Sheparding: Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer Detailed

By Andrew Smee on October 11th, 2011 at 11:31 am.

Garrus do u like me pls tick one: Y/N <3

Mako Races! Krogan mud wrestling! Co-op mining! Garrus threesome co-op! None of which is going to be in Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer. Give it up BioWare, Shepard on Shepard action is what we want to see, none of this “Success in multi-player will have a direct impact on the outcome of the single player campaign” tomfoolery. But yes, that’s the headline. I’ve just got DeviantArt open in another window.

As detailed in this BioWare Forum post, Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer will be 4-player co-op and will affect the single player. Shepard will not be present, rather you’ll create your own custom Special Forces character from the various skills and alien races on hand. Mission success will affect your singleplayer Galactic Readiness level, which appears to be a bigger version of gaining your squad’s loyalty and upgrading the Normandy in Mass Effect 2, in that it charts the increasing resources at Shepard’s disposal as the Reapers draw ever closer.

There’s some typically longwinded PR answers to questions in the release, but I’d like to know if the addition of the co-op the reason for the delay to next year, and how the change from singleplayer to multiplayer will be handled. If that means quitting out of the campaign to another menu to search for friends and servers, it’d be powerfully mood breaking. Maybe if Shepard accesses multiplayer from her console in the captain’s quarters that’d be alright. Or some kind of Mass Effecty version of GTA 4’s mobile phone multiplayer menu coming out of Shepard’s Omnitool. That would actually be pretty neat.

Storyline integration aside, Mass Effect’s a single player RPG. I don’t want or need the help of other people to finish it. In their statement BioWare are keen to stress how optional the multiplayer content is to the singleplayer, saying that it’s an “alternative method” to increasing Galactic Readiness, but that’s irrelevant as soon as they made the decision to have it affect the singleplayer. Its presence means that it’s story-driven content and players will be compelled to take part in something that hasn’t been required for the previous two outings.

Will you also be able to grind the multiplayer? If it’s possible to repeat the missions over and over to rank up or get a gold medal or however it’ll be scored, those repeated attempts would amount to in-game cheating, artificially bumping up the numbers through metagame practices instead of deliberated RPG decision making.

I’m not trying to say that Mass Effect shouldn’t have multiplayer. I actually think it sounds like a lot of fun, and I’d love to manipulate minds as an Asari while a friend tanks a Krogan and takes on a horde of Husks. I hope it’s going to be as great an addition as BioWare say it will be. I just don’t want some multiplayer high score affecting my singleplayer story.

There’s more uncertainty with “Galaxy at War”, what BioWare have called the system governing Galactic Readiness. At the end of the release, there’s this:

We are not going into details about the other components of the Galaxy at War at this time except to say we are designing each to make sense for that platform. Each component will be able to affect a player’s “Galactic Readiness” level in a different way. Again, participation in any or all ME3:GaW elements is entirely optional.

What will these other platforms be? The cynic in me thinks about Call of Duty’s Doritos Double XP debacle, though it’s probably going to be some Facebook game or retailer specific pre-order bonuses, which doesn’t seem any less intrusive at this point.

Mass Effect 3’s marked for a February 2012 release. We’ll just have to wait and see what else BioWare have in store.


Full details on the BioWare Forums here.

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140 Comments »

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  1. Premium User Badge

    TheApologist says:

    “I just don’t want some multiplayer high score affecting my singleplayer story”. Nor me, yet that sounds like what we’re going to get. Boo, frankly. Boooooooooooooooooooo…

    • FCA says:

      Go for the eyes Boo, go for the eyes!

    • jp0249107 says:

      I don’t understand the problem with this…it’s entirely optional and an alternate way of increasing a value that you can also increase in the single-player, sort of like AssCreed. I wouldn’t start cursing the skies until things become more clear.

    • fearghaill says:

      I too am furious at the idea of additional content.

    • KikiJiki says:

      @jp0249107

      Calling it ‘optional’ is a bit of a misnomer though.

      It’s either not actually needed to get your Galactic Readiness up to the best level, in which case it’s pretty pointless in my personal opinion (as why rely on others when I can do it myself?), or it is required in which case you’re forced to play it if you want to experience the ‘best’ ending.

