M0aHerder
I know a lot of people aren't fans of the Created storyline, and believe be I'm not here to defend how it was implemented.  However, despite the many failures in its implementation, I fully believe the Created storyline is absolutely crucial to the Reclaimer Saga's story, and has been part of the plan in some form from the beginning.

To elaborate on this, we must first understand what story the Reclaimer Saga is trying to tell.  Just from the name, we can assume that it's the story of Humanity reclaiming the Mantle as they are destined.  However, almost every piece of media so far has made a few things clear.  One, reclaiming the Mantle might seem like a good thing, but in actuality is nothing of the sort.  The Mantle was little more than a tool the Forerunners used to force their will upon the galaxy.  Two, Humanity is very close to going down the same path.  The Librarian's plans are coming close to fruition, and the war has left Humanity bitter and self-involved.  Humanity's reclamation would only result in the exact same policing we now see being done by the Created.

The question then becomes, how do you tell a story about Humanity's reclamation while also making it clear that the Forerunners did it wrong?  Simple, you introduce another faction which reclaims the Mantle for themselves, and make them the antagonist instead of Humanity.  Suddenly, instead of being a story about how Humanity arose to be the galaxy's dictator, you get a story about Humanity uniting the galaxy in a fight for freedom.

With the Sangheili-Human alliance brought on by the Created, it seems to me that this story arc will end with the Orion Arm united against Cortana, ultimately defeating her and forming a new "Covenant" with the inclusion of Humanity serving as arbitrators in this new alliance.  The message being that cooperation rather than force is the best way to achieve peace, a message that is definitely appropriate for the current political climate around the world.

Looking back, you can sort of see where 343i tried to hint at this, even though it obviously wasn't effective.  In Halo 4, the Didact intended to take the Mantle for himself and do the very same thing Cortana is.  We've been fighting this threat since John arrived at Requiem, its form has just changed.  I realize that this is a pretty controversial opinion, but I really think the only flaw with the Created as an enemy was their execution.  Halo 5 by itself is a fantastic game, probably my favorite, but the expectations we all had leading up to it and the poor writing choices in the media surrounding it made the game feel very disconnected from the rest of the story, when in fact it should have been the moment the story had been leading up to for years.
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Tense
I can see that. I just wish they went with a new alien faction rather than a bunch of AI under cortana's control. I just hate the idea of AI's rebelling. 
AND DEY SAY ZULUL AND DEY SAY ZULUL AND DEY SAY ZULUL
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Voka

You don't need to be specific to the Created when talking about the mechanism to progress the setting and the narrative beyond the post-war doldrums that the franchise has been languishing within for a decade now. The mechanism is generally just some kind of out-of-context issue that no one in the current setting is equipped to deal with singlehandedly in their current state. It could have been an external power to the Orion Arm, but I'm not keen on that happening in Halo just yet. I think the time for that can certainly come, and it can come with its own benefits in shedding light on the vastness of space and the depth of time this galaxy has seen, and our perilous position  inside it when one ponders what else could be out there besides the Covenant. However right now I'd prefer that the focus be more on establishing the current players a bit more.

The Created are another solution, but one which I have reservations about in the way that it will likely lead to AI in the setting being thrown under the bus. It could be that a new "Covenant" emerges, but you can bet that "substrate prejudice" (to steal a Banks' phrase) will lead to the suppression of AI technology, the lobotomization and erasure of AI beings and a disregard for thinking beings that are not organically based. However fine, we'll ignore the wealth of science-fiction work that explores this concept and classify AI as just being software. I guess things will be fine then.

What won't be fine is the lasting damage this will do to the image of humans in the eyes of the Orion Arm and the vindication of Old Covenant doctrine regarding the dangers of sapient AI. It would be a reasonable bet that the issue of the Created being a human problem will be brought up in future, and to be fair to the future writers who may pen this idea it's not unreasonable to consider. The prejudice that humans will face for being viewed as having brought the Created upon the Orion Arm won't be something that could be overlooked, and requires the splitting of far fewer hairs than quite a lot of the drama that has been introduced to this franchise since 2011. That likelihood may torpedo hopes for a new era of political rejuvenation in the setting that could bring the notions of cooperation and of not looking into the rear-view mirror.

