BioWare: Mass Effect 3 Combat Perfected

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Tdc2182:
I missed the loot system in Mass Effect 1 with the guns and armor.

How on earth could you miss selling 50 units of "Polonium Rounds VI" one by one? And god help you if you didn't, because once the Scram Rail X you actually wanted finally dropped, your space napsack was full and you were forced to immediately omnigel it.

This kind of nostalgia just blows my mind.

Irridium:
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The way I see, Shepard was fighting an enemy he/she has never encountered before. He does not know how to fight them.

How many credits would you like to bet we see many, many repeat enemies in ME3?

Geth, Blue Suns, Mechs, even Collectors - take your pick.

Optimystic:

How many credits would you like to bet we see many, many repeat enemies in ME3?

Geth, Blue Suns, Mechs, even Collectors - take your pick.

We'll also be fighting Huskified versions of many races, along with apparently new, badass Cerberus dudes.

Honestly, I don't care what the actual gameplay is like; both games had their own merits in that respect.

What I want is the colorful cast of characters and the "I can't believe he just did that" moments of the second game, with a plotline on the same scale and with the same urgency as the first.

Irridium:

We'll also be fighting Huskified versions of many races, along with apparently new, badass Cerberus dudes.

And you will shoot equally accurately at all of them.

And I will love it. :-)

this trend was foreseeable; the real rpg community knows, that they lost the war for some time now(5+ years at least)... Why does Bioware needs to rub salt into the wounds with those lame excuses for the obvious...

Well, considering ME2 aped ME1 in terms of gameplay, I'll trust BioWare to make it even better. Some footage would be nice though ^^

I might be in the minority here, but I rather feel ME2 succeeded despite the shooter gameplay, not because of it. The action sequences were perfectly competent, and all, but they really weren't anything terribly special. And perhaps the greatest overall weakness of the thing was I went into every new place and every new situation wondering, "Hmm, I wonder how this situation will be resolved by shooting bad guys?"

If I was working on ME3 I wouldn't be worrying about the shooting sequences so much as finding ways to add more variety to the thing. The dialogue is pretty good, and the shooting sequences are okay, but just about everything else the player does- the assaying, the hacking, the tiny number of puzzles- is actually kind of weak.

i just hoep i get to punch more dudes out from window

that was soooo bad ass lol

John Marcone:
BWAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAA! Omg. Ahh thats funny. Sorry Bioware but you released this like 14 days too late. April fools is over.

Bioware... does not make good games. They may have fantastic stories, great characters and beautiful scenery but the gameplay aspects of it are always shit.
Even ME2 was actually not that good. I would happily take Gears of War any day of the week.
Dragon Ages battle system was just plain old broken. I mean even Squaresoft managed to get that style right with FFXII and they have not been a good dev for a long time.

So yeah, sorry guys but this ego thing you are doing really needs to go until you have something to back it up with.

I think Bioware making or not making good games is all just a matter of opinion. Jade Empire and KOTOR had some nice game-play. In my opinion I consider Mass Effect 2 a much better game than Gears of War. Like I said before it all just comes down to differences in opinions.

The second that 'Improved Cover Mechanics' gets bandied around from someone trying to say why their combat is new and improved, I immediately shut off the paying attention part of my brain.

To hear that ME3 will rely even more on the by the number cover basey pop up and shooty nonsense makes me very sad. I had such high hopes for this game, but with every new press release it's getting harder and harder for me to maintain them.

So far Mass Effect 3 sounds like it will be the greatest game Bioware's made since KOTOR (not to say that all the games after KOTOR weren't great but KOTOR is a classic now)

Weapon add-ons back, better skill trees, better graphics, multiple game endings and choices actually making a difference, and tons more snippets of information I've probably forgotten.

I see little reason to complain about Mass Effect 3 (besides worrying that it will be too much like Mass Effect 2 and not enough like Mass Effect 1 + Mass Effect 2, and the ladder thing...)