      I don’t really see how this benefits ME3 as a game in any way shape or form. All I think it will do is detract from what should be a solid closing chapter to a damn good series of games thus far.

    • Premium User Badge

      TheApologist says:

      Well, of course it depend on how it is done. ‘Optional’ needs to be optional in the right way.

      My sense is that given that the Normandy upgrading and side stuff had real consequences for characters and plot in ME2 I don’t want to feel like ignoring the MP is affecting my game in ME3. Further, I don’t want there to be more grind in the single player systems to get the better endings because I *should* be playing MP. Also, it depends how intrusively it is suggested or referenced in the game. I remember DA:O’s perma DLC guy.

      Optional potentially covers a lot of sins. I’m not saying I’m not going to play ME3, or that it’s going to ruin the game or anything, just that MP is something I don’t want in ME3.

      @fearghaill – Straw man. I’m not saying either that I’m furious, or that additional content is what worries me. It is MP content that alters the SP experience that I don’t particularly want.

      @KikiJiki – you put it better than I have. :)

    • RagePoon says:

      @FCA, Well played… Good Baldurs Gate reference and on a Bioware topic as well.

    • kupocake says:

      Are you saying “Boo” or “Boo-urns”?

    • fearghaill says:

      It sounds to me like it’s “optional” in the sense that it’s one of many ways (including SP side-missions and planetary exploration I expect) to fill a “Galactic Readiness” progress bar.

      Perhaps a way to make up for the fact that you don’t have both the Geth & Quarians onside, and Krogan on Rachni mounts, and also didn’t keep the Collector base. Non-pure renegade or paragon sheperds can still get good endings, they’d just need to work harder

    • Premium User Badge

      TheApologist says:

      BOOOOO!

      /throws slushy at kupocake

    • JohnH says:

      @KikiJiki
      Yes, why should I play co-op with friends when I can play singleplayer. /foreveralone

    • Nihil says:

      I was saying “Boo-urns”

    • KikiJiki says:

      @JohnH

      No ForeverADrone about it, scheduling co-op time with friends is difficult if like me you’re all grown up and living in 9-5 land. If it’s not absolutely necessary I’m going to skip it because arranging my life around a game so that I can see a particular ending is bullshit.

    • Dante says:

      @KikiJiki

      They have explicitly said you will be able to get the best ending while playing only single player. Why are so many people acting like that isn’t the case?

    • dontnormally says:

      ME3:GaW looks excruciatingly like an MMO title.

      This has to be some ramp-up to the MMO they will inevitably create.

    • KikiJiki says:

      @Dante

      So it’s a total waste of time then from my pov.

  2. Groove says:

    Damn it…it’s hard to stay positive some times.

    Oh Bioware, you were the best of us.

  3. talon03 says:

    I never asked for this.

  4. kimded says:

    “But yes, that’s the headline. I’ve just got DeviantArt open in another window.”

    You know that statement could open this up to shameless, just utterly shameless, plugging of your readers DeviantArt accounts… (cough)

    (sorry… couldn’t resist)

    • MrMud says:

      If you really want shepard on shepard action there are better places on the net than DeviantArt.

  5. StranaMente says:

    *insert long series of curses and swear words here* Let’s say, for the sake of discussion that I want to replay this game in 2 years, or 4 years, or 6.
    How would it affect my game? Surely in 4 years the players will be much less. It will be really hard to do it.
    What if I meet some griefers?
    What if I don’t want to play with others!
    I’ve got other games I want to play with other people! I’ll play battlefield, tf2 or something. I don’t want other players to affect my game!
    GAAH!!!

    • JackShandy says:

      If only there was some way Bioware could write multiple viable paths through their game.

      But it’s useless to debate hypotheticals.

    • StranaMente says:

      Let’s say that they make it impossible for you to play one of these ways unless you “recruit” other 3 friends (much like any hideous facebook game does).
      Then you can only play that way IF you manage to find the friends.
      So it’s not up to me to play the game as I like, but it depends if, and how, it plays on three strangers on the internet.
      And this looks a good idea to you, sarcastic fella?

  6. Sirbolt says:

    So they are basically forcing you to play multiplayer if you want all the perks then? Kinda sucks… What about replayability in a few years time when it might not be so easy to round up folks interested in grinding through coop?

