Mass Effect

This forum is to be used for all discussions pertaining to any of the titles or expansions within the Mass Effect series.
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Hill-Shatar
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Mass Effect

Postby Hill-Shatar » Tue Oct 04, 2005 7:04 pm

In a series of newsthreads, I will start another one, for the game Mass Effect. I will alter the above as time permits. Hopefully this will be as helpful as the others. :)

Also, I think I do have some time to answer any questions you have. So fire away if you have any. :D

Name: Mass Effect
Also Known As: Also known as: Mass Effect: Chapter 1, BioWare RPG [Untitled Project]
Platform: [url="http://news.teamxbox.com/xbox/8112/Xbox-360-Exposed/"]Xbox 360[/url]
Developer: [url="http://www.bioware.com/"]Bioware[/url]
Publisher: Microsoft
Type: Action RPG

Some facts:

-Based in the future
-Able to interact with hundreds of different spiecies and characters.
-Experience the game and explore with a variety of party members
-take splace in a variety of settings and unique worlds
-game will be the first in a trilogy of a continuous story arc
-Humans vs AI setting
-Set in 23rd century
-Xbox 360 exclusive

Gamebanshee Interview:

[url="http://www.gamebanshee.com/interviews/masseffect1.php"]Page 1[/url]
[url="http://www.gamebanshee.com/interviews/masseffect2.php"]Page 2[/url]

Movies:

Click [url="http://masseffect.bioware.com/"]here[/url] for a preview trailer from the Bioware site.
Click [url="http://media.xbox.gamespy.com/media/718/718963/vids_1.html"]here[/url] for the movie from Gamespy, if the first does not work, or is broken.

WANNABE FAQ:

[url="http://www.gamebanshee.com/forums/showpost.php?p=722663&postcount=8"]Part 1[/url]
[url="http://www.gamebanshee.com/forums/showpost.php?p=722663&postcount=9"]Part 2[/url]
[url="http://www.gamebanshee.com/forums/showpost.php?p=728052&postcount=12"]Part 3[/url]

Gamebanshee News:
[url="http://www.gamebanshee.com/forums/showthread.php?p=712185#post712185"]Bioware Announcement Tommorrow?[/url]
[url="http://www.gamebanshee.com/forums/showpost.php?p=712282&postcount=6"]My own E3 news post[/url]- if you are having problems, I will PM you the recent GB one
[url="http://www.gamespot.com/xbox360/rpg/masseffect/preview_6135053.html"]First Look from Gamespot[/url]
[url="http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/655/655717p1.html"]The IGN first Look[/url]-movies require IGN insider
A Gamespy [url="http://xbox.gamespy.com/xbox-360/bioware-rpg-unnanounced/656234p1.html"]2-page preview[/url], thanks to Gamebanshee News.
[url="http://www.gamebanshee.com/forums/showthread.php?t=66939"]Mast Effect Preview[/url]
[url="http://www.gamebanshee.com/forums/showthread.php?t=67206"]Mass Effect Details in Official Xbox Magazine[/url]





Some new Links:

[url="http://www.gamespot.com/xbox360/rpg/masseffect/preview_6135053.html"]Gamespot[/url]
[url="http://media.xbox360.ign.com/media/718/718963/imgs_1.html"]IGN[/url]
[url="http://xbox.gamespy.com/xbox-360/bioware-rpg-unnanounced/656234p1.html"]Gamespy[/url]
[url="http://www.xe360.com/article/Mass_Effect/2871.html"]Xbox Evolved[/url]

Previews:

[url="http://xbox.advancedmn.com/article.php?artid=5917"]Xbox Advanced Site[/url]
[url="http://www.gamespot.com/news/6134975.html"]Gamespot[/url]
[url="http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/655/655694p1.html"]IGN[/url]
[url="http://news.teamxbox.com/xbox/9441/Mass-Effect-Trailer/"]TeamXbox[/url]
[url="http://xbox.advancedmn.com/article.php?artid=5917"]Xbox Advanced[/url]
[url="http://www.gamestats.com/objects/718/718963/"]Gamestats[/url]
[url="http://www.xbox365.com/news.cgi?id=GGuLrNrPGi10041231"]Xbox 360[/url]
[url="http://www.joystiq.com/entry/1234000250061784/"]Joystiq[/url]
[url="http://xbox.boomtown.net/en_uk/articles/art.view.php?id=9467"]Boomtown[/url]
[url="http://1up.com/do/previewPage?cId=3144323&did=1"]1up -First Preview[/url]
[url="http://1up.com/do/previewPage?cId=3144394&did=1"]1up -Second Preview[/url]


Some Direct Links to Screenshots:

[url="http://1up.com/do/media?cId=3144257"]1up[/url]
[url="http://media.xbox360.ign.com/media/718/718963/imgs_1.html"]IGN[/url]
[url="http://screenshots.teamxbox.com/gallery/1325/Mass-Effect/p1/"]TeamXbox[/url]




[SIZE="1"]This game is somewhat new... if you find any news not already posted... please inform me. Also, feel free to ask questions.[/size]




Lately I have decided that I am having problems keeping up with Buck... therefore, any new news will be going through Gamebanshee News links. Thanks.

-edit-

I have switched back to half and half on Gamebanshee news and what I find on my own, so it could be some time before either/or is updated.
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fable
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Postby fable » Tue Oct 04, 2005 8:03 pm

Hill, without in the slightest meaning to spam your thread, I have to say that your devotion to your gaming interests and your willingness to put that material up in an orderly fashion here on GameBanshee, is admirable. :)
To the Righteous belong the fruits of violent victory. The rest of us will have to settle for warm friends, warm lovers, and a wink from a quietly supportive universe.

