Mass Effect 2 disc swap explained in detail (two swaps)

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#1 Posted by MeierTheRed (5013 posts) -

So just to be clear before the game comes out here is a detailed explanation of how the disc swapping will work. 
 
Source IGN. 

  January 23, 2010 - Last month, BioWare Community Manager Chris Priestly noted players had to do one required disc swap for the Xbox 360 version of Mass Effect 2


But that is no longer the case.

The game will make players re-insert disc 1 as they make their way towards the end levels. BioWare producer Jessie Houston explained to IGN just what happens.

"Players will start with Disc 1 for the introduction and early level choices, then go through a funnel level of sorts, where they will need to switch to Disc 2," Houston said. "From there they will play the middle portion of the game, which is mostly on Disc 2. Then after another funnel point in the story they'll go back to Disc 1."

Houston noted this decision had nothing to do with combating potential piracy, and was done to help alleviate breaking up the gameplay during the middle portions of Mass Effect 2.

"The decision was made due to the nature of having to go to two discs for what is a non-linear game and fitting the right amount of content onto each of the discs," he added. "This way players won't have to swap their discs multiple times during the middle of the game."  
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#2 Posted by Bigandtasty (3139 posts) -

Sounds weird, but disc-swapping a few times to experience a great game doesn't bug me.

#3 Posted by General_D23 (1210 posts) -

 
Hmm. It is a little wierd. I wonder how it really works (are all the planets on both discs, and only dialogue and cutscenes on seperate discs, stuff like that.)

#4 Posted by MjHealy (1959 posts) -

I didn't even know the game was on two disks. Disk swaps are never much hassle anyway.

#5 Posted by Captain_Insano (1692 posts) -

Disc swaps never really bothered me. Most of the time, if I have to swap discs, it is time to take a break anyway.

#6 Posted by Hitchenson (4708 posts) -

Seems fine to me. As long as this situation doesn't arise: Planets A, B, C are on disk 1 and planets D, E, F are on disk 2. I have to continue swapping disks to travel between different sets of planets. 

#7 Edited by MattyFTM (14593 posts) -

I still can't comprehend how massive this game must be to warrant two disks. It's understandable on 360, since all content has to be streamed off the disk, so it can only be compressed a certain amount without leading to insane load times. But it's also on two disks on PC. On PC they can compress it all they like, because it's all installed (and therefore decompressed) prior to playing. It's insane that it's on two disks on PC. Insane. Perhaps it's just a marketing thing, so that people on PC don't feel like they're getting less content, even though they'd have the same content, just on one disk. But if it actually needs to be on two disks, it's crazy.

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#8 Posted by mracoon (5083 posts) -

I won't mind as long as it's at an appropriate time but it does sound kind of weird.

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#9 Posted by SuperSecretAgenda (689 posts) -

Both of the Mass Effect 2 disks for PC are about 7GB. I'm not entirely sure, but wasn't Dragon Age one disk with about the same if not more data on it?

#10 Posted by haggis (1674 posts) -

I don't mind a swap, especially since we can install at least one of them on the hard drive. But then, I got my start in gaming back with King's Quest on 5 1/4" floppies (some of those adventure games came on upwards of seven disks), so we're not talking massive inconvenience here. I wonder if the large amounts of compression in the first game is what led to the texture pop issue? Anyway, two discs is no big deal. Wasn't Lost Odyssey on something like four discs? Or maybe just three? I didn't have a problem with that, either.
 
I'll just need to see if I have enough room on my hard drive for installing both discs. I doubt it :(  But there's always the possibility that one disc has substantially less content than the other. We'll all know for sure on Tuesday.

#11 Posted by get2sammyb (6686 posts) -

That's a dumb way of handling it.

#12 Posted by Seppli (11233 posts) -

I am really looking forward to next generation of consoles - with no optical drives!
 
I'd love to see a system working with solid slate disks. Either like buying cartridges in a store or just one big-ass disk in the box and online distribution only.
 
