On the Ball: Scanning, for Fun and Profit

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On the Ball: Scanning, for Fun and Profit

Mass Effect 2's mining minigame actually made me miss the Mako.

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Really? I never found it all that bad. Maybe because I'm playing on PC...

Agreed! I miss the ol' way of doing it, either drive the Mako to a point on a map, or hit the Y button from space to insti-scan the entire planet. Why that version of the scanner was left out of Cerberus's plan for the Normandy is a mystery that shall plague my mind for years to come.

I'm sorry but all i can think of now is Billy Mays saying "Get on the ball! The Oxyclorid ball" after reading the title.

OP: so i geuss Bioware sorta swapped one annoying feature for another?

I think the mineral types are hard coded to the planets, I found the bulk of my Element Zero from 3 small moons in an asteroid belt known for being mined for the stuff - after being tipped off by someone as to them being a good source.

I can't say I disagree entirely, the mining "minigame" is without question the single most boring thing about Mass Effect 2, BUT - since I didn't play it on a console, I didn't have the same problem you had, since I just flung my mouse all over the place.

Also, I hardly ever found myself spending that long on scanning for minerals - I had so much of all of them that I was hard pressed to spend it all, and kept trying to find more upgrades for, well, everything.

About the hacking and bypassing - I liked them on my first playthrough, but by the second half of my second time saving the 'verse... well. F**k'em.

By the way; what are you talking about

no way to acquire minerals in any significant quantity aside from scuttling across the galaxy and scanning every planet you come across

?

You have to do that anyways to find all the sidequests!

Slycne:
I think the mineral types are hard coded to the planets, I found the bulk of my Element Zero from 3 small moons in an asteroid belt known for being mined for the stuff - after being tipped off by someone as to them being a good source.

Yeah, a friend of mine mentioned that some NPC had tipped him off about that, but I couldn't seem to find anyone who knew anything =S ...care to share the secret?

I think i'm one of the only people who enjoys scanning XD
I still preferred the MAKO though. I miss that thing.
On the side quest where you visit the Normandy crash site, i just keep looking at it and thinking why can't i salvage it. We went through so much together, and now its gone ;_;
I personally never found myself running short on element zero. I ran out of palladium far faster.

-double post, removed -

Steindorh:

Slycne:
I think the mineral types are hard coded to the planets, I found the bulk of my Element Zero from 3 small moons in an asteroid belt known for being mined for the stuff - after being tipped off by someone as to them being a good source.

Yeah, a friend of mine mentioned that some NPC had tipped him off about that, but I couldn't seem to find anyone who knew anything =S ...care to share the secret?

Fly out from the area where you do Tali's loyalty mission and you'll find them - if I remember right there is only 1 other area in that system, but you'll find them in the asteroid belt that circles that area.

Actually, there IS a pattern you can follow. Namely, ignore gas giants. They almost always suck in terms of minerals, the best I saw were rated "Moderate", and they never have quests or anomalies associated with them, since nothing can live on the surface.

After my 1st playthrough, I'd hit all the non-GG planets, and move on. You end up not needed to even look at them or scan them, as there's far more minerals in the game than upgrades requiring them.

I also missed the Mako. Not so much because scanning is tedious, but because I actually liked it. I play the game on a PC, though.

Let me be blunt; Scanning > Mako. It's not a hard choice. I would want something else than scanning, but at least I didn't have to sit through The Mako again.

Nothing and I mean NOTHING will make the Mako seem like a good idea. Nothing even remotely. Probably one of the worst vechicle sections in a game ever, hell, even Bioware made fun of it(check out one of the t-shirts they sell).

Sorry, but there was nothing random about the Mako, in fact, it's no different now, but atleast you don't have to climb vertical walls hours on end. Here you can send a couple of probes to a planet and be on your way (provided you upgraded the scanner, which you must, unless you're cheap, or stupid, or both). It helps if you take notice what the probes say. A poor or moderate planet is not worth wasting much time on.

I can't believe my eyes when Bioware actually listen about those silly lift screens(I do miss the smalltalk), retarded inventory and mod menus that made me want to jump out of a window - and people start to moan and want them back? Do they whip themselfs before they go to sleep aswell, like flagellants?!

Jordan Deam:
On the Ball: Scanning, for Fun and Profit

Summary: Mass Effect 2's mining minigame actually made me miss the Mako.

