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Mass Effect 3’s Co-Op Multiplayer Tied to an Online Pass

How the multiplayer will ultimately affect single player still isn’t known.

There’s little about Mass Effect 3’s optional multiplayer that suggests why BioWare and Electronic Arts have been so secretive about it. Cooperative mulitplayer is not exactly a new thing for video games.

In any case, Alex detailed much of what’s come to light in a piece yesterday, and EA has filled in some more details today.

Like Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3 will come with an Online Pass inside every new copy of the game. Anyone who picks up the game used will have to buy one--last time it was $10. Online Pass unlocks “Galaxy at War,” which includes the cooperative multiplayer and other features, such as access to downloadable content and news on the game post-release. There are “other components” to Galaxy at War as of yet unrevealed, but if EA’s past habits are any indication, it’ll include Facebook somehow.

The coop itself gives players a chance to choose between six races--Human, Krogan, Asari, Drell, Salarian, Turian--and are tasked “to protect resources and assets that can help the war effort against the Reapers.” It sounds like BioWare is aiming for a mode more objective-based than just a Horde variant.

It’s still unclear how your efforts in multiplayer tie back into the singleplayer campaign, but it’s been reported that participating won’t be a requirement to get the game’s best ending. Still, the press release says that it will “directly link back to the player’s main campaign.” Items, weapons? That’s my guess.

Mass Effect 3 was originally scheduled for a release this holiday but was pushed back until early next year. The fight against the Reapers ends on March 6.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
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Posted by patrickklepek

There’s little about Mass Effect 3’s optional multiplayer that suggests why BioWare and Electronic Arts have been so secretive about it. Cooperative mulitplayer is not exactly a new thing for video games.

In any case, Alex detailed much of what’s come to light in a piece yesterday, and EA has filled in some more details today.

Like Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3 will come with an Online Pass inside every new copy of the game. Anyone who picks up the game used will have to buy one--last time it was $10. Online Pass unlocks “Galaxy at War,” which includes the cooperative multiplayer and other features, such as access to downloadable content and news on the game post-release. There are “other components” to Galaxy at War as of yet unrevealed, but if EA’s past habits are any indication, it’ll include Facebook somehow.

The coop itself gives players a chance to choose between six races--Human, Krogan, Asari, Drell, Salarian, Turian--and are tasked “to protect resources and assets that can help the war effort against the Reapers.” It sounds like BioWare is aiming for a mode more objective-based than just a Horde variant.

It’s still unclear how your efforts in multiplayer tie back into the singleplayer campaign, but it’s been reported that participating won’t be a requirement to get the game’s best ending. Still, the press release says that it will “directly link back to the player’s main campaign.” Items, weapons? That’s my guess.

Mass Effect 3 was originally scheduled for a release this holiday but was pushed back until early next year. The fight against the Reapers ends on March 6.

Staff Online
Edited by Dany

Just buy the game new? I was going to do that anyways!

The co-op seems really cool, no footage if it in action, just pics which is odd but I am excited for it.

Posted by Winternet

"ends on March 6." Wait. No more fighting after March 6? Oh no.

Edited by Swoxx

I'm buying the CE anyway. I need the Mass Effect CE trifecta!

Posted by SHADOWINFINITE

This sounds like a great feature to the franchise, be glad to check it out

Edited by Chris2KLee

Dibs on the Turian.

Posted by atesh42

Wait. No Quarians?

Posted by Mystyr_E

Bioware recently released a trailer detailing the co-op; G4 has it up

Posted by Scodiac

I think we all saw the Online Pass being a part of this co-op addition. I'll probably be buying this day one so that won't really affect me at all and I'm totally pumped to play this co-op. Mass Effect with a buddy sounds great to me.

Posted by StarvingGamer

They said that to tie it in to the single-player, completing co-op missions will help fill your Galactic Readiness meter. How full your meter is at the end of the game will determine how good of an ending you get. You can get a full meter through single-player alone but this will help fill the gaps for players that either miss things or make bad choices.

