Ah, perfect! I already wrote up what I think would solve the problem...
1. Only change the ending starting from the last scene with Anderson/Shepard/TIM. Everything about the ending before that stays the same, with a few changes.
2. Completely ignore the God-child-spirit. It conflicts and contradicts the "Protheans fooled the citadel" basis in ME1. This was important. Cut it out entirely.
3. Make several choices based off of war readiness, and how many assets went into the Crucible. Such as:
Rushed through the game and made bad decisions low: Crucible fails to work, and the Reapers obliterate the fleet. Player is "treated" to a small cutscene of the Reapers killing everyone in the galaxy.
Kind of low: Launch a giant EMP burst that destroys all Reapers, AI, Citadel, Relays, most technology, ect, as well as sacrificing earth. Shepard dies. Normandy crashes, and everyone aboard dies.
Low: Same, but without damage to earth. Shepard dies. Normandy Crashes. Crew dies.
Medium-low: Burst that only destroys all AI. Shepard dies. Normandy Crashes, Crew dies.
Medium: Burst that destroys all AI in the Sol system, and the Reapers. This allows the Geth to live, but EDI dies. Saves the Relays, but not the citadel. Shepard dies. Normandy crashes, crew survives.
High-Medium: Releases a burst that disables the Reaper Shields across the galaxy, allowing the fleet to easily kill the rest(Reapers are weak without their shields, as ME1 shows. A single torpedo from the Normandy killed Sovereign without it's shields) Shepard lives. Normandy damaged, but does not crash, and the player is treated to a small cutscene of the Normandy and the fleet blowing up a few reapers. Citadel is intact, Relays intact.
High: Sends out a burst attuned to the Reaper core (The Geth provide the information. They studied reapers, remember. If they are not available, the Quarians provide it, having researched the Reaper corpse on their planet) causing the Reapers' reactors to overload and die. However, the Reaper core just happens to be identical to the Core of the Citadel as well. The Citadel overloads and blows up. Shepard lives. Relays stay intact. Player is treated to a cutscene of the Reapers blowing up, troops on the ground rejoicing, as well as the Normandy picking him and Anderson's body up before Citadel explodes.
Very-high: Sends out a pulse that kills only Reapers. All tech stays intact. Shepard lives. Relays intact. Citadel intact. Player is treated to the cutscene above, minus the citadel explosion.
In addition, the endings shown in the "original" game would be available. These would be available on the left side of the dialogue wheel, while the ones I have proposed would be on the right. Synthesis would be unlocked at the Very-High level, and Control would be unlocked at the High-Medium level. Destroy would not be available, as it's equivilant is already an option.
To complete the Synthesis or Control ending, the player takes the elevator up to where the Original ending takes place. This way, they do not have to design an entirely new environment. The animations and flashbacks for these endings would stay the same. The only difference in the cutscene after this would be no Normandy crash.
The options of the three highest unlocked options would show up on the right of the wheel on the right side. For instance, someone who had Medium assets would get the option of killing all AI everywhere, all AI in the Sol system, or all technology everywhere without damage to earth. The option where the Crucible fails to fire is not available if the player has enough war assets.
The dialogue wheel would look like this, if someone had 100% of all assets.
Synthesis Take down Sheilds
( ) ---Kill reapers, Destroy Citadel
Control Kill all Reapers
4. Include a small, text and scene ending. Small clips of certain occations from the various decisions made will show. This will vary greatly by the ending.
EXAMPLE: Geth and Quarians rebuilding, all species rebuilding the invaded home planets, ect.
5. A small scene with Anderson and Shepard before Anderson dies, about what Shepard will do if the Crucible works. Shepard can then respond in a variety of ways depending on what options he is presented with because of the war assets claimed. Anderson then says the whole "I'm proud of you" spiel, wishes you luck, then dies.
Retiring and living in peace, finally, with LI(or alone, if that is the case).
Saying “This device will probably destroy the citadel and kill us, so it does not matter.”
Continue to pursue peace and justice as a Spectre.
Become a diplomat/politician and guide humanity
6. Any teammates that were with you at the time you got shot by the reaper will run towards the teleport-beam and make it to the Citadel ahead of you, thinking that you died, and that they need to finish what you started. Upon arriving there, you meet up with them and get to the console. They also get manipulated by TIM, but only you are able to "break free" by shooting or talking down TIM.
7. Give a small end game play sequence where the player can walk around and talk to teammates, and notable figures in the game, if Shepard survives, similar to DA:O. This scene will of course depend on what choices were made, what characters are alive, ect.
Anyway, that's my whole view on it.
Players can get the endings they want, the player can still sacrifice themselves to get the endings they want, the Devs can have the endings they want, and originally intended. The only thing this really cuts is the stupid spectral Ghost-child-God thing, which was ridiculous in the first place.
It still keeps the "space magic", however the player is no longer forced to use it.
How does this sound? I tried to address every concern and viewpoint, and combine them into one good ending that I think would please everyone.
Edited by Reign Tsumiraki, 24 March 2012 - 12:07 AM.