Today’s release of the “Earth” DLC pack for Mass Effect 3′s multiplayer mode will no doubt draw a lot of fans who might have moved on to other games back in for at least a day or two. However every time one of these new multiplayer packs is announced, there seems to always be a very vocal outcry for more single-player DLC.
Some especially irate fans will go so far as to claim that Bioware is “wasting their time” with all this multiplayer DLC instead of devoting more effort to the “true” focus of the game: Shepard’s story. Now, while such statements are certainly a bit over the top, it does beg the question of where should Bioware be focusing most of its efforts?
A recent announcement at Comic-Con revealed that Bioware does have more single-player DLC in the works and that it will focus on Shepard but some fans still aren’t happy. Many upset fans level the blame for Mass Effect 3′s lackluster single-player endings squarely at the feet of the game’s multiplayer while others claim that trying to tie the multiplayer and single-player experiences together did more harm than good.
So far, a total of five DLC packs have been released for Mass Effect 3 and of those five, only two were for the game’s single-player component: the day one release “From Ashes” and the “Extended Cut.” Of course when you consider the poor reception “From Ashes” received (many fans were concerned with the DLC’s amount of content vs. its $10 price tag and others were outraged that Bioware was charging them for content that should have been in the base game), and the fact that Bioware had to make a whole separate DLC just to explain the game’s ending, it’s hard to build a convincing case for Bioware.
While Bioware itself hasn’t confirmed its existence yet, the recently rumored “Leviathan” DLC, in which Shepard must rescue an indoctrinated mining facility from a rogue Reaper and possibly recruit the Reaper to his side, could be a bit of welcome news if and when Bioware makes it official. However I’m also left wondering if fans will be happy with having to shell out another $10 for more single-player DLC when, so far, all of the game’s multiplayer DLC has been free.
What sorts of incentives would Bioware have to include in order to make the single-player DLC worth the price of entry? New planets to explore? New weapons and armor? New quest/story arcs? One idea that seems to have caught fire amongst the Mass Effect community is helping Aria T’Lok take back Omega from Reaper control. Such an idea certainly has potential; getting to amass an army of mercenary (and possibly Alliance) ships and personnel for an all out assault on the Omega base, re-establishing Omega as an allied forces stronghold from which Shepard could accept a whole bevvy of new quests and tasks, maybe even getting a new squadmate or two.
What would it take for you to boot up your old Mass Effect 3 saves? Should Bioware continue developing new content for the game’s multiplayer or should the refocus their resources and aim to deliver an appealing single-player experience?