BioWare Reveals Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer Stats

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Raesvelg:
The thing that irritates the hell out of me is when people would rather wipe than launch a single missile...

Yeah, I lost a silver map on the extraction wave because someone decided it was a good idea to launch a missile ten second after we actually needed it (banshees and brutes closing in through a bottleneck) and the entire team wiped because he managed to only hit one of them.

Jennacide:
So the moral of the story is that most players pick the worst weapons and the weakest classes. Heavy Pistol > Assault Rifle, Adept and Engineer are the top tier classes. (In particular Asari Adept and Salarian Engineer) Infiltrator is still good, though not enough people play it worth a damn.

I'm gonna have to disagree on the Engineer, after playing both of them, I feel the Human Engineer is much better as you can set Overload to chain and disrupt every enemy that comes at you and the Combat droid is just as effective as a distraction as the Salarian's decoy.

NinjaRock:

erttheking:
Speaking of multiplayer I haven't been on xbox today, did we beat that kill 1 million brutes challenge.

Yeah we did. 3 times over.

http://blog.bioware.com/2012/03/19/operation-goliath-success-2/

I'll say what I said on the Bioware forums.

If we killed 3 Million brutes in 3 days how many Banshee did we take down? I've seen a few people already say we should go after 1 mil Banshee next, could be interesting.

OT - For the multiplayer I don't really use a Soldier I go with a Quarian Infiltrator with Assualt Rifle and Sniper so I guess I'm not that far from the average.

Daystar Clarion:

Yeah, I lost a silver map on the extraction wave because someone decided it was a good idea to launch a missile ten second after we actually needed it (banshees and brutes closing in through a bottleneck) and the entire team wiped because he managed to only hit one of them.

Lost count of the number of times I watched the entire group die just because nobody wanted to use a single rocket to buy us some breathing room lol. When everyone has three of the damn things, Silver shouldn't be that hard.

Wow, people are boring if the most played classes are the combat-oriented classes instead of the tech or biotic oriented-classes. Then again most people probably play the class their Shepard is on SP, and since most people prefer the classes that had at least some combat specialization(Soldier obviously the best, Vanguard and Infiltrator are half and half) so it makes some sense. Guess I'm one of the weird people who prefers to play a class that their Shepard isn't, although that's mainly due to the lack of time dilation with Infiltrators on MP.

The one stat that both surprises me and doesn't surprise me at the same time is the most played alien race. I'm surprised that the number is so low, but not surprised that the race is Turian since both Turian characters are only uncommon. If it were Krogan I'd be beyond shocked considering their rarity.

Sonic Doctor:
The reason I go into battle with my assault rifle, is that my Avenger assault rifle is at level 10 and has a level five stability improver and a level 3 clip extender.

Though along with that I either carry my level ten Mantis sniper rifle, or my level ten Katana shotgun. When carrying that assault rifle and either the sniper or the shotgun, my power recharge is still over 100%.

The reason people can't beat Gold is because at many times, Silver can be insanely difficult. On Silver, even if there is only one enemy near by, it can be damn near impossible to revive a fallen teammate.

I played 15 Silver rounds last night because I wanted to get one of those special N7 packs for beating it on Silver, but the closest we ever got was round ten a few times, though we could never get passed it because it would always throw out the hack objective, where enemies seem to spawn right next to the hack circle and they spawn up around two brutes and a banshee or sometimes two banshees and a brute. You can't just sit still while fighting those things, but the hack requires the players to be in the circle and there isn't enough room to fight those things in the circle.

Silver at times seems like it is on Insanity, and if that the case, Gold difficulty must be ludicrous.

Its really not anywhere near as difficult as you're making it out to be. Heck, me and Onyxoblivion managed to do a silver on reapers with a level 16 Asari adept and both of us playing level 20 human engineers. We not only managed to beat it, we did it with a full extraction heavily in thanks to some well placed missiles, some nice overload chains, a few stasis bubbles and a lot of medi-gels. I think we only failed one silver in the 5 or 6 we played together that night and I just got back from doing another one with him on Firebase White.

Sonic Doctor:

Edit: And what, no love for Sentinels. I adored playing my Turian and Krogan Sentinels. Also, don't be bashing the Turian Soldier, that proximity mine ability is shear awesome when it has a good recharge time. Proximity mine, boom, bang bang, dead, repeat.

