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Adventures in Mass Effect
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Voss
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 1:24 am    Post subject: Adventures in Mass Effect Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So, excessive advertising for Andromeda got me to pick up ME2 (which I had briefly played but never finished), largely on the basis of it being free.

This followed closely by ME3, on the basis that it wasn't even five whole dollars.

This made me think of what Bioware did right and what they did wrong. Sadly, this was sometimes very different between the two games, in ways both minor and not so minor. Sometimes the sameness was very sad indeed, and they should have made major changes.

Case in point, the dialogue system. Partly the Full Voice Acting which... I read faster, so tend to skip halfway through a lot of sentences by the weird combination of clicking then hitting the space bar. This is actually pretty important, because the only time clicking matters is if a dialogue choice is coming up, in which case it takes you tend the UI without any chance of accidentally selecting something. Space bar almost always works (though sometimes it doesn't, especially when the characters are wandering around the scene for no reason), but it often selects a dialogue choice if it is the next bit...

Which is terrible, because after a game and a half it still vexes me. Which is why the quarian species suddenly died. Not because I made a reasoned moral choice, but because I hit the damn space bar. Oops.
But since ME3 has no effect on Andromeda, I honestly don't care, and the geth are probably more stable then the batshit insane quarians anyway. Hey the galaxy is being invaded by things that want to destroy all life! Woohoo! Time for a private war!

But ME3 does do emotion a bit better. Sometimes they're really anvillicious about it, and ham handed, especially if it involves dialogue, but there are some really nice let touches in the background and little animations (a wave farewell, for example) that really sell scenes.

However... relationships in 2 were largely handled better. Of particular note was that I didn't 'accidently a romance' at any point. I was aware I could have chased one or more, but it never fit, and the game didn't pester me to get in on one (especially not the way 1 or the dragon ages do).

3 has the unfortunate tendency to want to dictate how my character reacts to things. Number 1 are the stupid dream sequences, which are like no dream I've ever had, and they fucked the symbolism up wholeheartedly. Creepy kid, slowmo running through woods, and the game wants you to tell Liara that you're thinking about Ashley Williams (or Kaiden I suppose) who died in game 1. Fuck no. That bitch was annoying and the dream had nothing at all to do with it!

Kaiden is still boring, but more annoying. After bitching about having trust issues constantly, the game wants to convince me that I should care about him in some fashion, and after he gets out the hospital, there is yet another trust based confrontation that he barely passes, and then is all like 'so, can I come along?' Fuck no, asshole! Wait why is my character at all conflicted about this? He's been acting like a shitstain in every goddamn scene. Throw him back out onto the dock like the dog he is.


So that's what I've been thinking about in regards to Andromeda. Hoping they've made a good fucking UI for the PC version (especially the dialogue), and hoping they stop trying to write the character for me. Because it's super annoying. Also, the dialogue choices need to be much more clear. When I'm talking with a character who's talking about how she feels guilty, the prompt 'No' suggests I'm going to tell her... not to feel guilty. Not refuse to help.


These games could be pretty damn amazing if it weren't for their shitty UI and their presumptuous-as-fuck writers. With a new one on the horizon, I hope they made some good choices beyond 'let's ape the Witcher 3's side missions'

Though, I actually my biggest hope is they don't start a new setting and then immediately start shitting all over with overwhelming mega-disasters. Let people explore and learn about the place without an overwhelming amount of grimderp and constant suffering.


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Whipstitch
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Mass Effect 3's biggest problem is that eventually their promise of power fantasy and Shep being "yours" conflicted with their desire to have indelible consequences and a personality beyond being an avatar for the player. There were other big issues, of course, but it's fair to say that they paled in comparison given that those things weren't causing people to squeal about treachery like a troop of scalded apes. Personally, I wasn't among those people, mostly because I was already a bit disenchanted with the power fantasy and blank avatar aspects of the story anyway. It took Garrus to really seal it for me. See, I had played through ME1 as a Paragon Shep and thought that Garrus was pretty dull--it's fundamentally hard for a "renegade" character to stand out very much when the fucker is stuck following your orders. So I actually rather liked it when Garrus shrugged off my input from the 1st game and ran off to become a fucking gun-toting vigilante. A cynical person would say that it was a lazy writing move-- and hell, they're probably right--but whatever, it was way more interesting than if I had successfully brainwashed him into fucking Dudley Do-Right. I guess it actually sorta breaks my immersion a bit when you really can convince everyone to change their lives and polish your knob then thank you for the opportunity afterwards.
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Voss
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The thing is, their character consequences are pretty meaningless, which is part of the problem. ME3 has really big decisions that doom or save entire species...but that isn't part of the end game. The end game matters so little that Bioware entirely wrote it out of the franchise sequel. (The Andromeda group already left before the events of ME3, and get to the new place 600 years later)

The thing for Garrus is his act of rebellion is leaving C-Sec and touring around as an independent operator for someone who has very little restrictions, by turian standards, it's apparently a big deal in its own right, and a step on the road to becoming a full on vigilante- he's witnessed the power of getting shit done, even on a paragon path.

But for most NPCs, I can't think of much that really changed them- most of their character arcs made a fair amount of sense, except the ones where they neglected to fill in the details (or the details are in the novels). Like Miranda leaving Cerebus- there isn't any explanation of why in the actual game (unless I missed it, which is possible since I told her no, I wouldn't divert military assets to find a random teenager in the middle of a galactic war). And Liara changed completely from a mouse to a hardcase, because of her own shit, very little of it had much to do with the influence of Shep. Even Jack's transition to bitchy evil teen to reluctant hardcase instructor made sense with the characters presented. But the most of the humans are still boring by the book idiots, Wrex is still an hyper-aggressive ass (though not by Krogan standards), and Tali is amazingly consistent through all three games. Well, she was in mine until the unfortunate spacebar incident.


The big problem with the personality beyond a player avatar is they were really terrible and inconsistent about it. Witcher3 does it well, to the point that I don't particularly enjoy it, because Geralt is Sapkowski's character, not mine, and it bleeds through everywhere. With Shephard, one moment you're moralizing to an absurd degree, the next you shoot someone in the head because fuck you thats why, and sometimes... the game forces the character to react as if neither of those could possibly be true. And 3 was much worse about it than the prior two. While there was the framing lens of 'military hardcase stereotype, and gets shit done' the reactions are pretty open, until 3 simply starts dictating what your (the player's) reactions should be. It jumps out of the screen and tells you that you must be feeling sads now. And that's pretty out of line, especially since mostly what you should be feeling is logical outrage about how terrible a case various people and things are making for their decisions.

