Stolen Pixels #257: The Electronic Artists

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Way to grab that low-hanging fruit, though I sometimes wonder if the writers of both comics don't prefer low hanging fruit.

amaranth_dru:
...I am tired of going through 3 inventories worth of crap weapons and armor to find one that actually helped me live.
RPG's should be fun, not a timesink in which the quest for stats is the penultimate goal. Thats what MMO raids are for.

I agree with you, and I would bet Shamus agrees with you on this too, but the thing bothering me, and presumably Shamus,(I don't want to put words in his mouth)about the new direction Bioware has taken with ME2 and possibly ME3, not because it is less WoW stat-obsessed but because they are slowly removing the creative story, tough moral decisions, and (mostly)interesting characters that Bioware is known for.

Considering all we have to go on so far are a few screenshots and EA blurbs it's a bit early to start assuming that ME3 is gonna be dumbed down in the RPG department.

I think I kind of get what they're suggesting (or at least I'm hoping they're suggesting). You can have a deep RPG and good shooter elements side by side. What I assumed they meant by "behind the scenes stats" was that you wouldn't be wasting time with stats that had little observable effect or were just dead-ends that didn't help with anything else. Remember the SPECIAL stats from Fallout 3? There were only 2 or 3 that really mattered, and the others were just meh (I got through 90% of the speech challenges with 2 Charisma). How can that be considered a good RPG system?

I guess what I'm saying is that the stats or skills you choose should have a real, tangible effect. Gradual upgrades are ok, but too often in RPG's I'll level up and think "well I don't really feel any stronger". That's what should be avoided.

Yeah, I'm personally pretty nervous about ME3. The more I hear, the more "tweaked" it seems to be. The "tweaks" made to ME2 combined w/ the....well, combined with Dragon Age 2 has me concerned BioWare is being "EA'd." Which is what I've been afraid of since they were bought by EA.

I guess we'll have to wait till next year and see for ourselves how ME3 plays, all the while pouring over trailers and demos.

There's something innately funny about Shepard's facial expressions.

(Just default male Shepard's of course. My Femshep always looks cool and awesome)

And it confirms my opinion that the renegade conversation options are always the most entertaining.

I'll reserve judgment until i've played the game. As is I don't feel that Bioware has ever dissapointed me with any of their games and i'll be buying ME3 the day it comes out.

I do find the whining, doom-saying, and jumping to conclusion to be quite amusing though. Dance puppets, dance!

I hate to admit it, but it's so true.

So painfully, truthfully, true...

If I had to guess I'd say they're planning on making the combat closer to a full out shooter while the talkin' remains more or less the same.

Also I feel like I'm missing the significance of the last panel if there is one.

I still think people should stop acting like idiots about the whole thing.

Meaningful effect on combat guys. Remember how you all whined about that? I reckon that'll just make it so its actually worth farming planets this time. Dear god, I could barely notice the difference in ME2.

This assertions aren't particularly disingenuous.

The_root_of_all_evil:
Tits In, Thinky Out.

On that subject: http://www.nerfnow.com/comic/481

Some people actually percieve a trend towards less sexuality in Bioware games. But whatever. The core point Shamus made is correct: The statements made be EA imply that the guys running the company are liars, which is a serious issue.

Why can't it be an RPG that plays like a shooter?

I think this thread just about makes it official. Nu-Bioware fanboys have become one of the most obnoxious groups of fanboys, with one of the most zealous intolerances for criticism of their beloved company, of the current gaming community.

"Truly, these people are visionaries."
Except their vision is delusional and quite bleak?

Just saying, there are many, many different kinds of visions one can have ;)

The.Bard:
I get it's a comic, but <cue complaint that largely ignores that comics can take artistic liberties in order to be funny - and that's what this comic is, funny>

lulz. As for most of the rest of this thread... I don't see where Shamus said the game would be bad. Not once.

RelexCryo:

Some people actually percieve a trend towards less sexuality in Bioware games. But whatever.

The secondary point is that EA are tweaking Bioware's game. That phrase is the one that brings chills. EA lying is what we've come to expect.

Chadling:
I can't believe I'm saying these words, but I have literally no desire to play Mass Effect 3. Unbelievable. I actually have no desire to play a Bioware game.

Hear hear. How do we start an organised boycott?

Oh god I wish you could do that to that damn woman in the actual game.
With the ME3 story I bet the reapers beat me to it and kill her ¬.¬

OT: I think people are just reading too much into whats been said, with noone having played it yet, we can't know if its gonna be that much different to the ME2 at least.

