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An open letter to Bioware from a Mass Effect fan

An open letter to Bioware from a Mass Effect fan

Mass Effect 3 ripoff

Dear Bioware,

I have been playing Mass Effect 3 and have been greatly enjoying it for some 40 hours so far. I have been a fan of the Mass Effect series since the first game and am greatly looking forward to the conclusion of the story which I believe I am nearing. Before I went any further in the game I wanted to make sure I improved the chances of getting a good ending as best I could. So last night I decided to investigate this “Galactic Readiness” rating which has oddly been stuck at 50% since I started the game. After doing all the side quests I could find it seemed strange that all the forces I’ve gathered and choices I’ve made could only leave me half ready for the final battle. Finding no mention of how to improve my rating in the game I turned to Google to look for the answer. This is when I learned that in order to improve your readiness rating and get a good ending you must play multiplayer.

This is utterly unacceptable—not just because I had no interest in multiplayer but because I have no doubt that the reason this was done was to encourage people to buy Bioware points (with real money) to get upgrades for their character in multiplayer. I’m aware that you’re not required to buy these upgrades and you can still increase your rating for the main game without them but doing so will certainly speed the process along.

What this comes down to is spending money so you can waste less time grinding through something you may not want to play in the first place so you can get a reasonable ending to the game you already paid for. The main game is great and the multiplayer on its own isn’t what I would call bad, but requiring people to play it so that all the choices they’ve made over the course of three games (and a few actual years of their lives) actually mean something in the end is just plain wrong. Consider also what will happen when fewer people are playing multiplayer in the future. How will someone new to the game two years from now increase their rating if most people are no longer playing multiplayer and they can’t find a game being hosted?

Perhaps that isn’t your concern though. What should be your concern, however, is that I am convinced the multiplayer impact on the single player was not done with any intention of improving what is an excellent game on its own. This was done with the intent to exploit your customers for every cent you can get and indirectly punish them (by taking away their time) if they don’t pay up. I have spent about three hours in multiplayer now and have only managed to increase my rating to a mere 67%. This was time spent in a part of the game I have no interest in and I would certainly have finished the main game in the time it will take me to get a 100% rating. Even so you have the audacity to market this as a fun new part of the Mass Effect series. It sickens me to no end that most players will probably never realize this and not just willingly, but gladly, give you money to stop screwing them.

I have loved every Bioware game I’ve played to death, Mass Effect 3 included, but this is a big “fuck you” to all your loyal fans and potential new fans and it is deplorable. You have lost me as a long time customer in favor of making a quick profit off a short term player base. Goodbye.

Canti

Comments

  1. UPSLynx
    UPSLynx 100% agree with you. I don't care for ME3 multiplayer, and I don't want to waste my time with it. In a game like this, I typically wouldn't even touch the MP until I finish the singleplayer, and that isn't even an option for ME3. There's nothing worse than having to put this awesome story on hold to dick around with 3 strangers for a bit fighting waves of clone enemies. What a colossal waste of time.

    I believe it is possible to get the best ending to the game without playing the MP, but you have to grind through every single last mission and side quest. This means burning through all the asinine scan and fetch quests. According to PC Gamer, they finished all the major and important quests, full paragon, and did every side quest available. Some of the scan/fetch quests were still incomplete. Regardless, they still got a mediocre ending because they didn't play the multiplayer. PCG said it best when they describe this setup as "Things that are frankly bullshit."
  2. Snarkasm
    Snarkasm Hey hey hey:

    You can also play one of their two iOS-only games to increase your readiness.

    But yeah, it kind of sucks. I'll say that I actually preferred the finish at only 50% readiness: it was grittier, more realistic. If my troops had just breezed through everything, I think it would have been rather anticlimactic. That said, second run through will be with 100% readiness so I can see what changes. nospoilers
  3. SpencerForHire
    SpencerForHire And to think I was just about to buy in to the Trilogy. Thanks for saving me the money Bioware.
  4. Church4252
    Church4252 It is a complete waste of time and energy. I got my Galactic Readiness around 75% and I got fed up and just finished the game.

    The ending to the game should NOT be dictated by MP. Especially when the first two installments has been solely a single player game. I was never excited for the MP when it was first announced and I am not a fan of it now.
  5. RyanMM
    RyanMM F*** mandatory multiplayer. What a completely lame move.
  6. Rexxar
    Rexxar To be fair to Bioware they are giving you two options both of which I think you all might not agree with still. First of all let us get this straight you DO NOT have to do multiplayer to get the best ending. However, the other path you must take is you have to collect all WAR ASSETS. So yes you have to do some serious OCD if you don't plan on doing multiplayer. “It is possible to get the best ending in single player without playing multiplayer, but it’s twice as hard” (Tom Francis from PC Gamer.