The ending was amazingly stupid, but it turned stupid long before the part everyone complains about. For one thing the horrible, horrible slog, but actually turning around and having the ship land to take <NPC> to safety. No, landing there was not an option ever (apparently), and it was Mission Do-or-die-stop-at-nothing. Yet everyone fucking stopped for because a tank flipped about 10 feet away. All to set up more terribly written bullshit that made no sense. To make it worse, it was inconsistent with most of the game's choices (which are predominantly some form of 'suck-it-up, buttercup') but also the Bioware version of Shepherd they kept trying to intrude with. It was pretty clear that the head writer had a Vision, and everyone was gone to spend 30 odd minutes suffering the full weight of that hackneyed bullshit, regardless of how stupid and inconsistent with fucking everything it was.

It wasn't such much about indelible consequences as it was 'here is the setting's enigma revealed, and these are the only philosophical options (that the writer could imagine).' The Bioware version of the character's answer should consistently be 'I blow it the fuck up.' And the real answer is 'That's stupid, stop being stupid.' Nothing about anything <antagonists> have done addresses the actual solution to an amazingly nonexistent problem.
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Chamomile
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Shamus Young has written what I consider to be the definitive response to the Mass Effect series and its problems. It's definitely true that people who try to lean on "inevitability" or similar arguments don't really have a leg to stand on, because Mass Effect has consistently been about the player's ability to resolve generational enmity, avert planet-spanning apocalypses, and run a suicide mission with no fatalities, provided they play their cards right. Even if they wanted to tell a story about inevitability, the last few hours of a 60+ hour trilogy was not nearly enough time to walk back their strong and persistent theme of "choices have consequences" (which was itself undercut by the desire to have both Paragon and Renegade be a correct choice in all circumstances). Mass Effect wasn't about the inevitable and unstoppable advance of the Reapers for all of Mass Effect 2 and everything but the finale of Mass Effect 3 (although the original game could've gone with that direction had they actually gone with that direction in the sequels).
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Whipstitch
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Chamomile wrote:
Mass Effect has consistently been about the player's ability to resolve generational enmity, avert planet-spanning apocalypses, and run a suicide mission with no fatalities, provided they play their cards right.


I suspect that the problem is that's how people play ME but not necessarily how it was outlined by the people with final say. In theory you could leave many things unaddressed and lose a bunch of people you cared about if you didn't eat your vegetables and finish your sidequests in the first two games. Now, mind you, that doesn't fucking matter because the actual player base went through the game as a sexy shining Space Jesus, an invincible being who spread the good word about shopping on the Citadel and arose from the dead in the second game to save humanity. I don't think Bioware was secretly more successful at presenting themes than people are giving them credit for or anything, I'm merely saying it would make sense to me if the head honchos fucked up because they lost sight of how much time is spent being a golden god versus time spent being afraid of the off-screen big bads.

Quote:
Even if they wanted to tell a story about inevitability, the last few hours of a 60+ hour trilogy was not nearly enough time to walk back their strong and persistent theme of "choices have consequences" (which was itself undercut by the desire to have both Paragon and Renegade be a correct choice in all circumstances).

On this we're in total agreement. I had little sympathy for Bioware's surprise at how people reacted. With vision and the right execution you can make a good story out of damn near any relatable idea, but "right execution" generally doesn't include changing horses midstream.
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Voss
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
Shamus Young has written what I consider to be the definitive response to the Mass Effect series and its problems


Eh. Thats very plodding and almost embarrassingly naive. He puts ME1 on a huge pedestal, but it was just as much a shooty action game as the sequels, its just the ratio of gunplay to dialogue was adjusted.

And for a reason he completely misses: he complains about the lack of the side characters you can chat with and get world building along with sidequests. But those were cut for practical reasons- all those animations and full voice acting cost absurd amounts of time and money.

The 'a series should never switch writers' is just flat out crazy. Big games are huge multi year projects- the odds the you're going to keep a person for a decade. Real life, careers, illnesses, accidents, whatever. The very nature of the industry undermines the very possibility that you're going to keep someone all the way through.

And honestly, he sort of admits it at one point, but forgets about it all the time: 'the writer' is not a single person but a team.

I agree with a lot of his points on ME3, but he overlooks quite a bit about 2 and 1 when griping about 2. Cerberus was a throw away organization for a couple sidequests in 1 (same with Eclipse, actually). 2 fleshed out basically a formless, thumbnail sketch. The level of 'retconning' he thinks is going on is mostly in his own head. Now they took it to absurd levels, especially in 3, but... eh. Just don't care about his indignation here.

But the big thing is Bioware is actually consistently _really bad_ at main stories. This goes back all the way to Neverwinter Nights (woo, really bad) and even Baldurs Gate (the Bhaalspawn aspect was amazingly stupid special chosen one nonsense that has no payoff, and overruns the 'Iron Throne has evil schemes' which actually frames the narrative). That ME1 had a tight narrative was a matter of luck (and individual taste), not a result of different practices or intent. And honestly a lot of it is a direct result of their 'epic story' bullshit. Immediately introducing an apocalypse level event really limits the ability to tell further stories: not focusing on the apocalypse at the expense of everything else is gibberish and nonsensical.

Which is probably why my favorite Dragon Age (and probably mass effect) is the second. It has severe problems (bossfights and the end game), but most of it is a tightly focused and coherent character level story, which is the (only) strength of the studio. If they want consistently good games, they need to ditch the epic quest and apocalypse bullshit. Focus on local regions and problems the characters can actually engage. No more 'build an army to save the entire fucking setting' while still going out and personally picking flowers and shit.
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Blade
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I had fun with ME, and about the same level with all three episodes.

I don't consider them extraordinary, I'd say they're solid games with a few exceptional pieces. Which might be why some people feel so strongly about them: they sometimes hint at how much better they could have been instead of staying 7/10 all the time.

I appreciated the emphasis on characters and relationships (especially since the rest of the story is bland standard space-op stuff), and ME3 was really good at feeling like a reunion of old pals.

