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Bladewir's Bellowing Blog

I'm back! I usually blog about MMORPGs and my experiences with them here, as well as other topics at my other blog located at http://knvpradio.blogspot.com

Author: MMOPlaya

"Mass Effect" Would Make A Great MMORPG Candidate

Posted by MMOPlaya Saturday December 1 2007 at 7:12PM
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NOTE: The following blog entry may contain plot *Spoilers* for the Xbox 360 game "Mass Effect".  


First, let me state that I have completed "Mass Effect" as a level 40 Vanguard, in 31 hours.  Second, I'd like to congratulate BioWare and Microsoft for pulling off one of the best damn Role Playing Games I have ever had the pleasure of playing.  The foundation of the game and what makes it great is the compelling story - and what a gripping and involved story it is!   The game is truely amazing in all aspects of game play, including achieving what appears to me anyway, as the defining programming platform / game system (i.e. next generation) of the already established RPG genre.

That being said, I'd like to offer up my opinion as to why "Mass Effect" would make a great candidate for a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game.  Let's upgrade the game from an RPG to an MMO-RPG.  I'm not interested in seeing multiplayer maps or Xbox Live multiplayer functionality for this game.  It just does not fit in.  I'm talking about making the IP into a full-blown MMORPG.

Here are some keypoints:

  1. A fresh, newly-established, unique, well-documented, science-fiction based, epic story line that has the potential for longevity in an on-going massive online game. 
  2. Not a single gnome, elf or sword anywhere to be found.  Pure Sci-Fi.
  3. Humans ARE NOT the all-knowing, all-owning, controlling race in this universe.  The story opens up our eyes to the fact that we may not be alone in the universe.  In fact, humans are a second or third class type citizen in this universe.
  4. Many warring factions and races that could all easily be made into the game as the basis for new characters.  Almost unlimited potential here.
  5. Believeable weapon and transportation technology.  There is a scientific explaination for the tech and travel systems in this universe - we are not blind as to it's background and use.  No real "uber" powers or abilities causing great imbalances.
  6. A mapped-out but not fully explored universe / solar system - just waiting to be discovered and inhabited.

Imagine starting your training as a simple C-Sec Private.  Living your life on the Citidel.  Your first assignment is watching over the Keepers, or enforcing the gaming regulations at the local casino.  Or running the family business as a Volus loanshark.  The roleplaying is endless just on the Citidel alone.

In the background, the shape of the known universe is changing and is soon to be in danger of extinction because of rogue Spectre Agents, such as Saren.  Then we begin to uncover the knowelege of the Geth and the existance of the Reapers.  So much of a foundation to build on here.

I think that the pinnacle of the story / plot would be the pursuit and ensuing war between the known races and the remaining reapers after we have as a group destroyed the Soveriegn and broken the extermination cycle.  I also think that knowing our direct enemy (all of the universe's enemy actually) may be an AI of some sort, not even a real biological being, but possibly a mech species developed by yet another race that seeks to harvest the known universe for resources and slaves every 50,000 years.

I think that many elements of the "Mass Effect" story can easily be translated into an MMORPG game for any gamer to enjoy.  Especially being able to "live" in this amazing universe that has been created and unfolded before us. 

For those unaware, the current "Mass Effect" game in stores now, is the first in a trilogy of planned games, created by BioWare.  We have only just began.  And don't forget that there is already a novel written with the possiblity of more written novels in the future.  

I'm curious as to what other players of "Mass Effect" and MMORPG's in general think of bringing the "Mass Effect" world into a living, breathing MMO?  What are your thoughts?

ElRenmazuo writes:

I hope Biowares mmo is in the mass effect universe instead of Star wars.

Sat Dec 01 2007 7:33PM Report
Thud_The_ACE writes:

Your right tkreep, I hope so too. After all the butchering star wars has gone through, I really don't wan't to see another star wars mmo. Mass Effect would be much better.

Sat Dec 01 2007 11:01PM Report
Sabrel writes:

Unfortunately, it's not too likely, since an EA exec recently let slip that BioWare's MMO is a licensed property. ME is BioWare's own IP, so it wouldn't be licensed.

Of course, this /is/ EA we're talking about, so he might have just been talking out of a non-mouth orifice.

