Mass Effect 3 (Seriously, Use Spoilers People!)

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Mass Effect 3 (Seriously, Use Spoilers People!)

Postby Chewbaccawacca » Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:25 pm UTC

Anyone besides me excited for this? I really enjoyed the first two even if...
Spoiler:
You had to fight Andros from StarFox at the end of 2.


I've seen a few vids and the trailer, it looks fine and probably will play the best of the three. But that won't matter, I've enjoyed the games enough that I'll be playing through rose-tinted glasses on my first playthrough no matter what.

I rolled a new character in ME that I plan on playing through 1 and 2 in prep for a fresh, set, character for 3. A chaotic-neutral Infiltrator turned Commando. Having a blast and remembering how much I loved these games for all their flaws.

Anybody else with a similar outlook? Or are you Mass Effect'd out?
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby SlyReaper » Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:29 pm UTC

I'm excited about it, but I've not really seen anything about it recently. Isn't it supposed to be out in a couple of months now? I'm sure "Q1 2012" was mentioned at some point in relation to ME3's release date.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby mosc » Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:08 pm UTC

Hell yes I'm excited. I'm famous in my circle of friends for my adamant recommendations of ME2. I think ME2 was one of the top 10 games ever made and certainly the top game of it's generation. The narrative direction was just so refreshingly deep and such a substantial improvement compared to every other video game ever made. I was immersed in the character so deeply and actually cared about relationships between characters. Just amazing. There are lots of technical and gameplay requirements for maintaining that immersion through an interactive medium like a video game too. ME2 nailed those just as well. The gameplay itself was interesting and approachable. It wasn't RPG-tastic complexity, but it did tie into the story quite well. The graphics and artistic design were also extremely interesting and also tied well to the narrative.

So yes, I'll happily gobble up ME3 as soon as I can.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Chewbaccawacca » Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:38 pm UTC

Yeah, last I heard it's coming out early March, little over a month away. I'm interested to see how you're going to be able to fight back the Reapers without the use of a deus ex machina. Especially after
Spoiler:
the trouble you had fighting Soverign on a ship to ship basis
at the end of ME (not sure if that needed a spoiler, but just to be on the safe side).

It looks good, but only time will tell if EA's newfound dominance over Bioware will negatively affect the ME IP. I hope the multiplayer isn't totally ridiculous...

...cause, I don't know, it seems silly...
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby An Enraged Platypus » Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:46 pm UTC

mosc wrote:Hell yes I'm excited. I'm famous in my circle of friends for my adamant recommendations of ME2. I think ME2 was one of the top 10 games ever made and certainly the top game of it's generation. The narrative direction was just so refreshingly deep and such a substantial improvement compared to every other video game ever made. I was immersed in the character so deeply and actually cared about relationships between characters. Just amazing. There are lots of technical and gameplay requirements for maintaining that immersion through an interactive medium like a video game too. ME2 nailed those just as well. The gameplay itself was interesting and approachable. It wasn't RPG-tastic complexity, but it did tie into the story quite well. The graphics and artistic design were also extremely interesting and also tied well to the narrative.

So yes, I'll happily gobble up ME3 as soon as I can.


At the risk of igniting a religious war, I preferred ME1's more in depth skill trees and darker feel, as well as its more tactical combat. In ME1 biotics and tech abilities worked as crowd control to be used when otherwise deadly attacks were used (charging Krogan used to be a oneshot on anyone in the party), and all abilities had separate cooldowns to reflect this. Health regenerated at a very slow rate and shields recharged considerably slower, forcing you to play to your shield strength and plan ahead. Enemies used crowd control powers against you and would liberally try to dampen your electronics or overload your weapons. Indiviual weapons or armour could be customised on-the-fly to do more damage against geth or organics, or to better resist biological/toxin attacks, or to have higher shield capacity against projectile heavy encounters. Stats meant something insofar as your (non-sniper) shots were not targeted FPS style but instead effectively rolled to hit with scaling penalties for shots fired and bonuses for your stance; cooldowns were required to be able to be John Rambo a la ME2 and these were best hoarded like a miser. Instead of ammo, ME1 had heat buildup on your weapons as you fired, and if your overheated your weapon it would jam for several seconds, again forcing intelligent choices in when and how much to fire. ME2's introduction of standard FPS mechanics and ammo, and its comparatively bland enemies and rock-paper-scissors biotics/tech don't hold a candle to it. Don't get me wrong, I loved ME2 as a FPS and felt immersed in the world, but it was not spiritually a sequel to ME1. It is an FPS set in the ME1 world.

