What Bioware should have done?

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#51 Posted by LawGamer (158 posts) -

Contraction might be a good thing. One thing that has struck me about the relative decline in quality from Bioware is that it really started at the point they began making games in two or three IPs at a time. I don't think they have enough talent there to spread themselves among ME and DA and KOTOR. Consider the following timeline:

Badlur's Gate: 1998

Badlur's Gate II: 2000

Neverwinter Nights: 2003

KOTOR: 2003

Jade Empire: 2005

Mass Effect: 2007

Dragon Age Origins: 2009

Mass Effect 2: 2010

Dragon Age II: 2011

The Old Republic: 2012

Mass Effect 3: 2012

If you look back at the timeline of the "glory days" of the studio, they put out a mainline release about every two years. Since DA:O came out, it's been just over one release a year. Obviously they have been able to push the release schedule as much as they have because they have expanded so much since being acquired by EA, but I think the expansion diluted the talent to a pretty severe degree.

#52 Posted by Rays_Gaming_Rants (68 posts) -

Honestly most of the stuff they did to fix the ending fixed most of my issues with Mass Effect. My only complaint would be at this point is that Leviathan should not be DLC. That info dump should have been thrown to the player as part of the game. I don't mind getting nickeled and dimed usually, however needing to pay more for the core story is very annoying.

#53 Posted by granderojo (1778 posts) -

I've been thing about it, and I agree with Jeff that the ending was horrible. That said, the lead up to the ending was impeccable. I think the biggest issue with the endings were the way in which they were presented to the player. I really think they should have just had the synthesis choice, which seemed like the inevitable hard scifi conclusion to this trilogy. It's the conclusion I thought they would go in, and just have your choices affect the tone of that ending.

I think brad really hit the nail on the head comparing Mass Effect to Lord of the Rings. I have a lot of the same problems with that trilogy that I do with Mass Effect. Both have some of the most memorable characters and excellent world building, but neither really knew how to end themselves.

Yo, Bioware, were's my The Similarion equivalent for Mass Effect?

#54 Posted by Hailinel (24382 posts) -

@thabigred said:

I've been thing about it, and I agree with Jeff that the ending was horrible. That said, the lead up to the ending was impeccable. I think the biggest issue with the endings were the way in which they were presented to the player. I really think they should have just had the synthesis choice, which seemed like the inevitable hard scifi conclusion to this trilogy. It's the conclusion I thought they would go in, and just have your choices affect the tone of that ending.

I think brad really hit the nail on the head comparing Mass Effect to Lord of the Rings. I have a lot of the same problems with that trilogy that I do with Mass Effect. Both have some of the most memorable characters and excellent world building, but neither really knew how to end themselves.

Yo, Bioware, were's my The Similarion equivalent for Mass Effect?

The original novel of Return of the King actually has a solid ending, and one that wasn't used for the movie. Tolkien knew exactly what he was doing, but the people making the movie basically couldn't follow through because the book's ending is actually pretty dark; not the sort of catharsis one might want after watching a movie for three hours.

#55 Posted by granderojo (1778 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@thabigred said:

I've been thing about it, and I agree with Jeff that the ending was horrible. That said, the lead up to the ending was impeccable. I think the biggest issue with the endings were the way in which they were presented to the player. I really think they should have just had the synthesis choice, which seemed like the inevitable hard scifi conclusion to this trilogy. It's the conclusion I thought they would go in, and just have your choices affect the tone of that ending.

I think brad really hit the nail on the head comparing Mass Effect to Lord of the Rings. I have a lot of the same problems with that trilogy that I do with Mass Effect. Both have some of the most memorable characters and excellent world building, but neither really knew how to end themselves.

Yo, Bioware, were's my The Similarion equivalent for Mass Effect?

The original novel of Return of the King actually has a solid ending, and one that wasn't used for the movie. Tolkien knew exactly what he was doing, but the people making the movie basically couldn't follow through because the book's ending is actually pretty dark; not the sort of catharsis one might want after watching a movie for three hours.

Actually I'm going to disagree with you. Despite having been successful, the elves, Gandalf and the two hobbits decide to skedaddle for the undying lands. You want to talk about an anti-climatic ending. I read that as a young adult thinking Frodo having seen all the shit he saw on his journey that he would come back to the Shire a hero and fix shit, only to find out he high tailed it out of that place leaving the shire in ruins. All that shit Frodo put Sam through on that fucking journey and he's going to leave the Shire to him.

I was as pissed as Jeff was with Mass Effect when I first finished Return of the King.

#56 Posted by Hrothdane (12 posts) -

Mass Effect 3's main problem (besides the ending) is that it follows Mass Effect 2. BioWare went all-out with introducing so many characters and DLC things to carry-over. There was no way they could satisfyingly resolve the storylines of all 12 squadmates (10 if you exclude DLC), while also accounting for the possibility that they might be dead, without basically making ME3 nothing but character stories. While that formula worked well with ME2, the Reaper storyline needed to happen in ME3.

Because ME2's main plot did little to advance the Reaper plot, it meant that most of that plot would have to fit into ME3. Combine that with the all the character arcs, and the problem starts becoming clear. If I were writing the series, I would have started the Reaper War sometime in ME2 and kept the squad numbers lower. ME2 would have been mostly darker and desperate, but would have ended with a hopeful "we have begun to turn the tide" scenario. Some characters could even die to cut off some of the story branches and set the mood. We would "Take Back Earth" in ME2 and "Take Back the Galaxy" in ME3.

BioWare wrote themselves into a corner, and EA did not give them the extra time they needed to get out of it.

#57 Posted by feliciano182 (100 posts) -

@Hrothdane: You make a good, well-written, yet pointless analysis in the end.

