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March 15th, 2008, 20:35
Heh. Not faceless, maybe.

As I understand it, there are several different arguments running around on Mass PC, and the UI is still undergoing some changes. Apparently an early version resulted in too much pausing, and it really broke up the flow of combat and made things feel choppy and un-fun. Too little pausing, and the game balance is messed up, since pausing was assumed in some combats -- you'd pause to retarget or figure out where to place your squad for best crossfire action, or to think strategically about which ability would be most helpful. Too much pausing, though, and you lose the tension, and the gameplay really suffers.

The button-mash-to-unlock-stuff minigame is gone, too, replaced by something at least sorta cooler. No idea if it's still cool after the thousandth hardened storage crate, but it's at least a step up.

And I believe that hard drive caching will fix the LOD-pops, although that will certainly depend on your machine.

re: Mass 2: Anything being said now about Mass 2 should be taken with the understanding that it's still waaaaaay early in Mass 2's development. As I understand it (I'm not on Mass 2, and likely won't ever be, unfortunately, due to some schedule overlap with my current project), they are listening hard to what people are saying on forums and in reviews, and areas to improve include:

- The inventory system (duh)
- Uncharted worlds that are better integrated with the story have a bit more gameplay on them (ideally fewer, but deeper)
- Choices that have more direct consequences -- I liked the choices that were offered in the first game, but they hit hardest on the roleplaying level, not the practical-game-effect level. (As an example: in the plot I wrote with the grieving widower, you can help him or send him away sad, but either way, you never see him again. I maintain that it was written well, but the only impact is in the roleplaying sense.) They plan to address that in the sequel. The plan is ambitious, and if they can pull it off, I'll be impressed as hell.

I think that much I can say safely. That doesn't seem to be giving away anything vital.
PatrickWeekes is offline




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