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Hill-Shatar
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Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2005 1:41 am

Postby Hill-Shatar » Tue Oct 04, 2005 8:19 pm

Thank you, Fable. :D Its little things that make a gaming community that much more enjoyable. I give what I can give to make life for others... my devotion to gaming aside. :p

Although I doubt that you yourself did not become a pillar of this community yourself without a remarkable sense of devotion to helping others and adding useful information... otherwise I dont think that Buck would have put you up so high.

Unfortunately information on this topic at this time is slim... I am looking for the E3 preview at the moment... hope I find something interesting to read. :)

Perhaps I should not post after eight, my attentiveness goes down. I hope that you take no offence to my posting off topic in this thread. :)

Anyways, I would not have signed up for gamebanshee and stayed around if I did not want to participate. :p
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ch85us2001
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Postby ch85us2001 » Tue Oct 04, 2005 9:31 pm

Your getting some very good compliments from each other recently :p ;)


Sadly, I have lost faith in bioware ( Im holding out to say RPGS till TES4 Oblivian comes out :) ) but this seems different than previous titles. It says "action rpg" on the link in the GB news forum. That leads me to believe it may ba more shoot 'em up than turn based as in kotor. Also I wonder will it use the same engine as the kotor series????
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Hill-Shatar
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Postby Hill-Shatar » Tue Oct 04, 2005 9:33 pm

I doubt it, considering that this is most likely an FPS... although, it may be similar to that game. I have yet to read any previews. For all I know it could be very much like that game. however, it may share some similarities from the somewhat futuristic Action RPG Hellgate: London.

Thank you for the type of game it is, BTW. Added. :) Anything else I am currently missing?
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Hill-Shatar
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Postby Hill-Shatar » Tue Oct 04, 2005 10:00 pm

Some more news found [url="http://www.actiontrip.com/index.phtml"]here[/url]. From the E3 site, as Bioware unviels Mass Effect.

Snippet below.

"Mass Effect" is a science fiction action-RPG created by BioWare Corp., the commercially and critically acclaimed RPG developer of "Jade Empire," "Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic," "Neverwinter Nights," and the "Baldur's Gate" series. "Mass Effect" will deliver an immersive story driven gameplay experience with stunning visual fidelity. Published by Microsoft Game Studios, "Mass Effect" will be exclusively for the Xbox 360 video game system.

As the first human Specter - sworn defenders of galactic peace - your mission is to halt the advancing armies of a legendary agent gone rogue. But as you lead your elite team across hostile alien worlds, you will discover the true threat is far greater than anyone imagined.

Key Features:

Immersive RPG: Determine the fate of mankind as you lead an elite tactical strike force as an epic galaxy-wide conflict unfolds. "Mass Effect" will take the player into new depths of an action-roleplaying game, with choice-based gameplay.
Rich and engaging storyline. While defending galactic peace and earning a position of respect for humanity in the community, gamers will discover that a greater conflict between organic life and artificial intelligence exists. Players' decisions and actions will serve to shape the destiny of all life in the galaxy as you become absorbed in the story that is "Mass Effect," the first game in an epic trilogy from BioWare. They will become the center of an engrossing story as they battle against alien life forms to save the galaxy from threatening armies.
Player controls the ultimate fate of the galaxy: The player's decisions and actions will serve to shape the destiny of all life in the galaxy, while raising humanity to the pinnacle of galactic civilization via noble means or via tyranny.
Real-time squad based combat: "Mass Effect" employs a real-time, squad based, tactical combat system. Players will be immersed in intense, challenging and exciting combat.
Explore uncharted worlds: In addition to the main story arc of the game, players will be able to visit a large number of uncharted, unexplored planets which are not directly tied to the main story. At any time during the campaign, a player can choose to explore one of these planets in an all-terrain rover in order to discover new alien life, resources, ruined civilizations and powerful technologies.
Digital actors: "Mass Effect" features a huge cast of in-engine digital actors that you will encounter as NPCs, enemies or as party members. Each will have life-like facial and body movements, and an advanced dialogue system will give them engaging personalities.
Character customization. Players will be able to choose from a variety of stunning, photo-realistic character appearances at the start of the game, and throughout the game can increase various statistics which will have an impact on their performance during gameplay. Equipment, weapons and armor that are acquired during the course of the story will change the appearance of the characters.
Next-generation gaming defined. "Mass Effect" takes advantage of Xbox 360's hardware providing gamers with exciting new experiences, including photo-realistic, high definition graphics on an epic scale. As the future of gaming goes online, Xbox360 live features, including premium downloadable content and recognition of achievement will be available via the Xbox Live service.


Thoughts and opinions welcomed.

Note: News from [url="http://www.gamespot.com/xbox360/rpg/masseffect/preview_6135053.html"]Gamespot[/url] added
Note: News from [url="http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/655/655717p1.html"]IGN[/url] added

As of the sixth, the following was added:

The Publishers name.
A new article.
A new link.
[SIZE="1"] Buy a GameBanshee T-Shirt [url="http://www.gamebanshee.com/forums/showthread.php?t=68975"]HERE[/url]! Sabre's [url="http://www.users.bigpond.com/qtnt/index.htm"]site[/url] for Baldur's Gate series' patches and items. This has been a Drive-by Hilling.[/size]

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Hill-Shatar
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Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2005 1:41 am

Postby Hill-Shatar » Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:13 pm

To Bring some more attention, I am posting again. This time because the previews have been released.