Sentinels are great, but the problem with the Turian Sentinel is that he isn't suppose to be damage and ability oriented and the Soldier is good to, but still not that great due to its lack of adrenaline rush and Concussive Shot being worthless against most special forces. That's why the Krogan Sentinel and Soldier is so much better. They can take a pounding and still decimate infantry thanks to their blood rage and tech armor/fortify.

maddawg IAJI:

(snip)

Sentinels are great, but the problem with the Turian Sentinel is that he isn't suppose to be damage and ability oriented and the Soldier is good to, but still not that great due to its lack of adrenaline rush and Concussive Shot being worthless against most special forces. That's why the Krogan Sentinel and Soldier is so much better. They can take a pounding and still decimate infantry thanks to their blood rage and tech armor/fortify.

And people still forget about the human sentinel. :'(

eventhorizon525:

maddawg IAJI:

(snip)

Sentinels are great, but the problem with the Turian Sentinel is that he isn't suppose to be damage and ability oriented and the Soldier is good to, but still not that great due to its lack of adrenaline rush and Concussive Shot being worthless against most special forces. That's why the Krogan Sentinel and Soldier is so much better. They can take a pounding and still decimate infantry thanks to their blood rage and tech armor/fortify.

And people still forget about the human sentinel. :'(

Because at the end of the day, I'd rather have the Turian. At least he can take down shields with Overload, even if he can't spam it nearly as well as an Engineer can.

maddawg IAJI:

eventhorizon525:

maddawg IAJI:

(snip)

Sentinels are great, but the problem with the Turian Sentinel is that he isn't suppose to be damage and ability oriented and the Soldier is good to, but still not that great due to its lack of adrenaline rush and Concussive Shot being worthless against most special forces. That's why the Krogan Sentinel and Soldier is so much better. They can take a pounding and still decimate infantry thanks to their blood rage and tech armor/fortify.

And people still forget about the human sentinel. :'(

Because at the end of the day, I'd rather have the Turian. At least he can take down shields with Overload, even if he can't spam it nearly as well as an Engineer can.

I've honestly only ever had issue with an atlas' shields (everything else it is relatively easy to lockdown with throw will also bringing down the defenses). Explosions do still at least stagger an atlas (though I will admit, that is the human sentinel's weak point.)

eventhorizon525:

maddawg IAJI:

eventhorizon525:

And people still forget about the human sentinel. :'(

Because at the end of the day, I'd rather have the Turian. At least he can take down shields with Overload, even if he can't spam it nearly as well as an Engineer can.

I've honestly only ever had issue with an atlas' shields (everything else it is relatively easy to lockdown with throw will also bringing down the defenses). Explosions do still at least stagger an atlas (though I will admit, that is the human sentinel's weak point.)

I'm not gonna say throw is weak at all after seeing the Asari Adept being able to spam it every second, but its no where near as powerful as overload as overload can be chained to hit multiple enemies, stun them for several seconds. Also I've been meaning to ask, can throw do substantial damage to Barriers? Because I know Overload is capable enough to drain a Banshee's barriers in 3 hits and a Phantoms in one to two if built right. Its just an all around handy ability, especially for its ability to start explosions.

I approve of lots of people playing vanguard. May not be the best class for Gold, but it is insanely fun on Bronze/Silver, and a high-level vanguard can deal out some serious damage while taking very little damage herself.

Human vanguard is superior to non-human, IMO, the others are just too squishy. I'm still wishing there was a krogan vanguard, but that might have been a touch OP. ^_^

maddawg IAJI:

eventhorizon525:

maddawg IAJI:

Because at the end of the day, I'd rather have the Turian. At least he can take down shields with Overload, even if he can't spam it nearly as well as an Engineer can.

I've honestly only ever had issue with an atlas' shields (everything else it is relatively easy to lockdown with throw will also bringing down the defenses). Explosions do still at least stagger an atlas (though I will admit, that is the human sentinel's weak point.)

