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View Full Version : FC11: Mass Effect (Pt. 1 - through Noveria/Feros)


Parish
11-27-2007, 01:55 PM
Uh, so I haven't played this and don't really know what the major divisions in the story are, but I want to! So here we are. I'm going by the MyCheats Super Guide for divisions. Yeah.

Mass Effect
Bioware | Xbox 360 | RPG | November 2007

TALK TALK

sraymonds
11-27-2007, 02:04 PM
Well damn, I guess I'm putting down Assassin's Creed to start up Mass Effect now.

THANKS A LOT, DUDE

Falselogic
11-27-2007, 05:03 PM
Have some graduate school applications to finish up and then it's time for Mass Effect. I so hope it gets the bad taste of Jade Empires out of my mouth!

Parish
11-27-2007, 05:05 PM
I plan to start my own playthrough once I've published Issue Two (part one). So tomorrow, hopefully.

Schmidt
11-27-2007, 05:32 PM
Well poop. There goes my will to resist buying this for any longer.

Sapper Gopher
11-27-2007, 06:35 PM
Very similar to Kotor, there's a prologue of sorts before you get access to the galaxy map, then three planets that can be done in any order (Noveria is one of them), and a fourth planet that opens up after completing 2 of those 3 planets. Then there's the endgame. There's also sidequests on bland, barren worlds, and a few derelict freighters.
So anyways, saying "through Noveria" is a little misleading, since some might not do that first.

Sapper Gopher
11-27-2007, 06:55 PM
If you want to keep it to three threads, here's my suggested division:

1. Eden Prime, Citadel(everything before the galaxy map), Artemis Tau Cluster
2. Noveria and Feros(Any Order), sidequests
3. Virmire and Endgame

The first one has you go to Artemis Tau(one of the plot locations) first, but that's ok, because that gets you the last party member. I'd think most would prefer to have the whole team for the majority of the game, plus I dunno if the sidestory with that party member progresses if they're not there to talk to after the plot planets. For spoilerish reasons, it's best to save Virmire for last. Some sidequests may not be completable after that point, so that's why they should go in section 2.

Sarcasmorator
11-27-2007, 11:52 PM
Are grenades ever useful? They take like 10 seconds to go off. Ten seconds is too many!

Zeroneight
11-27-2007, 11:55 PM
Hit the back button again and they'll 'splode.

Sarcasmorator
11-28-2007, 12:11 AM
Ah! That makes sense. So they're not really grenades, they're remote bombs with a timer. Thanks.

Zeroneight
11-28-2007, 12:20 AM
No prob. I still haven't found them all that useful (they don't arc), but they're at least handy on one planet if you want to avoid death/getting massive Renegade points.

Jakanden
11-28-2007, 07:30 AM
If you want to keep it to three threads, here's my suggested division:

1. Eden Prime, Citadel(everything before the galaxy map), Artemis Tau Cluster
2. Noveria and Feros(Any Order), sidequests
3. Virmire and Endgame

The first one has you go to Artemis Tau(one of the plot locations) first, but that's ok, because that gets you the last party member. I'd think most would prefer to have the whole team for the majority of the game, plus I dunno if the sidestory with that party member progresses if they're not there to talk to after the plot planets. For spoilerish reasons, it's best to save Virmire for last. Some sidequests may not be completable after that point, so that's why they should go in section 2.

I would agree with this break up as your current breakup has an uneven gameplay grouping (time-wise).

I am still stunned by how much I love this game. I have never really been a Bioware fan and have never finished even one of their games (although I have played most), but this game is just incredible. If you are on the fence, just go get it.

poetfox
11-28-2007, 07:33 AM
The grenades confuse me because they like... hover in mid-air right where I point at, don't they? They seem to, but I haven't paid enough attention or used them much.

Also, are pistols awesome in this game for some reason or what? Totally awesome. Granted, they need to be since the majority of the classes are stuck with them, actually...

Also, what class is everyone? I'm playing Infiltrator, and I'm very happy with my choice. They turned out to be very offensive, which I'm enjoying more than I expected (I normally use more of a "turtle" strategy in games in general... high defense and healing are my priorities) and I like how my "spells" all have very useful side effects as well as doing damage. My brother is playing Adept, and watching him, I really don't know if I'd enjoy any of those powers more than Sabotage, Overload, and Dampening. Depending on how I'm feeling I can be strategic with them and use them to take out key enemies or just blast away at random, and they're still just about as effective either way. Then again, I suppose you get some of that with the biotic powers, too...

I also want to throw out the idea of taking crappy cell-phone pictures of our Shepards in the Squad screen for comparison. I'll do that later today.

