What should the next Mass Effect game be like?

CaptJohnSheridan

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The world is a dark place and perhaps it is time the gaming world give us something of this generation that is optimistic. Games like God of War, Horizon Zero Dawn, Red Dead Redemption 2, The Witcher 3, and Marvel's Spider Man are groundbreaking. Do we deserve a space game with the same level of quality in story and gameplay as those games?

What should the next Mass Effect game be like? What can it learn from the latest greatest games of this gen?

Should the next Mass Effect game help gamers to become excited for humanity's future?
 

Samtemdo8_v1legacy

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At this point I just want a Remastered Trilogy with all 3 games in one disc like it was for the Halo Master Chief Collection.

Thus making the save transitions between games far more smoother.

Heck this remaster could go as far as remake the first 2 games to play more like Mass Effect 3.
 

CaitSeith

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Unless someone pulls out a Russ Pitts and rescues Bioware from EA's clutches, I find the prospect of a new Mass Effect game pretty disheartening (and pretty improbable too).
 

Kerg3927

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Samtemdo8 said:
At this point I just want a Remastered Trilogy...
Same. Although I'm not sure I even trust them to do a proper Remaster without ruining it.

Bioware feels like a dying company to me, although we'll see how Anthem does. If Anthem bombs like Andromeda did, I expect EA to shut Bioware down.
 

Trunkage

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I'd wait and see if Anthem turns out alright before I add my input.

Bioware was given way too much credit for their story writing, characters, world building and moral choices before EA bought them. While EA has done nothing to improve them, they haven't made Bioware worse. They were never that great.

And I still love BG2 and ME trilogy.
 

PFCboom

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If it were up to me:

First and most importantly: Smaller scale. Keep the whole game take place on just a few planets, but make each one big and dense. Making just a few worlds feel alive, and making the PC a mover&shaker on each, will make the overall narrative feel as big as a galaxy. I say this is more important because it's the only way I can think to make the next two possible.
Second, enhance the RPG elements of the game: broaden class progression, bring in a few multi-class options.
Second-and-a-half: If there's time left after that, offer dialogue and/or field challenges which can be solved by you as a class. Big pile of rubble getting you down? VANGUARD SMASH!! Problem feeding refugees because a transport vehicle is stalled? ENGI FIX!! Guards at a military complex giving you a hard time? SOLDIER TALK!! Naturally, there can be alternatives to those solutions, but they're likely to be more of a pain in the ass: Going around the rubble, an escort mission to bring a civilian engi to the transport, a long back-door route around those guards.
Third, broaden the moral spectrum: Keep Paragon and Renegade as extremes, then have two or three more dispositions which impact your reputation. Making mostly neutral, non-combative choices will have others look upon your character as an ideal arbiter; being aggressive could stop a confrontation by being intimidating to one or both sides.


Finally, I would write the story out in full, and make it two games. Not one, because I think there's just too much narrative for one; not three, because trilogies demand gigantic, epic endings, and we know they usually don't deliver. Two.
 

Hawki

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CaptJohnSheridan said:
The world is a dark place and perhaps it is time the gaming world give us something of this generation that is optimistic. Games like God of War, Horizon Zero Dawn, Red Dead Redemption 2, The Witcher 3, and Marvel's Spider Man are groundbreaking. Do we deserve a space game with the same level of quality in story and gameplay as those games?
On the question of "deserving" stuff, I'm going to let Frank Underwood do the talking for me:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNaEEj7gCqM

Great if I/you/we get one sure, but a piece of media doesn't need to be some masterpiece to be good. And we're certainly not owed that.

Should the next Mass Effect game help gamers to become excited for humanity's future?
I think the games kind of do that already - their view on mankind's future is reasonably positive.

Course I don't have much hope for the future myself and a game isn't going to change that.

CaitSeith said:
Unless someone pulls out a Russ Pitts and rescues Bioware from EA's clutches, I find the prospect of a new Mass Effect game pretty disheartening (and pretty improbable too).
"Mass Effect 5" (for lack of a better term) is already in the planning/discussion phase.
 

CaitSeith

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PFCboom said:
Problem feeding refugees because a transport vehicle is stalled? ENGI FIX!
This reminds me they did something like that in the Omega DLC. There is a Paragon interrupt exclusive for the Engineer class where Shepard goes "Do you take me for a mindless grunt or something?", fixes the problem much faster and the scene ends way more smoothly than with any of the other classes.
 

Kerg3927

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PFCboom said:
First and most importantly: Smaller scale.
Yep. To me, the quality of Bioware's games took a nosedive when they switched to the massive open world format. Instead of tight, compact games where you ride the roller coaster as the hero of an epic space/fantasy adventure, it became tedious exploration and fetch quests on stupidly huge maps, which greatly watered down the whole experience, IMO.
 

