Disclosure - I love Mass Effect. I'm currently playing through three different characters at the same time in order to unlock the most achievements (it makes sense in my mind) and I've already beaten it twice.
I still haven't completed the "majority" of the game. There are soooo many side quests and missions.
Disclosure #2 - I really don't think they'll ever make a Mass Effect MMO. ME is suppose to be part 1 of a 3 part RPG series. That's going to keep BioWare very busy in the ME world. I think their MMO is going to be one of their other IPs or something new.
But if there were to be a Mass Effect MMO, this is how I'd see it, and how I'd hope it was done.
Let's start first with characters. You have a few good options for races. Humans, Turians, Quarians, Krogan, Asari, Sallarian. We know the Asari are only "female" so I'd say make the Krogan male only. There is some talk of Krogan females, but with the whole genophage thing, better to keep them out as playable.
The six classes they have in ME would be great. Three schools, combat, tech, and biotic. Three combo classes, tech+biotic, biotic+combat, tech+combat. They would probably have to add more powers and abilities.
It'd be safe to say some class/race combos would be restricted. All Asari would have to either be total biotics, biotic + combat, or biotic + tech. No pure biotic Krogan. All Quarians would have to be either total tech, biotic + tech, or combat +tech. That kind of thing.
Combat could be exactly the same, but without the pause feature obviously. In truth, it'd be very, very similar to Tabula Rasa, but perhaps with less aiming assistance and more FPS aiming like ME has. I've never PvP'd in Tabula Rasa, don't know how it'd work in a ME world, with all the biotics and tech abilities + weapons... it'd sure be interesting.
You'd have to control a single character, not a whole party. You want to encourage grouping but not force it. I know before getting the Unity ability my squad mates would die a lot (veteran difficulty) and I'd be alone anyway. Actually somewhat easier, the friendly AI isn't too great in combat.
Instanced quest progression to tell the "main story" with alingment choices that effect the outcome and your characters growth. Just like the current ME, but with the option of bringing a player filled party.
Rest of the galaxy very open and "sandbox" like. Hundreds (if not more) of worlds to explore. Pirate camps and Geth outposts and resources to be surveyed etc. Rewards for exploration and surveying, and of course combat.
You could do thousands of typical-MMO-type quests this way too, of course.
One thing that I think would be interesting, would be a faction type system. At first, you are doing everything to advance your position within your race, your reputation with them, and not only that but help your race build further reputation with the Citadel Council. Once you've done enough to "prove" your worth to your race and to the Council, you could then become a Spectre. Once you become a Spectre, you'd get your own ship (no ship to ship combat) so you'd no longer have to use public transportation. It's kind of like getting your first Mount in other MMOs.
Once you become a Spectre the alignment game really heats up. You can become a Paragon for good and justice in the galaxy, helping others and helping the Citadel/your home race. Or become a Renegade and do whatever it takes to accomplish whatever goals you set for yourself.
I mean, it's pretty much the exact same as the current offline Mass Effect, but on an even larger scale.
Only problem I see is with "end game." Not sure how'd you could do PvP for end game, unless you have total Paragon vs. Renagade Spectre wars... like some sort of Civil War that errupts within the Citadel species....
Couldn't really raid, the combat is hectic and chaotic enough in ME with a 3 person party, I could never imagine 10+ at once.
So what would end game be? Yeah, you'd have lots of planets to explore and a galaxy full of Pirates and Geth to combat.... but you'd have to have something more. Maybe a full blown war between the Citadel species and the Terminus systems... but that'd be for PvE end game. Could you then still have the PvP civil war between rival Spectre factions?
What are your thoughts? Obviously, you probably have to have played Mass Effect to know what I'm talking about. But I've put some thought into this, and was wondering what ya'll thought?
Thanks, please comment!