Mass Effect 4: When? What? Where? Why? How? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 10-19-2013, 02:10 PM - Thread Starter
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BioWare Says ‘Mass Effect 4′ Will Have No Ties To Original Trilogy. So I have copied the following from an article on "Geeks of Doom" and Xbox 360 Achievements.org to kick off this topic. With specific reference to the last sentence...chime in on where you want this iconic franchise to go. I'll reserve most of my opinion for later. But I'll start with this. Don't call it Mass Effect 4 Bioware. Make the new series clearly about the Mass Effect Universe. But in parallel to the timeline and events of Mass Effect Trilogy. Enough stuff was going on in that story...from so many different directions...that the "Shepard" outcome could have been yanked into any number of completely different directions. Such a story approach could setup a final trilogy...After 4-6...very well. Shepard should be no more than announcements on the video terminals IMO. And not very often. Plus, Bioware left themselves an excellent backdoor to Shepard anyway, if needed, with events of ME2 and the mystery around the life and death (?)of Clone Shep. Those kind of scenarios could very well play out, in present or future tense, in later episodes on ME5-9.

"We’ve known for a long while now that Mass Effect 3 was to end the Commander Shepard storyline, and that Mass Effect 4, whenever it might actually arrive, would start something new. This is understandable; three games with the same main character is enough and they want to move on to fresh new things.

But now comes word that the next game, which will likely start another trilogy story arc, will not only not have Commander Shepard, but that it will likely not have anything to do with any of Shepard’s companions or the events of the original trilogy at all.

Continue reading to see what Mass Effect lead writer Mac Walters had to say about the future of the series.

“Well, I can’t get into details, but the idea is that we have agreed to tell a story that doesn’t relate necessarily to any of the Shepard events at all, whatsoever.

Beyond that, that’s what we’ve been deciding for awhile. But throughout it all, one of the key things is that it has to be Mass Effect. It can’t just feel like a spin-off. It has to feel like a Mass Effect game at its heart, at its core. Just without the Shepard character or the Shepard specific companions.”

One of the options on the table when it comes to Mass Effect 4, it’s been assumed, is to set the story in a completely different time. The first game is set in the year 2183, so they could go either way, before or after, to begin a new story.

The negative to this is that you lose that precious continuity. Not playing as Shepard is one thing, but removing familiar faces and locations could make it a little more difficult to warm up to. The events and people surrounding Shepard were so significant that it’s hard to imagine anything set after those games wouldn’t at least reference back to those times once or twice. Then there’s the prequel option, but that’s never quite as appealing when you know the history and what’s to come.

When and where do you wish to see Mass Effect 4 set? Would you rather it be in a completely different time than the original trilogy with little to no traces of Shepard and the characters and events associated with him/her, or would you prefer a story set in and around that same time, which would open up the opportunity for occasional interactions with old friends?"
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post #2 of 16 Old 10-19-2013, 02:34 PM
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I have not read your post yet, just the first few lines. I'll get to it later.

What I want is new talent for the protagonist voices.

I don't recall how bad it was in the previous games, but I don't remember it being something I even noticed until ME3. The animation sucks in many areas.

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post #3 of 16 Old 10-21-2013, 11:23 PM
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I'd like to see the game set perhaps 100 years after Mass Effect 3, such that the events of the first trilogy are a part of the lore. Not recent, but not ancient events either. I don't feel any need for characters to return. I think starting fresh in the same universe is the right idea.
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post #4 of 16 Old 10-22-2013, 12:33 AM
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I'd like to see a game where you could choose between a few races for your protagonist, and have the games story and outcome change dynamically based on your race + choices. For example, I'd love to play an Asari. But you could have Human, Asari, and Krogan, and perhaps Rachni? to choose from. I'd love to walk around the Citadel as a Rachni as well - lol.

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post #5 of 16 Old 10-22-2013, 07:31 AM - Thread Starter
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I don't think they can bring the Citadel back in the next one. Because we all know, it has become Shepard. Or certainly the place he haunts.
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post #6 of 16 Old 10-22-2013, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by barrelbelly View Post

I don't think they can bring the Citadel back in the next one. Because we all know, it has become Shepard. Or certainly the place he haunts.

