Mass Effect Andromeda Will Have Witcher-Like Meaningful Side Quests

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Mass Effect Andromeda Will Have Witcher-Like Meaningful Side Quests

mass-effect-andromeda-ces-2017-9

Bioware says it has learned a lot from Dragon Age: Inquisition's lackluster side quests.

Lackluster side quests in RPGs have always been a problem. Often included simply as "padding," to the main story, most of the time they are boring, tedious fetch quests. Bioware has acknowledged that Dragon Age: Inquisition suffered from this problem, and is determined to not make the same mistake with Mass Effect: Andromeda.

"We are approaching the completionist aspect very differently, because we've done and learned a lot from Inquisition," Andromeda's producer Fabrice Condominas told PC Gamer. "But we've also observed what other games have been doing, like The Witcher."

The Witcher 3 was particularly praised for having awesome sidequests - some of which were actually more entertaining than the main story quest - and the fact that almost none of them felt like they existed purely as padding.

Condominas added that bigger isn't always better - sidequests must simply be "meaningful" in order to be impactful.

Either way it looks like Andromeda is going to be bigger and better than any prior Mass Effect game.

Source: PC Gamer

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Yeah.. and Mass Effect 3 has 16 meaningful, different endings right?

It is LOOKING good but that's the thing isn't it? It always looks good. I'll keep an eye on trustworthy reviews because my faith on Bioware is pretty much zero after that disaster.

I just want to grab an EA and rep and shake them until they put out the MP beta, or at least some gameplay footage. My interest is hinged on it, and still nothing!

Hey, I'm willing to play Witcher 3 IN SPACE!

Now all EA has to do is actually make that game. It would be nice if ME:A turns out to be that game, but I'm not going to hold my breath waiting.

Well side quests had nowhere to go but "more meaningful". We all remember side quests is ME3
http://www.awkwardzombie.com/index.php?comic=042312

I'm buying some kind of game in March, but the series killed the hype with the ending. Waiting for reviews so it's going to be competing with stuff like the latest Ubisoft Game... and my last bought game was a horde shooter so there goes the MP consideration

Well at least they're honest about which game they want to imitate. But tell us bioware. Will you be gating these oh so meaningful and impactful side quests behind paywalls again?

You know what doesn't give me confidence? That they had to fail in the first place to realise DAI was dogshit. Anyone with the barest idea of quality content would have realised 1/10th way through making Inquisition that the side quest were pure garbage.

Yet, they did it, and the they were surprised that it was an issue, as if they didn't notice it was awful while making it. If their designers are that bad, what's the assurance that they don't fuck it again? If they are as oblivious as they seem, then they could only superficially imitate quality content, since they lack the ability to discern what makes them good to begin with.

The fact that they are "observing" Witcher to see what to do is also a worrying sign. See, Witcher's great, sidequests are great, everything is great. But the sidequests themselves are not structured any differently than sidequests in other quality rpgs, and older crpgs like BG2 even. They are however, consistently well thought out, character driven, well written with some (moral) complexity and have good production values. They are literally just the logical conclusion of how a good sidequest would be in a AAA rpg. There's nothing special to them mechanically.

Yet, Bioware, in their infinite greatness, managed to completely loose sight of how to do sidequests that aren't taciturn garbage meant to add 50 hours of bloat to an already mediocre game. They don't feel like people making something good, much less artists trying to create something special. Instead, they are like robots who are trying to distill a formula for mass market consumption, completely alien to proactive, quality game design and only reactive to criticism to refine what they have. And as a result they have horrible whiplash when they overcompensate for criticism, because again, they seem to have no semblance of what was wrong with what they made themselves, but they do hear criticism, so whatever, change it, now it must be perfect.

I've never played any of the Witcher games, but from what I've heard at read, that is a high bar to hit, BioWare. And I can't help but feel that the only games that came close to it (from the ones I've played that you made) are Dragon Age: Origins and Knights of the Old Republic. And those games are from years ago, under different people.

I'm not saying you can't pull it off. I'd be thrilled if you did. But even for all the love I had for the first three Mass Effect games, their side quests were never good (not counting Loyalty missions, because those weren't side quests in my opinion), so to say I'm skeptical would be an understatement.

Steven Bogos:
Either way it looks like Andromeda is going to be bigger and better than any prior Mass Effect game.

C'mon, man, you're a better writer than that... That reads like a paid-for preview or PR. Unjustified, empty hype is the last thing this industry or medium needs more of.

As for BioWare's musings: skepticism and patience FTW. I want to wait and see, post release, whether ME:A's filled with 'content' or content. 'Trust no one' - or at least trust no one blithering on about their own game, especially before the thing's even out. At the moment ME:A's main lead male character and the bland Big Bad seem incalculably boring, so I need to know whether the writing, character narrative, and world building's going to hold up.

I mean... on the one hand, they should be good to START with but on the other if you're gonna copy one of the other kids in class you might as well copy from the smartest. Now I'm looking forward to Werewolves and Card Games in space.