I laughed out loud.

Bioware: You gotta push the date, 'cos we found stuff we want to fix.
EA: Well, let us do the talking. We're the publisher, it's what we do. What's the game, again?

Thank fuck for the stripping down of RPG elements in Mass Effect.

Because frankly, it always was a shooter, not a slow turn-based system like NWN2 or KOTOR. It tried to be a shooter with number crunching, and you know what the result was? Booooring.

Mass Effect 2 went the right way; exciting gunplay supported by special abilties that work on a cooldown. Like the perfect blend of the TPRS, or "Third Person Roleplaying-Shooter", sort of like what Borderlands tried to do in the first person variety. (Though to be frank, even the RPG elements on that were way too heavy handed. I want my guns to be guns, not see numbers drown out the screen)

Not to mention the utter relief in there being no inventory. Do you know how fucking annoying it was to have to open that shit up every five to ten minutes just to turn everything into omni-gel so i'd have more room to pick up yet more junk and repeat the process all over again? In the end, i just gave up looting, because i was sick to death of it. I really hope we get the same weapon and armour management we got in ME2.

I will agree that the 'ye olde RPG mechanics' do still have a place in gaming, but they have a place in hacky-slashy titles. Not shooter titles. It just doesn't gel well, at all. Dragon Age can keep its Neverwinter Nights mechanics; but it just doesn't belong in Mass Effect.

Oh, and the responses in the comic did elicit a few chuckles from me.

BlindChance:

Chadling:
I can't believe I'm saying these words, but I have literally no desire to play Mass Effect 3. Unbelievable. I actually have no desire to play a Bioware game.

Hear hear. How do we start an organised boycott?

First, practice by herding cats.

Gralian:
Thank fuck for the stripping down of RPG elements in Mass Effect.

Because frankly, it always was a shooter, not a slow turn-based system like NWN2 or KOTOR. It tried to be a shooter with number crunching, and you know what the result was? Booooring.

Mass Effect 2 went the right way; exciting gunplay supported by special abilties that work on a cooldown. Like the perfect blend of the TPRS, or "Third Person Roleplaying-Shooter", sort of like what Borderlands tried to do in the first person variety. (Though to be frank, even the RPG elements on that were way too heavy handed. I want my guns to be guns, not see numbers drown out the screen)

Not to mention the utter relief in there being no inventory. Do you know how fucking annoying it was to have to open that shit up every five to ten minutes just to turn everything into omni-gel so i'd have more room to pick up yet more junk and repeat the process all over again? In the end, i just gave up looting, because i was sick to death of it. I really hope we get the same weapon and armour management we got in ME2.

I will agree that the 'ye olde RPG mechanics' do still have a place in gaming, but they have a place in hacky-slashy titles. Not shooter titles. It just doesn't gel well, at all. Dragon Age can keep its Neverwinter Nights mechanics; but it just doesn't belong in Mass Effect.

Oh, and the responses in the comic did elicit a few chuckles from me.

Go play CoD or Cyrsis 2 or Killzone or Bulletstorm or Bad company 2 or the othe million generic shooters you really want to play.

RhombusHatesYou:
First, practice by herding cats.

Touché. The sad thing is, it may just be Bioware has no more place in the current market. Their game design really seems to need a good two-three year development cycle, and in the AAA world, it seems one year is all companies can afford. I just hope ME3 doesn't sell so well that EA feel happy about it.

Frankly, I really hope it bombs.

I always enjoy the massive amounts of contradiction things like this bring out in people. They rail against stat shenanigans and samey gameplay mechanics in other games but when talking about Bioware its all 'give us more stat shit and everything else should be more of the same we played before!'

I also remember the crap ME2 got before its release and shortly afterwards. I'm fairly confident the same thing will happen again, a few weirdos will hate it and loads will love the shit out of it.

BloodSquirrel:
I think this thread just about makes it official. Nu-Bioware fanboys have become one of the most obnoxious groups of fanboys, with one of the most zealous intolerances for criticism of their beloved company, of the current gaming community.

bootz:


Go play CoD or Cyrsis 2 or Killzone or Bulletstorm or Bad company 2 or the othe million generic shooters you really want to play.

I have real difficulty believing that your "Nu-Bioware fanboys" are any more vehement than the people who declare that nobody who plays a shooter would ever want to pay attention to the story and the people who want to play a shooter with characterization should go back to playing shooters without characterization.

