Cheats and Walkthroughs
Only one day after the announcement of Mass Effect 3: The Extended Cut DLC, BioWare held their first public forum with the gaming community at PAX East 2012. BioWare's panelists included a mix of writers, producers and community outreach: Chris Priestly, Mike Gamble, Corey Gaspur, Patrick Weekes, John Dombrow, and Reid Buckmaster. Exec Producer, Casey Hudson and Lead Writer, Mac Walters, were not in attendance.
The panel began with Chris Priestly acknowledging how much the community loves BioWare, which was met by laughter from the crowd. That was the general tone of the audience, there was an elephant in the room and everyone saw it. As the panel was in its first few minutes you could hear fans yelling from the hall, "Why did you do it?" "We love you devs." "We love you still." I think we all felt better after getting that out of our system.
Producer Mike Gamble got the panel moving with a survey, a show of hands; Which game in the series was your favorite? A few dozen raised their hands for ME1, the same number raised their hand for ME3, but 90% of the room raised their hand for ME2. I could tell by the faces of everyone on the panel they had not expected that. I'll admit, I was part of the 90%.
Gamble knew what the crowd wanted to talk about: what's next? First up is the multiplayer DLC "Resurgence Pack," which will be released next Tuesday, April 10th, for free. Resurgence offers up new classes, maps, and generally expands the multiplayer experience. The trailer below played to a lukewarm response.
Single player DLC was up next. Gamble had a few things he wanted to make clear about Mass Effect 3: The Extended Cut. Most importantly, it is a not a new ending, not a reimagining of the ending. BioWare wanted to offer more information. "We wanted to clarify, we wanted to actually answer the questions," Gamble stated. BioWare's community team put together a list from twitter, Facebook, forums, and I assume cupcakes, and they are addressing what fans wanted.
The main purpose of the extended scenes is to add "a sense of personalization." When you complete it, they hope you'll have the information and the context you need to feel satisfied. This means more than a few scenes, more than "a small coat of paint," as Gamble put it. It's a considerable amount and "we're happy to be doing it." The panelists wouldn't give up a concrete release date, but they are aiming for a summer released for Extended Cut. It will also be free.
During the community portion, Priestly read some questions from Twitter. The most interesting questions resulted in inquiring as to why the ending didn't answer the questions the community now wanted? The panelists agreed the dev team stands by what they released in the core product but that it did lack "a lot of the community feedback." They couldn't have gotten the feedback sooner since no one had played it, one panelist said. It wasn't included because they didn't know what the community wanted it.
Another interesting question addressed the controversy, if you can call it that, around Tali's face. Some feel the inclusion of a stock photo with lens flare doesn't seem up to par with their expectations of BioWare. In BioWare's defense, they sited Samara and Liara, whose faces were modeled after real people. When it came time to design Tali, they wanted that same level of photo-realism, and since the face was revealed in a photo, I suppose they were on the right track.
Finally, the Indoctrination Theory made its way to the discussion. BioWare didn't say much on the issue but Mike Gamble did say how much it "Illustrates how committed the fanbase is." They don't want to confirm or deny it, and understandably so, but that sounded like a big fat denial to me.
The audience was civil, the panelist were mildly informative, and overall, the awkwardness in the room amounted to nothing. There were no hard hitting questions of from the audience, but I think everyone left feeling better about the developers they've loved for so long. Announcing two packs of free DLC really must have won people over because the audience left happier than they walked in. The fans who mumbled behind me about the horrible ending, soon stopped whining in favor of discussing what happened to their Tali. I kind of can't wait to see Extended Cut, and I'm even more excited to see what BioWare does next.