Who Put The CCG In Mass Effect 3?

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Who Put The CCG In Mass Effect 3?

Is extra content no one gets to play actually extra content?

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Quite so.

I wish they'd done it like Black Ops where you earn credits then chose which upgrade you wish to purchase with them.

Well surely by this argument borderlands is crap cause its all luck whether you get a gun that suits your class, same with diablo or any other loot based game the whole point is you grind until you get the gear you want and nobody is forcing you to buy it.

This was bloody frustrating, I only managed to unlock a Geth character I'd be pinning for since day one on the day before they released the Rebellion pack-just as well I imagine, if I hadn't I'd never get it JUST MORE BLOODY USELESS PISTOLS.

Honestly, I have my ups and downs with the system. It really does suck to fight your way through 3-4 Silver matches in order to grab the Premium Spectre pack, and having your Graal Spike Thrower and your Asari Adept. Neither of which you've ever really used. But honestly, the low of the lows makes for the higher highs. I've had matches where I got my 100K Credits saved, and on that last match I had 20 seconds left with my team in the Extraction Zone with 2 Brutes and a Banshee all whooping our asses but still came out on top. Unlocked the Vorcha Sentinel and upgraded my Geth Plasma SMG, which was completely amazing.

Having the option to just BUY what you want would be ok, I guess, but it honestly feels good to EARN the stuff your using, even if it does mean lots of time put in and 8 different pistols at level 10 when I DON"T USE PISTOLS DAMNIT!!!

Zhukov:
Quite so.

I wish they'd done it like Black Ops where you earn credits then chose which upgrade you wish to purchase with them.

That would have been a hell of a more efficient and ensure that we don't have piles of crappy weapons we never use!

I've been saying this exact same thing since the beginning. It's money grubbing bullshit. Fucking EA, I'm glad I didn't cave and buy this game

getoffmycloud:
Well surely by this argument borderlands is crap cause its all luck whether you get a gun that suits your class, same with diablo or any other loot based game the whole point is you grind until you get the gear you want and nobody is forcing you to buy it.

You get so many different guns in Borderlands and there are so many readily-accessible pieces of loot in Diablo 3 that you're always changing around options and trying new things and experimenting.

There is a huge difference between either of those games and Mass Effect 3's multiplayer mode which presents a relatively *small* number of options and locks them behind a randomized die roll. Apples and oranges.

Given, ya know, the entire purpose of the "multplayer/singleplayer" tie in and that it actually RESTRICTS SINGLE PLAYER CONTENT UNLESS YOU PLAY MULTIPLAYER (apologies for excessive caps, but necessary) its not at all surprising this isnt the only way the game tries to manipulate you into playing multiplayer. The fact that if you want to experience all the (tedious IMO) MP system has to offer you have to rely on pot luck and a crapton of repeat matches isnt one little bit surprising to me.

Im really shocked this multiplayer mode didnt cop more flak in this regard actually. Its one of the most offensively intrusive and restricting mutliplayer modes Ive ever had the misfortune of seeing taint a perfectly acceptable single player campaign. What it has has been done better in ways far less forceful by other games.

Having multiplayer not affect single player campaign and have a points/purchase system instead of random loot dumps would have been obviously better but less multiplayer hours would get logged by people who were no longer forced to grind MP for those reasons.

Also the fact that these loot drops can be charged on microsoft points is sickening.

Fr]anc[is:
I've been saying this exact same thing since the beginning. It's money grubbing bullshit. Fucking EA, I'm glad I didn't cave and buy this game

Thanks for negating your opinion by never playing the game from the get go. Means I don't have to worry about what you think. Rock on.

As for the idea that EA/Bioware is money grubbing for this DLC- there is that opinion, but that is a flawed ideal. Unlike other games where DLC becomes a tiered experience by those who bought the DLC for XYZ map pack (thereby shrinking the player pool and in effect pointedly stating that those who do not pay, can't play), you still have the option of playing with the characters you unlock and use. The company still has to find a way to make money and distribute content, without alienating players, and this is by far my favorite move. Instead of paying $5 and having no 'reward' for unlocking the equipment, I still have the option of continuing to play and get some of the cool new items FOR FREE. What's that? The investment is my own time, playing a game I like? Sweet. I don't like the new stuff, I am not at a loss. I didn't spend a penny.

