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Design Document for Omega

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Design Document for Omega

Postby Sil » 16 Jul 2016, 19:24

Design Document: Adding Omega to the game after Priority: Omega.

Introduction

Okay, alright, here goes. I am writing a design document for how Omega could possibly be added to Mass Effect 3 after the completion of the Priority: Omega DLC. The reason I am writing this is that although most people talk about adding new missions to the game (which would be awesome), I’ve actually longed to see more story content being added and having more worlds to visit. I loved it in ME1 where you could walk around a piece of Noveria, Feros, and The Citadel, or in ME2 where you had Omega, Illium, Tuchunka, and so forth. I was somewhat disappointed that there weren’t more places to visit in Mass Effect 3, sure the Citadel is great, I love it, but I’d hoped maybe to return to a few others. When the Omega DLC came out I assumed that we’d get to visit it once we saved the station, how wrong I was. I’d still love to revisit it during Mass Effect 3, even if there is little content here beyond a shop, the Club, and some overheard chats that lead to collecting missions like on The Citadel. I’ll be honest and say that I’d much rather return to Illium than Omega, but I believe that due to Omega being present in ME3 it makes sense to discuss reincorporating it first. I will eventually try an Illlium one as well, should this design go over well.

Before I get too far into this I want to clarify a few things:

1) This isn’t a request thread, I’m merely writing up a design for what Omega could be like if someone decided to add it. I’m not demanding it to be made, or anything like that. This is a theoretical idea.
2) I know of, or at least have a strong idea of, the sheer quantity of work that would have to go into this to make it at all feasible. So, there is no need to tell me how hard it would be, how impossible, implausible or whatever. I’m writing this as a design only, if someone wants to try it, by all means! Feel free! But bear in mind that it’ll be a true ***** to add into the game.
3) If I make any factual errors or if anyone has any ideas for what could be put here, let me know, I’ll add them in where appropriate. I’d love for this to be a collaborative effort, that’s the best way of getting an idea of what fans would want. When it comes to the overheard assignments, that’ll be where I need help the most.
4) Returning characters will be at a minimum for the obvious reasons of a lack of voice acting to use to voice them. I’m expecting to have fewer than a handful on the list, and those will likely just reuse lines from Mass Effect 2, even if they are slightly changed. This hasn’t stopped me writing dialogue for new characters instead, as they could be voiced by anyone with a decent microphone and a small bit of talent for voice acting.
5) Anything newly written by me won’t be to the highest of my standards, as I’m doing a lot of creative writing for my book and graphic novels. I’m writing a basic version of how the conversations could go, which could be spruced up at any time.
6) Last but not least, I may be doing this for a bit of fun but I’m also trying to write it in such a way that it could theoretically be added some day, that’s why I won’t be adding in content such as new levels to fight over or adding tonnes of dialogue to old characters. The limitations are partly there to try to encourage me to take the limits as far as I can without breaking them.

The Map of Omega

Physical Map

The logical place to start this is the map, without a map there wouldn’t be much point in discussing and designing all of this. Since Omega featured so prominently in Mass Effect 2, this gives us a decent map to make use of for this potential mod. When speaking of the map I am neglecting to include the NPC’s, as they will no doubt change and they will be discussed further down the line. I see a few ways we could deal with the map:

1) The hub map of Omega from ME2 is used as is. No changes are made to the physical structure of the map although areas may be repurposed from what they currently are used for. This means you’d get to access Afterlife, the shopping area and the ‘underground’ bit where the Vorcha hang out.
2) Bits of the Omega from ME3 are used, meaning we’d see a ruined Afterlife, but the majority of the map would remain the same as ME2. This could either mean that Afterlife is locked off and comments can be made by NPC’s regarding it, or it’s available for Shepherd to run around in its damaged state.
3) The map of Omega ME2 is used, but it is adjusted and edited to show battle damage and signs of the occupation of Omega by Cerberus. This would mean we would see Afterlife in action as it once was, but it would have visible signs of battle. This would require the most work, probably too much.
4) Only a small part of Omega is made use of, this could be cut back to just having the first level of Afterlife, the docking area, and the shops. It wouldn’t be quite as grand, but would require a little less development.

Of those four, I believe that the first option is the best one to go with for this design document. I could see Aria wanting to wipe the slate clean and get places like Afterlife back into business, I mean, the place is essentially her throne room so I couldn’t see that staying a wreck for long. The most loreful option would be the third one, as we’d get Omega but we’d get to see some of the damage caused by Cerberus, and the scars they gave the space station wouldn’t have magically healed. This option would be very difficult to achieve, but would possibly have the biggest pay-off. For this design though, I will be running with using the hub map for Omega as it is but changing how some areas are used to give some visible signs of progress and of the current state of the war. I may close off areas during this design if there is a logical or interesting reason for doing so, but don’t expect it.

