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As I am now rewriting a few lines for Episode 40, I look back at the last few months and cannot help myself but to issue a smile, complimented by a cheerfully raised eyebrow and a massive discharge of endorphins by my pituitary gland. We have arrived at our mid-season finale with style, if I may say so myself. The path wasn't always easy, one had to endure quite a bit of stress, invest massive amounts of time, handle not only respect and love, but also obsessive hate, ignorance and a plethora of quite colorful misunderstandings, stemming mostly from my willingness to honestly express my opinions, ignoring whether or not they fit into one of the well-defined thought molds available.

Our little endeavor has managed to overcome the loss of interest following BioWare's release of the Extended Cut, when a lot of people decided that "this will do" (which is a very cool thing when you think about it I always emphasize my jealousness aimed towards such an approach). We lost viewers along the way mostly during my switch to bi-weekly publications, which unfortunately allowed the interest of more "casual readers" to wither and die but kept gaining significance, shook off stupid tags some were trying to pin to our chest, showcased that this is about much more than "whining" and "entitlement" (and not a "trolling attempt" at all), as more close-minded individuals suggested. And right now... We're doing gooood, son.

Looking back from this point of our project, I will allow myself a little bit of smugness. Because every little effort, every bit of work, every drop of sweat... Has paid off. As unreal as this declaration would sound back in March, or April, or even June, we are now treated as an actual storytelling experience, rarely just brushed off as a "fanfic, and thus unworthy of my time" an association that seemed to be an extremely limiting mental collar for a lot of folks. We are now praised and promoted by people making a living from telling stories - from game developers to novelists and Star Trek scriptwriters, we are receiving a huge thumbs-up, showing that the initial limitations have been far surpassed.

Hell, a definite point of pride for myself is that one of my storytelling gurus, Obsidian's Chris Avellone of friggin' Planescape Torment fame (with whom you can check our hour-long interview here: fav.me/d5mgxdh ) has actually said that he was touched by some of my comics, following that thought with this statement: "when I see adaptations they aren't usually quite as touching and heartfelt." There I was, a lowly casual games designer, writer and - recently - secondary producer of games I don't really play myself, being praised by the guy who created narratives I was absolutely raving about for years now. I don't know how it looks from the outside, but for myself, it was a very special moment.

As we move on with the series up until our finale, which will happen around Episode 80 we now face a widely different set of challenges than we did in the first few months. We know there won't be any more official edits to the Mass Effect 3 ending we accept that and lovingly craft our own alternative, which is finally showing its colors and potential. Your expectations and hopes will now be faced against the story I've crafted months ago and as it crystallizes, expect some people to get their minds blown, and others to get dissatisfied, as plots will be resolved (hopefully without plotholes or lapses in logic made a special amount of effort on that front, and I hope Smudboy will mind-punch me if I steer too far from my own standards), arcs will be wrapped up, mysteries answered and characters will either survive and prosper, or die.

This is how the cookie crumbles. As a writer, designer, person playing with creative crafts you have to be prepared for some people disliking your work, regardless of how much time, money, passion, devotion and energy you actually put into it. And this is my message to all of you: I'm expecting that. This will happen, as it happens to all works of culture, regardless of how successful they are in the end - and regardless of whether they are a fan production or not. There's no need to get ourselves riled up when someone has a different opinion about a piece of creative work, as long as they remain civil, respectful and fair. This is as simple as it gets: some of you will absolutely love where this is heading. Some of you won't. Until the first group is bigger and hell-bent on supporting this endeavor - we're in the clear. Because in the end I really believe that I am crafting an imperfect, but quite meaningful experience. For myself and for all of you that accept it as your own. And I'm really thankful you guys are here, with me, as I said a thousand times already.

So, when will Episode 40 be released?

As soon as its ready, but expect it to be around 2 weeks after the release of "The Debt, Part 1". So, I guess, either 11th or 12th of December. It's just a little bit longer than our last episode, but it carries a bit of original content with it that needs to be put together and refined before displaying it for your viewing pleasure.