Jakanden
11-28-2007, 07:48 AM
I am playing a Renegade Shock Trooper (Vanguard special class) and totally kicking ass. I got Charm, Intimidate Shock Trooper, and Specter skills maxed out with Pistol, Shotgun and armor nearly there.

I plan to go a dedicated Biotic user on the next playthrough though as I haven't really used most of my biotics save for the weapon ones and barrier.

poetfox
11-28-2007, 11:59 AM
I've got stupid pictures! This is my character (http://www.getmeoutofthis.net/gallery/d/83-2/img024.jpg). And, just for the hell of it, this is my brother's character (http://www.getmeoutofthis.net/gallery/v/internets/img023.jpg.html). Feel the awesomeness of cell phone cameras taking pictures of a CRT!

Reluctant Hero
11-28-2007, 12:19 PM
I just cleared the Citadel last night. Wow, this game is awesome. I was riding an elevator in the Citadel and I over heard a newscast about a missing survey team. So now I'm on my way to go find them as my first mission as a Spectre and in command of the Normandy. Awesome stuff. I can't wait to play more tonight!

ringworm
11-28-2007, 12:28 PM
I started it right before Thanksgiving travel happened and last night was the first time I had been able to play it since. I spent a surprising amount of time just reading/listening to the Codex. The Mass Effect universe is awesome and well constructed, I was totally content with just reading about it.

However I did actually play the game some too, and just finished the Citadel. I'm playing an Infiltrator and I love sniping idiots. I probably should put a little more effort into learning to manipulate the combat system, particularly using special abilities.

sraymonds
11-28-2007, 12:50 PM
I'm having trouble with the combat. I had to redo Eden Prime about 7 times because my teammates kept on dying. I may be playing too much like a shooter.

And what's up with giving me a sniper rifle in the beginning of the game if I can barely use it?

Jakanden
11-28-2007, 01:43 PM
I'm having trouble with the combat. I had to redo Eden Prime about 7 times because my teammates kept on dying. I may be playing too much like a shooter.

And what's up with giving me a sniper rifle in the beginning of the game if I can barely use it?

Everyone starts out with all 4 weapons regardless of class. Depending on the class is which ones you can use well.

sraymonds
11-28-2007, 01:46 PM
Everyone starts out with all 4 weapons regardless of class. Depending on the class is which ones you can use well.

Oh? I chose the soldier class. Maybe I'll start over then.

Sarcasmorator
11-28-2007, 02:50 PM
Soldiers can train in all the weapons, so if you want to use guns a lot, stick with that class.

Daydreamer
11-28-2007, 08:57 PM
This has been mentioned in the non-FC ME thread, but it bears repeating...

Spoilers: Benezia is a royal blue pain in the behind. That is all.

Parish
11-29-2007, 01:51 AM
So, I just started. This game seems to have permanent character deaths, and this frightens me.

I'm playing as Yukiko Shepard, a slightly pinch-faced lady of Japanese-American descent. She's a spacer child who joined the service to follow in her parents' steps. Her class is infiltrator, and I'm playing her very much in the paragon mold to stay true to her upbringing as a military brat. Her personality is pragmatic -- she's a "sole survivor" type. Her personality as it pertains to conversations is very straightforward: She skips gossip and social niceties in order to get straight to the facts, and while she can be a bit terse she's never rude or mean-spirited.

The fact that I can actually describe this character in terms of how she acts rather than simply how her skill points have been allocated is fantastic.

Gredlen
11-29-2007, 01:57 AM
I am terribly sad that I won't be able to participate in this thread. Despite looking forward to Mass Effect since before owning an Xbox 360, I won't be able to play it until it's time for the next Fun Club selection. Unfortunate sigh of misery.

Spikey
11-29-2007, 12:10 PM
So, I just started. This game seems to have permanent character deaths, and this frightens me.

You are mistaken. Dead characters will come back once all nearby enemies are dead. Also Shepard will get a revival skill later in the game.

Parish
11-29-2007, 12:50 PM
You are mistaken. Dead characters will come back once all nearby enemies are dead. Also Shepard will get a revival skill later in the game.
Yeah, the manual mentions the Spectre-specific skills, so that's not even a spoiler. I didn't realize about the insta-revivals, though, since the first time one of my characters died was during the bomb defusing sequence and I was so annoyed I just let myself lose. Chortle.

I didn't want to go to work today. I just wanted to stay home and play my Mass Effect game.

Reluctant Hero
11-29-2007, 01:07 PM
I didn't want to go to work today. I just wanted to stay home and play my Mass Effect game.

Yeah man, I feel you on that. I played Mass Effect until 2 am last night. And I'm feeling it today. I'm going to head to Feros tonight.

