BioWare: The RPG “isn’t about stats and loot”

BioWare came under some criticism for streamlining the RPG elements of the Mass Effect series – but to the developer, RPGs are about exploration and decision-making, not “stats and loot”.

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TheHater2643d ago

I like my stats and look

NewMonday2643d ago

but in DA2 the big problems were:

- extensively recycled areas
- only the perception of the plot changes, choices don't actually change events. unlike DA Origins.

Blacktric2643d ago (Edited 2643d ago )

"BioWare came under some criticism for streamlining the RPG elements of the Mass Effect series –"

MASS EFFECT SERIES. Not Dragon Age 2. You can say whatever you want about Dragon Age 2 but Mass Effect series was an action/RPG hybrid to begin with. Just because they streamlined some elements doesn't mean it's not an RPG. Hell, it's more RPG than some games claim to be today. Even save import feature is a proof of it.

Space_Monkey2643d ago

@ Blacktric
Infamous 2 has a save import feature, yet I would not consider it a RPG.

TyrionL2642d ago

@ Spacemonkey
You can’t compare the import feature of Infamous 2 to that of Mass Effect. There not even the same sport, much less in the same league. I might as well compare professional Hopscotch to the NFL. In Infamous 2 you get a little boost in your Good/Bad meter. In ME the story transfers. If you killed this guy in one, he won’t be in two, or three, your choices impact the actual events and characters, of the story to the point it can be comp[lately different. So your example is not at all relevant.

Blacktric2642d ago (Edited 2642d ago )

"Infamous 2 has a save import feature, yet I would not consider it a RPG."

This along, shows how pathetic some people are when they attempt to throw mud at something they don't like (not to mention he joined 17 hours ago). Does every choice you've made in inFamous affects inFamous 2? No. If you took the good path, it gives you a bit of a good karma at the begginning along with a new power and if you're bad, it just gives you some bad karma at the beginning that's all. In Mass Effect, all of your choices matters one way or another. Even the effects of side missions can be transferred from one game to the next which is incredible. But of course, we're at N4G and you guys can't sit on your butts for one second without throwing sh*t at games like Mass Effect and Call Of Duty. Grow up....

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JsonHenry2643d ago

I like it too.

But for me the heart of the RPG has always been about character progression of some kind and a Story to go along with the tale.

Neckbear2643d ago (Edited 2643d ago )

I do, too.

Also, a role-playing videogame bases itself on stats, loot and NUMBERS first and foremost.

So...yeah, BioWare. At least bother to learn the definition of the genre you're so fond in making.


Which "next level", may I ask? The level where games stop being about adventures based on the core mechanics of Dungeon & Dragons, and instead ditching that for an "accessible" game with mediocre gameplay, badly written romance, embarrassing events and even worse characters?

Right. Okay, then.

pandehz2643d ago

Lmao dont tell Bioware to define it.

You prolly learnt it from them.

They're trying to take it to the next level not repeat everything they did.

Simon_Brezhnev2643d ago


Bioware is not trying to take nothing to the next level.

evrfighter2643d ago

Next level for bioware is easy mode so the super casuals will buy it.

8bit_Nes_Rambo2643d ago

Bioware is Square enix in training mode. Atleast Square made a variety of awesome games in the 90's. All Bioware does is copy and paste the same formula with updated graphics.

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wallis2642d ago

Who cares what an rpg is about. People like stats and loot. Since the dawn of the rpg, for probably five decades, people have liked loot and stats in their games (electronic or board). I don't think bioware have any right to stampede their way into the scene and think that five decades of nerds have been totally wrong about what they like.

So bioware you have two choices - keep on making gears effect 3. Or... Or... and bear with me here... you LISTEN to the people who buy your games and try to make it fit what they want cause they're, ya know, buying the fucking game?

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firemassacre2643d ago

its about custmoization, and making your world come to life imo

RedDead2643d ago (Edited 2643d ago )

It used to be about both or just stats, either one of them was considered an Rpg. ME is a Tps with RPG elements. The exploration part being the RPG element. Times are changing

And before anyone ses "but your still playing the role of someone" Yes of course you are, just like every video game. That's not an RPG

PandaJenkins, I don't mind them doing a TPS with exploration and choices, but when I see an Rpg on a shelf in a store, I expect character progression to be heavily integrated. ME1had enough of it, ME2 did not, Me3 will probably not, they are even aiming to be better than TPS, not other Rpg's.

Legion2643d ago

Ha... you stole my line on the "That's not an RPG" when referring to the "but you're still playing the role of someone" remark.

It is true that ME2 was not overly focused on character progression. But it had enough of it with the ability upgrades through the game that gave you an RPG progression. You gained abilities through the game as you leveled up. And were able to put those abilities into areas that you chose.

