On the Ball: Scanning, for Fun and Profit

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 NEXT
 

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

We get Mako's replacement, the Hammerhead in a future DLC, will still prolly have to scan from orbit to mine. Its why I scan and mine as soon as I can just to get it out of the way.

All in all there is only about 160k Element Zero in the game that can be mined, roughly 650k for the other 3, but I stop scanning when a planet con's as Poor.

Actually Jordan, it doesn't matter if you head straight for the Omega 4 relay right after your crew gets abducted. Because no matter what you do, no matter how long it takes you to rescue them, you'll only find Dr. Chakwas and Kelly in the Collector base.

On the PC it's not all bad, but it was slightly annoying that I had to comb every system I went to or I'd fall behind. I'm pretty sure it wasn't on the top of the list for fixing before release and some DLC will address the problem later. God forbid someone has a ton of minerals that they HAVE to have in their first playthrough (since you get everything you need for a long while on your later playthroughs).

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.

Yes the eezo trio. Found it completely by accident but if you pay attention to the codexs they give you a rough idea what you can expect to find. Sometimes.

I was also finding more eezo on moderate planets. Rarely do I find it on rich ones.

Am I the only one playing this game that has a boatload of resources and not a dime to my name while I see all these nice shiny upgrades in stores?

TheDoctor455:
Actually Jordan, it doesn't matter if you head straight for the Omega 4 relay right after your crew gets abducted. Because no matter what you do, no matter how long it takes you to rescue them, you'll only find Dr. Chakwas and Kelly in the Collector base.

Actually it does matter if you go the omega relay right after they get abducted you can save the entire crew.

Also I hated scanning too, I hated it so much I started hexing my save files. I guess scanning on the 360 wouldn't be so bad if you had a turbo controller but if you were going to do that you might as well go all the way.

Yeah, I miss the Mako too. Drove like shit, but it was so much better than this crap.

Also, the planets don't make sense mineral-wise. Why the fuck is Platinum rarer than Palladium? Palladium is a radioactive isotope of Platinum and occurs much more rarely. And the Rich/Good/Mod/Poor/Depleted makes no sense because I can hit one good spot and drop a Rich planet to poor or even depleted, but a "Depleted" planet still has a few high spikes left. Well that's not very depleted, is it?

And can I PLEASE get paid for my discoveries? As it is, buying fuel and probes early on is a money waster that prevents me from buying gear upgrades. The economy isn't very nice to Shepard. You'd think TIM would pay me better.

That's why on my second play-through, I will either use a save game editor or a trainer. No way I am doing all those planets again.

It's probably been said before, but it's not random.

Planets that used to have life on them have Element Zero. If you read the description of the planet you can almost always determine which type of mineral that planet has the most of. This information is in your codex, I believe.

The same goes for all the minerals. I think gas planets have more Palladium, rocky moons have more Platinum, etc. I can't recall all the details specifically, but if you read the planet description and the corresponding information about which planet types have which minerals, it makes the whole process much easier.

Also, the guide helps :). Planetary database ftw!

Also, while the whole process is tedious and boring, if they bring back the Mako I will cry crocodile tears.

I play on PC and never really complained about scanning - it took me a minute or two at max. Either way - after you completed the game once, you have 300k of all resources at start. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Cliff_m85:
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.

As far as I can tell, you get to keep the guns, but not the upgrades. Those still need to be researched.

MiodekPL:
I play on PC and never really complained about scanning - it took me a minute or two at max. Either way - after you completed the game once, you have 300k of all resources at start. Correct me if I'm wrong.

200k credits and 50k of each resource.

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

It's alright with the mouse. I can't imagine doing it with a controller, yeesh. What it makes me miss, actually, is Star Control 2's mining system. You can actually see the elements, at least. I gave Mass Effect a miss, but I'm quite fond of ME 2... I notice some cues taken from Star Control 2, or so it seems to me, and I am pleased.

My first playthrough, only Jack (escort crew back to ship) and Thane (pipes. Hey, he was gonna die in 8 months anyway, I forgot about his son though) died. I had the cannon and shield upgrade for my ship and several others. I did BARELY ANY scanning. In fact I didn't even think it was important. Turns out, it wasn't.

And what is this stuff about the Mako? I didn't collect any resources from the Mako in Mass Effect 1 because I never saw the use. I just went to Virmire and killed people, then I went to get Liara, then I went to Illium to kill people. Then I was at the Citadel, where I beat the game. There was nothing tedious about it, and I won. Don't see what the big deal is.