Likewise if you are such ridiculous puppet that you're practically hemorrhaging your money in order to get some new shiny toys instead of just enjoying the game, feel free to pay whomever your game provider is for instant extra equipment packs. Go on, all you have to do is cut that jugular and bleed some more the money you didn't have to spend in the first place. Woe is you.

As for content no one gets to play/time to develop the characters? Boo-hoo. Sorry you think you're entitled to it, you didn't get the one thing you deserve, or you wasted XP on appearance or character unlocks you have (try promoting your characters to use that XP and try another build). In the mean time, I'll be over here approving of a developer who came up with a way to distribute continued FREE content to their ENTIRE multiplayer base, admitted their mistakes on the ending of ME3 and swapped production staff to address the issue with new (also Free) content.

Seriously, your whining is why Dev's can't stand their internet fanbase.

Dana Brandt:
Unlike other games where DLC becomes a tiered experience by those who bought the DLC for XYZ map pack (thereby shrinking the player pool and in effect pointedly stating that those who do not pay, can't play), you still have the option of playing with the characters you unlock and use...

I think you're talking about something different and unrelated throughout. That has to do with map packs. The randomization in Mass Effect 3 multiplayer has to do with character classes and gear.

Too bad for the author that he didn't figure out earlier what a waste of time the multiplayer is. I played as a sniper, worked through a bunch of bronze campaigns adn saved enough for the 99k pack, and what did I get? A shot gun and a sub machine gun mod. At that point I asked myself why I was wasting my time with this. If I wanted to play a FPS there are much better games to chose from, and I didn't buy Mass Effect for a FPS.

Dana Brandt:
snip

And if you are going to sit there and say that someone can't have an opinion on something without buying it themselves, despite the fact that the internet exists, I no longer have to worry about what you think.

I don't mind the randomize system if it was combined with an option to just buy the things. Like straight up purchasing things cost a lot of say "points" compared to the randomized roll, so you had a choice to either gamble or save up your cash. Of course Bioware did it the way they did for cash so meh.

I'm a frequent player of the ME3 MP metagame, running multiple Gold matches a day with a dedicated team. There are a few mistakes made in this article and in the thread so far, I'd like to clear a few of them up.

In the article, the writer laments the addition of new characters because it means more character unlocks for maxed classes, meaning those unlocks go to waste. While it is true that the unlock is wasted if the class is already at max level, adding new characters does not increase the odds of drawing a character card. The variants of rare unlocks are in separate pools, meaning the game tosses a coin to decide whether you get a character or a weapon, then rolls the dice to decide which character or weapon you get afterwards. More characters does not mean more frequent character cards.

There is also no new mode of play included in the new DLC. Only one mode of play exists, that being the GoW-style Horde Mode. The DLC did add something that isn't mentioned in the article, however; a new slot for equipment. Unlike the other consumable gear that lasts for one match, these are not expended after each game and can level up like weapons. They provide similar bonuses to existing temporary equipment.

The article writer also mentions he must take his common Avenger X to Silver/Gold games because all of his rare weapons are at level I. This is a terrible mistake to make for numerous reasons. Not only are a lot of rare weapons immediately better than the Avenger regardless of level, but assault rifles are, in general, tied for the spot of worst weapon class with SMGs.

You see, automatic weapons are mostly horrible in ME3. Their DPS is balanced with slower, semi-automatic weapons. This sounds fair, until you realise that spending more than 1 second in the line of fire on Gold gets you a nice long dirt nap. High powered, semi-auto weapons require only brief exposure to fire while you pop out, fire a shot, duck away and repeat. Automatic weapons require prolonged exposure to fire to achieve their stated DPS, which - as mentioned earlier - gets you killed. It's for the same reasons that most SMGs are terrible in Gold.

There are exceptions to the "Assault Rifles suck" rule, but they're the ARs that aren't really ARs, like the Falcon grenade launcher.

As for the posts, I notice a few people lamenting that the game keeps giving them pistols. Pistols are quite possible the best class of weapons in the game, provided you can aim. The Carnifex, Paladin and Talon are among the most reliable and powerful weapons in the game. If you can line up headshots, you can put down any non-boss enemy on Gold with one or two shots. The Scorpion is a brilliant weapon that sees use in some very effective non-traditional builds, and the Phalanx straddles the line between slow/heavy hitting and rapid-fire DPS just well enough to remain useful.