Optical drives suck. Solid slate disk is for the win! Cartridge based gaming was and always will be the best! No moving parts, no stupid laser thingy making noise - just pure loading-time free awesomeness!

#13 Posted by MeierTheRed (5013 posts) -
@Seppli said:
" I am really looking forward to next generation of consoles - with no optical drives! "
I'm pretty sure next generation will have optical drives in them still.
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#14 Edited by Seppli (11233 posts) -
@pornstorestiffi said:

" @Seppli said:

" I am really looking forward to next generation of consoles - with no optical drives! "

I'm pretty sure next generation will have optical drives in them still. "
It's likely - yes. I can imagine how it would be beneficial to have a skew without optical drive though. Not having to license that technology would make consoles a lot cheaper in production. For countries like the USA, which are big into online distribution already, the optical drive free skew might even be the lead skew.
 
I'd certainly love to be done with optical drives (disc drives and common hard drives). They're noisy and loud. They break. And I'm running out of space for game and movie jewelcases.
 
I'm all for the return to cartridges. Solid-State Drive is where my gamer dreams are at.
#15 Posted by MeierTheRed (5013 posts) -
@Seppli said:
" @pornstorestiffi said:

" @Seppli said:

" I am really looking forward to next generation of consoles - with no optical drives! "
I'm pretty sure next generation will have optical drives in them still. "
It's likely - yes. I can imagine how it would be beneficial to have a skew without optical drive though. Not having to license that technology would make consoles a lot cheaper in production. For countries like the USA, which are big into online distribution already, the optical drive free skew might even be the lead skew.  I'd certainly love to be done with optical drives (disc drives and common hard drives). They're noisy and loud. They break. And I'm running out of space for game and movie jewelcases. "
True the US is heavy into online streaming and distribution so it could likely take off there. But for other countries like my own, where we have no Netflix like service a optical drive is crucial. 
 
And people still have a lot of movies around thats on disc format, and they still need to play them on something. Of course you can get standalone DVD/Blu-Ray players, but when you already have a console or two in the house, it would be logical to watch them on that.
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#16 Posted by GunnBjorn (2905 posts) -
@pornstorestiffi said:
" @Seppli said:
" I am really looking forward to next generation of consoles - with no optical drives! "
I'm pretty sure next generation will have optical drives in them still. "

Definitely, if only to play other media. 
But with a huge bulk hard disc. 
One Terabyte, right from the get-go.
#17 Posted by Diamond (8678 posts) -
@MattyFTM said:
I still can't comprehend how massive this game must be to warrant two disks. It's understandable on 360, since all content has to be streamed off the disk, so it can only be compressed a certain amount without leading to insane load times. But it's also on two disks on PC. On PC they can compress it all they like, because it's all installed (and therefore decompressed) prior to playing. It's insane that it's on two disks on PC. Insane. Perhaps it's just a marketing thing, so that people on PC don't feel like they're getting less content, even though they'd have the same content, just on one disk. But if it actually needs to be on two disks, it's crazy.
Wouldn't be the first 2+ DVD game on PC by far.  I bet the game has a fair chunk of FMV, obviously tons of voice acting.  Those are the big space hogs in games.  I don't think they really compress PC games on DVDs all that much actually, and since 360 does real time decompression when loading it amounts to basically the same thing.
#18 Posted by dynamix91 (6 posts) -
@MattyFTM said:
"I still can't comprehend how massive this game must be to warrant two disks. It's understandable on 360, since all content has to be streamed off the disk, so it can only be compressed a certain amount without leading to insane load times. But it's also on two disks on PC. On PC they can compress it all they like, because it's all installed (and therefore decompressed) prior to playing. It's insane that it's on two disks on PC. Insane. Perhaps it's just a marketing thing, so that people on PC don't feel like they're getting less content, even though they'd have the same content, just on one disk. But if it actually needs to be on two disks, it's crazy. "

The installed size is 11.4 GB, compared to 15.1 GB for Dragon Age which was 1 disc. It's my understanding there is several gigs of alternate language audio on the discs that doesn't get installed but aside from that I think it's safe to say they could've easily fit the PC version on 1 disc.
#19 Posted by c1337us (5877 posts) -

Discs swaps have never bothered me when required. They are usually an opportune time for a break actually.