Moreover, the story in ME1 is much deeper than in ME2. I won't spoil it, but I will say it had some genuinely good twists to it and a solid depth and weight. ME2, by contrast, feels a little cheesy and reliant on deus ex machina in places.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby An Enraged Platypus » Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:47 pm UTC

Chewbaccawacca wrote:
Spoiler:
the trouble you had fighting Soverign on a ship to ship basis
at the end of ME (not sure if that needed a spoiler, but just to be on the safe side).


Spoiler:
Two words: thanix cannon.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby SirBryghtside » Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:58 pm UTC

I'm... conflicted on this game. I'm probably going to buy it, but literally everything they've said about it so far has made me more and more worried. Still, it's Mass Effect. Missing 3'd be like leaving a Lord Of The Rings marathon at Towers.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Chewbaccawacca » Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:39 pm UTC

SirBryghtside wrote:I'm... conflicted on this game. I'm probably going to buy it, but literally everything they've said about it so far has made me more and more worried. Still, it's Mass Effect. Missing 3'd be like leaving a Lord Of The Rings marathon at Towers.


I agree with you on many points, though as for what I've heard about the "3 different ways to play" (RPG, Shooter, Movie) I'm tentatively hopeful. Admittedly almost all of that hope falls on the RPG corner of the game. But still, it's there.

An Enraged Platypus wrote:
Chewbaccawacca wrote:
Spoiler:
the trouble you had fighting Soverign on a ship to ship basis
at the end of ME (not sure if that needed a spoiler, but just to be on the safe side).


Spoiler:
Two words: thanix cannon.


Totally forgot about that... ...*cough*deusexmachina*cough*
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Belial » Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:54 pm UTC

Chewbaccawacca wrote:Totally forgot about that... ...*cough*deusexmachina*cough*


Eh, I don't really think stealing the enemy's tech and using it against them is terribly deus ex. It's more...the only smart thing to do, when confronted with a vastly technologically superior enemy.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Chewbaccawacca » Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:11 pm UTC

Agreed, but for me it seemed too easy. Or perhaps too convenient, as if they were like; "We need a super weapon!" "Uhhhh, here take this one!" "Awesome! Thanks!"

Though truthfully I has been a while since I've played ME2. Perhaps I'm remembering it wrong.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby An Enraged Platypus » Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:28 pm UTC

Chewbaccawacca wrote:Agreed, but for me it seemed too easy. Or perhaps too convenient, as if they were like; "We need a super weapon!" "Uhhhh, here take this one!" "Awesome! Thanks!"

Though truthfully I has been a while since I've played ME2. Perhaps I'm remembering it wrong.


Spoiler:
It's more like: "Hey, Garrus, can you hook us up with better weapons?"

"Sure, have Soverign's main gun, we spent the last two years reverse engineering it"

*brofist*
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Endless Mike » Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:35 pm UTC

Chewbaccawacca wrote:
SirBryghtside wrote:I'm... conflicted on this game. I'm probably going to buy it, but literally everything they've said about it so far has made me more and more worried. Still, it's Mass Effect. Missing 3'd be like leaving a Lord Of The Rings marathon at Towers.


I agree with you on many points, though as for what I've heard about the "3 different ways to play" (RPG, Shooter, Movie) I'm tentatively hopeful. Admittedly almost all of that hope falls on the RPG corner of the game. But still, it's there.

These are literally settings when you start the game. Action mode will remove the story choices from you (presumably putting it through the canon story), Story mode removes most of the fighting and/or puts it on Easy but you can still play the story as usual, and RPG mode is just Mass Effect as expected.