And lastly, to address the problem of the random packs;

Once you're down with a reliable team, the packs become mostly a non-issue for everything short of the ultra-rare weapons, which are supposed to be virtually unobtainable, hence the moniker "ultra-rare". If you have around an hour or two to play per day, and your team doesn't drag their feet, you'll unlock everything worth having in no time. Oh, you won't get what you want when you want it, but the time frame is pretty much the same.

Imagine if you could buy the weapons & upgrades you want, rather than random chances at them. Well, the weapons & upgrades would have to be substantially more expensive than the packs. There's no game with RPG mechanics in the world that doesn't force you to grind for what you want. The difference here is that you'll unlock other stuff - stuff you probably would never have chosen - along the way. This, in my opinion, is a good thing, as it leads to variety as players pick up weapons they would never otherwise have used or even unlocked, simply because they have it.

I, for example, would never have used a shotgun - any shotgun - if I'd been able to pick my weapons. I'd have stuck with sniper rifles and heavy pistols. But the GPS, Graal & Claymore levels just kept creeping up until one day I though, what the hell, I'll give them a shot. And now, the Claymore & Graal are among my favourite weapons in the game. The same goes for other weapons I was dubious of, such as the Kishok SR and the Talon pistol.

If the game hadn't dumped those weapons I didn't want on my hands, I probably would have given up playing the game when I got bored of snipers & pistols. I certainly wouldn't have grinded more credits out to buy weapons I was uncertain of. And I'm still playing the game and enjoying it.

Yes, the system of random unlocks is in no small part designed to keep people playing and drive the less patient players to purchasing them for real cash. But as long as you enjoy playing, what does it matter that it keeps you there? And if you're not inclined to spend money on the packs, it doesn't matter that you can. If you actually want to, it's not a bad thing that you can.

The biggest problem with the packs for the majority of players is that Bronze and, to a lesser extent, Silver, don't give sufficient credits to fund rare unlocks at a reasonable rate, and many players fear Gold, and for good reason. Going from playing Bronze/Silver to Gold is like going from playing Skyrim to Dark Souls. It's also no exaggeration to say that the majority of ME's fanbase aren't exactly prolific players of multiplayer games, and are therefore much less likely to build the necessary connections to create a regular team of Gold-worthy players - and Gold isn't something you really want to try with public groups.

In any case, if you - and that includes the author of this article, should he actually be reading this thread - play on the Xbox 360 want to play some Gold and earn some credits with reliable, forgiving and easygoing players, my team and I would be glad to take you along and show you the ropes. Just send me a private message with your gamertag and we'd be glad to have you on board.

Arkley:
In any case, if you - and that includes the author of this article, should he actually be reading this thread - play on the Xbox 360 want to play some Gold and earn some credits with reliable, forgiving and easygoing players, my team and I would be glad to take you along and show you the ropes. Just send me a private message with your gamertag and we'd be glad to have you on board.

Yes, he is. Howdy, Arkley!

I imagine you know the exploit wherein running Gold matches against Geth on Firebase White is easy as pie?

You cannot imagine...well, *you* probably can...how I've farmed the hell out of that setup. Earning credits has not been an issue for me since I learned the exploit. I have bought many more 99,000-credit Reinforcement Packs, whatever they're being called this week, than I probably had a right to. And that actually informed my decision to tackle this subject on First Person. If *I* haven't even unlocked all the default class variants yet, I can't imagine what it's like for someone who *can't* hang on Gold consistently and earn all that money.

I take issue with the idea that RPG mechanics have anything to do with judging the mechanics of a survival-mode cover-based third-person shooter. Multiplayer and campaign are two completely different beasts in Mass Efect 3. Arguing that RPGs make us grind, and therefore grinding through a random die roll while getting garbage is reasonable, doesn't hold water with me. We're not talking about an RPG in this, specific context. We're talking about a shooter.

My larger point is that no, I'm not enjoying playing anymore, precisely because this random mechanic finally got on my nerves. None of my friends are playing anymore, and the Reinforcement Packs and boredom with them had something to do with it. You're getting those sorts of responses in the comments here, as well. It's a shame it's happening, because I truly believe the multiplayer mode is brilliant *except for this one decision.*

Dennis Scimeca:
Who Put The CCG In Mass Effect 3?

