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Mass Effect 3 Squad Scaled Down

Computer and Video Games has details from the new issue of Xbox World 360 magazine on Mass Effect 3, the next installment in BioWare's sci-fi RPG series. Word is they are scaling down the size of your squad from 12 players, with project director Casey Hudson explaining Mass Effect 3 will focus "on a smaller squad with deeper relationships and more interesting interplay." He also offers reassurances that this doesn't mean any of your surviving crew will be going away: "We're bringing everyone back - every main character is in Mass Effect 3 somewhere."

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23. Re: Mass Effect 3 Squad Scaled Down May 12, 2011, 16:33 Creston
 
CrimsonPaw wrote on May 12, 2011, 14:48:
As long as I can bring Legion back in ME3 -- sumbitch didn't make it on my play-through

It was confirmed quite awhile ago that "Dead is Dead" for your teammates. Either from ME1 or ME2.

Kaidan Alenko never makes it to ME2 for me, so I don't expect to see him show up in ME3 either.

Creston
 
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22. Re: Mass Effect 3 Squad Scaled Down May 12, 2011, 15:07 Silicon Avatar
 
I ended up using the same crewmen over and over anyway. The rest just sat around giving me special quests. They could have done that anywhere.
 
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21. Re: Mass Effect 3 Squad Scaled Down May 12, 2011, 14:48 CrimsonPaw
 
As long as I can bring Legion back in ME3 -- sumbitch didn't make it on my play-through  
~~Crim~~
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20. Re: Mass Effect 3 Squad Scaled Down May 12, 2011, 09:24 Creston
 
Bhruic wrote on May 12, 2011, 00:46:
True, but the number of "side-missions" that ME2 had compared to ME1 (barring the loyalty missions) was miniscule. I know it can be hard to balance a "oh noes, the galaxy is ending" plotline with side-missions, but still, it's nice to have some variety in there. Although, again, I don't mind if they just have more generic ones that aren't tied to individuals.

Bioware's devs actually came onto the forum and held a pretty frank discussion with the fans who were complaining about the repetitive side missions in ME1. The gist of their argument was that they COULD make more interesting side missions, of course, but doing so would have meant that ME1 would not have had Feros, for example. It's a tradeoff. Creating the amount of interesting and unique side missions that the fans really want would mean they need five years to make the game, so I can definitely see the argument from their side where that's concerned.

All in all, I thought ME2 had a staggering amount of content for a game of its kind. 10 characters, 8 recruitment missions (IIRC) 10 loyalty missions, five main missions, and something like 18 or so small N7 missions. I was very happy with the amount and variety of stuff we got to do.

For ME3, I'd just like to see the Main missions be increased. I'd rather have 5 loyalty missions for 5 squad members, and 12 main missions. If we defeat the Reapers in a total of five missions, that'll just feel really, really cheap.

Creston
 
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19. Re: Mass Effect 3 Squad Scaled Down May 12, 2011, 09:15 Creston
 
Zardoz5 wrote on May 11, 2011, 23:19:
"Shepard, can you pick up some groceries on the way back from Eden Prime..."

It's even funnier when you realize that IS actually a mission in ME2.

Creston
 
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18. Re: Mass Effect 3 Squad Scaled Down May 12, 2011, 09:14 Creston
 
I'm actually all for that. Most of my crew mates in ME2 I never used, mostly because what they did, someone else did better. Which is of course also a side function of every squad mate only being able to do 3 things, or 4 if you added their bonus power (which in most cases was pretty useless to begin with. So I can bring Jacob, and give him a Barrier? Woot! He'll take 3 seconds longer to die, during which he does nothing!)

It eventually just got annoying having to talk to characters to hear them say a few lines, just so you could finally unlock their loyalty mission. (And it wasn't until my last playthrough that I realized you get those missions anyways, so you don't even have to talk to them repeatedly for it. Argh.)

So if that truly leads to more interesting characters, with a lot more to say, that's cool. (It's always baffled me that Jaheira in BG2 had more to say than the entire ME2 crew COMBINED.)

