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BioWare: Mass Effect 4/ME4 References "A Disservice"

BioWare's Chris Priestly took to the BioWare Social Network to respond to speculation about the next installment in the Mass Effect series of shootery role-playing games (thanks Strategy Informer). In what seems evidence that the era of sequels is hitting a new era of oddness, he suggests calling the fourth installment in the Mass Effect series Mass Effect 4 or ME4 is a "disservice" to the game:

To call the next game Mass Effect 4 or ME4 is doing it a disservice and seems to cause a lot of confusion here. We have already said that the Commander Shepard trilogy is over and that the next game will not feature him/her. That is the only detail you have on the game. I see people saying "well, they'll have to pick a canon ending". No, because the game does not have to come after. Or before. Or off to the side. Or with characters you know. Or yaddayaddayadda. Wherever, whenever, whoever, etc will all be revealed years down the road when we actually start talking about it.

I do not call the game ME4 when I talk about it ever, bucause that makes people think of it more as "what happens after Mass Effect 3" rather than "what game happens next set in the Mass Effect Universe", which is far more accurate at this point. Obviously fans are going to speculate content, character and story until we actually reveal details in the years or months to come as you have almost no actual details, just don't get bogged down in "well how are they going to continue ME3...".

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43 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 1.
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43. Re: Out of the Blue Feb 7, 2013, 20:12 TheEmissary
 
Flatline wrote on Feb 7, 2013, 17:07:
...
We don't need Mass Effect though for a kickass space combat sim. We just need someone to make a kickass space combat sim. I'd be perfectly happy with an original IP.
...

There are number of space sims on the way such as Star Citizen and Elite. Both of which are looking pretty good.
 
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42. Re: Out of the Blue Feb 7, 2013, 18:44 Flatline
 
Rigs wrote on Feb 7, 2013, 17:56:
That's where the whole 'fun vs realistic' thing comes into play. Sure you could go your route but it wouldn't be very fun or much of a game. So, if they do make an ME space-combat sim then they'll have to introduce some new weapons and concepts. Obviously fighters were effective to some degree in the universe or they wouldn't have been featured in the game (even if it was only a 2-min clip in a cinematic, it's still 'canon'). You can't really go by weapons available on the Normandy to show what weapons might be available to fighters or lesser craft. They're totally different. I agree that maybe having Corvette-sized ships available to play as might also make it somewhat more interesting. Hell, you could go the Starshatter route and start out in fighter/bombers and work your way up to the big guns. Now that would be the bee's balls right there! Especially if the visuals were close to the cinematic in quality and in the ME universe and if the last campaign was the battle at Earth, where you command a fleet of cruisers, destroyers, frigates and fighters/bombers and then have the option to jump into any one of those craft to fight... Drool Yowza!

And you're right, it doesn't have to be the Mass Effect universe, but it would be nice to have a big-budget space-combat sim...


=-Rigs-=

Fair enough, and towards that end, my favorite fan theory is that the fighter pilot is the far distant descendant of Leroy Jenkins, which I just find stupidly amusing.

And considering how relatively few polygons you're pushing in a space combat sim, we should be able to get near photo-realistic on a big budget space combat sim.
 
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41. Re: Out of the Blue Feb 7, 2013, 18:01 Asmo
 
Mass Effect:Whore, where you play a plucky young Volus prostitute setting out to make your fame and fortune in the world, one Krogan blowjob at a time!

Seriously though, the idea of being a fighter pilot in that fleet scene is fucking win. Are we sure someone hasn't already done it in Freespace 2?
 
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40. Re: Out of the Blue Feb 7, 2013, 18:00 sauron
 
Rigs wrote on Feb 7, 2013, 17:56:
And you're right, it doesn't have to be the Mass Effect universe, but it would be nice to have a big-budget space-combat sim...


=-Rigs-=

Heck, at this point I'd LOVE a Freespace 3. Independence War 3 even more so. IWar2 is my definition of a dynamite space sim - even includes the physics.
 
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Kittens!
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39. Re: Out of the Blue Feb 7, 2013, 17:56 Rigs
 
Flatline wrote on Feb 7, 2013, 17:07:
Rigs wrote on Feb 7, 2013, 12:06:
I was watching the 'Fleet Battle' from the third game... *snip*

We don't need Mass Effect though for a kickass space combat sim. We just need someone to make a kickass space combat sim. I'd be perfectly happy with an original IP.

