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Mass Effect BioWare Montreal's Mass Effect: Andromeda - where element zero meets trisomy 21

Discussion in 'BioWare' started by Dexter, Mar 21, 2017.

  1. Cael Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck

    Cael
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    There is also the "new setting" trap. You spend a lot of the first game of the franchise explaining everything in the setting. The history, the faction relations, the game mechanics, the legends, etc. That takes up a lot of the gameplay and writing, and easily distracts from the fact that the game itself is pretty barebones or formulaic.

    The subsequent games in the franchise no longer has that shield, and so the weakness of storytelling, gameplay, pacing or lack of consistency shows up and piles on.

    Dragon Age went through the same thing, which is why after DAO, the franchise shat itself.
     
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  2. The Dutch Ghost Savant

    The Dutch Ghost
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    Indeed Cael, at that point you can no longer fully depend on established lore and elements or just continue on those. You (well I mean the writer of such a project) will have to bring in new elements to keep the setting dynamic or alive but these elements need to feel that they fit in with the previous material.

    And like you said, the writers will have expand on the now and the future and not just what happened in the past.
    We see that with almost every IP these days. Writers have to respect the past and expand on it and bring in new elements, but they should not be too beholden to the past and start recycling it or completely throw it out and replace it (while still using elements of the past ideas and concepts and pretend these are new).
    Perhaps I am going a little too meta or bullshit with this, but honestly I mean finding a good balance with setup lore and introducing new lore and not getting either too comfortable with relying on old stuff and references to it or fully going new lore/elements and loose the people that were attracted by the original concepts and ideas and stuck around for the followup game, book, or whatever media.

    Every case is different but with Mass Effect 2 as an example I can indeed also say that the pacing was terrible. The recruitment stuff was okay at first but it became the main meat of the game along with the loyalty missions.
    We got to see some good looking locations but there really wasn't that much to them once you had gone through them. Having locations (or in this case hubs with connected locations) that only exists for a few quests and some NPCs to talk with is not uncommon, not every location can be a major place you return to frequently.
    But all these little hub locations don't constitute real world building, I would even say that perhaps a few less of them and just a couple of large locations that bring these spread out elements together might have been better such as all the NPCs writers want us to talk to.
    Making the small hubs more open world would not have made them better if the content remains sparse or lacking.

    With the side missions it was more clear that these were single visit mostly linear experiences where you only get to go once.
    Hell, it might have been better if we had more of those to be used as world building/showing places in the universe and cut back on the little hub locations.
    Edit: or would it perhaps have worked better if the single visit areas/places in ME2 had been centered more around the hub locations?
    I am mostly talking about this from the point of how the pacing/progress could have been improved.

    The storyline with the Collectors was "just there", occasionally once we have recruited certain companions or reached a required number the game told us that we had to go after the Collectors who are such a major threat to the human colonies, but whom we outside these missions and the endgame never really encounter or learn much from.
    That last is not bad if done well, leaving an enemy mysterious and unknown but that was not the case in ME2 in which the Collectors are suppose to be enemy we have to learn as much as possible about as we plant go to their homeworld.
    I sometimes wondered during ME2 how some of the characters managed to learn new information about the Collectors when we encountered them only a few times in the flesh.
    Did they leave diaries or databases behind I never saw myself but my companions went through?
    The designers should have put the Collectors into the side missions as well if they wanted to hype this species up, or just completely ditch them.

    I have been actually wondering if ME might not have worked better if it had ditched the whole Reapers-Collectors stuff and Cerberus just being some human supremacy organization that is collecting alien technology and genetics and doing experiments on humans and aliens to create weapons and technologies to make humanity (with them running the show of course) the dominant species.
    No ancient alien threats other than what people can take from ruins, wrecks in space, and lost alien homeworlds and colonies.
    Like people here also suggested, a space cop storyline with a more personal story interwoven into it rather than a grand epic space opera storylines of civilizations have to get together to protect themselves and other worlds from a periodically returning all mysterious evil.