I'm excited for this game, and have been trying to avoid much information about it, but it pops up here and there.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby mosc » Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:54 pm UTC

An Enraged Platypus wrote:At the risk of igniting a religious war, I preferred ME1's more in depth skill trees and darker feel, as well as its more tactical combat. In ME1 biotics and tech abilities worked as crowd control to be used when otherwise deadly attacks were used (charging Krogan used to be a oneshot on anyone in the party), and all abilities had separate cooldowns to reflect this. Health regenerated at a very slow rate and shields recharged considerably slower, forcing you to play to your shield strength and plan ahead. Enemies used crowd control powers against you and would liberally try to dampen your electronics or overload your weapons. Indiviual weapons or armour could be customised on-the-fly to do more damage against geth or organics, or to better resist biological/toxin attacks, or to have higher shield capacity against projectile heavy encounters. Stats meant something insofar as your (non-sniper) shots were not targeted FPS style but instead effectively rolled to hit with scaling penalties for shots fired and bonuses for your stance; cooldowns were required to be able to be John Rambo a la ME2 and these were best hoarded like a miser. Instead of ammo, ME1 had heat buildup on your weapons as you fired, and if your overheated your weapon it would jam for several seconds, again forcing intelligent choices in when and how much to fire. ME2's introduction of standard FPS mechanics and ammo, and its comparatively bland enemies and rock-paper-scissors biotics/tech don't hold a candle to it. Don't get me wrong, I loved ME2 as a FPS and felt immersed in the world, but it was not spiritually a sequel to ME1. It is an FPS set in the ME1 world.

Moreover, the story in ME1 is much deeper than in ME2. I won't spoil it, but I will say it had some genuinely good twists to it and a solid depth and weight. ME2, by contrast, feels a little cheesy and reliant on deus ex machina in places.
I actually don't disagree with most of that. ME1 was a more RPG-tastic game and I agree the story had more depth. However, the immersion was nothing special. The ME1 game played like a good RPG with guns/tech rather than swords/magic in much the same way. Lots of RPG's have great stories, and ME1 was no different. What made ME2 so special to me though was not it's overwhelming success in the typical RPG strengths of customization/depth/story, but it's strengths in NARRATIVE and THEME. I agree the combat was simpler and the story more straightforward than the original. Those "weaknesses" helped keep the focus on the narrative in a way that has never been equaled by any game. ME2 was not a traditional RPG. It was something different and something dramatically fresh and interesting. It was interactive storytelling in a way gamers like to talk about, but video games rarely achieve even in small doses.

I think Skyrim borrowed some nice dramatic elements from ME2. I also see some of the same formula attempted with companions in SW:TOR. These are both more traditional games for their Genres though. ME2 was truly the most narrative driven game to date.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Chewbaccawacca » Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:19 pm UTC

Well here's to hoping they strike a ballance with the narative drive of 2 with the playability and overarching plot of 1. Bake on high for 2 years and deliver!
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby SecondTalon » Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:56 pm UTC

The more and more I read about ME3, the less and less interested I become. I was a pass (But might get it if it's like, $10 or something) before reading this thread... I'm now more in an active pass (as in Skip completely).

I liked ME1. I liked ME2. I'm just... really.. really not interested in what they're doing. It probably has a lot to do with my complete aversion to multiplayer games.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Chewbaccawacca » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:13 pm UTC

I understand what you mean. I plan on trying the multiplayer Beta when it opens later this month. Hopefully it won't be the complete cluster that it seems to be. My mind is hinging on the idea that at worst it will be a non-entity (like the multiplayer for Dead Space 2) and at best a new way to get people who haven't played the previous titles into the universe. Introducing the games to others as it would be.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby omgryebread » Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:39 am UTC

Both games so far have struck me as pretty shallow, combat-wise. ME2 is more commonly thought of as the shallow one, but at least it's weapons have variety. In ME1, it's pretty much all math to pick the better weapon. In ME2, the weapons act vastly different, and you might actually debate between the Viper and the Widow (and then choose the Widow because it's awesome. DLC also really broke this in some cases, because goddamn the Locust is good.) Either way, in both games, the variety kinda went out the window because you could really easily roll over stuff however you played.

I'll probably get (or play a roommate's copy of) ME 3, but I'm not really that excited.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Belial » Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:00 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:It probably has a lot to do with my complete aversion to multiplayer games.


Two things about the multiplayer:

1) It's not halo-style deathmatch, it's basically multiplayer co-op. You roll up a team of 2-4 soldiers of various races (human, krogan, turian, salarian, drell, and asari have been mentioned) and then go fight through battles in other parts of the galactic war than the parts shepard is seeing to. So it is basically a way to grab your buddies and go shoot some reapers or whatever.

