"the trilogy is over." They won't opt for a clone either.
The universe of Mass Effect is "vast, and very, very rich." Right now the studio is unsure of the timeframe as they're just "gathering ideas from the teams," and user feedback.
It's fair to say that they don't want another soldier character similar to Shephard when they return us to the Mass Effect realm. Perhaps we won't even be human?
“There is one thing we are absolutely sure of – there will be no more Shepard, and the trilogy is over," declared BioWare's Fabrice Condominas. “This is really our starting point. Now the Mass Effect universe is vast, and very, very rich. So at this point in time, we don’t even know what kind of time frame we’re going to be in. All we’re doing is more gathering ideas from the teams, gathering feedback to see several things.”
"So first, we don’t want to make ‘Shepard 2′, or Mass Effect 4 with like, ‘oh there’s no more Shepard but you’re a soldier in the universe’. So this will be a very, very different context for sure, and nothing has been decided on the rest.”
There are plenty of alien species to tap into that all have very colourful backgrounds and customs to be further explored. Of course the larger issue perhaps for any more instalments to the series it when it would take place. Will it occur post-Shephard and the Reaper threat? If so, will our choices made throughout the trilogy impact anything?
Mass Effect 3 gains the Omega DLC expansion to the campaign November 27th.