Email

Shortly after finishing the Priority: Omega DLC Shepherd would receive an email from Aria requesting Shepherd makes use of the station while he is fighting in the Terminus Systems. I would love to write an example of the email she would send, but it has been some time since I’ve seen/heard Aria and such I doubt I’m qualified to make it sound like her, yet. I may write the email here at a later date. The information, however, leads to Omega returning as a destination to enter on the map.

The Approach to the Station

When you decide to enter the station it would play the video from Mass Effect 2 of the Normandy arriving at the Omega station. That video more than does the trick when showing them arriving, and I believe that this should play every time, as it makes for a grander entrance than just spawning in the docks of the hub.

The Dock

The dock is a corridor that you spawn in when you first enter into the Omega hub, just as it was in Mass Effect 2. This is the corridor where you first meet Zaeed, and this time there are some slight changes. The fact is that this part will need something to make it feel different, an obvious first impression that is changed from the one you had in Mass Effect 2. From what I can remember of ME2, the initial corridor is empty except for an interaction with a Batarian when you first arrive, and then the aforementioned Zaeed scene. Instead, here are the ideas I have as a replacement:

1)You are once again greeted by that Batarian, using some clever editing of his lines we craft a new entrance to the arrival of Shepherd, otherwise it is exactly the same as it once was.
2) There is a new armed presence in this corridor made up of some of the Mercenaries that inhabit the station. I would think that the choices for this would be the Blue Suns, as their lore paints them as a form of security, and the Eclipse mercenaries would suit in this role as well. The Blood Pack would not, as they tend not to do security roles according to the lore on masseffectwiki. If the Blue Suns are the security presence, I’d place one each side of the doors, as well as two standing a small distance in front of Shephard. If the Eclipse are the ones guarding it, I’d have a similar set up but with a YMIR Mech waiting at the end of the corridor, in the same place that Zaeed is first found.
3) Instead of security, there are a number of refugees sitting around the place or standing and conversing with one another. This option would give the impression that Omega has become a “safe haven” for refugee’s from the Terminus systems. It would also show signs of the war going on.
4) A combination of options 2 and 3. Fewer refugee’s but a noticeable amount, and the same amount of mercenaries.
5) Nothing.

The option that I feel would be best would be number 4, a combination of having security (to show that Aria isn’t taking any chances following the Cerberus occupation) and having some refugee’s from the Terminus systems. For this, I’m going to pick the Eclipse Mercenaries to act as the security force, mostly because I love the mech’s, so having a YMIR Mech would be pretty cool. For anything like this dialogue needs to be written, so I’m going to have a stab at it right now:

*Salarian and Asari Eclipse Mercenaries approach Shepherd and gang on their first arrival on Omega*

Salarian Eclipse Merc: Who are you, what are you doing here? *Said in a stressful, confrontational manner*

Dialogue Paths:

Paragon:

Shepherd: Commander Shepherd of the Alliance Navy, and Spectre of the Citadel.

Asari Eclipse Merc: I knew I recognised you, you’re famous.

Salarian Eclipse Merc: He’s Commander Shepherd? The one from the vids?

Asari Eclipse Merc: Yes, it’s him.

Salarian Eclipse Merc: I don’t know how you can tell, but whatever.

Asari Eclipse Merc: Welcome aboard, Commander Shepherd.

*The two mercenaries step aside so Shepherd can pass*


Neutral:

Shepherd: Commander Shepherd of the Alliance Navy.

Asari Eclipse Merc: There’s no need for introductions, Commander, I know who you are.

Salarian Eclipse Merc: You did? Why didn’t you say?

Asari Eclipse Merc: I didn’t think I needed to. You saw the vids of what he did here.

Shepherd: It’s fine, not everyone in the galaxy knows who I am.

Salarian Eclipse Merc: Yes, yes, I’ll be sure to remember for the next time.

Asari Eclipse Merc: You should go, we’ve got more refugee’s coming behind you.

*The two mercenaries step aside so Shepherd can pass*


Renegade:

Shepherd: I’m the one who saved this station.

Asari Eclipse Merc: Idiot, that’s Shepherd!

Salarian Eclipse Merc: How should I know? *defensive* All humans look the same. *dismissive tone*

Shepherd: It’s not the first time something like this has happened. Salarians are always the worst at it.

Asari Eclipse Merc: He won’t make that mistake again, Commander Shepherd. *Apologetic*

Shepherd: He better not.

Salarian Eclipse Merc: You should go, we’ve got more refugee’s coming behind you.

*The two mercenaries step aside so Shepherd can pass*


Investigate

Option 1 - Refugees

Shepherd: Who are all these people?

Asari Eclipse Merc: Refugee’s from across the Terminus Systems, we’re one of the few safe places left in this part of the galaxy.