I wish they would have focused more on the armor and weapons though. I love the aspect of RPGs where you are able to find equipment and unique stuff that adds to the gameplay. I basically stood with one set of armor through the whole game because it was better in stats. But it looked like crap and I could only really modify the color.

A little dress up with your action hero ain't such a bad thing. Let me swap out gloves, helmet, boots, etc. and not have to rely on set load outs.

Ethereal2643d ago

I agree. Although the new bench system in ME3 might give us more customization when it comes to weapons. Oh and you can pick up enemy weapons so I suppose more of them are on the way, which is a good thing. Regardless if some of the RPG elements take a back seat, it is still an story driven(non multiplayer) experience with heavy character development and choices that span several games. That within itself makes it an RPG when compared to something like Gears of War.

PandaJenkins2643d ago

Finally Bioware you say the right thing instead of just 'making it more accessible'. I have always been a massive RPG fan, of the hardcore RPG's but also the less hardcore ones. One thing that has particularly been annoying me is those who claim games like ME2 or DA2 are 'not' RPG's because they have been simplified in some areas.

The fact is there is several aspects that can make a game an RPG, not all of them have every single one of them and not every aspect of them has to be hugely complex. ME2 was certainly an RPG, even if the loot was simplified and the combat played more like a typical TPS. It just had several different aspects that made it an RPG like they speak about in the quote from the article.

I find it pathetic people call themselves true RPG fans when they can't appreciate the different kinds we get, instead they just bitch and whine all day about how they are all simplified. There is still enough complex ones out there, or ones that have enough depth to keep us who also like those kinds of RPG's happy. But I also love RPG's that are expressed in ways like ME does through the sheer experience and interaction they offer.

ViserysTargaryen2643d ago (Edited 2643d ago )

I agree. There's plenty of room at the RPG table. There's no need to bitch and whine about different flavors of RPGs, just enjoy them all for what they are. The hardcore RPG-ers can play Dragon Age while the action RPG types can play ME.

Its a win all around.

LastDance2643d ago

I'll look forward to a real RPG like Skyrim or (wow) even two worlds 2.

Don't look forward to excuses.

DA2 sucks

Simon_Brezhnev2643d ago

Witcher 2 is a real RPG hell its the best RPG this generation so far. They always got excuses this generation. Criticize JRPGS, Rate their own games 10, Rate the competition low, and just copy and paste from Baldur's Gate.

BigPenguin2642d ago

I agree, witcher 2 is definitely a cut above the rest of the RPG's. It has a story line more compelling then Mass Effect and DA2, and did not have to dumb down everything to do it.

pandehz2643d ago (Edited 2643d ago )


Expectations. Thats what the problem is.

Every character based game is a role-playing experience, some developers tilt more towards the roleplaying and thus creating a role playing game.

But ppl EXPECT every rpg to play out the same with a different story or engine.

Its like every terminator movie with a similar formula which obviously did not work. Also for an artist it is generally a fruitless attempt, it only makes sense maybe commercially like cod does.

So yea if ppl are not up for innovation and want to play the same game they played when they were kids only with a newer graphics engine , then they should clearly say so instead of beating around the bush saying "this is not an rpg" and "that element is missing" etc

PandaJenkins2643d ago (Edited 2643d ago )

Well said. It annoys me that there is some sort of factual consensus that RPG's have to be a particular way. It is also ridiculous that the RPG genre may be the only one that actually is innovated in any way and people whine when there actually is innovation just like when they do with the lack of it in general these days.

I just don't understand why people have to be so uptight about it all. This is coming from someone who LOVES hardcore RPG's and always has since he was a young kid. But it doesn't mean I have to shun anything that is streamlined today for pathetic reasons.

Now if someone doesn't like the changes in any case, well then that's their opinion. But that doesn't stop the games from being RPG's, that is more so what annoys the heck outta me is people making such terrible claims.

TyrionL2642d ago

I agree with both of you. They say it's not an "RPG" because of the game play mechanics. Well I say it is more of an RPG than most other games this gen. You are playing the role of the main character, and your decisions drive the story, more so in ME than any other game I know. I've never played a game where my decisions in the first game carry over to the second, and third in such a story changing way. Your decisions help shape the story in way I've never seen in a game, and in ways two different people could end up with 2 very different outcomes. I hope more series do this kind of thing. Mass Effect is my favorite new IP this gen, and it is nothing but 100% RPG, no matter how you play it.

Ethereal2643d ago (Edited 2643d ago )

Agreed, bubbles. It could be the expectation of last gen when grand RPG were just as common as the shooters of this gen. If anyone took the time to realize that the RPG elements that kept you coming back have been deeply embedded into almost any type of game today. Online experience and level progression came from the RPG. Perks and reward that you can show off for completing certain tasks are from the RPG. Funny to see how much RPG we are getting in other games today.

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