Otoh, there's also a (small) worry that they're doing this because of their shortened dev cycle, and because EA wants to "streamline" this into a DA2 style piece of shit.

However, so far Casey Hudson has produced two great games (personal opinion,) so I trust that he knows what he's doing.

Kick ass, Casey.

Creston

This comment was edited on May 12, 2011, 09:27.
 
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17. Re: Mass Effect 3 Squad Scaled Down May 12, 2011, 08:45 peteham
 
As long as this really does lead to deeper relationships with the remaining companions, and isn't just a way cutting of corners and getting the game out quicker, DA2-style...

On the subject of companion quests, I don't know about you guys but even though the majority of the game-time was spent doing companion-missions that (aside from Legion, Tali and possibly Grunt/Mordin) were tangential to the story-line at best, I enjoyed every single one of them immensely. As far as side-quests go, they were pretty damn well done, with interesting premises all around.

That said, it would've been a pretty huge letdown to have the trilogy concluded in the same way, I suppose
 
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16. Re: Mass Effect 3 Squad Scaled Down May 12, 2011, 06:29 eRe4s3r
 
Except for the Tali and Legion missions which were at least somewhat related to the "reapers be coming - lets prepare" plot. Tali mission also related (Dark Energy build-up in suns = Reaper Weapon?) and whatever you decided at the end of Legions and Tali's mission could have a definite impact on what happens in ME3 (Least when it comes to Geth and Quarians/fleet)

But yeah, somehow ME2 didn't actually have a whole lot of main plot at all. It was kind of a filler.. and in a galactic scale we didn't even do anything relevant in ME2 at all.

In ME1 we stopped the Geth Invasion in its tracks and destroyed Saren and the Reaper - ending with an epic scale fleet battle.

In ME2 we... kinda destroyed (or captured) the Collector base in a spec-ops kind of mission

So yeah they better boost ME3 to 11. They don't really have a choice, the Reaper Invasion and extinction cycle HAS to conclude with ME3 one way or the other. And they already established Earth is under attack by the reapers in that trailer.

Sidenote: ME3 can do with less Squad Mates though. As long as its not Tali or Garrus that go out

This comment was edited on May 12, 2011, 06:38.
 
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15. Re: Mass Effect 3 Squad Scaled Down May 12, 2011, 04:12 InBlack
 
Mass Effect 3 will focus: "on a smaller squad with deeper relationships and more interesting interplay."

Translation: Its much cheaper and cost effective to make side missions for 6 members of your squad rather than 12. Less development costs, more profit for us. (Just like Dragon Age 2, shhhh dont tell anyone)

"We're bringing everyone back - every main character is in Mass Effect 3 somewhere."

Translation: Yup they are all somewhere in the galaxy, you can click on them and then click through a whole bunch of speech with color coded cue tips and they will tell you whats up and shit. But we wont be including any side missions or quests with them, because that would completely undermine what we stated earlier about cost effective development.
 
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I have a nifty blue line!
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14. Re: Mass Effect 3 Squad Scaled Down May 12, 2011, 02:56 Acleacius
 
They ran out of time.  
The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.That is easy.All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.It works the same way in any country.
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13. Re: Mass Effect 3 Squad Scaled Down May 12, 2011, 02:36 Eldaron Imotholin
 
I agree with Bhruic, although giving the player a choice of 6/12 companions defeats the purpose of cutting the squad size, for it would imply they have to put effort in every single one of the twelve companions, which means they'd all still be 'as shallow' as ME2.

I just hope Tali is included. She's so adoreable!

Yeah, I'm happy with this news. Less squadmembers but more depth and sense in every single one of them and their stories!

 
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Playing: Skyrim, World of Warcraft.
Future: Dead Space 3.
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12. Re: Mass Effect 3 Squad Scaled Down May 12, 2011, 02:31 mag
 
"We're removing squads and the inventory system from Mass Effect 4. We'll still have every gun from every game available, but we're going to pick which one you get for any given mission."