    Dammit, I wanted to talk about the inconsistencies in the series Cael also brought up but this is already getting ridiculously long and I feel I have been talking out of my ass again in broken English to sound more enlightened or intellectual.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2021
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  3. Yosharian Magister

    Yosharian
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    Nah the Reapers were an amazing idea initially. It's just that the series was put in the hands of writers that didn't know what they were doing. In ME2 the series lost focus on the 'space exploration' and old-school sci-fi concepts that ME1 was grounded in, and, as much as I love the Terminator references, I'll admit they are a bit hokey. And in ME3 the story and character development just went off the rails completely, not to mention the gameplay going full retard.
     
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  4. The Dutch Ghost Savant

    The Dutch Ghost
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    The thing with the Reapers, the writers had to decide with if they wanted the reapers to remain incomprehensible and something intelligence on our level would never be able to understand, so also not Sovereign addressing Shepard directly and boasting about itself and its kind.
    Or that the Reapers can be understood, that their reasons and motivations are comprehensible and can even be counter-argued. Not so much as gods but rather single minded machines like they eventually turned out to be in ME3.
    Ugh, what I forgot to add was, the writers not making them out to be returning ancient alien gods that created everything.

    Like we have been discussing, this is a problem that occurs when a game series switches writers per entry.

    Also this... obsession with making everything including any mystery comprehensible to humans. Like wanting to "ground" everything.
    The idea with something truly alien is that we can't understand it or really understand it, perhaps just getting glimpses or hints but never a clear picture.
    But I think that that is a little beyond the scope of space opera, we are getting a bit into the realm of hard sci fi with this in which the Other truly is something disturbing because us humans/baselines can't understand it, making it frightening.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2021
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  5. Theldaran Liturgist

    Theldaran
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    I can understand that ME1 was pretty underwhelming, I struggled to complete it. But it was very successful, and possibly the most promising out of the 4.

    Yes, a bit of the same happened with DA:O... But both were mostly playable while the sequels are... ugh...
     
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  6. Yosharian Magister

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    I got chills when I met the Reaper in ME1. The Collectors freaked me out in ME2. In ME3 I was utterly bored.
     
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  7. The Dutch Ghost Savant

    The Dutch Ghost
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    I think the Collectors were more interesting as a concept than what their execution ended up as.

    I am trying to think up why Mass Effect 3 was such a disappointment.
    Well one of the reasons is definitely all the nonsense with Cerberus. The plot in Mass Effect 2 with them should never have been done other than that the writers thought it be exciting that the player now works together with the unethical renegade black ops/secret organization because they sound cool.
     
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  8. HansDampf Arcane

    HansDampf
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    Noticeable difference between the confrontation with Sovereign in ME1 and this exchange with Harbinger at the end of The Arrival DLC of ME2.
    Show Spoiler



    Why does he even know Shepard's name, lol?
     
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  9. The Dutch Ghost Savant

    The Dutch Ghost
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    Good question, why did Shepard matter so much to Harbinger and the other Reapers?
    Shepard and the others mostly learned about the Reapers through Sovereign and his agents' incompetence.
    Had they played it smarter Shepard had just come over as some nut to the council and the human governments with his paranoid delusions of ancient alien killer machines that are returning.

    Him managing to defeat Sovereign and his agents was not because Shepard was that necessarily more intelligent, cunning, and resourceful.

    Harbinger should not even give a fuck about this single baseline bipedal organism. It is physically not interesting and if it is such a problem, drop a fucking bomb on it or an asteroid.

    They say good is stupid. Well it seems evil took that as a challenge and seeks to outdo it.
     
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  10. samuraigaiden Liturgist

    samuraigaiden
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    RPG Wokedex
    Never played any ME game. I have a morbid curiosity about Andromeda, but I'm afraid I'd just be bored to death.
     