2) It's completely nonessential to the single player plot, and you are fully able to just ignore that it's there if you want. It was added by EA to reduce resale of the game (because the used market causes money-hemorrhage) but if you don't want it, no worries. Don't play it.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Xanthir » Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:06 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:The more and more I read about ME3, the less and less interested I become. I was a pass (But might get it if it's like, $10 or something) before reading this thread... I'm now more in an active pass (as in Skip completely).

I liked ME1. I liked ME2. I'm just... really.. really not interested in what they're doing. It probably has a lot to do with my complete aversion to multiplayer games.

ME3 is about as much a multiplayer game as Saints Row 3 is. They both have some sort of multiplayer mode that's completely irrelevant to the real game.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby SirBryghtside » Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:51 pm UTC

omgryebread wrote:Both games so far have struck me as pretty shallow, combat-wise. ME2 is more commonly thought of as the shallow one, but at least it's weapons have variety. In ME1, it's pretty much all math to pick the better weapon. In ME2, the weapons act vastly different, and you might actually debate between the Viper and the Widow (and then choose the Widow because it's awesome. DLC also really broke this in some cases, because goddamn the Locust is good.) Either way, in both games, the variety kinda went out the window because you could really easily roll over stuff however you played.

I'll probably get (or play a roommate's copy of) ME 3, but I'm not really that excited.

ME3's gameplay is almost exactly the same as the second's. I played it at EuroGamer, and cannot emphasise enough how little has changed.

Personally I thought that while there were a few different weapons in ME2, the actual variety within those groups was severely lacking. Every category (sniper rifle, assault rifle, shotgun etc) had straight upgrades as you progressed. No choice at all. I think they are going to do something about that, though.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby JudeMorrigan » Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:17 pm UTC

An Enraged Platypus wrote:
Chewbaccawacca wrote:Agreed, but for me it seemed too easy. Or perhaps too convenient, as if they were like; "We need a super weapon!" "Uhhhh, here take this one!" "Awesome! Thanks!"

Though truthfully I has been a while since I've played ME2. Perhaps I'm remembering it wrong.


Spoiler:
It's more like: "Hey, Garrus, can you hook us up with better weapons?"

"Sure, have Soverign's main gun, we spent the last two years reverse engineering it"

*brofist*

Isn't it more like:
Spoiler:
It's more like: "Hey, Garrus, can you hook us up with better weapons?"

"Sure, have Soverign's main gun, we spent the last two years reverse engineering it"

"Now leave me alone so I can perform some calibrations."
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby An Enraged Platypus » Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:32 pm UTC

JudeMorrigan wrote:
Spoiler:
It's more like: "Hey, Garrus, can you hook us up with better weapons?"

"Sure, have Soverign's main gun, we spent the last two years reverse engineering it"

"Now leave me alone so I can perform some calibrations."


Spoiler:
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby SecondTalon » Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:37 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
SexyTalon wrote:It probably has a lot to do with my complete aversion to multiplayer games.

2) It's completely nonessential to the single player plot, and you are fully able to just ignore that it's there if you want. It was added by EA to reduce resale of the game (because the used market causes money-hemorrhage) but if you don't want it, no worries. Don't play it.

Yeah, but.. it's EA. I trust them as far as I can throw them, which being a corporation means I'd have to throw a building (so not very far) or it means they're an intangible like Love or Justice, and how the hell do you throw an intangible anyway?

I mean, on the one hand I understand it's completely optional. So's the multiplayer in the Modern Warfare series. Doesn't mean it's not the point of the Modern Warfare series.

Ah, well.. I'm probably just being grumpy and not liking new things.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Faithful » Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:48 pm UTC

To quote the greatest fictional president of all time, Mr. Jack Ryan.

"The older you get, the less you like change. Last week, Starbucks stopped selling my favorite roast. Threw me off for days"

Change happens. While I am indifferent about the change in ME3, I will be pre ordering it because the plot is awesome, the character depth is spectacular, and I want to date Ashley again*

* - Also, Jack, Tali, Miranda are also on the plate. Hello, 4 playthroughs.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Belial » Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:04 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:I mean, on the one hand I understand it's completely optional. So's the multiplayer in the Modern Warfare series. Doesn't mean it's not the point of the Modern Warfare series.