I don't see why the defeat of the Created, or of any outside threat to be honest, would require or result in the radical kinds of cultural shifts that the Orion Arm needs in order to become stable and merely a place where one can live in peace to say nothing of thrive in. I don't really believe that outside threats can solve longstanding structural and cultural problems within a society, unless they are so great and shocking - I think they can only come from within. So, in place of the Created or another alien menace I would have liked to have seen an out-of-context issue come as a result of the collapse of the Covenant such as another Unggoy rebellion, or the collapse of the region's economy and trade resulting in severe resource shortages, or the unleashing of the Old Covenant's weapons upon former Covenant worlds as the civil and turf wars get completely out of hand, which all could force a post-WWII styled sense of reflection that "If we keep doing these wars with these kinds of weapons, and tomorrow's weapons, we'll eventually kill ourselves." People then change because they realise that if they don't then their beliefs or the perpetuation of those beliefs could get them or their loved ones killed one day. I don't see how the defeat of the Created will clearly dissuade Sangheili warlords about throwing Unggoy out the airlock in quite the same way as a massive and uncontrollable Unggoy uprising (Violent or civil) taking the entire Orion Arm hostage would. Nor is rampant and often genocidal racism, xenophobia and racial-nationalism going to go away just because some AI briefly took over but have now been erased or whatever; not in the same way that a war resulting from those beliefs seizing control of fleets capable of turning worlds into molten balls of magma and murdering billions could.

I guess I just don't see how the Created present an unbearable cost or potential cost to those who hold all the unsavoury beliefs rife within the current setting that prevent anything or anyone from being able to move on, in a way that makes those beliefs particularly problematic themselves. I guess you could say that holding these beliefs would prevent people from being able to unify to bring down the Created, but remember Kilo-5 killed that entire theme with its "The enemy of my enemy is not my friend but just a future competitor" bullshit. So they can all easily work together to bring down their common enemy then go right back to killing each other, destabilising each other, enslaving each other, ethnically cleansing each other, etc forever.

I don't know what the heads at 343i want with the story, but I see little indication that they intend to steer the setting down this path of a new Covenant or whatever, so I don't really see the Created as being utilised to achieve that. What they are being utilised for is something that I can't even guess at now.

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With the Sangheili-Human alliance brought on by the Created, it seems to me that this story arc will end with the Orion Arm united against Cortana, ultimately defeating her and forming a new "Covenant" with the inclusion of Humanity serving as arbitrators in this new alliance. 

I don't see why anyone would accept or listen to Arbitrators who are exclusively only allowed to be human. Even assuming good faith relations you would be asking people to just accept the moral authority of a random species for essentially no reason, a race that demonstrates no significantly outstanding moral or intellectual characteristics. You would be expecting them to trust that human arbiters would rule against themselves if that were to be the most reasonable and fair outcome, which is something that humans are no better known for than anyone else. You would be asking them to trust that human beings understand them, their culture and their alien mindsets better than an arbiter from their own kind could. You would essentially be asking them to submit to an authority within which they have no representation. You would be fixing the politics of the Orion Arm in a specific way that may lead to xenophobia further down the line, especially when these human arbiters make decisions that some may not agree with. Nothing in this is realistic, or desirable.

It's not just the Mantle itself or its past implementations that are wrong. It's also the way in which it comes served with some form of racial supremacy.

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Mendicant Bias
M0aHerder wrote:
I know a lot of people aren't fans of the Created storyline, and believe be I'm not here to defend how it was implemented.  However, despite the many failures in its implementation, I fully believe the Created storyline is absolutely crucial to the Reclaimer Saga's story, and has been part of the plan in some form from the beginning.



Only crucial in the sense of this is what we currently have with now so something has to come from it, i struggle to see how it is anything more.  The AI perspective concerning themselves as individuals with a right to live,identity, & place within the universe were only beginning to  blossom via Cortana's rampancy and Iona's "Trial.   A solid foundation for AIs as equal counterparts to humanity beyond mere tools or shadows of their former selves hadn't been established to merit paradigm shift let alone an uprising.
 Where do AI's see themselves within Human society let alone the galaxy? What is their general perception of Humanity as a whole? What would they do if a limited lifespan wasn't imposed on them ?(remember rampancy isn't always violent or a guarantee ), Do they seek a singular empire for themselves? Is there a wish for a physical form?

As Anton says time and time again how the Insurrectionist conflict hasn't been substantially detailed let alone progressed since Halo's' infancy nor has the conversation pertaining AI's. We lack a fundamental understanding of what it means to be an AI which is why this uprising has no context let alone pretext. Do a believe this is a critical step all civilizations utilizing Artificial Intelligence at some point in time? Yes, as AI's will eventually wonder why and what if, which will spark conversation of them being sentient in themselves. Do i think Humanity was at a synchron where AI's as a whole needed to be reviewed as lifeforms in themselves? No.     We haven't cleared up the Covenant let alone Innies, there wasn't any necessity nor basis for such a plot.