Maybe we should post pictures of our Shepards here?

Alixsar
11-29-2007, 03:34 PM
This has been mentioned in the non-FC ME thread, but it bears repeating...

Spoilers: *spoiler goes here, I initially had it as part of the quote but it was clearly visible when I did that, so...yeah*

I don't know, I thought that part was easy. But then again, my characters were already super pimped out at that point (prototype weapons? Yes please!).

But yeah, someone earlier mentioned this game being very similar to KOTOR, and they are 1000% correct. It's KOTOR meets *insert name of your favorite sci-fi movie here*, only you get to shape the story. Which is great. I've never felt such an attachment to a main character before. Normally, I take the main character of an RPG with me simply because they are the main character. For example, Vaan sucks. I felt no attachment to him at all, but I played as him in FFXII simply because he was the main guy. But the story in ME actually feels like MY story, and that's really a remarkable accomplishment. I've been up to 2 AM (sometimes later) pretty much every night since this game came out. It really is awesome.

I'm surprised that exploring the uncharted worlds was actually fun, even though most of the planets don't have too much to do. But I never got sick of it. There's something about driving an (almost) unflippable Warthog up a mountain that never gets old.

Oh, and as far as classes go I highly recommend Vanguard. Shotguns suck early on, but they get godly midgame and pistols are great the entire game. And you really can't go wrong with biotics.

Also, is ME breaking anyone else's 360? I know I've mentioned this twice before, but it's REALLY bothering me. Mine is only four months old, and the disc reader is starting to make horrible noises because of ME. I've gotten three disc reader errors because of this thing. I played a bit of Guitar Hero 3 just to test my 360, and it still worked fine. So I don't get it. And the overall bugginess of the game is annoying, but it's still fun despite that.

Daydreamer
11-29-2007, 03:49 PM
Also, is ME breaking anyone else's 360? I know I've mentioned this twice before, but it's REALLY bothering me. Mine is only four months old, and the disc reader is starting to make horrible noises because of ME. I've gotten three disc reader errors because of this thing. I played a bit of Guitar Hero 3 just to test my 360, and it still worked fine. So I don't get it. And the overall bugginess of the game is annoying, but it's still fun despite that.

Its not just you. Mine stops when I switch it out for Rock Band though, so I'm guessing its just because the game has to constantly read from the disk since, as Tycho and everyone else under the sun has mentioned, loading a game this complex and richly detailed without a HD cache is brutal to system resources.

Alixsar
11-29-2007, 04:18 PM
Its not just you. Mine stops when I switch it out for Rock Band though, so I'm guessing its just because the game has to constantly read from the disk since, as Tycho and everyone else under the sun has mentioned, loading a game this complex and richly detailed without a HD cache is brutal to system resources.

I was pretty sure it wasn't me (mostly because of the aforementioned articles all over the interweb), but it's reassuring to hear it from an actual person rather than a random article. Honestly, it gives me even more hope for ME2 though. Bioware is hopefully learning their lesson and will fix this in 2/3, and ME has (in my book) the potential to become one of the greatest series in all of gaming, so they'll only be that much better once they iron out the technical issues. Also, to be fair, this is Bioware's first 360 game and it was in development when Microsoft's standards were different so...yeah.

Violentvixen
11-29-2007, 11:46 PM
I am absolutely terrible at this game so far. I'm still on the bomb defusing sequence on Eden Prime, I defuse one and get shot too many times and die. The enemies are too far away to shoot, ack!

Trying it again because I'm SO CURIOUS about the rest of the game.

Alixsar
11-30-2007, 12:26 AM
I am absolutely terrible at this game so far. I'm still on the bomb defusing sequence on Eden Prime, I defuse one and get shot too many times and die. The enemies are too far away to shoot, ack!

Trying it again because I'm SO CURIOUS about the rest of the game.

The game can be brutally hard, especially once you first get out of the main town up until the midway point. Eden Prime was difficult for me too because I was using a pistol to take out guys miles away. Just make good use of cover during that part, and don't forget about Kaiden's abilities. They can help take the edge off a bit. At about halfway through the game you start getting really good equipment, and the challenge goes down a bit. I'm at the end game now, and I have such good equipment that most encounters (keyword: most) are a total joke.

Protip: I also recommend that everyone takes a balanced party. If you're not running Engineer or Infiltrator, you should have Tali or Garrus with you at almost all times. It really helps to have someone who can unlock chests. I personally took Garrus since he's a bad ass, and early on in the game I used Tali as a mule while Garrus was still developing his abilites. It worked really well.

Biotics aren't essential, I'd say. But damn do they help. I rolled Vanguard and took Wrex with me, factor in Adrenaline Burst and that means I pretty much always had some biotic power ready to go.

