the Citadel, but Council peacekeeping forces are stationed throughout the galaxy. Most significantly, none of the 37 turian dreadnoughts were at the Citadel (and they had completed two more by the time of ME2). Canonically, the Council lost 20 turian cruisers - this is stated in the al-Jilani interview from ME2 - and possibly (depending on player choice) the Destiny Ascension.

Mass Effect has been going downhill after the second game (and I say this as someone who really loves the characterization in the second game) and this comes as no surprise. Bioware used to be the most recent top-tier in videogame storytelling but they have been losing a lot on that ground recently.

People can blame EA for this downhill turn, but responsibility still lies with Bioware.

Dietz can be blamed for this work itself, but if Bioware is intent on maintaining their peace with the fanbase they should do something about it (and also fire Hepler while they can)

Leftnt Sharpe:

-Dan Abnett (Pretty self-explanatory)

It should be noted that when comparing tie-in books to actual works of literature they should be moved down one category. For example a book that is 'tie-in good' is merely average by normal standards and Dan Abnett would be reduced from 'God Emperor of tie-in fiction mancrush level' to merely good.

Please feel free to rip apart my life's work.

I laughed outloud at this. Good show sir! As someone who knows Dan Abnett's work (I loved Horus Rising) I knew exactly what you were about to say.

I only read Dietz's Halo novel long ago (when I was into Halo), it wasn't great (Nylund's work was more in-depth) but it at least conveyed an nice atmosphere for the Haloverse (ie. making it into more of a horror war setting).

You know, I can handle and inconsistency or two. I can accept getting something slightly wrong. But in a universe where 50% of the time could be spent READING THE LORE, there is no excuse for this.
It just comes off as lazy that they didn't check it and that he didn't ask.

Reminds me of when Halo: Cryptum came out.....

Wow, reading that list is just painful... How could you screw up the important details that badly?

I should point out that in the document they have the errors marked as more significant or less significant, so they obviously do recognise when something's just a nitpick. However when the writer's making glaring continuity errors within the book series itself and in reference to the games it's a bit of a problem.

aashell13:
No offense intended, but if this really is Mr. Dietz's best effort as an author then I'd humbly suggest he consider a new line of work. Perhaps as a reporter; most of them don't even proofread anymore, let alone fact-check.

Deitz's own works are pretty good. The problem's with tie-in novels is that the good ones either come from dedicated tie in authors or authors who genuinely are interested in the tie-in material. Generally there is overlap between the two categories. Otherwise the really good authors are going to be busy with their own things. For instance, a collaboration between Travis Taylor and John Ringo would have been perfect for the ME series. Unfortunately there's no way that their schedule would fit the schedule of the series.

Whereas Deitz almost certainly was not working on anything too important and just hammered out the novel when approached by either Bioware or his publishing company on behalf of Bioware.

The real question is, is this just the work of an incredibly lazy hack writer, or did he have a design document from the third game to work from and is Bioware throwing established canon to the four winds in the third game and several of the most grievous errors are going to be repeated there causing an even greater degree of wailing and gnashing of teeth?

I'm getting my popcorn ready.

It seems people missed the irony that is the name of the book ... "Deception" .. well played XD

"Fans Tear New Mass Effect Book to Shreds"
To Shreds you say...

Points to whoever gets the Reference.

This is Valid Critizism, you don't need Hours and Hours in the Gameworld to know that the "Volus" People come from a Planet with a very thick Atmossphere and have to wear pressurized Suits, lest they explode. Says so in the Codex, the entry about the Volus is available when you meet the first Volus. Not exactly something that is mentioned in the Background and totally obscure.

Also relatively obvious in the Game: The Humans apparently have Colonies right next to the Batarians. They wanted to settle there, but the Council said "Nuh-uh! the Humans are going there!". Ok, that may make Sense, since we don't know how many Colonies the Batarians do have and if the Council enforces a Limit for that.
What doesn't make Sense is that the Batarians would fly right past the Human Colonies which they have raided for Slaves several times (and still there are Colonies with about ten People and others with millions...)and decided to go to the Home Planet of the Turians, which probably is the best defended Planet of the Turians, which are a People consisting of militaristic Army Nuts.

