1. Garlador

    Garlador
    Member OP

    First off, Happy N7 Day! I know it's bittersweet given the state of the franchise right now, but the fact that so many people still fondly remember this series, come together to re-experience it, and continue to stoke the passions of future players through lets plays, ambitious mods, and social get-togethers warms my heart.

    But let's cut straight to the chase: A Mass Effect Trilogy Remaster.

    This isn't something fans and players pulled out of thin air, and the fires were stoked even by Bioware themselves once so very long ago.
    [​IMG]

    For all the Trilogy's highs and lows, a demand is clearly there for this, and the market for remasters has been a major boon for studios and publishers over the years to the point that EA's dogmatic refusal to consider remasters continues to be a bizarre decision as almost EVERY other major publisher has released them (my wife's pre-order of the Spiral Trilogy Re-Ignited feels like a good sign that interest in remasters and remakes hasn't waned).

    So for this post I want to explore WHAT a Mass Effect Trilogy could and should do, explore ideas and concepts I've come across from the community to incorporate, as well as look at the logistics and barriers to EA and Bioware getting together while exploring solutions to those hurdles.

    Strap in, it's going to be a long ride. Keep calm and Keelah Se'lai.

    A. SO YOU'RE MAKING A MASS EFFECT TRILOGY REMASTER...
    1. VISUALS - We've had dozens of excellent (and some awful) HD remakes and remasters of beloved titles this gen, but I feel like there are a few mandatory expectations. As the tweet above mentions, the bare minimum for a trilogy remaster would be 1080p resolution, higher-resolution textures, and 60fps gameplay.

    Now, before all you PC purist jump in and claim that you can do that already... yes. We KNOW. And I'll be using the PC version as a reference point for how things could improve. A huge portion of the Mass Effect playerbase (myself included) started on console, particularly the Xbox 360. To say it wasn't the optimal game experience is underselling it. The game was plagued with texture pop-in, very low-res and blurry textures, insane framerate drops, screen-tearing, and a myriad of other technical issues that hampered the experience. Even the vanilla PC version has plenty of graphical issues (hello blurry Garrus face!) and a vast majority of the mods I've ever dabbled with are to improve those glaring visual shortcomings. The whole series also suffers from serious "Lego Hair" issues of characters wearing plastic helmets on their heads vaguely shaped like human hair. Whether it would be retexturing them, using better alpha maps, or redoing the whole thing, having better hair would make a huge difference.

    I'm not asking for Skyrim mod hair, but... folks have done good work on Mass Effect in that regard.
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    The games were graphical marvels for their time, and technology has moved past their prime. But the artistry is THERE, and I've seen some amazing work done by fans (particularly the M.E.U.I.T.M. tweaks) to turn those visuals up to 11. II'd wager 99% of Mass Effect players never got to see that original game look THIS good:
    The honest truth of all graphics is they age as technology advances and leaves them behind. Mass Effect 1 is over a DECADE old, and there's been over 10 years of advancement. Stronger, more powerful hardware to run it, more advanced texture and normal-map pipelines, improved self-shadowing, subsurface scattering and skin shaders, etc. Seeing fans take the shell of ME1 and work magic on it is amazing, but exclusive to unofficial PC mods, and they aren't always optimized either. Just due to the nature of PC, I know I've had driver compatibility issues and crashes trying to get the game running the way I want it. It's not the optimal, accessible, convenient way to play the game, which most people asking for Trilogy remaster at this point would, I imagine, prefer a console release with all these improvements (and beyond. Fans can only do so much). With the right approach, all three Mass Effect games can look jaw-dropping still.

    ... Maybe fix poor Diana Allers face while they're at it. Love or hate the character, Jessica Chobot deserves better than the creepy mannequin wearing her skin in ME3.
    [​IMG]

    As for gameplay, even playing ME1 (and a bit of ME2) on Xbox One showed a few framerate issues. I have never experienced ME1 in a silky-smooth 60fps (despite my best attempts to get my PC to run it), but I've heard from plenty of players who have, and there's really no going back. That fluidity and precision is just expected at this point, and it can be done with all three Mass Effect games. I would pay good money for that and I imagine many others would as well.

    The next expectation for a Trilogy Remaster, beyond improved visuals, is one I'm shocked hasn't even happened yet...

    2. ALL DLC INCLUDED - Mass Effect has a bit of a DLC problem. For a story-driven trilogy, entire characters, missions, and even essential plot and lore is reserved for DLC. While ME1's DLC felt at least like an addition to a fully-complete game (Bring Down the Sky is enjoyable but inessential, and Pinnacle Station is often regarded with ridicule at how meaningless it is, though I do enjoy it), ME2 started to up the ante with entire squadmates like Zaeed and Kasumi being DLC (in addition to the ill-fated era of the "Online Pass" used to curb used game sales) and major plot points being relegated to DLC ("Arrival" set the stage for ME3's opening, "Lair of the Shadow Broker" is almost essential for Liara's character arc). By ME3, it had gotten out of control. "From Ashes" had one of the very best squadmates in the series locked as Day 1 DLC whose existence and story radically alter the perception of two of the game's main alien species, while "Leviathan" goes a long way towards actually clarifying the threat of the major antagonists of the whole trilogy. "Citadel" is the emotional closure with your crew so many were initially asking for, while the Extended Cut (though free) is still DLC partitioned from the initial vanilla release.

    There has NEVER been a re-release of the trilogy with all content included, even as a digital bundle.
    [​IMG]
    (this thing is far from complete... and remember when the KINECT was a thing?)