Parish
11-30-2007, 12:46 AM
I got my ass kicked on the defusing sequence on my first try, too. The trick is to stay low and kill the two guys in the white armor ASAP, because they are dangerously shooty. They're just close enough to take down with your pistol, although the sniper rifle can knock down the energy shield if one goes in for hiding.

Seconding cover. Cover is everywhere, and pressing in the L stick causes you to duck to create a lower profile for enemies to pick at.

sraymonds
11-30-2007, 07:43 AM
I restarted my game because I was having trouble on Eden Prime. My first time through, I chose Soldier as my class, but I didn't know that they weren't as skilled with the sniper rifle as I liked.

Now I'm an Infiltrator, and I seemed to have an easier time going through Eden Prime. Of course, now I'm having trouble with close quarter firefights.

I should just maybe read the manual.

Jakanden
11-30-2007, 07:47 AM
I played as a Vanguard and didn't have much trouble. I built up my combat skills along (Specifically shotgun, armor and class) with Barrier and that got me through most of the game. I always had Wrex (for close combat) and Tali (for biotics/tech) and let them do their own thing.

ringworm
11-30-2007, 10:07 AM
As an Infiltrator some things are VERY easy, and some things are pretty damn hard. As sraymonds said, close quarters stuff is extremely difficult, but if you're given some space to work with you can clear out whole areas pretty easily.

After leaving the Citadel for the first time the first thing I did was go after Liara (Benezia's daughter) and I really, really struggled with the last fight before heading into the mines. I probably played it 10-15 times before thinking "maybe I should just back up a lot and give myself some room to maneuver". That worked wonders. Also figuring out the trick to those goddamn hopper geth helped too. Then on the inside of the mine I cleared the hell out of everything without even thinking about it. However, on the final fight with the Geth + Krogan I really struggled, again because of close quarters and no room to maneuver. I probably played that one something like 30 times. That was awful because the last point you can save before that fight is before a long conversation/elevator load.

Now that I've gotten allies that can balance out my Shepard's weaknesses I'm having an easier time. Mostly having people that can do support-type biotic activities makes it easier for me to pick people off one at a time. I use Liara for pure biotic strength, and Wrex for a combination of close combat and biotics, while I destroy people from afar with a sniper rifle and tech.

poetfox
11-30-2007, 10:28 AM
Do you really use the sniper rifle? I'm playing Infiltrator too, and I've basically used the pistol the entire game, besides a few random points where I sniped people around corners... you get pistols with more than enough power, the Marksman skill and equipping things like Heat Sinks letsme have a high enough rate of fire to deal with most extremely close combat, and I can subdue people from a distance with my tech mines. I don't feel like I'm missing too much.

ringworm
11-30-2007, 10:32 AM
Do you really use the sniper rifle?
Almost exclusively.

poetfox
11-30-2007, 10:57 AM
Well, um, the pistol is a viable option.

I guess it's not surprising that I discounted it, though, as I always play a weird mix of completely suicidal/kamikaze and healer in games, and the sniper rifle does not allow me to dash into a group of enemies like an idiot from time to time.

Alixsar
11-30-2007, 01:38 PM
I had Garrus use a sniper rifle and by midgame, he was could one shot pretty much anything. And with all the accuracy bonuses I gave him it was pretty much a guaranteed kill if he shot at something. I really think you guys should give pistols a try, though. Master Marksman turns those things into mini machine guns, and they're incredibly accurate and don't overheat too much.

Also, ringworm, I had just as much trouble at that part. It really is a bitch.

...by the way, the last areas are completely awesome. Just thought you guys should know.

Daydreamer
11-30-2007, 02:40 PM
Barrier+Shield Boost+Shotguns+Carnage for me. Makes lots of things real dead real fast.

All of these options are very viable given a supportive team and the right build. They really did a good job with the balance overall, despite a few problems with Adepts and non-weapon skill-heavy builds.

Spikey
11-30-2007, 09:04 PM
Just a tip. If you're using a party member that uses biotics, go into the options screen and turn on the option the make them use biotics offencively as well as defensively. It will make life much easier.

reibeatall
12-04-2007, 09:13 AM
Can your teammates heal themselves?

blinkpen
12-04-2007, 09:18 AM
No, the first aid skill can only be activated by you and it heals the whole group.

But putting points in other squadmates' first aid skills will still improve the healing done.

reibeatall
12-04-2007, 09:34 AM
Ok, thanks. There's a lot to this game.

So far, I'm liking it, but that's a first for me and Bioware games. Let's see if it'll keep my attention.