Darth Rosenberg:

As for BioWare's musings: skepticism and patience FTW. I want to wait and see, post release, whether ME:A's filled with 'content' or content. 'Trust no one' - or at least trust no one blithering on about their own game, especially before the thing's even out. At the moment ME:A's main lead male character and the bland Big Bad seem incalculably boring, so I need to know whether the writing, character narrative, and world building's going to hold up.

O.o is the male lead worse than the female lead? I thought they were carbon copies. Also, who's the big bad? I've seen like... NOTHING on who the antagonist is short of being a native species to Andromeda.

Really hope the Big Bad is the leader of one of the other Arcs who got here before us and poisoned the Andromeda races against the Humans. I'd love it if the final stage is you storming the Turian Arc after rallying the new races behind you and taking out some veterans of the Human/Turian war who still have a chip on their shoulder, even in a galaxy far far away.

And that's coming from a company that blatantly lied about their last Mass Effect game. Can anyone explain to me why I'm skeptical? I can't quite tell.

CaptainMarvelous:
O.o is the male lead worse than the female lead? I thought they were carbon copies.

It doesn't seem they're doing 'same character, different gender' exactly as in ME or DA, but I'm not sure how much will differ. Bar a scene or two I've only seen the impressively bland male lead, hence my criticism. A different voice actor can make a world of difference.

Also, who's the big bad? I've seen like... NOTHING on who the antagonist is short of being a native species to Andromeda.

Well, that's the thing; we've seen nothing except 'big shouty blowhard' cosplaying as a 'menacing' antagonist. That doesn't exactly bode well for a compelling threat. Or character. Or anything. Ditto for what seem to be the geth/Collectors cannon fodder replacement race.

With EA leading the show here? hah! Even if it ends up falling in some sort of gray area between good and evil its most probably still going to be toothless because you don't want to scare them consumers away.

But then again Garden Warfare 2 and Titanfall 2 surprised me with how little EA bullshittery they have in them, so maybe this will too.

I've made a comment about this before, but honestly the scale of this game leaves me throughly unhyped.

I'm a proud human all the way. My default race for any game a play. Yay homo sapiens and all... But we're going from literal galactic level destruction and extinguishing of life to "I hope we can settle into this neighborhood".

*reads all of the comments*

So, Bioware... you're really gonna have to knock it out of the park with this one.

Me? I loved the multiplayer for ME3 so much that I'm basically down for this game if it means I get more of that. Gameplay-wise, Mass Effect 3 was solid - it's just a shame that the campaign and story that were structured around it sucked.

Dalisclock:
Hey, I'm willing to play Witcher 3 IN SPACE!

Remember what EA and Bioware said about the end of Mass Effect 3? Remember how it wouldn't boil down to a simple choice of good, bad and neutral?

The Witcher 3 is a mighty lofty goal to aim for. I'll believe that Bioware can do it when I see them do it, not when a Bioware talking head name checks a particularly excellent game.

Looking at the screenshots, it's nice to see that Bioware Face is still present and correct in all it's goofy cross eyed glory. At least one thing will be consistent between old and new Mass Effect.

I dunno if W3 is really such a high bar, people seems to forget but 50%+ of W3 side quest were just finding a letter that said there was some sunken treasure or something and then just going to the yellow area and that was it. It did have a bunch of quest with little story, but those were also in ME2, they were called loyalty mission and ME3 also had plenty of side quest on the side, like griffon academy and such. The hunt quest in W3 were insanely repetitive and followed the same pattern over and over.

...as opposed to the meaningful sidequests from their own series, like Dragon Age: Origins or Mass Effect 2? Fuckin', come on guys, you actually had some good ones in your older games, you don't have to look at a completely different series to realize where you've gone wrong, jesus christ.

Just...not making it knock-off korean mmo tier bullshit would suffice, guys.

No need to shoot for the moon here.

But I am enjoying how Bioware, the once darlings of the RPG genre, are now relegated to stealing stuff from a clearly superior dev.

...ok, equal parts enjoyment and depression.

Condominas...hehe.

Remember when the Witcher came out? Bioware was back then the uncontested kings of story in RPGs. Fast forward 10 years and how things have changed. Where are the guys who did Jade Empire?

Alma Mare:
Remember when the Witcher came out? Bioware was back then the uncontested kings of story in RPGs. Fast forward 10 years and how things have changed. Where are the guys who did Jade Empire?

They're gone. Those people work at other studios, are now indie developers or in the case of the old OLD guard, retired.

The Bioware everyone used to love? They're not there anymore. Now it's an EA machine. And I bought DA: I.

But let's be real- those days are over. Those days of meaningful gameplay and character development have given way to skinner-box grinding and checkbox spread-sheeting gameplay. And that's not a Mass Effect I want. Keep that shit to fantasy games- I want to explore the universe and sex any alien I want. Yes even the ones with no tentacles OR GENDER!