I didn't really have a problem with the game forcing my Shephard to be/say something I wouldn't want. I have it much more in KOTOR, but I guess my Shephard was closer to the concepts of the designers than my character in KOTOR.
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Chamomile
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Voss wrote:
it was just as much a shooty action game as the sequels, its just the ratio of gunplay to dialogue was adjusted.


"It's just as much a shooty action game as the sequels, except in that it has less shooty action."

Quote:
Big games are huge multi year projects- the odds the you're going to keep a person for a decade. Real life, careers, illnesses, accidents, whatever.


It is very strange to believe that retaining an employee for 6 years is some impossible feat. This used to be the norm and it only changed because companies no longer care to do so.

Quote:
Cerberus was a throw away organization for a couple sidequests in 1 (same with Eclipse, actually). 2 fleshed out basically a formless, thumbnail sketch. The level of 'retconning' he thinks is going on is mostly in his own head.


That is neither how organizations work in-universe nor how setting building works out of universe. If Cerberus is actually a vast and capable spy network, then violently opposing them should've come with far more consequences than it did in the original. If Cerberus is supposed to be a vast and capable spy network, the initial interactions with them should not portray them as a throwaway organization. The meeting with the Illusive Man is treated like it's a big deal, but it isn't, because we've met Cerberus before and they were inconsequential. Things like this need build-up and asking us to take seriously as vital to our success an organization that was previously a trivial threat is not good storytelling.

Mass Effect is enamored with the Illusive Man and Cerberus, and they constantly skip over the build-up of their power to rush to the part where they show it off. Cerberus is building ships superior to state-of-the-art projects collaborated upon by two different national governments, the player character is railroaded into being tricked into an ambush by the Illusive Man, the reasons given for the Illusive Man sending the player character into an ambush are vague and mostly nonsense, and the player is not given any choice but to continue following his orders even after he just stabbed you in the back. Miranda alone amongst all the other companions in the game requires a very specific set of circumstances to kill in the Suicide Mission, as opposed to a specific set of circumstances to save her.
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Voss
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Chamomile wrote:
Voss wrote:
it was just as much a shooty action game as the sequels, its just the ratio of gunplay to dialogue was adjusted.
"It's just as much a shooty action game as the sequels, except in that it has less shooty action."

No, it doesn't have less shooty action at all. It has more voiced dialogue with bystanders. The game is bang bang bang just as much as the sequels. Strangely, to adjust a ratio, you don't have to add the same amount you subtract from the other. You can just subtract, and that changes the ratio.


Quote:
It is very strange to believe that retaining an employee for 6 years is some impossible feat. This used to be the norm and it only changed because companies no longer care to do so.

A decade is 6 years now? Neat. But it isn't an 'impossible feat,' it is simply something that company can't ensure, and refusing to do sequels if a company can't keep a head writer (of a team of writers) is simply absurd.


Quote:
Quote:
Cerberus was a throw away organization for a couple sidequests in 1 (same with Eclipse, actually). 2 fleshed out basically a formless, thumbnail sketch. The level of 'retconning' he thinks is going on is mostly in his own head.


That is neither how organizations work in-universe nor how setting building works out of universe.

Actually it is how setting building works. Companies often start with a range of references and build them up in more detail later. Fleshing out every single detail before product #1 simply isn't viable. Did they masturbate too heavily too Cerebus? Oh, yeah, especially in 3. Was the beginning of 2 too heavy handed, with the 'death' and destruction then rebuilding of the Normandy? Yeah, it was. It was a ham-handed way to try to make the player take the Collectors seriously despite stepping down from 'face god-machine.' But like I said, Bioware rather sucks at the main story for all their games.

But building them up into something more and giving them a named leader isn't a retcon (which is his stance). It's adding detail. That the leader is a shit character and a writer sock puppet is a different problem.


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Chamomile
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Voss wrote:

No, it doesn't have less shooty action at all. It has more voiced dialogue with bystanders.


So you're saying that having a much lower density of shooty action doesn't make Mass Effect 1 less of a shooty action game. I presume that it would be less of a shooty action game if you removed all of the game except the gun battles, but then also removed one gun battle?

Not that any of this actually addresses the main point of Shamus' objection, which is the lack of attention to detail, not the overall decrease in details at all. He does mention the lack of dialogue from locals in one post, but he also references the problem with finances in the same post and makes the case that sacrificing detail for a larger number of locations sowed the seeds of problems that culminated in the infamously reviled ending. He didn't completely miss the reason, he explicitly discussed it.

Quote:
A decade is 6 years now? Neat.


I mean, I wasn't going to draw attention to how you'd applied some extremely generous rounding to the length of the Mass Effect development cycle, but okay.

Quote:
But it isn't an 'impossible feat,' it is simply something that company can't ensure,


Are you alleging that companies will regularly find themselves unable to retain one or a small handful of employees over this period of time if they actually try? That people finding career opportunities that drastically overshadow what the company could reasonably afford or becoming unable to continue their career due to illness or injury is typical?

Quote:
Actually it is how setting building works. Companies often start with a range of references and build them up in more detail later.


"Video games use this storytelling technique, therefore it is effective" is true only if video games consistently have good stories. Do you want to try and make that argument?

Quote:
But building them up into something more and giving them a named leader isn't a retcon


You can make a semantic quibble about whether or not taking an inconsequential threat and asking us to take them seriously as a powerful and capable organization is technically a retcon, and it would even fit in perfectly with your semantic argument about how Mass Effect 1 is technically just as much a shooty action game as 2 and 3 if you have a sufficiently stupid metric for what makes a game shooty and action, but in both cases you would be an idiot trying to substitute failure to communicate for actual argument.
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Voss
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Chamomile wrote:

So you're saying that having a much lower density of shooty action doesn't make Mass Effect 1 less of a shooty action game. I presume that it would be less of a shooty action game if you removed all of the game except the gun battles, but then also removed one gun battle?

I always forget how fucking stupid you are before I try to interact with you. I am indeed saying that layering on extra voice acting and animations does not change the nature of the game. You still spend most of your time running around shooting fools. With, indeed, even more empty sidequests, that are nothing but shooting fools and a few lines of dialogue tacked on either end.

Ah, the joys of planetary exploration. Drive around a lumpy undetailed landscape, then get out, invade a short dungeon and shoot everyone inside.