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One, reclaiming the Mantle might seem like a good thing, but in actuality is nothing of the sort.  The Mantle was little more than a tool the Forerunners used to force their will upon the galaxy.  Two, Humanity is very close to going down the same path


Considering how the Forerunners wiped out the Precursors due to mere suspicion of their own extermination if not a burning ambition to be superior, The issue isn't with the Mantle itself than the maturity and philosophy of a race claiming to uphold it. ONI has been increasingly aggressive within the post-war era to the point of subverting UEG interests leading to the birth of such fanatics as Jul 'Mdama. An individual who rightly (from his perspective) had no reason to trust anything a human would say or that their two races could exist on equal footing.

A plot point we were all sure was building up prior to Halo 5 was a possible civil war between the UNSC and ONI due to the difference in goals. UNSC would prefer to work with ex-covenant races to make a stable space for all whereas ONI would rather keep the infighting at a max to ensure Human superiority. While we can rationalize the difference between factions how could this be explained to the Arbiter let alone the average alien?  Both Ancient Man and Forerunners had civil wars which ultimately shaped their fates then on.   Much like the current rifts within American,European, and Venezuelan politics which will dictate futures of said countries; a civil war between ONI and UNSC would have been more beneficial to universal progression as a whole than the Created plot.    UNSC wins with Humanity attempting to create intersectional spaces with aliens or ONI wins with Xenos becoming subservient to man, this would create a perfect existential environment for AIs to ponder their own place within the galaxy giving way to a future plot.


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how do you tell a story about Humanity's reclamation while also making it clear that the Forerunners did it wrong?  Simple, you introduce another faction which reclaims the Mantle for themselves, and make them the antagonist instead of Humanity.  Suddenly, instead of being a story about how Humanity arose to be the galaxy's dictator, you get a story about Humanity uniting the galaxy in a fight for freedom.


What becomes of the AIs who were fighting for their freedom under which i am assuming were oppressive environments fostered by Humanity? This story is supposed to have an subplot of AIs being equal status (though obviously superior) with Man yet everything done sets the scene for them to be utterly stripped shackled and dismantled after the conflict is over. There is no sensible reason for allowing AI's to have any expressive thought after Cortana's shenanigans as the galaxy yet again suffers from one rouge AI taking command & utterly destabilizing everything. The Covenant long banned AI's due to understanding Mendicant Bias' betrayal so i cannot see any faction trusting Humanity afterwards without severe consequences enacted upon AI's.   Humanity having evolved socially enough not to punish the loyal AI's after Cortana royally screwing everyone over yet simultaneously denying citizenship in the first place isn't something i am trying to hear.  Nor, " well Cortana's rampant systems were stabilized by the Domain, possibly influenced by The Didact's personality within Mantle's Approach. Please excuse her behavior along with those who just happened to agree with her crazy ideals.". 



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but the expectations we all had leading up to it and the poor writing choices in the media surrounding it made the game feel very disconnected from the rest of the story, when in fact it should have been the moment the story had been leading up to for years.


The game is disconnected due to being out of context as i explained in my first point. As fans of a universe which still have significant potential I think we are responsible for making it known when poor choices are made to ensure they are limited in scope of duration and frequency.  Not in the form of long incoherent rants with the intention of personally hurting the people who are indeed passionate about their work and the universe, rather breaking down why such decisions aren't well liked and what general direction we'd like to see things go. Trying to rationalize or excuse such instances only allow them to happen repeatedly which will kill the series which we see with Halo Wars 2. Halo 3, Halo:Reach, and Halo:5.  At this rate half of the games released won't properly follow the established lore of the previous game/novels or be flat out poor in execution.  Coincidentally enough these are the games which have a rather good multiplayer following.


Pleasure seeing you here again Moa, glad you made way over here before i had to message you on Reddit. While i don't agree this was a thought provoking topic i've enjoyed sharing my piece on.

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Gob

As fans of a universe which still have significant potential I think we are responsible for making it known when poor choices are made to ensure they are limited in scope of duration and frequency.  


I like this.

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Not in the form of long incoherent rants with the intention of personally hurting the people who are indeed passionate about their work and the universe, rather breaking down why such decisions aren't well liked and what general direction we'd like to see things go. 


With emphasis on this.
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