Well, yeah, and that's the difference. It might be EA, but it's still bioware. The single player and storyline is basically always going to be the point of these games, the multiplayer is just tacked on.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Xanthir » Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:36 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:
Belial wrote:
SexyTalon wrote:It probably has a lot to do with my complete aversion to multiplayer games.

2) It's completely nonessential to the single player plot, and you are fully able to just ignore that it's there if you want. It was added by EA to reduce resale of the game (because the used market causes money-hemorrhage) but if you don't want it, no worries. Don't play it.

Yeah, but.. it's EA. I trust them as far as I can throw them, which being a corporation means I'd have to throw a building (so not very far) or it means they're an intangible like Love or Justice, and how the hell do you throw an intangible anyway?

I mean, on the one hand I understand it's completely optional. So's the multiplayer in the Modern Warfare series. Doesn't mean it's not the point of the Modern Warfare series.

Ah, well.. I'm probably just being grumpy and not liking new things.

All those war games are multiplayer games that happen to have singleplayer modes (of varying quality) bolted on. ME3 (and other games, like SR3) are single-player games that happen to have multiplayer modes (of varying quality) bolted on.

You're just being grumpy. ^_^
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Xanthir » Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:38 pm UTC

Faithful wrote:Change happens. While I am indifferent about the change in ME3, I will be pre ordering it because the plot is awesome, the character depth is spectacular, and I want to date Ashley again*

* - Also, Jack, Tali, Miranda are also on the plate. Hello, 4 playthroughs.

I would pay $5 a pop for daily "A day in the life of Shep" DLCs. I don't even care. I just need more Shep.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Chewbaccawacca » Fri Feb 03, 2012 5:51 pm UTC

Is anybody else thinking about trying the multiplayer beta in a couple weeks here? Maybe we can get an XKCD squad together to test the waters and then report back to the fori our findings on the feasibilty and execution of a ME multiplayer?
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby maybeagnostic » Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:33 pm UTC

How can I get on the beta? I'd definitely be interested in trying it out.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Chewbaccawacca » Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:46 pm UTC

Well, I got an invite with my copy of Battlefield 3. Kinda like the Reach beta with ODST. Not sure if there are other methods to get them...
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Obby » Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:32 pm UTC

I really don't have too much of an interest in the multiplayer. I didn't care that ME1 and 2 didn't have multiplayer, and I doubt I'll want to play it just because it's there in 3.

Also: new video as of a few days ago! Voice cast reveal video, with... Freddie Prinze Jr?
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Ghostbear » Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:45 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Yeah, but.. it's EA. I trust them as far as I can throw them, which being a corporation means I'd have to throw a building (so not very far) or it means they're an intangible like Love or Justice, and how the hell do you throw an intangible anyway?

I mean, on the one hand I understand it's completely optional. So's the multiplayer in the Modern Warfare series. Doesn't mean it's not the point of the Modern Warfare series.

Ah, well.. I'm probably just being grumpy and not liking new things.

Well, if you're grumpy and don't like new things, neither do I. While it's true that the multiplayer is optional and single player will almost certainly be the focus, that's still development time, money, bug testing, etc. that could have been spent making the single player better. Adding multiplayer to the game is not done with zero cost to the single player portion.

While ME2 was fun, I found it to be very disappointing in relation to ME1. There were a lot of things that needed to be cleaned up or improved upon (inventory and combat come to mind), but instead of fixing them, they either tossed them out the window or simplified them so much that a lot of the uniqueness or depth of the ME was lost. Every bit of news I hear about ME3 seems to make feel that EA/Bioware are jealous of the massive sales that many shooters get, and are trying to shoehorn the ME series into that genre, since ME1 had some similarities.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Belial » Sun Feb 05, 2012 6:34 pm UTC

I didn't find that the inventory added to the "uniqueness" of ME1 at all. Quite the contrary, I felt like it was only there because someone at bioware said "This is an RPG and all RPGs have fiddly inventories, therefore we need to have a fiddly inventory", without considering whether it actually added to the gaming experience in any way. On the path to making ME its own game, I was happy to see that inventory system fall behind. I'm less interested in ME falling within a specific genre, and more interested in it being fun.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby WarDaft » Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:07 pm UTC