Quote:
Not that any of this actually addresses the main point of Shamus' objection, which is the lack of attention to detail, not the overall decrease in details at all. He does mention the lack of dialogue from locals in one post, but he also references the problem with finances in the same post and makes the case that sacrificing detail for a larger number of locations sowed the seeds of problems that culminated in the infamously reviled ending. He didn't completely miss the reason, he explicitly discussed it.

Yes he did, and made a mountain out of what are actually really shitty and shallow interactions. He's got his nostalgia goggles on full power.

So it actually does address his point. The details he's yammering on about are fairly shit. He masturbates at length about the colonists at the evil plant planet. Go back and actually play that section. The amazing details he's waxing poetic about are 'go fix the water' (hit <interact> at 3 low-detail boxes), 'fetch quest us some meat,' and very overwhelmingly repeats of some variation of 'I'm busy, go talk to Fai-Dan (the leader).' And he just sends you off to kill geth. For almost all of those people, there is ONE dialogue 'choice' other than goodbye, and this repeats pretty consistently throughout the game. They spent a lot of time and money on essentially nothing, and not on 'amazing' details.

Quality means a lot more than quantity.
Quote:

I mean, I wasn't going to draw attention to how you'd applied some extremely generous rounding to the length of the Mass Effect development cycle, but okay.

Because of course Mass Effect is the only game with sequels, and the short dev cycle of the trilogy is normal. But fair enough. The mass effect trilogy was done in a rush.

Quote:
Quote:
But it isn't an 'impossible feat,' it is simply something that company can't ensure,


Are you alleging that companies will regularly find themselves unable to retain one or a small handful of employees over this period of time if they actually try? That people finding career opportunities that drastically overshadow what the company could reasonably afford or becoming unable to continue their career due to illness or injury is typical?

No, I'm stating that his absolute statement that companies should not do sequels without the original writer (forgetting yet again that writing is done by teams and not individuals) is absurd. I can explain that again if you like.


Quote:
Quote:
you wrote:
nor how setting building works out of universe.
Actually it is how setting building works. Companies often start with a range of references and build them up in more detail later.


"Video games use this storytelling technique, therefore it is effective" is true only if video games consistently have good stories. Do you want to try and make that argument?

No, I'm refuting your VERY SPECIFIC claim that it isn't how setting building is done.

Quote:
You can make a semantic quibble about whether or not taking an inconsequential threat and asking us to take them seriously as a powerful and capable organization is technically a retcon,

No. I'm saying that developing more details for something undetailed is NOT a retcon. The scope of Cerebus in ME1 is unknown. You fight some goons a couple times on random planets that have nothing to do with much of anything.

How is that a semantic quibble? It's a random organization you bump into in the _numerous_ shitty side quests that have nearly zero development or detail in the original. In 2 it has more. They went overboard in a lot of ways, but OMG the Evils of Retcons isn't the issue, which is one of the claims put forth.

Quote:
and it would even fit in perfectly with your semantic argument about how Mass Effect 1 is technically just as much a shooty action game as 2 and 3 if you have a sufficiently stupid metric for what makes a game shooty and action,


But then you apparently can't understand that the actual gameplay is...shooting people. That isn't a technicality either.


Quote:
but in both cases you would be an idiot trying to substitute failure to communicate for actual argument.

Yes, I suspect the idiocy and failure is on the other foot.


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Chamomile
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Voss wrote:
I always forget how fucking stupid you are before I try to interact with you.


I guess I should be flattered, considering I don't remember my previous interactions with you at all. Could you maybe give me some keywords to Google? I'm curious, now.

Quote:
I am indeed saying that layering on extra voice acting and animations does not change the nature of the game. You still spend most of your time running around shooting fools.


This is a level of stupidity that I hadn't anticipated. You are either making the argument that Shamus Young was claiming the entire genre of shooter games is incapable of good worldbuilding and intelligent storytelling, or else you believe that yourself. Either way, your claims are completely baseless.

Quote:
Go back and actually play that section. The amazing details he's waxing poetic about are 'go fix the water' (hit <interact> at 3 low-detail boxes), 'fetch quest us some meat,' and very overwhelmingly repeats of some variation of 'I'm busy, go talk to Fai-Dan (the leader).' And he just sends you off to kill geth. For almost all of those people, there is ONE dialogue 'choice' other than goodbye, and this repeats pretty consistently throughout the game. They spent a lot of time and money on essentially nothing, and not on 'amazing' details.


Your argument is that Shamus is wrong about the differences between Mass Effect 1 and Mass Effect 2. Pointing to ways in which Mass Effect 1 theoretically could have been better does not support your argument at all. You need to be able to demonstrate that Mass Effect 2 is in some way better at worldbuilding and storytelling, and completely giving up on worldbuilding does not make you successful at worldbuilding.

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Because of course Mass Effect is the only game with sequels, and the short dev cycle of the trilogy is normal.


Uncharted 1 entered development in 2005 and Uncharted 3 was released in 2011. Borderlands entered development somewhere in the neighborhood of 2006 or 2007 and the Pre-Sequel (the series' third installment) was released in 2014. You want an example of rushed development? Assassin's Creed II entered development in 2008, and Assassin's Creed Revelations was released in 2011.

A trilogy of video games taking 6-8 years is completely typical, and when they take longer it is usually because of a long technology development stage for the first game with the game's writer only being brought on in the late stages of the game. Tomb Raider 2013, for example, began development in 2008, but it was basically done by the time Rhianna Pratchett was involved, and even Tomb Raider will barely reach a decade-long span for three games if they manage to release their third installment in 2018, and will still come in one year shy of a decade if they get it out sometime this year. Speaking of Rhianna Pratchett, she was the writer for all five of the Overlord games, the first of which entered development in 2005-ish and the last was released in 2015. There was a huge gap between the 2009 release of Overlord II and the follow-up of Overlord: Fellowship of Evil during which no game was under development because that series just isn't very healthy, and three of the five games are spin-off titles rather than main installments, so that doesn't really tell us anything about the development time of major trilogies, but Codemasters had no trouble retaining Rhianna Pratchett for all five games in their (just barely) decade-spanning franchise.

Quote:
No, I'm stating that his absolute statement that companies should not do sequels without the original writer (forgetting yet again that writing is done by teams and not individuals) is absurd.


