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Default Mass Effect 3 - Twice the dialogue of the first two games?

October 14th, 2011, 22:01
Meh Bioware can kiss my ass. Every game they make gets a instant seal of approval and how dare anyone criticize them.

There Pr department deserves a kick in the ass as they are one of the reasons for the internet hate.

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October 15th, 2011, 00:09
There isn't really any character progression in Mass Effect since the stats don't make any difference to how well your character does in combat and the only thing they do is give you some abilities. Character progression is one aspect that is required for a game to be an rpg especially since a role-play game is a game of role-playing. (you can't role-play without character progression)
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October 15th, 2011, 01:22
That's not true at all. Character progression in ME gives passive bonuses like increased sniper rifle damage and health, as well as active bonuses like new abilities that get increasingly strong as you put points into them. It has a huge effect on how you do in combat.

Originally Posted by guenthar View Post
There isn't really any character progression in Mass Effect since the stats don't make any difference to how well your character does in combat and the only thing they do is give you some abilities. Character progression is one aspect that is required for a game to be an rpg especially since a role-play game is a game of role-playing. (you can't role-play without character progression)
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October 15th, 2011, 08:29
Originally Posted by guenthar View Post
There isn't really any character progression in Mass Effect since the stats don't make any difference to how well your character does in combat and the only thing they do is give you some abilities. Character progression is one aspect that is required for a game to be an rpg especially since a role-play game is a game of role-playing. (you can't role-play without character progression)
As was pointed out there are passive stat-like effects gained from many ability/skill selections but I think this definition of "character" is woefully incomplete. The abilities and relative effectiveness of your character (as opposed to your skill as a player) is the practical task-oriented aspect. The degree of complexity and stratification here is less than in some other games though the aspect of character development through adjusting and improving the quantitative effectiveness of your character is certainly still present.

In terms of it being a role-playing game the inherent abilities/stats side is arguably the shallower aspect when compared to the development of who your character is. The development and presentation of character identity involves the game recognizing and reacting to the accumulated choices made by the person playing that role. The Mass Effect series - and Bioware RPGs in general - have tended to do a better job than most in that regard. The only company that is consistently more ambitious in providing for this side of character development is Obsidian - and I suspect the inherent complexity of their ambitions is partly responsible for the difficulty they always seem to have in squashing quest and scripting related bugs.
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October 15th, 2011, 09:32
Too many narrow-minded elitists here who think that every game which is not PS:T is a failure. You can't be seriously expecting companies to spend dozens of millions to create games for a tiny niche of players…Today, it's more about finding balance between mainstream accessibility and depth of gameplay.

DA 2 was too far on the mainstream side of things and it didn't pay off because it alienated many old fans while those who never played RPGs probably never will no matter how much you simplify them. Let's wait and see first how ME3 turns out: if Bioware didn't listen to its fans and didn't learn from past mistakes, I will be the first one to criticize them. But just because a company produced a disappointing title doesn't mean it's the end of the line for them. Every company had its ups and downs and experimenting is always a tricky business. It is whether they learn from their experience or not is what will ultimately make the difference.
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October 15th, 2011, 12:31
Originally Posted by Edgarstrong View Post
Too many narrow-minded elitists here who think that every game which is not PS:T is a failure. You can't be seriously expecting companies to spend dozens of millions to create games for a tiny niche of players…Today, it's more about finding balance between mainstream accessibility and depth of gameplay.
It just depends.

You can call McDonalds or Burger King or Pizza Hut as a similar mainstream-oriented business.

But still : There *do* exit niches. We have lts of international restaurants here in Cologne. Every continent is there. And they still *do* make some money.

Like Indies do. Not the whole town is going into McDonalds or into Burger King. Instead, they prefer restaurants. And not few of thm even prefer inernational ones. Pizza is very popular here !

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October 15th, 2011, 13:26
Originally Posted by killias2 View Post
1. The Mass Effect series has always been upfront about the fact that the battles involve shooting. Sure, maybe Bioware was known for more typical RPG romps, but I don't see why that precludes them from doing another variation on the same genre.
Agreed.
I´m sure I´m repeating myself, but I think they had a great setup having
Dragon Age: Origins on one side and Mass Effect 2 on the other.
So far they´ve managed to fuck up the Dragon Age side, hopefully they won´t do the same with the Mass Effect one. I like that they´ve chosen to add a bit more verticality to the game (ladders), made weapons more granular (mods) and apparently gave more variety to developing the abilities, but the multiplayer thing, experience with hilariously badly constructed story of the Arrival DLC, the omnipresent awesome this, awesome that mantra and, well, Dragon Age 2 certainly give me some doubts.

