The Mass Effect Community Thread

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WanderingWind

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Feb 4, 2009
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I feel like I'm back - tentatively - on the ME4 hype train. Assuming they jump like, 1,000 years in the future and ignore all of ME3, that is. Just straight Batman Begins that bitch like it came from Schumacher's notebook.
 

ConanTheKing

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Sep 1, 2014
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I didn't like the Matriarch writings specifically, but damn was it nice driving to a plateau under a flaring blue foreign sun, stepping onto the warm dust, and hearing the atmospheric silence as you look around a long-empty post where a scientist once lived a very small life with big intention. They disappeared at an unknown time, but it's humbling to think about being out there. Being the astronaut who followed the signals on uncharted worlds, feeling small, going farther.

Only visiting civilized, lush, currently inhabitable spaces doesn't feel like a whole concept of space travel and science. Most of space is quiet and grand, with not a hint of life except for the fragments that have scattered there from safer homes.
That so beautifully sums it up you need to go on the official forums and make sure the devs read this.
 

WanderingWind

Mecklemore Is My Favorite Wrapper
Feb 4, 2009
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Iisten to the ilos theme bruh. That shit does it for me everytime.



I may or may not have just reinstalled ME1 and 2 on Steam after I may or may not have rage uninstalled after ME3. I heard about an mod that changes the ME3 to something that doesn't cause blackouts, but I'd have to buy it on PC and lolno.
 

Caboose

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I expect a lot of Mass Effect-like uncharted worlds, unlocked throughout the galaxy map using some Inquisition-like economy system, with similar fetch/hunt quest structure to Inquisition, differentiated by scattering said objectives further apart to emphasise vehicle use, planetary hazards, and the conquering of terrain.
No.... noooooooooooooo.
 

HarryHengst

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They should work on context and consequence better. XP, Loot and Gold by any name arent worthwhile rewards anymore.
Well, context is mostly gained from reading all the quest lines and stuff. It is a rpg after all. And i remember a lot of people complaining that DA2 isnt an rpg because it lacked the shitloads of loot you got in DA:O.

Consequences, i agree, Bioware isnt that great when it comes to actual consequences, especially compared to the Witcher series. And when Bioware tries, you get the star child. :lol
 

Patryn

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I'll go on record saying that I'm kind of looking forward to a DA:I-esque system where you're driving the Mako all over the place finding stuff.

However, I can also see how it can be poorly implemented, based on how terrible the mounts were.
 

foxtrot3d

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Mar 28, 2013
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Am I just some dumbass asshole who actually like the so called "worst" part of Mass Effect games. I LOVED the Mako, it felt great driving around and exploring a full planet even if it was just copy-pasta. I liked gathering all those Matriach writings, Salarian dog tags (whatever did happen to the League of One?), etc. I enjoyed the elevator rides, one of the dumbest complaints I ever heard from "fans." Yes, the game could have used fewer loading points but the idea of the elevator is to keep the loading in-game and thus never removing you from the world. In Mass Effect 2 they listened to the wise fans and took out the elevator rides only to replace them with dun dun dunnnn a regular loading screen. However, I did like how loading screens in ME2 were an actual extension of what you were doing in-game. I also enjoyed scanning planets in ME2, it was a nice way to break up fighting and allow for some peaceful rest time and it gave you incentive to check out every planet in a solar system.

So fuck me, right? However, I would prefer if they kept DA: I's quest design the fuck out of my Mass Effect.
 

DOWN

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That so beautifully sums it up you need to go on the official forums and make sure the devs read this.
Thanks but I think I harassed them enough when I heard Mako was out. And again when I heard the Kodiak and Mako were out for ME3.

My wish seems to have been granted in some degree for the next one.
 

Bisnic

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I don't know how much you can compare Dragon Age and Mass Effect... but how is the auto-dialogue in DA:I? Same as ME3? More or less of it? Maybe it can give an idea of what to expect in the next ME. I'm not expecting a return of ME1 where every replies of Shepard was a decision from the player, but something like ME2 would be good.
 

Carn82

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I wonder how they're going to do this more open-ended design thing, assuming it turns out like that.

I mean it's just not reasonable to expect several dozens of planets to be explorable at any-time, not be complete arse [ME1] but instead be filled with content, cities, actual quests [none of that fetch rubbish]
I think DA:I is a preview of what we can expect regarding scale/open world stuff.
 