Okay, let me explain to you basic English idioms to you. When someone says "you should never do X," they don't mean literally never under any conceivable circumstances. They mean that it's a bad idea that should be strongly avoided. Obviously if the lead writer gets in a car wreck and dies, you are going to have to figure something out, but modern game studios make no effort at all to retain their talent across an entire series, even when that series has a definite endpoint.

Quote:

No, I'm refuting your VERY SPECIFIC claim that it isn't how setting building is done.


More fun with explaining basic English idioms: When someone says "that isn't how setting building works," what is meant is that this is not how you do setting building well, not that nobody ever attempts to do setting building in that manner.

You may also be surprised to know that nobody on the Den has ever literally wanted another poster to suck on a barrel full of either male chickens or dismembered male genitalia. You may additionally be surprised to know that the previous statement does not literally mean I have examined every single usage of the statement "go suck a barrel of cocks" to guarantee that exactly zero of them were intended literally.

Quote:
How is that a semantic quibble?


Because you're applying stricter limits on what amount of revision of what came before is required before something qualifies as a "retcon." Retcon is improvised language. It's not technical jargon. There is no official cutoff point nor even any significant guidelines. You have already admitted that Cerberus is a random throwaway organization that could be mown down without consequence or comment in the first game, so the full extent of your bitching is where exactly the limits of a "retcon" are, and whether or not a drastic overhaul of an organization's scope qualifies. Shamus' position that Cerberus having previously been inconsequential makes the Illusive Man's sudden Gary Stu pre-eminence in the plot harder to swallow is not even slightly hard to understand, and bitching about how it's not technically a retcon according to the exact limits of your own personal definition for that word is not only semantics, it's semantics over a slang term.
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Mechalich
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So, I've just finished Mass Effect: Andromeda, and these seems as good a place to talk about it as any.

First things first, I need to talk about the bugs and get that out of the way. Yes, Bioware didn't quite get the game finished before release. There are some problems, and the animations are borked in some fairly significant ways, but...it's not nearly as bad as some chatter has mentioned. Specifically, with regard to the facial animations it's only some of them that are bad, and it only impacts a small minority of characters (notably Addison). So, as long as you get a combination of features that works for Ryder, it's not really something that shows up that much. The trick is that you have to make you own pathfinder, since all of the presets suck. There are some other bugs - I had companions freeze completely on a couple of occasions and similar stuff, but it wasn't crippling in any way. The game is playable. Admittedly I was playing on a high-powered gaming desktop, I can't speak to issues on Xbox or less equipped systems.

Beyond that, overall Andromeda is most similar to the original Mass Effect in terms of the series and maybe compared to games overall. The ship, the travel, the driving the totally-not-the-Mako-Nomad, the sidequests, heck even the crew (Cora is Ashley, Liam is Kaidan, Drack is Wrex, Peebee is Liara, and Jaal is Garrus, Vetra doesn't match Tali making her the outlier) have very strong similarities in feel. There's good and bad to that resemblance, but it's strongly felt throughout.

In terms of story, eh, I'm not going to bother with much in the way of spoilers or belabor the various themes. It's serviceable, not jaw-dropping without any really big twists and it certainly doesn't resolve everything by the end, but it works overall. The Angara and Kett - the two alien races introduced - are well done. There's a lot to the Angara and the Kett are suitably if somewhat trope-worn villains. The Archon - your principle antagonist - does a good job of earning the player's hatred as the game goes on and you never feel like 'maybe I shouldn't be ruthlessly murdering all these Kett' at any point - which is good considering the extremely large number of Kett-murderings the game demands.

Gameplay wise, well, there's basically four things you do in Andromeda: dialogue, driving the Nomad, scanning, and combat.

Driving the Nomad is fine. Takes a bit of getting used to and is really helped by a few key upgrades (get the one that increases 6-wheel drive speed, so much faster up hills) but really no complaints, and the one bit where you drive around in low-g is great. Scanning is also fine, not very complicated and generally you're guided by prompts for anything important. it's mostly a cute mechanism to find the glowing dots any other game of this type would have you click on.

Dialogue, well, there is a metric fuck-ton of talking to do in Andromeda. There are, as widely reported, so real clunkers mixed in there, but by and large the lines are fine and the dialogue works. The removal of the Paragon and Renegade system was actually a real positive for me, since it meant I actually thought about dialogue choices more rather than just picking the bar-increasing option. There are a whole bunch of real choices made through dialogue in the game particularly in loyalty missions and during the outpost quests. Some of them even have real consequences in terms of how settlement unfolds or which NPCs take various roles later on. Talking to people was generally welcome and only occasionally a chore. It's worst at the beginning actually, if you bother to go through the massive gobs of exposition that get unloaded when you first hit the Nexus. The real joy of the massive about of dialogue in the game are the third-party comments by your various team members and other NPCs. I played mostly with Peebee (source of hyperactive snark) and Drack (endless old soldier one-liners) and enjoyed their byplay.

And then there's combat, which is the meat of an shooter-RPG game like this. It's a lot of combat. Fighting, fighting, and more fighting, lot's of it. Bioware claimed that there were all sorts of different ways to play. It is entirely possible that is true. I couldn't say. I spent the entire game using the same three powers: concussive shot (combo detonator), incinerate (anit-armor), and overload (anti-shield), and probably 90% using only the Valkyrie assault rifle (guns level up with you using the research minigame, so you don't have any need to change). There's no need to change methods and really the game doesn't incentivize you to do so since there's only a tiny number of different encounter types. Basically there's Remnant and everyone else. The Kett, Outcasts, and Rokaar all fight basically the same - they have guns and try to shoot you - so there's no need to vary tactics between them. Basic tactics are still pretty cover-shooter standard, though your jump jets do allow for a fun third dimension to exploit that works well in certain fights, particularly those inside large ships. There are occasional ultra-heavy enemies like Fiends you need to kite and the (optional) boss fights with Architects are much more complex but there's otherwise not that much combat variation in single-player. One good thing is that your companions do play very differently in terms of combat tactics so who you choose to bring alters how fights play out. It's not a bad combat system, fights are fast paced and involve some scrambling, combos are worth your time, and the enemy AI is reasonable, but it wasn't exactly a wow experience.