Originally Posted by jhwisner View Post
In terms of it being a role-playing game the inherent abilities/stats side is arguably the shallower aspect when compared to the development of who your character is.
That´s right in terms of the amount of abilities available for each class, however, at least on higher difficulties, the abilities make quite a difference, especially when you play one of the more ability-dependent class like, for example, sentinel.
The game is also extremely shallow when it comes to the amount of loot available, but, again, what weapons you choose to carry with you make quite solid difference because the game does pretty good job differentiating them.
It´s also true that by the end of the game one can have maxed almost everything, but that concerns the last third of the game or so, the way one chooses to get to the almost maxed out state influences quite significantly the minute to minute gameplay when it comes to the earlier stages of the game. When I played a sentinel on insanity I usually had to take some time to consider which abilities to develop first, which for me is a mark of solid design. In this regard and at least in principle, I consider the system better than the one in The Witcher for example, because the game allows one to max out an ability without investing to any others, whereas The Witcher´s system places pretty artificial constraints via the bronze/silver/gold talent system.

Originally Posted by jhwisner View Post
The development and presentation of character identity involves the game recognizing and reacting to the accumulated choices made by the person playing that role. The Mass Effect series - and Bioware RPGs in general - have tended to do a better job than most in that regard. The only company that is consistently more ambitious in providing for this side of character development is Obsidian - and I suspect the inherent complexity of their ambitions is partly responsible for the difficulty they always seem to have in squashing quest and scripting related bugs.
Agreed.
Last edited by DeepO; October 15th, 2011 at 20:03.
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October 15th, 2011, 14:41
Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
Agreed.
I´m sure I´m repeating myself, but I think they had a great setup having
Dragon Age: Origins on one side and Mass Effect 2 on the other.
Exactly my feeling. They could've/should've maintained two streams and made Mass Effect as action-y as they cared to. DA:Origins was successful, but perhaps not successful enough for EA. I greatly enjoyed DA:Origins and would've loved a sequel that maintained that feeling.

Btw, saying we don't like a company's approach is a legitimate concern. In fact, isn't that the purpose of a forum about RPGs? How is that elitest? As consumers, if we don't complain when our favorite companies veer off the rails, we're in a classic "boiling frog" scenario. I'm happy with change, the kind of change the two Docs have been known for over the years (which is a bit closer to adaptation), but EA is known for making wholesale changes to chase the money and killing franchises because of it.
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October 15th, 2011, 14:59
Originally Posted by Falchor View Post
Well, I surmise you're being facetious… but even if you aren't, we probably have that coming. However, our boohoo'ing is legit. It's like you've been going to this restaurant for years… and they serve your favorite dish (let's call it: D&D Gumbo!) and then, for some reason, they drop it from the menu and replace it with something that doesn't have near as much flavor (a lot less spicey, and you just LOVE spicey food). They changed the recipe to bring in more tourists and are considering turning the restaurant into a global franchise. Eventually, you start seeing canned versions of their "gumbo" in the supermarket….

Basically, I loved Bioware before… and not just for Baldur's Gate. I loved KOTOR, as well, and Neverwinter Nights (especially w/Hordes installed). My point is: they were once my favorite restaurant, but I don't choose to eat there anymore, because the management has changed. If that's complain' and boohoo-in' then, yes, I'm guilty… but isn't that what the Interwebs are for?
Some people like more than one kind of food.
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October 15th, 2011, 21:34
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
Some people like more than one kind of food.
True enough… But let me put a spin on Falchor's analogy:

"My point is: they were once my favorite restaurant, but I don't choose to eat there anymore, because the management has changed."

It would be more accurate to say that, once upon a time, Biopastasauce was a great Italian restaurant with authentic Italian chefs, food and atmosphere. Now, Biopastasauce has decided it wants to serve up Indian/Chinese/Norwegian/whatever food instead. The original patrons who went to Biopastasauce for the authentic Italian food and atmosphere are at a loss and have since gone to other Italian restaurants for their Italian food fix.

Too many narrow-minded elitists here who think that every game which is not PS:T is a failure. You can't be seriously expecting companies to spend dozens of millions to create games for a tiny niche of players…Today, it's more about finding balance between mainstream accessibility and depth of gameplay.