As another user called Haggis said in another topic, the real problem with the ending is that it didn't resonate (emotionally-speaking) with "the fans" in the end, but rather than realizing this and acknowledging it, "the fans" have decided to nit-pick the living crap out of the game, and now, in this cloud of endless banter, we can only speculate as to what the real reason was for the ending hate, even though it's always been pretty simple:

"The fans" hated the ending, but realized this wasn't enough to criticize it.

#58 Posted by haggis (1677 posts) -

@feliciano182: I'm not sure why it's frowned on in gaming circles to simply say, "The ending didn't work for me because it didn't make me feel anything." Maybe it's because it sounds too much like "I didn't like it because I didn't like it." It's a story--emotional reasons for disliking something are legitimate. Those reasons don't need to be justified by laundry lists of tiny errors in lore, lists of "plot holes" that aren't true plot holes, etc. Every story has these; they're not uncommon. The problem wasn't that Mass Effect 3 was any worse in this regard than most other video games, just that it didn't earn itself out with an ending that satisfied.

Although I'll admit that Hrothdane's argument about story structure is legitimate.

#59 Posted by Hrothdane (12 posts) -

@feliciano182 I enjoyed most of the game, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have problems. Most reaonable people appear to agree on that point. However, the average person likes to make everything out to be all good or all bad, but most things will always be somewhwere in the middle. They feel as though admitting the faults of something they love will somehow lessen it, and if something is all bad, they can just ignore it and dismiss it. Just as many of the more extreme ending haters will try to argue the entire game is terrible, you are oversimplifying and dismissing many legitimate concerns out-of-hand. The writers wanted us to consider them artists, so we are just holding them to that standard. As haggis said, emotional reaction is a legitimate concern in storytelling, too. A large reason Mass Effect series has such dedicated fans because it has always done such a good job of hitting the right emotional notes in the players.

#60 Posted by feliciano182 (100 posts) -

@Hrothdane said:

I enjoyed most of the game, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have problems.

I never meant to say it didn't, only that most of the "problems" that have been brought forward are completely absurd, and that people keep using them to ground their complaints.

I do understand the way you describe many of the people who have reacted to the ending, and it is certainly true that most people have had polarizing reactions, which are completely unnecessary, we can aknowledge there were bad things about the ending, I just wished by Talos that the haters could also acknowledge the good things about it.

For my part, and what I can speak of myself alone, I loved the ending, I felt it was true to the series, and much more honest than most modern science fiction epics; which is precisely why I've often wondered if the people who hated the ending because it was "too sad" or "unhappy" (which it wasn't at all) are simply folk who misunderstood the game.

#61 Edited by Kadayi (185 posts) -

Fundamentally I think the game was flawed from the off, because the Reaper invasion is seemingly carried out simultaneously across the known galaxy, thereby, making any usage of galactic geography effectively pointless. Rather than throwing us right into an earth invasion at the beginning I'd of played it that Reapers arrive and start attacking various outer colonies and that the game consists of you marshaling the Alliance, the Galactic council & Cerberus as well as the other races (Krogan/Quarian/Geth) to effectively meet them head on at particular pinch points, with Shepard using the stealth capabilities of the Normandy to get in behind enemy lines in order to rescue key personnel and carry out surveillance, etc etc. The game would exist within a time frame in terms of the advance of the Reaper invasion across the galactic map and the decisions that you as Shepard make have some bearing on how quickly/slowly the conflict progresses and therefore what forces you're collectively able to bring to bear for key battles, and obviously of course it would be entirely possible to straight up blow the whole campaign and be wiped out or win the war, but perish in the final conflict/confrontation with Harbinger.

Obviously every party would have their own political agendas they'd be bringing to the table, and there would be hard decisions to make regarding which missions you'd undertake in terms of both the payoffs Vs the rewards. Think XCOM, but instead of gaining engineers or scientists, it's a case of gaining the military support of certain races, at the cost of those locations you choose not to support. Naturally of course decisions made earlier on in the series would carry through in terms of assets and opportunities

There would still be a lot of scope for narrative within a framework like that, as well as lots of potential for heroic self sacrifice by key players in the game.

I'd entirely drop the whole space Jesus Shepard idea completely. The whole notion that in the middle of the annihilation of all sentient life in the entire galaxy it's necessary to convince the Krogan, (a species who know a thing or two about annihilation) to ally by firstly curing the genophage before they'll even consider helping you was just plain risible tbh. Everyone was equally fucked, it was no time to start digging your heels in, Vs signing up under conditions of future gains upon victory.

#62 Posted by MrTogo316 (1 posts) -

I haven't read much in this thread and have avoided spoilers for the most part. After hearing all the negative impressions back in march I ended up holding off playing the game still have not played 3 to this day. After seeing Brad's top ten video it seems like Bioware finally "fixed" the ending (as much as they're going to). I feel its time I got the game and extra content so I can finish the series.

If Bioware does end up making a sequel or a prequel or whatever, I want it to be more rpg heavy like the first game.

#63 Posted by feliciano182 (100 posts) -

I did say Bioware should've had better fans, maybe sign-off with someone other than EA.

But really, have different fans is where it's really at, videogamers just suck these days, hopefully in the future they will leave their "manchild" carcasses behind and start assuming mature attitudes towards things that they dislike, MAYBE we could even start having rational discussions.

Nah, too much optimism on my part.

#64 Posted by Rebel_Scum (682 posts) -

What bioware should've done is erase Kai Leng and have Cerberus create another Lazurus Project for Kasumi's partner Keiji Okuda with a control implant and have him as the baddie, thus getting Kasumi involved more in the story.

Regarding the ending, they should have left it as it was first released, or just not let Drew karpyshyn left the project.

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