I too was glad to see that inventory system go. I was still sad to see absolutely nothing to replace it though.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Ghostbear » Sun Feb 05, 2012 8:05 pm UTC

Belial wrote:I didn't find that the inventory added to the "uniqueness" of ME1 at all. Quite the contrary, I felt like it was only there because someone at bioware said "This is an RPG and all RPGs have fiddly inventories, therefore we need to have a fiddly inventory", without considering whether it actually added to the gaming experience in any way. On the path to making ME its own game, I was happy to see that inventory system fall behind. I'm less interested in ME falling within a specific genre, and more interested in it being fun.

I did say uniqueness or depth however! :)

Actually, even saying that, I disagree. The inventory (along with the skills being more complicated and having an effect on shooting) was part of what made Mass Effect an RPG/Shooter hybrid- which was very unique (I can only think of Deus Ex and System Shock 2 for other RPG/shooters, and both of those play very differently from Mass Effect). Stripping those bits out or dumbing them down has, taken all together, removed most of the RPG from the RPG/Shooter hybrid. Now it's more Guns & Conversation, as I've seen others put it. There's nothing wrong with enjoying it, and it's still got some uniqueness, but it's been drifting more and more towards the shooter side, and has been feeling less unique as a consequence. I thought ME1 was a much more standout game, unlike others that I have played, than ME2 was. Beyond that, I liked the story more, the presentation of the story, most of the characters (except Kaiden and Ashley, fuck those people) were more interesting and fleshed out (however, special props goes to Samara, I found her interesting), even the combat mechanics were more enjoyable to me. So when I hear that ME3 is moving further down the path of ME2, I'm going to be disappointed; it can still be a good game, but for my purposes, it will be much less than it potentially could have.

Speaking to the inventory- yes, the inventory in ME1 was crap and unnecessarily clunky. They should have fixed it, made it better- made it not clunky- instead of just excising it all together. Frequently, less is more, but sometimes, less is just plain old less. I think removing the inventory was the latter.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Belial » Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:05 pm UTC

I never felt like fiddly inventory systems added "role-playing" to roleplaying games. They're things you sometimes find *in* roleplaying games, but they don't make an otherwise non-rpg game into an rpg-*anything* hybrid. Any more than painting your 2 horsepower moped red makes it go faster or shoving feathers up your ass makes you a chicken. At best, it makes it more reminiscent of the shitty miniatures wargames that got last-second modified into roleplaying games back in the dark past.

What makes it a roleplaying game are the parts where you play a role. The "conversations" part of "guns and conversations". The quests, the story, the branching dialogue and free exploration. That's all roleplaying game. An inventory management system is just paint.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby SirBryghtside » Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:12 pm UTC

While playing ME1, I remember thinking that the inventory would be completely fine if there was an option to select a group of items to Omni-Gel them, like shift-clicking. That would make inventory management take about 3 seconds and be no less 'deep'.

And about the whole 'definition of an RPG' thing - I'm fairly certain a discussion I started on this got turned into a topic once, but the way I see it the term 'RPG' started out as 'plays like DnD'. Then it started to branch out into... whatever the hell it wants to be, so long as there's choice, or it plays like DnD. There are a lot of subgenres, and ME2 all but ditched the original one, but pretty much defining the one which involves story choices and character development. Apart from the Paragon/Renegade system. I hate the Paragon/Renegade system.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Belial » Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:19 pm UTC

the way I see it the term 'RPG' started out as 'plays like DnD'


I hate that definition of RPG almost as much as I hate the definition of "Fantasy" that goes "reads like Tolkien". D&D was one way to do an RPG, and it was itself an endstage modification of a strategic wargame. If your professed rpg has bits of strategic wargame still stuck to it, all that tells me is that it's very likely you mindlessly ripped off elements of D&D without really understanding why those elements are there and what they're doing. There are a looot of other ways to do roleplaying, and if you've chosen "like D&D" I'm curious to know why that was the best choice for the game you're making.