Is extra content no one gets to play actually extra content?

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I love ME3's multiplayer, I really do... but the unlock system for gear drives me insane... you hit the nail on the head with this.

Dennis Scimeca:

Yes, he is. Howdy, Arkley!

I imagine you know the exploit wherein running Gold matches against Geth on Firebase White is easy as pie?

You cannot imagine...well, *you* probably can...how I've farmed the hell out of that setup. Earning credits has not been an issue for me since I learned the exploit. I have bought many more 99,000-credit Reinforcement Packs, whatever they're being called this week, than I probably had a right to. And that actually informed my decision to tackle this subject on First Person. If *I* haven't even unlocked all the default class variants yet, I can't imagine what it's like for someone who *can't* hang on Gold consistently and earn all that money.

I take issue with the idea that RPG mechanics have anything to do with judging the mechanics of a survival-mode cover-based third-person shooter. Multiplayer and campaign are two completely different beasts in Mass Efect 3. Arguing that RPGs make us grind, and therefore grinding through a random die roll while getting garbage is reasonable, doesn't hold water with me. We're not talking about an RPG in this, specific context. We're talking about a shooter.

My larger point is that no, I'm not enjoying playing anymore, precisely because this random mechanic finally got on my nerves. None of my friends are playing anymore, and the Reinforcement Packs and boredom with them had something to do with it. You're getting those sorts of responses in the comments here, as well. It's a shame it's happening, because I truly believe the multiplayer mode is brilliant *except for this one decision.*

I'm aware of the FBW/G/G strategy, and such frequent use of it is likely responsible for your exasperation with the game setting in so quickly. I completely understand why players resort to it - as I mentioned earlier, Bronze and Silver really don't provide enough credits for frequent Gold unlocks and Gold is a real challenge with any other set up - but it really kills the game. Grinding the same map, enemy and strategy over and over in the name of unlocking weapons in the hope of adding more variety to your game is bound to wear thin quickly.

We'll have to agree to disagree on whether the presence of RPG mechanics ought to factor in to the judgement of the game. I'd argue that the presence of multiple choices for character classes and how those characters are built, weapon progression and varying character roles in play(such as the typical support, tank, DPS, etc) make the multiplayer an RPG. An RPG with the story hacked out, certainly, but walking and talking like a shooter doesn't make those aspects any less present.

In any case, if you're not enjoying the game any more due to frustration with the unlock system, I certainly can't argue with that. I can't tell you you're wrong for being irritated by it and - having experienced frustration at the hands of those packs myself - I can't even say I don't understand it. But I will refer to the first paragraph of this response, and say that you might still find the game worth playing if you find a decent team that can handle a variety of enemies, maps and strategies. You may never approve of the unlock system, but you may begin to enjoy the rest of the game enough to have fun in spite of it.

If you ever decide to make a return, my team are casual and easygoing guys and you - along with anyone else who has grown tired of the game - are welcome to join us.

Edit:

Oh! And a friendly heads-up in case it's not too late to make adjustments to your article; the new DLC didn't add a new mode of play, but it did add new permanent variants of existing temporary equipment and a new in-match objective.

Escorting characters carrying objects who are combat-ineffective while doing so is a new mode of play as far as I'm concerned. :)

Fr]anc[is:
I've been saying this exact same thing since the beginning. It's money grubbing bullshit. Fucking EA, I'm glad I didn't cave and buy this game

This.

Dear OP: You should probably keep giving money to EA and get them to correct their behaviour by rewarding the times they screw over consumers.

Arkley:

Dennis Scimeca:

Yes, he is. Howdy, Arkley!

I imagine you know the exploit wherein running Gold matches against Geth on Firebase White is easy as pie?

You cannot imagine...well, *you* probably can...how I've farmed the hell out of that setup. Earning credits has not been an issue for me since I learned the exploit. I have bought many more 99,000-credit Reinforcement Packs, whatever they're being called this week, than I probably had a right to. And that actually informed my decision to tackle this subject on First Person. If *I* haven't even unlocked all the default class variants yet, I can't imagine what it's like for someone who *can't* hang on Gold consistently and earn all that money.

