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Old 06-25-2016, 03:41 PM   #141
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Quite liked it, of course it wouldn't be the OSABC verse if it wasn't accompanied with a sufficient amount of angst and self loathing but yeah, really liking the take on that character.

Curious to see how this will later mesh with Shepard and co, since I don't really remember if they suspect her or not. I mean, they know of her ties to the Broker but not sure they know she fed them false information intentionally.
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Old 06-25-2016, 08:09 PM   #142
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I still don't think we've seen enough to say definitively (the one mission before with Shepard, this, and that interlude with Delacor), but shit we didn't know much in the original games.

You've already done a better job than Lair of the Shadow Broker did just by not making her a ham-fisted villain (and in the game, her justifications as she died weren't enough).
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Old 06-26-2016, 07:51 AM   #143
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Having just finished reading all of what's currently published, I can say that, without a doubt, this is one of the most exquisitely crafted universes I've ever read, both paying homage to the original games and distinct enough to keep things fresh.

I had my issues with the original OSABC, especially with Shepard's characterisation, which seemed all over the place (and not in a good way), as well as copious amounts of angst that got almost unbearable at times. However, my love of the other characters and desire to see where the clusterfuck of intrigue, backstabbing and politics woven by @LogicalPremise would lead to next kept me going.

I really don't regret it.

ATTWN and TWCD were massive improvements over the first book in all ways, both in the portrayal of the characters, and the worldbuilding (especially with regards to the AU aspects of the different races). I will admit, I got quite emotional at the very end of ATTWN, despite knowing Shepard would return.

Compelling original characters, brilliant fight scenes, and a wonderful sense of progression and evolution earns a 4.5/5, rounded up to 5/5 because jesus christ that length, and it's still being updated.

More pls.

Edit: Also, reading the tertiary materials really helped in understanding the universe, and anything that has you scratching your head in the main series is probably answered there. Read 'em, people.

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Old 06-26-2016, 05:44 PM   #144
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I think I really need to flat out re-write large parts of OSABC, as some of it was me experimenting with tone and the text is riddled with typos and flaws. I'm very happy you like the later books, and I can safely say they're a lot better than the first one.

If I got people to get upset when Shepard dies even knowing it was going to happen I have accomplished my mission. One reader said she was crying so much her mother thought her boyfriend broke up with her!

That, my friends, is win.

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... at this point I expect that the fuckin Collectors will anticipate the Illusive man finding about about it and glassing the entire fuckin solar system.
Your wish is about to be granted beyond your wildest dreams. The Imperium only thinks it can pull off Exterminatus.
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Old 06-27-2016, 02:03 AM   #145
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Well, we are shown that the aliens of the Council are seemingly still filthy casuals when it comes to biotechnological horror and suffering, Shepard being a mother is surprisingly adorable, Delacor needs a curse breaker and shit is about to get real.
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Old 06-27-2016, 03:07 AM   #146
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I want an STG report on the Hanar.

Super in depth.

They're fucking creepy in this verse. The Hanar Cerberus Files only serve to tickle my jesus christ why nerve.

Also... I had forgotten that the Hanar had a Leviathan in their ear. Fun

Edit: The premiseverse Leviathan's are horrifyingly powerful too. The Reapers' fear of them in the OG games is made justified here.

Edit 2: Until what will hopefully end in Shepard/This Cycle's Pyhrric victory (assuming that LogicalPremise isn't several standard deviations above evil rather than just normal evil), the subtitle of this tale should just be "Pragmatism did not taste good, but was always preferable to idealism and extermination, especially when taking a stand meant nothing"

Of course, a victory over the Ascended in this verse will likely end up in the matter/antimatter annihilation of the entire galaxy by whatever the Leviathans, and by proxy, the Ascended are truly terrified by.

Edit 3: the Sculptor Galaxy is Andromeda/whatever other Galaxy that's not the milky way right?