I'm not gonna say throw is weak at all after seeing the Asari Adept being able to spam it every second, but its no where near as powerful as overload as overload can be chained to hit multiple enemies, stun them for several seconds. Also I've been meaning to ask, can throw do substantial damage to Barriers? Because I know Overload is capable enough to drain a Banshee's barriers in 3 hits and a Phantoms in one to two if built right. Its just an all around handy ability, especially for its ability to start explosions.

True overload is awesome, but have you seen someone specced into biotic explosion on both warp and throw? Armor is gone before you notice it, and barriers don't hold well. Banshees can be an issue due to the biotic absorb, but if you aim throw right you can stagger them fairly well. The damage isn't as great, but it does have a much shorter cooldown from what I've seen. Also, sending people flying is really useful, as well as detonating other biotic's warps and such. Personally, I ignored biotic explosions until my sp playthrough forced me to use them, then realized quite how ridiculous they are, since it is a substantial aoe and has a very good chance of stagger.

eventhorizon525:

Jennacide:

Eri:

I fixed that for you.

Vanguard is alright, but still not as good as the core 3. At least it's the one class that humans excel at over the aliens, as Asari is horrible and Drell is way too squishy to play it as an actual Vanguard. Drell Vanguard has like 300 barrier, that's just dumb.

And we can all agree that Sentinel is just plain awful. The only good Sentinel is Krogan melee build, and it's useless on anything but Bronze.

Clearly, you have only seen bad human sentinels (though to be fair, there aren't many out there in the first place, meaning a good one is pretty damn rare). A sentinel built as warp + throw is a powerhouse of biotic explosions, can carry heavier weapons than adepts (higher possible weight class) meaning better weapons they can use during the ~3 second warp CD (throw's cd is basically negligible). Tech armor is also ok to have on while moving between objective locations. If the human sentinel starts the match by turning on tech armor, yeah aren't going to be using the class that effectively relative to the "standard" group compositions.

Hmm, I'll have to give that a shot. Seen adepts do something similar and rock, can see how a sentinel could do it better.

SpaceBat:

The idea that Vanguard goes from the best class (by far) on Bronze and Silver, to one of the least effective on Gold is just disappointing, that's all.

Basically it's needing to be distant, and how stupidly strong enemies are on Gold. With the damage scaling so high, a single mistake will down you, and either force medi-gel usage, or team trying to fight to your position, forcing them to leave a defensible location. Additionally, Vanguard will be instant killed by Atlas/Banshee/Phantom almost always in Gold, it's completely stupid. Playing as pure ranged combat is the much safer way to do it.

As for best class on Bronze/Silver? I still wouldn't agree that's Vanguard. Asari Adept, especially with a Paladin, is completely broken, as there are only 3 enemies(not counting the heavies, so Brute, Geth Pyro, and Ravager) they can't Stasis lock for cheap high damage headshot spam. Of those, only one is ranged and poses any threat to an Adept before they murder it.

maddawg IAJI:

I'm gonna have to disagree on the Engineer, after playing both of them, I feel the Human Engineer is much better as you can set Overload to chain and disrupt every enemy that comes at you and the Combat droid is just as effective as a distraction as the Salarian's decoy.

The reason I put Salarian over Human is because Energy Drain is far superior to Overload. Not only because of it's higher damage for about the same cooldown, but Overload's max is 3 jumps, but you can give Energy Drain a straight up 3m radius, meaning you can hit more targets if they're clustered, like wave starts. It won't have the Neural Shock half, but I'd say that the shield stealing is a better trade-off for survival. Additionally, Energy Drain works on health, not just shields, though I think this will be fixed as it seems odd. Decoy versus Combat Drone is up for debate, I just prefer having my highly electrified, explosive decoy. To each their own, I just view Salarian as far superior.

eventhorizon525:

maddawg IAJI:

eventhorizon525:

I've honestly only ever had issue with an atlas' shields (everything else it is relatively easy to lockdown with throw will also bringing down the defenses). Explosions do still at least stagger an atlas (though I will admit, that is the human sentinel's weak point.)

I'm not gonna say throw is weak at all after seeing the Asari Adept being able to spam it every second, but its no where near as powerful as overload as overload can be chained to hit multiple enemies, stun them for several seconds. Also I've been meaning to ask, can throw do substantial damage to Barriers? Because I know Overload is capable enough to drain a Banshee's barriers in 3 hits and a Phantoms in one to two if built right. Its just an all around handy ability, especially for its ability to start explosions.