Salarian Eclipse Merc: Yes, but for how long with them all coming here?

Asari Eclipse Merc: I don’t know.

Salarian Eclipse Merc: No, none of us do.

Option 2 - Omega

Shepherd: How’s the station holding up?

Asari Eclipse Merc: Good, but the station is still being repaired. A lot of businesses here stumped up the credits to get the repairs going. Aria was very persuasive, and because of that we’re open for business.

Salarian Eclipse Merc: We’re only open to those with good reasons for being here. What are you here for? *confrontational*

Option 3 - Security

Shepherd: Security seems tighter than it used to be.

Salarian Eclipse Merc: Aria’s being cautious, she has every right to be since the invasion. Luckily, she picked the most experienced security company for this detail.

Shepherd: Security Company? I thought the Eclipse were mercenaries.

Asari Eclipse Merc: Can’t we be both? It’s not unknown for us to be hired for battle, but most of our contracts are for security.


Once you get past those two you can never talk to them again, which probably doesn’t seem like a great loss! Anyway, once you’re past them you run through the corridor passing a few refugee’s waiting to get into the station. At the end of the corridor, at the doors into the courtyard outside of Afterlife, there are another two Eclipse Mercenaries here. They do not speak to you. As mentioned earlier, there is also a YMIR Mech at the end of the corridor.

As you run past the refugee’s, there should be some ambient dialogue to hear. Nothing that adds a mission, assignment, whatever, but just dialogue to add atmosphere. Here are a few example ambient conversations:

Refugee A: I knew something was happening when the colonies on Cyrene and Ferris Fields fell silent, but no, none of you listened until it was too late, we could’ve escaped the Reapers sooner if you had only listened! *Perhaps grief or desperation in his voice*
Refugee B: You told us it was Batarians and you wanted to build a bunker! Can you blame us for not listening? We’d be dead now if we’d listened to you. *angry, or perhaps exasperated*
Refugee A: But I just… *sad, resigned, lost*
Refugee B: …I know, I know. But we’re safe now, at least. *gentle reassurance*

Refugee C: Is it just me, or are the aliens getting through quicker than we are?
Refugee D: Animals stick together, I guess. *muttered*
Refugee C: Quiet! Don’t let them hear that, we’ll be kicked off the station! *hushed, angry tones*

Refugee E: Sam… My god, is that you?
Refugee F: I thought you were…
Refugee E: We were… we were lucky. But I’m alive, I’m safe, and I’m here.
Refugee F: What of Jack, Daniel, the others?
Refugee E: …I’m sorry, they weren’t on my shuttle. I’ll try to find out what happened, but I…
Refugee F: N-no…

Those are just a few ideas of the kind of conversations that could be found there. I doubt there would be a need for many, unless people are really keen on visiting the place. So, once you move past the refugee’s and the two guards on the door into the Courtyard in front of Afterlife, which I’ll go into for the next part of this.

A final note, and saying it once more, bear in mind that this is just for fun rather than a serious request for making it. I know how difficult it is to add and so forth, but it’s fun to design things and it’d be great to have any input and ideas people have! :)
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Re: Design Document for Omega

Postby sansuni » 16 Jul 2016, 23:18

Yeah, I wouldn't call it impossible, but your idea is in deep down into the improbable territory. I am not saying your idea is bad mind you, I am just saying it is probably never going to happen unless someone ports ME games to a newer engine. (and that's not going to happen, at least not any time soon)

I doubt we could port maps from ME2 to ME3 at the moment. Even if we could, there would be mountain of issues, not to mention legal ones from what I am guessing. (though I would love to see that happen if it is at all possible.)

On a relevant note, I always wondered why we can't visit locations we visited on previous games. Such as citadel locations. Some of them were destroyed, I get that, but they were restored to their original condition by the keepers and most of them should be back to business. It just doesn't make any damn sense that we don't even have the option to revisit same locations between games.

Adding entirely new lines is problematic at best. There is a point even soundalikes won't cut it.
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Re: Design Document for Omega

Postby Sil » 21 Sep 2016, 12:26

I never got around to responding to you, which I'm sorry about! I was going to build on this idea more, but I decided that I need to replay Mass Effect 3 before I write any more on the idea. While playing it, I did think that the most awesome way of adding Omega back to ME3 would be through porting the ME2 map, but I feel it is not the best way. I played through the Omega DLC and realised that I had forgotten all about Aria's bunker, and that bunker is already a hub. If someone was going to attempt to add a new hub back to the game, then I feel the best option is to have it so you can return to her bunker. The map is already part of the game, there are voice files associated with it and the bunker even has a shop. If it could be reloaded with a few alterations to give a reason to go back, such as a few ambient assignments, then it would serve as a nice little hub to visit. If anyone was to make it, that would make the most sense.
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