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You know the funny and sad part about the whole scanning dilemma in Mass Effect 2 is that anyone with half a brain in the development room would have seen that this was a MASSively boring system. I think the person who created this system must have been some higher up, because it seemed no one had the balls to tell them this system was a epic failure. It is to the degree of a massive ball of spit and boogers in my epic bacon burger from epic town! btw... WHICH ONE OF YOU SPIT IN MY BURGER! ( http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/776563/ )

They should bring back the Mako. Just make it so the planets don't always look so damn bland. The mining thing really isn't that bad, frankly I've gotten pro at it. Since I also imported a character from ME I had a lot of resources at my disposal and its about 40% of what you need to upgrade everything.

My thought is this:

At least with the scanning, you get the feeling that the developers were just saying: "Look, this is just a little scut work you have to do to earn your upgrades; just spend a few minutes on it between missions and you'll have all you need."

Whereas being on the Mako actually felt like a significant part of the gameplay...and it was a pretty terrible part of it. The empty and desolate landscapes, the silly physics-defying mountain climbing, the ending up at the same three idiotic buildings for every sidequest... Not to mention the fact that you had to play the "opening a lock" mini-game to survey minierals, which made absolutely zero sense.

The scanner system is uninvolved and somewhat tedious, but it's more realistic and it doesn't pretend to be what it's not. The planetary exploration on the Mako pretended to be a crucial, exciting part of ME1's gameplay, and it just never lived up to that promise.

So much better than the Mako.

Yeah, it's tedious but I can't imagine having to scour planets with the Mako looking for these resources.

While it was annoying it wasn't as bad as driving the Mako around. While traveling the planets was boring as hell because they we're mostly blank, but then again you got to remember that's what space is. A tun of empty space with a tun of floating rocks, not every planet will be full of life. They should of just added a bigger radius and speed, would of made it a hundred times better.

What they really need in ME3 is more involved combat. I couldn't help but feel the combat in ME2, while it is more tactical over shoot em' up it felt a little boring. Not say it isn't fun but I just wish it was a little quicker passed. It may be an RPG first and a shooter second but that's no excuse for having slower passed game play in today's era of gaming.

Sorry, double post.

The problem with the Mako wasn't the Mako, it was the barren planets and all the jagged mountains you had to drive up. And the Make sucks for climbing up mountains.

If they took away all the mountains, and maybe added a little variety, something tells me the Mako sections wouldn't have been so hated.

How could you not enjoy the Mako!? It was fun.

They only thing I really have to say about this is the fact that I found maybe 4 different planet guides that were pretty instructive on what were good planets to farm for minerals, what planets had the most of a particular mineral, etc. I know not everyone wants to do research like that but it may have made your life easier. I still think the scanning is stupid but also prefer it to the damned mako.

it's the fucking pandemic DLC disease. there is gonna be hovertank to replace mako and some missions with it in some retarded DLC. this game could be actually better than the first one, if they didn't try to sell it's amputated organs back to it.

Souplex:
How could you not enjoy the Mako!? It was fun.

i think console gamers didn't like if because it was to much nonstandard because of the mass reduction via eezo.
C a n t u n d e r stand why EDI c a n t s c a n it.

I agree, I loathed the scanning system. Especially for a completionist like me, who felt compelled to thoroughly explore every solar system, which meant meticulously scanning over every inch of every single planet. Eventually I decided it was ridiculous, and just scanned rich planets as I needed resources, but still, it was terrible.

Awful, awful minigame. I basically spent the whole time while I was scanning on the internet with my other hand, watching youtube videos, commenting on the escapist, altering facebook, rearranging my desktop, keeping my mind off how bloody boring it was.

I liked the Mako damn it! Bring it back, or at least don't make the replacement so annoying.

I have my own little theory though, that the scanning minichore was Bioware punishing people for complaining so much about the Mako, because I honestly don't think it could have got past the testing phase unless one of the dev team got very annoyed about how much spam was in his mailbox about the Mako, and thought to himself 'you thought that was tedious and annoying? How about this then?'

In short, don't complain to Bioware, or they will eat your soul with an even worse minigame!

I hated the scanning process of this game. It was probably the only thing I really disliked.

It gets better on the second playthrough, when you get like 50k of every resource, but it's still a pain in the ass.

I'm on PC, so maybe we got lucky here, but all I had to do was ramp up my mouse sensitivity and slide my mouse in large circles. I did this for half an hour after doing Freedom's Hope and ended up with enough resources to last me the whole game through (including all ship and squad upgrades). I think the key, to me at least, was doing it all in one go; if you break it up into 'manageable' chunks, it becomes the nasty monster looming around the corner of every mission. It's better to do it all at once.