Most of the various minigame features are nothing to write home about. Research and resource gathering only kind of matter, sending out strike teams is just kind of a thing you can do, and the bonuses you get for waking up certain groups and not others are really minor. Having them isn't bad, but it's basically just window dressing.

Overall though, the game is fine, but not great. It's a science fantasy cover-shooter with RPG elements and limited open-world offerings. If you liked any of the other Mass Effects in terms of lore, story, or characters, you'll like this one too. There's certainly plenty of playing to do - I completed most (not quite all) of the sidequests and clocked in at 70 hours without touching multiplayer.
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Blicero
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Mechalich wrote:

Beyond that, overall Andromeda is most similar to the original Mass Effect in terms of the series and maybe compared to games overall. The ship, the travel, the driving the totally-not-the-Mako-Nomad, the sidequests, heck even the crew (Cora is Ashley, Liam is Kaidan, Drack is Wrex, Peebee is Liara, and Jaal is Garrus, Vetra doesn't match Tali making her the outlier) have very strong similarities in feel. There's good and bad to that resemblance, but it's strongly felt throughout.


Do you think that Andromeda was a "soft reboot" intended for players too young to have played the first Mass Effect?

A lot of the criticism I've seen of the game is along the lines of "You go to a totally new galaxy, and you could encounter anything, but you just find humanoid aliens with guns; that's so boring." Did you not have an issue with that?
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Well, I think the Mass Effect universe mostly established pretty well that humanoids with guns are the organism that evolves most often.
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Longes
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Blicero wrote:
Do you think that Andromeda was a "soft reboot" intended for players too young to have played the first Mass Effect?


Since Bioware shat the bed with Mass Effect 3 endings, they can't ever make any game set in the Mass Effect universe after Mass Effect 3. And the only notable event we know about before Mass Effect 1 is the human-turian war. While interesting by itself, it'd probably cause a riot among the fanbase who'd want alien companions and would rather see Mass Effect become a full fledged eroge anyway where you skip all the boring shooty stuff and get down to boning party members.

Personally, I'd play the shit out of a game about young Illusive Man forming Cerberus. But I can't imagine this is a topic that would hook a wide enough audience to get a game.


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Mechalich
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Blicero wrote:

A lot of the criticism I've seen of the game is along the lines of "You go to a totally new galaxy, and you could encounter anything, but you just find humanoid aliens with guns; that's so boring." Did you not have an issue with that?


It's a space fantasy - in space fantasy you encounter humanoid aliens with guns. You do that in Star Trek, in Star Wars, in Battlestar Galactica, whatever. Mass Effect is a modern action RPG shooter, what else were people expecting? Ultimately, at the end of the day it's an essential game conceit that your characters will encounter people that they can not only relate to, but who are sufficiently equivalent in technological development that you can actually fight them. 'Apes or angels' is much more realistic, but that doesn't result in a Mass Effect game.

Also, the Remnant are expressly not humanoid aliens with guns, being robots with beams and pulse weapons and replicators, and you fight the Remnant a lot. However, fighting them isn't all that different from fighting humanoid opponents.

Quote:
Since Bioware shat the bed with Mass Effect 3 endings, they can't ever make any game set in the Mass Effect universe after Mass Effect 3. And the only notable event we know about before Mass Effect 1 is the human-turian war. While interesting by itself, it'd probably cause a riot among the fanbase who'd want alien companions and would rather see Mass Effect become a full fledged eroge anyway where you skip all the boring shooty stuff and get down to boning party members.


It's probably worth mentioning that there are a large number of call backs to the previous games hidden throughout Andromeda - you meet characters who are related to characters from the previous games, and the quest line involving you dad's memories - which starts out seeming super lame but actually turns out surprisingly interesting - talks about Milky Way events and involves audio-only appearances by Liara.

And of course, you can bone party members, in what are Bioware's most explicit sex scenes yet, so that's a thing. I ran Peebee's 'romance,' it was decently done by the standards of these things.
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Voss
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Blicero wrote:

Do you think that Andromeda was a "soft reboot" intended for players too young to have played the first Mass Effect?

I certainly didn't. It was more of the same Bioware stuff (well, Jade Empire onwards).

For the most part it was good Bioware stuff. With some of the usual exceptions. The (non-combat) UI is clunky as fuck, with a lot of wasted space and too many submenus.

The email should be part of the UI, as well. Leaving a planet in the ship and immediately getting an email that directs you back to the planet (and often the person you were just talking to) is amazingly bullshit, and happens far too many times. Kadarra is the worst offender for this, and carries extra bullshit, since it has an extra map to load through since the city is separate from the slums which have to be traversed to the outside map. Email should trigger on planet, and be accessible through you goddamn AI, because it can talk to you fucking wherever. But for some reason quests through terminals and email have to be accessed in person- the shit covered peasants in dragon age actually have a more functional communication and centralization system than people with fucking AIs and quantum entanglement communication!

In some cases the 'Bioware stuff' was extremely bad, like the Kett, who are amazingly boring. They're evil minions of evilness doing evil things for evil reasons. Aside from seriously five of them (and audio-logs that may or may not be from those five), they don't talk. There is a distinct impression that most of them can't.
They're a horde of goblins that you don't have to feel bad about slaughtering in the thousands. Or more appropriately for Bioware, they're Darkspawn. Or the cannibal guys from Jade Empire. Someone has a fetish.

Other than that, the actual meat of the game is pretty good. Needed a bit more focus on the exploration and discovery and less on killing goblin hordes, but the combat is fun at least, and the RP sections are largely good... most of the whining about how the dialogue is worse seems entirely unjustified to me, as this is the studio that brought the world 'Swooping is bad' and many, many other such gems. And ME1 with the Wrex introduction, where he simply informs the cops that he's going off to murder a dude and basically dares them to try to stop him. (And when the guy turns up dead 10 minutes later it is never an issue)

One probelmatic area is that there are several decisions where the writers insist on presenting you with a choice between A and B (and only A & B) and treat them as inherently opposed concepts that absolutely cannot be reconciled. This is often frustrating, because a compromise position is usually really obvious, but just isn't an option.


So there are problem areas, but most of the game is as good or better than any Bioware game. Combat is definitely better, and by and large it isn't so damn mopey and pointlessly depressing.