I take issue with the idea that RPG mechanics have anything to do with judging the mechanics of a survival-mode cover-based third-person shooter. Multiplayer and campaign are two completely different beasts in Mass Efect 3. Arguing that RPGs make us grind, and therefore grinding through a random die roll while getting garbage is reasonable, doesn't hold water with me. We're not talking about an RPG in this, specific context. We're talking about a shooter.

My larger point is that no, I'm not enjoying playing anymore, precisely because this random mechanic finally got on my nerves. None of my friends are playing anymore, and the Reinforcement Packs and boredom with them had something to do with it. You're getting those sorts of responses in the comments here, as well. It's a shame it's happening, because I truly believe the multiplayer mode is brilliant *except for this one decision.*

I'm aware of the FBW/G/G strategy, and such frequent use of it is likely responsible for your exasperation with the game setting in so quickly. I completely understand why players resort to it - as I mentioned earlier, Bronze and Silver really don't provide enough credits for frequent Gold unlocks and Gold is a real challenge with any other set up - but it really kills the game. Grinding the same map, enemy and strategy over and over in the name of unlocking weapons in the hope of adding more variety to your game is bound to wear thin quickly.

We'll have to agree to disagree on whether the presence of RPG mechanics ought to factor in to the judgement of the game. I'd argue that the presence of multiple choices for character classes and how those characters are built, weapon progression and varying character roles in play(such as the typical support, tank, DPS, etc) make the multiplayer an RPG. An RPG with the story hacked out, certainly, but walking and talking like a shooter doesn't make those aspects any less present.

In any case, if you're not enjoying the game any more due to frustration with the unlock system, I certainly can't argue with that. I can't tell you you're wrong for being irritated by it and - having experienced frustration at the hands of those packs myself - I can't even say I don't understand it. But I will refer to the first paragraph of this response, and say that you might still find the game worth playing if you find a decent team that can handle a variety of enemies, maps and strategies. You may never approve of the unlock system, but you may begin to enjoy the rest of the game enough to have fun in spite of it.

If you ever decide to make a return, my team are casual and easygoing guys and you - along with anyone else who has grown tired of the game - are welcome to join us.

Edit:

Oh! And a friendly heads-up in case it's not too late to make adjustments to your article; the new DLC didn't add a new mode of play, but it did add new permanent variants of existing temporary equipment and a new in-match objective.

Out of curiosity, what is your take on the new Ex-Cerberus characters? I played the mp a lot when the last free pack came out, but have only remembered me3 again recently.

More specifically to the article; the reason they do the random packs thing is because it is like TCGs such as Magic: The Gathering - it is really addicting opening those packs, especially when you are guaranteed something of particular rarity (even if it is one of the "crappy" rares). They basically built the model around that as a way to encourage people to keep playing. I know I certainly played longer my first time around the mp because of that reason.

That's my big problem with the multi-player also. All I want is a Quarian/Geth Engineer/Infiltrator, I don't care which but I've still yet to get them. Nevermind my Asari Vanguard and Krogan Soldier have almost every customization option unlocked, and those are two of my three non-starter race/class. I'd rather just have to save up a lot more cash and just drop it on a specific item. Most of my weapon packs hold disposables, I don't even have a rank 7 weapon; I can't count my total of medi-gels and augments though.

They just designed it to pad their MP numbers so a completely shit mode did not get made to look like complete shit.

Think about it.
If they let you buy what you wanted, people would have stopped playing a long time ago really.
The main reason I play is to just unlock stuff to give it a try.

Its a very pathetic offering and it pales compared to most other MP.
They need to add a VS mode, Capture the Flag, Territory control, Objective mode, VS for those last to.

They need BIG maps with tons of people playing, not this ...half assed horde mode.
Left For Dead 2 and Team Fortress 2 kept me coming back since they had tons of modes to try and co-op, and VS.

It has the possibility of greatness...but as of now its just very lackluster.

getoffmycloud:
Well surely by this argument borderlands is crap cause its all luck whether you get a gun that suits your class, same with diablo or any other loot based game the whole point is you grind until you get the gear you want and nobody is forcing you to buy it.

But in Borderlands and Diablo yo DO have access to ALL the classes from the very beginning.
Not being able to get a gun is one thing. But not being able to get a Turian Sentinel for 2 months (?) now is a bit, if not a lot, frustrating.