I missed the Mako. Not necessarily because I liked the Mako sequences from ME1 all that much: they pretty much universally sucked. But that said, they FELT right. If you wanted to see what was on a planet, than Bucko, get your butt down there in the wonky dune buggy / tank and see for yourself. Sure, we know that probes and scans are realistic for determining what a planet has. But how can a probe launch return minerals to the ship? Does it launch its own return probe that has to be picked up? Does it teleport entire mountains? At least the Mako, or something like it, would make it feel like you were actually picking something up and bringing it back with you.

Like other people here, I'm playing ME2 on the PC. The mouse works perfectly for scanning, and from what Jordan is saying, I do not look forward to doing it with the controller. With the mouse you can just hold the right (I think it's right) button down and wiggle all over the surface, and then super-spin the planet with a swish to the right or left. It seems like the scanning thing was made for the PC, so why they'd use the same system on the console version seems like a lack of play-testing.

What would have made it all better is a some kind of "All System Scan" you could do upon entering a system. You could get some kind of easy-yet-time-consuming minigame to make it work, something like the tube / circuitry puzzles in BioShock / System Shock II. They could even add a cargo cap to the Normandy II, so that you'd be forced to dock and sell / trade the minerals you didn't need so you could free up the room for more eezo.

But that thing about not being able to buy minerals - that's pretty lame. They should also populate each system with a bunch of ships that you could pirate / destroy / salvage for minerals, for Renegade cred. We're supposedly working with the racist terrorists in Cerberus, right? Like they're not already attacking non-human ships and hacking non-human banks for all their inexplicable money?

If I can come up with all of this after about 6 hours of gameplay at someone else's house, it's hard to believe that BioWare couldn't. But then again, DLC...

I can understand the concept of mining, since this is an RPG we're playing here. Grinding for upgrades and what not is something to be expected from this genre. It's an interesting concept that could have been much more novel than it is now were not for the speed of the scan. Look, I have to say that I didn't mind it. I actually liked working for the upgrades I wanted, but that fact that reticule takes forever to move across the planet is annoying. Sure you can perform the fanning technique, but it's not perfect, and you can miss pockets of minerals. Since I'm a perfectionist, I tend to fully scan each and every planet, and fully scanning one world can take more than five minutes. There are dozens of worlds in the game and scanning each and every one of them is a daunting task that will take hours. I loved ME2, but even I realize that this part of the game needs some improvement. If it makes a comeback in the next game, it'd be great if Bioware addresses this issue by making it more intuitive than it is now.

On a side note, I really enjoyed the Mako in the first game. The controls were sloppy, of course, but the concept of landing on other worlds and (briefly) exploring them while using the Mako's thrust to launch yourself off the highest peak was pretty fun. Then again, I'm easily entertained.

Tips to speed up mining, and stop whining

1. ignore gas giants
2. get all the resources you can on normal missions
3. only scan rich planets
4. get the scan upgrade
5. get Mass effect 2 on the PC so you don't have to worry about your stupid console problems.

The mako wasn't that bad when you could use it on missions that were worth while, I wish they had a combination of the two.

Element Zero is generally found on planets with the word "garden" in their type ("pre-garden", "post-garden") or on planets/moons that have "eezo" or "element zero" in the description. In general, if a planet is green-colored it's likely to have eezo.

I actually enjoyed the Mako, i did not however enjoy the mining

The mining is really quite vexing. The worst is when you have a surplus of the minerals and realize that you spent too much time mining, certainly more than you needed to. That, sir, is aggravating.

I really did not like that mine game at all...it bored me to tears, so badly. And element Zero *Foams at mouth!*

Jordan Deam:
On the Ball: Scanning, for Fun and Profit

Mass Effect 2's mining minigame actually made me miss the Mako.

Read Full Article

When you play through the game again you keep all your upgrades so you won't need to choose whether to upgrade your gun or save people....your gun will be upgraded at the very beginning.

It tells you this when you finish the game. Only communists don't read the notices at the end of games....commie. :p

Irridium:
The problem with the Mako wasn't the Mako, it was the barren planets and all the jagged mountains you had to drive up. And the Make sucks for climbing up mountains.

If they took away all the mountains, and maybe added a little variety, something tells me the Mako sections wouldn't have been so hated.

Agreed. If they made the vertical jets more powerful on the Mako so that you could jump around and enjoy the silly physics engine, it would have been bearable. As it was, you had to inch your way up sharp cliffs, hoping to find a short cut through the geometry of the mountain, or just sweat it out and take the long way around.

I only scanned the "Rich" and "Good" planets that open up at the start (before Horizon, that is), combined with most or all of the minerals you can pick up on missions, and still had plenty of minerals at the end of game.

But that first playthrough, when I didn't know this, was a very tedious process. One thing, and one thing only, could have made this all better and that is simply a "Fog of War" on the planets to show you where you had already scanned.

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