Oh right... Well they're going to need some incarnation of a space hub I suppose if the races are going to have any contact still. In any case It would be neat playing as the Rachni. Come to think of it they could make one hell of a spin off RTS game. Like starcraft only with the races from Mass Effect.
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post #7 of 16 Old 10-22-2013, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
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I'd like the next series to start with a more involved version of the final cutscene from ME3. Where Joker, EDI and a few more crew members get off the ship. Just extend that scene by about 30 minutes into more details about other recovery efforts all over the Galaxy...including Cerberus, Rannoch, Palaven, Thessia, Omega and Leviathan planet. Then fast forward 1000-10,000 years into the future with a 10-15 minute intro of the new situation and new characters. Start the game. Don't even tell us or hint about what outcome from the old series is the prevailing one. Let our choices be totally fresh. They could even do the beginning sequence similar to the way MS did with the Halo series...Forward Unto Dawn.
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post #8 of 16 Old 10-22-2013, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by barrelbelly View Post

I'd like the next series to start with a more involved version of the final cutscene from ME3. Where Joker, EDI and a few more crew members get off the ship. Just extend that scene by about 30 minutes into more details about other recovery efforts all over the Galaxy...including Cerberus, Rannoch, Palaven, Thessia, Omega and Leviathan planet. Then fast forward 1000-10,000 years into the future with a 10-15 minute intro of the new situation and new characters. Start the game. Don't even tell us or hint about what outcome from the old series is the prevailing one. Let our choices be totally fresh. They could even do the beginning sequence similar to the way MS did with the Halo series...Forward Unto Dawn.

Yeah I'd still like to see some more info on where and how my characters lives progressed that's for sure. Did Joker and Edi get a divorce eventually? Did Tali and Garrus have crazy looking kids ( can they even conceive? ) etc.

Even better would be to have Liara somehow frozen in time - so she can wake up and be my ME girlfriend again lol.
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post #9 of 16 Old 10-23-2013, 02:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah I'd still like to see some more info on where and how my characters lives progressed that's for sure. Did Joker and Edi get a divorce eventually? Did Tali and Garrus have crazy looking kids ( can they even conceive? ) etc.

Even better would be to have Liara somehow frozen in time - so she can wake up and be my ME girlfriend again lol.

Actually a very interesting pathway for a ME story. Recall...Joker is very brittle. Very unlikely he could handle a cyber gal session in the rack with anything as intense as EDI. Soooo! Valve. Make Joker into a new synthesized Cybernetic Man. And upgrade EDI into a full Cybernetic Woman. Link both symbiotically to Normandy. And you have the first living Starship. Capable of deploying on its own missions. Or commanding a mixed organic and synthetic crew. Ditto with the Geth and Quarians. Start hooking them up. Because that is what a world of synthesis should look like. The range of potential adversaries would be infinite. I really think the next installment may borrow generously from Star Wars Jedi v Sith mythology. In other words...revenge of Leviathan. Who had been lying in the shadowy abyss for millennia during the Reaper period. Waiting for its moment to rise. I don't think the ME Galaxy has heard the last of that kind of intelligence.

Edit:

Know what would be even neater. If Bioware just gained IP rights on the cheap for the Advent Rising Trilogy. And just completely redid Advent Rising one with new bells and whistles. And called the first installment, Mass Effect Advent. Make the 1st episode about the rise of Gideon. Especially since they borrowed so generously from Advent Rising in the Shepard saga. They just cast it more in RPG. Majesco has zero intention to do anything with AR Trilogy. But it could really be the core recipe for the next Mass Effect Trilogy. With all of the heavy lifting already done (story wise). They could edit and develop the AR script along so many exciting new pathways by blending it with ME. And the Gideon Wyeth saga would be the perfect segue from Shepard. Just as interesting. And the ladies of AR could be branched off in very special ways.
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post #10 of 16 Old 11-07-2013, 11:04 PM
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Honestly, the best part about ME3 for me was the multiplayer.  I got completely hooked on it for awhile, started playing with some people from the ME forums, even got my wife into it for awhile.  I'd like to see some of the ideas in that were in it fleshed out and expanded into a bigger concept. 

 

As far as an SP campaign, I'd like to see something with the sense of exploration from Star Trek or the Star Control series.  A little more space sandbox and less space opera. 

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post #11 of 16 Old 11-07-2013, 11:26 PM
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Honestly, the best part about ME3 for me was the multiplayer.  I got completely hooked on it for awhile, started playing with some people from the ME forums, even got my wife into it for awhile.  I'd like to see some of the ideas in that were in it fleshed out and expanded into a bigger concept. 