    Then there was the debacle with Bioware Points, the fact that the Steam and Origin's storefronts began to compete with each other, and that the deactivation of Bioware's own website meant you needed workarounds to get all the content, and it got a bit out of hand. That's not even factoring in DLC tied to extremely limited events and products like getting the Limited Editions of the game, or registering copies of other games (like Dragon Age) for exclusive armor, or pre-order bonuses from Gamestop, or buying select cans of Dr. Pepper, etc.

    While certain re-releases of the game included some (but never all) DLC content, someone who gets the Mass Effect Trilogy package for Xbox 360 is still looking at over $80-100 in excluded content from the core game, be it characters, armors, weapons, story missions, vehicles, maps, or more.

    Even putting aside a remaster, a simple RE-RELEASE with all content included alone would be a substantial value to new players. EA needs to do this, at the bare minimum, and I'm shocked they haven't even attempt this yet on Origin.

    No question, when/if a remaster happens, everything goes in. It should be the definitive, unabridged, complete saga.

    3. IMRPOVING THE UI, MENU OPTIMIZATION, and MINOR QUALITY OF LIFE IMPROVEMENTS
    According to recent polls here, ME1 is still pretty damn popular (as it should be). That's not to say it's not one of the roughest games in the series, with some of the jankiest combat, wackiest vehicle controls, or the mind-numbing slog that is the menu and inventory options.
    [​IMG]
    (forget the Reapers; this is the real terror of Mass Effect 1)

    I want to say that 50% of my time in ME1 was spent just turning weapon mods into medigel because I kept running out of inventory space. There was no way to sort them by type or name or strength, no way to mass-delete unwanted mods, no way to screen them based on when you picked them up, and even scrolling down the list was painstakingly slow. More so than the other games, this menu needs an overhaul. It's cumbersome, slow, plodding, and inconvenient and it's been called all those things since the day ME1 came out.

    Other quality of life improvements could definitely be faster load times (and faster elevator rides). Yes, the often-mocked elevator rides hid the loading times, but hopefully that speed could be boosted as the games would be able to load more areas at a time. ME2 and ME3 stuck with traditional loading screens, but even lowering those waiting times would be appreciated. Again, many of the games were developed before you could install them to systems; even installing them on base model Xbox 360 or Xbox One showed dramatic improvements in this regard.

    There are other, more minor QoL tweaks to the UI and menus, something all three games had issues with. They're honestly nitpicks, but even something as simple as removing the floating faces from Shepard's butt in ME2 would be nice...
    [​IMG]
    (they're always there... ruining the bottom of my screenshots...)

    That, I think, wraps up the "expected" part of a Mass Effect Trilogy Remaster. Improve the visuals, enhance the gameplay, include all DLC, and streamline the UI and inventory where needed.

    But that's just what's expected... I'd definitely want to hear what you WANT from a proper Remaster, and I've come across several more ambitious ideas.
     
  2. Garlador

    Garlador
    Member OP

    B. THE MODERATE IMPROVEMENTS
    Here's where we get into Bioware/EA/whoever starting to go the extra mile. You can do the bare minimum and have a great Mass Effect Trilogy remaster. That's not what this section is for. It's for the moderate improvements and tweaks to the series to unify three disparate games, to look back with a decade of hindsight to add to it in small but appreciable ways that makes them feel like a cohesive whole instead of three drastically different games. Most of this stuff is content or changes the modding community on PC has already dabbled in, meaning it's at least feasible and not exhaustively time-consuming or expensive to do.

    1. A SEAMLESS STORY
    At the time of Bioware's inquiry into a Trilogy remaster, this was one of the most-requested features. The ability to jump directly from one game into the next, to carrying on your progress from the conclusion of ME1 into ME2 and ME2 into ME3, without jumping through hoops or hassles, without pause or interruption. Experiencing the Shepard Saga from start to finish in one-go would be an interesting and appreciated alteration that would entice many new and returning players to give it a go.

    2. CHARACTER CREATOR CONSISTENCY - A major start for that would be to enable the character creator to, well, work a bit better at transferring your character across all three games. Many players encountered the dreaded character creator import bug that messed with their carefully-crafted Shepard's appearance. Many had to start from scratch. Even those that didn't found that liberties kept being taken with their initial Shepard.
    [​IMG]

    Ensuring your created character in ME1 had all the options and tools introduced later in ME2 and ME3 (as well as keeping the same face structure and facial bones) would definitely help with consistency.

    Speaking of...
    3. DEFAULT FEMSHEP IN ME1 - By Mass Effect 3, Bioware was starting to realize that it MAY have been giving preferential treatment to male players/avatars and to Mark Vanderloo's beautiful, rugged face and dreamy eyes.
    [​IMG]
    (This guy better end every drink order with "this is my favorite bar in Citadel". Easy way to score free drinks)

    Bioware's solution to be a bit more inclusive was to actually give Femshep her own default look and put her on the (back of the reversible) cover as well... by means of a glorified beauty pageant driven by popular vote.
    [​IMG]
    (I missed the talent portion of the contest where they all competed for best "Shepard" dance. There were no winners)

    Methods be damned, it did finally give us a proper "default" Femshep.
    [​IMG]

    And... kudos to them! Granted, it was game THREE, but it was still amazing to see Femshep on many of the covers of the game and her new default look remains quite popular. It's a shame, then, that you can't really recreate it properly in ME1 and ME2. Giving us the default FemShep alongside VaderlooShep in a Trilogy Remaster would make a ton of sense and definitely help with consistency for anyone wishing to use her from start to finish.

    4. RESTORING CUT/LOCKED/GLITCHED CONTENT - This mainly pertains to Mass Effect 2, but has a few instances in the other games too. One of the best things about ME2 is its rather open-ended approach to gathering squadmates for the Suicide Run, and while you have a few choices at first of who to get first, the game was programmed with the ability to get almost ANYONE in ANY order rather than locking half the crew away to the back-half of the game. The unofficial explanation given is that this was done to accommodate the Xbox 360's lack of storage, resulting in the game being split into two DVDs, and resulting in a limit to which characters could be recruited in which order.

