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Old March 23 2013, 09:12 PM   #2041
ATimson
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Reverend wrote: View Post
Wasn't the 'Pinnacle Station' DLC farmed out to some other other studio on the cheap?
Demiurge Studios (previously responsible for doing the ME1 PC port).

Then again, the ME3 DLC could be considered "farmed out" as well, as it (along with "Arrival" for ME2) was developed by the Montreal studio instead of the "core" Bioware studio in Edmonton.

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P.S. Anyone ever had trouble with DLC content disappearing?
Not that I've noticed.
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Old March 23 2013, 09:48 PM   #2042
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Demiurge Studios (previously responsible for doing the ME1 PC port).
Ah, that would explain it. If memory serves that not a proper game studio. Any by "not proper" I mean they don't develop games so much as do sub-contract type work on other studio's games. Actually, didn't I see their name amidst the 20 or so other logos in front of the recent gaming train-wreck otherwise known as 'Aliens:Colonial Marines'?

Not that I'm blaming them or anything, but outside of the ME1 PC port, has anyone heard of them doing *anything* good on their own? I think I've seen their logo amidst a bunch of low-end games that came with the THQ bundle I got in a Steam a few years back. 'Titan's Quest' I think? It wasn't awful as I recall, but it wasn't exactly good either. Pretty sure I uninstalled it after just a few days.

Then again, the ME3 DLC could be considered "farmed out" as well, as it (along with "Arrival" for ME2) was developed by the Montreal studio instead of the "core" Bioware studio in Edmonton.
I wouldn't really class that as farming out since it's still technically Bioware. Plus it looks like they were working more or less in parallel while the main game was being developed, so there had to be a fair amount of back-and-forth.
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Old March 23 2013, 10:06 PM   #2043
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Reverend wrote: View Post
Ah, that would explain it. If memory serves that not a proper game studio. Any by "not proper" I mean they don't develop games so much as do sub-contract type work on other studio's games.
Until recently, that was the case. They released their first original title in 2012.

Reverend wrote: View Post
Actually, didn't I see their name amidst the 20 or so other logos in front of the recent gaming train-wreck otherwise known as 'Aliens:Colonial Marines'?
I thought they were just doing the (now cancelled) Wii U port; it's possible the logo was included in all of the versions, though.

I wouldn't really class that as farming out since it's still technically Bioware.
I'd be more willing to go along with that had EA not slapped the Bioware name on a dozen different studios.
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Old March 23 2013, 10:34 PM   #2044
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Re: Mass Effect 3

ATimson wrote: View Post
Reverend wrote: View Post
Ah, that would explain it. If memory serves that not a proper game studio. Any by "not proper" I mean they don't develop games so much as do sub-contract type work on other studio's games.
Until recently, that was the case. They released their first original title in 2012.
Is it any good?

I wouldn't really class that as farming out since it's still technically Bioware.
I'd be more willing to go along with that had EA not slapped the Bioware name on a dozen different studios.
Is that what they did? I guess I'd just assumed those satellite companies were already in-place before the EA merger, or buyout, or whatever that was. Still, leaving aside Omega's storytelling issues and weirdly buggy cutscenes, the overall quality of their output seems to have been pretty good.
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Old March 23 2013, 11:53 PM   #2045
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Reverend wrote: View Post
I wouldn't really class that as farming out since it's still technically Bioware.
I'd be more willing to go along with that had EA not slapped the Bioware name on a dozen different studios.
Is that what they did? I guess I'd just assumed those satellite companies were already in-place before the EA merger, or buyout, or whatever that was.
Until EA purchased the company, there was just BioWare's main studio in Edmonton and their studio in Austin, which was devoted solely to developing TOR.
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Old March 24 2013, 12:13 AM   #2046
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Reverend wrote: View Post
ATimson wrote: View Post
Until recently, that was the case. They released their first original title in 2012.
Is it any good?
I haven't played it, so I can't give a personal opinion; it's called Shoot Many Robots. Skimming the reviews on Metacritic, it looks like opinion generally runs 3-4 stars out of 5. Not outstanding, not terrible.