Patryn

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I don't know how much you can compare Dragon Age and Mass Effect... but how is the auto-dialogue in DA:I? Same as ME3? More or less of it? Maybe it can give an idea of what to expect in the next ME. I'm not expecting a return of ME1 where every replies of Shepard was a decision from the player, but something like ME2 would be good.
There's more than Bioware would like to say there is, but less than in ME3.

Probably ME2 levels? Certainly not ME1 where I don't recall Shepard ever saying anything without a player prompt first.

I will be curious to see how they handle Paragon and Renegade. Personally, I wish they'd just ditch it entirely but adopt a faction reputation system a la Obsidian.
 

Rastafarian42

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Explorable worlds comparable to DA:I would be stellar for the next Mass Effect. There's a lot of things Bioware can use to make the next installment that much better.
 

prag16

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I hope it ends up closer to the ME games than DA:I in terms of the general setup and game systems.

Way too much fluff and padding which does almost nothing to add to the experience. I like the game (DA:I), but man can it be a chore to slog through at times. I never felt like that in ME ever; even in ME1.
 

Patryn

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I hope it ends up closer to the ME games than DA:I in terms of the general setup and game systems.

Way too much fluff and padding which does almost nothing to add to the experience. I like the game (DA:I), but man can it be a chore to slog through at times. I never felt like that in ME ever; even in ME1.
Bioware has already gone on the record as saying that DA:I is the blueprint for all their future games.

Now, sure, they'll likely adjust stuff based on feedback and their metrics based on how people played, but I'm guessing the two games will feel similar in a lot of ways.
 

Carn82

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I think the new ME will be a more 'tight' experience than DA:I. I`m sure it wont go as far out regarding customisation and stuff, saving us from the abomination that is the DA:I menus :p

Also, new ME is current gen only so my guess is that they`ll have to a be a bit smarter with their content, assuming that it takes a bit more time (compared to old/cross-gen stuff) to make all those new fancy assets and levels.
 

Daemul

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Jan 26, 2014
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Bioware has already gone on the record as saying that DA:I is the blueprint for all their future games.

Now, sure, they'll likely adjust stuff based on feedback and their metrics based on how people played, but I'm guessing the two games will feel similar in a lot of ways.
Nah, the two games won't feel similar at all by virtue of Mass Effect being a shooter. They can't just copy/paste over stuff from DA and call it a day, the game would be a clsuterfuck.

What I can see Bioware doing is giving us the game Destiny should have been, minus the co-op stuff of course, though they could easily fuck up and give us an even worse version of current Destiny lol. As much as I would hate to see that since it would probably spell the end of one of my favourite franchises, the internet meltdowns would be glorious.
 
Jul 26, 2014
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I can't believe I didn't mention this earlier: Don't keep the Normandy fuel mechanic for ME4! It provides a barrier to exploration, and the possibility of running out and being punished for it actively discourages intra-cluster travel.
 

foxtrot3d

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Mar 28, 2013
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Bioware has already gone on the record as saying that DA:I is the blueprint for all their future games.

Now, sure, they'll likely adjust stuff based on feedback and their metrics based on how people played, but I'm guessing the two games will feel similar in a lot of ways.
I haven't heard that and so far the DA games and ME games have been largely separate, if anything it was Mass Effect that bled slightly over into Dragon Age. But, they've largely kept their separate identities and I hope it stays that way.
 

Ralemont

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Mar 26, 2014
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I don't know how much you can compare Dragon Age and Mass Effect... but how is the auto-dialogue in DA:I? Same as ME3? More or less of it? Maybe it can give an idea of what to expect in the next ME. I'm not expecting a return of ME1 where every replies of Shepard was a decision from the player, but something like ME2 would be good.
Nowhere near ME3 levels. I'd say 90% of the time your character speaks after someone else speaks it's due to a dialogue choice. Additionally, 3-choice wheels are the standard, often more.

Even Dragon Age 2 had a much better dialogue wheel than Mass Effect ever did, though.
 

Patryn

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Nah, the two games won't feel similar at all by virtue of Mass Effect being a shooter. They can't just copy/paste over stuff from DA and call it a day, the game would be a clsuterfuck.