    Again, PC modders easily unshackled those restrictions, enabling some amazing bits of unused and cut dialogue and encounters that were initially planned to be in the game, such as bringing Tali with you to Horizon, Thane to the Quarantine Zone, or Samara with you to get Mordin. In the age of open-world gaming, having all 12 characters almost at the ready to recruit in any order you choose provides hundreds of permutations and options the console version lacked. It'd would be a quick and easy way to entice new players to revisit the game to see those options and character encounters that are buried in the game, both major and minor.
    (Sure, just take the dying sick alien to the plague zone that exclusively kills non-humans...)

    That also includes other cut, glitched, or locked content, such as recruiting Kenneth and Gabby in ME3 in the bar, or a "Paragon" Verner in ME2 (though ME3 addresses that glitch directly). I'm actually amazed at how much content the series has buried away that only modders have seen by unlocking it and reintegrating it back into the experience. It's perfect fodder for a definitive "director's cut" experience with the trilogy.

    5. DIVERSIFYING ME1 and ME2's HUB WORLDS - Back to the subject of Bioware growing more diverse, it's a bit disappointing to revisit ME1 and ME2 (and even some of ME3)'s hub worlds and see a lack of gender diversity. At the time, they hadn't planned on or finalized designs for female versions of many of the races, meaning the only gender you see most Mass Effect races, barring the mono-gendered Asari, are male. Turians, Krogans, Drell, Volus, Batarian, Salarian... it didn't matter, they are only represented by their male counterparts. It took until the last game to give us female Krogans, Turians, and Salarians.

    I wouldn't expect anything major to be reworked into the prior two games, but at least having female NPCs living in the Citadel or hanging out in Omega would do a lot to make the whole series feel less one-sided. Even replacing a generic NPC with just a female Turian civilian or having a female Salarian voice some atmospheric exposition as you wander about would make the whole world feel more alive, rather than that weird, eerie feeling I get that all the women aliens are being locked at home. It's a minor alteration that would go a long way.


    6. REMOVE THE UNDERWEAR - Look, I'm not really a prude, and I think the internet has already had its fun (and more) with Fornax material in Mass Effect, but we've come a LONG way from the infamous Fox News "Sexbox" scandal that scared Bioware during ME1's release.
    [​IMG]
    (Still just as cringe-worthy as it was at the time)

    We're in a post-Witcher gaming world that's a bit more shameless and confident and not afraid to admit its content is, you know, part of a "Mature" rated package. Bioware themselves seems to have agreed, as both Dragon Age: Inquisition and Mass Effect Andromeda don't hilariously try to censor and mask their romance scenes behind immersion-shattering scenarios like "underwear showers".
    [​IMG]
    (who DOESN'T bathe with their clothes on?)

    The romance scenes still have a lot of underlying issues (I'll get to more on that later), but I feel like these creative choices were made as reactions to the ME1 sex scene backlash, and many of them come across as unintentionally hilarious instead of romantic. Bioware has matured in their romance writing and romance scene execution, and a lot of ME2 and ME3's choices feel confined to a less confident, more embarrassed era. The internet is still there to help you get your jollies off, but in-game the execution could honestly be better with a few more confident revisions.

    7. HOLSTERING YOUR WEAPON - I read once that ME3 was so big and complex that they had to choose an animation to cut to make the game work, and they decided on... holstering your weapon. To be fair, if that's the case, that makes the most sense. The game doesn't live or die based on your ability to holster your weapon, and it was never a major gameplay mechanic like in modern games like Red Dead Redemption 2. However, it's still a bit disappointing to see it axed, and for those of us who enjoy our immersion, it's a bit weird sometimes to have casual conversations with peaceful NPCs with your weapon trained on their forehead.

    It made the most sense in ME1, of course, since every area could turn into a shoot out, but even still having the ability to initiate combat or respond to combat instead of being just told "this is the combat section" gives players that slight bit of agency and control over their character to respond as they wish. I've seen mods get it working, and it's a small thing that I feel would help just a tad with immersion.
     
  3. MechaBreaker

    MechaBreaker
    Member

    • User Warned - Driveby Post
    No thanks

    Edit: Sorry OP for my dismissive post, ME1 was one of my absolute all time favourites at the time, so I was pretty devastated when I got to the end of ME3 and I reacted negatively to the thought of reliving that...

    If they remade Mass Effect I would like, I guess I would like them to try and and lean into the indoctrination theory if possible...
     
  4. Garlador

    Garlador
    Member OP

    C. APPRECIABLE CHANGES
    These changes aren't unreasonable, but they are a bit more ambitious than the prior list. They're stuff that the majority of players wouldn't care about, but would mean the world to those that do.

    1. PROVIDE TALI WITH A MODELED FACE - "What do the Quarians look like without their masks?" everyone asked.

    This. They look like this:
    [​IMG]

    Or at least Tali does. While fans debated and memed about her real face since ME1, I'm fine with the design, and I think most fans are. What they weren't fine with was the fact it was a "low-effect stock photo" (quote unquote) and that if the character DID have an actual design that they couldn't properly show it. Again, modders have done a lot with that since, either with gorgeous artwork to replicate the photo or just outright giving her a modeled and animated face.
    [​IMG]

    Fine. She's a space elf. But she deserves a bit more than a 4-second stock photo by your dresser.