Edit 4: It's interesting that the Broker Network is counted among the Leviathan backed Hanar as the most powerful forces in the Milky Way. It certainly bodes well when/if/please Liara takes that mantle

Edit 5: Krul is shaping up to what Eve should have been in Mass Effect
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Old 06-27-2016, 04:25 AM   #147
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With all this outrage over all these horrible, horrible things the various governments are doing, Shepard is going to be dragged more and more into this quote, I feel

I don't give a damn about your committee and its opinions on my work! Have you forgotten, sir, that we were at war? A fight with an alien race for the very survival of our species? I feel I must remind you, that it is an undeniable and may I say a fundamental quality of man that when faced with extinction, every alternative is preferable! —The Director of Project Freelancer, Red vs Blue

At least, I can imagine TIM saying that at some point.
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Old 06-27-2016, 09:07 AM   #148
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One might argue that the whole point of the third book will be the choice between pragmatism and idealism. It is no coincidence that Shepard's only philosopher of choice is Hegel, while TIM's is Nietzsche.

As an aside...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sculptor_Galaxy

If nothing else details the power of the Reapers, the fact that they took less than two years to move from Andromeda to the Sculptor Galaxy should demonstrate it. They had to use scientific notation to list out the distance in light years.
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Old 06-27-2016, 09:17 AM   #149
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I love the STG reports, the only thing I would mention is that they don't remotely scan like professional reports. Mostly this is due to the overuse of "literally," "utterly unsurvivable" and the like. More clinical language would aid in making them feel more... immersive, for lack of a better word. I know you were USN, if you've ever seen HVT intelligence briefs or the like I would consider using similar language.

Otherwise it's a small critique and Tela Vasir's profile was great, particularly the second chapter, from her POV. Suffers slightly from telling vs showing, but you have a fairly short amount of space in which to compress a lot of information, and the latter third of the chapter was fantastic.

As per the most recent update, no real comments or criticisms to make, thought it was generally fantastic as usual. It's extremely interesting that the Hanar are communicating with the Collectors and "serve" an Old One. I'm personally not quite as much of a fan of the Old One/Godpower/Reaper dynamic that was fleshed out in one of your sidepieces, so I might have missed some foreshadowing wrt the Hanar, but this seems like a fairly major thing that's otherwise out of the blue.

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Old 06-27-2016, 05:02 PM   #150
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I know you were USN, if you've ever seen HVT intelligence briefs or the like I would consider using similar language.
The main problem I had with HVT / HVI reports was the templates made up half the report, and that's hard to convert over to ff.net design style. A lot of those reports were supposed to be tied into the whole report TOI -> visualize mission and returns -> design insertion / reaction -> promulgate, and they were boring as all fuck to have to read.

While the STG is certainly professional, the vibe I got from the SB files on STG reports involving Kirrahe and Mordin was that there was a certain level of playful casualness in their reporting.

To be fair, I'm still playing with tone. What is offputting to ex-military people in intel reports is more enterataining to others. Endless repeats of "LVROS" (low value return on strike) or "DIME minimal results" (diplomatic, intelligence, military, economic) certainly would feel more authentic to us humans...

...except salarians aren't human and may not look at reporting the same way. Part of that is my wasted years in cultural anthropology banging around and demanding I not project into an empty cultural space, and part of is that after having to write up sonar logs and NSS writeups that no one read I'm sick of that language.

Still, it's a valid criticism. I may do future files where the STG Master castigates the agent for sloppy or off-the-cuff remarks.

I thought long and hard about the hanar. The original idea was to do a piece from the Collectors, showing the initial contacts, feeling each other out, the nature of the deal and what not. The problem with doing so is that that it would be literally a two-chapter chunk cutting away from the main thrust of the action. In the past when I did that people didn't like it, so I was... wary of doing so again.

I also didn't want to overdo the creepypasta of the hanar and Collectors by having huge chapters about them, although that may have been a failure on my part given the reactions I have gotten to the Collectors working over their captives.

I almost put in what the captives were going through mentally. If you need images, though, cross the Beacon Vision with the 'hell scene' in Event Horizon and you'll get a hint.
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Old 06-27-2016, 07:09 PM   #151
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Just as a side note, Of Serendipity and Balance is fucking hilarious.