#20 Posted by robocopswitch (10 posts) -

So when I want to install the game how does that work? Do I just install disc 1 and after that disc 2 and will that work seamlessly?

#21 Posted by General_D23 (1210 posts) -
@robocopswitch said:
"So when I want to install the game how does that work? Do I just install disc 1 and after that disc 2 and will that work seamlessly? "

On the 360? It will have the normal benifits of an install, but you still are required to swap.
#22 Posted by evanbrau (1178 posts) -

Didn't know it was on two discs. I have no problems with disk swaps, used to do them all the time in the older days.

#23 Posted by skrutop (3811 posts) -

Shame that higher capacity media wasn't a feature of the 360, though it hasn't been as big of an issue to date as I thought it would be.

#24 Edited by Cerza (1678 posts) -

I don't understand this. Why not just have the first half of the game on disc 1 then switch to disc 2 for the second half? Also, I don't see why swapping discs is such a big deal. It's never bothered me, but maybe that's because I remember when disc swapping was the norm.

#25 Posted by General_D23 (1210 posts) -
@Cerza said:
"I don't understand this. Why not just have the first half of the game on disc 1 then switch to disc 2 for the second half? Also, I don't see why swapping discs is such a big deal. It's never bothered me, but maybe that's because I remember when disc swapping was the norm. "

Perhaps they wanted to have all the planets/sidequests on both discs, and figured this was the best way to do it, by dividing the story-only planets, dialogue/cutscenes into the two discs. 
 
I dunno, I find it kind of wierd too, but the above is probably why they did it.
#26 Posted by CharlieTuna (325 posts) -

Jesus, it's 2010. Why can't you just install everything like Forza and just use disc 1, the tech is there, use it Bioware.

#27 Edited by Dylabaloo (1573 posts) -

If i'm installing the game to the hardrive do install both and how do the disk swaps work then? 
 
EDIT: somebody already asked above nevermind.

#28 Posted by Jeff (5271 posts) -
@CharlieTuna said:
" Jesus, it's 2010. Why can't you just install everything like Forza and just use disc 1, the tech is there, use it Bioware. "
This is what I was about to say. I was sort of assuming that it would work this way. I'll have to ask Brad to check that out before the review goes up to make sure it definitely doesn't do the Forza thing.
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#29 Posted by mordukai (7797 posts) -
Disk swapping was as annoying then as it is annoying now. Bioware should have implemented a full install feature then just have player put in Disc 1 for verification. 
#30 Edited by ColinWright (753 posts) -

So you have to get up two times during the game. It makes for a good snack time indicator. Big Deal.

#31 Posted by evanbrau (1178 posts) -
@Mordukai:  They should have but its not something thats going to annoy me in any significant way.
#32 Posted by MeierTheRed (5013 posts) -
@Mordukai said:
" Bioware should have implemented a full install feature then just have player put in Disc 1 for verification.  "
Agree 100% on that.
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#33 Posted by Lukaz (192 posts) -
@CharlieTuna said:
" Jesus, it's 2010. Why can't you just install everything like Forza and just use disc 1, the tech is there, use it Bioware. "

This.
#34 Posted by Dany (8018 posts) -
@MattyFTM:  The game is 12-14 gigs. A full one disc install is 6.7 gigs, so yeah they are stuffing alot of game in there.
#35 Edited by SpudBug (707 posts) -

I wish they would have given an install option like Forza 3 had.
 
As long as it's an option for users that have the space to install and avoid swaps, every game can use 2-3-4 whatever discs, as far as I'm concerned.