CaitSeith

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Hawki said:
CaitSeith said:
Unless someone pulls out a Russ Pitts and rescues Bioware from EA's clutches, I find the prospect of a new Mass Effect game pretty disheartening (and pretty improbable too).
"Mass Effect 5" (for lack of a better term) is already in the planning/discussion phase.
Are they? I though they had canned those plans after ME:Andromeda launch failure and laying off a bunch of their staff.
 

meiam

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Yeah I vote for letting it rest in peace.

If they have to do more, I'd vote for a reboot of the whole thing, keep ME1 mostly the same but improve gameplay more along 2/3 style. Completely change 2 and 3 story line. 2 should be much more focus on finding a way to stop the reaper and 3 should be about using that way. The crew should be mostly the same throughout, no need to add in a bunch of character in 2 just to have them disappear in 3 to get back to mostly the crew from 1. IF you absolutely need to have Cerberus in it (you don't, and god protect you if you even so much as mention Kai Leng), then make them more a grey organization than ridiculous evil (ie the end justify the mean). You can keep paragon/renegade, but no more meter and picked the blue or red option shouldn't always lead to the same outcome.

If it has to be an original game, I'd like to play as a specter, preferably before the event of ME3 (so maybe Nihlus). Keep the scale small, in a space empire than means you can still have large conflict, things that affect entire planets, but you don't need every threat to be Cthulhu. So it'd be more about the local power structure and the various interaction between the races, maybe have something on that planet in ME2 were things were more legal or something like that.

I should mention in case anyone never read it, Shamus Young did a wonderful analysis of the entire trilogy and is currently looking at Andromeda on his personal blog, worth the read.
 

Kerg3927

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CaitSeith said:
Hawki said:
CaitSeith said:
Unless someone pulls out a Russ Pitts and rescues Bioware from EA's clutches, I find the prospect of a new Mass Effect game pretty disheartening (and pretty improbable too).
"Mass Effect 5" (for lack of a better term) is already in the planning/discussion phase.
Are they? I though they had canned those plans after ME:Andromeda launch failure and laying off a bunch of their staff.
They shitcanned plans for any DLC for Andromeda. But just googling around, I don't think they've confirmed anything beyond Anthem, except some hints here and there about a potential Dragon Age 4 at some point. I think they've also said they'd like to return to Mass Effect some day, not ruling it out. That type of vague stuff. Unless Hawki has read something I haven't...

My personal speculation is that everything for Bioware is riding on Anthem. They are putting all of their resources into it, and if it bombs, I wouldn't be surprised if EA pulled the plug on Bioware. If it does well, we'll probably get a DA4 next, IMO.
 
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The BioWare that made the original game is gone, so it's probably best to move on. They've already retconned half the lore and swept the other half under the rug when they made Andromeda. But if there was a sequel, I'd like a Mass Effect 4 (ie. chronologically after 3 and in the Milky Way). I do actually have an idea I'd love to see, tho I know it'll be EAd. It starts by removing Andromeda from memory and ignoring it in canon entirely, but like Andromeda, the only piece of information it will ask for from the OT is Shepard's sex for reference. ie. It will be new and not account for any prior player decisions.

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Mass Effect 4 is set about 150-250 years after Priority: Earth. The Destroy ending is canon, whether Shepard lived or died in the attempt is ultimately irrelevant. Shepard is remembered as a hero, the first human Spectre who ended the Reaper's reaping and wiped out ALL AI (at least at the time). So no reapers, no geth (no EDI 😞). I would further retcon the destruction of the relays so they are all still in tact and working. Don't even mention it, just pretend it didn't happen.

Two things I would want to see more than anything is a) we can play as a non-human. So we can pick a character to be asari, turian, or human. Options could maybe include Salarian/Quarian or maybe Krogan, but not sure if that would work or be too complicated (the first three can share two voices, with a synth for Turians). b) I want to see Dragon Age: Origins' ORIGINS back. So what happens, the player can pick their race, their sex and their class (yes, bring back classes). So the Asari would be a huntress, the Turian could be a specops or covert soldier, the human an alliance or CSec maybe. There should be 5-6 different Origins and this forms the Prologue/Tutorial like in DA:O with some player choices that have repercussions down the road. There should be a difference between the races, such as Asari get +Biotics, Turians get +Tech but can't learn biotics, etc.

Whatever happens in these Origins, the player becomes a SPECTRE tasked by the Council to investigate something. During the adventure, we'll return to Rannoch, where we see the youngest generation of Quarians able to walk without envirosuits. We get to visit Tuchanka where we see green returning to the world and children being born. These two things are the payoff for fans of the OT. While most OT characters would be long dead, we could have Wrex, Liara and Aria return for brief cameos, maybe Grunt or Samara. Liara would be a matron now, in the second phase of her life, Wrex would be really elderly, maybe at the end of his life, perhaps he's spent the last decades grooming Grunt to lead Urdnot and the allied tribes, who have now become less warlike.

