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BioWare Tracking Player Behavior in Mass Effect 2

BioWare's Casey Hudson, Executive Producer for the Mass Effect franchise, admits that the company is collecting data from gamers who are currently playing Mass Effect 2. Hudson reassured players that the collection process is completely anonymous, and the acquired data will be used to help design the next installment in the series.

"The only data that we get are in terms of events--little things that happen in the game," Hudson explained.

"Let's say if we want to know whether players skip lines of dialogue, we can have that become a little event that gets sent up. It's all completely anonymous, so all we get is raw numbers for how many times these kinds of events occur. Then we can start getting ratios and comparing proportions and things like that. It becomes this mass of numbers, and then we have to try to figure out how we would interpret that."

Recent statistics gathered by Mass Effect 2 snooping revealed that the Engineer is the class least played, whereas the Soldier seems to be the overall favorite. Roughly 50-percent of the people who started Mass Effect 2 actually finished the game, whereas apparently two PC gamers completed Mass Effect 2 twenty-eight times. 15-percent of the in-game dialogue was skipped as well.

"Ultimately what it means for players is that we don't have to guess anymore about what players are doing," he said. "We can actually learn about what they like and what they don't like and just try to focus on building the good stuff."

Mass Effect 2 hit the Xbox 360 and PC back in January 26, 2010.

  • stingstang
    That's an extremely good idea! Nice disclaimer, too. I'm sure someone here will comment on how it can't be anonymous. (haters)
    I played through it twice, and yes, once as a soldier. Who wouldn't like the shield?
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  • xyzionz
    Just wonder and curious what are they going to do with those numbers...
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  • mayne92
    xyzionzJust wonder and curious what are they going to do with those numbers...Just being as nosey as the government...;-)
    Reply
  • Haserath
    It's good to know that they are trying to find what's makes the game slightly better, though I believe they wouldn't need to work on the small inconveniences if they just made the game great overall.

    If I get rated down for this comment I'm just going to have to go play Mass Effect 2 for the 29th time.
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  • Stryter
    Hey, I'm all for it if it gives us a kickass mind-blowing end to the trilogy. Lemme go play some more of it so I can do my part lol.
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  • jomofro39
    Please, please, let us know who are the two that played it TWENTY EIGHT TIMES!!!! But on a serious note, that is really cool IMO. I think it is great that a company cares about the direction the franchise is taking in terms of player reception, but I can only guess what data they took and how they will interpret it. Here's to hopin'!
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  • andrewcutter
    at the risk of being thumbed down, soldier call most played, 15 % dialog skipped. so the final game will have less dialogue and be a action packed soldier fest.. * concerened* :(
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  • danorou
    My bet goes on ThatAverageGatsby on youtube being one of the ones who played 28 times. It's sad that they started collecting data so late, now they will be getting mostly people who have played through before, and are much more likely to skip dialog and such.
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  • efeat
    xyzionzJust wonder and curious what are they going to do with those numbers...
    I'm guessing/hoping it means buffing of non-soldier classes. Not necessarily because they're weak, but strengthening the unique aspects of each class allows for a more varied playstyle. It will also probably interest a number of soldier class players and draw them to try different things. For example, a friend of mine played soldier because he just liked being in the thick of things and on the front lines. After I told him that sentinels were the most defensive class in the game, he tried one and loved it - he just didn't know that a tech/biotic class would be a tank.

    Edit: Judging from the wordage used by Casey in the article, a fair number of people did not do all of the loyalty missions. I can't believe anything other than completing all of them would be the norm.

    AndrewCutterat the risk of being thumbed down, soldier call most played, 15 % dialog skipped. so the final game will have less dialogue and be a action packed soldier fest.. * concerened* :(
    Oh gosh, I sincerely hope not...they already gutted more than a comfortable amount of the RPG elements from the first title.
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  • mlopinto2k1
    I smell ignorance. While BioWare snooping is pretty cool when looked at from their perspective, at this point I would not even want to know they are doing it. If they said, "Hey, we are going to be collecting event data to spawn the next game in the best possible way"... I might be inclined to feel more secure about it. This is like your spouse keeping tabs on you trying to be a better, well... spouse.. but telling you months after the fact that they have been doing it. Just weird.
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