Online
Posted by Gerhabio

Noooooooo

Edited by dekkadekkadekka

I don't understand the comments (not necessarily here) from people who say "oh I'll buy it used then! THAT will show them!"

Okay, so you'll buy it slightly cheaper. What if you then want to try the co-op because it actually turns out awesome. Then what? You pay $10 to get the pass which could potentially put you over the "low" price you paid for it in the first place.

So let's say you wait a while until pre-owned copies come down in price. Well, new copies will come down in price too, so why not buy one new?

I could understand the anger if they jacked the retail price up by $10, but they aren't. The basic game still costs $60 or less depending on retailer. It's a nonsense stand to take, just because EA wants to preserve a revenue stream. In an ideal world this wouldn't happen, but it's not an ideal world. The world's economy is in the toilet, the game industry is not bulletproof and people need to make a living. I for one will be buying this on launch day, I will punch that code in, and I will fully ignore the co-op until I've completed the game solo first. What I will not do is pay $55 for a used copy and then be locked out of that content.

EDIT: And hey, if you don't care at all about the co-op, good for you. Buy used. Just don't complain about online passes.

Posted by Brodehouse

I like Patrick's comment "why has BioWare been so secretive about multiplayer, co-op isn't exactly a new idea"... It's because the so-called fans of BioWare games are the craziest, most change-resistant fuckers you'll ever meet. Check the ME3 forum, there are at least one thousand posts of physical anger at the possibility, and then reality, of a multiplayer mode.

Online
Posted by Little_Socrates

@dekkadekkadekka: The people who boycott the game will boycott the game. Buying used really makes very little impact, though. It's a ... well, not "political" as this isn't quite politics, but it's a statement. I don't necessarily agree with this video, but it helped illuminate a lot of my perspective as to why people get so up-in-arms about online passes.

Posted by shuref00t

How about a horde mode? Since they're all the rage now.

Posted by BoringK

How is this news? Of course there's an Online Pass.
 
Anyway, I'm excited to be able to create a non-human character in the ME universe, but it's too bad Quarians aren't included--maybe because of the lack of a face to customize? I'm also disappointed that we probably still won't get a Volus as a party member/playable race.

Posted by onan

@atesh42 said:

Wait. No Quarians?

Based on the fiction, there both aren't many quarians, and the commandos would be pretty rare since the slightest wound could potentially be deadly. What makes the most sense would be council races (turian, asari, salarian, and human).

That still doesn't explain the Drell, though. I vaguely recall from ME2 that the entire race ended up living on the Hanar homeworld for some reason and there weren't very many of them, and a select few were trained as Hanar assassins.

I'm just upset there aren't any volus. The Reapers need to see the true power of a Biotic God.

Posted by dekkadekkadekka

@Little_Socrates: Not that this is the place nor even the time to deconstruct his arguments, his first point referred to a game without an online pass and his second is illogical. People can connect their consoles to the internet but not enter a 25-character code while following clear instructions on a card?

I respect his opinions on this but more-or-less disagree entirely with them.

Posted by Little_Socrates

@dekkadekkadekka: Absolutely fair. I'll still be buying ME3 day one.

Posted by theveej

buying new copy for $60 --> some profit goes to retailers, some to publisher, some to developer

buying used copy for $50 --> all profits go to retailers

pacther gave his estimate for profits of each segment in an episode of pach attack, but that is the gist of it.

uh............. good for you people buying used game and pumping ur money to your retailer I guess.... We all know how many games THEY make. Personally I just fill dirty buying used games.... but that's just me.

oh yah and buying ME3 used will totally show bioware who's boss..... i mean not giving them any profit on a game they make will surely make them want to make more single player content that isn't tied to an online pass

there is nothing wrong with online passes, PC games have had cd keys for ages, and we don't see anyone getting upset about that. (and its only 10 bucks if you want a friend to borrow ur game, which i feel is a fair price)

plus unless the co op is incredibly bad and terrible, I don't care at all if its added. You don't like the co op then just don't play it.