The Human Batarian thing is mentioned in the first Game by the Turian Councilor.
The Rest is in the Codex. Every single Turian goes from School directly to the Military while the rate of Volunteers for the Military is about 3% of the Populace, which is the lowest Percentage of all the Races apparently.

This isn't something you can only know when you memorized every Book, Comic and Game.

It's in the Codex, which you can read in both the Games. Which you should read when you're about to write a Novel about it. Do at least *some* Research in your Target Area, otherwise People may call you "lazy".

Madman123456:
"Fans Tear New Mass Effect Book to Shreds"
To Shreds you say...

"And how is she handling it? To shreds you say." Futurama reference FTW.

Stormwaltz:
Hey folks. A quick note: "element zero" is a human nickname. It should not be interpreted to mean eezo is a literal element. In the in-game codex, it's referred to with the deliberately vague term "material."

When subjected to an electrical current, the rare material dubbed element zero, or "eezo", emits a dark energy field that raises or lowers the mass of all objects within it. This "mass effect" is used in countless ways, from generating artificial gravity to manufacturing high-strength construction materials. It is most prominently used to enable faster-than-light space travel.

Eezo is generated when solid matter, such as a planet, is affected by the energy of a star going supernova. The material is common in the asteroid debris that orbit neutron stars and pulsars. These are dangerous places to mine, requiring extensive use of robotics, telepresence, and shielding to survive the incredible radiation from the dead star... (snip)

It is "unobtainium" (i.e., made-up BS). But it's most emphatically NOT an element. I helped develop the tech base and wrote all the ME1 codex entries, so I can speak with some authority on that. :)

Mimsofthedawg:
It's actually mentioned that most of the Turian fleet was destroyed in the Battle of the Citadel by the Geth...

This is inaccurate. Most of the Citadel Fleet was destroyed at the Battle of the Citadel, but Council peacekeeping forces are stationed throughout the galaxy. Most significantly, none of the 37 turian dreadnoughts were at the Citadel (and they had completed two more by the time of ME2). Canonically, the Council lost 20 turian cruisers - this is stated in the al-Jilani interview from ME2 - and possibly (depending on player choice) the Destiny Ascension.

Cool we have a celebrity in our midst! Well... kind of a celebrity. To me. I read almost every single codex in both games because I was really really sick of seeing that one "Codex" tab always highlighted when I paused the game. Out of frustration I began scrolling down every single entry to unhighlight it, and ended up reading essentially every single one.

I really did kind of prefer Mass Effect 1. I have no idea if you had anything at all to do with any of the actual gameplay development, but ME1 felt endless. I litreally beat ME2. There was nothing left to do for me, I read every single letter of flavor text in that game, talked to everyone I possibly could, and found every little secret in every single level.

Anyway back on topic, I read the first 3 books, loved them, and guess I'll be passing on this one.

Also Karren Travis sucks dick. All her stories inject stupid sappy love crap that makes 0 sense. She did an okay job with the first 2 Republic Commando novels, but positively butchered Halo as well as the 3rd and 4th novels for Republic Commando. I'm glad she won't be writing any more of those, just make a new game.

I'm not really into extended Universes, but this must feel pretty bad for the author. I feel sorry for him.

Foxtrotk72:
these guys are idiots i reckon i dont really care if there's plot holes in ME i guess some people want to share there frustration with the world. I haven't read any ME novels so i feel sorry for the author who wrote this he/she tried there best to do it but the fans are bitching seems like it to me, i love Mass Effect i really do even though im mocking the fans but to be honest there just whining to me

SonOfVoorhees:
I guess no one checks it. I read the list and there are some really obvious mistakes although others are a bit nit picky. especially when dealing with a sci-fi novel. Thing is, even the creators are not the best people to check the book before being published, only a die hard fan is qualified....same as with Star Trek and Star Wars. Need nerds to proof read it and ensure its correct.

aftohsix:
Nitpicking is nitpicking. A large number of complaints about Mass Effect 2 boil down to the same issue. 'Why is the lore inconsistent.'