    2. BETTER/MORE SENSIBLE OUTFITS and PRESENTATION - More so for the women, but by the time ME2 rolled around, as great as I loved its cast, it was clear this was going to be the "sexier" Mass Effect compared its predecessor.
    [​IMG]
    (Yes, Miranda, I'm sure your sob story about your sister is fascinating, but the camera wants me to pay attention to something else.)

    While I love all the female cast of the series, was it really necessary to having Samara's plunging V-neck cleavage given her line of work and aversion to intimacy? Or to doll-up Ashley for ME3 since she was rigidly regulation in ME1? Or to give EDI an outfit with a cameltoe? Yes, I'm advocating for the removal of underwear a few sections earlier, but all of this is about what makes the most sense - both to the characters and to the immersion of the scenarios. "Biotic fields" be damned, it looks ridiculous to go out into the vacuum of space with one female character wearing plausible space gear and the other wearing leather straps and a small breathing mask.
    It's a sentiment I've seen echoed by a lot of players, and you CAN cover some of them up... with extra paid DLC. By all means, keep their original designs for those that want them, but having a bit better portrayals of these characters through alternate attire would please many players who love their character arcs but cringe at their clothing options and a leering camera.

    3. THE NPC QUESTS OF ME3 - ME3 streamlined a LOT of stuff. Dialogue, combat, exploration, and quests. Unlike ME1 and ME2, most of ME3's quests boiled down to eavesdropping on curiously vocal and chatty NPCs in the midst of personal turmoil.
    [​IMG]

    While getting the quests this way was uneventful and disengaging, completing them was equally mundane, as most required you to merely scan the right planet and then jump back to the hub to let them know your scan found that one thing they were standing around waiting for. "Fixing" the quests would probably entail actually going TO the planets and getting them (still disappointed we never actually set foot on the homeworlds of the Elcor or Hanar to complete those quests), but my main issue was simply the lack of engagement with the NPCs compared to ME1 and ME2. Even just giving us basic standard ME1 interactive chats of "I see you're in trouble, let me help" would make them stand out a bit more. If they could reuse lines from ME1 and ME2, I wouldn't even care, but we're starting to get to the heavy alterations and this I felt could be done on the cheap...
     
  5. Garlador

    Garlador
    Member OP

    D. BLOW ME AWAY, I DARE YOU
    Everything I've mentioned so far is mostly superficial and (relatively) cheap or cost-effective. I'm done with that now. Mass Effect as a series has some major issues, some at a fundamental level, and while I have almost zero expectation they would ever be addressed even if a Trilogy Remaster (or full-on Remake) was announced, it's important to go into them and address them. Let's not beat around the bush then...

    1. MODIFYING/IMPROVING THE ENDING - Love it, hate it, the ending we have now is definitely here to stay. It's already been "fixed" once with the Extended Cut. Honestly, I have no reasonable expectation they will revamp the whole ending scenario, give us that idealized "happy ending" of beach parties and little blue babies, canonize the Indoctrination Theory, or ditch the Catalyst and revamp the whole ending scenario to be the Suicide Mission on a galactic scale. Even if Bioware was 100% for it (they aren't), EA wouldn't want to cough up the money to redo a redo.

    That's FINE. And that's honesty not what I'm asking. Even with the ending we have, there is a lot that could be done to enhance that finale and even emphasize the ending threat and resolution. What are the main criticisms of the Catalyst, for instance? Mostly that he comes the hell out of nowhere and was introduced as a kid early on to try and manipulate the player's emotions, regardless of the fact that many had been hardcore Renegade and borderline maniacs (ME3 even allows you to go a step further in that genocidal thinking). The thing is, there are SOME signs of it as early as ME1.
    Context, foreshadowing, and proper build-up leads to more satisfactory resolutions. Introducing the discussion and nature of the Catalyst and the machinations of the Reapers far earlier into the prior two games in more overt and blatant ways would make the finale less of an ass-pull (even if that's truly what it was). Minor retcons or additional lore for story important quests or moments could be a major balm to the final moments, whether it's to have EDI exposit on the nature of the "human Reaper", a more thorough and dark look into the origin of the Keepers, or using Javik to reference similar experiences to what Shepard faces in the conclusion. It's a deus ex machina in its current form, no question about it, with two whole games that never really planned on addressing or foreshadowing it. Something, ANYTHING to better lead-in to such an important ending would help immensely.

    Personally, I'd also alter the appearance and nature of the Catalyst and the dreams themselves. I know what Bioware was trying to do, what the dead kid represented. The issue was... the kid was just a nameless character who died in a cutscene you couldn't control and thus was a detached manifestation of "guilt" for Shepard to experience. Another poster mentioned to me before how much better it would be if the Catalyst took on multiple forms of the dead squadmates you had lost during your journey, like the Virmire Casualty. Someone you DID know, fight alongside, bonded with, and made an intentional decision to LET DIE. If others had perished as well (Wrex on Virmire, the squad during the Suicide Run, Thane, Legion...) it could take those forms as well. To show Shepard what they had lost, visual representations of their "wrong" choices, to push its agenda to end the cycle and stop the war... and maybe take the forms of those still alive (EDI, Joker, your love interest) to bring those left alive back into the final decision and increase the gravity of the choice. It wouldn't be an impossible alteration to make, and changing the execution would vastly improve both the Catalyst and its role in the narrative.
    [​IMG]
    (You can "hear" some of the voices of your dead companions in the dreams, so it why not go the extra mile?)