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  11. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
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    The shooty parts are surprisingly fun. Rest is meh to shit.
     
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  12. Latelistener Prophet

    Latelistener
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    Because it feels like a fanfic and overall a low effort. Even visuals were a bit worse than ME2.

    The story goes in a direction that had nothing to do with what they originally had in mind.

    Dying stars got no explanation, although originally the mass effect is what causing the stars to age faster and the reason for Reapers to do what they do.

    The human Reaper got no explanation, although Reapers supposedly found a solution in humans and it's the reason they were concentrated on them in ME2.
     
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  13. Cyberarmy Love fool Patron

    Cyberarmy
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    Those are my favorite parts as well.
     
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  14. J1M Arcane

    J1M
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    Yes. Reapers should not have been the antagonists of 3 games. They just can't stay mysterious for that long.

    Collectors without any reaper involvement would have worked better for ME2. Wouldn't take a lot of edits to do that either.

    Then ME3 could lean more heavily on the themes of exploration and frontier justice with a plot centered around opening a new mass relay instead of round 3 with the same antagonist.
     
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  15. Yosharian Magister

    Yosharian
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    Hmmm maybe. I just think that 'final showdown with the Reapers!' could have actually been a cool game instead of the piece of shit we got.
     
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  16. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
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    fact:
    if you think ME3 is bad because it has a shit ending, then you think nearly every RPG ever made is bad because it's a genre completely filled to the brim with shit endings
     
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  17. Yosharian Magister

    Yosharian
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    I think the whole of ME3 is shit, not just the ending
     
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  18. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
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    yes, well, your mom is shit
     
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  19. just Learned

    just
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    video games are shit
     
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  20. ekrolo2 Learned

    ekrolo2
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    Their insistence on making a trilogy is the problem. A logical story progression is to have the Reapers attack in the second one and climax the story there before they wear out their welcome. Or if it has to be a trilogy, make ME2s collector plot the first game with foreshadowing to something bigger coming, second is ME1 as we know it except it ends with Sovereign invading the citadel and letting the Reapers arrive and third game is fighting them off. As it stands, the Collector stuff feels like filler bullshit so a second game can exist without finishing 1s plot threads.
     
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  21. Aarwolf Novice

    Aarwolf
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    There's your answer:

    “However, I'm pretty sure those ideas are still property of BioWare, so even though I'm 100% certain they won't be used, I can't talk about them without getting some kind of permission.”

    They are in no position to say more nor show concept art, it's Bioware's property and no one will show anything done by former employees.
     
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  22. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
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    Can't expect a journalist to actually do a journalism, he might lose access to the company for statements/early reviews.
    This is perfectly normal behavior and not at all a sign of absolute rot in video games journalism.
     
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  23. J1M Arcane

    J1M
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    That's where the journalism job starts and the author contacts said company asking for a couple of images. Either leveraging the indirect Legendary Edition coverage, another puff piece angle, or just a simple personal contact so the article has some value.
     
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  24. J1M Arcane

    J1M
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    There's no reason it needs to be a reaper trilogy instead of a Shepard trilogy.

    It's so easy to come up with other ideas:
    ME1: Shepard proving himself and earning the Spectre designation.
    ME2: Rooting out corruption and internal affairs intrigue at the 1000 year old spy police
    ME3: Credibility established, Shepard takes on more of a leadership position leading a squad of other Spectres, trilogy ends with him retiring into a high level Director's job

    Or:
    ME1: Humanity joins the list of big players by earning a council seat
    ME2: Growing pains of a new empire
    ME3: Things come full circle and humanity is in the position of evaluating if another race should be elevated to full membership
     
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  25. RepHope Learned

    RepHope
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    The fucking hilarious thing is no one is cosplaying as the Angara or Khett anyway because they’re boring, nobody gave a flying fuck about them. Bioware has lost their fucking mind, COSPLAY is now a factor in making a game? That’s completely retarded.
     
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