True overload is awesome, but have you seen someone specced into biotic explosion on both warp and throw? Armor is gone before you notice it, and barriers don't hold well. Banshees can be an issue due to the biotic absorb, but if you aim throw right you can stagger them fairly well. The damage isn't as great, but it does have a much shorter cooldown from what I've seen. Also, sending people flying is really useful, as well as detonating other biotic's warps and such. Personally, I ignored biotic explosions until my sp playthrough forced me to use them, then realized quite how ridiculous they are, since it is a substantial aoe and has a very good chance of stagger.

Eh, agree to disagree then. I think from what you say, the Human Sentinel can be a great damage dealer, but not so great when it comes to absorbing the brunt of the damage and being a distraction so that the other squadmates can safely clean house.

maddawg IAJI:
more snip

Eh, agree to disagree then. I think from what you say, the Human Sentinel can be a great damage dealer, but not so great when it comes to absorbing the brunt of the damage and being a distraction so that the other squadmates can safely clean house.

Fair enough, the trick is to think about the human sentinel as an adept with a different power lineup, higher max possible weight and omniblades instead of hadoken punch. Thinking about them in terms of tech armor past level ~10ish doesn't do much good, especially next to the other 2 race choices.

Fappy:

Eri:
-snip-

Only 2 million Phatoms so far? Pretty sure you kill that many in one Gold match.

Frickin' seriously, that sounds about right. Just got done with two Gold attempts, one successful, one failure. It was on Firebase Dagger against Cerberus both times...and yeah, there's at least 1K Phantoms per wave starting at about wave 6. The first time we made it to wave 10 but got screwed on the objective: stay in the circle right next to the enemy's primary spawn. Second time we got lucky and just had to take out 4 target Atlas mechs.

4173:
Turian soldier is hardly the class I'm most effective with, but grabbing a quick firing assault rifle with max marksmanship fire rate bonuses is really fulfilling.

The problem is that unless you single out targets away from everyone else, you're nothing but an assist-absorbing sponge. I've got a lvl 20 turian soldier with a Revenant, figured that'd be a badass combo as marksmenship would compensate for the Revs inaccuracy and firerate. While it's certainly better than the geth pulse rifle - which might as well be firing ping-pong balls - it still didn't stop everyone else from getting the kill. I really don't mind the kill-stealing, I just want to feel like I'm helping the team. The thing is it's easy to get the distinct impression that your teammate could have easily killed the target without you putting a marksmenship and a clip into it.

At least that's what my experience has been with the Turian soldier...the assault rifles are just too damn weak in Multiplayer.

RJ 17:

4173:
Turian soldier is hardly the class I'm most effective with, but grabbing a quick firing assault rifle with max marksmanship fire rate bonuses is really fulfilling.

The problem is that unless you single out targets away from everyone else, you're nothing but an assist-absorbing sponge. I've got a lvl 20 turian soldier with a Revenant, figured that'd be a badass combo as marksmenship would compensate for the Revs inaccuracy and firerate. While it's certainly better than the geth pulse rifle - which might as well be firing ping-pong balls - it still didn't stop everyone else from getting the kill. I really don't mind the kill-stealing, I just want to feel like I'm helping the team. The thing is it's easy to get the distinct impression that your teammate could have easily killed the target without you putting a marksmenship and a clip into it.

At least that's what my experience has been with the Turian soldier...the assault rifles are just too damn weak in Multiplayer.

Yeah, I haven't even bothered to try it on anything above bronze. It's just fun in a Tony Montana at the end of Scarface way.

Not really surprised by the stats. Think I managed a Silver extraction once with a turian sentinel, but I'm fairly certain I was dead by the time the extraction came.

I'm also not surprised in the slightest with Firebase White being the most popular since you got that nice big ship to use as cover during the extraction wave.

Heh, 36 of the classes who played were soldier, they didnt tell you that 99% of the actives that make it to that 1% of gold play Infiltrators.