Reads to me something along the lines of:

"We're trying to copy how CoD, Halo, Gears of War, and Battlefield did it."

Especially that "to bring the combat in line with the best shooters of this generation." line that they used. There's one other cover based shooter out there that's big, and that's Gears of War. You want to talk about 'best shooters' and you're looking at the CoD, Battlefield and Halo lines for the most part and their design methodologies. Anyone really want that in a Mass Effect game?

I don't need Turian Mercenaries calling me a spawn camping whore.

gof22:
Like I said before it all just comes down to differences in opinions.

... So does rape.
For one its a fantastic experience full of fun, excitement, thrills and lots of ups and downs.
For the other its getting fucked in the ass without lube...

Seriously, am i the only one that enjoyed all the different ammo types and upgrades in ME1? i really loved all the customisation and options. I think what pissed me off (storywise) about the stupid heat clips was by the end of ME1 i could fire my assault rifle on Full Auto almost endlessly using all its upgrades and my soldier abilities to pretty much do away with overheating.

Sure i'm an RPG nerd, i admit it, i'm proud of it, i love equipment management, i love involoved stories and memorable NPC's that you can either befriend or antagonise and i hate to see an RPG franchise that comes from the company that for over 10 years has made out and out the best Western RPG's i have EVER played, be turned into dumbed down FPS shooter. I know RPG's are on the way out and most of the industry doesnt even understand what RPG's are(my teeth clench every time i hear a game developer talk about 'RPG elements' when he means skill upgrades), but this level of fanbase betrayal from Bioware hurts...

If i wanted to play an RPG shooter i'd go and runthrough Alpha Protocol again (Sorry Bioware but warts and all, Obsidian can combine RPG and Shooter much better than you ever will)

For me the combat system of both games was kinda hit and miss

Mass Effect 1, the overheat system meant ammo was no problem (i often found myself running low on crucially needed ammo on ME2) and the hybrid classes were a lot more balanced, for example the Vanguard felt like a happy medium between Soldier and Adept, whereas ME2 took away a lot of biotic abilities and essentially made Vanguard a close range Soldier, which would be ok if your health didn't drop faster than a whore's knickers. But Mass Effect 1 had a lot of drawbacks. Overabundance of armour/weapons/gun upgrades/ammo upgrades found on dead enemies was annoying, and the sniper is godawful until you get training, unlike the other weapons which start of pretty decent and develop into very good weapons.

Mass Effect 2 had problems too. Select ammo abilities only available to certain classes (unless you chose the soldier, then you pretty much had all of them) The SMG sucked, and the mix and match system with armour, while good i often asked myself "do i need this stat or that one?" However ME2 fixed the sniper rifle, introduced some kick-ass heavy weapons, the ability to choose more than one ability at once for the squad

Classes on ME1 in my opinion were kind of crap. the short story was, because of the stupidly long recharge times for powers, best choice was going for a soldier, or a soldier hybrid. (personal preference being Vanguard) ME2 technically fixed this. The classes were tuned to be more-or-less equal with each class having a signature ability defining it from the rest. however, a lot of classes lost abilities (Vanguards lost Barrier. not cool) and some of the signature moves were pretty crap, notably the Vanguards Charge ability. sure it looks awesome, but if there's a group of enemies you didn't notice when you pull it off, you get swiss cheesed. plus, the decision to make Vanguard "a close quarters combat specialist" was pretty stupid considering it's a cover based shooter.

manythings:
Can I get a video with my publicity yammer?

+1. Let's back up incredibly bold claims with a little evidence shall we?

Zhukov:
I remember reading that in those magazine scans that hit the net awhile back. Sounds good to me.

The RPG-crowd are gonna hate it though. "It's justed a dumbed down shooter now! Ruined forever! Waaah!

Heh.

The shooter crowd isn't going to like it either. CoD, Halo and Bulletstorm area all AAA titles that put virtually all of their effort into polished shooter gameplay. There's just no way that Mass Effect can match up without either spending much more money than those games, or completely giving up on the RPG elements.