What about the Omega DLC?

I allowed myself to wait a few days before playing it, mostly to wait out the usual post-release moment of excitement, when opinions tend to be polarized, with more people either absolutely loving it or thinking it's the worst thing ever (had a share of both in my twitter feed). I'll sit down to it over the next few days and try to provide a balanced, yet openly subjective review of the whole thing (I'm one of the guys who don't think too highly of disguising one's own opinions in the coat of objectivity).

From what I managed to learn from some of your comments... It will be 100% MScanon compatible, as it seems, unlike Leviathan. I was afraid that Aria's involvement in the Omega DLC would mess up our Aria/Bailey/Citadel Spectres storyline but from what I heard, that isn't the case at all. I already had a backup plan in the works, explaining Aria's coming back to the Citadel to scrounge extra supplies to rebuild Omega, utilizing the fan-made theory about her close relationship with the asari ambassador... However, it now seems that none of this will be necessary at all.

Something to read up on

Hear, hear, that's not the end of this lengthy journal post yet! I have a few cool articles to show you, something you might want to read up on and spread around, if you feel like it. Consider these to be recommended reads for today or tomorrow.

The first one "Mass Effect 3: Fanning the Fiction" on WhatCulture is an emotional review, slash love letter to our little series, one that takes time to analyze what ties have appeared over time between all of us, between me and you, and as the article shows between us and the author of this cool analysis as well. You can get the full article here, I highly recommend it, as vane as that might be: whatculture.com/gaming/mass-ef…

Second article about MS "Mass Effect 3: The Marauder Shields' Comic Remember His Sacrifice" by Tom Hoover - has been published on NerdLikeYou, though this one is aimed at the newcomers and people who didn't yet hear about our little project, so I'm unsure whether it will be of any use to you guys, so hardcore at marauder-shielding that you're actually reading what basically is my online diary. Here it is, nonetheless, and be sure to spread it around if you have Mass Effect minded people around you: www.nerdlikeyou.com/mass-effec…

As a sidenote, be sure to check out the comments sections under both these articles for a little treat (thanks to our own Umvero for the heads up) it is there that you will experience the exciting copypasta of lilyWhite/Dissonance, one of the obsessive haters mentioned earlier, which we already know around here as LilyheartsLiara/LilyheartLightning, author of the very special "review" of MS, who removed all my replies from her blog for the impudence of deconstructing her absolute lack of understanding of MScanon and proving her lack of effort to actually get to know it (my favorite part is calling out on "plotholes" that have been actually properly explained months before the review came online, in episodes that she just didn't read). For some reason she seems to believe that she's actually challenging me by appearing anywhere where my name pops up, so I'd like to welcome her as our second own trolling-related meme. Whether she's actually googling my name every five minutes or obsessively watching all my profiles and feeds (while supposedly ignoring everything I do), she is slowly becoming (allow me to use a comparison she will understand) the Edward to my Bella, watching me sleep with a hard-on.

Anyhoo, back from the world of troll bashing, my third reading suggestion comes from the ever-insightful Jim Sterling, one of my favorite game journalists, a guy with opinions and a backbone to uphold them in a world where being a character in a video game and giving out opinions about said video game is not considered a conflict of interest, nor idiocy. Sterling's "Fanboys: Enablers of Game Industry Abuse" touches upon a subject I myself have been pondering about for years, perfectly identifies a big problem of today's gaming industry and offers a simple solution to fix it. If you have a few minutes to read through, I highly recommend that, as I already did on twitter and via some of my comments: www.gamefront.com/fanboys-enab…

Last, but not least, comes another interview with yours truly, this one published in the Hiddlestoned: Fandom Magazine. You can get the whole interview (including an awesome drawing of myself sipping a cup of tea with my interviewers and a slightly phased Nihlus) either by reading up the magazine online on Issuu, here: issuu.com/hiddlestoned_magazin… or by accessing it directly from their Tumblr, here: www.tumblr.com/tagged/intervie… - either way, be sure to check it out.