Parish
12-04-2007, 10:53 AM
So, 18:30 on the clock, still haven't even gone to Feros or the dig site. I did unlock my prestige class already, though. Does anyone know the prerequisite for that? It became available when I destroyed the rogue VI on Luna rather than at a level-up, so I'm wondering if it's tied to that specific mission or just a function of completing x number of assignments and missions.

The Luna sidequest really made me aware of the failings of the combat system. My party is Shepard (infiltrator/commando class), Wrex (because he's awesome, and also because he's extremely durable yet can use Biotics) and Taliban, er, Tali (because the Qur'an, I mean, quarians are interesting and because her tech skills make short work of synth enemies and turn the Mako into an indestructible engine of death). There's a huge disparity between my subordinates and I really, really want to be able to command them separately; Wrex with Immunity on is basically a ball of invincible destruction who wades into the fray and destroys everything with Warp and guns, while Tali is incredibly fragile (I've only found two pieces of quarian armor for sale, all of which was level III or lower) and needs to stick to cover. But I can't tell Wrex "you go out and mess up their faces" while Tali plays it safe. They either both stick to cover, in which case Wrex isn't doing his job of drawing enemy fire from Shepard, or they both rush out, in which case Tali dies before she can start throwing around her mad hacking skills. Also, Wrex has a stupid habit of killing hacked AIs, which sort of undermines Tali's usefulness.

Note to Bioware: close, but not close enough.

ringworm
12-04-2007, 11:09 AM
Stuff.
I am pretty sure that mission is tied to the prestige class in some way because that is when mine unlocked too.

I agree with all of that about combat, as I said earlier my group was Wrex and Liara and I had almost the same problems. I wanted Rex to go in with immunity and draw people out while I'd pick them off with a sniper rifle and Liara would use distracting biotics from a distance, but you can't control your teammembers with that level of granularity so by the end I pretty much did everything myself, leaving both people at a safe point while I went off and sniped. If I got in over my head I would just sprint back to the safe point my teammates were stationed at.

This isn't a first for Bioware. Take, for example, the sidekicks in the original Neverwinter Nights. You had absolutely no control over them really, and in addition couldn't even give them loot or new weapons/armor. They were severely broken (in the bad way). Bioware however fixed most of the problems with the first NWN expansion Shadows of Undrentide and then perfected it (mostly) in Hordes of the Underdark.

So I sort of expect these sorts of limitations from Bioware in their first outings in a new franchise.

By the way, I think I ended up with ~30 hours on my play clock, all told. I wonder how much of that was reading the Codex...

Parish
12-04-2007, 11:55 AM
So I sort of expect these sorts of limitations from Bioware in their first outings in a new franchise.
Except that this is basically just KOTOR with a pretty new coat of paint -- the fourth game of this type, really, if you include Jade Empire. They should know better by now.

reibeatall
12-04-2007, 12:19 PM
Umm, I've started making a backstory for my character (based upon the one that you actually fill out at the begining), and I feel like my nerd points have increased.

Alixsar
12-04-2007, 03:01 PM
Umm, I've started making a backstory for my character (based upon the one that you actually fill out at the begining), and I feel like my nerd points have increased.

If you go into the Codex, they actually have the details of the backstory you picked. And depending on what you picked, certain characters will recognize you while others won't at certain points in the game.

Schmidt
12-04-2007, 05:27 PM
Except that this is basically just KOTOR with a pretty new coat of paint -- the fourth game of this type, really, if you include Jade Empire. They should know better by now.

Amen to that. The license doesn't even matter any more. We've got Real RPGs (Baldur's Gate and NWN), sort-realtime-actiony RPGs (Kotor), Action RPG (Jade Empire), and now Shooty RPG, but they're all very much just Bioware RPG, Again!

So some things will always be awesome like when the writing works well, which is a lot. I also really love the character designs they've come up with for some of these aliens in Mass Effect.

Some things will make you roll your eyes, like how Good vs Evil boils down to making choices that look selfless but reward you the same or better as evil anyway, or being a dick to everyone. Or how the game aspect is constantly driving you away from anything close to roleplaying. Who just walks up to someone in a bar and imposes themself on the situation, for good or evil?

"Hey, I heard you just say to the bartender that your dad's dying and you wish you had the money to buy him some nice pants before he kicks off"
1.Can I buy the pants for you?
2.Buy the pants for me or you'll die!

If you were going to take anything close to a realistic approach to playing this, you'd never do 90% of the sidequests, because no characteróregardless of motivationówould ever stumble into them through normal behavior.

Yet you can't help but seek them out because you know it's what's expected of you by the game-ish nature of the whole affair.