    Secondly based on my opinion I like the multiplayer it is a lot of fun and if anyone of you have not tried it I suggest giving it a chance. Hell play it with some Icrontians (*cough* cough* me) before you criticize it. Bioware took a weird path in this whole "Galactic Readiness" this is true, but in their defense I believe they were just trying to do something new.

    Now on to the aggressive side (which needs to be focused on more) unless you bot the Digital Deluxe part of Mass Effect 3 you did NOT get the DLC and must pay for it. Now that is absolutely ridiculous and Bioware is doing this on purpose to milk more money from their loyal buyers. I will not explain further on what the DLC is because I don’t want to get raged on if people start randomly shouting spoilers. All I can say is it should be in the game because it was made BEFORE Mass Effect 3 was launched and the character involved in the DLC is a big impact in the game! It is fine for companies to make and sell DLC AFTER the game was created but before is completely unacceptable and just plain foul.

    Information I acquired to support my statement.

    http://social.bioware.com/forum/Mass-Effect-3/Mass-Effect-3-General-Discussion-No-ME3-Spoilers-allowed/A-note-about-multiplayer-in-relation-to-the-quotperfect-endingquot-9665384-1.html

    http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/03/06/mass-effect-3-war-assets-and-readiness-how-multiplayer-affects-your-ending/

    http://wolfsgamingblog.com/2012/03/07/mass-effect-3-how-multiplayer-relates-to-getting-the-perfect-ending/
  7. fatcat
    fatcat You can get the supposedly "best ending" by playing a 2nd play through people. There is even a "secret ending" on the 2nd play through. So, NO, you do not need to play MP at all. And each player has a different opinion on what is the best ending. Rainbows and glitter won't happen.

    Now before you start screaming bloody rage....

    Mass Effect 1 required you to play multiple play throughs to achieve the max level of 60, usually doing it on the insanity difficulty level.

    Mass Effect 2 required you to purchase/play DLC's to achieve maximum weapon/armor proficiency (6/6)

    So, this is nothing new in the Mass Effect world.

    Is it right? That is your opinion. There are THOUSANDS of posts on the bioware forums of people bitching about the end of ME3. I feel the story is not over yet, and will come down to DLC's, which I'm sure, more people will complain about also...

    Remember, we all had to originally buy the Orange Box which included HL2:Ep1 which we all already had just to play TF2...


  8. Thrax
    Thrax Though arbitrary, I draw a distinction between some upgrades or levels and the desired conclusion a story I've invested years into.
  9. fatcat
    fatcat It's Bioware's story, they can end it how they want.
  10. Thrax
    Thrax The ending that I want is there. Requiring multiple playthroughs to get it is arbitrary, and in a completely different league from requiring multiple playthroughs to get max level or full armor upgrades.
  11. fatcat
    fatcat
    You can maximize your EMS just by collecting War Assets in the single-player game. There is a certain threshhold of these you would need to exceed (I can't get too specific) but I can tell you there are MORE than the required amount that can be gathered in the single-player campaign.
    Get to it :)
  12. fatcat
    fatcat I know this is off topic, but want to point out.

    Reputation = Paragon and Renegade added. You DO NOT need to be Full Paragon or Full Renegade anymore

    http://blog.bioware.com/2012/03/01/reputation-in-mass-effect-3/
  13. Winfrey
    Winfrey Everyone look at Rexxar's post.

    I am so proud, he used to post non-formatted walls of text with instant messenger speak and random word spellings. Now he's making posts with clear opinions that are well researched and easily read. Plus he's linking to sources!?!?

    They just grow up so fast these days :)
  14. UPSLynx
    UPSLynx Kids these days, knowing how to write? Preposterous.

    The alternative to mandatory multiplayer should NOT be either grinding out hopelessly boring fetch quests that don't progress the story, nor playing through a second time to maximize your potential. Both methods break the seamless storytelling that Mass Effect has created over two titles worth of video gaming. There's no better way to break the illusion of this story than with such asinine means.

    The Multiplayer is bland at best. If I wanted to fight waves of CPU enemies, I'll play Tower Defense (Dungeon Defenders is better at this, anyways). It has no place in the three-part telling of an epic save the universe story.
  15. fatcat
    fatcat OH HAI GUYS ME3 ENDING!!!

    image
  16. Thrax
    Thrax SPOILER: Reapers.
  17. fatcat
    fatcat Lies, we all know it's the Geth...
  18. Thrax
  19. LazarusXero
    LazarusXero This makes me upset... I am one of those people that is always late to the party with games typically because I have limited time to play and I invest my time in games that take a long time to complete. I'm currently playing Skyrim and given my current pace I'll be finished in time for retirement. The same day I finish Skyrim I would have gladly gone to pick up ME3, however reading this, I'll probably reconsider. I don't like being forced to have to play multipler especially when I won't have many people to play with at that time... And while I think there is something to be said about a realistic, gritty ending when not all of the good guys make it through, I would like to have all of the endings at least available on the first run through...