TheDoctor455:
Actually Jordan, it doesn't matter if you head straight for the Omega 4 relay right after your crew gets abducted. Because no matter what you do, no matter how long it takes you to rescue them, you'll only find Dr. Chakwas and Kelly in the Collector base.

You do get the rest of the crew back, you just don't see them.

Honestly, what would have made this so much better? (Aside from just a fog of war system.) If you could choose to scan a planet or not, but instead of launching probes, you could just fire off a single mining drone for the planet, and deplete it with one mouse click. If the drones were a little pricy 5k a piece, you wouldn't want to burn them on every planet, but you'd also be able to quickly decide if a planet was worth it or not and move on.

I actually liked the mako. It reminded me of the tank from Blaster Master.

Frenger:
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).

Sure you can yoou just need to upgrade it. Add wheels that let you drive up walls and ceilings or can transform turbines so you can go underwater. Add some more heavy artillery and give you more stuff to blow up. Or add a gun that shoots lighting. Guns that shoot lighting are almost always awesome.

Aside from it crashing constantly on my aging 360, mining did get a bit tedious. One major advantage scanning had over driving the Mako was the lack of Thresher Maws! Holy flying asscrackers did I hate fighting those stupid things on remote backwater planets. Not to mention the Mako getting hung up on a pointy rock when you were trying to get to a location. I made out fairly well in the mining game, but that required nearly a third of my 30+ gaming hours invested in the search. Blah... I agree, why couldn't you buy resources on the planets? Oh that's right... you didn't get paid crap in the game. It wasn't until nearly the end that I could actually afford to go back and buy up the items I needed for weapons upgrades that were far out of my reach financially because the Illusive Man tips worse than a hobo in a strip joint. Otherwise, it was a fine game.

Regardless of these apparent flaws, I need to pick up ME2. But not before I'm done playing through ME1 again due to getting a new Xbox. Looks like a fun game.

Sure it's not the best mini game ever, but I really don't see what the big deal is. BioWare made it boring for a reason. This prevents the player from front loading on minerals and making the upgrades a given, rather than a reward. And unless you have carpel tunnel, this really shouldn't hurt your hand. I've spent up to an hour mining for minerals and it really isn't pain producing. Also, I don't know why everyone has such an issue with element zero. I've got more than enough. Maybe, I just got lucky with the planets I choose to scan. I frequently find it on planets labeled "moderate" rather than rich or good. I just mind all the planets in a cluster whenever I travel to a new one. It's a little tedious, but I know I'll always have enough for upgrades later on. Just suck it up. It's one blemish on a great game.

I actually don't find mining that bad. Sure, it could be better, but really, just clean out a system (or a cluster, if you're low on elements) for each mission you do and you should be fine, and even then only focus on Rich or Good planets.

I would gladly take the mako over this crap, at least I got to kill things in it and ditch it when bored.

Scanning is almost effortless on the PC. Boring as hell, but very quick.

Still, the game really could've used a compromise between the scanner and the Mako. Star Control 2 is a good model here. In SC2, you drive your little car around in quickie top-down view on a planet, picking up resources, with a limit on how much you can carry back forcing you to prioritize a bit. Sometimes there are moving monsters you can kill for resources, too. Some of the choicest planets have natural hazards that require luck and skill or some upgrades to navigate safely. And there were special locations on some worlds -- essentially anomalies. All in all, it was a mini-game that gave you some stuff to do but made it pretty quick -- still a bit tedious by today's standards, but that's mostly because SC2 had such a big galaxy map to play on.

-- Alex

Id pick dmg over my crew too Deam ^-^

I also sort of liked the scanning... and I always ended up with more minerals than I could spend (and that even goes for Element Zero).
I'm also using the "fanning" technique and was bothered by not finding *every* last rich source.

I didn't mind the mining, though on my second playthrough I really wished there was some sort of trading post to exchange minerals at a loss. It'd keep the immersion while providing some freedom on how to handle resources.

Actually sometimes it can be even more tiring on PC, dragging that thing along with a mouse. Luckily my mouse has a button that allows it to go between 4 sensitivity settings but it still can cause strange carpal tunnel.

I didn't mind it too much, however my dad accidentily bought the guide and there's a detailed planetary database stating the nebula, cluster, and planet name along with what minerals said planet is rich in, worth the 20 bucks if not just for that.

Is noone playing games on PC anymore...? I mean I'm reading articles all over the web and especially on some sites from gaming enthusiasts for gaming enthusiasts and I keep reading "Left Trigger this", "Right Analogue Stick" that... it is getting rather tiring...