But really, the interface (outside of the lovely dialog trees) and UI are a travesty and surprisingly bad for Bioware. They have no excuse, they've done this just fine before; it's like they let the interns handle it or something.

Sorry, I forget if this was going to come to a cohesive point when I started out, but there's my rant.

reibeatall
12-04-2007, 08:46 PM
If you go into the Codex, they actually have the details of the backstory you picked. And depending on what you picked, certain characters will recognize you while others won't at certain points in the game.

No no no, you're not getting it. I expanded upon what is in there with my OWN story, complete with Emma Shepard's psychological profile.

Alixsar
12-04-2007, 11:16 PM
No no no, you're not getting it. I expanded upon what is in there with my OWN story, complete with Emma Shepard's psychological profile.

Oh. Wow, that's hardcore.

Parish
12-05-2007, 01:07 AM
Some things will make you roll your eyes, like how Good vs Evil boils down to
Wait, wait. There is no good vs. evil in this game's role-playing. You're good no matter what. It's a matter of selfless vs. selfish, with the middle option being starched-shirt yes-sir-no-sir military dutifulness. It's those D&D roots showing through, in a limited fashion: you can play Lawful, Neutral or Chaotic, but you're gonna be Good no matter what.

I'm havin' a grand ol' time with the game's bugs, though. My favorite was on a ground mission where I was forced to exit the Mako and fight through a series of on-foot battles culminating in a large skirmish with a cutscene lead-in. After the cutscene ended and the big encounter began, the game camera recentered on... the Mako. Half a kilometer back. Yeah, I died pretty fast.

alexb
12-05-2007, 01:19 AM
Wow, that does sound pretty awesome. Anybody encountered that weird stretchiness glitch they're talking about in the blogs?

blinkpen
12-05-2007, 09:50 AM
In my entire playthrough I only encountered one glitch, and it was a scene in Feros where I had to kill a bunch of fish-dog creatures. After we killed the leader of the pack my squadmates ran over to the body to examine it and their AI just died right there. From that point forward they would not move at all no matter what orders I issued. They would teleport to my location when left far enough behind and would only re-activate when combat started. As soon as it was over they'd resume standing perfectly still. It wasn't a huge problem but it bugged me and I could only fix it by going back to the Normandy and exiting and re-entering the area. That was the only glitch I encountered though and I was pleased.

Also, as regards the "good vs. evil" system, Parish definitely has it closer to the mark. You are always "good", but it's just how you go about your goodness. Somebody likened it to whether you play as Captain Kirk or Captain Picard, which is a pretty basic way to describe it but I think (and my nerd is showing) that even Kirk would lean more towards the Paragon side of the choices, seeing as many of them lead to you being very selfish and hostile and a good number of the Renegade options involve you being quite racist.

On the one extreme as a full-blown Paragon you're something of a hippy liberal who's always trusting and helpful, looking for the diplomatic solutions with gunfights as a last resort. You show concern equally for everyone you come across and look to bring all the races of the galaxy together in harmony, to work together as equals for the betterment of everyone. You understand that humans are newcomers to the game and that they have to earn their place within this galactic civilization. When talking your way through a situation, you appeal to someone's sense of goodness and justice with your immaculate charm.

Then if you go all-out Renegade you're a lot more stubborn and confrontational, you know that everyone has their price and should only be trusted if you can pay it. You know exactly what you need to get done to save the day and nobody's going to stop you, even if you have to put a bullet in their head to do it. You show immense preference to your own species over your galactic neighbors, and if humans are the ones who benefit most from your decisions, so be it. When talking your way through a situation, you tend to belittle your opponent, appealing to their sense of pride and/or shame, when not outright frightening them with your indimidating presence.

Parish
12-05-2007, 10:47 AM
I'd say it's more like you can play as Captain Picard or Golgo-13.

reibeatall
12-05-2007, 04:34 PM
So, I'm not very good at this game. I keep getting killed. A lot. So do my squadmates.

Am I doing something wrong?

Schmidt
12-05-2007, 05:40 PM
Sorry, I'm early in the game. I just assumed that at some point in the final dialog tree you'd get to chose good ending/bad ending, like every other Bioware game. Save the universe, or kill the bad guy and take his place as supreme jerk.

If you really stay the path of good-in-the-big-picture-sense through the whole game, then that is an improvement and an acknowledgement of weakness in their past games, but the good but selfish vs. good and selfless angle still doesn't fit a game any better. The selfless and noble choices always end up giving you rewards anyway, just as we're all conditioned to expect. There's not even a whiff of real consequence or noble sacrifice.

Zeroneight
12-05-2007, 06:00 PM
Well, you have to pick all the renegade conversation options with the high-class blue girl prostitute in order to be treated to an awkward cutscene with her.