I might pick it up if it looks decent now. I'm not a fan of turn-based/party combat. Otherwise I'd probably be all over Bioware. But I'm not, so I'm still going to say that Skyrim >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Dragon Age/Mass Effect. That's just personal preference though.

as long its not a FPS-RPG it will be fine, i mean RPG fans are everwhere some just don't know it

the 80% of the CoD-Halo crowd don't even know theres agenere called RPG, i know some that have played Mass effect, borderlands and Fallout and they swore it wasnt a "Zelda like game"

Zhukov:
The RPG-crowd are gonna hate it though. "It's justed a dumbed down shooter now! Ruined forever! Waaah!

And yet if the opposite was said for Call of Duty and all the shooter-fanboys started ranting and raving about it you'd be all sympathetic.

I don't see why an Action-RPG needs to become a CoDclone-RPG BioWare. I really don't.

More power to them. If they asked me how to improve the combat in the series, I'd simply take it out. What are these shooty bits doing in my talking simulator?

Good or bad I don't care about the combat system*.

It's all about the story to me. They'd better give Tali, Liara and Jack their moments. As well as getting to see the payoff of letting the Rachni free, and forming an alliance with the Geth.

If they do that I'd be completely fine if they reduced squadmate abilities to 1 or 2, or took a Halo style approach to weapons and ammo.

* Even if I agree that ME1's combat style was easier to get used to. You've got to run into cover to take cover and if you press too much you end up jumping over cover? ARRGH)

This time, the guns shoot faster and do more damage!

I liked ME2's streamlining. Most of the management type stuff tied up the combat sections and put more time between you and the exposition.

The cover based shooting, not so much. I had hoped for a more clever approach using biotics and such for ME3.

Therumancer:
Lack of inventory and loot, was a big blow against the game.

Stop removing my choices!

What's more they stated that they ultimatly want to dumb down the game further by removing a big part of the game balance, by pretty much letting every character use any weapon, and simply having class determine how many slots they have.

Stop giving me choices! Wait what?

I see nothing wrong with opening up the weapon selection. For starters, it never made logical sense to me. Applying current conventions forward, modern militaries do not train their non-combatants with pistols and shotguns, they train with the assault rifle like everyone else. It's only the specialists that get into more role specific weapons. Heck, being an expert pistol marksmen is in many ways harder than with a rifle. At least in fantasy there was a better argument for "well the wizard just doesn't have time or probably the physique to train with something like a guisarme". I never found or saw a very good suspension of disbelief for why say an Sentinal only had skill enough to be specialized in Pistol, a ruling they were perfectly willing to break with the NPC characters. Garrus was essentially an Infiltrator who swapped Pistol for Assault Rifle.

From a gameplay stand point, I don't see why letting people play characters in less defined roles is a bad thing. Why should a Vanguard need to be pigeon holed into a close combat class, why does the Infiltrator practically necessitate being a sniper? I'd love to play an Infiltrator that uses cloak to close with enemies and then open up point blank with shotgun. As long as the "combat" classes are provided skills and buffs that maintain their advantage with firearms, I'm perfectly happy with that.

so theyve actually admitted to trying to compete with shooters? good to know.

or actually, quite bad to know. if i want GoW ill play GoW; bioware CANNOT compete with popular shooters because they have never made one and have no experience; the very best they can hope to muster is to be marginally worse than GoW, so why the bloody hell would they actively try that? you have your own thing, your own hybridized gameplay, and in pursuit of MORE popularity (was ME2 a niche purchase? you dont have enough fans?) bioware will make a game that fails as both an RPG and a shooter.

please, just stop letting EA talk you into these stupid interviews. im going to have to start making bobby kotick comparisons soon.

NOTE: Spoilers to ME1 and 2 in this post

Reading these threads always makes me wonder, what exactly did everyone see in the ME2 plot? Whenever you come into a Bioware thread one of the first comments made is about the awesome story-telling, has the massive railroading retcon of Cerberus been so quickly forgotten?

