So a fair number of people have been dissatisfied with the endings of Mass Effect 3. A common complaint (and to my mind the most germane) is that it fails to address the choices made by your character.
Assuming the consequences of your choices were reflected in the ending, what do you think they would be? I'll start of with my own set of speculation. I posted this earlier in the BioWare
forums, but the thread quickly got lost in the shuffle, so I thought I'd show it here.
The following will assume that Shepherd did die at the end, but that the Citadel itself was not destroyed. You don't need to follow these assumptions, of course. Also, I'm sure I made some errors and forgot details, so feel free to point these out.
Systems Alliance (ME 1
- Allowed Council to die, ME 2
- Saved Collector base, ME 3
- 3000+ readiness, Series: mostly Paragon despite the previously mentioned decisions)
As the only human governing body to survive the devastation, the Systems Alliance focused on rebuilding its society, and paid little attention to the other races. Though controversial, Reaper technology from the Collector base proved too useful to ignore in the reconstruction process, and is now found in nearly all human communities to some degree.
The Systems Alliance preserved the democratic institutions of Earth's most powerful states as best they could. However, there is no doubt that the military structure of the Systems Alliance remains in place, and that the armed forces wield almost overwhelming influence over policy.
The Council condemned the Systems Alliance's use of Reaper tech. The diplomatic gap between the Systems Alliance and its neighbors grew, eventually turning into a cold war that would shape galactic politics for many years to come.
Turian Hierarchy (ME 3
- Got the krogans to help the turians)
As they had so many times in the past, discipline and adaptability saw the turians through the Reaper War. Maintaining ties with the other Council races, the turians became increasingly militaristic in response to the threats posed by the Systems Alliance and the krogans. Many feared that the humans would become a new race of Reapers, given their use of that faction's technology.
Salarian Union (ME 3
- Failed to get their support for Earth)
The Reaper attack shattered the Salarian fleet and homeworld. Since then, they have relied on Turian aid for reconstruction. In return, salarian scientists developed new technologies to bolster the Council's armed forces. The name of Mordin Solus became synonymous with betrayal.
The small military of the Asari Republics made them easy prey for the Reapers. Their centers of culture and economy annihilated, the asari never fully recovered their strength. Warlike and nationalistic traditions became popular as the survivors sought something in which to believe, and their combat biotics often serve in turian platoons.
Krogan Empire (ME 1
- Wrex lives, ME 2
- genophage cure data preserved, ME 3
- genophage cured)
Wrex and Bakara united Tuchanka into a new Krogan Empire and ushered in a new era of hope and prosperity. However, the growing krogan population brought instability on other planets, and rogue groups seized weakened colony worlds in Council and Alliance space. Wrex is happy to have an excuse to fight these disobedient clans, but other krogan wonder why he so eagerly makes war on his own kind after preaching unity for so long...
Quarian Admiralty (ME 2
- evidence hidden, ME 3
- peace with the geth)
For once, the quarians found themselves in a good position. Their homeworld untouched, they worked with the geth to build a new future. Through the geth, the quarians obtained access to limited amounts of Reaper technology and used it to secure their place in the galaxy. Remembering their poor treatment at the hands of the Council (a distrust that continues due to the quarians' use of Reaper tech), the Quarian Admiralty eventually pledged a defense pact with the Systems Alliance. Admiral Tali'zorah vas Normandy proved instrumental in this agreement.
Tensions with the geth remain, but the quarians know that they cannot afford to do without their synthetic creations. For their part, the geth are content to work alongside their creators, so long as their own rights are respected.
Batarian Concord (ME 2
- paragon option for Arrival, ME 3
- returned the Pillars of Strength)
Crippled by the Reaper War, the batarians knew that there was no going back to the old ways. Suspicious of both the Systems Alliance and the Council, they largely stayed neutral. A new religious government oversaw the reconstruction; though not truly democratic, they allowed considerably more freedom than had the Hegemony. The batarians began to build up relationships with the other minor races of the Terminus Systems, sowing the seeds for a new multi-state alliance.
Vol Consortium (ME 3
- obtained volus support)
Initially hopeful that the Council would help rebuild their worlds, the volus soon found themselves forgotten by their allies. The Vol Protectorate separated from the Turian Hierarchy, and became independent. To defend their worlds, they relied heavily on combat drones. It is rumored that many of these drones have been amplified by Reaper tech purchased from the Systems Alliance, which has good diplomatic relations with the Vol Consortium.
Courts of Dekuuna (ME 3
- did the rescue mission, and retrieved the artifact)
Though battered by the Reaper War, the elcor were emboldened by their own limited participation. Most returned to the homeworld, but a fair number serve as walking weapons platforms in the Council military, and have proven most effective against krogan pirates.
Illuminated Primacy (ME 2
- Thane survived, ME 3
- stopped the upload)
The Primarcy's automated defenses delayed the Reapers far longer than anyone expected. The Reapers eventually broke through and caused untold devastation, but the Hanar homeworld found itself in a comparatively good condition after the Reapers' defeat. The hanar continue to be loyal members of the Council, and have filled the gap left by the departure of the volus.
The drell proved instrumental in protecting hanar civilian populations, and have played a more assertive role in Council politics. The drell are the only Council race to enjoy anything approaching good relations with the Systems Alliance.
The Citadel (ME 3
- most Citadel defense forces were enabled)
Locked in orbit around Earth, the Citadel is still an important site for galactic commerce and diplomacy, though far less central than it was in the past. The Council relocated to Palaven, where they remain to this day, though there are still active embassies for the Council races on the Citadel. In place of the asari, turians, and salarians, the humans and quarians walk the halls of power.
During the Reaper War, Citadel defense forces were able to secure portions of the city, and even prevent the Reapers from draining the oxygen. Despite this, much of the Citadel's population perished, and entire sections are still cordoned off. Reconstruction continues at a slow and steady pace.
There is a statue of Commander Shepherd in the Presidium.
I apologize for the length, but a universe of this much wealth and detail deserves no less. Because of its length, I didn't go into what the different characters might do after the series (barring a few). So show me how things might have turned out in your playthrough!