 

Sun Dec 02 2007 1:19AM Report
aloewishus writes:

walk a bit-save game, walk a bit-save game, listen to dialog, die in battle-load game, listen to dialog, die in battle- load game, listen to dialog, die in battle-load  game, listen to dialog, WIN battle, SAVE GAME, walk a bit, save game, walk a bit, save game ....

Sun Dec 02 2007 3:27AM Report
Vodun writes:

While playing through this great game I often stopped and looked around to take in the wonderful vistas that you find yourself in. While looking at the beauty around me I would think how this game world could so easily work as an MMO and how nice it would be just to spend time in this universe.

The possibilities for adventure are as vast as the galaxy itself.

Sun Dec 02 2007 7:18AM Report
xmoleculex writes:

" Let's upgrade the game from an RPG to an MMO-RPG."

I think it would be more of a downgrade. There's no way a Mass Effect MMO would be as intriguing, epic or fun as the real game.

I like MMOs as much as the next guy, but their shortcomings are pretty apparent when you compare them to a well crafted single player experience. I think that will remain the case for a long time.

Sun Dec 02 2007 9:07AM Report
Sylen writes:

What made Mass Effect a great game was the unique cinematic feel to the game through its rich music, detailed storyline, and unique way of interaction between characters.

To be honest I hope it doesn't ever get turned into a MMORPG. The character Commander Shepard is already an awesome character to play without having to make a character myself that, if in a MMO, will not be able to speak, and interact like the single player game.

It also comes down to, I've never played a single MMO where the story-line plays a huge part of the game. Thats one of the biggest shortcomings of MMO's, and to be honest, regardless of the MMO you play, eventually you'll have a stall in the content that won't be able to fill the story-line gaps quick enough to make the game new and refreshing. For Mass Effect, I believe it needs to stay a single player experience because that is quite honesty the best venue to express the story and style of game-play it has.

 

Sun Dec 02 2007 9:23AM Report
MMOPlaya writes:

Hiya Everyone,

All great points.  Keep em' coming.  I know that realistically, it may never happen but I was so hoping that at some point, an MMO would be created that DID have a great back-story, much like the Star Wars saga or Mass Effect universe.  Sylen you nailed it - the style of gameplay that we enjoyed in ME would be next to impossible to translate into an MMO.  Let's hope that other IP's that have an established back-story, like Stargate Worlds or Star Trek Online pan out better than some of the existing  MMO's out there.

Sun Dec 02 2007 2:32PM Report
Antioche writes:

Just because other mmorpgs don't have a decent story w/ content doesn't mean it can't be done. I'm looking forward to what Funcom will do in Age of Conan. They have created a single player storyline for the first 20 levels of a characters life. I'm not saying this is necessarily the best way to do it, but it is certainly a step in the right direction. Also, for those who have played Final Fantasy 11, that game actually has a storyline with some cinematic qualities and great music. The latest Phantasy Star mmo is another example of a mmorpg that strived to deliver a good story. I don't know how it faired, but at least developers are beginning to see the need to an engaging story for their players AS WELL AS new means of using the game world to do so. The days of pages of text to read in order to participate in a story arc should be waning. There are a myriad other ways to engage players in story content both aurally and visually. Hopefully that starts to become a standard.

Sun Dec 02 2007 3:58PM Report
ElRenmazuo writes:

Why the hell does everybody think its so impossible to do something like game mechanics in mmos, its just amazing how negative people are and it pisses me off cuz they always think of failure.  As Antioch said, just cuz other mmos could not do it, does not mean it can never be done.  There are mmos out there with awsome story, and cutscenes like Final Fantasy 11.  But its too bad that most of you have not tried out other mmos but WoW and Everquest which pretty much have the same game mechanics.  Putting voiced dialogue is possible in an mmo between players and npcs because all they have to do is go in an instance of a cutscene when speaking to that npc. Oh and I am sorry you had to go through all that Aloewishus, but thats not the games fault its your fault for being a shitty gamer.

Sun Dec 02 2007 6:42PM Report
Kenny3000 writes:

i have played Mass Effect and Compleeted it. i have also read the Star Wars Chronology book and played both of the Kotor games. and personaly i would not mind eather. only becasue there is so much Awsome crap i know about that goes on behind the actual game itself during the kotor era it would be fantastic, on the other hand. Mass effect is great. and it Lucasarts is helping than you know its gonna be good.