Previews:

[url="http://xbox.advancedmn.com/article.php?artid=5917"]Xbox Advanced Site[/url]
[url="http://www.gamespot.com/news/6134975.html"]Gamespot[/url]
[url="http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/655/655694p1.html"]IGN[/url]
[url="http://news.teamxbox.com/xbox/9441/Mass-Effect-Trailer/"]TeamXbox[/url]
[url="http://xbox.advancedmn.com/article.php?artid=5917"]Xbox Advanced[/url]
[url="http://www.gamestats.com/objects/718/718963/"]Gamestats[/url]
[url="http://www.xbox365.com/news.cgi?id=GGuLrNrPGi10041231"]Xbox 360[/url]
[url="http://www.joystiq.com/entry/1234000250061784/"]Joystiq[/url]

I have also found another site for a movie, a slightly more convientent souce, addded above.

As of the 10th, new preview from teamXbox listed... however, the preview was already up. If that link does not work, please try the one currently residing in Gamebanshee News.

Will add to the list as I or others find them. :)

As of the 11th, more content added. Thanks again to Gamebanshee News.

As of the 14th, I am going to be posting links to Gamebanshee news posts... mostly as I can not keep up with the constant wave of new items that Buck brings up consistently. :)
[SIZE="1"] Buy a GameBanshee T-Shirt [url="http://www.gamebanshee.com/forums/showthread.php?t=68975"]HERE[/url]! Sabre's [url="http://www.users.bigpond.com/qtnt/index.htm"]site[/url] for Baldur's Gate series' patches and items. This has been a Drive-by Hilling.[/size]

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Hill-Shatar
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Postby Hill-Shatar » Fri Oct 21, 2005 9:28 pm

Posting again, because I just found a [url="http://perso.wanadoo.fr/jrmmdkrep/MISC/mefaq.html"]wannabe FAQ.[/url]

I will post the entire thing, here, for ease of viewing. :)

1.What is the release date ?

Chris Priestly: "We do not yet have a set release date, but we anticiapte that the game will be released in approximately (and this could always change) 12-18 months."

2.Which engine is using Mass Effect ? Is it Unreal 3 ?

Chris Priestly: "Well, tools have been added to the existing engine and we've made some modifications and extensions for Mass Effect. But basically, yes."

3.Is the story going to be lineary ? How much freedom will we have ?

Bob McCabe: "There is, of course, a well-developed story that the player will go through. And there will be choices along the way, just like Neverwinter Nights and Knights of the Old Republic.

The goal is, as always, to provide some freedom, but really, we want to tell a good story that people can get immersed into - and allow those players to affect the story in their own way, as much as we can.

But, even better, there are going to be locations to discover that aren't directly tied in with the story; these will allow you a diversion of sorts, when appropriate. Imagine picking up a strange signal from a nearby planet that was thought to be devoid of life."

It's something we haven't really done since the Baldur's Gate days. We'll see how it goes."

Bob McCabe: "Think KotOR and JE and Neverwinter Nights - but with branching to other, uncharted planets.

Personally, I think it may end up playing out something *like* Grand Theft Auto or maybe Baldur's Gate, and what I mean by that is that when you're on a plot you'll be focused on that. But between plots, you can either jump right back to the next part of the story or wander around for a while and see what you can find.

Make sense?

Everything can be tweaked, and any suggestions you have we'd love to hear. I think the part we're trying to emphasize, though, is that we really want to push for more exploration, for those who want it, and we want to ensure that there is still the usually tight story for those who don't want to get distracted - and, of course, freedom of movement within the story, for what is a BioWare RPG without choices?"

4.Is Mass Effect linked to Star Citadel ?

Chris Priestly: "It is the same thing. Star Citadel was an early concept name that was discarded in favor for the (IMO) much cooler Mass Effect."

5.Which system rules is Mass effect using ?

Chris Priestly: Mass Effect does have a system of how the game will work, but there are no plans currently to reveal what that system is."

6.Is Bioware going to make use of the Xbox Live! for Mass Effect ?

Chris Priestly: "Just to clarify, Mass Effect is a single player title.
I can't release all of our Xbox live plans yet (stay tuned for future updates as the game nears completion), but I can hint at things like ubiquitous voice support and achievemnts that can be acquired by players.
Lots of cools Xbox live plans in the works. Stay tuned."

See also Questions 16-18 for further informations.

7. Is the combat aspect going to be approachable for the less-than-average action gamer ?

Bob McCabe: "We want combat to have depth and challenge and excitement, of course - but at the root level it has to be approachable. And we're working very hard to make sure combat is as simple to understand and interact with as it can be."

8. Which BioTeam is working on Mass Effect ?

Chris Priestly: "For the most part, teh Mass Effect Team is the team that worked on KotOR. Casey Hudson is the Producer with Leads like Preston Watamaniuk, David Falkner, Scott Langevin, Derek Watts and many many more team members."

9. On which plateform Mass Effect is going to be released ?

Chris Priestly: "Mass Effect is an Xbox 360 exclusive title."

Derek French: "Anyhoo, Mass Effect is an Xbox 360 title, with NO plans to bring it to the PC."

10. Is the universe of Mass Effect standing into a parallel one or is it seen as our direct future ?

Chris Priestly: "this all relates directly to the story, and telling of story stuff is not something we're going to be doing yet."

11.Can you create your own character or are you playing a pre-made one ?

Bob McCabe: "Yes, you get to create your own character. And yes, the process will be better than any of our past titles - at least, by my criteria. And yes, you will get to customize your character as you continue playing through the game. And when I say "create and customize" - the look of your character is definitely a part of that concept."