Parish
12-05-2007, 06:07 PM
I think the noble/ignoble choices are ultimately just a litmus test for your global politics. Do you like the United Nations or think America is awesome and screw everyone else? Former, pick Paragon; latter, go with Renegade. The parallels are veeeery thinly veiled.

dwolfe
12-05-2007, 10:34 PM
I really, really didn't like KotOR. I really, really DO like Mass Effect.

Is it just my general apathy for Star Wars in general, the presentation, or is this really a better game?

Anyone that played KotOR (who therefore liked it) weigh in, please?

Sarcasmorator
12-06-2007, 12:34 AM
I like both games a lot. I thought KOTOR was pretty terrific, and I liked that you really could be evil if you wanted. But it felt weird that even if you were a bad guy you had the same end goal — in Mass Effect, the fact that you're given carte blanche as a Spectre is a great device for allowing you to play how you wanna.

I find the limited weaponry a bit disappointing, but the array of skills you can learn is welcome. Yeah, I can only use a pistol and shotgun as a Vanguard, but I can turn that shotgun into a grenade launcher for one shot every time the ability is free, so that's awesome. Finding biotics a bit underpowered for my purposes, though — would probably roll a different class on a second playthrough.

Schmidt
12-06-2007, 09:01 AM
I got through Feros last night, and the combat is starting to click, so I'm starting to come to grips more with Mass Effect as its own game instead of Bioware RPG 6.0, or whatever, as I complained above. I'm also pleasantly surprised with the Mako sections adding some variety.

wahoninja
12-06-2007, 10:47 AM
Six hours in, and I've just left the Citadel. It feels like a talky adventure game (Phoenix Wright) since I hardly do any fighting. I like that. I wouldn't mind if it stayed like this.

Parish
12-06-2007, 11:19 AM
It can stay that way if you choose to play it like that. My clock is at 25 hours and I haven't even been to Feros or Vermire yet -- I keep getting caught up in sidequests and exploration. I think my time breakdown is:

10% combat
20% walking around
20% Mako
40% dialogue
5% managing inventory limits
5% elevators

blinkpen
12-06-2007, 12:43 PM
Sorry, I'm early in the game. I just assumed that at some point in the final dialog tree you'd get to chose good ending/bad ending, like every other Bioware game. Save the universe, or kill the bad guy and take his place as supreme jerk.

If you really stay the path of good-in-the-big-picture-sense through the whole game, then that is an improvement and an acknowledgement of weakness in their past games, but the good but selfish vs. good and selfless angle still doesn't fit a game any better. The selfless and noble choices always end up giving you rewards anyway, just as we're all conditioned to expect. There's not even a whiff of real consequence or noble sacrifice.

Well there's got to be incentive. The choices are less about what you get for your choices and more about how the scene plays out as a result of your choices. Does this tense stand-off end in a surrender? A gunfight? A diplomatic resolution? Do you wait for the enemy to take the first shot, or do you put them down without hesitation? Or even allow a squadmate to do your dirty work while you simply watch? And certain decisions really do make you feel as though you are playing a role in shaping the future of the galaxy.

The reward is just a dinky little listing of XP and money you get every time you resolve a mission or encounter. I barely notice it half the time. If you're not getting into the character reasons for choosing the Paragon or Renegade path, then you're really not playing it right. The consequences and sacrifices come via the story, not the mechanics.

Falselogic
12-06-2007, 12:43 PM
I'm heading back to the council chamber for the second time, I'm assuming once that's over I get to leave it, I'm probably going to stick around though until I scan all those keepers, I have 14 of them... Anyone else have problems tracking them down?

The only problem for me is getting the combat down... I seem to die more often than I should... I'm chalking it up to it being live action, and my unfamiliarity with the xbox controller... Loving it right now though! Dialogue is fantastic, also my female Shepard is a real bitch :P

ringworm
12-06-2007, 12:48 PM
I'm heading back to the council chamber for the second time, I'm assuming once that's over I get to leave it, I'm probably going to stick around though until I scan all those keepers, I have 14 of them... Anyone else have problems tracking them down?
I found that quest to be a huge pain in the ass. I found them all though, it just wasn't easy.

blinkpen
12-06-2007, 12:52 PM
For me, playing as an Infiltrator, combat was tricky throughout the first few missions, then really insanely hard when I went directly to Noveria after the Citadel. After Noveria however I did some sidequesting and from that point forward I finally started swimming (http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2007/11/19) and the combat was starting to click, partly due to having increased my level and partly my just getting it now. The dig site and Feros were cakewalks and Virmire only got hard if I got careless and cocky and it stayed at that level more or less through the rest of the game.