Also, frankly, it is a shooter and always has been, this coming from someone who hates most shooters (The exceptions are the Mass Effect series, TF2, and Portal. Yes, I'm a PC gamer. Also, I was soured on shooters by UT, which moves too quickly for me.)

lol. epic comic shamus.

Sadly I still have this to say regardless of how ME has been trying to suit the needs of shooter gamers and RPG gamers.

I do have to say though despite all my love for Mass Effect 1... The way Mass Effect 2 has gone has made me lose so much interest in the game... I mean I wasn't AT ALL interested with the first one to begin with because it lacked the shooter concept that most games were pitching to me with their trailers and box art.

But then I gave it a try, got some help from some mates who've played it and ended up loving almost every bit of it as if part of my changed and I stopped becoming a shooter game addict and started liking other game genres!!

It's like what Prey 2 has become... So much has changed that it isn't even a sequel... It just has the same names of things.

bootz:

Gralian:
Thank fuck for the stripping down of RPG elements in Mass Effect.

Because frankly, it always was a shooter, not a slow turn-based system like NWN2 or KOTOR. It tried to be a shooter with number crunching, and you know what the result was? Booooring.

Mass Effect 2 went the right way; exciting gunplay supported by special abilties that work on a cooldown. Like the perfect blend of the TPRS, or "Third Person Roleplaying-Shooter", sort of like what Borderlands tried to do in the first person variety. (Though to be frank, even the RPG elements on that were way too heavy handed. I want my guns to be guns, not see numbers drown out the screen)

Not to mention the utter relief in there being no inventory. Do you know how fucking annoying it was to have to open that shit up every five to ten minutes just to turn everything into omni-gel so i'd have more room to pick up yet more junk and repeat the process all over again? In the end, i just gave up looting, because i was sick to death of it. I really hope we get the same weapon and armour management we got in ME2.

I will agree that the 'ye olde RPG mechanics' do still have a place in gaming, but they have a place in hacky-slashy titles. Not shooter titles. It just doesn't gel well, at all. Dragon Age can keep its Neverwinter Nights mechanics; but it just doesn't belong in Mass Effect.

Oh, and the responses in the comic did elicit a few chuckles from me.

Go play CoD or Cyrsis 2 or Killzone or Bulletstorm or Bad company 2 or the othe million generic shooters you really want to play.

Oh wow, lump me in with another crowd entirely. Thanks for that.

Why does it have to be double or nothing? Why do i have to have mindless grey shooter (FIRST person shooter, going by that list) or number cruncher? I want the story. I want the great universe and lore. I just don't want it bogged down with clumsy combat mechanics and needlessly obtuse inventory systems.

Swords and fireballs are slow. Guns are fast. Gun combat should be fast paced, it's not like a "you hit me, i hit you" slow sword and board combat you find in fantasy games, is it? Can you see really not see why heavy RPG systems would compliment a game like Dragon Age rather than Mass Effect?

Shamus Young:

I'm Commander Shepard, and this is my favorite evasive answer on the Citadel.

EA also did the same thing with Command and Conquer 4.

Many people are against a lot of the changes in ME3, but true to form, EA only listens to the monies.

Well, whatever happens, I'll buy it to see the end of the story.

And thus will likely end my brief interaction with Bioware >.>

Loving the return to your glorious ways with this brilliant update, Shamus!

I don't trust EA as far as I can throw them either, but let's hope that BioWare has enough clout of its own to be able to stand up to the narrow minded stupidity of EA's execs.
To be fair, I'm way more of a fan of the Mass Effect rather than the Dragon Age games, and this coming from a guy that's IN LOVE with the fantasy genre.

The Mass Effect games just seem to belong to far more interesting universe, with more original takes on the genre, I guess.

Plus there are big shooty lasers.

This One shall pray to the Enkindlers for BioWare's soul.

Gralian:

bootz:

Gralian:
Thank fuck for the stripping down of RPG elements in Mass Effect.

Because frankly, it always was a shooter, not a slow turn-based system like NWN2 or KOTOR. It tried to be a shooter with number crunching, and you know what the result was? Booooring.

Mass Effect 2 went the right way; exciting gunplay supported by special abilties that work on a cooldown. Like the perfect blend of the TPRS, or "Third Person Roleplaying-Shooter", sort of like what Borderlands tried to do in the first person variety. (Though to be frank, even the RPG elements on that were way too heavy handed. I want my guns to be guns, not see numbers drown out the screen)

Not to mention the utter relief in there being no inventory. Do you know how fucking annoying it was to have to open that shit up every five to ten minutes just to turn everything into omni-gel so i'd have more room to pick up yet more junk and repeat the process all over again? In the end, i just gave up looting, because i was sick to death of it. I really hope we get the same weapon and armour management we got in ME2.