12.Is Mass Effect going to be the first chapter of a new saga ?

Bob McCabe: "I don't remember us ever really going into a game actually thinking of the story this far in advance. I mean, we're usually saying "We'd like to make a sequel, if someone will let us!" And here we're looking at making a trilogy! It really does open up a lot of potential for, as you put it, subtle suggestions that will take place later in the series. Whee!"

13.To which genre Mass Effect's universe does belong ?

Bob McCabe: "Well, when I asked Casey about this he kept saying "Epic Sci-Fi with an immersive storyline set in an incredible science-fiction galaxy. And then he'd go on about inspirations for the game like teh Design styles of Sid Mead or movies like Blade Runner and Alien."

14.And what about horses and z-axis ?

Jay Watamaniuk: "That's SPACE horses and SPACE Z-axis to you mister...and I have no idea."

15. Can you play as a female?

Bob McCabe: "Shenanigans aside (thanks Jon! ), "dawn" is a female's name, so "dawn of a new era" would imply that you can be a female - which you can."

Jay Watamaniuk: "Yup you can choose to play a female. I haven't had a chance to take a look at how much you can customize your character but I'm willing to bet that choosing gender is one of the first steps."

16. Is Mass Effect a single-player only game ?

Jarrett Lee: "Actually, the decision has not been 100% finalized as to whether Mass Effect will be single-player-only or not. It remains to be determined."

17.Will you have a spaceship ?

Bob McCabe : "Well, it was through the discovery of space travel that humans were able to first introduce themselves to the galactic community. As well, you will have the option to explore a large number of planets as you move through the game. So yeah, I think it's safe to say that you'll likely obtain some space craft pr vehicles to travel around with, and it's likely that these vehicles will have armor and weaponry."

See question 24 for more information on space travel.

18.Is there going to be episodic content delivered by the Xbox Live ?

IGN : "In another interesting tack, Mass Effect is the first game in a trilogy, which, BioWare says, will cover the lifespan of the Xbox 360's five-plus year cycle. When you finish the first game, BioWare plans to upload content in between games in an episodic fashion, filling in the story between games. Thus, when the second big title arrives, fans who stick with the downloads will know exactly what's going on."

Jarrett Lee: "One important thing I should clarify: fans who miss some of this episodic installments for any particular reason will not be negatively impacted in their enjoyment of the full-game sequels."

Jarrett Lee: "Bear in mind, exact details about how episodic content will be developed and delivered have certainly not been finalized."

19. Does ME will have different profiles for settings and save games ?

Bob McCabe : "Anyway, I'm also a big fan of the other kind of profiling, the kind Adria wasn't talking about. We pushed a little for it on Jade Empire, but I'll make sure we push really hard for it on Mass Effect."

20.And what about romances ?

Jay Watamaniuk: "I have a good friend who is wild about the romance plots in BioWare games and she has been assured that there will be fine, fine romance plots in Mass Effect. I would find it very surprising if BioWare produced an RPG that did not have a great deal of time spent developing relationships between characters. It seems fundamental to great stories."

21.Why on Earth did you choose to make this game on xbox 360 and not on my [insert your favorite plateform here] ?

Bob McCabe: "We chose 360 because we have a really great relationship with Microsoft and find that they're constantly pushing us to develop the best products we're capable of.

They're very supportive and really seem to care more about the final product than the dollars. I know they're a business (like us) and want to make money, but they seem willing to push a lot of that aside, at least in their dealings with us, to help us put out our vision of the game. It's really a great situation.

Plus, we've worked with them before and have built up a nice rapport.

And then there's the fact that they've kept us up-to-date with their vision for the 360 since the beginning, and they've supplied us with alpha versions and beta versions of their console along the way. It's really helped us learn the intricacies of the unit, and feel ready to bring our game to their system."

Bob McCabe: "We picked Xbox 360 because we have past, positive history with Microsoft (I mentioned this in another thread) and their console is fine for developing the kind of game that we want to develop. Maybe the 360 can do 14 terror-flips and maybe Sony can say gig-a-what 18 times in 22 seconds. Either way, I'm sure they've both got really nice personalities and can get a date for this weekend."
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Hill-Shatar
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Postby Hill-Shatar » Fri Oct 21, 2005 9:34 pm

22.What was your inspiration for Mass Effect ?

Bob McCabe: "Anyway, some of the inspirations are the sleek design styles of Sid Mead, and cinematic experiences like Blade Runner and, yes, Guard Dog, Alien. We're looking at a lot of sci-fi classics from that era."

23.Will Mass Effect have the Good Side/Bad Side concept?

Bob McCabe: "I said it elsewhere, I think, and I'll say it again. This isn't going to be a generic good & evil system. We're definitely attempting to move further on in the direction we started with Jade Empire. More than that, for now, I will not say...

As far as your influence system, a lot of us liked what we saw in KotOR II. We'll see what we can accomplish."

24.Will Mass Effect have ship travel?

Chris Priestly: "We will definately have multiple planets to visit in Mass Effect (I'm not going to name the actual names of the planets yet, but that is the sort of thing to stay tuned for updates in the future).

We're even going to have a large number of uncharted, unexplored planets available to be visited that will not be directly tied to the main story. Just cool planets to go visit to try out your cool weaponry or a new tactic you want to try out. Plus we feel being an explorer on uncharted worlds is a key part of cool Sci-Fi.

Pretty much at any time during the campaign, the player will be able to choose to head off and visit one of these planets in an All-Terrain Rover to discover what lies of the surface - such as new alien life, resources, ruined civilizations and powerful technology.

Overall, exploration and travel will be a cool feature in Mass Effect."