And not only that but some of those "gaming experts" even get to be outright ignorant...
image

Other than that I agree with the article, I had my own little whine about it over here.

Considering how easy it would be to introduce active choice and variability in the mining mini-game I find it rather surprising how bad it turned out. Especially considering BioWare's talk about getting it right this time; they certainly did with the other mini-games in my opinion. Few games are as remarkably relaxing yet active as simple Memory. I think the designers got the length of them just right too.

Sure, since I had a level 60 ME1 character I wasn't really troubled by shortages early on so could focus on building stocks. But that only lessened the tediousness of random scanning. Why not just spend an afternoon doing research on how satellites are used today to find minerals and build an interface around that. You could use a variant on a simple planning problem for gameplay (like Towers of Hanoi or Tapper). Should be casual work for the people at BioWare, considering the level they are at.

Just SOMETHING to make it quick and appealing rather than dull and monotonic.

I guess BioWare knows best though, they're the pros and all.

The scanning wasn't too bad on pc since I could adjust the speed of my mouse by pressing a button on my mouse. The fact that I didn't know how much minerals I needed made me scan practically every planet in the galaxy to depleted, and that did take a very long, very boring time.

I haven't even made it through the game yet and I have mined so many planets to "Depleted" I feel like a one man, planet rapin' machine...sucking the galaxy dry of its resources. While the scanning/mining is kind of tedious, I play ME2 on the PC so it doesn't bother me so much, still kind of boring though. I came up with an easy technique to scan planets without much effort, I put the mouse cursor in between two lines of latitude, move the cursor along the latitudes to the right edge of the planet and hold it there with the scan button held down so planet rotates faster and I get a complete 360 scan of the latitued line then move down to the next one and repeat. Also, using a trackball mouse made the scanning easier. The scanning is still about as boring as driving the Mako was all out annoying.I would swear the Mako itelf was drunk everytime I took it out for a spin.

Yeah it was definitely the worst part of the game. On the other hand, I didn't find myself really needing to do it that often. I scanned maybe 10-15 planets fully and that gave me enough to fully upgrade all my weapons. It was quite rare that I even bothered to use the element zero stuff.

Cliff_m85:

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

Perhaps commies read the notices but they actually read the whole thing, you keep all your weapons, but you do not keep thier upgrades like extra ammo and weapon damage only the new guns themselves. Check your second game your missing stuff. Loved the game but yeah the first time i scanned a planet it felt silly, I'm hard pressed to miss the old mako, but considering the rightious revamp the combat got it would have been nice to see the mako get the same treatement. Having the commander of the ship manually play with the scanning gun makes less sense in ME2 than it would have the first time. You got a whole goddamn crew, Get Kelly on that buisness she doesnt do anything with her day but tell you what you could find out from somone else.

Problems with the mako:
Planets,I understand the game was a huge undertaking and the optional or sidequest planets were generally bonus content considering what else you got on the main arch, but they were there, and they were involved in quests so kareening across a hightmap generated mountain range with garbage physics for the vehicle i'm doing it in are painful, The mako had inexplicably low grip for those 6 offroad tires.

Design, The mako's design makes little sense if its supposed to be some adverse terrain rover, its too low to the ground has huge overhang past the front wheels, lacks adequate suspension travel and really ought to have all wheel steering. I get that they didint want this thing to look like a warthog ripoff but the hogs a dream to drive, some things are quite simply par for the course.

Roleplay, the mako took everything but your highest electronics skill and threw it out the window. Your crew did nothing but give you a repair stat, assuming you were not the engineer, in which case they gave you nothing. It would have been nice to see your combat members blasting shots out of side mount turrets or taking over the turret while you focused on driving... don't give the computer the wheel theyre bad at it of course. Something to make me feal like that thing is combat proper and crewed would have been nice.

Mako sections were a cool concept but painful in the weakness of thier execution, main story planets were fine, still had the physics problems but not the retarted terrain to navigate it with. I miss them a little but i think what I and most miss about it is even though they were crap they made the game feal bigger, you got more of a sense that you could go anywhere in the galaxy. But I constantly bring up rose tinted glasses, when you really get down to it the areas that are in ME2 are for more varied and rich. ME1 had alot of square surface but it was all covered with the same 3 bases, and filled with the same 20 pirates "I WILL DESTROY YOU!"

So yeah bring back the drop truck but please, no mako, not as it was. If you pay attention to the codex entries in the game they elude to a ground vehicle for ME2 though. Edi mentions it as well. It's called the hammerhead. I'd bet were getting it for our cerberus keys.