    It would be nice to see additional animation for your squad in the end-game as well. I'd like to see Jack actually cheering her kids on as they hold their barriers, actually see Grunt slaughtering husks and Rachni on the frontline, actually see a scene of Samara crushing Banshees with her biotic warp, knowing that they are right there in the thick of the fight alongside me. As for post-game, a minor thing, one I'm sure would be too costly to do, would be to replace the visual text boxes at the ending with animated cutscenes showing the world rebuilding and moving on in-game, not static but living and breathing. I understanding it was a budget and time constraint, and those pics get the job done (which is most important), but it does still suck that the ending slideshow only shows SOME of your characters depending on the ending, and they're just snapshots. For such an expressive and high-production experience, the series has never relied on slideshows (sans the Mass Effect Genesis import app) to move his narrative along, let alone conclude it.

    2. FIX/IMPROVE PRIORITY: EARTH - Mass Effect's final 15 minutes may be the low point of the trilogy, but the final mission wasn't exactly stellar either. Lacking any and all narrative choices, it's a mere slog of horde mode waves that quickly wears out its welcome, littered with mundane and bizarre events to "break up the action" like a pointless turret section that you're forced to do that you don't actually have to fire a bullet from before the game triggers you to move on. It's just badly paced, badly designed, and a bad way to cap off the end of the series, replacing all nuance with overwhelming you with enemy numbers. And even that could've worked if there had been some real exciting developments or variations until then.
    [​IMG]
    (I hope you like the color "Gray" kids)

    Maybe your squad gets separated from you at one point, leaving you to fend for yourself before you reunite? Maybe you make a couple attempts at the beam, such as your shuttle being shot down, or an alternate route being blocked off, forcing you to regroup and rethink? Maybe you need to delegate a party member to tend to a wounded soldier or escape trapped civilians out of the hot zone? Maybe you can actually have a proper "fight" with Harbinger (maybe a good reason to bring the Normandy to the scene to blast it away) to give that dangling thread closure that results in its being defeated but firing one last blast at you that triggers the final crawl to the beam? There's a LOT that could be done with Priority: Earth to dazzle, surprise, and excite.

    We just got horde mode in the end. I never expect them to redo that final mission, but I see so much potential there if they got the go-ahead to do it.

    3. INTRODUCE PROPER LGBT RELATIONSHIPS EARLIER - Like "women", Mass Effect got better at representation as it went along, but that still doesn't mean that ME1 and ME2 aren't played straight. The closest you can get is playing as a female Shepard and sleeping with an Asari, which are mono-gendered as a sci-fi "cop out". While I feel that ME3's portrayal of LGBT relationships isn't necessarily the best (it has some problematic writing, but at least they're trying), it's odd to regress back to ME1 and ME2 and feel so limited in choice. I'm not demanding they make Garrus gay in ME2 or Ashley bisexual in ME1, but there are characters like Kaiden who ended up being a gay romance choice in ME3, while characters like Jack say they've been with women before but won't with you because of "reasons". They're curious decisions that, if an overhauled Mass Effect experience were possible, would be good opportunities to include more diverse and respectful relationships in the earlier games. It's disappointing that a gay male Shepard has zero opportunities to express their sexuality or form a relationship until mid-way through Mass Effect 3, but at the very least I'm happy they made those adjustments later on instead of ignoring them entirely. Still, hindsight is 20/20, and the early games could benefit from that later approach. Maybe flesh Kelly out more....
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Garlador

    Garlador
    Member OP

    E. WE WANT A MASS EFFECT TRILOGY, BUT WHAT ARE THE HURDLES?
    I'm sure there are hundreds of more requests for what a Mass Effect Trilogy Remaster could do, so sound off. But regardless of ease or difficulty, there are the logistic barriers to address. Let's get to them.
    1. EA DOESN'T DO REMASTERS - That's been their line for awhile as their business shifts to GaaS and away from single-player or narrative-driven games. It's why Bioware's next big game is Anthem, which looks to check every single publisher-mandated box of features to chase after the admittedly huge audience that composes games like Destiny and Overwatch. However, there is nothing that says that EA can't do BOTH GaaS as well as revisit their highly-lucrative history. Every OTHER publisher is doing it, after all. It's not like Activision isn't going to do a Call of Duty AND a Spyro re-release within the next month. And it's not like Mass Effect didn't have GaaS elements either. Hell, you can probably credit Mass Effect 3's surprisingly good and popular multiplayer - complete with RNG drops and microtransactions - as one of the games to put GaaS in triple-A games on the map. People still enjoy that experience and there's no reason EA couldn't attach it to a Trilogy remaster.

    Besides all THAT, even EA itself has wavered on that hardline stance, as they've released a remaster of their Burnout Paradise game earlier this year.

    2. BIOWARE IS TOO BUSY WITH ANTHEM - EA said this once, and it still perplexes me. A vast majority of remasters aren't done by the original studio. There are studios out there that specialize in remakes and remasters. Bluepoint games is the big one, having remastered the Uncharted Trilogy, the God of War Trilogy, ICO & Shadow of the Colossus, the Metal Gear Collection, and several others. Toys for Bob is handling the Spyro remake, Viruos Games remastered the Arkham games, Final Fantasy X/X-2, and Fable Anniversary. Etc. NOBODY is asking Bioware to personally cease development of all projects to redo a game they're finished with.

    There are plenty of talented studios out there with the talent and means to take those old games, polish them up, and make them presentable to modern systems and audiences. I'm sure EA could be given a long list of options outside of "have Bioware do it". Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft have all remastered some of their most beloved IPs using new or different studios than the original developers to great success. Just... do your homework, and don't go cheap, just so we can avoid a Silent Hill HD Collection fiasco.