What I can see Bioware doing is giving us the game Destiny should have been, minus the co-op stuff of course, though they could easily fuck up and give us an even worse version of current Destiny lol. As much as I would hate to see that since it would probably spell the end of one of my favourite franchises, the internet meltdowns would be glorious.
I haven't heard that and so far the DA games and ME games have been largely separate, if anything it was Mass Effect that bled slightly over into Dragon Age. But, they've largely kept their separate identities and I hope it stays that way.
I'm just passing along what Jeff Gerstmann has said Bioware was telling him at events showing off Dragon Age. So it's an official line.
 

Patryn

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Mass Effect 2 didn't ruin the Mass Effect Series. Mass Effect fans ruined the Mass Effect Series.

Actually it was Drew leaving and Casey Hudson being involved.
Casey Hudson was involved in all three games. By that reasoning, the series was ruined before it started.

For the record, even if you meant Mac Walters, he was also involved in the entire series.
 

Poodlestrike

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Mass Effect 2 didn't ruin the Mass Effect Series. Mass Effect fans ruined the Mass Effect Series.

Actually it was Drew leaving and Casey Hudson being involved.
ME's problem wasn't the change in writers, it was the lack of planning. They tried to take a game with a by-and-large standalone plot, and turn it into a trilogy. Trilogies follow very specific structures, especially epic sci-fi/fantasy trilogies which tend to follow the Lord of the Ring's structure specifically (hopeful beginning, sudden turn to darkness, high-action conclusion). You can't just pull that out of a hat, it all needs to be planned out ahead of time if you want to stick the landing. Original writer or no original writer.
 

prag16

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Bioware has already gone on the record as saying that DA:I is the blueprint for all their future games.

Now, sure, they'll likely adjust stuff based on feedback and their metrics based on how people played, but I'm guessing the two games will feel similar in a lot of ways.
Right but that doesn't mean it'll have the sheer volume of complete throwaway "content". And as Daemul said, it's a 3rd person cover shooter, so that will definitely change how a lot of the environments will have to be laid out, and will require tighter more focused design in many areas I would imagine.

But as for the other part of Daemul's post.... michaelscottno.gif. Even if it's what Destiny was "supposed" to be, that's absolutely not what I (and I'd imagine most hard core ME fans) want Mass Effect to become..
 

wolfhowwl

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Mass Effect 2 didn't ruin the Mass Effect Series. Mass Effect fans ruined the Mass Effect Series.

Actually it was Drew leaving and Casey Hudson being involved.
Say what you will about some of Casey's decisions, he was still the driving force behind these games being made at all.
 

foxtrot3d

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Mass Effect 2 didn't ruin the Mass Effect Series. Mass Effect fans ruined the Mass Effect Series.

Actually it was Drew leaving and Casey Hudson being involved.
Casey Hudson is responsible for Mass Effect, the idea for the series came from his head. He may have to bear the brunt of the awful ending but he must also be credited with everything great about the series.

ME's problem wasn't the change in writers, it was the lack of planning. They tried to take a game with a by-and-large standalone plot, and turn it into a trilogy. Trilogies follow very specific structures, especially epic sci-fi/fantasy trilogies which tend to follow the Lord of the Ring's structure specifically (hopeful beginning, sudden turn to darkness, high-action conclusion). You can't just pull that out of a hat, it all needs to be planned out ahead of time if you want to stick the landing. Original writer or no original writer.
Mass Effect was always planned as a trilogy and had Mass Effect 3 succeeded with its ending and plot everything would have been fine. First, you have to remember that games are not like movies or books, you just can't write a script and say make that into a game. The plot/story must be developed and evolve alongside the gameplay. This is why COD games never have good plots no matter how many Hollywood screenwriters they bring in, because they develop the gameplay and levels first and then write a story to fit around it. This is also why some ambitious story based games fail, while I wouldn't say that Bioshock Infinite was some complete failure it's clear that the gameplay lagged behind the story it was trying to tell.

Now, I think it is clear that they did have big story ideas as to what each Mass Effect game would be about. Mass Effect 1 would set everything up and tease the Reapers; Mass Effect 2 would be the slow "Empire Strikes Back" story, a way for the player to acclimatize themselves once last time with the universe before the Reapers showed up; Mass Effect 3 would be the war story and the end of the Reapers. Also, according to Drew K. the Relays were always intended to be the solution/weapon to destroying the Reapers. However, besides that I don't think they knew early on many of the deeper mystery questions of the universe such as where the Reapers came from, purpose of the cycles, etc. That would all be developed later and evolve as the games progressed.