As far as an SP campaign, I'd like to see something with the sense of exploration from Star Trek or the Star Control series.  A little more space sandbox and less space opera. 

Yeah the online was oodles of fun. I'd love it if they incorporated a COD style of game to it - Like the Search and Destroy mode would be great, 5 V 5 teams, clans etc. You could go up clans comprised of all Vorcha's or what not, or mixed teams like Sheppard's etc - would be great.

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post #12 of 16 Old 11-07-2013, 11:34 PM
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Yeah the online was oodles of fun. I'd love it if they incorporated a COD style of game to it - Like the Search and Destroy mode would be great, 5 V 5 teams, clans etc. You could go up clans comprised of all Vorcha's or what not, or mixed teams like Sheppard's etc - would be great.

I would be very surprised to see any PVP in the next one.  The developers said a few times that they felt that thematically, co-op multiplayer fits in the ME world much better than PVP.  Then there are the balance issues.  I think a lot of what made MP fun was the crazy diversity in guns and powers.  It would be much harder to balance all those against other players, and the result would probably be a game with less interesting abilities. 

 

Talking about it makes me want to go play a match.  I may have to fire it up this weekend.  I need to hear a Krogan scream, "Ha! They're all dead!"

 

Also, next game needs more Krogan.  Wrex was my favorite character from the series, followed closely by Mordin.

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post #13 of 16 Old 11-10-2013, 03:05 AM
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Extract from barelbelly's first post:

Continue reading to see what Mass Effect lead writer Mac Walters had to say about the future of the series.

“Well, I can’t get into details, but the idea is that we have agreed to tell a story that doesn’t relate necessarily to any of the Shepard events at all, whatsoever."...


Though I agree with ME's development team's motivation to move on from Shepard, I think the next ME game will suffer greatly if some time is not spent revealing the fate of Shep and his/her crewmates. The time and effort spent on this need not be long-say, up to 30 minutes in a 40 hour game-but the next ME experience just won't feel right in my view if it just proceeds as if Shep and crew never existed. Too much time and energy was spent on developing strong characters that many players (myself among them) invested in to simply ignore them out of hand. The updates could be as simple as emails or short vids from the original crew or third party dialogue discussing them. This also speaks to the important factor of continuity that barelbelly mentioned that is, IMHO, key to good story telling. Not that my opinion matters to Bioware at this point about the next ME game, but some high-level ideas follow:

1: Set it in the very near future shortly after the end of ME3 (again that continuity thing)
2: Design the game with a bias toward exploration, but still have enough shoot-em-up to provide sufficient deviant action. biggrin.gif
3: How to satisfy #2? The end of ME3 presented a major logistical problem for some of the races and potentially humans as well: Food. How will the dextro based races feed themselves long term? Does Earth have sufficient infrastructure to feed its survivors? So a ad-hoc relay is built for the remaining ships to use with the mission of finding new compatible planets for all survivors. The remaining ships are divided into squadrons of 6-12 ships with intentionally mixed crews and launched via the aforementioned relay with a couple of key caveats: 1-The relay is one-way only by definition given the end of ME3. 2-Though relay projection distance can be controlled, azimuth cannot. Thus, the various squadrons will be randomly deployed throughout the galaxy. The reason groups of ships are deployed together is that they collectively contain the parts and people required to build new relays on site if suitable planets are discovered. You (the protagonist) and your new crew (perhaps you'll get the chance to evaluate and pick your crew) will deploy on the just completed SR-3 which was secretly under construction by the Systems Alliance to help deal with the predicted Reaper invasion. You'll have to have a new ride with better everything (weapons, armor, ground vehicle, stealth (optical camouflage in addition to other emission suppression?)), and a new layout for you to explore and use throughout the game.