How you can help

I repeat this a lot, but I really can't tell you enough how important it is for us when trying to aim even higher than we do right now - spread the word. Each retweet, tweet, facebook post, blog post, article, mention, forum bump, comment... matters. Even if our viewership dwindles, this story will continue. But if it keeps pumping up, as it does right now, we will be able to deliver you more and better content as a team, we will be able to get the voice talent we still need, we will be able to get more endorsements that will add up to our relevance, as sizeable as it already is. If you love this series as much as I do - consider yourselves our ambassadors and tell people about what we're doing here...

Remember: the more buzz, the better. Everything helps.

What's ahead of us

Some things are finally moving with the speed of light. Expect the koobismo.com website to finally be up and running in the next two-three weeks (more or less). More announcements on that topic will follow, but just so you know... We'll finally have an awesome forum to discuss things on, and a proper platform to share our thoughts in a bit more organized manner than DeviantArt allows us (as good as it is for a single author, it becomes troublesome when you want to work as a part of a bigger team). Of course, this doesn't mean that this profile, our special DA hub, will be abandoned (it won't, expect business as usual) it just means that MS... will only get bigger. And you'll get more from all of us.

Thanks for reading this spacious amount of text and see you all in the comments!

Dastardly yours,

Koobs

P.S. In case you wanted to take a peek at how a grown man handles the fact that he is no longer capable of playing through "Ecco: Tides of Time", one of his favorite Mega Drive games back from when he was a kid... Check out my twitter and look for the #PlayingEcco hashtag (unfortunately, not all my Ecco posts were tagged with that, darnit). twitter.com/search/realtime?q=… I may need to turn that into a series one day, as suggested by Phil. Backflips, yo.

Oh, and here are the two posts dedicated to Mass Effect: twitter.com/koobismo/status/27… and twitter.com/koobismo/status/27…


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Stuff to check out if you haven't already:

In the Workshop with Chris Avellone: fav.me/d5mgxdh
"Koobismo on the artistic life" - an interview by Emily Breder: abstract1106.deviantart.com/jo…
GameFront on MS Episode 39: www.gamefront.com/marauder-shi…
My Leviathan DLC Review: fav.me/d5d7f66
My Scraps gallery (general randomness): koobismo.deviantart.com/galler…
  • Mood: Eager
  • Listening to: Ecco Tides of Time
  • Reading: Ecco Tides of Time
  • Watching: Ecco Tides of Time
  • Playing: Ecco Tides of Time
  • Eating: Ecco Tides of Time
  • Drinking: Ecco Tides of Time
Add a Comment:
 
:iconphoenixdove1:
PhoenixDove1 Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2012
I haven't posted yet about your comic but I am seriously enjoying it and have been reading it from the beginning! Keep them coming, you're creating (one of) the ending(s) we were promised and you are making it epic :D Great attention to detail too, I appreciate your dedication it makes the story much easier to pretend it's really what was intended!

I read the Jim Sterling article, loved it, he's definitely one I will start reading, thanks for linking it :)
Reply
:iconbreakatmo:
BreakAtmo Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012
Hah, seems the TV Tropes page has had some more positive revisions. It's back to 'widely praised', and the section that used to accuse it of 're-writing plot points' has been qualified with 'a few detractors claim'. VERY few. :D
Reply
:icongeneralyin:
GeneralYin Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012
I'm proud to say I'm the troper who wrote the 4th paragraph in the entry. :) Its least I could do for one of my favorite sci-fi series and one of the greatest webcomics I've ever followed.

I was a bit peeved when someone changed the 5th paragraph I penned to something implicitly negative. But as you noted, it was recently changed back to something positive. Very glad to see that change.