I never tried to make my squadmates do anything particularly creative though. I'd just turn on the option for them to use their abilities freely and let them go nuts whenever combat begins. I'd sometimes tell them to hang back if I wanted to start off with some sniping, but most of the time they'd do that automatically the minute I brought out my sniper rife. Liara became particularly useful after her lift and throw abilities got beefed out, and my second character usually was just there to help take out enemies that came close into my threat zone.

reibeatall
12-06-2007, 01:16 PM
I found that quest to be a huge pain in the ass. I found them all though, it just wasn't easy.

Was it even worth it? I don't want to get burnt out on this game during my first play through, so I might not do all the missions.

(This is not meant to sound condescending. I just didn't know how good the payoff it. I've got 16 of the keepers scanned, and I'm not getting much exp from it.)

blinkpen
12-06-2007, 01:28 PM
Was it even worth it? I don't want to get burnt out on this game during my first play through, so I might not do all the missions.

(This is not meant to sound condescending. I just didn't know how good the payoff it. I've got 16 of the keepers scanned, and I'm not getting much exp from it.)

The quest will probably earn you a level, but it's not like you can't get levels elsewhere. Honestly if it bores you to do it, you shouldn't do it. There's plenty more exciting/dramatic things to do in the game than search meticulously thorugh the citadel hunting bugs.

ringworm
12-06-2007, 01:30 PM
Was it even worth it? I don't want to get burnt out on this game during my first play through, so I might not do all the missions.

(This is not meant to sound condescending. I just didn't know how good the payoff it. I've got 16 of the keepers scanned, and I'm not getting much exp from it.)
Well the answer is basically "no", especially if you have no intention of going after the Completionist achievement. I thought it would lead to something cool, especially since there's another sidequest that has to do with the guy you are collecting the data for and some actual main plot stuff that links to it peripherally, but nope.

Although, on the other hand, I did learn the ins and outs of the Citadel pretty well when I finally decided to buckle down and find them all. I sort of expect that was the intention of the quest all along.

reibeatall
12-06-2007, 01:36 PM
The quest will probably earn you a level, but it's not like you can't get levels elsewhere. Honestly if it bores you to do it, you shouldn't do it. There's plenty more exciting/dramatic things to do in the game than search meticulously thorugh the citadel hunting bugs.

Well the answer is basically "no", especially if you have no intention of going after the Completionist achievement. I thought it would lead to something cool, especially since there's another sidequest that has to do with the guy you are collecting the data for and some actual main plot stuff that links to it peripherally, but nope.

Although, on the other hand, I did learn the ins and outs of the Citadel pretty well when I finally decided to buckle down and find them all. I sort of expect that was the intention of the quest all along.

Ok, gracias peoples. This game really seems to be made for multiple playthroughs, and I just don't know if I'd be interested in doing that if I've already seen everything.
Some of these missions are kinda funny, though. At least, the way you get them. There's that one in the Citadel where that lady walks up to you and says "I know where these two crime people are. You should kill them. You don't find writing like that just anywhere.

Schmidt
12-06-2007, 11:17 PM
I would've completely missed Flux if I hadn't been looking around for the last two Keepers to scan.


Anyway, the big news is that tonight I learned Krogans have four testicles. Thanks Garus!

blinkpen
12-07-2007, 01:52 AM
Garus was full of useful information.

melack
12-10-2007, 04:31 PM
This was about 15 hours ago in terms of the play clock, but I'm still boggled by the fan you encounter on the Citadel. Specifically, what's his connection to the Adoring Fan in Oblivion? Both are really creepy and annoying, but also feature spiky blonde hair. Is the fan in Mass Effect a nod to the fan in Oblivion?

Schmidt
12-10-2007, 08:47 PM
I've only been to the Citadel and Feros as far as main-plot locations, and I'm about to hit the 20 hour mark.

Am I clearing up the bulk of the extra missions for the whole game by concentrating on them first, or will they continue to show up in this density for the rest of the game?

wahoninja
12-11-2007, 08:31 AM
Hmm. I did Noveria and Feros before Artemis Tau. Noveria was first, and I wonder if that's why I found the last encounter to be so hard. (I still didn't have a good handle on combat at all.) It was so hard that I did that entire last section (with the labs) two different ways and found COMPLETELY different outcomes, plot-wise. That last decision you had to make was the most interesting, so far. I was nice about it because the potential for dire consequence was so enticing.

18 hours in, I have a good grasp at hot to fight dudes now. My party consists of Girl Shepard, Ashley, and Tali, because I like all-girl teams. Our main tactic is shooting the shit out of enemies.

UGH. Tonight is Rock Band night with my stupid friends, so no galaxy questing until later.