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Default BioWare Investigating HUD Changes for Mass Effect 3

March 29th, 2011, 15:15
They could make a movie out of it !

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March 29th, 2011, 16:06
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
They could make a movie out of it !
Good idea we could make an avatar like film that takes 10 years to make and cost 500 million to make. Just imagine the profit that will roll in for the 3d film.

But seriously I think there was some talk about a movie but there hasnt been
any info on it it.

How can you streamline ME3 any more? They could get rid of the skill improvement and classes. And that's about it.
There you proved my point about Bioware. It already has. I suppose I'm just a picky old timer. The game is still fun.

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March 29th, 2011, 17:03
What a worthless way of spending development time… Immersive interface?

Is it really a big deal compared to creating interesting mechanics, a good story, meaningful encounters, engaging companions, and so on?

The interface in ME2 was perfectly fine… Just leave it the hell alone and work on what matters.

Dead Space is a nice little shooter - and it has some neat interface elements. How about not stealing from it - and do you own thing?

Oh well, that's my stance on the matter.
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March 29th, 2011, 18:21
ME2 was a letdown as it was supposed to provide the experience of a suicidal mission, dirty dozen like.
Its outcome was advertized as dubious for Sheppard, with death waiting at the corner.
Reality: the player has all the time he wishes to engage in every mundane side mission available, is seldom forced in situations and decides when to engage the final battle. Added to that, the gameplay was normalized to no casualties, meaning that the first run ends with zero, one, two or three casualties. Nothing of the expected suicide mission.

I doubt Bioware will get that right for the last opus of the Sheppard arc. This time, it is all about saving the universe from an ongoing invasion, with planet Earth at stake. I will be pleasantly surprised if some key decisions are taken from the player's hand, forcing to deal with events as they come and not when they are wanted to come.
I doubt it and I suspect that once again, you'll be free to roam with no time pressure hanging over your head.
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March 29th, 2011, 19:25
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
ME2 was a letdown as it was supposed to provide the experience of a suicidal mission, dirty dozen like.
Its outcome was advertized as dubious for Sheppard, with death waiting at the corner.
Reality: the player has all the time he wishes to engage in every mundane side mission available, is seldom forced in situations and decides when to engage the final battle. Added to that, the gameplay was normalized to no casualties, meaning that the first run ends with zero, one, two or three casualties. Nothing of the expected suicide mission.

I doubt Bioware will get that right for the last opus of the Sheppard arc. This time, it is all about saving the universe from an ongoing invasion, with planet Earth at stake. I will be pleasantly surprised if some key decisions are taken from the player's hand, forcing to deal with events as they come and not when they are wanted to come.
I doubt it and I suspect that once again, you'll be free to roam with no time pressure hanging over your head.
Oh please, that the problem between the urgency of the mission in dialog and fluff and the gameplay is always a problem. In Oblivion this supposed invasion can be over in 3 days or 300 years and nobody cares, in Fallout there is enough time to do every quest before time actually matters, in Gothic & Risen everyone waits for the player to act, etc.
At least Risen and Mass Effect 2 had a story structure based around this (need artifact, need to wait until we get more intel, etc). There could of course been a sense of greater urgency but that would make the game more linear (which I wouldn't complain about since it is a shooter/RPG and I don't care if I have to do area 1 before area 4 or the other way around).
My main problem with the story in ME2 is that it is to companion based. They should have focused more on the main story line. But since I actually liked the shooting and most of the companions I was fine with it.
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March 29th, 2011, 20:15
Quoting other examples of games suffering from the defect shows only that other games can be affected.

Totally right. Oblivion suffered from the very same defect. Double bind: players want to keep the upper hand on the story pace and still want to play high stakes. So it gives this kind of games.
A pain in Oblivion as the game graphics enticed to exploration but due to the story, hanging around destroyed the game cohesion. Misallocation of resources as Morrowind story would have gladly supported Oblivion graphical engine.

By today standards, time had to become a non factor in gaming to suit players'tastes.

This said, for ME2, it was a total destroyer. Mass effect 2 is supposed to be about a suicide mission with odds of returning safe very low (Sheppard's own chances to make it were advertized as low)
But as the devs failed to include a time constraint and let most of things happen by player's will.

No every game calls for a time constraint. DA 2 does not call for a time constraint. Baldur gates did not call for a time as the player collects bits that aggregated in the main plot, it was only at the end when the dots were connected that the emergency feeling emerged. Even though, if I remember well, secondary quests for some of them had a time limit.