And once you get into development, I think you'd encounter issues with an ME space combat sim. You'd have like... two weapons. Your rapid fire mass accelerator, and your heavy mass accelerator. No space superiority fighters, interceptors, bombers, or variants among loadouts and or much of anything interesting. Fighters actually seem like they're an inefficient solution in the ME universe. Corvettes seem like they'd be the best starting point- large EZ0 reactors for powering the mass effect fields necessary to launch heavy ordinance or maintain rapid fire. The mass effect field makes maneuverability a null issue- the closer you crank down the effective mass of an object, the more effect you see from thrust. At effectively zero mass, maneuverability becomes infinite from a thruster standpoint.

With that kind of maneuverability and firepower, you'd need insanely powerful computers (not necessarily AI) to pick the most statistically probable firing solutions and saturate them with fire, as well as evasion computers who are trying to calculate evasion patterns that are hard to predict. Not to mention once these slugs leave the mass effect field they're subject to plain old relativity now, which makes time dilation *really* fucking complicated.

Taken to it's logical ends, I don't see fighters... or even frankly organics, taking part in space-based battles. The organics strap into G-force webbing/cocoons and wait for the central computer to finish the fight.

Which, oddly enough, is how space combat works in the book Forever War by Haldeman. Definitely worth reading.

That's where the whole 'fun vs realistic' thing comes into play. Sure you could go your route but it wouldn't be very fun or much of a game. So, if they do make an ME space-combat sim then they'll have to introduce some new weapons and concepts. Obviously fighters were effective to some degree in the universe or they wouldn't have been featured in the game (even if it was only a 2-min clip in a cinematic, it's still 'canon'). You can't really go by weapons available on the Normandy to show what weapons might be available to fighters or lesser craft. They're totally different. I agree that maybe having Corvette-sized ships available to play as might also make it somewhat more interesting. Hell, you could go the Starshatter route and start out in fighter/bombers and work your way up to the big guns. Now that would be the bee's balls right there! Especially if the visuals were close to the cinematic in quality and in the ME universe and if the last campaign was the battle at Earth, where you command a fleet of cruisers, destroyers, frigates and fighters/bombers and then have the option to jump into any one of those craft to fight... Drool Yowza!

And you're right, it doesn't have to be the Mass Effect universe, but it would be nice to have a big-budget space-combat sim...


=-Rigs-=
 
Avatar 14292
 
'I know what you think you are, what you want us to believe! But I don't buy it! For three years now you've been pulling everyone's strings, getting us to do all the work, and you haven't done a damn thing except stand there and look cryptic.'
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38. Re: BioWare: Mass Effect 4/ME4 References Feb 7, 2013, 17:30 Jivaro
 
PropheT wrote on Feb 7, 2013, 15:58:
1badmf wrote on Feb 7, 2013, 15:34:
yeah the problem with SWTOR was that they were trying to steal a slice of the WOW pie. IP had nothing to do with it. they repeatedly ignored warnings that the market was WOW saturated and their clone would fall on its face. any customers they stole from WOW would almost by definition not want more WOW.

I don't know why you would think that. They didn't have any problem selling the game at all; there were more than enough people willing to give it a chance. If anything, the problem isn't that they tried to "steal a slice of the WoW pie" (which couldn't they do even if it wasn't like WoW?), but rather that the game isn't very good.

There wasn't a shortage of people who jumped onboard at launch knowing it was going to be like WoW, they just didn't stay because it wasn't good enough to keep them.

That was my take as well. There were so many people at first...the game just wasn't very good at anything other then single player story-questing.

That said, it would be just like EA (or any other major publisher) to be arrogant enough to order up a ME MMO from exactly the same development team and expect better results.
 