Sad to say, the entry itself is not very up to date. I've added quite a few things but I'm hoping the trope entry gets more attention as Marauder Shields rises in prominence.
Reply
:icontherealjaydee:
TheRealJayDee Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012
"Whether she's actually googling my name every five minutes or obsessively watching all my profiles and feeds (while supposedly ignoring everything I do), she is slowly becoming (allow me to use a comparison she will understand) the Edward to my Bella, watching me sleep with a hard-on."

:rofl:

Urm, yeah. Good stuff. Although I'm pretty much over Mass Effect by now I will follow this amazing comic to the end. Yessir!
Reply
:iconz3rg0v3rm1nd:
Z3RG0V3RM1ND Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012
Just wanted to let you know that I think you're doing an incredible job. Knew that this series was around from way back when it was just a light parody thing (episodes 1-5), only just discovered today just how far it'd come along. Keep holding that line and don't let the trolls get to you.
Reply
:icondwarfman0:
Dwarfman0 Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012
I've come this far reading your amazing work Koobs and I'm sticking round, not just to the end of Marauder Shields but with whatever other stories comes tumbling out of your vivid imagination next (remember my recommendation is Steampunk!)

To that end take your time, we the faithful will hold the line and wait patiently until you and the team are ready to present us with nothing less than awesome stuff!
Reply
:iconwogule:
wogule Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
LOL
you crack me up Kuba XD
Love reading your updates and ranting. And I have to check on the trollish persona you mentioned.

Cant wait for new episodes... sometimes I get so jelous I cant be part of that project ... grrrrr.... lol ;D
Reply
:icongmilton:
gmilton Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012
Greatly anticipating your MS MS F - will be glad to see your website - Hope to see the episodes better organized than they are on DA - Think you'll ever publish a compilation?
Reply
:iconthegman123:
TheGMan123 Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012
MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU YOUNG(maybe?) KOOB SKYWALKER!
Reply
:iconfritodan:
FritoDan Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012
Jealous. Ecco always gives me indigestion. Those cartridges just never seem to go down well for me.

Original Ecco was the first Sega game I ever played. When I was young I'd visit my cousins house, and they owned the Sega, but they thought Ecco was boring and never wanted to play it. I remember I used to try to sneak into the room where the Sega was and get a few minutes in here and there before anyone noticed.

Thanks for posting those links; looking forward to checking them out!
Reply
:iconleon9130:
leon9130 Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012
The sheer Awesomeness of your work has made it my hope for a satisfying conclusion of a story. A story every consumer of Mass Effect has her or his own version of. If you do indeed manage to establish a common emotional finale for a vast number of different individuals you can truly consider yourself more than an adept/casual writer.

Best Wishes
Reply
:iconlizfiz931:
Lizfiz931 Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012
Don't worry Koobs. :meow: MS has become my canon.
I'll be here till the very end, wherever that may be. :salute:
Reply
:iconsilentruth:
silentruth Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012
you're awesome ^^
do i say that enough? i don't think i do.. you're awesome <3
Reply
:iconzazan93:
Zazan93 Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012
I look forward to see where your going to take this serie, you have made all of this such a enjoyment to see the serie grow bigger and bigger and knowing that i gets better is awesome.

Whichever way you decide to take this story good or bad, just make sure you always remember what mass effect is about. Choices, hope, love, friendship or comradery and the struggle against impossible odds and in the end overcoming it with or without sacrifices.

Lucky be with you Koobismo.
Reply
:iconlostmercenary99:
LostMercenary99 Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012
Looking forward to the website :P About time MS had his own home.
Reply
:iconbreakatmo:
BreakAtmo Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012
It's hilarious to see idiots like lilywhite yammer about supposed plotholes while defending the original game, which contains such iron-clad, well-written elements like 'The Reapers don't go straight for the Citadel to shut down the relays, and when they do somehow easily capture it in the space of a single mission, they still don't shut down the relays', or 'The creator and leader of the Reapers was in the Citadel the whole time and could have opened the dark space relay and shut down the relays, but didn't, because something-something'. Seriously. Stuff like how Nihlus became MS can stretch things a little, but it still takes a flying leap over the bar set by some of ME3's plot, which Hermes Conrad in his prime could not limbo under.
Reply
:icontarisaralonde:
TariSaralonde Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012
NO YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST GIVE US SOME ARIA/COUNCILOR TEVOS BACKGROUND.
If you have time, of course. At least share your ideas with us. :')