    • Sinkytown says:

      Co-op is one method of acquiring an in-game currency called ‘Galactic Readiness’. There are alternative, single-player methods of gaining this currency. Choosing either a single-player or multiplayer method of readying oneself galactically will see the player to the same point.

      Why the frothing cries of having single-player stolen or somehow compromised?

    • BarneyL says:

      There’s always that fear that the “alternative” methods involve PayPal, buying products I don’t want or spamming my friends on facebook.

      “Barney has just forund a baby Krogan” Sign up to Mass Effectville to help save the universe!”

    • runtheplacered says:

      “So they are basically forcing you to play multiplayer if you want all the perks then? ”

      Nope.

  7. razgon says:

    Bioware, what happened to you? – You used to be cool.

    • KingJason13 says:

      Two words: Electronic Arts…

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      …Is owned by Vivendi, not the other way around

    • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

      Uh, no. Completely incorrect. Vivendi owns Activision-Blizzard. Electronic Arts bought BioWare in 2007, and has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Vivendi.

  8. Premium User Badge

    HermitUK says:

    “It is important to note that the system is entirely optional and just another way players can have control over your game experience – it is still possible to achieve the optimal, complete ending of the game in Mass Effect 3 through single-player alone,”

    My guess is the Galaxy at War thing will be not dissimilar to the Assassin’s Guild in Brotherhood – You could quite happily max out the guild simply in the game, though there was an entirely optional Facebook app that let you send your assassins out on missions outside of the game. Noone missed any content if they decided not to participate, but it was a neat idea for people who did use it.

    As for the multiplayer, I’m intrigued. It’s a neat way to convey the fact that this is a war bigger than just Shepard.

    • Premium User Badge

      James G says:

      Oh thank fuck. If multiplayer was essential to obtaining the optimum ending then I’d be incredibly disappointed. As an alternative route though, fine.

      Generally as a rule I’m not a great fan of multi-player or co-op.

    • Premium User Badge

      TheApologist says:

      Yep – it was pretty harmless in AC:B. I suppose there is a twofold difference that suggest it might not be so benign in ME3.

      The first is that AC:B didn’t drag me online from within the game at all. I could get exactly the same results entirely from single player in-game systems that made complete sense. The second is that in ME2, unlike AC:B, there were real consequences for your characters according to stuff like upgrading your ship – who lives, who dies stuff. The plot never changed in AC:B’s guild system.

      I generally don’t enjoy multiplayer action games and I don’t want to feel like me not participating in them is going to potentially intrude on how the plot of my single player game pans out.

    • ninjapirate says:

      Thank god it’s only optional – I still wish they wouldn’t be spending resources on a part of the game that a number of people will cautiously ignore. It just seems like a waste.

  9. Corrupt_Tiki says:

    Boo hiss!

  10. formivore says:

    Sounds orthogonal to the SP campaign, unless you are some silly powergamer. Won’t ruin the game except via diversion of dev resources.

  11. Maldomel says:

    And yet I would go totally go for some threesome Garrus co-op <3
    That would be soooooo manly.

  12. Brahms says:

    I still haven’t played ME2 because I’m waiting for it to be super cheap. Seems like this tactic won’t be very effective for ME3 unless I can convicne some friends to tarry with me.

  13. Rao Dao Zao says:

    So are they saying that, by playing co-op, one can counteract all the bad decisions that might have been made in previous games?

    “Who cares if Tali died, the galaxy is RRREADY.”

    • ThTa says:

      This is my exact fear, I’m interested to see how it turns out, but if it becomes a “get out of jail free card” for poor decisions in singleplayer, (using your example, “Oh, you killed Tali and won’t be able to get the quarians’ allegiance? Just do this multiplayer mission and get it anyway.”) I’d be thoroughly disappointed.
      I mean sure, that’s still effort, but to me, it kind of diminishes the fact that it’s Shepard’s story, and that your choices have impact on future events.

  14. Luskas says:

    I finally registered on this website to say that I fear this decision. Mass Effect has been one of the last remnants of a good single player experience! Even the team management is very lightly done so that you really are controlling the main character and not the entire team. You’re supposed to be the hero and live this heroic story. Multiplayer will take away from this especially if it effects the campaign.