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37. Re: Out of the Blue Feb 7, 2013, 17:07 Flatline
 
Rigs wrote on Feb 7, 2013, 12:06:
I was watching the 'Fleet Battle' from the third game, when they all go after the Reaper fleet after jumping in-system and when they cut to the fighter pilot getting ready to engage, I thought that this would be an awesome game on it's own! I would love to fly a fighter in a massive fleet battle with these kinds of pyrotechnics and immersion and with the ME's story background, it would have plenty of stuff to add in. Maybe start out sometime during the middle of the second game and run concurrent to ME2/3's story with Shepard, but telling it from a different angle and explaining how other parts of the military got ready for the fight. It's kind of the same thing I thought about when they included some space dogfighting in HALO: Reach, it would be wonderful on it's own and fleshed out with it's own story amidst the larger conflict... *shrugs*


=-Rigs-=

We don't need Mass Effect though for a kickass space combat sim. We just need someone to make a kickass space combat sim. I'd be perfectly happy with an original IP.

And once you get into development, I think you'd encounter issues with an ME space combat sim. You'd have like... two weapons. Your rapid fire mass accelerator, and your heavy mass accelerator. No space superiority fighters, interceptors, bombers, or variants among loadouts and or much of anything interesting. Fighters actually seem like they're an inefficient solution in the ME universe. Corvettes seem like they'd be the best starting point- large EZ0 reactors for powering the mass effect fields necessary to launch heavy ordinance or maintain rapid fire. The mass effect field makes maneuverability a null issue- the closer you crank down the effective mass of an object, the more effect you see from thrust. At effectively zero mass, maneuverability becomes infinite from a thruster standpoint.

With that kind of maneuverability and firepower, you'd need insanely powerful computers (not necessarily AI) to pick the most statistically probable firing solutions and saturate them with fire, as well as evasion computers who are trying to calculate evasion patterns that are hard to predict. Not to mention once these slugs leave the mass effect field they're subject to plain old relativity now, which makes time dilation *really* fucking complicated.

Taken to it's logical ends, I don't see fighters... or even frankly organics, taking part in space-based battles. The organics strap into G-force webbing/cocoons and wait for the central computer to finish the fight.

Which, oddly enough, is how space combat works in the book Forever War by Haldeman. Definitely worth reading.
 
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36. Re: BioWare: Mass Effect 4/ME4 References Feb 7, 2013, 15:58 PropheT
 
1badmf wrote on Feb 7, 2013, 15:34:
yeah the problem with SWTOR was that they were trying to steal a slice of the WOW pie. IP had nothing to do with it. they repeatedly ignored warnings that the market was WOW saturated and their clone would fall on its face. any customers they stole from WOW would almost by definition not want more WOW.

I don't know why you would think that. They didn't have any problem selling the game at all; there were more than enough people willing to give it a chance. If anything, the problem isn't that they tried to "steal a slice of the WoW pie" (which couldn't they do even if it wasn't like WoW?), but rather that the game isn't very good.

There wasn't a shortage of people who jumped onboard at launch knowing it was going to be like WoW, they just didn't stay because it wasn't good enough to keep them.
 
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35. Re: BioWare: Mass Effect 4/ME4 References Feb 7, 2013, 15:34 1badmf
 
yeah the problem with SWTOR was that they were trying to steal a slice of the WOW pie. IP had nothing to do with it. they repeatedly ignored warnings that the market was WOW saturated and their clone would fall on its face. any customers they stole from WOW would almost by definition not want more WOW.  
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34. Re: BioWare: Mass Effect 4/ME4 References Feb 7, 2013, 15:27 nin
 
Frankly I think Bioware would have done better had they put their MMO resources in a Mass Effect MMO rather than the ill-fated SWTOR.

After playing TOR, I'd agree with that. But I fear that had they done that, it would have had the same problems as TOR: a very cookie cutter, by the book MMO, with nothing to really make it stand out or differentiate it.

edit: Kajetan beat me to it.

 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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33. Re: BioWare: Mass Effect 4/ME4 References Feb 7, 2013, 15:26 Kajetan
 
Beelzebud wrote on Feb 7, 2013, 15:15:
Frankly I think Bioware would have done better had they put their MMO resources in a Mass Effect MMO rather than the ill-fated SWTOR.
SWTOR isn't a failure because of the setting. Its a failure because Bioware doesnt know how to make a good MMO.
 