This scenario provides some nice plot elements: Stress from a time limit (find new habitable planets or die from starvation), limitless possibilities for exploration, encounters with new races and environments (in space and on planets), and decisions with major consequences. When you encounter other races is it better to fight or negotiate? If you explore and find an ancient burial site that provides clues about the location of a viable planet, but you have to desecrate the site to obtain the information, do you do it? If yes, at what cost... You stumble into a civil war. Joining one side (perhaps the more nefarious one) can get you a viable planet. What to do... This plot device also allows for a very open environment where you and crew could encounter and have to deal with just about anything. In the interests of fun and challenging gameplay, you'll have to decide when to shoot, scoot, talk, or perhaps do nothing at all.
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post #14 of 16 Old 11-10-2013, 06:54 AM
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Wow you've put a lot of thought into that! You've come up with some interesting ideas. One thing though about running into other races. Wouldn't all the races of any consequence have already been discovered / revealed during the Reaper invasion? - after all that was set to see extinction on a global scale and everyone everywhere was being attacked. It's not like a race capable of fighting somewhere decided to " sit this one out ". I could see a race of lesser beings, not advanced enough to take part - but then your new crew and ship could just obliterate them if they gave them any guff. I just don't see how they can introduce a new race of any consequence without it sounding contrived. " oh yeah - the _______ were here all along, just planning their next attack!! " ... I like the space exploration idea though!.. if it were set in the past it would be doable.
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post #15 of 16 Old 11-10-2013, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Sean Spamilton View Post

Wow you've put a lot of thought into that! You've come up with some interesting ideas. One thing though about running into other races. Wouldn't all the races of any consequence have already been discovered / revealed during the Reaper invasion? - after all that was set to see extinction on a global scale and everyone everywhere was being attacked. It's not like a race capable of fighting somewhere decided to " sit this one out ". I could see a race of lesser beings, not advanced enough to take part - but then your new crew and ship could just obliterate them if they gave them any guff. I just don't see how they can introduce a new race of any consequence without it sounding contrived. " oh yeah - the _______ were here all along, just planning their next attack!! " ... I like the space exploration idea though!.. if it were set in the past it would be doable.

Thanks for the compliment and thumbs up (Sean?). There's a big lake near my house I walk most days and it takes an hour to complete so I often do a lot thinking during this time (some of it more useful than others). smile.gif

Though not perfect the ME trilogy ranks as my favorite set of games (closely followed by the Halo series). Like Bioware or not, they've created a wonderful, rich universe via ME that's provided me with many hours of enjoyable play. I'm looking forward to playing the next iteration of ME in whatever form it comes.

Concerning your point about the discovery of all threat races by the Reapers, you raise a valid critique but I think good writing could explain the survival of several races based on my admittedly shaky memory of ME3 (including the Leviathan DLC which is indirectly relevant). I haven't played ME for more than six months. Here goes my attempt to justify the exploratory squadrons finding intact, advanced races:

1: Though the Reapers are almost undefeatable as a group, they are neither omniscient or omnipresent. Leviathan DLC Spoiler Alert: You'll recall from Leviathan that the Reapers didn't know where the Leviathans were hiding, and I consider them the most potent race in the game (and by extension the greatest threat to the Reapers). The Reapers had to rely on shadowing-ironically enough-"inferior" human research teams to find the Leviathans. Thus, given the size of the Milky Way galaxy (diameter of ~ 120,000 light-years, the estimated number of Earth-like planets (~40 Billion), and the finite number of Reapers who invaded the Milky Way (I don't recall any number given in ME2 or 3 but based on the cut scene at the end of ME2 let's use ~ 1000 for argument sake), I think it's quite plausible that the Reapers have not detected all advanced civilizations in the Milky Way. Further, I only mentioned 40 billion Earth-like planets. What about advanced civilizations that reside on non Earth-like planets...?

2: What if some of the advanced races discovered and engaged by the Reapers (but yet to be discovered by the exploration squadrons) are sufficiently advanced that they defeated the Reapers in combat? This isn't implausible. Beyond the fact that Shepard leveraged various local forces to kill 3 Reapers in ME3, you'll recall from ME2 that something practically destroyed one of the larger Reaper types in space in the distant past (the mission where Shep had to board the derelict Reaper to determine the fate of a research team). In short, Reapers are powerful, but not indestructible.

3: Would the Reapers actually attack every advanced civilization in the galaxy? IMS, the rationale (flawed logic notwithstanding) for the Reapers annihilation of organic life was to end conflict between organics and (presumably sentient) synthetics. What if some the advanced races realized the potential threat of sentient synthetics and thus never created them? Would the Reapers still attack these races?