"We're scaling down the controls of Mass Effect 5. Having all of the controls available is too confusing for most players, so we're going to scale it down to a context-sensitive A button. Sorry PC gamers, we forget how to map keys on the PC, so you'll need to use a 360 controller."

"There were some complaints about the controls in ME5, so we're streamlining Mass Effect 6 by removing the analog stick control. Now you will just have to hit 'A' when it prompts you for what you want to do, to provide the deepest experience yet."

"People complained about there being too many 'QTEs' in ME6, and we can understand that complaint. In ME7, there will be far fewer times when you need to hit 'A'--only when you're switching between the 8 DVDs."

"We realize that customers were frustrated with the amount of disc-swapping in ME6, so we've scaled down ME7 to one disc for the most content-per-disc of any ME game. Also--no more need to press 'A'!"

"We've received complaints about the long stretch of time in ME7 during which no user interactivity is required. So in August 2012 you'll get to play the most condensed content-per-minute Mass Effect yet. No controllers necessary, just two hours for the most riveting game experience ever!"
 
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11. Re: Mass Effect 3 Squad Scaled Down May 12, 2011, 01:49 NKD
 
Nice. I'd rather have some depth to my characters instead of a huge roster of uninteresting people who I'll never bring. Mass Effect 2 was suspiciously reminiscent of Chrono Cross.  
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If you don't like where gaming is heading, stop giving your money to the people who are taking it in that direction.
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10. Re: Mass Effect 3 Squad Scaled Down May 12, 2011, 00:46 Bhruic
 
I don't mind on principle, but it'd be nice if they made it dynamic. That is, you can only have 6 people, but you get to pick which of the 12 (or whatever, if they add more options) that you want. It's annoying to have a favourite (or two), but have them removed just because the developers happen to prefer someone else.

I mean, I'll live with it either way, but in an ideal world...

The recruit/loyalty missions in 2 were completely detached from the main plot and really felt like errands.

True, but the number of "side-missions" that ME2 had compared to ME1 (barring the loyalty missions) was miniscule. I know it can be hard to balance a "oh noes, the galaxy is ending" plotline with side-missions, but still, it's nice to have some variety in there. Although, again, I don't mind if they just have more generic ones that aren't tied to individuals.
 
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9. Re: Mass Effect 3 Squad Scaled Down May 12, 2011, 00:28 Stolk
 
All I need is Tali and an effective biotic and I'm good. That got me through most of both games.  
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8. Re: Mass Effect 3 Squad Scaled Down May 12, 2011, 00:18 durandal
 
entr0py wrote on May 11, 2011, 23:35:
ME1 only had 6 party members, but it didn't feel anemic because they were all interesting.

Also they were all somehow connected to Saren/Reaper main story. The recruit/loyalty missions in 2 were completely detached from the main plot and really felt like errands.
 
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7. Re: Mass Effect 3 Squad Scaled Down May 12, 2011, 00:16 Suddenly_Dead
 
ME had a smaller squad. ME2 spent a considerable amount of time on the squad and their missions; that definitely wouldn't work a second time, especially not in the finale. Makes sense.  
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6. Re: Mass Effect 3 Squad Scaled Down May 12, 2011, 00:09 Jerykk
 
I don't really have a problem with smaller squads. I only used about 2-3 companions on a regular basis. The others I only used during their specific story missions.  
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5. Re: Mass Effect 3 Squad Scaled Down May 11, 2011, 23:54 HorrorScope
 
Keep taking away... keep taking away... Feels so good.  
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4. Re: Mass Effect 3 Squad Scaled Down May 11, 2011, 23:35 entr0py
 
True, the recruitment and loyalty missions sort of dominated ME2, to the detriment of the main story. I liked them, they just took up too much of the pie. ME1 only had 6 party members, but it didn't feel anemic because they were all interesting. I wouldn't have missed Kasumi, Zaeed, Morinth or Jacob. In fact I think I'll play through it again and kill all of them so they won't show up in ME3.  
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