Posted by Example1013

Shepard.

Posted by dekkadekkadekka

@Little_Socrates: An internet discussion that was conducted and ended with utter civility? This is madness!

(Seriously though, I'll be right there with you for ME3.)

Posted by Slaker117

It's EA. Of course it is.

Posted by dekkadekkadekka

@theveej said:

there is nothing wrong with online passes, PC games have had cd keys for ages, and we don't see anyone getting upset about that.

Jeff said it best on one of the bombcasts, online passes are actually much more flexible than current PC releases which have serial numbers tied to internet activation.

Posted by bassman2112

@patrickklepek

Actually, all the details of how co-op will affect the single player were revealed. Yesterday. Here's a link

Posted by FreakAche

No playable Elcor? You just lost my purchase BioWare!

Seriously though, I'm suspect the multiplayer will be fine, although I severely doubt it will bring new fans to the series in the way they expect it to.

Posted by hermes

Disappointed. Its a pity there are no Elcors...

Cautiously optimistic. Its good that they chose to make it co-op, and that its optional for the game.

Posted by fetchfox

A short video form Bioware explaining the multiplayer.

Posted by Beaudacious

If you feel bad buying used games, then you have successfully been trained to be a good consumer.

Posted by jackelbeaver

Quarian gonna be day 1 dlc i bet

Posted by PhilipDuck

...This is shocking news! I would have never expected this to ever happen!...

Was buying this new either way so what evs EA.

Posted by Trylks

@theveej: Solution: digital distribution at a cheaper price. I don't need all those boxes. Problem is: it's the same price...

Posted by Trylks

Any new feature is good. I'd like more couch co-op, though, because that's the way I use to play co-op...

Mildly disappointed...

Posted by MonkeyKing1969

I read "“directly link back to the player’s main campaign” as each player earns Ezo, Platinum, Palladium, or Iridium. It is throwaway in the game since there is always TOO MUCH of everything in the game. Therefore, instead of having to search planets for the stuff you can just earn it in the multiplayer. Yet, if you choose not to play the co-op, you are not our of anything, since it is not like the only way to find Ezo is in the co-op. I think for sure the one thing they could hand out without breaking the game, yet still making co-op and incentive is to hand out the elements.

I can easily see at the end of a round of play seeing an Ezo, , Platinum, Palladium, or Iridium counter ticking up.

Posted by TheYear20XX

I'm okay with this.

Posted by tourgen

@theveej: I don't know if you're just ignorant or willfully misrepresenting the situation. Clearly there are more than the two options you listed. I believe you knowingly misrepresented the situation by omitting the buy from a friend option, and buy from craig's list option. Both available at ~ week 2, and both at about the $25-$30 price point.

Posted by PatVB

No Hanar, no deal!

Posted by DonPixel

@Brodehouse said:

I like Patrick's comment "why has BioWare been so secretive about multiplayer, co-op isn't exactly a new idea"... It's because the so-called fans of BioWare games are the craziest, most change-resistant fuckers you'll ever meet. Check the ME3 forum, there are at least one thousand posts of physical anger at the possibility, and then reality, of a multiplayer mode.

poor sad human beings

Posted by huser

@onan said:

@atesh42 said:

Wait. No Quarians?

Based on the fiction, there both aren't many quarians, and the commandos would be pretty rare since the slightest wound could potentially be deadly. What makes the most sense would be council races (turian, asari, salarian, and human).

That still doesn't explain the Drell, though. I vaguely recall from ME2 that the entire race ended up living on the Hanar homeworld for some reason and there weren't very many of them, and a select few were trained as Hanar assassins.

I'm just upset there aren't any volus. The Reapers need to see the true power of a Biotic God.