Let us not kid ourselves. The ME3 MP mode was tacked on. We know it was meant as being its own game but was altered. As such it is a perfect place to experiment. Experiment with unlocks, monetization, modes, powers, classes and so forth. Enter the randomized Reinforcement Packs. This method is actually interesting and despite the frustration of a bad draw it is a good way to do it. The elation of a good draw, encouraging experimentation for the players and providing an rpg like drop system (this last one it not so much a pro/con thing but just an observation but it does keep the MP mode true to the roots of ME1).

Let me just dwell a bit on the RPG like drop mechanic. It is actually there and it has far more in common with a Diablo 3 drop system then might be readily apparent. In diablo 3 (and its ilk) you are drowned in gear that drops but the frequency of drops you can use is far lower than that. The time between useful drops grows progressively longer and longer the stronger you get. The system here works similarly. As you get the better weapons and the better options the time between getting something else grows. The only difference really is that instead of items dropping you get credit that you put into the random loot generator and it creates your loot. You get your health potions, mana potions, resurrection scrolls and consumable items as well as the weapons you were after (or not as the case may be).

Now the monetization I think they could have done better. Instead of letting you buy the "booster packs" I think it would have been better for them to let you buy the weapons and classes you wanted. Not having seen how much they have made on the random loot I can't say with any certainty if it would have been more profitable than the "Booster Pack" method, but I do suspect it would have been.

As multiplayer games fitted onto what is in reality a single player game this one works just fine. The updates are free and while you have to unlock the classes and weapons that comes out the system has not changed appreciably. What has changed is that now there are new maps to master and when you get the new weapons and classes there are those to master as well.

People decry the need to play multiplayer to get the best ending, but in reality... you don't. There is quite enough army strength points in the game to make the multi player readiness thing redundant. What it does represent is another way to get there though. Personally I can't see the bad in that.

Now if you choose to play the game to grind new items I can understand your frustrations. But if that is the case why play at all. If the game itself does not hold enjoyment for you why play? I find the game fun because I am not really that good a player. I have never been that good at shooters. I suck with snipers (incidentally I have all the infiltrators unlocked... the salarian is maxed). But the game offers other options. "Spellcasters" if you will. And I can curve powers with the best of them and when a good powercombo goes off I always laugh (especially fire burst). Even when playing soldier I usually go for a powerful concussive shot and fast cooldown and send small enemies flying all over the place.

So in closing I say that I disagree with the article. It may not be the best system in the world but it is certainly not the worst and if you feel the "loot system" drives you away I am going to wager there are... other unexplored reasons as well. Maybe you just got tired of the gameplay.

Play for fun
when it gets grindy turn it off. use different weapons, try different classes. This article is very negative. I havent spent any real cash. I pick up and play when I feel like it. I have a healthy amount of rares and even a super rare...all from in game credits. There is no reason to burn yourself out grinding.

getoffmycloud:
Well surely by this argument borderlands is crap cause its all luck whether you get a gun that suits your class, same with diablo or any other loot based game the whole point is you grind until you get the gear you want and nobody is forcing you to buy it.

well, actually:

image

image

Blizzard = genius.

OT: I found the way we unlock weapons and characters was a bit slow and annoying, but really its a way to artificially pad out the multiplayer portion.

Think about it, what would you do if you unlocked all the weapons and characters immediately for $15.

You would probably play for a week and then wander off to other games, only coming back when new DLC, character packs, or weapon packs were released.

That being said however, I have a friend who buys about 6k MSP every payday, at launch he had something like 14k saved up since no good DLC had been released for his games.

about ten minutes later, he had several level 10 weapons, almost all the characters unlocked, almost all the options for the characters he had unlocked, and enough rockets that he could get to wave 8 on gold by himself.

What happened? he stopped playing for a while, played KoA again, and just kind of forgot about ME3.

While it is annoying, it helps keep players invested in the multiplayer, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. Because if you have to force players to stay in the multiplayer, then what does that say about it to begin with?

eventhorizon525:

Out of curiosity, what is your take on the new Ex-Cerberus characters? I played the mp a lot when the last free pack came out, but have only remembered me3 again recently.

The Ex-Cerb characters aren't very good. They're identical except that the Vanguard has Biotic Charge where the Adept has Singularity.