    I’m Commander Shepard and I want to fight the reapers by myself! F*** multiplayer and all things associated with it!

    • Pardoz says:

      I’m Commander Shepard and this is my favourite comment on RPS.

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      I’m Commander Shepard and this is my favorite RPS on the Comment.

  15. Pardoz says:

    Option to play as a Hanar SPECTRE or no sale.

  16. Jorum says:

    “Kinda sucks… What about replayability in a few years time when it might not be so easy to round up folks interested in grinding through coop?”

    What do EA care about replayability in a year? You’ve bought the game already, and the game is of no interest to them in a year once the hype of release is over.
    In fact no one playing it is probably better for them as they don’t have to go through all that server and support fuss.

    We’re in the Apple “product-as-service” era – your use of a product is dependant on the day-by-day consent and support of the supplier.

  17. caddyB says:

    Hahahahahaha

    Bioware, lol.

  18. McDan says:

    What. The. Hell. How could they have made such a terrible decision? Argh, I love the mass effect games, but whyyyyyy. I know it’s optional, but still, not so good bioware.

  19. Narretz says:

    Obligatory “Baldur’s Gate 2 was the last good game Bioware made (and it didn’t even play in Baldur’s Gate)”

    • Premium User Badge

      HermitUK says:

      The same Baldur’s Gate 2 which had co-op present throughout the campaign?

    • Burning Man says:

      @HermitUK

      SILENCE, HEATHEN!

    • Ovno says:

      Yes indeed you could play all of the baldurs gate series as either multiplayer (co-op) or single player games, but, and this is the important bit, if regardless of which you played you got the same game content and how you did in that campaign you started with your mates did not affect how your single player game progressed (unless you chose to bring your mp character back across)

  20. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    *sigh* Bioware… I like you. I really like you. But you keep doing this stuff. Making strange design decisions and not listening to anyone who thinks its a bad idea. Liking you gets harder and harder…

    Oh well. Maybe it won’t be so bad. It all boils down to what they mean with “optional”.

    If you need to play multiplayer (or even a Facebook game, or whatever) to completely see a significant part of the singleplayer content, that would be very bad.

    But maybe it’s just about additional options, like if you haven’t completed at least one of the goals A, B and C before the final mission, you don’t get to see the best ending, and successfully completing the multiplayer gives you an additional goal D. That could be acceptable, I think.

  21. Bull0 says:

    Galaxy at War thing will clearly be Mass Effect 3’s equivalent of the cerberus network from 2 – functionality you’ll only have access to if you buy a new copy of the game through a one-use activation code (yes, yes, not a problem for PC gamers, etc, still relevant to the industry at large and to this story)

    You read it here first!

  22. Premium User Badge

    Colthor says:

    You had me briefly excited by “Mako races”. Oh well.

    Anyway, boo multiplayer affecting singleplayer! If I wanted people mucking up my games, I’d play multiplayer. I’m sure I don’t want them mucking up my games because I don’t play multiplayer.

    • Rao Dao Zao says:

      Mako Racing side-quest was totally missing from ME1’s Pinnacle Station DLC.

      And I agree with you.

    • gwathdring says:

      I really miss the Mako. You can’t do backflips or barrel-rolls in the hammerhead. Or at least, not as far as I’ve tried.

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      +1 to anything Mako. I really dislike the hammerhead, and even stare lovingly at the undrivable Mako-alikes in other levels.

  23. Olivaw says:

    I really don’t see a problem. It sounds like it’s just going to be a way to grind out this “Galactic Readiness” thing instead of doing a shitload of sidequests or whatever.

    I was scared at first, but as long as it is completely optional, as they say, and there are ways to get the ending that I want without playing multiplayer, then I don’t understand what the fuss is about.

  24. Premium User Badge

    Jackablade says:

    I never realised how much I wanted a Krogan mud wrestling game until now.

  25. Premium User Badge

    AndrewC says:

    Dear Mr Smee,
    The RPS comments section is a grumpy mass of backwards thinking change-o-phobes who are always looking for faults in things in the mistaken belief that this denotes a deeper understanding of those things.
    As a suggestion I would be relentlessly positive about everything and include pictures of rainbows and puppies in your posts, and absolutely never give them even a hint of something negative or they’ll suck all the joy from the universe. Oops spoilers for ME3.