25.Is Bioware going to charge a fee for the new content delivered by Xbox Live ?

Bob McCabe: "This is NOT a prediction or an official statement or anything. Please do not confuse this speculation on my part as "BioWare said!". I truly do not know, and I do not have anyone telling me anything in this regard.

But, I am sure this is something (content-for-cash) MGS and BioWare upper-management will discuss - or maybe they've even already done it.

But if I were *guessing*, I would look at other things that occur with Xbox Live (with other companies) once the 360 comes out, and I would also look at what BioWare has done in the past.

For example, check out what we've done with Neverwinter Nights: patches, new models, new tiles, new music, new voice sets, etc. - those are generally all free. Full-fledged new modules? They typically cost somewhere under $10."

26.What is the rating of Mass Effect ? Mature ? Adult ? Big Baby ?

Chris Priestly: "We do not yet have any target for rating. When we do, you'll be able to read about it here. Stay tuned."

27.Which size will have the planets ? What will be their look ?

Chris Priestly: "I can say, in a general kind of way, that the planets will be different (so not all city planets, or ice planets, or desert planets or whatever the Art and Design departments have in store). They will likely be of different sizes with different terrains. I don't yet know what sort of restrictions they will have, but they will be less restrictive than the ones in KotOR."

28. Is point of view in first person or third person?

Bob McCabe: "Preston, the lead designer, agrees with you that Resident Evil 4 is one of the best games ever. And I know he appreciates the camera angle of Resident Evil 4. On the other hand, he, and we, all know that the POV has to match the gameplay. And, if possible, alternative options would be nice.

We've designed how we want the game to play out, but once you get everything up and running, things tend to shift slightly this way or that. As such, the current POV is in flux."

29. Will Bioware provides tools for modding Mass Effect ?

Chris Priestly: "Well, currently we are concentrating all our efforts into making Mass Effect the best Xbox 360 exclusive title that it can be. So any presumption or requests for anything else is a moot point."

30. Will the A.I of the game be more realistic ? Like adapting itself to your actions ?
Bob McCabe: "Anyway, the topic of AI draws a lot of interest for us at BioWare. We want to get much better at creating a realistic AI as we think it's been a weakness of ours in the past. A good AI will definitely be part of the gameplan for ME."

Bob McCabe: "We generally tend to steer toward fun over realism, but sometimes we can achieve both. We'll see? We haven't hammered down inventory yet, so that's about all I can say."

31. And what about music ?

Chris Priestly: "It is too early yet to be revealing anything about the score, music or sound for Mass Effect. But don't worry, the Team is very aware that good in-game music is an essential component to making a great game."

32.Will this game include blood and be aimed at a mature audience?

Bob McCabe: "We haven't made a final decision on exactly how the "gore" will play out, but as caradoc2000 said above - people tend to bleed when shot, grenaded, etc. There will most likely be blood in this game. How realistic? How much? How dramatic? Etc? Can't say just yet. Same thing with the rating. Violence tends to lock you out of the kiddie ratings so I'm sure we'll get teen or mature or something of that nature, as our past games have been rated, but we'll see... I'm not involved in those decision making processes, so I know about as much as anyone else posting here."

33.Will there be cheat codes for Mass Effect ?

Chris Priestly: "Far FAR too early to be thinking about that yet.

Personally, (and I'm speaking as a gamer here, not a Dev) I hope the answer is no. Why? Because if they are there, some monkey will abuse them. Sure, MOST gamers don't use cheats. Or they use them after they have finished the game once to see what they missed ot whatever. But there are some muffinheads out there who use cheats and abuse cheats. For me, if they aren't in the game, then there is no way to abuse them. But again, thats just my opinion, you could be wrong."

This FAQ contains quotes made by Bioware employees on the Mass Effect™ Official Board. Other quotes belong to their respective authors. If there is any error, please contact me at ihatedaspam [REMOVE] AT [REMOVE] enoreth DOT net. All your spelling mistakes are belong to me.
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Postby TonyMontana1638 » Fri Oct 28, 2005 2:25 pm

I'm eagerly awaiting this game: It's a Bioware game (noone makes better rpgs) and they have promised sequels to it... Thank God Bioware is still around because it takes Bethesda too long to make games.
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Postby fable » Fri Oct 28, 2005 2:42 pm

21.Why on Earth did you choose to make this game on xbox 360 and not on my [insert your favorite plateform here] ?

Bob McCabe: "We chose 360 because we have a really great relationship with Microsoft and find that they're constantly pushing us to develop the best products we're capable of.


That must be a copier's mistake. I'm sure McCabe said, "We chose 360 because Microsoft is shooting off a huge bundle to every games developer or reviewer on the planet, in an effort to shift games production completely away from the PC and onto a hardware platform they can completely control. Then they can charge for it whatever they want. Hey, we want some of that cake, too!"

I'm just being slightly facetious. ;) The fawning blandness of "they're constantly pushing us to develop the best products we're capable of" is something out of fairytale land. That said, I'll be curious how this one turns out. Bioware has become increasingly stultified of late, and Microsoft showed just how much they were interested in "developing the best products" when they pushed Fable's Molyneux into leaving before they rushed out the huge title in miniature size.
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Postby Hill-Shatar » Fri Oct 28, 2005 4:48 pm

They updated the FAQ. :D

Woah, happy we are seeing you on a good day, fable... :p Hey, tony, nice to know someone is watching my progress through the internet mazes of information... :D

34. How will the map and journal work ?

Bob McCabe: "We've seen a lot of good journals and minimaps in other games - yep, we've been researching a lot of games.