Reverend wrote: View Post
Is that what they did? I guess I'd just assumed those satellite companies were already in-place before the EA merger, or buyout, or whatever that was.
They were in place - as EA studios.
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Old March 26 2013, 08:04 PM   #2047
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Reverend wrote: View Post
I wouldn't really class that as farming out since it's still technically Bioware. Plus it looks like they were working more or less in parallel while the main game was being developed, so there had to be a fair amount of back-and-forth.
Not for the Arrival's case since that DLC was made well after Mass Effect 2 was done and after certain elements of Mass Effect 3 came to light. A pity that BioWare changed their minds about how the Arrival was going to figure into Mass Effect 3, since the DLC and the developers stated there was going to be an official hearing on the DLC's events and a trial to serve as the game's opening.
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Old March 26 2013, 09:53 PM   #2048
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Re: Mass Effect 3

^ Still a bummer we didn't get that. I would have loved to see Shepard have witnesses testify against him/her, with old friends there too, then like Jack Bauer in the beginning of season 7 of 24, events arise to end that and bring us into the game.
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Old March 26 2013, 10:13 PM   #2049
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Re: Mass Effect 3

They probably dropped the trial idea because it wasn't too "new player friendly," but I'd think a trial scene could have been easily designed to bring new players up to speed. But I also think they wanted the opening to be fast-paced and dramatic, which it was, but at the expense of any sort of logic.
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Old March 26 2013, 10:34 PM   #2050
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Really? I find it quite logical that Shepard would end up stuck in political limbo, just not the intro I was hoping for. It's not a bad intro and it gets to the point quickly.
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Old March 27 2013, 12:54 AM   #2051
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Yeah, I wish they'd kept the idea of having to go through Shepard's hearing before all hell broke loose. As someone who played though all three it's hard to judge how a new player would feel, but I always thought ME3's was the worse of the three. Indeed I think they got progressively bad at it.

In ME1 you make your character, then you get a brief conversation that gives you the required exposition dump and a quick hands-on lesson in the dialogue wheel. Then you get to explore CIC, interact with a few different characters (each with more background info) before getting on with the plot and get dumped into a gently paced combat mission.

In ME2, you make/import your character, get a quick conversation that tell you very little beyond what you already know (crap is blowing up) a very slow walk though the wreck of a ship that a new player has no attachment to. A very brief exchange with a character you're supposed to be close to but are given no reason to care about, followed by a cutscene and a long arse title sequence were you *finally* get to customize your character. The combat tutorial mission that follows is just downright bizarre. It throws a lot of info at you without much context and even teaches you some gameplay mechanics (running through fire/using lifts) that are *never* seen again in the main game!

In ME3 it's just a few awkward exchanges and you're immediately given a pistol and dropped into combat with a squadmate. It also breaks the Bioware tradition of killing off the first squadmate 5 minutes after you meet them, which is just bad luck if you ask me.
Also, the introduction of Vega feels really odd. When you first see him you get the impression that he and Shep already know each other well enough to be on a first name basis...then as soon as you're on the Normandy it's as if they only just met.

It would have flowed so much better if you start off with the trial, getting the back story of how you turned youself in, the Normandy being impounded etc, then get some time in your quarters, (walking around, reading emails, talking to Vega?) After which (perhaps after a time jump?) you get called back in unexpectedly and things pretty much proceed as they ended up.