To explain a little;

Singularity is a bad, bad power in multiplayer. It won't lift anything that's protected by shields/barriers/armour, and on Gold that's about 90% of the enemies on Gold. It also has a tiny area of effect.

Lash is actually a decent ability, it's like Pull on steroids. It can even yank enemies that are protected with a particular evolution, and it can both set up and detonate Biotic explosions. The problem with it is that it hurls enemies so far and so fast that's often not possible to self-detonate if you use it as a primer.

Smash is poor all around. It's incredibly slow to start up, locks you in place while it starts, offers no invincibility frames (like Charge and Nova) and has a tiny range - 1.5 metres. All for less damage than a Lift or Frag grenade - Grenades which can be thrown, instantly, from a distance, with an impact radius ranging from 6 to 8 metres. It shares a cooldown with Charge, so it can't be used like Nova. All in all, it's a high-risk, high-reward ability that forgot the high-reward part.

JakobBloch:
It may not be the best system in the world but it is certainly not the worst and if you feel the "loot system" drives you away I am going to wager there are... other unexplored reasons as well. Maybe you just got tired of the gameplay.

You could not be more entirely wrong. I love the gameplay. I think multiplayer in Mass Effect 3 is actually a better Horde mode than Horde mode in Gears of War. The combat and power systems of Mass Effect lend themselves shockingly well to 4-player co-op survival play.

It's really only the randomization nonsense that got under my skin and drove me away, because the mode got boring. When you can rock Gold-level matches consistently with your tight group of squadmates, that level of challenge goes away. New maps might stay interesting for a while, but then you master those, as well.

What keeps multiplayer fresh is the exercise of options. Randomization of gear acquisition effectively truncates the exercise of options. It's a very simple proposition - and perhaps as someone who is a veteran of multiplayer shooters of all sorts my patience for the randomization is less than someone who isn't a shooter player by nature and hasn't enjoyed the usual methods of progression such that they have a method of comparison here. I'll cop to that.

But using the same guns over and over again is boring. Not being able to try new classes is just frustrating. If you gave me new classes and new weapons I'd have a reason to still be playing Mass Effect 3 multiplayer because I'd have substantive, new things to do.

I couldn't agree more with this article.

I definitely had fun playing the multiplayer mode when ME3 came out, and in the beginning there were enough different options to fool around with that it was merely annoying that I couldn't play with the aliens. Sure, I wanted to see what all the races felt like, but I was having fun trying new classes and new maps and just trying to beat Bronze.

Once I finished the ME3 campaign, though, I found myself less motivated to keep playing. By that time I had also maxed out a couple characters, gotten a few different alien races, and generally started to have my fill of the multiplayer. I got excited when the first DLC pack came out, but I was very frustrated when I couldn't get any of the new characters (I wanted to play so much as the Geth!). I came back to ME3 multiplayer this past week when the new DLC came out, played a bunch of rounds, saved up for the best pack, and crossed my fingers, but all I got were upgrades for my sniper rifle and a nice new shotgun. Good items, surely, but not at all what I was interested in. You said it best - the second DLC pack had come out, and I couldn't even play with the characters from the first DLC, let alone the default characters.

Dana Brandt:

As for the idea that EA/Bioware is money grubbing for this DLC- there is that opinion, but that is a flawed ideal. Unlike other games where DLC becomes a tiered experience by those who bought the DLC for XYZ map pack (thereby shrinking the player pool and in effect pointedly stating that those who do not pay, can't play), you still have the option of playing with the characters you unlock and use. The company still has to find a way to make money and distribute content, without alienating players, and this is by far my favorite move. Instead of paying $5 and having no 'reward' for unlocking the equipment, I still have the option of continuing to play and get some of the cool new items FOR FREE. What's that? The investment is my own time, playing a game I like? Sweet. I don't like the new stuff, I am not at a loss. I didn't spend a penny.

Likewise if you are such ridiculous puppet that you're practically hemorrhaging your money in order to get some new shiny toys instead of just enjoying the game, feel free to pay whomever your game provider is for instant extra equipment packs. Go on, all you have to do is cut that jugular and bleed some more the money you didn't have to spend in the first place. Woe is you.

In my mind the main thing wrong with the DLC is how you pay to unlock more packs, and you cannot pay a one-time fee to unlock all the content. (For one, paying to unlock more packs feels straight out of a F2P iPhone game, which is a bit insulting after already shelling out $60.) But more than that: even players who pay for extra packs are not guaranteed to get access to all the content.