Good god and I thought I was a nerd...

Mimsofthedawg:
the other two seem like nitpicking to me. I might read the rest when I get back to work... just wanted to say that, thus far, I don't have much faith that the fans themselves know much about the Lore.
Either way... nit picking.

Obviously you didn't read the full list. This book follows from the previous three, with returning characters. One of the returning characters died in the previous book... and no one seems surprised that he's there, unharmed, with no explanation. There is a video of another character's death that took place in the previous book - and the video portrays a death scene that doesn't even resemble the one written in the previous book.

Oh, and two of the returning characters were 12 years old in book 2. It is stated that three years have passed since the events of book 2. Except that it is also stated that five years have passed since then. And both characters are now 18 years old (6 years older). The author apparently couldn't handle basic math.

There are nit-picks, and there are "you didn't read the novel you're writing the sequel to" - this falls into the later category.

And if the OP didn't convey this - well, I think the OP was trying to choose less novel-related items, and also the items that the OP found most amusing. If you want to see what we're upset about, read the list (see the OP for link).

Leftnt Sharpe:
Let me introduce you to the Leftnt Sharpe Tie-in fiction rating scale, starting from worse to best:

-Author needs to be punched in the face (C.S Goto goes here).
-Tie-in bad (Dietz is about here).
-Tie in average (Karpyshan here).
-Tie-in good (Karen Traviss goes here? Also Sandy Mitchell).
-Dan Abnett (Pretty self-explanatory)

Please feel free to rip apart my life's work.

I think Dietz has just proven he belongs down with C.S Goto.

Also, where is S.D. Perry? She kicks ass at tie-in novels. She actually made the plot of Resident Evil readable - that's almost worthy of Dan Abnett level praise.

Hitchmeister:
The real question is, is this just the work of an incredibly lazy hack writer, or did he have a design document from the third game to work from and is Bioware throwing established canon to the four winds in the third game and several of the most grievous errors are going to be repeated there causing an even greater degree of wailing and gnashing of teeth?

I'm getting my popcorn ready.

From what I've heard from people who have read the leaked script, it's the former.

imnotparanoid:

draythefingerless:

imnotparanoid:
These people have waaaaaay to much time on their hands.
And thats coming from someone who spent the last 4 hours making orogami seals.

not at all. i know the ME lore to the point i understand all the errors they pointed out, and all i did was play the 2 games. furthermore, reading thru the book once and noting where the errors are as i read takes little time.

I know what you mean, but at the end of the day they wrote a list of mistakes in a fictional book, based of a fictional game. :P

yeah well, and we take time to post these comments. its all relative.

What the hell, Dietz? You didn't veer off completely when you were writing Halo novels...I think...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_C._Dietz
....HOLY S***! He was the one who started the Sangheili/Unggoy Names idea!(In Halo: The Flood)
...
You're right...He's a hack :(

"13. Quarian clothing - Quarians wear environmentally sealed suits to protect their weakened immune systems. They do not wear "a motley collection of clothing, held together by a variety of straps and metal fasteners". [Error: Lore]"

Just... Wow... He did not do any research at all when writing this thing.

And here I was secretly hoping that the fans of Mass Effect had finally wised up and were ripping Drew Karpyshyn to shreds...

Ah, well...

One day I hope they will see him for the hack he truly is. The previous Mass Effect books were godawful, even by tie-in standards. And I read the Legacy of the Force. *shivers

The author didn't even need to "study" the lore. Just play the games and maybe read some index information for clarification. Or have someone who made the game stand next to you while you right it and smack the pen out of your hand whenever you break lore.

SupahGamuh:
Even I'm pissed off by this book and I haven't read any of the Mass Effect books yet!, but I've read every single nook and cranny that the codex offers for both Mass Effects.

Why did I chose not to play ME3?...

same reason as me its such a shame but i refuse to cave into my wish to play it so that ea dont think i aprove or like their service

Wouldn't be surprised if Bioware declares Deception to be non-canon.