Hell just a little "previously on Mass Effect" type cutscene/montage based on your imported save would have been nice.
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Old March 27 2013, 12:57 PM   #2052
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Re: Mass Effect 3

A lot's made of the ending to ME3, but for any complaints leveled against it, the beginning is just as bad. A great missed opportunity IMO. I played Arrival shortly before ME3 came out and fully expected to have to account for my actions - start ME3, a couple of lines of dialogue. Done. WTF?! That aside, the opening mission was still pretty poor. ME2's opening mission was much the same, but considering that this covered the arrival of the Reapers, I'd have hoped for much more. Instead you got an on-rails controls tutorial that you could just as easily gotten from an instruction booklet.
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Old March 27 2013, 01:40 PM   #2053
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Re: Mass Effect 3

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A lot's made of the ending to ME3, but for any complaints leveled against it, the beginning is just as bad.
Wholeheartedly agree on that one. Even the elements that are there are so out of touch with what has come before it.

Why is Shepard being brought in to discuss how to fight against the Reapers? Didn't Joker and Admiral Hackett fight and successfully destroy Sovereign in Mass Effect 1? All Shepard did was fight an indoctrinated Saren. Anderson even states that Shepard "spoke" with one of the Reapers, as if that alone is a qualifying thing to become an expert on them.

And what is up with the dialogue?

Alliance person: How do we fight them?
Shepard: This isn't about strategy or tactics. This is about survival.
*later*
Alliance Person: What can we do?
Shepard: Only thing we can do. We fight or we die.

I realize that we must make Shepard act like a total bada** in his/her commitment to fighting the Reapers, but her lines do not compliment each other. In order to fight something with a sensible goal of success, you NEED strategy and tactics. Maybe if the game took a different approach like having Shepard say that they should be abandoning Earth that very moment, it would have fit. But since the box art proudly declares that we "TAKE BACK EARTH!", we've got to have dialogue like this.

Anderson: We need the help from the Council.
Shepard: The Council? The fight is here!
Anderson: It will be everywhere soon enough. You told me that.

If only Shepard's alien friends or even love interests could hear Shepard say that. Yep, Shepard knows the Reapers want to destroy all life in the galaxy, but after everything Shepard has done, whether being pro-unity or pro-humanity, Shepard must be told to bring the galaxy together rather than stay and fight the Reapers on Earth. That is the worst kind of exposition you could ever write. Telling characters what they already know while pretending they don't know it. I don't mind if this was done for new players, but for characters who started in the beginning with ME1, this is forced story telling.

And I'm sorry, but when it comes to the Mass Effect universe, I don't give a crap about Earth.
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Old March 27 2013, 02:45 PM   #2054
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Re: Mass Effect 3

Couple all this with the fact that if you happen to be a FemShep, you're a totally different-looking person at the start of ME3 than you were at the end of ME2.
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Old March 27 2013, 02:48 PM   #2055
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Re: Mass Effect 3

I get the impression that the beginning and ending were among the last things they nailed down. I remember seeing footage of the beginning just before the demo was released and it was buggy as all hell. The radio chatter dialogue randomly alternating between the Ash & Kaiden version, background NPCs lodged in windows, low-res placeholder textures, unfinished animation, the works. The Turian moon mission was a bit ropey in places too, most notably a few glitchy floating rocks, a backwards flying frigate and Vega's comedic reaction to the brute.

London just felt awfully rushed and recorded dialogue hidden in the game files indicates they'd planned a much more complex and substantial mission along similar lines as the suicide mission. And of course the ending itself was just incomplete as originally delivered. The fact that the single extra scene you get with your squad-mates is something originally cut from the game very late on is very telling.

On the other hand the Tuchanka and Rannoch missions were *very* well done and some of the on-ship exchanges clearly got a lot of polish and attention. All this points to an 11th hour schedule crunch IMO.

Just to be clear, these are just an observation, not complaints. If I *had* to choose between that talk with Liara about her time capsule project or a better London mission...it's Liara. Not contest.

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Couple all this with the fact that if you happen to be a FemShep, you're a totally different-looking person at the start of ME3 than you were at the end of ME2.
That was a very strange thing for them to get wrong at launch. You'd think it would have showed up very early in QTs. They did patch it within a few weeks though, so that's something.

For me, after the import issues with DAO>DAII I was paranoid enough that I made a point of noting down the details of my various Sheps including the facecodes, so it was an easy fix.
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