    • Premium User Badge

      HermitUK says:

      RPS Comments are confirmed as stage 1 of the Reaper Invasion.

    • Bull0 says:

      I’m Commander Shephard and this is my favourite comment on the Citadel.

    • ThTa says:

      Oh come on, I was pretty positive about the multiplayer up until now. I just figured, “Well, I’ll still get my singleplayer unharmed, and it keeps the unwashed multi-manshoot-men happy.” but as I’d explained in an earlier post, this does make me a bit wary.

      The lack of colourful and adorable images may have something to do with my somewhat negative feelings, though. I’m not entirely sure. I’ll second your suggestion to Mr. Smee.

    • kimded says:

      Yup. I agree AndrewC (et al)

      I remember when RPS used to be home to intelligent debate and considered comments, now it just seems to be like everywhere else a mess of misplaced entitlement, misdirected rage. and an inability to accept that they are not the centre of the universe

      … (sigh)

    • Premium User Badge

      AndrewC says:

      @kimded Hmmm, nostalgic longing for a disappeared past, negativity towards all current trends…you must be an RPS commenter!

      :):):) luv u.

    • kimded says:

      @AndrewC

      LOL… whoops I did kinda fall into the same trap didn’t I… curse my gaming heritage! :)

    • Dante says:

      I remember when RPS used to dislike the Angry Internet Men. Now they seem to have embraced them.

    • kimded says:

      @Dante

      Its because provoking a reaction (aka nerd-baiting) gets you more views and more comments which breeds more reaction and more hits/comments its a great business model that most sites use these days, see Kotaku/Gizmodo/etc

    • briktal says:

      No, the comments only hate on stuff done by the big devs/publishers. If a smaller, “good” dev did the exact same thing a lot of people would praise it. Of course, this doesn’t mean that everything is good, but it is a little silly to turn the hate up to maximum just because it’s EA/Bioware doing something and not CD Projekt.

    • Premium User Badge

      TheApologist says:

      As one of the grumblers, I feel like this is a pretty harsh assessment. I have tried to offer arguments to back up an opinion, which was offered in what was intended to be a light-hearted mode.

      And you seem to be saying that because I hold this opinion I am a ‘change-o-phobe’ and lack a ‘deeper understanding’, but you don’t say why. What deeper understanding do you possess that explains why this change is for the better?!

      To be honest, this seems a bit pot/kettle. No site’s comments culture is perfect, but RPS’ is pretty entertaining and well informed IMO.

    • Nick says:

      and I remember when you were allowed to dislike something without being labeled grumpy or a change-o-phobe. I know which behaviour I prefer and its the “grumpy” people, not the arrogant put downs like this.

    • Bull0 says:

      Labelling what you’re seeing here as simple dislike is an oversimplification, and your argument is invalid on that basis. It was more accurately labelled as grumpy change-ophobia. I predict we’ll be at loggerheads over it, but there it is.

    • Srethron says:

      Why, an insane man might suspect RPS commenters are secretly cats.

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      Captain Hook,

      Well sir, a whipped dog only learns how to bite. Maybe if there were fewer beatings, morale would improve.

      Mr. Smee

      (PS: I don’t actually give a toss about this I just wanted to write back :( )

  26. Bishop99999999 says:

    My attitude towards this news is directly linked to whether or not I can play as a Hanar commando.

  27. djim says:

    I feel like most of the comments here are way negative. Since it is optional i do not see the problem. If it can affect your single player decisions you can simply NOT play multiplayer – that is what i will do. My only hope here is that the multiplayer is both challenging and the sections big enough to be worth it.

    Everything shown so far about the game has been great imo.

  28. Screamer says:

    It seems the collective “Nooooooooooooo”s crashed their servers!

  29. Stupoider says:

    I can’t help but be reminded of this little gem.

    http://i185.photobucket.com/albums/x192/Stupoider/1318180592044.png

    Without looking I can probably predict that the people who are openly criticising this over at the Bioware forums are being banned and silenced, and when the game is released to lukewarm reception they’ll blame the “4chan trolls” over at Metacritic and not their ignorance to the community’s advice.

    • BatmanBaggins says:

      I’m most offended by the fact that their writer confused “their/they’re”.

      No excuse!