4: Related to item 2, even if the Reapers decided to destroy all organic life in the galaxy given their finite numbers, they likely couldn't attack all races at once in the timeframe of the Earth conflict or even a year or two later. Indeed, you'll recall from ME3 that despite the relatively large number of Reapers deployed against the counsel and non-counsel races, they did not attack all of them at once (ie the Salarians, and the delayed attack against the Asari). Thus, is it plausible that the expeditionary squadrons could reach some advanced races before Reapers intent on destroying them. By the way, this could make for a fascinating, surprise mission where one squadron would team up with a newly discovered advanced race to fight one or more Reapers who stroll into the race's system to destroy said race.

Putting all this aside for a moment, you made another important point that I agree with concerning the discovery of less advanced races. This should occur in the interest of realism, and it will make gameplay and choices just that much more interesting. How will the player treat these races? With respect and care or indifference and contempt (or a combination of the two depending the race)?

Eric
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post #16 of 16 Old 11-10-2013, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
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This is good time to circle back to this one and embellish a bit on what I had in mind when I started this thread. I have borrowed generously from my writings on the Bioware forum in response to Casey Hudson's request/thread for next trilogy ideas. I'm not Barrelbelly over there. But here's a hint..."Ya Hear That Hum?!"

Game Mechanics-More like Mass Effect 1. But playable in 3 completely different formats that can’t be combined. Single player (2D or VR for PC); Multiplayer (2D or VR for PC). Style form more like Mass Effect 2 from a RPG-FPS-action feel.

Game Physics-More like Mass Effect 3. 1080p60 native, with 5.1 souuround minimum/7.1 preferred.

Others can wade in on game preferences…wishes…wants…needs. I want to focus in much more detail about what I would love to see from an overarching story standpoint.

Story Premise: A middle trilogy with 3 distinct new destinies that are capable of converging in unforeseen ways with the events of the Shepard trilogy in a final ME trilogy in the future.
I would like to see Bioware separate completely from the Shepard saga in this next (middle) trilogy. NO PREQUELS! Allow me to start a fresh new adventure. And allow me to play new characters; each with a new destiny; sometime after the events of the Shepard Trilogy. Allow me to shape these 3 characters in 3 divergent stories comprising the middle trilogy. Here's How I suggest the trilogy flow:

Prologue-I would create a sequence of events leading up to the Next Mass Effect Trilogy of games. For the sake of simplicity, I'll call the sequence of events Mass Effect Advent. It would kick off with 1 to 7 short 20-30 minute animated or live video episodes. Similar to what was done in Halo-“Forward unto Dawn”. I would resolve and clean up every single loose end left behind by the Shepard Trilogy in those episodes. Except I wouldn’t address shadowy echoes like Leviathan or the “mystery of Haelstrom”. I’ll explain this later.

I would focus the initial video episodes and new DLC if needed, on restoration of Earth, Thessia, Rannoch, Palaven, Tuchanka, Cerberus and Citadel. The final video episode would fast forward to a point 100-10,000 years in the future. After the Shepard Trilogy had become galactic history and new realities were “Awakening”. This would also quench the thirst of those who want better closure of the Shepard trilogy. And want to experience more and play as characters of that genre.

In the final video episode I would introduce exotic new races, species and entities. Ones that are evolved remnants of the Shepard solutions. Or completely new emerging forces, which are filling niches, left void by the old ME world. Examples could be Organic, Cybernetic or Synthetic evolutions of Quarian/Geth/EDI/Reaper hybrids; Human/Asari/Prothean/Reaper hybrids; Krogan/Rachni/Salarian/Reaper hybrids; Turian/Salarian/Drellian/Reaper hybrids.

Then I would introduce a mystery at the conclusion of the final episode. I would do this by blowing up the Earth and Citadel (utterly and completely). And I would have it done by an unknown, power from a mysterious realm beyond Dark Space itself; But seeming to emerge from the “unknown” vortex between Dark Matter and Dark Energy. I would wrap the mass destruction in a Mystery from the “Future”; Code Named-The “Seekers”.

The New Mass Effect Trilogy (4-6) would start one year earlier than the mass destruction events of the Seekers Awakening. The initial game would launch through the careers & destinies of Gideon, Seth and Athena; (any race or species) from 3 entirely different perspectives. And the drama would play out from aboard 3 totally new prototype massive human/hybrid “Citadel Alive” type Starships named Paradise, Alpha & Omega.