I don't think the particulars of the ending needed to be planned out ahead of time, afterall they wouldn't know before hand what decisions they would allow to players to make and be transferred over between games, but what should have been planned and adhered to were the themes of Mass Effect which the ending all but abandons. And, let's be honest to overbearing presence of EA no doubt heavily influenced the game we got, had ME3 just been given even four more months of cook time we'd have gotten a better game.
 

Poodlestrike

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Casey Hudson is responsible for Mass Effect, the idea for the series came from his head. He may have to bear the brunt of the awful ending but he must also be credited with everything great about the series.



Mass Effect was always planned as a trilogy and had Mass Effect 3 succeeded with its ending and plot everything would have been fine. First, you have to remember that games are not like movies or books, you just can't write a script and say make that into a game. The plot/story must be developed and evolve alongside the gameplay. This is why COD games never have good plots no matter how many Hollywood screenwriters they bring in, because they develop the gameplay and levels first and then write a story to fit around it. This is also why some ambitious story based games fail, while I wouldn't say that Bioshock Infinite was some complete failure it's clear that the gameplay lagged behind the story it was trying to tell.

Now, I think it is clear that they did have big story ideas as to what each Mass Effect game would be about. Mass Effect 1 would set everything up and tease the Reapers; Mass Effect 2 would be the slow "Empire Strikes Back" story, a way for the player to acclimatize themselves once last time with the universe before the Reapers showed up; Mass Effect 3 would be the war story and the end of the Reapers. Also, according to Drew K. the Relays were always intended to be the solution/weapon to destroying the Reapers. However, besides that I don't think they knew early on many of the deeper mystery questions of the universe such as where the Reapers came from, purpose of the cycles, etc. That would all be developed later and evolve as the games progressed.

I don't think the particulars of the ending needed to be planned out ahead of time, afterall they wouldn't know before hand what decisions they would allow to players to make and be transferred over between games, but what should have been planned and adhered to were the themes of Mass Effect which the ending all but abandons. And, let's be honest to overbearing presence of EA no doubt heavily influenced the game we got, had ME3 just been given even four more months of cook time we'd have gotten a better game.
That's a great deal of what I'm talking about, though. The Reapers coming back was the clear endgame from the first one, but it's pretty clear they didn't actually set the "why" of it in stone until it was way too late. You don't have to figure out every minute detail ahead of time (that's a good way to get blindsided later on), but you really do have to have the central story laid out beforehand if you want it to feel coherent. I would argue that in that sense, video game storytelling isn't any different than any other medium.

As for the rest, planning out player choices and the implications thereof is clearly key (you don't have to have everything tie back into the main plot), and I'm not 100% sure what you're talking about vis a vis COD and Bioshock. The former's problem isn't really applicable (since RPGs are all about player choice, while COD campaigns are literally a series of setpieces), and Bioshock's issue was primarily one of ludonarrative dissonance. Having gameplay and story develop alongside each other is all well and good, but again, I'm not really seeing the connection; it started a 3rd person shooter RPG hybrid, and it ended that way.
 

foxtrot3d

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That's a great deal of what I'm talking about, though. The Reapers coming back was the clear endgame from the first one, but it's pretty clear they didn't actually set the "why" of it in stone until it was way too late. You don't have to figure out every minute detail ahead of time (that's a good way to get blindsided later on), but you really do have to have the central story laid out beforehand if you want it to feel coherent. I would argue that in that sense, video game storytelling isn't any different than any other medium.

As for the rest, planning out player choices and the implications thereof is clearly key (you don't have to have everything tie back into the main plot), and I'm not 100% sure what you're talking about vis a vis COD and Bioshock. The former's problem isn't really applicable (since RPGs are all about player choice, while COD campaigns are literally a series of setpieces), and Bioshock's issue was primarily one of ludonarrative dissonance. Having gameplay and story develop alongside each other is all well and good, but again, I'm not really seeing the connection; it started a 3rd person shooter RPG hybrid, and it ended that way.
I agree that the larger mysteries should have been known from the start, that's how a proper twist works. If you look at say the Dragon Age series for comparison it's clear that they do actually know and planned the larger mysteries concerning the Old Gods and all the other lore. As for the COD and Bioshock example what I'm getting at is that good game stories must be developed alongside the gameplay to be any good, else wise you get ludonarrative dissonance or just bad story. I'm too lazy to look right now but BioWare, specifically the Mass Effect team around #2, talked about the BioWare writing process. But, essentially every writer is paired with the gameplay designer in charge of each quest. So, if you're writing Garrus' loyalty mission you're right there with the person designing the gameplay for that section from the start. Thus, both aspects of story and gameplay can evolve and come together as a perfect fit.