And we're going to see what we can accomplish on this front, too. At the very least, as you said, we have to make sure all of the relevant information is always there. But at best? Well, there's lots of things we can do. And we're going to try to do some of them."

35. Are you going to avoid annoying dialogs ?

Bob McCabe: "We're always striving to make dialogue more interesting and realistic, and keep things from pulling you out of the experience... but there are also times when we need to make sure the information is always available for the player.

For example, a player might ask "What's this task you want me to do?" and the NPC might respond, "I want you to retrieve my briefcase from John." But you put the game down and come back days later and talk to that guy. We can change up the dialogue a little, like "What was that quest again? I can't remember," and have the NPC say, "I told you that all I wanted you to do was to find John, and get my briefcase from him."

But we can only write so many variations, especially when we have word budgets and time constraints.

This is but one (bad) example of how what we want to do is affected by what we can do. But we'll do our best to hide things and hopefully keep the experience as immersive as possible."

36. How long will be the story ? The same length than Baldur's Gate II ? Or shorter than Half-Life 2 (if it's possible) ?

Bob McCabe: "I beat Jade in a little over 3 hours. I beat KotOR in about 7. I beat Baldur's Gate I in 6 or 7. MDK2, I'm going on 5 years? 6 years? Heh.

We're aiming for something Jade-like with Mass Effect. I won't say a specific number of hours though because at this point it's too uncertain. How long will combat take? How long will dialogue take? I can play through Mass Effect now, in a sense, but that won't give anything resembling an accurate assessment of the playtime.

As for my preferences on length of game, I think the game should be as long as it needs to be. Some games seem to drag on with repetitive gameplay that gets boring. Some games feel like a tight story that last just the right amount. If that means 5 hours or 20 hours or 60 hours, then that's what it means. But my ideal range is about 15-25 hours, for most games. That is typically the range that works best for story."

Bob McCabe: " In regard to BG1, I had beat it a dozen times or more;I played that game too much! Anyway, during BG2's final days of development, they wanted people to send in BG1 character saves. I decided I would contribute by creating some BG1 characters. But then I couldn't just start new characters and not play them! So I stayed up over night. Played from about 11pm until 6am or so, then napped for a couple of hours and came in to work. Ah, the folly of youth...

We're definitely aiming for ME to be a game you can get through in a decent amount of time. And if you want to extend your experience, we're working on ways in which you can do that, too - but yet still have the game stay interesting and fresh. Like I said before, I can't suggest any numbers because it's just too early."
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Postby TonyMontana1638 » Mon Oct 31, 2005 5:41 pm

@ Hill:
Have no fear, your efforts have not been in vain :D . Also I must thank you for accumulating the info for us (Lord knows you guys probably don't get many 'thank you's)... Saves many a mouse click.
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Postby Hill-Shatar » Mon Oct 31, 2005 5:54 pm

Heh heh, thanks Tony. I try to keep the news threads caught up, but most of the time I have time to post from Gamebanshee News and that is it... luckily little tidbits like this I come accross regularily. :D

Well, since I am online at the moment, anyone have any questions that need covering, or have I done most of what you currently want to know? :)
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Postby Hill-Shatar » Fri Nov 04, 2005 6:04 pm

Well, now, I just found a wonderful long post for you people to chew and tear away at. :D

[QUOTE=Starbuck13]The more I look into Mass Effect, the more I am so excited about the game. I love the concept of an epic story being told across three games, with "filler" material available in-between. I love the concept, and I love the Unreal 3 engine. The addition of uncharted worlds and the potential to just kind of wander the galaxy really turn this into the kind of game I've been hoping would be made for years: the MRPG (massive RPG). Ever since the MMO was first created, I've been checking them out. The concept was revolutionary for sure, but the shear size of the "universe" is what most impressed me. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind the multiplayer or online aspects of the MMO (though I'm not a big fan of the monthly fee), they just aren't the major draw for me. Having a tremendously sized universe as my playground, where I can choose to follow the story or just float in space is what interests me most. And having it be a "persistant" universe is even better. I know it's not actually "persistant", but with the addition of the "filler" content in-between games, it will certainly feel that way. Kudos to BioWare for taking on this challenge! I can't wait!

I did have a couple of questions, and it may be too early to say for sure on any of them, but I thought I'd ask. 1) Will the player character be the same across all three titles? 2) Will the "filler" content be a premium on Xbox Live? (ie will players have to pay for it?) 3) Will the "filler" content have a direct impact on the storyline of the next game in the series, or will it perhaps be a sidestory or tangent from the main game? Oh and if you were just maybe, by chance, looking for any more suggestions as to what the game could/should have, look no further:

1. Inventory: As others have said, a more limited inventory. I don't care how really, but as long as I don't have to scroll through a really long list to see everything I'm carrying, I'm happy. Oh, and please don't have the inventory split up between characters. I hate having to rummage through someone else's backpack to find the new "sword of muchness" I just found.

2. Inventory: Ok, so perhaps I do care how it's done. Maybe have a limited "carry with you" inventory. If it is FPS, perhaps follow a system like Halo's (at least for the weapons) where you only carry what you are using, and everything else is on the ship (which I'm assuming will be something of a "hub" like in KOTOR).

3. Environments: Because this is a galaxy spanning, sci-fi themed RPG, you are afforded a unique opportunity when it comes to the time of year (ie seasons). It doesn't have to be the same season on each planet! Have it be winter on one world and the middle of spring on another and have it affect your interaction with the world. I don't know how long a time period you're intending to cover with the game(s), but you could have the player re-visit a world at a different time of year and let us see how that changes what we can do. Most every RPG has different sections that allows the player to experience winter, spring, summer, and fall, but that's because it's always winter in the far north, etc. This can be different!