    3. EA GAMES MUST USE FROSTBITE - That's EA's new big thing; mandating all future games use Frostbite. It's partially the reason for Mass Effect Andromeda's problems, since Frostbite wasn't never designed for the type of experience Andromeda was going to be. There are really two solutions, one more difficult than the other; either they port the trilogy to Frostbite and try and rebuild it in there, which even my modest coding experience tells me would be exhaustively difficult given the myriad branching pathways of Mass Effect as a whole, or... they bite the bullet and re-license Unreal. It's not like they aren't publishing games using Unreal either, as "A Way Out" came out this year and they used Unreal. At the end of the day, EA wants to use Frostbite to avoid paying the license fee, but if the cost is more to rebuild than to re-license, it makes more financial sense to re-license the engine and still make a profit. It's a matter of "most of the money" versus "all of the money", and maybe rebuilding in Frostbite IS the way to go for the definitive future Mass Effect experience if EA truly feels they can pull it off. Otherwise, they'd be leaving money on the table out of pride. That's a lesson Square Enix openly talked about after the difficulties of the Luminous Engine. They still have their proprietary engines, but they also aren't stupid enough to dismiss a readily available, widely used, time-and-cost-effective, programmer-friendly alternative. It doesn't always have to be all or nothing.

    4. SCALE OF PROJECT - Even a simple port would require a lot of care and work. These are three branching games with thousands of alternate paths, where a single wrong trigger can doom an entire three-game questline. That's one of the main reasons Frostbite would be so problematic, I wager, but it's not an impossible obstacle to overcome. Don't rush it, take your time, and polish it, and fans will wait as long as necessary for a quality remaster of a beloved series. The audience is there and they will wait. So EA has to resist "EA"-ing it to churn it out to meet a financial quota. They'd need to release it when it's done, bugged checked, and ready for the spotlight. It MUST avoid a rushed, buggy release or Andromeda will be a storm in a teacup by comparison.

    F. THE BENEFITS
    Beyond just "I really want it?". Let's be fair, EA does need be incentivised for most major decisions. Forum complaints alone don't get the job done, so what do they hope to gain?

    1. REVITALIZE THE BRAND - Andromeda, for all intents and purpose, put the series on ice. People can be disillusioned and forget that, you know, Mass Effect was once considered one of the most exciting, well-realized, player-loved franchises in the gaming world. EA may be riding on the Star Wars IP right now, but Mass Effect's whole existence was to prove they didn't NEED it. That KOTOR wasn't a one-off fluke, and that they could create and fully-own a sci-fi IP entirely their own, to capitalize on and explore through games, music, comics, film, TV, toys, and more. The series is still widely regarded as one of the deepest, most fleshed-out universes in the whole medium, and there are an infinite number of possibilities open to the series' future. But first it needs to remind players of why it was great, and what better way than to bring back the three original games with a bang?
    [​IMG]
    (you bet we will!)

    EA won't have exclusivity on Star Wars games forever, and the rage over Battlefront II must still sting. Mass Effect is theirs, and the only reason it can't be the "Star Wars" of the gaming world is if EA simply doesn't capitalize on it, because building long-lasting brands with die-hard fans isn't something MOST franchises get the luxury of.

    2. ESTABLISHED MULTIPLAYER APPEAL - EA wants GaaS? Well, Mass Effect 3 gave them a huge amount of incentive to do so, and it's still trucking along. Andromeda didn't quite get the fans riled up the same way with its multiplayer (and does anyone remember that Inquisition had it?), but ME3's multiplayer and tie-in to the events of the story made it a must-play for several fans, and it's no surprise many came for the single-player but stayed for the exciting, team-driven multiplayer. It had its limits and its flaws, which is why reworking it or creating additions to it in the modern gaming climate would serve EA well. Hell, I'm sure they could ride the multiplayer out for years by just creating new maps and modes, and I wouldn't be shocked to hear "Mass Effect Battle Royale" floating around the EA offices.
    [​IMG]
    (whoever gave us "biotic Volus" deserves a raise)

    4. TIMING - Andromeda was better than its poor reputation, but it was not ready for prime-time, and the Mass Effect series has been in a dry spell ever since. The climate of gaming has changed, however, and is more ready to realize the potential the series original proposed than ever before. Mass Effect started, after all, as a weird new IP exclusive to a Microsoft console, with staggered PC and PS3 releases over the years, a random Wii U port of only the 3rd game, incomplete Trilogy collections, a jump from Steam to Origin, and a gaming landscape that was increasingly running out of storage space on DVDs while online content and experiences were rising in popularity. Mass Effect was never consolidated to one definitive release, and that splintered its userbase at the time. Now, I imagine there'd be no timed console exclusivity, only a single digital storefront, and no hassles to get all the content upfront. It's a perfect recipe to attract legions of new fans and cater to returning ones, more so now than ever before.

    3. MONEY - This is really it. The big one. At the end of the day, all EA really wants is to make a handsome profit. The decision to remake or remaster Mass Effect doesn't come down to passion or desire or fan-interest, but cold, hard cash and demanding shareholders. They'll bring up charts, chase after every popular trend, and will consider 6 mobile spin-off game ideas for the series before seriously considering a remaster. Ultimately, I believe the Mass Effect brand is strong enough to overcome a notorious ending, a misguided spin-off, and any of the other issues I've brought up before because what it does SO WELL is invest players in its world, make them care about its character and universe, and make players HAPPY to support the series if it means we get more exciting and satisfying games like it. I've been waiting years with my money ready to pre-order a Mass Effect Trilogy Remastered the moment its announced, whatever its ambition, and it's a sentiment I see on every single website and forum I've ever been too. Every mention of Mass Effect for the past several years in every comment section has demands for a Trilogy remaster. On raw metrics, I see the demand, and I want EA to supply.