    • fearghaill says:

      Am… am I supposed to empathise with the self-important twit who has his knickers in a twist because Bioware asked people to provide feedback without namecalling?

    • Stupoider says:

      You’re incredibly naive to think that ALL the criticism was namecalling and nitpicking. Right from the beginning people raised concerns, and Bioware paid no attention.

      Bioware’s handling of the DA2 fiasco was absolutely bloody dreadful. If you saw the forums before and after release you’d know exactly what I’m talking about.

    • fearghaill says:

      Yes, but it was only the namecalling that they asked people to stop. They specifically said that the other feedback was welcome, provided it could be delivered with some basic civility. Still not sure why I’m supposed to side with the AIMs on this one.

      As for whether they ignored the non-namecalling “suggestions”, there’s no way of knowing whether they did, or if they acknowledged them but decided they didn’t agree with them. The other thing the screenshot you linked screams besides “we have a right to be shitty in your forums” is “we know better than you how your games should be made and you are obligated to cater to us.”

  30. Dante says:

    Storyline integration aside, Mass Effect’s a single player RPG. I don’t want or need the help of other people to finish it. In their statement BioWare are keen to stress how optional the multiplayer content is to the singleplayer, saying that it’s an “alternative method” to increasing Galactic Readiness, but that’s irrelevant as soon as they made the decision to have it affect the singleplayer. Its presence means that it’s story-driven content and players will be compelled to take part in something that hasn’t been required for the previous two outings.

    Er… that’s not that case at all. They clearly say that it’s possible to get the best ending without playing anything other than the single player. So you aren’t ‘compelled’ to play it at all, quite the opposite. You could at least get your facts straight before trying to wind people up.

  31. FCA says:

    So does this mean the “always online” DRM is in? Because if the multiplayer is affecting the single player, both must always be on-line, right?

  32. Unaco says:

    And, 90% of people seem unable to read the word ‘optional’.

    Well played to them, I say. Good to see them trying something new, something a bit different. I hope it works out for them and the players.

    • CedaVelja says:

      You dont seem to be able to read between the lines,
      because of this single player will be shorter, my guess 30% at least.

    • Bull0 says:

      Balls.

    • Unaco says:

      That isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. Common feeling on ME2 was that it dragged on/out a little… that it had more levels than good ideas. Maybe ME3 could do with being shorter compared to ME2, so long as the quality is maintained.

    • Bull0 says:

      The thing was delayed substantially, and although I’ve no insider info I find it most likely that the delay was in order to develop this feature – your “guess” that huge swathes of single-player development time have been lost to make way for this flies in the face of the basic fact that the game has been substantially delayed. Plus, it’s total balls anyway.

    • fearghaill says:

      you don’t understand, Bull0! He knows. Look at that number! The only way he could have arrived at something as precise as “at least 30%” would be if he used Math. Or Science.

    • Bull0 says:

      ;) it’s right there if you just READ BETWEEN THE GOD DAMN LINES

    • Nick says:

      “That isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. Common feeling on ME2 was that it dragged on/out a little”

      What? Its pretty short… I have never seen anyone say it dragged on until just now. If it dragged it was for other reasons (terrible combat / generic level design).

    • Bull0 says:

      So you hated it but you’re concerned that the thing you hate is going to be shorter? Righto.

    • Premium User Badge

      TheApologist says:

      ‘90% of people seem unable to read the word optional’

      I read the word optional, and it still bothers me. I have reasons already stated in the thread – just saying that not everyone who disagrees with you is stupid or hasn’t read the story.

    • CedaVelja says:

      I never said i know i guessed.
      Put yourself in a game developers place and think about it for a second, in gaming today it is totally acceptable for a game like Mass Effect to be 12 hour long and by some its considered too much time to play a game because apparently it tends to “drag on”.
      If you add multiplayer option they WONT make a 12 hour game, the game will be 8 hour long, and know what its not a guess it a damn fact.

      I see people here bellyache about always on DRM because your conection can drop, what if my connection isn’t strong enough for me to be able to play multiplayer?
      I thought this place is a reasonable place to give your opinion without being ridiculed but i guess i was wrong.