ME1 had a very good story with a few small pacing problems but overall, well put together. Saren was an good villain with interesting motivations and the Reapers while a bit less compelling work if only because they are basically unfathomable. The big reveal about the Reapers on Virmire was solid and the character motivations worked pretty well.

ME2 in marked contrast began the game with a pretty major retcon that was barely explained at all and then railroaded right through about one third of the playerbase's origin choice. Cerberus killed my squad, they are ostensibly the primary villains (of course never mentioned in the first game) in what is one of my character's defining experiences and sitting here in front of their leader I can't so much as ask for an explanation. I've heard from some people that there is a dialog line somewhere in the tree, if there is I didn't find it on my first play through and that really isn't a good answer, my character origin is one of the few things I can customize it shouldn't be so easily tossed aside.

Then we get the actual main story with the Collectors and what not which has the primary effect of killing some of what made the Reapers work as villains. The Reapers are so interesting because they are fundamentally unknowable, a race of machines who despise organics in every way and so lack a way for us to relate to them.

Now I'm not damning all of ME2, the stuff that wasn't the main plot was good, Mordin, Legion and Tali's loyalty missions were all very strong and the characters were pretty good in general, with the notable exceptions of Miranda and Jacob. The problem is that the ME2 plot is entirely disconnected from the ME1 plot, most of the major plot points appear out of nowhere without any reference being made to them in the first game or where their are references we get massive contradictions.

For all the complaints about the combat and loss of RPG elements in ME2 I don't get why Bioware gets so much credit for the main story which really wasn't that good.

I know what I'm about to say is going to get buried under tens of thousands of new posts, and that it's probably already been said somewhere in the six pages that I confidently skipped with the certainty that I knew word for word their content, but I'll say it anyway.

Mass Effect is, by almost any but the most specific definitions, a role-playing game. Role playing means "you play a character on a mission as you interact with NPCs and travel about the game's setting," not "your computer has a set of d20s that it rolls every time you open a door." ME2 is obviously not like a traditional RPG: it is not D&D in space the same way KotOR was.

It's also, by almost any definition, a shooter. You can't deny that its core combat mechanics are those of a 3rd person shooter, albeit one where how I play it varies wildly based on what powers I've chosen; how I've shaped my character. Customization isn't as rich as it is in most traditional RPGs, but that doesn't make it not an RPG, because that's not what the RPG is about. Furthermore, even taking into account the shallower customization options, my vanguard played far differently than my infiltrator, which played far differently from my other infiltrator; my character is definitely my character, and thats something no traditional 3rd person shooter can claim.

That said, I'm very much welcoming of the promised increased customization, and I think if they're trying to make the interface at least as intuitive and the mechanics as smooth as Halo or *shock* CoD, then that's a good thing, just so long as they keep their promises for richer customization and stick to what makes Mass Effect - and all RPGs - so great: the characters, and the mechanic of exploring the story through interaction with the world at large.

Or maybe Mass Effect is neither shooter or RPG. Maybe it's the world's first post-modern AAA video game series. Whatever, it's still awesome, and I still can't wait for it.

But seriously, y'all are starting to sound like fracking social.bioware. You don't want to become social.bioware.

GLo Jones:
I guess seeing is believing, because 'multi-tiered levels joined by ladders' sounds pretty damn frustrating and tedious to me.

If they milk that feature like "wooooOOOoooo look at our ladders!" then yes, certainly. It also boggles the mind how I'll be able to tell my npc's to go up a ladder... If they simply use it to allow more variety in battlefields though then it's not a bad thing.

Zhukov:
I remember reading that in those magazine scans that hit the net awhile back. Sounds good to me.

The RPG-crowd are gonna hate it though. "It's justed a dumbed down shooter now! Ruined forever! Waaah!

Heh.

To be fair, if you replay MassEffect 1, it was the shooting that really held it back. While ME2, the story was kind of weak. But, if there's a good balance both crowds might like it.