    4. IT MATTERS - Yes, money and profit and business... but there are thousands of games per year. What made Mass Effect special? Why does it resonate and continue to resonate with millions of players to this day? There's honestly almost nothing else like it - not in style, gameplay, ambition, character writing, or evolution. While it didn't always hit the mark, the franchise STILL stands above its peers in crafting a thrilling space saga rife with exploration, mystery and intrigue, tragedy, romance, and triumph. It was a watershed franchise in giving players of all backgrounds avatars of diversity, regardless of race, sex, or orientation. It tackled heavy issues of xenophobia, transphobia, culture wars, corrupt politics, religion, genocide, sacrifice, morality, sexism, transhumanism, and so much more. It was crafted with love and care, even in its failings, and confidently explored a wide, unknown universe that served as a powerful reflection of ourselves and our own place in this world. It wasn't just fluff; it had messages to share, of tolerance, acceptance, sacrifice, devotion, endurance, and reconciliation. It didn't always have the easiest answers; it didn't always have the happiest conclusions. But it had something to say, and so many others out there deserve to see and experience it for themselves as well.

    So... that's my summary. Are you still interested in a Mass Effect Trilogy remaster? Do you think there's other factors in play? What would YOU want in a Mass Effect Trilogy at this point? Would it be better to wait for the PS5 or next Xbox? Sound off below...

    ... and a belated thank you again to Bioware and EA for making my favorite sci-fi universe of all time. You helped me create memories I've shared with friends and family through this series. I married a wonderful woman who has put just as much time into these games as I have. I've purchased this trilogy as gifts for three of my friends and I've enjoyed so much of my time on the old Bioware forums and elsewhere sharing the stories of my adventures through the Milky Way, and I earnest hope that a new generation of players can experience the same emotional highs I felt traversing the stars as Vigil's theme softly echoed in the void.
    [​IMG]

    I should go.
     
  7. TheRaidenPT

    TheRaidenPT
    Member

    ME1 needs a combat overhaul that's all that matters...
     
  8. Sou Da

    Sou Da
    Member

    I think you really underestimate how much the current BioWare staff does not want to relive ME3
     
  9. Man God

    Man God
    Member

    Maybe EA was looking into it before Andromeda...
     
  10. StereoVSN

    StereoVSN
    Member

    I would love to see a remastered trilogy with better graphics, UI and DLC integration (own DLC for both PS3 AND PC actually). It’s especially important to get new players into ME universe considering MEA debacle.

    However EA is not going to do it and they pretty much stated that. For whatever reason they are just not interested in remakes/remasters.
     
  11. Sargerus

    Sargerus
    Member

    Just buy a PC [​IMG]
     
  12. John Kowalski

    John Kowalski
    Member

    Honestly i think this is a terrible idea.

    What i wish they'd do instead is allow other developers to make games in the ME universe.

    Books are cool and all but games could try a lot of different things.
     
  13. Starlatine

    Starlatine
    Member

    Would rather have patches for the bc versions. I dont want current bioware touching the older games. Nothing good will come out of it
     
  14. Best OP in a while. Kudos. I'd love to see a remaster.
     
  15. NKnight7

    NKnight7
    Member

    For me, I think the two main things I’d want are just graphical updates and all DLC included. Even then though I’m getting to that point where I just don’t see a remaster happening. I’d love it if it did though.
    Also this.
     
  16. StereoVSN

    StereoVSN
    Member

    This could be done by hiring a porting studio. I rather doubt EA would ever put one of the main teams on it.
     
  17. Starlatine

    Starlatine
    Member

    I don't think external porting studios are suited to do all the changes OP is asking for or if EA would ever let them

    If something is ever going to happen, you can bet EA will send one of their own to do it
     
  18. Hagi

    Hagi
    Member

    A remaster of the first 2 I'd play the hell out of but I doubt we'd get anything that different from the original games especially to the extent of what you want.
     
  19. TechnicPuppet

    TechnicPuppet
    Member

    Didn't have time to read it all but I'd be up for it.
     
  20. Starlatine

    Starlatine
    Member

    if anything anyone remaking the first game would listen to the silly complaints and ruin their inventory system/combat to make it more like ME2 and that would be a heinous crime
     
  21. nynt9

    nynt9
    Member

    While the high points of the series were great and memorable, a lot of the in between (the fetch quests, the back and forth, planet scanning, corridor shooting) was pretty rote and doesn't hold up well. I don't know how to fix that short of a full on remake, which would be way too ambitious and expensive.
     
  22. saenima

    saenima
    Member

    This is probably the only last gen remaster i want. But i really want it. The whole trilogy with DLC. I never played 3's DLC and never had a chance to play through all 3 games with the same character as i played each game on a different platform. And this is the one remaster that is pretty much guaranteed to sell very well.
     
  23. butman

    butman
    Member

    All 3 games should have ME2 combat. Is the best one.
     
  24. BIGMEANCHIEF

    BIGMEANCHIEF
    Member

    One *hell* of an OP and I read it's entirety! I'm so glad to see that there is still such enflamed passion for The Mass Effect series (I figured it had diminished over the years). It remains one of my favorite sci-fi games to date even after the past decade. HD textures and 60fps are a must IMO, but I could also do with Bioware somehow working in another character that is strictly player controlled. Call me crazy but I am still fiending to play as an Elcor ever since I read the Index snippet that said they were basically walking tanks with shoulder mounted turrets to repel the Reaper invasions.
     
  25. Andrew Lucas

    Andrew Lucas
    Banned Member

    Hell fuckin' yes. Pls.
     
  26. Ushay

    Ushay
    Member

    IF EA redid the trilogy as a seamless game, while doing even half of the things on that list. I'd definitely consider buying it again, legendary series does indeed deserve a legendary remaster/update.
     
  27. geomon

    geomon
    Member

    I've been wanting a remaster since the PS4 launched.
     
