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Mass Effect dev reveals just how rarely people played Shepard as a bad guy

Did you play Shepard as Paragon or Renegade?

Statistically speaking, the answer is probably Paragon.

According to former BioWare cinematic designer John Ebenger, around 92 percent of Mass Effect players played the game as a good guy.

"Yup. Something like 92% of Mass Effect players were Paragon. And we put a lot of work in to the Renegade content too :(" wrote Ebenger in a tweet.

Paragon and Renegade were the dual sides of the Mass Effect trilogy's morality system, which saw players choose different actions or lines of dialogue which would add to their character's score on either side. Paragon points could be gotten through acts of heroism or compassion. Renegade points would, by contrast, be received through acts of selfishness.

BioWare would experiment with this system throughout the trilogy. While in the original Mass Effect, morality was based on a total points score, in Mass Effect 2 it worked on percentages. Significantly changes were made for Mass Effect 3, which introduced a single reputation meter to which both Paragon and renegade points contribute.

Writing to Ebenger, one Twitter user called out the morality system and its tendency to incentivise one path over another.

"Yup, that's why it was changed for ME3" wrote Ebenger in response.


The latest entry in the series, Mass Effect: Andromeda abandoned the morality system altogether.

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