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Mass Effect - Not Just A Lonely Journey?

A raid boss?

It comes as no surprise that Mass Effect 3 was not going to have multiplayer, as the most recent GameInformer has confirmed. The premise of the franchise thus far has been the story of your Shepard, so adding a multiplayer experience on top of that would seem to undercut that goal, as well as distract from other matters on which they could be focusing (does anyone like slapped together multiplayer that's not built with such in mind?).

That does not mean having a story that doesn't focus on one person in the future is out of the question. According to VG247, cofounder of BioWare Casey Hudson had the following to say:

We've been trying to think of a way that makes sense for people to experience Mass Effect with their friends. We haven't yet come up with a way to do that, so we don't have anything to announce at this time. But, obviously, multiplayer is something we want to do more of in the future as a company.

A lot of people say that they want to see an MMO, I think that kind of makes sense for this universe. Part of what you're trying to do is save the universe so you can live in it. That's part of the promise, I think, for any great IP. It has to be a world worth saving... I think Mass Effect has that quality to it. If you get rid of the Reapers and win that, wouldn't it be amazing to just live on the Citadel or just take a ship to Omega? That makes sense.

Of course, multiplayer for BioWare isn't wholly new, as I often used the function in Baldur's Gate to completely build my own party to try things. Then again, I can't speak to the experience when playing with others, so I suppose Star Wars: The Old Republic will be a strong indicator of what BioWare can do in that direction.

The larger question for me is wondering which worlds I would like to experience as an MMO, and whether or not that means much of anything. I was always of the mind that I would have preferred an MMO based off Blizzard's Diablo franchise, rather than Warcraft, but it's difficult to argue Blizzard didn't change the MMO landscape and do well with that particular name. In this case, Mass Effect does seem like the franchise to focus on rather than Dragon Age, as the former seems to be concluding soon, but there's still a lot to explore in the changing world of the latter.

Are there any other games/series whose worlds have entranced you enough to want to be able to explore it as an MMO, or seem like a particularly apt fit?

6 Comments

Pinkkeith said:

That screen shot reminds me so much of Carl Sagan.

Ludicrum said:

A future Mass Effect MMO? I can live with that. Mass Effect 3 with tacked on multi-player? Definitely not!

If they want to take the Mass Effect universe online, so be it, but for Heaven's sake finish the trilogy and give us a well-crafted conclusion to the story before doing so. The effort spent building a multi-player mode is effort not being spent polishing the core game.

Limeade said:

To answer the question: A Buffy/Angel/Whedonverse MMO, most definitely.

SplashChick said:

Cough Metroid Prime 2 cough.

Keep the multiplayer out. However, a new online multiplayer game with ME's battle system would probably be pretty sweet.

Shin Gallon said:

If they were to make a Mass Effect MMO keeping the same battle system (though they'd have to drop the pause menu system I suppose, sadly), it'd be the first MMO ever that I'd be genuinely excited to play/willing to pay a monthly fee for.

freeyourmind said:

I think a lot of single-player games, particularly RPGs, would be even more fun with a multiplayer mode. There's a comfortable niche between the single player experience and an MMO, namely cooperative multiplayer, but it doesn't appear very often. Worse is when it has absurd requirements, like Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles; one GameBoy per player.

On the other hand, I recognize that multiplayer adds a lot of complexity to design and development for any product:

- Ensure that players can keep up with each other in the storyline
- Decide how to handle one person getting "ahead" affects the group
- Determine how client-to-client communication would work, or who will be hosting the servers
- Manual or automatic matchmaking processes so that people can connect over a distance

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. What if there's PVP (player vs. player) content? How do you handle one player pausing the game? Is the world persistent, instanced, or perhaps both?

Still, I wish more companies would make the effort. As it is, for multiplayer RPGs, most games other than Diablo II require everyone to pay a subscription fee.

And girls who like girls who like rumble packs!

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freeyourmind on Mass Effect - Not Just A Lonely Journey?: I think a lot of single-player games, particularly RPGs, would be even more fun with a multiplayer mode. There's a...

Shin Gallon on Mass Effect - Not Just A Lonely Journey?: If they were to make a Mass Effect MMO keeping the same battle system (though they'd have to drop the...

SplashChick on Mass Effect - Not Just A Lonely Journey?: Cough Metroid Prime 2 cough. Keep the multiplayer out. However, a new online multiplayer game with ME's battle system would...

Limeade on Mass Effect - Not Just A Lonely Journey?: To answer the question: A Buffy/Angel/Whedonverse MMO, most definitely....

Ludicrum on Mass Effect - Not Just A Lonely Journey?: A future Mass Effect MMO? I can live with that. Mass Effect 3 with tacked on multi-player? Definitely not! If...

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