Daverson:
realistically speaking, even if that were somehow travelling at the speed of light (ie, ignoring relativistic effects, to account for using the lowest likely mass of a grain of sand) the muzzle energy of such a weapon could be a few kilojoules, about the same as most rifles. (source)

SCIENCE!

Guns are not just about how much energy the projectile is moving with.
To actually make use of that energy, the projectile has to be able to transfer that energy to the target.
That's why people use hollow point rounds in weapons for use against meatbags.
Hollow point rounds basically go splat, transferring all of its energy into the target and shredding it from the inside.
An armour piercing round with the same amount of energy would just pierce the flesh and go out the other side, resulting in minimal damage.
A projectile the size of a grain of sand would have tremendous armour piercing capability, but it'd be terrible at causing any actual damage.
In fact, after a threshold depending on the size of the projectile, it'd actually start causing less damage with more energy, because it'd start piercing flesh so easily that very little energy is actually transmitted.
You'd just get perforated and highly uncomfortable rather than dead.

Daverson:

Agayek:
Kinda sorta. You've got the basic principle right, but you are vastly underestimating the energies involved. The only reason photons don't destroy the Earth is because they have no mass. Since there's no mass involved, there can't be kinetic energy transfer, and thus nothing gets destroyed.

Also, you're vastly underestimating the size of the projectile used in the ME verse. Even with relativistic speeds, a nanogram projectile moving at 10% of C would have less kinetic energy than a standard 28g modern-day shotgun slug. They would need pieces at least as large as a milligram to do decent damage, at relativistic speeds no less.

Yeah, I covered that back in post 26. You'd need a segment with the mass of a few hundred micrograms travelling close to the speed of light.

Photons have a very small mass, which we can't really measure, but it's theorized to at most 10^-60 kg. (about 30 orders of magnitude less than an electron or neutrino, which in any mathematical model is statistically nothing.)

This is very nitpicky, but I just had to: Protons are the ones with mass. Both protons and neutrons have a mass of 1 AMU (Atomic Mass Units, or so I think I remember). Electrons are the ones that cannot really be measured; their so tiny compared to protons and neutrons. In fact, electrons are comparable to quarks, which make up protons and neutrons. I can't remember exactly what neutrinos are, but I'm getting something about them being related to taus (extremely tiny balls of energy created in sub-subatomic reactions between quarks and the like that last not even a nanosecond), and they fly through space, at least that's what I think I remember.

Aptspire:

....HOLY S***! He was the one who started the Sangheili/Unggoy Names idea!(In Halo: The Flood)
...
You're right...He's a hack :(

I highly doubt he started the race names of Covenant for the Halo series, the lore for them was written long before the novels, and even if he did why would that have been cause to consider him a hack? It's not like the aliens speak english.

Bara_no_Hime:

Leftnt Sharpe:
Let me introduce you to the Leftnt Sharpe Tie-in fiction rating scale, starting from worse to best:

-Author needs to be punched in the face (C.S Goto goes here).
-Tie-in bad (Dietz is about here).
-Tie in average (Karpyshan here).
-Tie-in good (Karen Traviss goes here? Also Sandy Mitchell).
-Dan Abnett (Pretty self-explanatory)

Please feel free to rip apart my life's work.

I think Dietz has just proven he belongs down with C.S Goto.

Also, where is S.D. Perry? She kicks ass at tie-in novels. She actually made the plot of Resident Evil readable - that's almost worthy of Dan Abnett level praise.

Quite possibly, although that category is reserved for the most terrible of Hack Writers, because by the standards of actual literature they slip down into the category that we only speak of in hushed tones. I've only read 'The Flood' and about 50 pages of Deception so far though so perhaps he truly belongs with C.S Multilaser.

The names are only there for rough guidelines more than anything else, because of course people have different opinions on authors and individual books they have written. Apart from Abnett, only he is allowed in the Dan Abnett category (although his early stuff is probably only tie-in good).

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