Mon Dec 03 2007 8:06AM Report
BadSpock writes:

Mass Effect could make a very interesting MMO... I just finished my first play through yesterday, skipped all the side stuff and just got through the main story line, just to avoid having anything spoiled by the internet :)

For an MMO, the time frame would be a problem. They can't do it post-Mass Effect because they are already planning sequels, it's suppose to be a 3 part RPG trilogy. So it'd have to be before the events of Mass Effect.

But so much of the history of the universe in Mass Effect has already been revieled.... I dunno where a MMO would fit. Maybe right after the First Contact Wars? It'd be very cool to be able to play a Krogan, Turian, Asari, etc. PvP would be very hard to pull off.

All the Council races would never PvP each other... even if they did the First Contact War, it's still only human vs. turian and it only lasted a few battles before the Council stopped it...

But they can't go back in time too far, because humanity has only been spacefaring for 28 years...

So maybe an alternate reality? I dunno... but only real problem I'd see in making a Mass Effect MMO is that it didnt' completely ruin the history/story of the IP

Mon Dec 03 2007 10:03AM Report
ElRenmazuo writes:

People need to get their heads out of their asses and stop saying that just because your a certain faction doesnt mean your always good or bad.  In mass effect the council races are suppose to be allied but why is their so many evil criminals of those races fighting their own kind and faction like SAREN duh duh duh.  Hello it uses an allignment system, so it doesnt realy matter what race you pick because if they used that mechanic its your choice just like in real life.  Although in real life it is recommended to be on the good side :p.

Mon Dec 03 2007 10:27AM Report
BadSpock writes:

yes tkreep, but then everyone would have to be a Spectre.

And they said, that there are only about a hundred Specters.

But, of course, you'd HAVE to be a Spectre to make the MMO aspect of it work, freedom to do what you want and choose Renegade vs. Paragon etc.

Unless, like I said, they through the history/story of the IP out the window in order to "pull it off" as a MMO.

It's BioWare, I'm sure they could find a way that would make it work, but I'd rather see them preserve the IP rather then F it up to make a MMO, like they did with Star Wars Galaxies.

Mon Dec 03 2007 12:05PM Report
BadSpock writes:

*throw* sorry

Mon Dec 03 2007 12:07PM Report
vajuras writes:

I love MMORPGs really. Well, I like them at least.

Now, if they make an MMO set in that world fine but I wonder over the long haul won't it feel like WoW or even worse?

ME is about IMPACT, true role playing. Your decisions have consequences. How will bioware translate this to MMO? I suspect it will be massively INSTANCED.

Classes/Level based is a sure thing perhaps. Now I like that in SP RPGs but mmorpgs have been doing a bad job with that. Too much grinding

I dont ME to bring a bad taste to my mouth.

Anyway I think KOTR is more likely. Startup a blog bout KOTRO and i'll comment why I think it might work if all of us could be jedis (if they planned for that for launch)

ME is awesome just beat it the other day. Had 34 hrs in and now making a Soldier

HEY! I was a lvl 41 Vanguard Male Spaceborn Paragon. My next avatar will be a Soldier Female Renegade Ruthless.

Mon Dec 03 2007 1:21PM Report
MMOPlaya writes:

Thanks again for the replies.

What if :

They designed the MMO to run as a 365 (real Earth) day Campaign cycle to save the Universe (much like the way the RPG played) that resets on the 366th day...think of it as playing the RPG Mass Effect just on a grander scale?  Just thinking out loud here. 

Comments?

Mon Dec 03 2007 3:48PM Report
vajuras writes:

yeah they could do that but of course all my efforts would be reset....

But yeah that would be interesting if we stick with that vein of thought. The reapers could always try to come over from darkspace and if they succeed something bad would happen (like we would have to rise up from slavery and indoctrination). so ya that could work- I just wouldnt use the word 'reset' heh

Mon Dec 03 2007 7:02PM Report
Jamkull writes:

yeah I agree, Mass Effect would be a good idea, I figure it will be that or their next world they are working on with Dragon Age.  But I'm willing to wager both maybe on the possible block for MMOs. 

Fri Dec 07 2007 6:15PM Report
knightmawk writes:

This would be brilliant, I would have much rather seen a Mass Effect MMO then STOR, but alas I don't think it's remotely realistic until Mass Effect 3 has been out for a while, seeing as that will end the series and set the grounds for development in the universe beyond war with the Reapers.

Sat Aug 21 2010 5:14PM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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