|Fans of the Mass Effect video game series
|N7 Logo, Normandy SR2, Tali’Zorah, N7 Armor Stripe, N7 Helmet, Garrus Vakarian, Mass Relay
Mass Effect is a series of third-person shooter/role-playing games that first debuted in 2007. The first three games in the series are well-known for the protagonist Commander Shepard and the many choices the player could make throughout the trilogy in terms of with whom Shepard allied, which crew member(s) Shepard romanced, and controversially, the way in which the game ended.
The Mass Effect subreddit has over 300,000 members and is still very active thanks to the remastered trilogy release in 2021 titled the Mass Effect: Legendary Edition.
When the decision was made on Reddit to attempt to create art on r/place 2022, the Mass Effect on r/place discord was formed. At the peak of r/place 2022, there were over 400 members working together to create and maintain the art of Mass Effect and the small communities that Mass Effect helped to protect. Countless others followed the updates on r/masseffect and became known as "Keepers" by the discord community in reference to the alien species that silently maintains the Citadel; center of galactic civilization and arguably the most important location in the Mass Effect trilogy.
At 9:36 am EDT on April 1st, 36 minutes into r/place 2022, a post was made by u/fars3757 on r/masseffect about attempting to recreate the N7 logo that was on r/place 2017. Based on a black line that had already started to form, the choice was made to start the top left corner at coordinate 801,984.
12:15 pm EDT was when u/transam617 created the discord after informing the subreddit members of what all had transpired for r/masseffect on r/place 2017 and how much negotiation was required to create and maintain the art.
- Main article: N7 Logo
The black outline went up quickly for the logo, but it quickly became apparent that there were other groups attempting to utilize the same space. After sending dozens of messages to the users that were placing those pixels, the owners of the Pig, the Duck, and the Carrot reached agreements to relocate with our assistance and protection going forward. By 1:00 pm EDT the N7 logo was complete and focus shifted to maintaining it while attempting to help allies. In the mean time, our Keepers expanded the left black border to 6 pixels wide and would not let anything else be built there though we tried multiple times to let other groups take that space.
With expansions came additional colors and the decision was made at 9:43 pm EDT on April 2nd to add a 3D effect to the logo with shading. Shading didn't start until around 10:00 am EDT April 3rd but was completed fairly quickly.
The newer reds seemed to match the actual N7 logo much better than the original so both of them were changed to reflect this. The entire logo shifted up and the border was adjusted to one pixel to make room for the Normandy SR2 below to satisfy the terms of an agreement that was reached with Italy.
At 11:21 am EDT on April 4th, the reds were updated with the newest additional color option to match the N7 armor stripe and be more accurate to the color of the real logo.
- Main article: Tali’Zorah
The Struggle Begins
At 4:07 pm EDT on April 1st, the black space to the left of the N7 logo seemed well under the control of r/masseffect so the group decided to put the character Tali'Zorah from the trilogy in that space. Initial plans went on hold in order to focus on the Eminem invasion and resumed at 4:45 pm EDT. After fighting the Keepers of the black for three hours, a new location was chosen around 7:51 pm EDT. Finally around 10:30 pm EDT, a fully-formed Tali appeared. The next few hours were spent adjusting her to fit around the St. Louis Blues logo and choosing the final colors for her suit and mask. After the downfall of the Blues around 8:00 am EDT on April 2nd, Tali was again adjusted to fit the new space.
One source of amusement for the discord was the amount of times that griefers would place a brown pixel under Tali and make it look like she had defecated. There were also many attempts to put eyes on her mask that the group had to fend off for the rest of r/place 2022.
- Main article: Mass Relay
Creating the Relay
A Mass Relay is a device in Mass Effect used for rapid interstellar travel. While much more complicated than the simple design created for r/place 2022, it was a good representation of the game art. The relay went up much quicker than Tali, beginning at 12:56 am EDT on April 2nd and being completed at 1:10 am EDT.