Yeah that's the thing, there WERE like 10 billion of them, but they got cut down to the thousands when their world basically died. There probably are more Quarians than Drell given they come from a desert world and now are trying to make it on a water world an have a canon terminal disease associated with that (what Thane has).

While Quarians wouldn't be perfect commandos, Tali does alright, and frankly NO ONE really takes a lot of slugs going by the cut scenes.

Posted by TPoppaPuff

Why no Batarians? I understand no Vorcha as they are largely dummies and have no care about the world around them, but Batarians are only portrayed negatively yet they are aware of what's at stake and are intelligent beings. Plus there's no Batarians ever in your crew so far.

Posted by Teran

@TPoppaPuff: The relations between the Batarians and Alliance races are strained, especially after the events of the final DLC. Don't think Batarians would be there in any official capacity, but I could see a few of the more enterprising types wanting to get in on the action as mercenaries.

Personally I'll be pretty sad if Geth aren't a playable race.

Posted by theillusiveman0

I wonder if the yahg will show up and also am curious if your multiplayer character has a story that changes based on the race you choose or is it like modern warfare were you're just on a team and you either win or lose. Interesting anyway though

Posted by Brodehouse
@huser There are 17 million quarians in the Migrant Fleet (about half the population of Canada) and probably several million either on pilgrimage or who have no desire to go back.

On the other hand, I believe the number of drell the hanar saved to be around 385,000 from their planet of 11 billion. Its possible that number has risen or shrunk.


People are right, quarians make way more sense than drell... But I assume it's a) BioWare did the market research and people wanted drell more than quarians, and b) there may be something storyline related that precludes any quarian involvement in these missions. Somebody's comment on how you can't really customize their looks is also true... About all you can do is palette swap the suit and mask.
Online
Posted by ll_Exile_ll

The Co-op seems interesting, but I probably won't even try it until at least my second or third playthrough

Posted by mewarmo990

Well, since used PC games haven't been a thing for years, I guess the "Online Pass" is one less thing to worry about.

Posted by mewarmo990

@Bassman2112 said:

@patrickklepek

Actually, all the details of how co-op will affect the single player were revealed. Yesterday. Here's a link

This is interesting. It sounds like they're trying to add a layer of metagame to ME3. Hmm.

Posted by Jayzilla

i will do the same thing i did with ME2 for ME3 and rent the game for a week or 2 and then beat it and move on to another game. i really don't need or want any multi-player in my ME games. If you can play through the whole game with friends and have everyone "group pick" answers like bio-Ware is planning for SW:ToR then I will totally consider buying ME3. If not, it doesn't really matter to me to play the multi-player. I have my MMO PvP and Street Fighter to keep me warm at night.

Posted by Dezinus

There better be a dedicated "Shepard." button, or this co-op is going to be crap.

Posted by bkimball

People got it. Now, they don't want it?

Edited by Eyz

Of course it is. It was all designed for a sole purpose afterall, preventing people from renting or buying second hand copies of the game.

@theveej said:

buying new copy for $60 --> some profit goes to retailers, some to publisher, some to developer

buying used copy for $50 --> all profits go to retailers

pacther gave his estimate for profits of each segment in an episode of pach attack, but that is the gist of it.

uh............. good for you people buying used game and pumping ur money to your retailer I guess.... We all know how many games THEY make. Personally I just fill dirty buying used games.... but that's just me.

oh yah and buying ME3 used will totally show bioware who's boss..... i mean not giving them any profit on a game they make will surely make them want to make more single player content that isn't tied to an online pass

there is nothing wrong with online passes, PC games have had cd keys for ages, and we don't see anyone getting upset about that. (and its only 10 bucks if you want a friend to borrow ur game, which i feel is a fair price)

plus unless the co op is incredibly bad and terrible, I don't care at all if its added. You don't like the co op then just don't play it.

I dunno for you but I only buy 2nd hand copies when they hit the 10 or 20 $ mark :P

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