  28. TheBaldwin

    TheBaldwin
    Member

    The DLC is still a nightmare

    They finnally released dlc packs.........at £20....for each game.

    Give me a console 1080P 60FPS with all DLC (and maybe multiplayer for 3) included and ill be happy as fuck. I dont want a frostbite remake from the groundup.
     
  29. Strike

    Strike
    Member

    It should've happened before Andromeda.
     
  30. Bombless

    Bombless
    Member

    What you're asking for and what other people are asking for is one of the main reasons why this will likely never be made. Even if it IS made it will not live up to expectations of people and there will be an even worse backlash.
     
  31. jrpl

    jrpl
    Member

    Can we have a remaster of Dragon Age Origins first please? That game gets no love
     
  32. Ruin

    Ruin
    Member

    If EA is so tone deaf to see how this would make them a lot of money, and be considered fanservice if done right,

    let us at least get them Xbox X enhanced.
    I truly think EA has not OK an X enhancement of Mass Effect, otherwise Microsoft would have capitalized on it.
     
  33. Sou Da

    Sou Da
    Member


     
  34. Sgt. Demblant

    Sgt. Demblant
    Member

    The biggest hurdle is that my love story with Garrus (and Tali, but please don't tell Gar) is too intense for 4K.
     
  35. kennyamr

    kennyamr
    Member

    I'd buy it. ME2 is still one of my all time favs. Such a good game.
     
  36. Garlador

    Garlador
    Member OP

    All I'm asking for is the basics in part 1. Everything past that is just ambitious tweaking that would be appreciated but not a sticking point.
     
  37. OMEGALUL

    OMEGALUL
    Member

    There's no way that the DLC will be included in the game, It will be probably 20 bucks per pack like on origin. EA needs the money to recover from the failure of Mass Effect: A
     
  38. rras1994

    rras1994
    Member

    They did mention recently about hopefully doing it but mentioned it would be alot of work
    https://twitter.com/BioMarkDarrah/status/1053727224933756928
     
  39. Moebius

    Moebius
    Member

    Yes please. Mass Effect is awesome. I would love to see them remake all 3. The planets in Mass Effect 1 could look so much better.
     
  40. Mr. Phellps

    Mr. Phellps
    Member

    There is nothing I'd love more right now than a trilogy remaster. Hell, they can go all in and remake it on Frostbite and I'll pay $60 for each. Take what they developed for Andromeda and improve it.
     
  41. Lumination

    Lumination
    Member

    99% of what you've asked for won't happen. If they do remaster it, I'd be damn surprised if they even added the hairstyles like you said. You'll get an upres and the DLC packaged, and you'll like it. :(
     
  42. StereoVSN

    StereoVSN
    Member

    Well, that would be dumb from all kinds of perspective. People are not buy a remaster for 3 old games for $60 and then spend another $60 on DLC.

    What a remaster with integrated DLC brings tot he table is re-introducing people to ME universe, sweeping MEA under the table, and setting up for the next ME game. They might need to retcon ME3 ending a bit more too.
     
  43. ClarkusDarkus

    ClarkusDarkus
    Member

    Impossible for me to forget ME3 and the abomination that is was, The fact they had day1 dlc and ended the game telling us to buy dlc was my lasting memory of the series.

    Remaster ME1/2 and the story for me ends with the Lair of the shadow broker dlc. Marauder shields spin off or summat.
     
  44. Garlador

    Garlador
    Member OP

    Like most of ME1, it has a beautiful framework there. I wish there was more interesting things to do on the planets, but I would be lying if I said I didn't miss their stunning vistas in later games.
    I'd love to see them tackle things like improved foliage and weather systems for the planets. Really bring them to life.

    Honestly, if it's just a 60fps upres with all DLC, I WOULD like it. But it's N7 Day. I dared to dream.
     
  45. LavaBadger

    LavaBadger
    Member

    With cleaned up graphics and gameplay, ME1 would still be a great game.

    With tweaked mechanics (Maybe an expansion of the RPG mechanics to be more expansive, like ME1), and touch ups for graphics, ME 2 would still be a great game.

    At the end of the day, the problems with ME3 are so numerous that I cannot imagine a remaster actually making me want to replay that games. While I love ME1 and 2, the fact that 3 is such a downturn sours me on the idea. I would love to love Mass Effect again, but short of redesigning the main story, several of the major encounters/side stories, and restructuring much of the action throughout the game, I just don't see myself still walking away anything but seriously disappointed in a remaster. The work that would need to be done to ME3 to reinvigorate the series for me just isn't going to happen. A rewrite is what's needed for this title, not a remaster.
     
  46. rras1994

    rras1994
    Member

    And the real reason that would make BioWare hesitant to touch the original trilogy with a barge pole. They recieved so much hate for that ending that none of the Edmonton team wanted to make a new Mass Effect which is why it was handed off to Montreal, devs ended up in therapy. I would say go for it if I didn't think there wasn't still a huge chance that there would be another harassment campaign.
     
  47. inky

    inky
    Member

    There's more fanfiction here than in the Citadel DLC and Indoctrination theory put together.

    I think I've seen this thread monthly for 4 years now. Beats doing yet another new game I guess.
     
  48. TheBaldwin

    TheBaldwin
    Member

    Id say your insane for them to sell dlc sperately for a nearly 6 year old game, but if anyone will do it, its EA.

    Burnout paradise remaster had all dlc included though right?
     
  49. shinobi602

    shinobi602
    Newman Administrator

    Who's that weirdo in the tweet?
     
  50. hydruxo

    hydruxo
    Member

    Wow great job with the OP.

    I've wanted a ME trilogy remaster for years. With the series on ice for the foreseeable future, it seems like it's the absolute best time to do it now. I hope it happens.