Keep it up, son. You've got an excellent thing, here!
Reply
:iconmovieguyabw:
Movieguyabw Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012
Totally agree. :) It'd be a nice touch, if Koobismo is able to.
Reply
:iconnoelemahc:
Noelemahc Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Congratulations, man. This has been an awesome journey, and unlike that other one which we all have been bitching, complaining and quietly shedding tears in dark corners of our souls about, both the journey and the apparent destination will be most excellent. And that's kickass.

Only one question I have: is 80 episodes some arbitrary number you picked way ahead, or it's a result of counting how many issues you would need to cover the megaplot you've written? Just wondering.
Reply
:iconcrullovetroy:
CrulLovetroy Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012
One of your funniest diary entries up to date :) the twilight pun was hilarious - and I'm indeed pretty good at marauder-shielding :D hence, I will hold the line, no matter how long it takes or how many more fans will arrive or leave, no matter how the audience changes over the next few months and episodes - because now, YOU "are the closest thing to a spectre we have"!! And as the Lieutenant said below, 105% holding your back it is! :> keep up being awesome! The world has too few of your kind :)
Oh and, by the way, don't forget to have a break during christmas vacations :)
However, there's one thing that is actually bugging my mind - "at the turn of the tide": is that a LotR quote? And is that how it's said in english? Because in german, we would say: "at the turn of the tides", which is what they translated for LotR, too, (obviously :P ) and I would've never assumed there is a difference how it's expressed in english... just wondering :D

Cheers, and have a nice first sunday in advent! :)
Reply
:iconlieutenant-america:
Lieutenant-America Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I eagerly await episodes 40 to 80. I began reading this series with merely a passing interest, but as the plot threads twist and multiply, I now am certifiably hooked on MS, Extended Cut be damned. (In fact, this whole series is giving me the idea to do my OWN revision of ME3. Hmm...) Keep up the good work, and remember that we're right behind you, 105%.
Reply
:iconsakara-siluria:
Sakara-Siluria Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012
In full Airplane movie style *just want to let you know, we are all counting on you*
Reply
:iconfusionmetroid:
FusionMetroid Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
It's been so good so far, loving reading it.

I did also rather enjoy following the Ecco hashtag on Twitter today. Had me chuckling over lunch!
Reply
:iconporecomesis:
Porecomesis Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012
I'm actually writing a bit of fanfiction myself. I'm never going to get as popular or awesome as you are but I am on board with Marauder Shields every step of the way.

Now...

WHOEVER GETS THE MOST KILLS GETS TO CHOOSE THE CELEBRATION CAKE!

... Actually, that doesn't really fit. Give me a moment to find some other inspirational messages.
Reply
:iconbon-fire5:
Bon-Fire5 Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Just wondering, are there going to be variations of comics about who has been romanced by Shepard?
Reply
:iconxtrepe:
Xtrepe Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012
Amazing news. Glad to hear
Reply
:iconcoobalt-dahonli-one:
Coobalt-Dahonli-One Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012
The most astonishing thing about MS is that it all started with a meme character.

In the end, it became one of the best comics I have ever read.
Reply
:iconkoveras-alvane:
koveras-alvane Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I was about to say that BioWare returned Aria back to the Citadel after Omega specifically so MS wouldn't have to be re-drawn but then I thought about it and realized it's probably because they didn't have time to make Omega a visitable location again... ^^;
Reply
:iconthewonderingsword:
TheWonderingSword Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012   Writer
The whole Ecco Tweeter feed was hilarious. Commander Dolphin saved the day again, after falling down one too many times through the time stream that is... :D
Reply
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