I mean, I tried gold twelve times in row now and 'every' time I get into a team with 3 infiltrators who will demand you go infiltrator aswell. And when you go like 'noooee' (And in case) they roll with it, you go in.And whoop-de-friggin-do. They die, and what does the teammates do when they die? They run off to the far off corner in the map invisible, instead of using said ability to revive their fallen invisible combrade. So my little krogan walking-fort of doom has to save the damn buggers so they can snipe another day.

Gold AI takes down that stupid 500 shield of theirs in one shot, you need a tad bit more to sustain 0,3 seconds of fire against the geth they 'so much like' to fight against.

I think Infiltrators are useless, the team needs one to take objectives and pick off far-away targets. The stupid bullshit 3-4 infiltrator plans for gold are either cheap, or doesnt work. And the majority who try it arent skilled enough to pull it off anyway.

*Three Infiltrators sit at the window with snipers trying to steal eachothers kills, suddenly pyro comes in from behind and kills them all*

NOW WHAT DO WE LEARN FROM THAT EH? CLOSE QUARTER WEAPONS ANYONE? No, you didnt bother to bring one because it would hurt your -run away from dying teammates- ability.

Jennacide:

The reason I put Salarian over Human is because Energy Drain is far superior to Overload. Not only because of it's higher damage for about the same cooldown, but Overload's max is 3 jumps, but you can give Energy Drain a straight up 3m radius, meaning you can hit more targets if they're clustered, like wave starts. It won't have the Neural Shock half, but I'd say that the shield stealing is a better trade-off for survival. Additionally, Energy Drain works on health, not just shields, though I think this will be fixed as it seems odd. Decoy versus Combat Drone is up for debate, I just prefer having my highly electrified, explosive decoy. To each their own, I just view Salarian as far superior.

Then again, Overload jumps to enemies within an 8-meter radius, so that there's an ease of usage against enemies that might not be so clustered (eg. more open maps like Firebase Ghost). No doubt Energy Drain wins out on higher difficulties and tighter maps, though. Does it hit enemies behind cover?

SlayerN:
I would really like to point out that this is not impressive in the slightest, with how big budget this game was, saying 1800 years of co-op have been played is absurdly small. if you take a fraction of the player-base, say 2.5 million (2,500,000) of the total 4 million retail copies worldwide. This ends up being only about six (6.307 )hours of play per person.

I'd say for a game with a gigantic single-player focus, only one multiplayer game mode and 6 maps, 1800 years of co-op is pretty impressive.

satsugaikaze:

I'd say for a game with a gigantic single-player focus, only one multiplayer game mode and 6 maps, 1800 years of co-op is pretty impressive.

I agree.

The MP in this game has far defied my expectations. Minor complaints aside, it is addictive and I am looking forward to future expansions. I haven't started my second story play through because I would rather play MP.

Back to the discussion -

I have significant impact as an Asari Adept between Statis Bubble and Throw spam. Haven't tried gold, but it is darn effective in Silver.

Extra question -

Has anyone seen a talent calculator online for ME3 MP? I've seen one for Shepherd, but a MP would be 10x more useful as a reset is more difficult to acquire.

MrDeckard:
Alright, I'm getting pretty sick of these boards now...

STOP. WHINING. ABOUT. MASS. EFFECT. 3!
YOU DON'T LIKE THE GAME. I GET IT.

OT:
Fun! Stats are always nice...

I'm amazed at the number of soldiers... They CAN work, but they just don't have enough interesting powers for me.

When I want to play Tank/DPS, I roll out my Human Sentinel with a Plasma Shotty.

Though I'm sure the Turian and Krogan soldiers are a LOT more fun than the humans.

Damn you luck!!!

I don't get it. Mass Effect 2 is way worse than 3. Neither can get to the first's lofty hights, but there's a real shitstorm going on directed at 3. And I don't get it.

OT: Haven't played multiplayer.

I much prefer playing my Salarian engineer.
No shield, barrier, armor can stand up to that character.

Then again on Silver/Gold they just spam units that can insta kill you.
I once saw 4 phantoms coming right for me.

Not funny at all.

I like playing as Infiltrator because I can use the Tactical Cloak. I use an assault rifle, but I still try to be sneaky and get in some melee attacks while invisible. It's also useful for reviving downed teammates while they're surrounded by enemies.

Also, the reason most people play as humans is because they're the only race available at the start and people are more likely to stick with the character they've already levelled up.