    Just my 2 cents.
  20. fatcat
    fatcat Keepers

    and no more spoilers alright
  21. fatcat
    fatcat
    This makes me upset... I am one of those people that is always late to the party with games typically because I have limited time to play and I invest my time in games that take a long time to complete. I'm currently playing Skyrim and given my current pace I'll be finished in time for retirement. The same day I finish Skyrim I would have gladly gone to pick up ME3, however reading this, I'll probably reconsider. I don't like being forced to have to play multipler especially when I won't have many people to play with at that time... And while I think there is something to be said about a realistic, gritty ending when not all of the good guys make it through, I would like to have all of the endings at least available on the first run through...

    Just my 2 cents.
    well hell, by the time you DO get to ME3 there will be enough DLC's and "OOPS SORRY" patches from Bioware that you won't have to worry about multiplayer

    my 2 canadian cents
  22. _k_
  23. Rexxar
    Rexxar Was about to post that K :P
    Good luck explaining this one Bioware
  24. Snarkasm
    Snarkasm You had to grind something like 11 different loyalty missions (and in the correct order) to get the best ending in ME2. Why is grinding some planets or MP any different?

    So much unnecessary rage.
  25. MiracleManS
    MiracleManS
    You had to grind something like 11 different loyalty missions (and in the correct order) to get the best ending in ME2. Why is grinding some planets or MP any different?

    So much unnecessary rage.
    Those were pretty awesome and built story onto the characters. I can't help but feel like the only way to get the best ending at this point is to do the equivalent of the Planet Sweeps over and over again.
  26. Thrax
    Thrax But there is only a finite number of planet sweeps. Once you 100% each system, you're done.
  27. UPSLynx
    UPSLynx My argument is that while MP is unquestionably worse, both methods totally suck and waste my time. Bioware is holding the story hostage by means of frivolous time-wasting grinding.
  28. Rexxar
    Rexxar Lynx the multiplayer is not really that bad. Sure you can say that as your opinion but a lot of people like it. At least they are giving you more than 1 option to try and get the best ending. True it is hard but they are not going to give it out freely and honestly I don’t want them to. Games need to actually make gamers put a lot of effort into their storyline so a person who worked through it all can say I put a lot of effort into this and I was rewarded for it. I mean come on grinding has been going on in gaming for years now! As Fatcat said “Get to it :)” or just get owned by the Reapers.
  29. PirateNinja
    PirateNinja It's about the journey, not the destination. Otherwise I would watch the game endings on YouTube and never buy it. I'm not arguing though, everyone feels the way they feel and that's all there is to it.
  30. Snarkasm
    Snarkasm The ending feels more right if you don't have 100% galactic readiness anyway. The final push SHOULD be tough.
  31. Thrax
    Thrax
    Games need to actually make gamers put a lot of effort into their storyline
    Multiplayer is not storyline.
  32. Rexxar
    Rexxar True but that is not what I was talking about. The war assets is what I was explaining.
  33. Canti
    Canti This isn't about how much fun the multiplayer is or isn't. This is about the fact that it is set up in such a way that encourages people to play it to change the outcome of the game in one way or another. Of all the possible things I can think of for their reasoning behind this decision it all comes back to trying to get players to give them more money through the multiplayer store and not to make the game better. I can promise you that they will make more money with this setup than they would had they decided to make single player completely independent of multiplayer. It's a deceitful tactic that is designed to make people think it's their idea to pay for in-game items when really the idea has been put there through suggestive influence and they are hoping that subliminal knowledge of the implications of not buying them will get people to pay. This might be a stretch but it's like these fake trial antivirus programs that show the user a false list of infections and then show a link to a website where they can buy the program to fix them. It's something I expect from a con artist not a game developer.