DA 2 was too far on the mainstream side of things and it didn't pay off because it alienated many old fans while those who never played RPGs probably never will no matter how much you simplify them. Let's wait and see first how ME3 turns out: if Bioware didn't listen to its fans and didn't learn from past mistakes, I will be the first one to criticize them. But just because a company produced a disappointing title doesn't mean it's the end of the line for them. Every company had its ups and downs and experimenting is always a tricky business. It is whether they learn from their experience or not is what will ultimately make the difference.
Nice strawman… Nobody seems to be claiming Bioware must accomplish X, Y, or Z or else "end of the line for them". But you have clearly stated why Bioware may no longer expect to receive patronage from those amongst us who desire depth of gameplay and/or a more traditional western cRPG experience. They can make their cake, have it and hope their target audience buys/eats it… Just don't call the cake otis spunkmeyer cookie dough.
Last edited by MasterKromm; October 15th, 2011 at 21:46.
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October 15th, 2011, 21:41
Your anology is probably closer, but a better anology is that "Biopasasauce" was a traditional Italian restaurant and now they are an Italian fusion restaurant. Many of their old customers still eat there and don't mind the different take on Italian food, but some of their customers only want the traditional Italian food they had while growing up and no longer go there.

Originally Posted by MasterKromm View Post
True enough… But let me put a spin on Falchor's analogy:

"My point is: they were once my favorite restaurant, but I don't choose to eat there anymore, because the management has changed."

It would be more accurate to say that, once upon a time, Biopastasauce was a great Italian restaurant with authentic Italian chefs, food and atmosphere. Now, Biopastasauce has decided it wants to serve up Indian/Chinese/Norwegian/whatever food instead. The original patrons who went to Biopastasauce for the authentic Italian food and atmosphere are at a loss and have since gone to other Italian restaurants for their Italian food fix.
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October 15th, 2011, 21:50
Originally Posted by fadedc View Post
Your anology is probably closer, but a better anology is that "Biopasasauce" was a traditional Italian restaurant and now they are an Italian fusion restaurant. Many of their old customers still eat there and don't mind the different take on Italian food, but some of their customers only want the traditional Italian food they had while growing up and no longer go there.
Good point… However, while ME1 might have been more of the fusion you speak of, ME2 was more action/adventure than anything else. I doubt the design/direction has been altered appreciably for ME3.
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October 15th, 2011, 23:52
Originally Posted by MasterKromm View Post
True enough… But let me put a spin on Falchor's analogy:

"My point is: they were once my favorite restaurant, but I don't choose to eat there anymore, because the management has changed."

It would be more accurate to say that, once upon a time, Biopastasauce was a great Italian restaurant with authentic Italian chefs, food and atmosphere. Now, Biopastasauce has decided it wants to serve up Indian/Chinese/Norwegian/whatever food instead. The original patrons who went to Biopastasauce for the authentic Italian food and atmosphere are at a loss and have since gone to other Italian restaurants for their Italian food fix.
I don't know about that. Dragon Age, even DA2, is pretty much an evolution of Baldur's Gate. You might not like some of the changes, but the games are more or less the same type of thing. Mass Effect is just something else they wanted to do, which is fine and the games are excellent.

Basically they are cooking different foods, and I like different foods, so it's all good.
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October 16th, 2011, 00:10
Originally Posted by MasterKromm View Post
Good point… However, while ME1 might have been more of the fusion you speak of, ME2 was more action/adventure than anything else. I doubt the design/direction has been altered appreciably for ME3.
ME2 was just a different type of fusion, it had ingredients for some people and not for others.For people who think a RPG is about characters and choices and dialog it certainly had plenty of that. For people who think a RPG is about stats and character development it had plenty of those too though many would have liked to have seen more. For people who think a RPG is about thoughtful turn based combat, it certainly had none of that.
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October 16th, 2011, 00:29
Originally Posted by fadedc View Post
ME2 was just a different type of fusion, it had ingredients for some people and not for others.For people who think a RPG is about characters and choices and dialog it certainly had plenty of that. For people who think a RPG is about stats and character development it had plenty of those too though many would have liked to have seen more. For people who think a RPG is about thoughtful turn based combat, it certainly had none of that.
Pretty much any argument about the RPG-ness of a game can be rooted in the fact that RPG means different things to different people.
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October 16th, 2011, 01:30
Originally Posted by fadedc View Post
ME2 was just a different type of fusion, it had ingredients for some people and not for others.For people who think a RPG is about characters and choices and dialog it certainly had plenty of that. For people who think a RPG is about stats and character development it had plenty of those too though many would have liked to have seen more. For people who think a RPG is about thoughtful turn based combat, it certainly had none of that.
Wait, what?