Red, Blue, or Green?
There were slight changes over the remainder of r/place 2022, and the center color changed often, possibly as a reference to the controversial ending of Mass Effect 3, but discord members decided to keep the center color closer to the blue of a regularly operating relay in the trilogy.
- Main article: Normandy SR2
When the first expansion occurred, speculation that there would be another expansion to the south began. The decision was made to refrain from trying to make more art on the first expansion and focus on the area that was being maintained. A second expansion would open the canvas directly below the N7 logo and make another piece of art easier to defend by being in the same area. That was when discussion of the Normandy SR2 began.
The design for the Normandy SR2 was created at 3:25 pm EDT on April 2nd. It remained largely unchanged throughout r/place 2022 once the background color was chosen at 10:17 pm EDT the same day. At this point, everyone involved was eager to see another expansion so that the plan could come to fruition. There had been very little problems creating the N7 logo so no one expected an issue with building the Normandy. Just after 3:00 pm EDT April 3rd, the canvas did indeed expand and work began.
Paint It Black
A major issue quickly arose. The country of Italy began creating another flag in the area directly below the N7 logo. The Mass Effect team fought to put up the outline for the Normandy but Italy easily overran the area with green pixels. Negotiations to put the Normandy on their flag as art failed. Additionally, work on the Normandy's engines was being undone by the Keepers who kept reverting the area to black. At 4:27 pm EDT, u/redsleepinggrass made the suggestion to let the Keepers extend the black border of the N7 logo to the south to carve out an area large enough for the Normandy and attempt to put it in later. It was the nuclear option because there was no way of knowing whether the Keepers would relinquish the black later, but the order was given and the space started turning black immediately. It wasn't long before black extended to row 1019.
Peace at Last
At 5:44 pm EDT Italy finally returned to negotiations and conceded the rows 1017 and above. The design was adjusted to have less border so that it would fit in this area and work began at 6:12 pm EDT. The N7 logo was moved up and given a smaller border to give the Normandy additional space as well. It was completed within the hour.
N7 Armor Stripe
- Main article: N7 Armor Stripe
Talk first began of attempting to place the N7 armor stripe in the black border to the left of the N7 logo and Normandy around 5:55 pm EDT but it wasn't until well after the Normandy had been completed and shuffling of the canvas had calmed that pixels started being placed at 10:32 pm EDT. It was a risk considering how many other groups had attempted to move into that area since r/place 2022 began. The Keepers had kept the black without fail. The discord group moved swiftly to place large blocks of pixels concurrently and this time it was a success - the Keepers ceded the black and the N7 armor stripe was formed within minutes.
- Main article: Garrus Vakarian
The Garrus Vakarian chibi head came together very quickly once enough people were back online on April 4th at 11:00 am EDT. There was some grief concerning the pink pixel for his scar but it was defended until the end.
- Main article: N7 Helmet
The initial design was to be the female version of Commander Shepard, but in order to more accurately represent all players, the helmeted version of Commander Shepard was decided on instead. This art began immediately following Garrus Vakarian and was finished within the hour.
The Citadel Council
- Main article: The Citadel Council
At the start of r/place 2022, the group attempting to make a Pig face was in the same location as the N7 logo. They were the first group that Mass Effect was able to make contact with and Pig agreed to move to the right of the N7 logo in exchange for help and protection. The official design of the Mass Effect plans was updated at 1:22 pm to include the Pig.
Pig ended up being griefed more than any other art in the Citadel Council alliance region. The group was contacted by so many others that thought it was just an unimportant pig face and not the oldest and most trusted ally of Mass Effect. There were many battles fought for the face of the Pig and it was a testament to the members of the community that it finished r/place 2022 looking the way it did.
At 1:15 pm on April 4th, the group that had created pig added additional art to the canvas that Mass Effect helped to create and maintain. The 174 is a reference to the beats per minute in the Drum and Bass style of music of which the Pig group are fans.