    The difference between requiring multiplayer or doing more fetch quests and planet scanning is that multiplayer does absolutely nothing to expand or advance the story or lore of the universe they've created in the series. Every planet you can scan has a bit of information and history about it and the fetch quests (however tedious they may be) tells a little more about the backstory. Multiplayer is simply run around and kill all the bad guys until they're dead. I can do that already in the main game AND progress the story at the same time.
  34. Koreish
    Koreish How much of this do we blame on Bioware and how much of this do we blame on EA? EA has a history of trying to milk as much money out of there products as they can. (See SIMS)

    But Bioware for three games now, 3.5 if you want to include DLC for ME2, of practically forcing us to purchase additional content; or at the very least strongly promoting it DA:O. Could EA have influenced this or is Bioware actively doing it?
  35. _k_
    _k_ Chrono Cross
  36. pigflipper
    pigflipper I finally have money to buy the game, however, seeing so many complaints, not just here but on other sites as well, I will wait until Bioware "fixes" some of these issues.

    Thanks Bioware, for saving me some money that will be better spent on other things at this time.
  37. fatcat
    fatcat http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/324/index/10089946

    Casey Hudson speaks. pretty spoiler free and doesn't really say anything we didn't know'

    DLC DLC DLC
  38. Preacher
    Preacher
    Everyone look at Rexxar's post.

    I am so proud...
    I am so proud of Winfrey's proudness of Rexxar's burgeoning mastery of discourse and debate. Mrs. Preacher deserves all the credit. Icrontian kids grow up so fast...
  39. Canti
  40. fatcat
    fatcat 4000 EMS + 100% Reputation gets you rainbows and glitter ending. No MP needed.

    <100% Reputation you will need 5000 EMS, which will require MP.

    You will *MOST LIKELY* need to import from ME2 to get 100% Reputation.

    anyways, DO NOT NEED MP for rainbows and glitter. article, false.
  41. Canti
    Canti If your argument is that multiplayer is not needed for rainbows and glitter the reason for that is there is no rainbow and glitter ending. I've learned since writing this that the ending is less dependent on multiplayer than I originally thought (and that's a whole different shitstorm altogether). That doesn't change my argument that the ending should not be affected in any way by what you do in multiplayer which it is. It does have an impact on single player even if it's small and it is all done to try to set up way to get continuous income from players after the initial purchase which is garbage for a game like this. More proof of this is the fact that your readiness rating goes down every day that you don't play it thus encouraging people to continue playing it indefinitely to keep their rating up.

    That kind of business model is better suited for MMOs which rely on a monthly fee and should not be carried over to stand alone single player games. Going along with this gives them reason to see how far they can push it and I wouldn't be surprised to see it eventually lead to subscription fees to play a single player game. If you do that you are likely to get half finished games which are released for full price that charge a monthly fee plus micro-transactions for in game items and DLC.

    This has the potential to lead to a day where developers aren't selling games, they're selling programs designed to form an addiction in customers who then grind money for them and call it a game. This exact thing is already a possibility with Diablo 3's upcoming real money auction house. While it looks like Blizzard is setting it up in a way that prevents them from abusing the system (for now) there are people who will want to exploit it and systems like it. Mass Effect 3's multiplayer is just another early form of this eventual outcome.

    Or maybe I'm just going insane.
  42. fatcat
    fatcat
    Or maybe I'm just going insane.
    Indoctrination
  43. UPSLynx
    UPSLynx Are you sure that's EMS and not Total? I have done ever single mission and side quest in the game, and I'm very close to the end. I'm sitting at 3773 EMS, but over 6000 total. I've managed 57% readiness at the moment.
  44. Thrax
    Thrax It's EMS. 4k for the best.
  45. UPSLynx
    UPSLynx I don't get it. I've done everything in the game and I couldn't achieve 4000. Multiplayer only effects the readiness percentage, right? The MP doesn't boost the EMS.
  46. Thrax
    Thrax Your EMS equals your total, divided by your readiness score. If you play a shitload of online play, your readiness will eventually hit 100%, bringing your EMS up to equal your total (6k).
  47. fatcat
    fatcat
    I don't get it. I've done everything in the game and I couldn't achieve 4000. Multiplayer only effects the readiness percentage, right? The MP doesn't boost the EMS.
    Military Strength is ALSO effected by decisions made in ME1 and ME2

    For Example: Did you let the council die in ME1? If you did, your Alliance Military Strength would be higher in ME3
  48. UPSLynx
    UPSLynx Yeah, I just figured that out after my post.

    So then it is impossible to the the sparkle rainbow ending without MP. You can't push your EMS up high enough with an imported character, full reputation and all quests in SP complete.

    This is dumb. I'm at the end of the game, but I'm going to re-load so I can ensure the sparkle rainbow ending.
  49. fatcat
    fatcat Or you could replay ME1 and ME2 the PROPER way and never play any MP :P

    80 hours vs 2 hours of MP for 10% Readiness, your choice.

    I spent 5 hours playing MP and got my readiness to ~80%. I also enjoyed those 5 hours

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