I will agree that the 'ye olde RPG mechanics' do still have a place in gaming, but they have a place in hacky-slashy titles. Not shooter titles. It just doesn't gel well, at all. Dragon Age can keep its Neverwinter Nights mechanics; but it just doesn't belong in Mass Effect.

Oh, and the responses in the comic did elicit a few chuckles from me.

Go play CoD or Cyrsis 2 or Killzone or Bulletstorm or Bad company 2 or the othe million generic shooters you really want to play.

Oh wow, lump me in with another crowd entirely. Thanks for that.

Why does it have to be double or nothing? Why do i have to have mindless grey shooter (FIRST person shooter, going by that list) or number cruncher? I want the story. I want the great universe and lore. I just don't want it bogged down with clumsy combat mechanics and needlessly obtuse inventory systems.

Swords and fireballs are slow. Guns are fast. Gun combat should be fast paced, it's not like a "you hit me, i hit you" slow sword and board combat you find in fantasy games, is it? Can you see really not see why heavy RPG systems would compliment a game like Dragon Age rather than Mass Effect?

So you want half life 2 or crysis or brothers in arms or brink or homefront or medal of honor or fear those games are already made. Let mass effect have rpg elements it will stand out of the crowd. If you want other fps with story there are lots of them.

Shamus Young:
Stolen Pixels #257: The Electronic Artists

I'm Commander Shepard, and this is my favorite evasive answer on the Citadel.

Read Full Article

I think you're missing the difference between content and gameplay. IP does not necessarily encompass gameplay. Halo Wars and Halo Reach are both the same IP but completely different games.

I lost SO much faith in Bioware for Dragon Age 2. Wouldn't be surprised if they crapped all over Mass Effect as well.

bootz:

So you want half life 2 or crysis or brothers in arms or brink or homefront or medal of honor those games are already made. Let mass effect have rpg elements it will stand out of the crowd. If you want other fps with story there are lots of them.

Er, no.

Let's start on the most basic, fundamental level. Those games are FIRST person shooters. Mass Effect is a THIRD person shooter. Got that? Good.

Now, please, tell me in what possible way any of those games can compare to the lore, story, characterisation and universe of Mass Effect? Are you seriously trying to tell me that Half-Life, Crysis and Brink (a game that doesn't even really have a single player component) can possibly compare to the world of Mass Effect? Good freaking lord.

You're basically saying that "You're not good enough to enjoy what we enjoy because you refuse to accept combat mechanics. Go back to more simplistic games, because what you want is trivial and less important than what we want." Does that not strike you as terribly self-centered?

Are you honestly trying to tell me that you didn't think the original Mass Effect's combat was cumbersome? The reason ME2 had to change to be more fast paced, is that you can't do it half and half. You either have to make it properly turn based or make it free fast paced action. Let me give you an example. Remember Knights of the Old Republic? Well, the way guns were handled in that, were that you would simply target the enemy to attack, and then your character would spend forever aiming and then auto-attacking with a single shot, and the enemy would do the same and it operated just like an MMO style fight, complete with skills in the hotbar for things like "rapid fire" which had cooldowns. That's great, i have no problems with that, because it's a one hundred percent RPG system. But if you try to mesh it with live action, it becomes horribly bogged down under its own weight. Pointless engagements that lasted far longer than they should because it's all based on numbers rather than specific tropes of location specific damage and damage types in the form of ammunition that was specifically useful in each given situation. Not only that, but regardless of your stance on the "Roleplaying Shooter", the inventory system was, i'm sorry to say, a terrible mess that was easily cluttered and far too reliant on the player to act as a janitor to clean out the junk every time you cleared a room. No-one wants to be doing that. Getting gear is nice, but it shouldn't be a chore to sort out your shit after every single engagement. With ME2, you had no junk, and the few times you did get a new gun or armour it felt like a meaningful upgrade and was readily accessible. No need to compare stats or sift through a lofty inventory with items that may or may not be useful.

I think you are conflating my distaste for RPG combat mechanics with other elements of the RPG genre such as narrative and storytelling and i think it speaks volumes about you if you think for one second that the story told in something like Mass Effect can even remotely compare to something as trivial as "homefront" and other games you listed and i think it says even more about you when you try to push other gamers away who are dissatisfied with certain aspects of other things they might enjoy and say "Why don't you entertain your simple mind with something else instead, this isn't for you".

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