I rather hope not. I found that game tedious as hell.

fix-the-spade:

Remember what EA and Bioware said about the end of Mass Effect 3? Remember how it wouldn't boil down to a simple choice of good, bad and neutral?

And it didn't.

certainly good news. as long it is as it they say. i know i wont be getting it on day one and see what reviews have to say. but if they really do the witcher style of side quests, i will snatch it right away.

Easier said than done, but I'm glad to hear they're acknowledging that. Dragon Age Inquisition was decent game, but it got really boring in the second half. More fleshed out quests would help to alleviate that.

Meiam:
I dunno if W3 is really such a high bar, people seems to forget but 50%+ of W3 side quest were just finding a letter that said there was some sunken treasure or something and then just going to the yellow area and that was it. It did have a bunch of quest with little story, but those were also in ME2, they were called loyalty mission and ME3 also had plenty of side quest on the side, like griffon academy and such. The hunt quest in W3 were insanely repetitive and followed the same pattern over and over.

Numerically maybe. The point why so many people love Witcher 3's quests is that that wasn't what you were doing most of the time. Those repetitive quests you talk about take about 5 - 10 Minutes MAX to complete, some don't even take longer than 1 - 2 minutes. I was able to clean up nearly all of the question marks in the Witcher 3 by just doing them as I was on my way to my next bigger quest. They were less of a slew of boring content and more something to keep me interested while I was on the journey to other quests. What you DO spent most of your time doing in Witcher 3 was going through these fantastic quests with imaginative stories and interesting characters. That's why people love the Witcher 3 sidequests. Not because there wasn't any filler content in there, but because the filler content that was there was unintrusive and was heavily overshadowed by the fantastic non-filler content.

As far as I'm concerned that's really good news. It's still to be awaited how well they'll pull it off though.

Honestly, from the trailer, the "scanning" thing the main character was doing reminded me instantly off Geralt's witcher sense, so I'm not surprised to hear them say that officially.

I do hope that it's more than just that though. The witcher senses itself were rather tedious in TW3, it's the characters around the quests that make them interesting.

The thing I took away from this report is that *BioWare* are aspiring to have their game be like The Witcher 3. That is that BioWare are not creating something new but borrowing from others.

I already saw the "investigations" in the trailer, which is straight out of Batman/Witcher. It looks more and more like ME:A is a mish-mash of many things that work in other AAA games, most likely heavily focus-tested. Ubisoft sandbox/stronghold elements, Witcher investigations/sidequests, generic 3rd person shooter combat. *sigh*. I just want a space opera RPG :(

KingsGambit:
The thing I took away from this report is that *BioWare* are aspiring to have their game be like The Witcher 3. That is that BioWare are not creating something new but borrowing from others.

I already saw the "investigations" in the trailer, which is straight out of Batman/Witcher. It looks more and more like ME:A is a mish-mash of many things that work in other AAA games, most likely heavily focus-tested. Ubisoft sandbox/stronghold elements, Witcher investigations/sidequests, generic 3rd person shooter combat. *sigh*. I just want a space opera RPG :(

How is that surprising though? Every time BioWare tries something new people seem to hate it.

Can't blame them too much for just catering to the safe audience.

Nimcha:
And it didn't.

Oh I'm sorry I forgot that in Bioware land moral choices are called Blue, Red and Green.

Silly me.

fix-the-spade:

Nimcha:
And it didn't.

Oh I'm sorry I forgot that in Bioware land moral choices are called Blue, Red and Green.

Silly me.

None of the final choices corresponded with good evil or neutral.

Nimcha:

fix-the-spade:

Nimcha:
And it didn't.

Oh I'm sorry I forgot that in Bioware land moral choices are called Blue, Red and Green.

Silly me.

None of the final choices corresponded with good evil or neutral.

That's your argument? Semantics? If you're going to defend the game, atleast do so with an actual point. What, so instead of morality, it's different RGB values. Big whoop. Next you'll tell me the endings are each so incredibly different because of a few seconds of difference in cutscenes and the (DLC) epilogue jpegs have extra shit put on them in Photoshop. Oh, and Lance Henriksen has a few extra lines. Please.

Way to not tackle the core of the issue that was raised.

When talking about CDPR vs. Bioware, remember that Bioware has been making great story-driven games for longer than CDPR has even existed. The Witcher is a high bar to aim for, but then again, what Bioware needed was to realize that their most recent games aren't nearly as good as their classics, like the original Mass Effect, DA: Origins, Balder's Gate, and so on.

Having someone beat them at their own game could serve as a wake-up call. Maybe they truly have learned a lesson from their previous games and their imitator's better attempts at great, story-driven games.

Or maybe EA will do their usual thing and muck it up. Inquisition played like a corporate checklist; maybe this game will be different. Hopefully it will be different.

We've only got a few weeks to wait and see.

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