  33. fearghaill says:

    “I like BioWare a lot, but lately I feel that they have let their fame go to their head. It seems that in their attempt to get more money and appeal to new people, they are taking steps that move the game away from being what their core fans want. These core fans are part of what kept BioWare going in the early days, and these new announcements are a slap in the face. We’re being tossed aside for newer, shinier people with shorter attention spans and less mature tastes. We, the longtime fans, never asked for this new feature, in fact specifically argued against it and presented reasons why it was a bad idea. The possibility that resources that could have been spent on other parts of the game are instead going to this new and unwanted feature shows me clearly that BioWare no longer cares about me, and that if I’m smart, I’ll return the favor.

    In sum, if they insist on including these new “romances” in their game, I will NOT be purchasing Baldur’s Gate II.”

    • Nick says:

      except the romancs in BG2 were actually well written mini stories, not three conversations and a fuckscene they degraded them into.

  34. fearghaill says:

    Really, if it’s a feature that you don’t need to use to still get the same story out of the game, how is it a bad thing to have more options available? At this point you’re all arguing that other people shouldn’t be able to play multiplayer because you don’t want to. As though they’d be having the wrong kind of fun, so it’s your duty to prevent it.

    • Bull0 says:

      This. The WRONG KIND OF FUN is something that gets alluded to a lot round these parts. Other people enjoying themselves doing things that you think are rubbish directly damages your enjoyment of other things, doncha know.

    • BatmanBaggins says:

      Most people’s main concern seems to be that by focusing development time and energy on a semi-standalone multiplayer component, the singleplayer content may suffer to some degree (the way in which is debatable). Since we’re talking about a story driven, up-til-now singleplayer experience, this is a legitimate thing to raise an eyebrow over. Personally, I don’t think this will end up being much of a big deal, but I can see why people are wary.

      Trying to draw a comparison to BGII isn’t exactly accurate, by the way, since in BGII the multiplayer WAS the singleplayer. ME3’s looks to be its own thing, which is rather different than if, say, the multiplayer was simply your friend joining and taking control of Garrus while you work through the campaign (which would be awesome, by the way).

    • Shizzlick says:

      Given they also say that they set up a brand new team in a different studio to handle the multiplayer, I don’t really see how this could compromise the single player in development terms.

      It states this prety clearly in the FAQ at the link the was posted, but it seems to be most people are just freaking out and assuming THE END IS NIGH! without actually reading the post/FAQ.

    • Bull0 says:

      There we have it, then. The people saying THIS IS CLEARLY GOING TO MEAN FEWER PLANETS TO GO TO are all idiots.

    • Nick says:

      also BG2 MP was tacked on and really a pain in the arse to play and I say that as someone who played a fair portion of it with 4 other people.

    • Wizardry says:

      Yeah, but the beauty of Baldur’s Gate’s multiplayer mode is that you can use it to play single player but with an entire party of player created characters. Or even a partial party of player created characters for either a challenge or to allow you to bring along some NPCs in order to do their quests.

      Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer has no such advantage.

    • Bull0 says:

      That’s a matter of personal taste at best – if they implemented cooperative campaign mode in Mass Effect 3 the shirt tearers would just be complaining that they don’t want to be forced to play with their friends to get the best results and the game will be balanced around coop and etc

      This way it is an optional, fun side show that has a modicum of impact on the solo game but can be ignored or played at will.

  35. greenbananas says:

    5 pounds that this is what’ll end up “justifying” permanent internet connection DRM.

    • Vinraith says:

      No bet. And if you’re right, as I expect you are, no sale either.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      I was thinking that EA didn’t have any previous aside from Darkspore, which they insisted was an MMO so it wasn’t really DRM.

      Then I remembered C&C4. Well shit.

  36. CedaVelja says:

    I know i just KNOW that they will use the fact that they have multiplayer to cut down on single player content.

  37. reticulate says:

    My only concern about all this is whether or not it steals time away from development on the single-player.

    If they’re saying I can still get the proper ending without jumping into multiplayer, I don’t mind.

  38. Vexing Vision says:

    This is a brilliant excuse to explain the always-online DRM.

  39. HisMastersVoice says:

    Let me guess. The addition of multi player component will lock the game files completely resulting in a potential ban of your Origin account (which will be absolutely necessary to play the game) if you try to alter your armor textures or hack your way out of a stupidly placed Paragon/Renegade chokepoint (hello Subject 0/Miranda debacle).

