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Clickbait Mass Effect Legendary Edition Used Mods as a Benchmark

nani17

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Head over to NexusMods and you'll find mods for each game in the Mass Effect trilogy. Over a thousand of them, with some of the most popular the graphical overhauls A Lot of Textures and A Lot of Videos. BioWare is aware of these mods, and while working on Mass Effect Legendary Edition, used them as a benchmark.

"We actually early on looked at some of those," project director Mac Walters told me, "and said, 'OK, well, this is our minimum bar and from here we have to then go bigger, right?' Obviously, they have limited access as a modder to the assets that are in there. We have full access to them."

Environment director Kevin Meek concurred, mentioning while he was initially skeptical of AI upscaling mods, when he looked closer he was impressed. "They're getting these great results with the A Lot of Texture mods and those other up-res ones," he said, "so that actually started us down that kind of the path with some confidence. We knew we could go in and hit base-level AI up-res on all the textures and receive the same amount of visual upgrade or even more than the mods because we have a lot of advantages they don't have. We get to work on the uncompressed source, full-resolution textures. Whereas what they have, it's been crunched down, it's been compressed, it's put onto a disc, and then they up-res off that."

BioWare looked at mods that aren't about improving graphics as well. "There's a lot of really popular mods about adding different types of hairs to Shephard," Meek said, "People who are really popular into wanting some new casual outfits as you're walking around. Things like that, they kind of helped give us again a bit more confidence. Yeah, it is worth it to spend a little bit of time to create some new hair options and some new clothing options."

Other popular mods reinstate cut content and work with unused dialogue to, for instance, add same-sex romances to Mass Effect 2. While the Legendary Edition isn't going that far, will modders still have access to unused assets to recreate those mods? "I don't think any content has explicitly been removed from the depot that we have," Walters said, though he wasn't able to 100% confirm mods like these will be possible. "Hopefully they'll still be able to have access to do all that," he said. "That'd be the hope."

BioWare wants to see the Legendary Edition altered just as eagerly as the original games, and has spoken privately to some modders about what's important to them and how they can work together. "Mods have an advantage," Meek said, "where they don't have to be constrained about certification requirements, and size-on-disc issues, and any ripple effects that come from pushing some effects too far or not far enough, or whatever."

You'll be able to read our full interview with Walters and Meek this week. Mass Effect Legendary Edition is due out on May 14.
 
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eyesabitdull

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Lmao bioware probably took one look at all the nude mods and promptly decided to nope out of all the gratuitous shots.

Pop Tv No GIF by Schitt's Creek


Can't explain a better reason for it.
 
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Aroll

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I mean, you can argue they "copied" if you want. But what's better: They took a look at the landscape set by the fans of their games for what the fans consider to be significant upgrades, or they ignore it and do their own thing and end up maybe making something that isn't even as good as the mods since they ignored them?

They did what any smart developer should do. You take the best of the fan mods, apply, and say "see this, we literally cannot be making anything worse than this, and should aim for it to be better"

They let fans set the bar for expectations. That's awesome.
 
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Sounds sensible. Look at what people were doing without all the tools then make sure they were at least as good as no excuse not to be.
 

AJUMP23

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Probably a good idea to save yourself development cost and use some one else work.
 

deafmedal

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Let’s see:
  • Using mods fans created to upgrade the game instead of rolling up their sleeves
  • HUGE day 1 patch because they cannot manage their time and/or they don’t want people to be able to play unpatched discs
  • Originals look better
  • No current gen versions... ever
  • Woke censoring
  • Missing swathes of DLC
  • Didn’t change the ending to make me happy

Why did they even bother? Surely Mac Walters is going out of his way to destroy BioWare.

Shame...
 
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ReBurn

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Let’s see:
  • Using mods fans created to upgrade the game instead of rolling up their sleeves
  • HUGE day 1 patch because they cannot manage their time and/or they don’t want people to be able to play unpatched discs
  • Originals look better
  • No current gen versions... ever
  • Woke censoring
  • Missing swathes of DLC
  • Didn’t change the ending to make me happy

Why did they even bother? Surely Mac Walters is going out of his way to destroy BioWare.

Shame...
Imagine if it had actually happened.
 

STARSBarry

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I guess they directly lifted the mod made by a devout Christian group that censors the game and makes it less sexy... no JK they actually went out of there way to make that one themselves, but oh no the multiplayer is just too hard to include...
 

Pejo

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I guess they directly lifted the mod made by a devout Christian group that censors the game and makes it less sexy... no JK they actually went out of there way to make that one themselves, but oh no the multiplayer is just too hard to include...
What was actually censored anyways?
 

McCheese

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So they just set the bar at what people did for free without the source assets? Like they need to be way over that, not just a bit better.

Alongside them fixing "most of" the bugs, this collection has half assed written all over it, well, maybe not the ass as they likely took that out.
 

Fbh

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So they didn't use mods, they looked at them to get an idea of what has already been made, what is popular, how good it can already look, what non graphical elements people want to tweak with mods, etc. Which is probably what every single dev that has worked on a remaster of a game with heavy mod support on PC has done.
 
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STARSBarry

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What was actually censored anyways?
Joking aside not alot, they edited a few angles on cutscenes etc to apparently be more in line with what expected for a modern day auidence, so any shot focusing on Mirandas butt has gone for example.

I think It would be less of an issue if the remaster didn't look worse in half the videos, and didn't use as this threads suggests essentially mods like AI upscaled textures rather than investing any time or effort into the project. The one thing they apparently did have time and effort for though is reducing the "male gaze", because figuring out incredibly simple things like Multiplayer which they don't even have to redesign, was just too hard for them.
 
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Bragr

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Joking aside not alot, they edited a few angles on cutscenes etc to apparently be more in line with what expected for a modern day auidence, so any shot focusing on Mirandas butt has gone for example.

I think It would be less of an issue if the remaster didn't look worse in half the videos, and didn't use as this threads suggests essentially mods like AI upscaled textures rather than investing any time or effort into the project. The one thing they apparently did have time and effort for though is reducing the "male gaze", because figuring out incredibly simple things like Multiplayer which they don't even have to redesign, was just too hard for them.
Yeah what a fuck, it actually had a pretty cool multiplayer part too. They should have been able to get that in there. They skipped it because it took them an extra month and server space to fix it, that's the truth.

Modern-day audience would love Miranda's ass too BTW. It's like 20% of the best parts of Mass Effect 2.
 

CitizenZ

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LOLL, I just posted in the RE8 rip off about devs not having any new ideas after a sequel so they usually steal them, mainly from modders. Thanks for verification.