EDIT:

This isn't the article I was looking for but this one by Daivd Gaider, lead writer for the DA series, details extensively the BioWare writing process and I think gives a much fuller picture of the entire ordeal:
http://dgaider.tumblr.com/post/36331574543/on-narrative-design-part-1
 

Poodlestrike

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I agree that the larger mysteries should have been known from the start, that's how a proper twist works. If you look at say the Dragon Age series for comparison it's clear that they do actually know and planned the larger mysteries concerning the Old Gods and all the other lore. As for the COD and Bioshock example what I'm getting at is that good game stories must be developed alongside the gameplay to be any good, else wise you get ludonarrative dissonance or just bad story. I'm too lazy to look right now but BioWare, specifically the Mass Effect team around #2, talked about the BioWare writing process. But, essentially every writer is paired with the gameplay designer in charge of each quest. So, if you're writing Garrus' loyalty mission you're right there with the person designing the gameplay for that section from the start. Thus, both aspects of story and gameplay can evolve and come together as a perfect fit.

EDIT:

This isn't the article I was looking for but this one by Daivd Gaider, lead writer for the DA series, details extensively the BioWare writing process and I think gives a much fuller picture of the entire ordeal:
http://dgaider.tumblr.com/post/36331574543/on-narrative-design-part-1
Ahhh, yeah. That I get. I'm not arguing that every little detail needs to be hashed out, just that your core story does, especially if you want the trilogy structure to come together properly. For smaller stuff, like the character missions you mentioned, the bioware approach you're talking about is definitely best.

Also, thanks for the link, will check it out.
 

HarryHengst

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One thing i do hope for the next ME is that it is a contained story. No import into the next game, no big universe-changing decisions to be made. The Mass Effect-universe should allow for plenty of stories without needing the reapers or a big evil wizard or whatever planning on destroying the universe.

So far Bioware has shown that they have not yet found a way to deal with the possible choices the player can make and make them meaningful in new games. In Dragon Age: origins for example you could kill a companion and lo and behold, in DA:I it was revealed she wasnt killed, only left for dead. Or Bioware simply replaces a killed companion with a new character that is clearly a copy. When that is the consequence, i much rather have Bioware not try to put such decisions in the game.
 

BrassDragon

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I agree that the larger mysteries should have been known from the start, that's how a proper twist works. If you look at say the Dragon Age series for comparison it's clear that they do actually know and planned the larger mysteries concerning the Old Gods and all the other lore. As for the COD and Bioshock example what I'm getting at is that good game stories must be developed alongside the gameplay to be any good, else wise you get ludonarrative dissonance or just bad story. I'm too lazy to look right now but BioWare, specifically the Mass Effect team around #2, talked about the BioWare writing process. But, essentially every writer is paired with the gameplay designer in charge of each quest. So, if you're writing Garrus' loyalty mission you're right there with the person designing the gameplay for that section from the start. Thus, both aspects of story and gameplay can evolve and come together as a perfect fit.

EDIT:

This isn't the article I was looking for but this one by Daivd Gaider, lead writer for the DA series, details extensively the BioWare writing process and I think gives a much fuller picture of the entire ordeal:
http://dgaider.tumblr.com/post/36331574543/on-narrative-design-part-1
Reading Gaider's explanation, I'm left wondering who is actually in charge of formulating a plot arc across several titles. The writers know the themes, details and loose threads but the project leads have the final say and seem to be mostly focused on the high concept and the things that differentiate the new title from the last.

So while this approach might work to get a decent self-contained title out the door, the proof is in the pudding: BioWare cannot adequately handle plot lines and repercussions of player choice across several titles in a franchise. It makes me wonder why they keep trying and overpromising.
 