  40. Ovno says:

    My one and only real question on this is…

    Will I be able to play multiplayer without it affecting my single player game?

    If not, by the time I finish the pure singleplayer experience there won’t be any people left playing the multiplayer…

  41. SpaceAkers says:

    I think it might be fun.

    Buncha damn whiners here crafting elaborate doomsday scenarios.

    I’m looking forward to this game!

  42. Britney.S says:

    Nice troll post Smee.
    Its ALTERNATIVE and OPTIONAL so everyone stfu.

  43. fearghaill says:

    I’ll admit, I’m positive about this entirely for the opportunity to play as a member of the Salarian STG.

    It isn’t quite my dream of a full (either PnP or Neverwinter Nights style) RPG set in the ME setting, but it’s a start.

    • Bull0 says:

      Really it just sounds like a fun little aside, a bit of extra bang for your buck. The shirt-tearing, hand-wringing worst-case-scenario fantasist brigade will insist on playing out their little tragic pantomimes every chance they get, though

  44. gwathdring says:

    Hmm. If I’m going to have a problem with this, it’s likely going to be with poor implementation or with whatever this Galactic Readiness mechanic is rather than with the co-op itself.

    The first time I played Mass Effect, I thought to myself that the combat system had elements that could make for an interesting cooperative experience. So much of combat is in timing power combos properly and sending the right squad member after the right enemy. Now, there are a lot of quirks in the combat system, especially from the first game. But I know I’m not alone. A lot of people have suggested co-op or outright pleaded for it during the feature development and speculation phases of both Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3.

    I love co-op gameplay. I’m not entirely certain I’m going to play ME 3, let alone the co-op as few of my friends play the series. But I’m intrigued and optimistic about the co-op gameplay itself, if not the overall implementation. I think the general flow of the combat system is well suited to cooperative tactics and think it would be very easy to tweak it to be even more so.

  45. gwathdring says:

    That’s weird … the last few comments on this page show up for a few seconds on refresh and then vanish … ?!?

  46. Aufero says:

    The change to game mechanics in ME2 was an obvious attempt to grab more of the FPS market, so this move comes as no real surprise. My only problem with this is the question of how much more single player content I theoretically could have had if they weren’t throwing a lot of development time at something I don’t want and will never play.

    • Bull0 says:

      They delayed the game substantially; they outsourced the multiplayer; generally your hypothetical handwringing is totally unfounded

    • Aufero says:

      So the answer is none? Excellent, I can go back to not caring.

    • Bull0 says:

      You’re welcome.

  47. Grayvern says:

    They can’t have it be necessary because I should imagine the venn diagram of 360 players who play Mass Effect and those with a silver membership probably has a pretty strong overlap.

    • Premium User Badge

      Stellar Duck says:

      That would be me. Though I don’t play Mass Effect on the 360. In fact, it seems I don’t play anything at all on it. :(

  48. KikiJiki says:

    @Dante

    See my earlier point about it being pointless then.

    Like I said, I don’t think it does anything other than detract from the rest of the game.

    • fearghaill says:

      in other words, you personally are not interested in it, therefore it is bad. Anyone who does dislike it is having the Wrong Kind of Fun. Gotcha.

  49. Shooop says:

    Again, why is this a thing?

    Wouldn’t it make much more sense and make many more fans of the series happy if they just focused on the story mode? And in the process making it a little more interesting than a standard-issue 3rd person shooter with a dating simulator?

  50. FedericoV says:

    I do not plan to play ME3 multyplayer. But I believe that there’s nothing wrong with Co-Op optional side missions. A lot of people like that kind of gameplay and co-op was a popular request on the Bioware forums since ME1.

    The meaning of it it’s quite simple: it’s a positive measure against second hand sales (project ten dollars) and maybe even piracy. Positive: I mean it’s better than DRMs. You offer to your legit customer something more.

    Only thing I’m not sure about it’s that whole “galaxy readiness” mechanic and how they are trying to blend SP and MP (with the probable inclusion of social networks along the way). I would have preferred the two experiences to be completely separated. There are two possible outcome: 1) optional activities outside SP are worthless in terms of galaxy readiness or 2) it’ won’t improve the SP experience :).