Father and twin should have been ejected from the storyline with extreme prejudice. A lot of the terrible endgame bullshit hangs on them, and there really isn't any reason to do either they way they did, or the effectively Chosen One bullshit that results. But again... Bioware game- pretty par for the course. While it would be better if they got rid of these tendencies, it's pretty unreasonable to expect it.

Quote:
A lot of the criticism I've seen of the game is along the lines of "You go to a totally new galaxy, and you could encounter anything, but you just find humanoid aliens with guns; that's so boring." Did you not have an issue with that?


'Just' is weird and wrong, and... honestly... I have no idea what people expect or want to be different there. Oozes or blobs or trees zapping with you ooze powers wouldn't make a better or more interesting game.

The kett are problematic because they are the third iteration of this particular bioware 'twist.' And, well, they're really boring. There are zero dilemmas with the kett themselves (a few interesting moral dilemmas happen because of the kett, and one or two really forced ones). They are simply just evil, and will try to kill everyone for no reason (which is weird, since that doesn't work with their actual objective), and their logs are all basically torture porn. (though it takes a little time to decipher them). So they're capital Evil and there isn't any possibility of non-combat interaction, beyond some posturing and taunting (on both sides)

The other alien race is a bit better and more complex, but they're also (but understandably) assholes. They're also very eager to tell you about how emotional they are. They rarely actually act emotionally (though often irrationally), but they're very keen to tell you about how they're much more emotional than you. And to repeat one of the game's painfully obvious moral anvils (in addition to AI and the Bioware fetish): family matters. Family, family, family, family. Seriously, I got it. Shut the fuck up already.

Though since 'twin' is written expressly as a macguffin for the end game sequence and is completely irrelevant to the entire fucking game, they
rather bollocked it up.

mechalich wrote:
And of course, you can bone party members, in what are Bioware's most explicit sex scenes yet, so that's a thing. I ran Peebee's 'romance,' it was decently done by the standards of these things.

Heh. Vetra's isn't explicit. Not surprising since Turians have a goddamn metal carapace (and can't even eat the same food), but they didn't even try. Shame, really, because by the end I was curious as to how the mechanics work- the upper body is obviously a no go, but I'm not sure how far that metal extends and if there are tentacles, pouches or slits or what.

She also doesn't even really respond to the first half-dozen flirting attempts, so it feels less like a typical Bioware romance, and more like the other person actually wants to get to know you and have some reassurances first. Weird and shocking, really, since their usual approach is 'badger until <person> spreads legs.'


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Mechalich
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Voss wrote:

Heh. Vetra's isn't explicit. Not surprising since Turians have a goddamn metal carapace (and can't even eat the same food), but they didn't even try. Shame, really, because by the end I was curious as to how the mechanics work- the upper body is obviously a no go, but I'm not sure how far that metal extends and if there are tentacles, pouches or slits or what.

She also doesn't even really respond to the first half-dozen flirting attempts, so it feels less like a typical Bioware romance, and more like the other person actually wants to get to know you and have some reassurances first. Weird and shocking, really, since their usual approach is 'badger until <person> spreads legs.'


Didn't go that route, partly because the very idea of the mechanics kinda weirded me out, even though ME3 established that Turians can get it on with Quarians and since Quarians have no issues whatsoever having sex with humans it has to work out somehow, but yeah...funky.

In Peebee's case, she's actually rather casual about sex -which fits her personality - and you can have casual sex with her multiple times before your relationship evolves to the point that she's willing to commit - which involves her committing both to you and to the team as a whole (though I have no idea if you can actually piss her off enough that she'll leave permanently).

Quote:
The kett are problematic because they are the third iteration of this particular bioware 'twist.' And, well, they're really boring. There are zero dilemmas with the kett themselves (a few interesting moral dilemmas happen because of the kett, and one or two really forced ones). They are simply just evil, and will try to kill everyone for no reason (which is weird, since that doesn't work with their actual objective), and their logs are all basically torture porn. (though it takes a little time to decipher them). So they're capital Evil and there isn't any possibility of non-combat interaction, beyond some posturing and taunting (on both sides)


As far as the Kett go, I still think they're superior to the Reapers or the Darkspawn, since there are actually a few individual Kett - which is superior to none - and they do have at least a modicum of viewpoint diversity - there's the one sidequest where you can make a deal with the Kett who've decided the Archon has issues. The Archon clearly has it out for Ryder personally and even has a decent reason for that - since you keep tweaking his big plan - which is a plus. So they aren't complex villains, but they are marginally more complex than previous go rounds.

I could see MEA2 - which is clearly in the cards given how much about the Kett and the Remnant and the Initiative wasn't resolved - having somewhat more sympathetic Kett sub-factions, maybe, if Bioware was suitably careful

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Longes
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Mechalich wrote:
In Peebee's case, she's actually rather casual about sex -which fits her personality - and you can have casual sex with her multiple times before your relationship evolves to the point that she's willing to commit - which involves her committing both to you and to the team as a whole (though I have no idea if you can actually piss her off enough that she'll leave permanently).


My experience with Peebee is that most of the time spent interacting with her is me fighting a growing desire to report her to my superior officer for sexual harassment.
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Voss
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Longes wrote:
Mechalich wrote:
In Peebee's case, she's actually rather casual about sex -which fits her personality - and you can have casual sex with her multiple times before your relationship evolves to the point that she's willing to commit - which involves her committing both to you and to the team as a whole (though I have no idea if you can actually piss her off enough that she'll leave permanently).


My experience with Peebee is that most of the time spent interacting with her is me fighting a growing desire to report her to my superior officer for sexual harassment.


Since she's not part of anyone's chain of command, that really isn't an issue. And my experience was getting invited to a no strings attached fuck in zero-g, but she took no for answer while trying to pretend she wasn't disappointed. Not exactly a big deal.

On the other hand, the Cora or Liam romances are a huge creepy problem, since they're directly your subordinates. Suvi is problematic, since while she doesn't directly answer to you, she serves on your ship. Vetra is an independent who answers to Kesh, but is pretty much there for her own reasons (which honestly aren't adequately explained, but boil down to 'work with the single individual in the entire fucking Galaxy that can accomplish tasks')

The other two? romance options seem like a mistake for a variety of reasons.
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MGuy
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

ME3 was my favorite of the ME series so most of what I think about this latest one is based off of that. I just watched a friend play Andromeda (because I refuse to buy it after the ME3 ending debacle) over the weekend and it seemed pretty much the same as ME3 except you can jump a lot in combat now. I've seen a lot of people say the combat is more... I don't know... engaging(?) than prior MEs but from what I've seen it is at best straight forward as ME3. Cover shooting, maybe move from cover under certain conditions, find your favorite combo and spam.