ME2 called a time limit, a bomb ticking over the head of Sheppard. Being given as much time as possible kills the game. The evidence: once again, on first run, players lost 0, 1, 2 or 3 members out of twelve possible. Nothing like a suicide mission…
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March 29th, 2011, 21:54
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
As much as I love RPGs I can't imagine only playing RPGs. That would get stale really quick for me.
After playing FO3 for 2 months, first person shooters ARE very stale for me now.
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March 29th, 2011, 22:32
sorry to be blunt but only an idiot would pour countless hours into developing and encouraging dialog and exploration and then impose some king of time limit. only rts and onrails shooters can really fall into that category—mass effect is neither of those last time i checked.

just because companions don't die doesn't mean there's not loss. take a look at dragon age 2 and you'll see the bodies pile up of those around you, mainly of NPCs but still highly significant ones.

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March 30th, 2011, 08:17
Time limit is a loose word. To measure something, a rule is needed and a measuring unit is required. That is the basics of metrics.

If you look closely at ME 2 game design, such a thing was scheduled: the number of moves (jumps ) from one galaxy to another. Companions dialogues do not weight on that, accomplishing their loyaulty mission, yes. Non loyal companions risk to die during the last mission is significantly higher. Rejecting the loyalty mission is somehow sending the man to his death. It would have forced the player to make choice between the companions.

With multi sequential possiblities to reach the end, providing the exact number of jumps requires a finely tuned gameplay, one that has not be delivered for decades. Bioware took the path of the least effort, turned a suicide mission into a walk in the park, because it was the easiest gameplay to deliver on.

Fact is that ME2 is a major fail: told to offer a suicidal mission experience, the developpers did not take time to implement the most crucial element: the pressure one feels when in this situation.
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March 30th, 2011, 08:50
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
Fact is that ME2 is a major fail: told to offer a suicidal mission experience, the developpers did not take time to implement the most crucial element: the pressure one feels when in this situation.
That's an opinion, not a fact.
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March 30th, 2011, 09:10
Not on an opinion, a fact.

If you read the previous comments, it is shown how. But it is repeated here:

ME 2's devs set out the objectives for ME2. The game failing to meet the objectives defines failure. Failure/success is not an opinion, but a comparison of a state to previously announced objectives.

The game was told to provide a suicide mission experience, dirty dozen like. Dirty dozen ends with two survivors, if I remember well. There is the preparation to the mission and after that, the slaughter.
The game play was normalized on a perfect outcome so that the first run in the game usually ends with 0,1,2 or 3 casualties (so on the opposite side of the spectrum) making it a walk in the park.
It does not mean the game is not pleasurable to play. And it also means that players can disregard the general objectives of a game to focus on something else (hype)

Success/failure is not an opinion. It is a fact based on previously stated objectives. If the objectives are met, it is success. If not, failure. The path to the completion of objective might be tedious, enjoyable (here, a matter of opinion indeed)
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March 30th, 2011, 10:32
It depends on how you play it. I know a lot of people who lost half their party. Even doing every quest and getting upgrade I lost a party member.

In your OPINION that tension was not there, but for a lot of people it was.
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March 30th, 2011, 11:02
If you read what I wrote, you noticed that I associated tension/pressure with the suicidal mission. Tension might be for many reasons, including having a pregnant wife about to deliver. Pressure can also be built up fictional by magnifying a story or an event. See sports for that, matches sold as tense only through the skills of the commentator who invents dangerous game situations. Not the same kind of tension that comes with a suicidal mission.

I built my statistics on data collecting over a dozen of forums. The report of casualties was in majority up to three members. I did not find many who lost 6 members. Yourself, you report losing one party member. Far, far from the suicide mission feeling. If losing one member is a characteristic of suicide mission, ME 1 was a suicide mission.
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March 30th, 2011, 20:13
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
If you read what I wrote, you noticed that I associated tension/pressure with the suicidal mission. Tension might be for many reasons, including having a pregnant wife about to deliver. Pressure can also be built up fictional by magnifying a story or an event. See sports for that, matches sold as tense only through the skills of the commentator who invents dangerous game situations. Not the same kind of tension that comes with a suicidal mission.

I built my statistics on data collecting over a dozen of forums. The report of casualties was in majority up to three members. I did not find many who lost 6 members. Yourself, you report losing one party member. Far, far from the suicide mission feeling. If losing one member is a characteristic of suicide mission, ME 1 was a suicide mission.
I don't understand why the average being 3 or less means it had no tension. You wouldn't want to lose ANY crew, optimally, and the game makes it clear and known that you could lose a party member at any time. That provides tension, knowing you could lose one of your valuable party members at any time, or more than one.
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March 30th, 2011, 20:31
When? The only moment you can lose for real a member of your party is during the final mission.
If indeed this is the way you felt the tension in ME2, the tension you felt was created by hype (fearmongering) because the danger of losing a member once recruited exists only during the final mission, not any time. You got caught by the game propagating about situations that did not exist and building up artificially pressure.