#36 Posted by Dany (8018 posts) -
@SpudBug: It would cost a lot more to have a game on 3 discs then on 2. I remember awhile ago that Rage developers were complaining that Microsoft wouldn't knock down the royalties or whatever for 3 discs instead of 2.
 
Even if you install both discs on the 360, i'm assuming that you will still need the disc in the tray for where that content is coming off from. maybe they can patch taht where if you install both you can just have disc 1 or 2 to play the entire game.
#37 Posted by RyanD (102 posts) -

i wonder if you could just install both disc onto the 360's harddrive to somehow bypass switching disks

#38 Posted by zudthespud (3326 posts) -
I think in Forza's case it worked because there was <2GB of content, that's slightly larger than the biggest DLC I ever downloaded. If they went over 3GB then people like myself would be deleting other stuff to make room for this. Also, Forza's content was optional, in ME2's case you need to use the 2nd disc to complete the game. The logical solution would be to have the option to install or disc swap for people who are too lazy to get up and get the game box, but the disc swap feature has to be in there for 20GB or memory unit users.  
 
It could be worse,  Lost Odyssey had 4 discs... 
#39 Posted by Kyreo (4683 posts) -

I hope they dont make some weird cliffhanger for you as yer changing the discs.  That'd be awkward...

#40 Posted by RandomInternetUser (6805 posts) -

I don't mind it as long as it doesn't make you swap while you're doing something awesome (it sounds like this is exactly what they're trying to get around though, so that's good.)

#41 Posted by Andorski (5456 posts) -

I hope the disc swaps happen mid-explosion.

#42 Posted by RandomInternetUser (6805 posts) -
@zudthespud said:
" I think in Forza's case it worked because there was <2GB of content, that's slightly larger than the biggest DLC I ever downloaded. If they went over 3GB then people like myself would be deleting other stuff to make room for this. Also, Forza's content was optional, in ME2's case you need to use the 2nd disc to complete the game. The logical solution would be to have the option to install or disc swap for people who are too lazy to get up and get the game box, but the disc swap feature has to be in there for 20GB or memory unit users.   It could be worse,  Lost Odyssey had 4 discs...  "
Yes, I can't install.  I'm still reppin' a 20 gig D:.  I hate Microsoft's rediculous prices for their hard drives.
#43 Posted by Jerusahat (141 posts) -
@Dany said:
" @SpudBug: It would cost a lot more to have a game on 3 discs then on 2. I remember awhile ago that Rage developers were complaining that Microsoft wouldn't knock down the royalties or whatever for 3 discs instead of 2.  Even if you install both discs on the 360, i'm assuming that you will still need the disc in the tray for where that content is coming off from. maybe they can patch taht where if you install both you can just have disc 1 or 2 to play the entire game. "
Tim Willits said that was a misunderstanding, and that MS don't charge royalties per disc.
#44 Posted by francesthemule (155 posts) -

Kinda makes me wish I had a better computer so I could just download it off of steam and avoid the whole disc swapping issue. Speaking of which, isn't about time we had day and date digital distribution for consoles.
#45 Posted by JeanLuc (3794 posts) -

I'm getting mass effect 2 on the PC so this really isn't a problem for me, but I wouldn't mind it if I had to do it.

#46 Posted by Afroman269 (7440 posts) -

Too bad you can't just install disc two or something.

#47 Posted by ArchScabby (5877 posts) -

I guess it makes more sense then something like having to swap to disc 2 to got to the right side of the galaxy, and then back to disc 1 to go to the left side of the galaxy.

#48 Posted by Cornman89 (1600 posts) -

Unexpected, but no big deal.

#49 Posted by essaregee (631 posts) -

Not that disk swapping will affect me - since having seemingly endless hard drive space on my computer, but I hope that the disk swapping is not such that one disk contains some planets, and the other contains some other ones. 
Having to swap while traveling from planet to planet would suck.

#50 Posted by Geno (6768 posts) -

I'm getting the PC version suckas. 

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