4. Story: This will be my only tip for the story, as I have great faith in your writers to produce something wonderful. That said, how about an anti-twist? KOTOR has the revelation of Revan's identity, Jade Empire has several revelations. How about something (maybe just a sidestory) that builds up to reveal...that it is exactly what it looks like it is.

5. Animations: I'm sure you're looking at several other games and deciding what innovations you like and want to use, and which ones you don't, as well as coming up with all new innovations. I want to point out KOTOR II's animations though. As skill increased in a specific talent, not only was it more effective, but it *looked* more effective. Attacks were more intricate and pronounced, Force powers were grander and more impressive. This is probably the single biggest contributor to my feeling of empowerment. Not just knowing in the back of my head somewhere that I was more than I had been, but a visual reminder of my constant improvement.

6. NPC awareness: This may or may not be something that can be done, but I really feel that it would improve the level of believablility in the reality of the NPCs. Ritual is implementing something in Sin Episodes that basically tells NPCs what you are looking at. Different NPCs will then say different things, based on what you're looking at. It's contextual speech, but they seem more aware of their environment because of it. To take it even a step further, have an NPC get frustrated with the player for asking the same dumb question a dozen times over. I mean, how many times can someone ask you the same thing without you getting annoyed? It's a small thing, but it would certainly make them feel more real to me, even if it only applies to your party members.

7. Communication: Why is it that every time something happens, I don't get to hear about it until I show up on the scene? Certainly this has it's place in specific cases, where the narrative calls for it, but this is the future for cripes sake! There's got to be a cell phone embedded in my ear or something by now, so party members should be able to give me a call and say "Hey, come back to the ship!" or "Come save me! I'm under attack!" To take this a step further, because this is such a large galaxy, there's always got to be something going on, and there's certainly going to be a 24-hour news service. So how about as I'm exploring a city, I find out about an outlaw raid or something that I can then go and take care of. It's your basic "talk to NPC to get a mission", but because it's from the news, and not someone asking me to do it, I feel like I've got more control as to whether or not I do it. I mean, if some little kid came up and told me about it, then I'd feel obligated to go fix things.

8. Doors: I really, really, *really* hate it when I'm given free reign to explore somewhere and half the doors are locked. And not only locked, but non-functional, never-gonna-open. If you show me a door, I want to be able to go through it. Maybe make me wait until certain conditions are met, or it's a certain time of day or *something*, but let me go through it.

9. Music: I know that 360 is supposed to have a feature where you can override game music with your own stuff if you want, but if I'm going to listen to my tunes, I'd rather do it where it makes sense within the game. Give the ship a radio or something.

10. Minigames: Personally, I'd rather have skill-based games (archery) than luck-based games (cards). And maybe let me build up my stats by playing them enough (though only to a point). I mean, if I'm playing a minigame where I shoot a series of targets, let that build up my accuracy. And maybe even give me a bonus for building it up with this minigame instead of on the field. For instance; if I build it up in the minigame maybe I unlock a kind of "focus" mode where I can, in effect, slow down time a bit so I can get better shots at my foes (that's assuming it's an FPS).

Wow, that's a lot longer than I intended. Sorry for the long post! Feel free to comment on/tear apart my suggestions. Except number 8. That one's non-negotiable.
[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=Dungmaster]I for one am really excited for mass effect, if only because it's from Bioware. Because, if only one thing was allowed to be mentioned, Bioware exceeds other rpg-developers by epic story telling. Therefore my expectations are very very high.

I learned via, gamespot.com it is going to be an action rpg. Now this brought me some concerns since Bioware's latest action-rpg "Jade Empire" was a great game though short. Let's get one thing straight: I LOVE Jade Empire, I LOVE the story, I Love the npcs and how they were integrated in the story. However Jade Empire was short, I'm not saying too short because the ending felt like "the" ending. But an rpg that takes roughly 15-20 hours to complete is short. So my only concern is the length.

I want an RPG to take a long time. I love games but the only problem is the price. That's why I love rpgs, they usually take quite some time to complete. This doesn't mean I don't think Jade Empire wasn't worth the 60,- euros I shelled out for the special edition though. But I really, REALLY, hope that in Mass Effect only the main quest will take you on a 30+ hour journey.

Of course I do not doubt Bioware's skill to create an RPG of "epic" proportions, or it's skill to be sucked into your character. I do hope it is longer and that is all.

Keep up the good work guys and have fun while working of course!

Mass effect: The reason I'm getting an xbox 360.
[/QUOTE]


Oh, yes, and the question that plauges us all...

[QUOTE=GameDeveloper]Will Mass Effect be a first person shooter or a role-playing game? I hope it's an RPG, because I think there's enough FPS's for the Xbox/Xbox 360, & there way to few RPG's... Like the day I got KotOR I diden't put the controller down for 12 hours, because I felt I was accomplishing something, lol, don't get me wrong, I love FPS's, but Halo 2 is the only one worth playing anymore.[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=Psyanide]While I'm not 100% sure, I thought that Mass Effect was an RPG with real-time, squad based tactical shooter-like combat. Meaning not turn based, or "semi-real time" like in KOTOR. But more Rainbow Six or Ghost Recon. Although not nessecarilly FIRST-person. They haven't decided on viewpoint.[/QUOTE]


Oh, yes, and did we mention that Bioware has joined up with Pandemic? :p
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Postby Hill-Shatar » Fri Nov 04, 2005 7:14 pm

Given that I am posting the opinions of people tonight, I ran out of room in the above post. Let it be noted that any relevant news will be immediately linked to the top post. :)

[QUOTE=ACesion]Here are just some ideas i thought would be cool if they were featured in Mass Effect.This may be a bit long.