The up to 3 casualties (the average is actually lower) shows that the game does not translate into a suicide mission, dirty dozen like.
And a suicide mission is a suicide mission. Yes, people do not want to die. That is why they do not volunteer for suicide missions. Still when on a suicide mission, the expectation is that there would be casualties and if the reference is dirty dozen, a lot.
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March 30th, 2011, 21:05
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
I built my statistics on data collecting over a dozen of forums. The report of casualties was in majority up to three members. I did not find many who lost 6 members. Yourself, you report losing one party member. Far, far from the suicide mission feeling.
The final result casuality-wise doesn´t tell much about the tension during the mission. Besides the silly terminator thing at the end, I think the mission was well presented and tension was definitely there.
Granted, everyone who´s a completionist is likely not to loose much, but that´s a reward for being a completionist. Even if one did everything "right" up to a certain point, there could still be quite surprising death of one party member (most likely Mordin). On the other hand, iirc completionists could also be penalized if they happened to have some side quests left after the abduction incident and tried to finish them instead of going for the mission right away (there were some exceptions).
At any rate, player´s actions did matter and that certainly counts for something.
Maybe it should´ve been more difficult to achieve perfect result and easier to have everyone dead (that´s actually way to difficult to achieve, heh), but, in principle, it was not fail. The tension was there.

If there was any fail, it wasn´t in the final mission itself, but in the event that preceded it (the whole squad leaving Normandy). And, well, the whole main story wasn´t all that hot either (rather sketchy and plot hole-y), but imo the game quite well made up for it with its semi-main segments (companion related missions) and more in-depth exploration of various factions.

Hopefully ME3´s storyline won´t make the series fall on its face and devs are taking decisions which could be made in the first two game seriously and taking their time to implement appropriate consequences.
Personally I´m quite worried about it as of now, given how DA2 dealt with player´s choices and all the pretty much retcon stuff in the recent Arrival DLC.


As for the HUD topic,
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
The interface in ME2 was perfectly fine… Just leave it the hell alone and work on what matters.
Agreed.
Seeing a health bar on the back of characters´ armor is neither practical (especially in a supposedly party based game), nor "immersive" - what is its in-game practicality anyway? Personally I find it more fourth-wall breaking than a "normal" HUD (though it may have worked well in the specific case of Dead State).
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March 30th, 2011, 22:19
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
When? The only moment you can lose for real a member of your party is during the final mission.
Well yeah, that is the suicide mission. They never said it was a suicide game all the way through or whatever.

I mean it would be cool if party members could die at any time, don't get me wrong. Some could die or turn on you in Dragon Age and that was cool. They didn't sell the game on that though, they sold it on building a team for a final suicide mission.
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March 30th, 2011, 23:05
Any time for me means any time during the game, not during the suicide mission exclusively.

They never said it was a suicide mission all the game and they failed to make it a suicide mission during the suicide mission stage.

The final result casuality-wise doesn´t tell much about the tension during the mission. Besides the silly terminator thing at the end, I think the mission was well presented and tension was definitely there.
Granted, everyone who´s a completionist is likely not to loose much, but that´s a reward for being a completionist. Even if one did everything "right" up to a certain point, there could still be quite surprising death of one party member (most likely Mordin). On the other hand, iirc completionists could also be penalized if they happened to have some side quests left after the abduction incident and tried to finish them instead of going for the mission right away (there were some exceptions).
At any rate, player´s actions did matter and that certainly counts for something.
Maybe it should´ve been more difficult to achieve perfect result and easier to have everyone dead (that´s actually way to difficult to achieve, heh), but, in principle, it was not fail. The tension was there.
Read previous posts. Nowhere, I stated that only suicide missions could create tension.
I stated that the tension was not the tension you can expect in the situation of a suicide mission. Yes, there could be tension by various means,during the last mission, Sheppard could receive an incom telling that he won the galatic lottery, only condition: he had to send a pic of a dog on the network. Searching for a dog during the last mission would create tension as you want Sheppard to grow rich.
Would never mean that the buit up tension comes from the special feeling of a suicide mission.

Being a completionist? Nope, I dont think most players are completionist. People usually take the normal walkthrough, which was to try to get the most of the game, which includes recruiting members and do their missions (ME 2 is also relatively short so…)

In principle, the game is a failure. It is supposed to deliver the experience of a suicide mission and it does not. It has nothing to do with tension.
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March 31st, 2011, 00:17
You don't seem to get that the game is a failure to YOU, not in principle. Your opinion is not fact to anyone other than yourself.
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March 31st, 2011, 01:31
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
You don't seem to get that the game is a failure to YOU, not in principle. Your opinion is not fact to anyone other than yourself.
So true every gamer had different opinions about every game. Problem is some are to vocal and swing both between love and hate. Sort of like an alignment system love,hate,and neutral. It makes lively discussions as everyone has a opinion good or bad.

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