Dexter111:
Is noone playing games on PC anymore...? I mean I'm reading articles all over the web and especially on some sites from gaming enthusiasts for gaming enthusiasts and I keep reading "Left Trigger this", "Right Analogue Stick" that... it is getting rather tiring...

And not only that but some of those "gaming experts" even get to be outright ignorant...
image

Other than that I agree with the article, I had my own little whine about it over here.

I am but I build my own PCs and gaming wise, unless your a professional builder getting your parts at wholesale, or factory prices its hard for the PC to hold its value proposition for many. I game on my PC and my xbox, and I actually have a controller setup for my PC(wireless 360) I enjoy playing on sticks. I enjoy my PC games as well but I nabbed my 360 for 300 bucks My PC rig has about 600 in it. Granted my PC does alot more than my 360 but for games, while it does crunch polygons a bit faster and shinnier, It doesnt do alot to increase the enjoyment of the games especially the single player variety. PC gaming didn't wane in popularity in the face of consoles due to some conspiracy, It's simply more accessible and for those like myself who aren't intimidated by the opened ended PC platform, there are still enticing things about the console run. That said, if somone doesnt get serious about digital distro by the next console generation I'm gonna be wishing it would die. Most of the consoles have taken baby steps and the 360 lets you buy full 360 games digital but its not done right til you can buy it on launch day. I do not give a damn about game retailers I want it digital and at a discount. Yes i do have a STEAM altar in my closet what of it?

hyperdrachen:
That said, if somone doesnt get serious about digital distro by the next console generation I'm gonna be wishing it would die. Most of the consoles have taken baby steps and the 360 lets you buy full 360 games digital but its not done right til you can buy it on launch day. I do not give a damn about game retailers I want it digital and at a discount. Yes i do have a STEAM altar in my closet what of it?

I'm not a proponent of the "Digital sales" thing, unless it actually DOES have something to be gained from.

As it stands, STEAM is usually A LOT more expensive (40%+) than Online stores and even Retailers. I usually order from amazon.co.uk or game.co.uk because they have new games or games not even released yet (Dragon Age, Mass Effect 2, Bioshock 2, Battlefield Bad Company 2 PreOrders) for ~30€ while STEAM sells them for 50€.

Slightly older games like "Batman: Arkham Asylum" can already be gotten for 14€, guess what STEAM offers it for? Right 50€

It's my money I'm not stupid enough to waste it like that xD

Another thing with STEAM is that all your games are bound to an account. When I played L4D or TF2 etc. more often there'd always be days where I'd meet with a few friends online, get into a voice-chat getting ready to play and oh see there... STEAM is down, the Frindslist is down or both of em... well better luck next time.

I also witnessed it more than once that people actually lost their accounts for extended periods of time. In one case for example it was someone that didn't have enough money on his CC to pay and he got suspended (unable to play ANY of his games and it took STEAM Support over one week to get it fixed), another one was recently when a guy I know used a VPN Tool to download the (in some countries not "allowed") Demo of Aliens vs Predator to try it out before he buys it and not only did they remove the Demo but again STEAM suspended his account (with ~500€ of games on it mind you) and it took him several days and pleas to get it back...

Personally no thank you, I buy whatever games I can not get any other way (like the new Monkey Island or most Valve games e.g. L4D, Orange Box, CS:S, TF2 etc.) but I'd rather stay with my hardcopy of the product that no "platform" can take from me on some sort of whim or because they think I broke some of their rules...

Dexter111:

hyperdrachen:
That said, if somone doesnt get serious about digital distro by the next console generation I'm gonna be wishing it would die. Most of the consoles have taken baby steps and the 360 lets you buy full 360 games digital but its not done right til you can buy it on launch day. I do not give a damn about game retailers I want it digital and at a discount. Yes i do have a STEAM altar in my closet what of it?

I'm not a proponent of the "Digital sales" thing, unless it actually DOES have something to be gained from.

As it stands, STEAM is usually A LOT more expensive (40%+) than Online stores and even Retailers. I usually order from amazon.co.uk or game.co.uk because they have new games or games not even released yet (Dragon Age, Mass Effect 2, Bioshock 2, Battlefield Bad Company 2 PreOrders) for ~30€ while STEAM sells them for 50€.

Slightly older games like "Batman: Arkham Asylum" can already be gotten for 14€, guess what STEAM offers it for? Right 50€

It's my money I'm not stupid enough to waste it like that xD

Another thing with STEAM is that all your games are bound to an account. When I played L4D or TF2 etc. more often there'd always be days where I'd meet with a few friends online, get into a voice-chat getting ready to play and oh see there... STEAM is down, the Frindslist is down or both of em... well better luck next time.