A bunch of the lines are really bad or badly delivered (both from what I've seen in reviews and from watching the few hours I did) and I noticed it more in this one than in ME3. It is very true that you have to make your own character's face and there are a shit ton of bugs. I had thought that the bugs/bad animations were being overblown by the reviews but honestly I saw it way too much in a few hours than should be passable when they've released 3 games like this without so many issues. I don't know the whole story so I have no real opinion on it. The consensus seems to be that it is 'ok' and that would be ok for me. I think my favorite parts of ME 2 and 3 were the side missions so as long as they had even a few in Andromeda that could grip me I'd be fine with that.

I might buy the game a year or two from now when all the patches/DLC/mods have been made and it's own sale for half price. The problems in this game seem to equal (and in some parts) outweigh any improvements they might've made (I really can't think of any improvements off hand but I'm sure there are some I didn't see). Doesn't seem worth buying this game at full price as is when most of the people who 'do' support it spend most of the time telling me why it should be forgiven instead of telling me how it is actually good (or at least an improvement over what came before).
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Mechalich
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Voss wrote:

On the other hand, the Cora or Liam romances are a huge creepy problem, since they're directly your subordinates. Suvi is problematic, since while she doesn't directly answer to you, she serves on your ship. Vetra is an independent who answers to Kesh, but is pretty much there for her own reasons (which honestly aren't adequately explained, but boil down to 'work with the single individual in the entire fucking Galaxy that can accomplish tasks')


Bioware seems to have become committed to the maximum number of possible romances, because that's apparently what a good chunk of the fanbase wants. I mean, you've always been able to cross the superior/subordinate barrier in these games - Ashley and Kaidan in ME1 - and Shepard's mission was considerably more militarized than the Pathfinder operation, which is at least nominally a civilian operation overseen by a civilian authority (even though that designation is laughable in the face of how many people you shoot in the face). I agree that it's annoying though.

I think Vetra is technically supposed to be your quartermaster, and she just happens to be a badass mercenary because reasons.

MGuy wrote:
I've seen a lot of people say the combat is more... I don't know... engaging(?) than prior MEs but from what I've seen it is at best straight forward as ME3. Cover shooting, maybe move from cover under certain conditions, find your favorite combo and spam.


There probably are certain combo setups that lead to a more mobile playstyle, and in certain big fights where you need to kite a Fiend or Destroyer and fight other enemies at the same time you do need to move about - also helpful against Nullifiers or Kett Bosses. The various companions do fight differently in terms of mobility: Cora and Drack are much more melee focused, while Peebee and Jaal hang back at range, so it certainly seems possible that it would work that way, but yeah, overall not that different.

MGuy wrote:
I think my favorite parts of ME 2 and 3 were the side missions so as long as they had even a few in Andromeda that could grip me I'd be fine with that.


Andromeda is actually mostly side missions. Almost everything you do planetside is optional, the loyalty missions are optional (and are probably the best side quests in the game), crawling around in your dad's memories is optional, and several quests that are triggered by scanning in space are optional. It's very much like ME1, where you could totally blitz the main story if you wanted in probably around 10 hours or so. I suspect that your overall viability level does impact the ending though, which is an inducement to go sidequesting.
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Voss
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Definitely side missions. The 'loyalty missions' (though I wished they hadn't tagged them that way, I doubt it makes much difference) are collectively some of the best yet. Most have the benefit of being pretty natural consequences of things you should want to do anyway (Cora), or consequences of the characters as people (particularly Liam).

The companions (and ship crew, to a lesser extent), by the by, manage to be some of the most real I've seen from Bioware. Some are annoying by consequence, but its annoyance generated by 'I can see some asshole actually doing that' and not the stilted genre-dialogue that usually comes off a Bioware pen (though Jaal largely stays in that mode). Liam and Drack are very good at leaving the script behind and talking like people, even (or sometimes especially) at their most aggravating.


Some of the planetary sidequests aren't amazing, but most are good (and worlds better than the ME1 side missions of land on random planet, go in prefab structure, kill ~10 people in main room, hit button). Most of the planets are fairly well focused, actually, with a main plot element and a couple subplot elements, most of which make sense.

Eos, while initially good, pulls the collect X bear asses quests when you return, alongside a few meaningful ones and a couple of really important details. It and the Jungle World of Infinite Monster Spam are the only ones that juggle really shit quests like DA: Inquisition did, but they are a very ignorable minority among some really shiny ones.


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Maxus
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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Okay.

Mass Effect: Andromeda patched the multiplayer HARD

95% of my criticisms about it are now gone. It is now possible to one-shot mooks. Some of the super-enemies are not quite as cut-throat about the sync-kills. Some damaging powers now do damage you care about. The Crusader shotgun, my mainstay in ME3, has been patched and I am now back to sniping people with a shotgun. Yes, that's how that thing works.

And then I unlocked more classes and found out that you can now force-choke enemies with Pull. Sort of. It's like Bioshock telekinesis--if you hold the power button, you can maintain the pull and eventually have them in place. If you use Throw on them, you can launch them.

Turns out hitting a motherfucker with a motherfucker is both highly entertaining and deals a lot of damage to the guy you just aimed another guy at.

I am the Foe-Wielder.
_________________
He jumps like a damned dragoon, and charges into battle fighting rather insane monsters with little more than his bare hands and rather nasty spell effects conjured up solely through knowledge and the local plantlife. He unerringly knows where his goal lies, he breathes underwater and is untroubled by space travel, seems to have no limits to his actual endurance and favors killing his enemies by driving both boots square into their skull. His agility is unmatched, and his strength legendary, able to fling about a turtle shell big enough to contain a man with enough force to barrel down a near endless path of unfortunates.

--The horror of Mario

Zak S, Zak Smith, Dndwithpornstars, Zak Sabbath. He is a terrible person and a hack at writing and art. His cultural contributions are less than Justin Bieber's, and he's a shitmuffin. Go go gadget Googlebomb!


Last edited by Maxus on Tue May 16, 2017 7:52 am; edited 1 time in total
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