Ducks representative of those in Duck Game were being created in the same space as the N7 logo at the beginning of r/place 2022 as well. A relocation was negotiated but it took some time before the canvas was calm enough to get the ducks in the design.
The first duck lasted from 12:18 am EDT to 12:25 am EDT on April 2nd. The white ducks appeared from 7:00 am EDT to 12:00 pm EDT on April 2nd. The ducks on the purple lattice were more successful, lasting from 12:30 pm EDT on April 2nd until 3:30 pm EDT on April 3rd. The final duck lost his partner but remained until the end of r/place 2022.
Fans of the Twitch streamer Moondye7 created his logo below the pig and also received a lot of grief. They initially contacted Mass Effect at 5:25 pm EDT to facilitate an alliance during the Eminem Invasion. Their logo was briefly overwritten by MT6 before it was returned to the original state. At the second expansion, they added Moondye7's custom Twitch emote below the logo.
What Have I Done?
The What Have I Done? (WHID) logo was drawn by it's creators around 5:00 pm EDT on April 2nd and maintained by them until they sought an official alliance with Mass Effect at 3:43 am EDT on April 3rd.
MT6 began by overwriting the Moondye7 logo around 1:00 am EDT on April 3rd. This group of friends were happy to get a screenshot of their logo and then helped to return Moondye7 to the original state. When the second expansion occurred, they secured a space to the right of the Normandy SR2 and officially joined the alliance.
Around 6:15 pm EDT on April 3rd, someone added a flower next to Tali. The creator was not discovered but the group came to think of it as Tali's flower and kept it there until the end of r/place 2022.
At 2:32 pm EDT on April 4th, discord used LivLive asked the group if a flower could be placed above MT6 in honor of the user's mother who had just learned about r/place and was excited by the idea of having something on the canvas.
Battles and Treaties
St. Louis Blues/Edmonton Oilers
Many blue pixels began to appear in the area of the N7 logo and contact was finally made with a representative of the St. Louis Blues at 1:28 pm EDT on April 1st. Their intentions were to overwrite the area with their logo. Once they learned that the coordinates had been claimed by Mass Effect with a large number of supporters, they asked that Mass Effect shift the N7 logo to the left. Mass Effect refused to encroach on territory already claimed by large countries. The N7 would not move and STL resized their logo to fit in the area above N7. They then became an ally of Mass Effect.
Unfortunately, in choosing this spot STL put their art over the Chelsea football club and when those fans returned to r/place, many of the STL and Mass Effect team members were offline. This resulted in STL and the Oilers losing this location and moving multiple times throughout the expansions until they finally found a home. Mass Effect continued to support these allies in all of their efforts.
At 4:25 pm EDT on April 1st, the Eminem logo declared that they intended to take all of the area occupied by the Pig and N7 logo. They attempted to strike a deal to make their logo smaller in exchange for taking the Pig off the canvas. Mass Effect refused and continued to hold the line, fending off the attack by Eminem and emerging victorious when Eminem decided to make their logo smaller and move it south by a few rows to be below r/foofighters rather than next to them at 5:29 pm EDT. An agreement was struck to mutually defend each other's territories from that point until the end of r/place 2022.
When the second expansion occurred, Mass Effect's plans for the Normandy SR2 expansion went into motion, only to be thwarted by r/Italy creating another flag. Quickly running out of options, the decision was made to focus on making the entire area black rather than trying to build the ship. Nineteen rows of black pixels later, Italy pleaded with Mass Effect to make the black stop. On behalf of Mass Effect, u/jericho5589 entered a voice chat with 400 Italians and told them that "we will have the space". A peace treaty was reached giving Mass Effect the rows 1017 and above. Mass Effect successfully built the Normandy SR2 and continued to defend the border and Normandy/Italy as well as the Italian flag when most users from r/Italy were offline.