To be honest, the plot could really be anything. A mcguffin, a new alien species invades the milky way, someone creates a new AI race (tho I'm loathe to see it go back down that road). Maybe the Leviathans wake up and set something in motion. If I were to outline something, some ideas could include finding one outpost full of thousands of surviving Protheans...perhaps Javik is responsible (were Protheans long-lived, I can't remember?). When they wake up, they reactivate some ancient technology of theirs and start a militant campaign of conquest. Another idea could be that an Asari separatist movement want to secede from the Council, blaming the other races for Thessia's fate in the Reaper War, and they form a...well sorta a Cerberus type organisation, terrorising council space and taking over asari colonies. Perhaps they're Ardat-Yakshi who enter open rebellion, banding together.

There's no story that can up the stakes from the Reapers, so I don't think they should try to. Something no more than Death Star threat level will be just fine. Maybe they could portray the galaxy still in turmoil, struggling to pick up the pieces 200 years on with the Batarians practically extinct, the other minor races like volus/elcor considering siding with non-aligned parties like Aria in Omega because they've lost faith in the Council. Maybe there's a while rival government. I like the Prothean idea personally; Ilos is the inspiration for that...maybe Javik, as a soldier, went investigating some old outposts, found intact cryopods at one and unthawed the former general of the Prothean military, who had secretly seeded many thousands of loyal troops, scientists, women, etc in their cycle and done the same thing that Ilos did. Javik, realising his mistake seeks out Liara and the two of them bring the threat to the attention of the Council who send the player out to investigate.

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With all that said, while the franchise was originally shelved, seemingly indefinitely, Casey Hudson returned and took over the top job after EA fired the numpty that made Andromeda. He said he wants to revisit it and was the original executive producer so there could be some hope there. My main concern is that Drew Karpshyn is no longer there and he was the main creative force. Mac Walters gave us the nonsense stories from ME2 and ME3, and all the plot holes, retcons, starchilds and Kai Lengs that went with it, along with Andromeda. I do not believe Mac Walters is a good writer, at all. Further, it will inevitably be EAd, meaning tacked on multiplayer, always online, Origin, lootcrates, etc. I want it to return to the structure of ME1 and abandon the Andromeda pseudo-open world structure.

Andromeda also highlights the difference in approach to storytelling and world-building. In ME1, we learn in-game and in the codex about biotics, the Normandy's stealth system, relays and the "mass effect", the genophage, how shields work, infinite ammo guns, etc. Then in Andromeda...they crossed galaxies...because they did. They identified "golden worlds" 2.5 MILLION light years away...how they identified them is anyone's guess, they just did. Somehow frozen krogan woke up cured of the genophage because handwave. They're completely fine with AI despite how dangerous it was portrayed until then. They not only retconned or tore up lore, they didn't even replace it with anything. Shamus Young described it as going from "details first" (like Star Trek") to "drama first" (like Star Wars) and the world really suffered for the change. And I don't think they're capable of going back, but I'd like it to.
 
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Should there be a next Mass Effect?

Ok, i'll play. There are actually 3 things that i'd want from another ME game.
1. Be it a prequel - this time, it seems like the most sensible option.
2. The plot shouldn't focus around saving theworldgalaxy again.(I DARE you, Bioware!)
3. PLAYABLE. ALIENS.

CaptJohnSheridan said:
Should the next Mass Effect game help gamers to become excited for humanity's future?
snrk... They can try.
 

Hawki

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CaitSeith said:
Are they? I though they had canned those plans after ME:Andromeda launch failure and laying off a bunch of their staff.
I said ME5, not Andromeda DLC.

As for ME5:

https://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Mass_Effect%3A_Andromeda#Post-Release

Note that it hasn't been updated with N7 2018 info yet.

Kerg3927 said:
Unless Hawki has read something I haven't...
I'm sure I've read a lot of stuff you haven't. :p

(Though the same is probably true in reverse).
 

Mikejames

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Assuming they never touch the idea of Andromeda again, the set-up I still picture is something like what Dragon Age 2 wanted to be. A smaller more personal story following a completely new batch of characters in a new conflict that has nothing or very little to do with the main overarching Reaper War. A lot of fans played around with the idea of stepping away from the military and playing as a group of smugglers or bounty hunters that are bouncing around from planet to planet recruiting new crew-mates and just trying to get by on their own misadventures before the Reaper War was even an issue.

But as much as I like the potential of the idea, it's simply hard for me to picture EA ever letting Bioware go back to what they did best. Stories that prioritized quality over quantity in terms of characters, exploration, and gameplay.
 

Trunkage

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PFCboom said:
First and most importantly: Smaller scale.
Unfortunately, Andromeda was smaller scale Mass Effect. Small selection of planets. More expansive "exploration". Quests all centred around making planets viable, through diplomacy, obtaining items and fighting aliens. It's the DA2 of the Mass Effect series

Kerg3927 said:
Yep. To me, the quality of Bioware's games took a nosedive when they switched to the massive open world format. Instead of tight, compact games where you ride the roller coaster as the hero of an epic space/fantasy adventure, it became tedious exploration and fetch quests on stupidly huge maps, which greatly watered down the whole experience, IMO.
fetch quests. tedious exploration? Sounds like Witcher 3