Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Mass Effect MMORPG?

Yes please.


Oh, I'm sorry, was I supposed to discuss this? My bad. I suppose it's time to come clean about my opinion of The Old Republic: I am a huge fan of KOTOR 1 & 2. But I want SWTOR to be our industry's Titanic. Not out of any ire for the company or the developers, because god knows it's tough to get a job as one right now, but because I'm tired of the WoW clones. I'm tired of "This is like WoW, but _________" and insert anything you like in there. Better storytelling, better talent trees, more PvP, whatever you like.

I read an article on a while back, and while I can't find it now the gist of it was "If SWTOR succeeds then we will see more large companies funding big projects, and that means more theme park MMORPGs. If it fails, investors will be scared to fund big projects and many small studios will fill the void. The important thing is that we, as players, will vote with our wallets." I'm not trying to tell anyone what to buy and not to buy. But I would vastly prefer the second scenario. This would breathe a lot of new ideas into the genre and give those small companies room to compete with them. Even if SWTOR does succeed, I think there will be a game after it, with a big budget much like it, that will fall and bring about this scenario. 

Now, I just recently started playing Mass Effect due to a sale on Steam (mainly because the vehicle segments turned me off the first time I tried it) and given that it's an original IP, I think it could work spectacularly. They have creative freedom with the game and established classes and powers already. They have an entire universe to deal with, making a game that could rival Eve Online in just sheer space to work with. And more importantly they have a loyal fan base already established.  I think Bioware could do much better than SWTOR, seeing as I think Lucasarts' contributions to games have usually been amounted to rushing them out the door before they are finished. EA hasn't got a great reputation for that either. Regardless, Mass Effect has the makings of a good MMORPG setting, and one that I would play.

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