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32. Re: BioWare: Mass Effect 4/ME4 References Feb 7, 2013, 15:15 Beelzebud
 
I always thought the Mass Effect universe could lead to lots of interesting stories that had nothing to do with Space Jesus. I'd prefer a totally separate game.

Frankly I think Bioware would have done better had they put their MMO resources in a Mass Effect MMO rather than the ill-fated SWTOR.
 
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31. Re: BioWare: Mass Effect 4/ME4 References Feb 7, 2013, 15:08 1badmf
 
so sad that a game series that started with such promise and vision has now reverted to shooting for 'not too much disappointment'. as a huge scifi fan, i looooved the alien designs, the settings, the soundtrack. the ship designs were mostly meh (though i did like the asari ships), but the only thing that truly stunk up the joint was the writing. was it really that hard to find a writer talented enough to be original and avoid cliched bullshit?  
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30. Re: BioWare: Mass Effect 4/ME4 References Feb 7, 2013, 14:54 SimplyMonk
 
NegaDeath wrote on Feb 7, 2013, 13:15:
Sounds like a reboot.

Probably the most likely scenario.

"We fucked this up by saying we'd try to make a game with a coherent story line and meaningful character progression and choices. Let's just hit the reset button and pray every one forgets about that other stuff."
 
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29. Re: BioWare: Mass Effect 4/ME4 References Feb 7, 2013, 14:05 Yakubs
 
BioWare continuing to make video games is a disservice.  
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28. Re: BioWare: Mass Effect 4/ME4 References Feb 7, 2013, 13:15 NegaDeath
 
Sounds like a reboot.  
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27. Re: BioWare: Mass Effect 4/ME4 References Feb 7, 2013, 13:11 Creston
 
sauron wrote on Feb 7, 2013, 12:57:
I still have ME2 sitting in my list of games to play. Tried it for a couple of hours and just couldn't get into it. So weird - RPGs are my favorite genre.

It just seemed kind of synthetic and I couldn't relate to any of the characters - their personalities had no depth.

To be fair, Jacob and Miranda are supposed to be bland. They work for Cerberus.

You get the cool characters later in the game. Mordin and Grunt are pretty awesome.

Creston
 
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26. Re: BioWare: Mass Effect 4/ME4 References Feb 7, 2013, 12:57 sauron
 
I still have ME2 sitting in my list of games to play. Tried it for a couple of hours and just couldn't get into it. So weird - RPGs are my favorite genre.

It just seemed kind of synthetic and I couldn't relate to any of the characters - their personalities had no depth.
 
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Kittens!
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25. Re: BioWare: Mass Effect 4/ME4 References Feb 7, 2013, 12:57 Creston
 
I was actually more thinking that the next ME game makes you a Krogan or a Turian or whatever, and there'd be no option for M/F or human. But you're both right that the bro-horde probably wouldn't play it then. (idiots. Renegade Femshep is a magnitude more awesome than all other options)

If they stick with humans, then it's true they have little to go on. It's either the Reaper Conflict, or I guess they could do something during the First Contact war, but that was pretty shortlived. (In fact, the battle of Shanxi was the only battle fought in it.)

Well, I guess we'll see. At least it's in the hands of a good studio. (the guys who did ME3 MP, and who understand that the battles need to be tense and constantly moving, rather than just "Stick behind cover and Warp-Throw-Warp-Throw."

Creston
 
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24. Re: BioWare: Mass Effect 4/ME4 References Feb 7, 2013, 12:49 Verno
 
Bhruic wrote on Feb 7, 2013, 12:27:
And, frankly, the last thing I'd want in an ME is another story in the same timeline as the Shepard story. It's not just a matter of knowing how it's going to turn out, you also have the full knowledge that you're never going to be the hero. There's no way your accomplishments, no matter how impressive, are going to stack up to what Shepard accomplished. I suppose they could try and squeeze something into the period where Shepard is MIA, but even then, what activity of any significance could really take place? They are better off with a completely separate scenario, imo.

Agreed completely. ME2 was the game I liked the least in the series and not coincidentally it didn't feel very central to the overall story. ME1 and ME3 at least nailed the epic story and feel, I don't know how you achieve that in the same setting without regurgitating the entire plot.
 
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Playing: South Park, Dark Souls 2
Watching: Enemy, Network, Wer
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