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:
- 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.
- Not a single gnome, elf or sword anywhere to be found. Pure Sci-Fi.
- 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.
- Many warring factions and races that could all easily be made into the game as the basis for new characters. Almost unlimited potential here.
- 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.
- 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?