I also witnessed it more than once that people actually lost their accounts for extended periods of time. In one case for example it was someone that didn't have enough money on his CC to pay and he got suspended (unable to play ANY of his games and it took STEAM Support over one week to get it fixed), another one was recently when a guy I know used a VPN Tool to download the (in some countries not "allowed") Demo of Aliens vs Predator to try it out before he buys it and not only did they remove the Demo but again STEAM suspended his account (with ~500€ of games on it mind you) and it took him several days and pleas to get it back...

Personally no thank you, I buy whatever games I can not get any other way (like the new Monkey Island or most Valve games e.g. L4D, Orange Box, CS:S, TF2 etc.) but I'd rather stay with my hardcopy of the product that no "platform" can take from me on some sort of whim or because they think I broke some of their rules...

Digital distro should never be the only option but I want to have the choice to hold to it exclusivly myself. Your price figures are a bit dishonest. Your comparing oddities like used games verses a new digital liscense. Yes its a smarter buy, thats not steam ripping you off though your not comparing apples to apples, steam simply is not set up to sell you a used game. Otherwise steam games are most of the time 10 bucks or 15 percent cheaper than thier retail box counterpart on new releases and dirt cheap on old stuff that you'd be hard pressed to find at all. Yes the games are bound to your account its a good way to preserve my right to download games I've purchased, unlike the sleazy digital distros like Spore(before it was on steam), which offered to charge me 10 dollars to honor my liscense should I need a redownload I promptly gave that the finger and went the retail route, prolly should skipped the game on principle. It also cuts down on piracy.

I understand and have to agree that since this is an account of things you have purchased full ownership of they should not be able to deny you access to those things you own. However Its hard to buy the vilification of steam for banning users who are clearly breaking IP laws. Your CC example confused me, steam access is free, what couldn't he pay? I can see banning the rights to downloads and community tools but you should always be able to access your software that belongs to you. But for me this is irrelevant. Because I don't do things that might make people "think" I'm breaking thier rules, though your first example seems to be more in the line of, actual illicit conduct, I've not once had my account called into question, I've been on steam since it came out. For the vanilla user like me that simply wants a convinient quick direct to my PC purchase, skip the jerks at gamestop, not to mention thier malignant for the devs market approach, and to always own my copy of that game. Sure I can't trade it in but for 1 I saw a discount at the counter of 10-15 dollars on a new game. Trade in usually garners about 20 bucks, dock off the increased tax money and gas and disdain for the retailer and I'd say that 5 dollar differential is covered.

Don't get me wrong I think digital distro needs a few kinks worked out but i think steams got it pretty close, and keep in mind I support this always being voluntary, and there are definitly more of you than me. Sony and Toshiba thrive on the outcome of the solid format war so the hard copies not going anywhere, It' might soon be a 100gig flash stick but it will be there. But I like digital, usually its a nice discount, and more money gets to the devs instead of the pawn shops like ebgames. I know retailers generally only make about 5 dollars gross profit per new game sold, vs the 30 they make reselling used games(a lost customer to the people who actually made the game), games weigh very little take up nil space, and sell themselves, I don't see that the retailer is entitled to 30% on that. I know not everyone can afford it I'm not trying to stomp on thier options, but I want to support the devs, I want permanent ownership of my games that can't be lost in any flood/fire/move/ and I want it 20minutes after its release.

Lastly? Ordering unreleased games from amazon? Wonder if these 'fell off a truck' further the release dates are legally binding so somone might "Think" this is breaking the rules. That might account for the price gap. Sorry this clashes hard with your anger at steams rules.

Edit:sorry misread didn't notice the preorder in there. But in light of that, preorders on steam often include additional discounts. I'm starting to wonder if UK steam is just different. It doesn't sound like were talking about the same service at all.

Also Maybe I'm lucky I see steam services down once in a very blue moon. They gotta do maintanence sometime, but again this falls under consumer freedom, I don't think you should have to conform to my system, but I damn sure should not have to conform to Eb games system which here in the US is the only system, they've all other game stores in my section of the country, and every other national chain. The only things outside EB are the big retailers like wal mart, best buy etc. Everywhere else that sells games has joined the pawn shop extravaganza, I'll pass thanks.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Your account does not have posting rights. If you feel this is in error, please contact an administrator. (ID# 49190)