You write as if everyone who would be willing to pay to unlock this free DLC is irresponsible and playing a game you like should be reward enough while you unlock packs. But you see, I hate randomization - in games, in life, everywhere. In my experience, whenever something comes down to chance, it feels like it always comes out the wrong way for me. And because of that, I'd much rather prefer to grind extra if it means no randomness involved. On top of that, I simply don't have time to play ME3 enough to unlock everything. (Work can do that to a person.) However, I do have disposable income (see previous: work).

My point is this: I agree it's a really great idea to try some sort of F2P model on DLC so that the playerbase is not fragmented by those who buy it and those who do not. But I think asking people to pay for unlocks isn't the way to do it. If I could pay, say, $5 to unlock the characters from the DLC, I probably would have done it twice by now. I'd get entertainment out of it, EA/Bioware would get money, and the entire playerbase could play together. But I'm not going to pay for random unlocks, the way they have it now, and it makes it frustrating to me that there's theoretically a way I could pay to get the DLC, but I refuse to literally gamble real world money on virtual unlocks.

I'm sure EA/Bioware thought about this alternative, and they must have decided that random unlocks would make them more money, which I find really interesting. I'd love to see the numbers on how profitable the DLC unlocks are for them. I just know that personally, I would have preferred (and probably paid for) flat-rate DLC that would unlock everything at once (or at least, the characters).

Dennis Scimeca:

I see that you're responding to comments in this thread and humbly hope you might have the time to think about what I have to say. I've been reading your articles and they're my favorite new column on the site.

Dunno about other multiplayers but the one in ME3 had the most garbage system of unlocking that I've ever seen. As much as I despised RE5's multiplayer at least you picked what you unlocked.

My experience with it was like this:
Buy pack -> Human Male Engineer (Well shit I don't even play that class)
Buy pack -> Alien Pistol I (I don't even use pistols, I'm a sniper!)
Buy pack -> Human Male Engineer Training (What the hell?)
Buy pack -> Alien Pistol II (But I'm still not gonna use it!!)
Buy pack -> Human Female Engineer (%$$%#^#&@#$%^&**&^%#$#!!!)

To this day my female infiltrator and vanguard have the basic 2 color armor and have level 3 guns each. I downloaded the batarian/geth pack, never unlocked a single one, and didn't bother with this vorcha one, as I haven't touched the game since the batarian pack came out.

Personally I put it down because playing the same thing over and over on the same few maps gets tiresome after a while, no matter how fun it is to begin with.

Versus multiplayer only lasts longer because of how the challenge changes each game. One match you might slaughter the team over and over, the next you might get a surprise ass kicking, it has variation in it.

I agree with the dislike of the system though. I kept getting useless upgrades or weapons that I didn't need. Once I had the Geth shotgun, I did not need that level 4 upgrade for the starter shotgun, honest.

Plus the constant ammo packs I received that are worthless most of the time due to the amount of weapon caches scattered around the maps.

Fr]anc[is:
I've been saying this exact same thing since the beginning. It's money grubbing bullshit. Fucking EA, I'm glad I didn't cave and buy this game

The DLC is free and you buy the packs in with-game credits. Money grubbing what now?

Kermi:
The DLC is free and you buy the packs in with-game credits. Money grubbing what now?

The entire thing is designed to push you towards buying booster packs with real money. If they weren't there, the randomized nature of the unlocks would simply be annoying and pointlessly frustrating. But they are there, and every time a 'free' DLC comes out it gives people more things to want and lowers the chances of getting the old things, and therefore more reason to skip the grind and gamble with real money. Just because you can grind like a mofo and cross your fingers doesn't make the setup any less obnoxious.

getoffmycloud:
Well surely by this argument borderlands is crap cause its all luck whether you get a gun that suits your class, same with diablo or any other loot based game the whole point is you grind until you get the gear you want and nobody is forcing you to buy it.

Main difference here is that you also have a wide variety of vendors who may be carrying neat gear that you can just buy on the spot without spinning a wheel, granted it's not the top of the line rares but they work in most situations.

also, I thought they split equipment sets into different packs to avoid altering the odds, which would have made more sense really

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