Three unknown “sentient entities” would make up the core intelligence that breathes life into the new starships. The Sentient would be capable of energizing itself into a limited function Squad mate, weapon or vehicle on away missions. However, its maximum & optimum power would be composited as a Starship. Suffice it to say, Paradise, Alpha & Omega can traverse space and time without Mass Relay propulsion. And can go pretty much anywhere it wants to by pure, focused, thought projection. Sort of like V'Ger in Star Trek the Motion Picture. However, the restored Mass Relay system would exist as sort of a galactic subway system. Highlighted more in DLC Missions.

I'll clarify a little here. The evolved Joker/Edi cybernetic hybrid could be two of the core Sentients of Gideon’s ship (Paradise). Paradise would be dispatched from Citadel to Earth in advance of the Seeker threat. Seth's ship (Alpha) would stay to guard Citadel. Athena's ship (Omega) would be dispatched to explore time and space to find the Seekers and its source of power. And open diplomatic channels.

The first game (ME4) would be about the suspense, adventure and discoveries, laid open in much more detail, about the mystery surrounding the destruction of Earth and Citadel in the Mini Video Episode. So BiowWare could actually do a massive (ME4) game that is launched with big DLC episodes, that let us play as all 3 characters in separate missions. But the main story arc should focus primarily as Gideon and his mission (Plague and Balance).

The second game (ME5) in the trilogy would be about the aftermath of the destruction events. It would be told mostly from Seth’s perspective (War and Conquest). But you would still be able to play the other 2 characters in DLC Missions and communicate through terminal links that bridges the trilogy.

The final game (ME6) in the trilogy would be about the Mission of Athena (Death and Discovery). And it would pick up from the end of Seth’s Mission. It would take us to the very end of this ME4-6 story arc. To a point where we will have a choice to make. That choice would play out in the Final Mass Effect Trilogy (7-9). The choice would be to pick only one of the 3 Characters played in the middle trilogy to move forward with. That is unless you want to buy nine games to see 3 totally different outcomes…that is spread out over 3 x3 games; with synchronized launches; and with divergent destinies in all 3.

The final Trilogy would be all about “Convergence” of all of the story arcs. From Shepard-(?). And you would have the benefit of having played all four of them. To the uninitiated, it is obvious that I borrowed a bit from "Advent Rising" lore to help shape a core premise for the new ME Trilogy ideas. But it is totally different in significant ways. Nevertheless, it seems obvious to me that Bioware has already adopted many themes and elements from Advent Rising to purpose the original Mass Effect ecosystem. But one can see how easily it is to blend core elements from these two great game stories together. Because the characters are compelling. While the ecosystems are mutually compatible. And both sagas are unfinished. This approach could produce epic story telling! On a scale that could make the original ME seem trivial.

Haelstrom-So I see where the next story arc could be explored from many of the premises Bioware advanced in the Mass Effect 1-3 Trilogy. Tali's adventure on Haelstrom is but one tipping point. Where she encountered A "Dark Space" mystery that went unexplained. Legion's miraculous transformation on Rannoch is another avenue. There are many Jump points in the original trilogy. Including the ending of ME3 that I referenced above. That entire scene (going back to Shepard's death) suggest that it occurred within a temporal and dimensional bubble or context. And from a completely different dimension. One could conclude that "Catalyst" had advanced so much beyond its simple Reaper directive, that it perceived the reality of greater mysteries, opportunities and threats. Such that it demanded a change in a Mission it couldn't create alone. It needed an enhancement that Shepard provided. That's certainly one of the ways I interpreted it.

I’ll finish by saying this. Remember the conversation at the end of ME3? Where the man told the child (My Sweet), that it all happened "so very long ago". That illuminating final ending in ME 3 was everything to me. That simple ending could be the total context and start for the ME 7-9 trilogy. After the middle trilogy (ME4-6) bridges the gap from "so very long ago" to that scene. Bioware has to build the bridge to that old guy and the kid. They could be anybody or anything…anywhere and anytime in the future. So Bioware needs to make a complete break from ME1-3 to achieve that ending in the future. Only that kind of approach would make “The Shepard” just one of many old stories, legends and fables to that man & kid. Especially in a super advanced galactic society with precise records preserved of Shepard’s actual history. And only that kind of mid trilogy story can create the kind of conversation that occurred between the man and kid IMO.
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