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The Grue Café #6: The Massively Affected

Mass Effect 3

It has returned! Yet again we invite you to peruse the sandwich menu at The Grue Café, with this episode starring Kim and Doc Ezra. This episode focuses on the impending Mass Effect 3 release, plus a look at Dragon Age, and much, much more.

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Theme song courtesy of MC Frontalot. Of course.


  • I’ve been thinking of the difference between Bethesda and Bioware the same way I think about D&D 3.5 and 4th ed. The big thing is how much energy the game itself puts into RP. I feel like with Bethesda and D&D 4th ed., It makes the combat run smoothly and puts the responsibility of role playing into the hands of the player. 3.5 and Bioware seem to put more of the role playing into the rules of the universe. Sure, it’s easier to power-game in Skyrim, but it’s not impossible to immerse yourself in a compelling RP experience. The beauty of RPGs is that what is also existing in your imagination can be part of the video game experience without actually existing in the video game. But yeah, you do have to work harder to role play in bethesda games than you do in Bioware titles. I’ve found that in playing Skyrim, I have to get into and really own my character the minute they are generated. For the most part, all the critters will level with you. So if you make an effort to avoid power-gaming it, you should have a challenge all the way thru. (plus, Skyrim does also have a difficulty selection in the pause menu. Cranking that bad boy up actually makes the game über ridiculous!)

  • That’s an interesting metaphor – I can certainly see where you’re coming from. I would say that the choice of a silent/mute main character plays a big role as well. Looking just to Bioware, for instance, I’m way more invested in my Shepard than in my Warden from DA:O, because she talks, albeit at my direction. Even though I know the mute protagonist is supposed to make it easier to project yourself onto the main character, with me it’s the opposite. My Warden felt like a shooty puppet. My Shepard felt like a person. I find myself describing events in the game in first person – not “so-and-so did something to Shepard” but “so-and-so did something to ME.”

  • See, I have the exact opposite reaction. It may be my bias towards Fantasy, but for some reason I could never get into my character in Mass Effect. While I did very much feel like I was interacting with the story and the world, I felt like some mystical omnipresent force manipulating these people rather than actually being one of them. (God Complex much? lol probably why I’m a DM)

  • Grue Cafe Crew! D&D 5th addition has been put into development! :O I started playing with 4th ed. just after the 3.5/4th hatred had died down. So what will this mean for the game and those of us still paying 4th when 5ht drops? I’ve actually invested heavily into the books, Dungeon Tiles, Minis, published campaigns.. let’s make it easy and just call it around $2,000 dollars in materials (I’m the group’s DM). How do all y’all feel about this?

  • Honestly, Joey, it’s a bit too early to say, but once there’s actually some solid info on 5e out there to talk about, I suspect we’ll convene the Grue Cafe regulars to hash it all out. :)