I am just going to be frank, at this point I like the things I have been hearing, I just hope the level design is up there with ME1 in terms of me seeing an area that isn't fill with walls and says combat ahoy.

Honestly, I felt that while the gameplay in ME2 was improved considerably, the writing (ya know, the reason I play Bioware games) took a massive dip in quality. I couldn't care less about the removal of RPG-style mechanics, but the obvious plotholes, stupid plot twists, shoehorning characters unnaturally into situations for unclear reasons... The whole plot was kinda lame, in my opinion. And that did bother me.

So no, I'm not all that excited about yet another decent shooter with a weak plot. I know I'm in the minority, but I loved the first game, was disappointed by the second, and don't much care about the third.

Vaer:
Kind of sad what Bioware is slowly becoming since it became part of EA, not that it wasn't to be expected but it's still depressing, from deep and involving story and characters to mindless action and cliche and shallow story and characters, from the leading RPG developer to crappy action and shooter games, did all the people that work on previous games just die ? cause after DA2 and now hearing this it seems like Bioware itself isn't far off from following them... hell even my hopes for SW TOR are slowly being killed :(

I don't understand where this viewpoint comes from. When I played ME1 I though it was the best game ever. I'm currently playing through it again to get a character ready for ME2, and now it's just a test of patience and tolerance. ME2's gameplay and story are both vastly improved as far as I can tell. The characters are more interesting, the environments and world more fleshed out and refined (Omega feels like the shithole it's supposed to be, Illium feels like a nice place to visit... at least at first glance), and we don't keep revisiting the same 3 prefab structures on 50 different planets. I think they should have done away with the probe mechanic and replaced it with the quick survey from orbit from the first game, along with bigger caches of minerals in mission areas.

It seems to me that people just assume all non-shooter aspects of ME2 suffer simply because the RPG mechanics were made less of a focus. I don't agree at all. I would have liked more than just 4 levels per power, but there just isn't anything in ME2 that I would say was better in ME1. Even the probe gameplay, while boring, is far less time-consuming than the mako.

I hated the dumbed down version of the biotic powers and galactic freedom in ME2. ME1 was my favorite game ever, and even though the second one was fantastic, I hope that they get back to the original level of story telling with the third game

Slycne:

Therumancer:
Lack of inventory and loot, was a big blow against the game.

Stop removing my choices!

What's more they stated that they ultimatly want to dumb down the game further by removing a big part of the game balance, by pretty much letting every character use any weapon, and simply having class determine how many slots they have.

Stop giving me choices! Wait what?

I see nothing wrong with opening up the weapon selection. For starters, it never made logical sense to me. Applying current conventions forward, modern militaries do not train their non-combatants with pistols and shotguns, they train with the assault rifle like everyone else. It's only the specialists that get into more role specific weapons. Heck, being an expert pistol marksmen is in many ways harder than with a rifle. At least in fantasy there was a better argument for "well the wizard just doesn't have time or probably the physique to train with something like a guisarme". I never found or saw a very good suspension of disbelief for why say an Sentinal only had skill enough to be specialized in Pistol, a ruling they were perfectly willing to break with the NPC characters. Garrus was essentially an Infiltrator who swapped Pistol for Assault Rifle.

From a gameplay stand point, I don't see why letting people play characters in less defined roles is a bad thing. Why should a Vanguard need to be pigeon holed into a close combat class, why does the Infiltrator practically necessitate being a sniper? I'd love to play an Infiltrator that uses cloak to close with enemies and then open up point blank with shotgun. As long as the "combat" classes are provided skills and buffs that maintain their advantage with firearms, I'm perfectly happy with that.

The entire point is to create signifigantly differant experiences and roles for specific types of characters. Your absolutly correct that any kind of true "class based" system is unrealistic by nature. There is no reason why a warrior couldn't learn to pick locks, or a mage couldn't learn to be an expert martial artist, there are plenty of examples throughout sword and sorcery fiction that violate the "rules" of D&D and games like it that were inspired by them.