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...and the yahg transmitted insults and a suggestion the quarians should stop sexually pleasuring themselves and apply a list of seasonings so they would taste better.
Brilliant.
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Old 06-28-2016, 12:09 AM   #152
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Quote:
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The main problem I had with HVT / HVI reports was the templates made up half the report, and that's hard to convert over to ff.net design style. A lot of those reports were supposed to be tied into the whole report TOI -> visualize mission and returns -> design insertion / reaction -> promulgate, and they were boring as all fuck to have to read.

While the STG is certainly professional, the vibe I got from the SB files on STG reports involving Kirrahe and Mordin was that there was a certain level of playful casualness in their reporting.

To be fair, I'm still playing with tone. What is offputting to ex-military people in intel reports is more enterataining to others. Endless repeats of "LVROS" (low value return on strike) or "DIME minimal results" (diplomatic, intelligence, military, economic) certainly would feel more authentic to us humans...

...except salarians aren't human and may not look at reporting the same way. Part of that is my wasted years in cultural anthropology banging around and demanding I not project into an empty cultural space, and part of is that after having to write up sonar logs and NSS writeups that no one read I'm sick of that language.

Still, it's a valid criticism. I may do future files where the STG Master castigates the agent for sloppy or off-the-cuff remarks.
You know, that is an excellent point that I had brushed over in the name of verisimilitude. Because you do have a point, HVT reports have a remarkable tendency of taking what is by all accounts something interesting and turning it into a chore to read. Honestly I think INR reports are the only ones that are really readable.

So you're right to not utterly mimic that style when most readers probably won't appreciate it. It'll bug the ex military and intel peeps a bit, but that's not the end of the world.

For reference, I'm the sort of person who gets (mildly) irritated every time I hear someone call an intelligence officer an agent. It's a minor pet peeve, but it's also only a pet peeve.

Ultimately while I'd like to see a little bit more professionalism in the STG reports, I also have to say you have in general really nailed down the ever fluctuating beast that is military professionalism. I've lost count of the mass effect fanfics that have seen Shepard saying and doing shit that, in the real world, would have seen her NJP'd in a heartbeat.

Not that nobles get NJP'd anyways, but you get the point.

In OSABC Shepard toes the line occasionally, but stays on the right side of it for the most part.


Quote:
I thought long and hard about the hanar. The original idea was to do a piece from the Collectors, showing the initial contacts, feeling each other out, the nature of the deal and what not. The problem with doing so is that that it would be literally a two-chapter chunk cutting away from the main thrust of the action. In the past when I did that people didn't like it, so I was... wary of doing so again.

I also didn't want to overdo the creepypasta of the hanar and Collectors by having huge chapters about them, although that may have been a failure on my part given the reactions I have gotten to the Collectors working over their captives.

I almost put in what the captives were going through mentally. If you need images, though, cross the Beacon Vision with the 'hell scene' in Event Horizon and you'll get a hint.
I think you made the right decision with regards to the hanar if you're going to come back to that plot point relatively soon. By come back to that plot point I don't necessarily mean exploring it in depth, but if I were you I would continue mentioning it where it makes sense to do so, so that the hanar opening up communication with the collectors is something that readers will actually remember. Mentioning it offhand in this chapter is fine, but it's a big enough thing that it probably deserves more explanation than an offhand remark, and soon enough that people don't forget.

The only other criticism I have to offer is that the body horror stuff might have been a trifle overdone, but that's a personal taste thing. You didn't really linger overmuch on it so it's not really the end of the world (hah), but I did think it a little much when I read it.

Other than that, excellent as always.
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Old 07-02-2016, 11:07 AM   #153
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STG Investigative Report : Tradius Ahern

Pretty cool read, although I still think that Ahern's badassery is taken a bit too far for someone without biotics. He is pretty much a Heroic Spirit.

Still, after all the build-up, am curious if we are going to see him actually break at some point or if he is going to survive everything.

Would love a chapter on Ahern from the POV of his niece or an aide or something, who accompany him for a day or so. Has potential to be rather entertaining.