Sonic Doctor:
The reason I go into battle with my assault rifle, is that my Avenger assault rifle is at level 10 and has a level five stability improver and a level 3 clip extender.

Though along with that I either carry my level ten Mantis sniper rifle, or my level ten Katana shotgun. When carrying that assault rifle and either the sniper or the shotgun, my power recharge is still over 100%.

The reason people can't beat Gold is because at many times, Silver can be insanely difficult. On Silver, even if there is only one enemy near by, it can be damn near impossible to revive a fallen teammate.

I played 15 Silver rounds last night because I wanted to get one of those special N7 packs for beating it on Silver, but the closest we ever got was round ten a few times, though we could never get passed it because it would always throw out the hack objective, where enemies seem to spawn right next to the hack circle and they spawn up around two brutes and a banshee or sometimes two banshees and a brute. You can't just sit still while fighting those things, but the hack requires the players to be in the circle and there isn't enough room to fight those things in the circle.

Silver at times seems like it is on Insanity, and if that the case, Gold difficulty must be ludicrous.

Edit: And what, no love for Sentinels. I adored playing my Turian and Krogan Sentinels. Also, don't be bashing the Turian Soldier, that proximity mine ability is shear awesome when it has a good recharge time. Proximity mine, boom, bang bang, dead, repeat.

I see the problem there i can win a silver match with good players with a lvl 20 krogan soldier focused on rage and damage i use the powerful single shotty claymore to punch the shit out of barriers/shields/armor i can kill a reaper brute in 4 shots or kill it with melee if i plan it right, Krogan soldiers are effective in silver if you use the right weapons and know when to just go nuts with melee and when not to but i was the main reason a banshee or brute never got too close 3 armor bars per shot in silver and 2 barrier bars on a banshee? its damn effective if you think over your options

Hey I play as a human soldier and I'm having great fun sniping!

What? I thought that was the point.... to have fun!

quarian infiltrator with a mattlock assault rifle.. facing geth.. lots of fun.. invisible.. convert geth to fight on our team.. repeat.. invisible revive

nikki191:
quarian infiltrator with a mattlock assault rifle.. facing geth.. lots of fun.. invisible.. convert geth to fight on our team.. repeat.. invisible revive

I hate it when I see Infiltrators that don't use sniper rifles :D

Such a waste of a huge damage multiplier.

I personally like the Vanguards. Whenever I see one in a Bronze match, it means that I can relax and take it easy until the objectives pop up and coerce me to do things so I can earn more credits. It used to annoy me that they'd constantly charge in and get themselves killed, but at the worst they're a good distraction and at the best they give the entire team some breathing room while depopulating enemy lines while I sit back with my Raptor and pick off any that managed to slip by them.

I'd never take any of them within a mile of a gold match though.

Part of the reason why gold matches aren't really played at all is probably due to the insane prep work that needs to go into them. Essentially, you'd want to have all your equipment slots decked out with level three items just to stand a chance. Chances are, that's going to run you at least three Specter Packs right there, which means about 180,000 credits. So considering that Bronze gives you about 15,000 for a successful mission and Silver gives you about 40,000 for a successful mission, you're going to need to run about 4-5 silver matches or about 12 bronze matches. And this is just to PREPARE for the Gold match.

Then, when you have your optimal characters, weapons, and gear, you need to find three other people who have done the same and have a nice varied squad that can fulfill several roles, such as the aforementioned Stasis abusing Adpet and the Tech Spamming Engineer.

After all that, the match is still going to be a gamble though. People could lose their connection, ragequit midway, or you could run into four banshees loitering around the data hacking point after the missile launchers are gone. Either way, if anybody screws up, then those level three equipment bonuses you had are gone, and you don't get them back.

So yes, I'm not surprised that nobody does Gold matches. Hell, the game has only been out for fourteen days at the time of this post. The average player probably doesn't have a level 10 Black Widow with all the bells and whistles just yet. Give it some time though and I think we'll start seeing some good statistics.

nikki191:
quarian infiltrator with a mattlock assault rifle.. facing geth.. lots of fun.. invisible.. convert geth to fight on our team.. repeat.. invisible revive

I also do this, except I use a Raptor to take advantage of the 40% sniper damage bonus.