Part of the whole idea of having a system with classes is to make one differant and fill a specific role, encouraging differant solutions to problems and adaption on the part of the player within what they can do. Compared to say having a "perfect" character that can pretty much do *anything*. Like say for example having a fighter or thief or mage in a fantasy RPG where someone like Fritz Leiber's Gray Mouser was one of the deadliest fighters in the world, THE pre-eminent thief of the world, and had also been apprenticed to a wizard so had learned some usage of magic.

The issue in the case of a game like Mass Effect is that it's being done to simplify and streamline the experience so people don't have to adapt to a specific playstyle, rather than to add any kind of actual depth to the game.

The give and take between "give me more choices" and "stop giving me choices" isn't contridictory as it entirely depends on the kinds of choices being given.

In some cases a truely free form character system DOES work for RPGs, however it typically involves a certain amount of give and take. It could be called progression if they were to say give you so many points with which to build Shepard and you could pick what skills you wanted him to have, but ultimatly couldn't wind up making a character who could do, or would be good at, everything. In such a case allowing you to say make a character with an assault rifle which is arguably the most powerful weapon class, it shouldn't leave much room to learn much in the way of special abillities.

Simply deciding "well, any character can now use any weapon, it's just about how many they can carry at once" is contrary to the whole idea of having character classes.

As far as the military goes, we're assuming of course that the military is run the same way that things are run in real life. For example I got the impression that Biotics were trained in special schools as opposed to sent to boot camp. There also seemed to be a degree of mistrust there, so it's likely that it had something to do with why their training and issue might have been fairly limited. When it comes to why a character would only use pistols and shotguns, I tend to look at things like the game "Traveller" where I seem to remember they had a set up very similar to that for actual marines. Simply put Marines being defined as troops who were trained specifically to board ships and space stations, and little else, and were their own corps since that was a service in paticular demand. They were trained with pistols, shotguns, and cutlasses, for close combat in hallways and tight enviroments, and also because the weapons they were using were developed to minimize the chance of wrecking sensitive equipment should a firefight take place in say engineering or the ship's bridge. I might be remembering the wrong RPG system where they set it up that way, but the "Army" which was based around land engagements employed differant weapons like assault rifles, missle launchers, and similar things. The "Navy" being a dedicated support team and learning to use little more than sidearms because they were pretty much dedicated to piloting, matinence, and tech, and would rely entirely on the marine compliment for defense. Is this "realistic" by the current order of battle, where we cross train all of our forces nowadays? No, but it's still a functional order of battle.

I'm not saying that this was what Mass Effect's writers were thinking originally in setting up the character classes, as they seem to have things organized differantyly (even going by name), however, specialized weapon training and limitations can be defended as much as they can be argued against.

The overall point here is that you seem to like the direction "Mass Effect" is going in, and that's fine. I personally do not. But then again as I've pointed out I'm an RPG player. I want my stats, my character classes, and my sweet, sweet loot. "Mass Effect" was supposed to be the successor to "Knights Of The Old Republic" as a space fantasy RPG series. It was even hyped this way to begin with. I don't think it's unreasonable to be miffed about it from that perspective.

I'll also be painfully blunt, I have no objection to Bioware producing a series of shooters and action games, as long as us RPG players still get our RPGs. If they wanted to make a third person shooter, they should have developed one as a seperate franchise, instead of trying to turn an RPG franchise that is supposed to be the spiritual successor to a line of RPGs, into "Gears Of Halo".

One of the reasons why there is such bad blood between "factions" of gamers is because the industry is increasingly unwilling to cater to people with differant interests, and instead wants to try and shoehorn everyone together, or create slapshod products that try and hit as many things as they can. Had Bioware continued to develop high quality RPGs, complete with stats, stat based combat, skill selections, inventory, and similar things within their properties, I don't think there would be any problem with them deciding to throw together a shooter or simplified customizable fantasy brawler. When they take an RPG series and make it so it isn't an RPG series anymore... yeah that annoys people.

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