-Customization of all aspects of your character such as hair color
Armor/equipment color
Group insignia
Customize weapons with different add ons to make its Effects and power change different weapons could have Different amount of hardpoints for add ons
If you have a house then customize it in a simish way as far at the layout of your house

-Customization of ship
Weaponry
Design or color as well as insignia to match your team one
Control over the item in your ship

Things that would be cool
Fly your ship
Free Exploration of enviroment morrowind status
vehicals
first person perspective throught whole game even in vehicals and cinimatic parts of the story
No levels just graduale improvements techniques and attacks could be learned through trainers
No classes, allow people to become whatever they want by prosuing thier intrests
If you have ships or Vehicals should have hardpoints in which they take more dammage ie if the shield generator of a ship was destroyed it should lose its shield or if a gun was hit it is destroyed or a vehical can lose a tire etc.
Death could be handled by cloning
An active economy like in gazzilionare if anyone has ever played that game.
many professions such as mining and creating item
Characters should be active during battle if you shoot and enemys foot his walking is impeeded or if you throw a grenade a rock may shoot off and hit an enemy the blood from the enemy then splashes onto the soldier next to him
Characters also need active maping in which when they get shoot blood does not only sqirt out but gets on thier armor and such
Randomly generated quests such as a kill x at y location and several differnt varients
Landscapes that react to differnt forces a grenade creates a hole not just a bumpmap
limited ammount of items to carry and weapons should be shown on character, on his back or leg item limitation by space and weight
Eating and sleep cycles night and day should be a must
THe character should change in apearance as he progresses hair gets longer gets a tan or buffs up
optional things to do such as mini games when you just want to chill out
HUD should be built into the item meaning if you have no helment there is not hud but if you have an epiece thier is and the info given depends on the complexity of the item if you can use vehicals or ships the hud should be built in like the dash board of a car
and lastly it should feel realistic

I told you it was long anyways if you have anything else just add it or if you have complaint to something just state why its not a good idea well anyways those are my two cents for making this game cool some of it may have been confusing but whatever. THe game seems to be shaping up cool but just to put that added edge on it some of these ideas may help and Multi-player for the love of GOD they could be the other people in your party.
[/QUOTE]
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Postby Hill-Shatar » Mon Nov 14, 2005 9:10 pm

From the administrator of Xbox Evolved... elsewhere. ;)

Hi! I run a website called Xbox Evolved, and I would just like to let you guys know about some info I got with an interview with the CEOs of Bioware and the Producer of Mass Effect! Also let me say, not only are the people at Bioware nice on the internet, in real-life they are unbelievably nice

You can read the interview here: Click Here I'm sorry if any of this info is old to you, after all I'm just a guy who loves Bioware games, you guys are the hardcore so you might have already heard it somwhere! Anyways:

-Your lead character is completely customizable all the way down to the face.
-Difficulty settings are likely
-On the rumor going on about JE2 being on PS3 (I wrote these questions originally in early October), all Ray had to say was "we're working on not just one, but two Xbox 360 titles. Enough said " So hopefully that should put that rumor to rest, unless they plan for it to be multi-platform, but I really doubt it.
-More details on the game, including Live features will be revealed soon
-The entire Mass Effect trilogy should see Xbox 360 release, and the story arc for the games is pretty much complete.
-Uses a special dialog system
-Surprising to me, according to Greg, developing for Xbox 360 only has one huge difference to him, and that is the increase in horse power.
-Your squadron/party can have up to three characters in it at a time, AI will control them, but you can switch over to them to directly control them, or you can give them orders to make AI do what you want.


No, the unofficial FAQ has not been updated. Trust me, I check daily. :D

I have been updating the top post, so check whenever you want, but also remember that some of the sites listed are adding little tidbits weekly. You know, like today we have begun such-and-such and the like.
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Postby TonyMontana1638 » Mon Nov 14, 2005 9:12 pm

Any news of Mass Effect coming to the PC? I wasn't planning on buying an XBox 360 until absolutely necessary (ie when the price drops at least 100 bucks), but I can't miss out on a bioware game that sounds this promising.
"Be thankful you're healthy."
"Be bitter you're not going to stay that way."
"Be glad you're even alive."
"Be furious you're going to die."
"Things could be much worse."
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Postby Hill-Shatar » Mon Nov 14, 2005 9:22 pm

They are continuing to keep Mass Effect an exclusive Xbox 360 title, for reasons unknown to me, as I did not major in economics in University. ;)

From what I see, many have voiced there opinions both here and elsewhere that they are making a major mistake by keeping this to the Xbox 360. Whether or not they maintain that (ie The first titles make enough money that Bioware wants to extend to the more avid RPG players in the PC department) is unknown, however, there is always hope. Titles have always switched to other platforms, so you can never be sure.

I have already been keeping an eye out anyways, so rest assured, I even here a rumour, and it will be posted here... mostly because I do not like the idea of buying a console system for one game, perhaps two, if Jade 2 is going to be as good as 'they' say.
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Postby TonyMontana1638 » Mon Nov 14, 2005 9:24 pm

Thanks Hill, I shall wait with baited breath for any news :) .
"Be thankful you're healthy."
"Be bitter you're not going to stay that way."
"Be glad you're even alive."
"Be furious you're going to die."
"Things could be much worse."
"They could be one hell of a lot better."