The Raptor makes the Mattock virtually obsolete, as fun as the Mattock is to use.

Well, the thing to understand here is that loot rewards are random, and it takes a while to get good stuff, especially if your not paying real money for packs... this entire thing was designed to be monetized and I'd imagine not thta many people are paying.

Weapons can be upgraded all the way to level 10 and just like in single player show dramatic increases in firepower. A squad carrying rare, high level weapons is going to be nessicary for the higher difficulty levels, but how many people are going to have invested that amount of time into this sub-game so far, or have spent $50-$60.

Speaking for myself I'm pants at shooters, but I've done this for a change of pace and to build up some extra war assets/raise readiness for the endgame, but I've put in a reasonable amount of time and noticed that most of my decent guns are still at level I, I have I think ONE gun that is at level III. I've beaten silver, but Gold is just crazy. I might be able to do it with maxxed equipment (or a team with maxxed equipment) but the odds of enough people getting that to do this reliably through quick match are slim to none.

As far as character "choices" understand that the alien races are random drops from packs, you can literally open dozens of packs and not get them, depending on how much the RNG likes you. As a result humans are going to be the most common choices, because they are all most players are going to have availible unless they get into the multiplayer seriously.

Ha! I can now say that I'm officially pro! I beat gold 7 times! Infiltrator FTFW!

Thought I'd chime in w/ a some thoughts from someone's who's played way too much MP since the demo came out (and is currently mostly playing, winning, and farming golds, both w/ a decent network of "friends" added via Origin and in random pickup games).

There are definitely lots of bad players out there, but it's usually pretty easy to tell if you're joining a lobby that knows what they're doing (for bronze it doesn't matter, but if you want to win silver or gold w/ randoms, you probably have to be a bit pickier).

First, does anyone in the lobby use their mic? Unless you're playing w/ pros, w/o that, gold will be nearly impossible. It's also a good time to find out if there's someone really annoying on the mic too. You're going to be in a game for 15-30 minutes unless you wipe out...

Secondly, taking a look at the lobby details - what are the weapons loadouts? Are they appropriate/decent? If you see an adept or engineer w/ 2 heavy guns, you can pretty much guarantee that they don't know what they're doing. For laughs, I played a bronze round w/ a friend tonight and put my Black Widow and Crusader on for -200% cooldowns on my Asari Adept. Stasis cooldown was 33 seconds. w/ my normal +200% cooldown w/ my Carnifex, statis cooldown is 3.69s.

Lastly, and this is less important except with gold pickup games, what N7 level/class level are they? An N7 100+ w/ a level 1 class is probably fine if they have a sensible gear loadout - they've probably just promoted their character, but an N7+level < 5 means they've never even played/won a single match. They probably aren't familiar with the maps and other basic mechanics. Obviously, this is what bronze is for, but since the defaults are 'random' difficulty, a lot of new players get dropped straight into a gold lobbies. That probably won't be much fun for anyone (and they tend to quit out after a couple rounds, leaving you short a man for the rest of the match).

Keeping these things in mind, I strongly disagree w/ Jennacide's assertion that you need specific classes to beat gold. I've played and won w/ teams w/ pretty much any/every class from Asari Vanguards to Battlefield Soldiers. Moreover, the classes she picks as some of the "must haves" are arguable to wrong (ie, the Quarian Infiltrator is the worst Infiltrator IMO). ..

So now, a couple actual play tips/thoughts from my experiences, starting w/ the most basic things (since, as the stats corroborate my experience, most people are horrible):

Most players go about buying packs wrong. You should buy *only* recruit packs until you've maxed out your common weapons. If you don't, you increase your chance of "wasting" your chances w/ a more expensive pack. Weapons get more powerful and lighter as they level up. The common guns (Mantis, Avenger, Phalanx) are actually all very good weapons at higher levels and are easy to get to X. The additional bonus is that you'll build up your reserves of equipment. Also, lower packs have a small percentage of getting higher class items, so you may get lucky and get some "freebies". Having lots of spare medigel, surival packs, and rockets means that you won't be worried about using them when you need to in a match. You'll also have tons of equipment - go ahead and use all of them, you'll eventually have more than you know what to do with if you keep playing, and if you don't well, what use are they if you haven't used them? Either way.