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What I want most is probably never gonna happen. I'd to love see the game designed with the same mindset as that from the devs from Kingdom Come: Deliverance. Particularly this:

All this, on a foundation built capably upon the solid game mechanics of a true, hardcore RPG – nonlinear quests with multiple solutions, branching dialogue choices with points of no return, several roles to play (warrior, bard, thief), a mountain of different stats, skills, perks, and ultimate character customization details (including 4 layers of clothing and armor in 16 equippable slots), as well as alchemy and crafting professions, the need to sleep and eat to stay healthy…even food that goes bad if it sits in your inventory for too long!
And this:

We’re not trying to create the biggest game ever; we want to concentrate on quality rather than quantity. Instead of 200 generic dungeons, we’d like to focus on just a few, crafting each one as something unique, memorable, and special. Our world is large, but again, the focus is on creating a natural, organic space, not one so overpopulated (find out more about this in our blog, here). The same philosophy applies to quests. We don’t want to inundate players with an insane amount of quests, but rather ensure that those we have are rich in detail, with multiple solutions (including non-violent approaches, where appropriate) suiting different play styles and making an impact on the world.
I'd love to see missions that can be solved in different ways, instead of just shooting your way through everything. And I applaud the idea that quality of side-quests is way more important than quantity, something that no AAA dev seems to get. Give me interesting quests instead of filler fetch quests.

Give me a sense of myster. Exploration. Variety. More options besides combat. My dreams will probably be dashed next E3.
 

Maledict

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That quote from Kingdom Comes is the opposite of what I would like in a new ME, and slightly horrifies me.

It's another example of people thinking that the systems we use to role play are the role playing, which is just not true. It's the same fallacy RPG Codex fans fall into all the time, bless them.

Good systems are important, but they should be there to enable role playing - not *be* the roleplaying. That's what ME2 did so fantastically well - it's one of the best examples I can think of where stripping stuff out led to better roleplaying, better writing, better characters and overall a better game.
 

DOWN

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Not into heaps of skill management. The skill trees, limited class moves, and squad mate power mapping, were one of the few things I think were enjoyably slicker in the sequels. Even if I was less happy about guns losing their flare and power-up incentives.
 

HarryHengst

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ME2 did skills great, relatively few powers per class but all powers felt useful and different. DA:I in comparison was a step back; it gives you more skills but most feel the same, especially in the mage lines. The Ice and Fire lines are pretty much a copy of each other (have a fire mine! and an ice mine! and a fire wall and hey look, a wall of ice!). There is some difference in status effects but the spells all lack a certain weight to them.
 

Daemul

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But as for the other part of Daemul's post.... michaelscottno.gif. Even if it's what Destiny was "supposed" to be, that's absolutely not what I (and I'd imagine most hard core ME fans) want Mass Effect to become..
Hey, I was just throwing ideas out there :p

I want it to be nothing like Destiny, I want it to be Mass Effect. Focus on story, good characters(note to Bioware, crazy =/= good) and good gameplay.
 
Feb 9, 2006
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That quote from Kingdom Comes is the opposite of what I would like in a new ME, and slightly horrifies me.

It's another example of people thinking that the systems we use to role play are the role playing, which is just not true. It's the same fallacy RPG Codex fans fall into all the time, bless them.

Good systems are important, but they should be there to enable role playing - not *be* the roleplaying. That's what ME2 did so fantastically well - it's one of the best examples I can think of where stripping stuff out led to better roleplaying, better writing, better characters and overall a better game.
But it was basically a TPS with light RPG elements. How cool would it be to have missions that can be tackled in multiple ways, including non-violent ones? Of have meaningful side-quests that actually feel unique? Those are the things I want from that quote.
 

APZonerunner

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I think DA and ME are fundamentally different in that Mass Effect's story areas have always, always been more linear in nature - the temptation is to say it's a corridor shooter, because it is, but I DON'T mean that in a disparaging way.

ME's openness came in past games in an open-ended mission structure and a variety of planets to visit, each of which was on the whole more linear. That's rounded out with a few of those planets (a couple per game, really) being hub worlds that don't house traditional missions. I really do expect ME to continue with that formula, because it's a winning one. I don't think zones will end up being as vast & open as some of the DA ones, but I also think that's for the best.

The exception will be if they do planets ala ME1, obviously... but they were very barren anyway. The core mission sort of structure I think will continue to resemble the first three games in their linearity.
 
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