I really think, for ME1, the only reason was "because that's what we've always done. We still have NWN in our teeth and it shows". ME2 wasn't them dumbing down or losing their way, it was them shaking free of doing shit just because they've always done it that way.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby Ghostbear » Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:33 pm UTC

Belial wrote:I never felt like fiddly inventory systems added "role-playing" to roleplaying games. They're things you sometimes find *in* roleplaying games, but they don't make an otherwise non-rpg game into an rpg-*anything* hybrid. Any more than painting your 2 horsepower moped red makes it go faster or shoving feathers up your ass makes you a chicken. At best, it makes it more reminiscent of the shitty miniatures wargames that got last-second modified into roleplaying games back in the dark past.

The inventory system isn't going to be the make or break decision between "RPG" and "Not RPG", nor does it need to be "fiddly" (I specifically called for them to fix it in my post!). Taken as part of the total changes they made- removing character skill from shooting, simplifying the skill system, removing the inventory (and with it, severely limiting your ability to define and differentiate your character with equipment)- it does help subtract from the RPG part of the hybrid. None of those individually define it, but they are part, and they did take all of those actions. The problem wasn't that it didn't have a complicated inventory- ME1's inventory was needlessly complicated- but that they removed it completely. You can have a simple inventory that adds to the game positively, and I think they took the absolute wrong path of fixing the horrible inventory of ME1.

Belial wrote:What makes it a roleplaying game are the parts where you play a role. The "conversations" part of "guns and conversations". The quests, the story, the branching dialogue and free exploration. That's all roleplaying game. An inventory management system is just paint.

I feel this very much depends on your definition of "role-playing game". If you use a literal interpretation, then you're entirely correct. If you use the vernacular, then a role-playing game is one that follows a specific archetype, with some variation, but in general people will expect character levels, skills, experience points, and yes, even an inventory. You don't need all of them, but generally people will expect most of them to label it an RPG. Going by a literal interpretation just gives you practically every game being an RPG, just with some of them giving you very little room to define that role. I don't think that's a particularly useful definition, even if it is technically more logical.
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Postby omgryebread » Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:37 am UTC

Ghostbear wrote:The inventory system isn't going to be the make or break decision between "RPG" and "Not RPG", nor does it need to be "fiddly" (I specifically called for them to fix it in my post!). Taken as part of the total changes they made- removing character skill from shooting, simplifying the skill system, removing the inventory (and with it, severely limiting your ability to define and differentiate your character with equipment)- it does help subtract from the RPG part of the hybrid. None of those individually define it, but they are part, and they did take all of those actions. The problem wasn't that it didn't have a complicated inventory- ME1's inventory was needlessly complicated- but that they removed it completely. You can have a simple inventory that adds to the game positively, and I think they took the absolute wrong path of fixing the horrible inventory of ME1.
The inventory in ME1 did absolutely nothing to differentiate between characters. There were guns, and then there were better guns. In ME2, a Geth Pulse Shotgun plays way different from a Claymore. A Widow and an Incisor are both valid choices, and really different in the way they play. ME1's inventory wasn't too complicated per se, but it was too complicated for how little it mattered. It reminds me of when I used to play Ragnarok Online and would have endless arguments about literally 2 points in vitality. (Which, to some extent with, I'm fine with in an MMO, but it's ridiculous for a shooter/RPG. I just made that word up.)

Ghostbear wrote:I feel this very much depends on your definition of "role-playing game". If you use a literal interpretation, then you're entirely correct. If you use the vernacular, then a role-playing game is one that follows a specific archetype, with some variation, but in general people will expect character levels, skills, experience points, and yes, even an inventory. You don't need all of them, but generally people will expect most of them to label it an RPG. Going by a literal interpretation just gives you practically every game being an RPG, just with some of them giving you very little room to define that role. I don't think that's a particularly useful definition, even if it is technically more logical.
I'm not sure that's so valid anymore. A whole lot of games have levels, skills, experience, and an inventory. Resident Evil has an inventory, and no one calls it an RPG. On the other hand, Monster Hunter also has items but no leveling, and it is indeed an RPG. The definition is pretty arbitrary. I like using "has extensive non-combat interactions outside of cutscenes, some non-linear play, and extensive leveling or gathering elements" but that excludes things people would call RPGs Final Fantasy XIII stands out in particular. Though I'm quite willing to say that particular game is genre-breaking and doesn't fit cleanly into RPG or anything else. Heavy Rain is also a good example of a hard-to-fit game.
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