IMO, having more than 1 weapon is almost always a waste. I've seen some people effectively do it, but switching guns takes a *long* time and the weight effect on cooldowns will lower your effectiveness for just about every class. It's worth switching back and forth with your weapons and checking the actual time differences in your cooldowns (available in the power details screen). One exception would be the SMG w/ weight reduction, which in theory should change your cooldowns by only a fraction of a second, but the weight reduction mod is currently bugged (wah wah).

No one's mentioned this in this thread so far, but IMO the Salarian Infiltrator is probably the strongest/most well-rounded character. Damage is through the roof w/ a Mantis X, Widow, or Black Widow (or you can go CQC w/ a shotgun). Properly specced, the Cloak/Energy Drain/Shoot will let you one-shot just about everything except elites (which don't take that much longer). Cloak is a godsend, letting you complete objectives, revive teammates, and generally get out of jams. It's the only one I've seen successfully solo gold (I'm sure it can/will be done w/ other classes, but it's certainly the easiest).

I'm not a super weapon elitist (use what you find fun if you're effective), but there are a few things mentioned that are worth following up on.

* The Falcon is by no means the best gun. It's buggy w/ lag (as is the Scorpion) and it's just been nerfed to oblivion anyway this week.

* Someone mentioned Paladin as the pistol to carry - I strongly disagree. I have a Paladin I (It's an N7 ultra-rare so unless you've won hundreds+ of gold matches you're statistically unlikely to get it much higher), and while it's more powerful than the Carnifex, it has way too few bullets (base capacity of 16) even w/ the ammo mod. I'm up to a Carnifex VII, so its damage is approaching the Paladin I's and it has 2x the capacity.

* Actually, same post mentions the use of N7 weapons. Again, not true. Besides the Black Widow, every other weapon class has other guns that *clearly* outclass the N7s (I have almost all of them currently: Saber III, Wraith II, Paladin I, Talon I, and Black Widow I) and most golds are won w/ Widows, Carnifexes, Plasma Shotguns/Spike Throwers, etc.

While I'm on that post, and moving onto powers, that line about "Stasis, Sabotage, and Energy Drain" missed the mark too. Sabotage has been nerfed and was only good (broken!) on Geth anyway. Stasis has had a minor nerf and is definitely still good, but on Gold you're dealing mostly with almost all armored waves in the later rounds, which aren't affected by stasis at all. It's too bad most people don't know how to combo biotic explosions correctly. A double detonate adept (or better, a pair) are a sight to behold. The fastest way to clear Reaper Gold (there's a 17:21min full clear posted on BSN/YouTube) is w/ 4 adepts (2 Asari, 2 Drell was what was used, although you could just as easily sub in a correctly spec'd Human Sentinel). So that's Warp, Reave, Cluster Grenade added to the mix. Decoy on the Salarian Engineer does awesome things if used properly. Overload w/ double-chain is fantastic for mob CC. Heck, even the soldier can be effective (Adrenaline Rush to get an instant reload on your Widow!).

Oh, and on the classes - I'm not the biggest Sentinel fan, but lots of people love/are great w/ them. The Turian Sentinel w/ weapon stability is one of the few that classes that can make the Revenant somewhat useful. Tech Shield+Fitness synergize well for durability, and w/ warp and throw, the Human Sentinel makes for a nice less squishy adept that can self-combo biotic explosions. (Jeez, has Jennacide actually played MP? like every single thing she's said is flat out wrong).

Well, that was longer than I thought. For those that are interested, there's a pretty lively MP discussion at Bioware's Forums (BSN) w/ a fair amount of strategy/build discussions, etc.

PaganAxe:
What I've never understood is how the Soldier is the most popular. You pretty much have to be okay with only using weapons and with all the cool biotic and tech abilities that other classes have, Soldier just seems boring. The krogan is probably a little more fun with being able to play as the juggernaut, but the human Soldier is just uninteresting. If I wanted to throw frags and fire rifle grenades concussive shots of a seemingly endless quantity, I'd go back to playing MW2.

Probably because its the easier to pick... No powers means no weird stuff, just point and shoot.
Also, Soldier is the most common class in single player (there was a stat in ME2 about it), so many people don't know how to play anything but Soldier.

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