Yeah, the game was so streamlined weapons had no in game stats, newer ones were more powerful and magically "upgraded" prior weapons in some cases. To be fair(IIRC), you could look up their stats online somehow… Shepard had no real stats in the traditional sense(Strength, constitution, dexterity, intelligence, ect) s/he only had squad points that could be applied to the purchase of various abilities/powers.

As for character development, that too was pretty weak… Your Shepard is for all intents and purposes a flat character. Where does Shep change throughout the narrative(of me2) in any dynamic way? Your motivation is entirely static(damn Reapers cutting into Shep sex time). Shep's weaknesses(LOL you're Shep, what weaknesses?) and strengths, do they make him/her appear more human and allow for some level of player/character understanding or self-identification?

Just to stick with Bioware, at least in DAO some of the various Origins gave you reason enough to go with Duncan(be it cousland for the prospect of revenge/justice later on or aeducan for perhaps the same angle). The sacred ashes quest is fairly notable too, in terms of C&C and character development. You can defile the equivalent of what is believed to be female jesus'(no offense) ashes and consequently fight against your own companions(in which case leliana was somehow rezzed for DA2). The failure in the above quest was that you couldn't side with the dragon/cultists beyond fighting the guardian. TBH a High dragon cranking out drakes/dragonlings coupled with the fanatical group of Andrastians would have proven an interesting choice in place of Eamon/his army. Forget the crown, bypass the whole Loghain vs Eamon angle and win the day - with dragons and crazy people!

Pretty much any argument about the RPG-ness of a game can be rooted in the fact that RPG means different things to different people.
So this boils down to perception… ME2 is a good TPS/action/adventure space opera game sporting the remnants of what some might call RPG elements. Call me crazy but to be more RPG than anything else, character skill must trump player skill. In ME, as with many shooters, the scales tip more towards player skill. And there are no stat, skill, speech, history, gender, race, et cetera checks for anything. There are however Shepard naughty or nice checks. Whatever RPG elements present in ME are shared across a plethora of other games that are rarely classified as RPG.
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October 16th, 2011, 03:08
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
I don't know about that. Dragon Age, even DA2, is pretty much an evolution of Baldur's Gate. You might not like some of the changes, but the games are more or less the same type of thing.
If that is evolution I will stay in the stone age.

Baldur's was D&D and it showed. DAO I can even see some D&D in or at least D&D lite. I honestly don't see it at all in DA2. It's much more consolized and to me it has more in common with Final Fantasy than D&D.

Originally Posted by MasterKromm View Post
Whatever RPG elements present in ME are shared across a plethora of other games that are rarely classified as RPG.
RPG elements is such a useless buzzword to me these days. Pretty much every game has "RPG elements".
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October 16th, 2011, 03:17
Originally Posted by MasterKromm View Post
Wait, what?

Yeah, the game was so streamlined weapons had no in game stats, newer ones were more powerful and magically "upgraded" prior weapons in some cases. To be fair(IIRC), you could look up their stats online somehow… Shepard had no real stats in the traditional sense(Strength, constitution, dexterity, intelligence, ect) s/he only had squad points that could be applied to the purchase of various abilities/powers.
Well equipment distinction and character progression are seperate things. With that being said I don't see that much of a difference between finding a mk 2 rifle that is 20% better then your mk 1 rifle, and simply finding a weapon upgrade that upped your rifle damage by 20%.

For stats, you could put points into abilities that that give things like increased melee damage, increased hit points, increased psionic power (or whatever they called it in this game). I don't see how that is any different then putting points into strength, con, int, etc given that it all turns out the same way.

I'm not saying that ME had deep character customization, but it certainly had it. It has much more customization then a lot of old school where you just pick a class and maybe some stats and that's it.
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October 16th, 2011, 03:55
Originally Posted by MasterKromm View Post
So this boils down to perception… ME2 is a good TPS/action/adventure space opera game sporting the remnants of what some might call RPG elements. Call me crazy but to be more RPG than anything else, character skill must trump player skill.
And that is YOUR definition. To others an RPG is something else entirely. That's why these debates are endless and silly, because it's all subjective opinion and not fact. There is no final solution to uncover here, you just simply disagree with others who define an RPG by other characteristics.
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October 16th, 2011, 03:57
Originally Posted by Motoki View Post
If that is evolution I will stay in the stone age.

Baldur's was D&D and it showed. DAO I can even see some D&D in or at least D&D lite. I honestly don't see it at all in DA2. It's much more consolized and to me it has more in common with Final Fantasy than D&D.
Quality is subjective and pretty irrelevant. The point is half their staff are still making the same style of party-based pausable tactical RPG. It's not like they completely dropped that style of game to make Mass Effect, they make both.
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