Is the niece going to play a role later on? Guess not, since she is still training, I guess, but I am rather interested in the Ahern family. Then again, LP has confirmed that the daughter was specifically targeted, someone might do the same for his niece, and we could have Shepard's reintroduction to him by stepping in and saving her.

Edit: It seems my wish was granted, fucking loved chapter two. Thank you for sharing that, @LogicalPremise.
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Old 07-02-2016, 01:34 PM   #154
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Edit: It seems my wish was granted, fucking loved chapter two. Thank you for sharing that, @LogicalPremise.
I might do one more chapter based on an idea I had.

As for his status, Ahern is the Mary-Sue line in the Premiseverse, along with Tetrimus -- you can munchkin no further.

EDIT: Thanks to the kickass editing team, the next chapter -- 19k words of pure death -- is about ready.

DOUBLE HERESY : MonkeyEpoxy, your wish is granted.
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Old 07-03-2016, 11:37 AM   #155
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Well, 20k chapter dropped and shit went down. Plenty of badassery all around, Delacor and his pilot were especially worthy of note.

With the twist at the end, am wondering whether or not we will have a reveal next chapter.

Good stuff.
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Old 07-03-2016, 04:30 PM   #156
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I feel like I owe that solar system an apology.
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Old 07-03-2016, 05:07 PM   #157
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I feel like I owe that solar system an apology.
Considering how grim Premise-verse is, they probably deserve it.
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Old 07-03-2016, 05:14 PM   #158
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They will be better off, actually. If anything, you put them out of their misery and did them a huge favor.
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Old 07-04-2016, 07:16 PM   #159
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Silly Horizon, this is what you get for not prostrating yourselves before the High Lords of Sol.

Let that be a lesson to you.

Atomisation via supernova is the only acceptable punishment.
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Old 07-21-2016, 12:33 PM   #160
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If I read a fifth of the first installment (which would be about 150k words), is that enough to form an opinion? I think it is.

I can tell that LogicalPremise puts a lot of work into his worldbuilding. Unfortunately, it drags the story down as much as it elevates it. There's a ton and a half of telling vs showing. Infodumps the likes of which I've never seen in fanfic, like the chapter that's a literal summary of Shepard's life and service history. I'm frankly amazed the author wrote it (I'd have been bored out of my skull coming up with twelve variations on "conducted anti-pirate operations") and even more that he included it in the story. I could maybe see it as a part of the works (Cerberus files and all the other stuff) that augment the worldbuilding, but as it is, it's a boring pile of numbers and letters meant to inform me that Shep got a shitty deal but goddamn, she pulled herself up by her bootstraps. As if there wasn't enough ridiculous, poorly executed angst already.

Characters lack definition. They're different because the author tells me so, not because they have characteristic dialogue or prose that fills their POVs. All dialogue feels like it's one character talking. Also, the author seems afraid of letting a line of dialogue go without a character beat. I think someone nods or moves or something after every single instance of speech or damn near close.

I get the Rule of Cool, but I can't help but roll my eyes at Shepard's ridiculous exploits. Sometimes they're fun, sometimes I just scroll past them.

LogicalPremise stated that he wanted to flesh out characters that we only see from Shep's POV in the games, but at some point an author has to ask themselves if they're not weighing down the plot too much instead of moving it along. Imo, the wordcount is sensationally overblown. 150k to get to Normandy leaving the Citadel? Erm... And yeah, let's not forget the fantastically cringeworthy scene of Joker looking at Shepard memes. That was one of the most self-indulgent, useless scenes I've seen in fiction.

The prose itself doesn't have the draw that would justify the wordcount. It's very mechanical and utilitarian. Not a bad thing in itself, it works in describing guns, I guess, but isn't up to snuff for trying to convey emotions of the characters, which makes them feel just as mechanical as the guns they wield.

I can forgive the occasional typo (even though mixing up it's/its irritates me greatly) but when you suddenly go into present tense and then switch back to past tense, it's incredibly jarring.

I can tell that there's probably a ton I'm not appreciating, but I'm not gonna sludge through the bog of problems to find it. And before someone says "give it time to get going", if you can't get going in the wordspan of a big book, well...

2/5
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