Mass Effect: Thermal Clips vs Overheating

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 NEXT

I much preferred the overheat/cooldown thing. At least with that your gun wasn't rendered completely useless. I still say the best option for adressing all that whining would've been to combine the 2 systems so that ok, you had the heat sinks, but when you ran out of them your gun started to overheat and behave like it did in ME1, but you could still use it.

I would've like to see them use both, you can wait for the gun to finish it's cooling or you can eject a thermal clip and be able to fire immediately if you need to. similar to what you said, but being able to choose either system at any time regardless of the number of thermal clips. What really got me was the fact that for whatever reason you had a clip limit on each gun, considering the way system was introduced it would have made more sense for you to be able to carry X number of clips, and that way you can use your weapon until you are out of clips overall, not just until you have no more clips for THAT weapon.

I enjoyed the overheat system more. And I didn't generally make use of the no overheat mods, since if I was careful and used my head, it wasn't needed. If I screwed up and blasted away without own fault. Made shotgun fun with damage boosted weapon playing Carnage tag...interesting. One shot, two shot, overheat and time to get moving and use my biotics while I high tail to another position and let things recharge and the gun cool off. Things are cool, time to blast a few more Armatures or Collosuses. I didn't really mind the thermal clips, but...gotta agree with the explanation for them, honestly seemed like they should have been able to cool down anyhow, naturally, but you'd have the option of hot swapping them if you needed to shoot NOW. You could do that, then they'd make sense.

Clips, the overheating system was a huge fucking annoyance.

I would've liked to see both. Newer weapons using thermal clips and older models using overheat. So you could actually pick and choose. Perhaps even creating a hybrid that only dispenses the thermal clip if the gun is about to overheat.

From a gameplay perspective I was OK with either option even if you could definitely break the overheating system. From a lore perspective I honestly would have preferred "Shut up that's why" to the "explanation" they gave with regards to the transition from overheating to thermal clips as said explanation wasn't very good.

I was more partial to the overheat system, it gave ME1 a distinct style of gameplay. That and I'm never fond of limited ammo in any game, realism and tactical gameplay be damned; I just want to have fun, and effectively unlimited ammo helps that sensation along the way. Stats being the only differentiation between weapons was a bit of a downside, though the copious amounts of equippable modifications and ammo definitely helped things out... though all those superfluous ranks for everything made managing the already awkward inventory system quite the annoyance, at least until you had the best stuff and could simply convert everything to omni-gel (and as a result, never have to bother with the hacking mini-game ever again).

When you think about it, the move towards thermal clips was handled fairly well with the in-game lore; still, there's no denying that the real reason was so that ME2 had more conventional (and to be honest, better) gameplay and combat. Seeing as this was coupled with weapons actually becoming more distinct, perhaps it was for the best. The removal of mods was probably the bigger problem, but that issue was addressed in ME3... if still somewhat limited compared to what ME1 offered. But seeing as ME3 not only kept the variety of weapons, but expanded up it? You can't complain too much about the lack of mod variety when the weapon variety more than makes up for it. A less cumbersome re-implemetation of weapon and mod ranks (by making them upgradable) was also a welcome addition.

And finally, something more of a tangential debate, but I preferred equippable ammo in ME1 to the ammo powers in the second and third games. It's just that powers seem limiting, as you can't switch between them freely regardless of you class and available powers. Meh, I guess it's not something really worth complaining about at this point.

I preferred the over-heat system from the original game. Sugar-coat it as much as they like but thermal clips only really introduce finite ammunition to weapons that the lore states have nearly unlimited rounds. If, in the two years Shepard was 'MIA/KIA' technology had grown in a way that thermal clips were the norm than surely the overheat system would have remained in-tact anyway for people who either ran out of or, didn't have any clips to begin with.

The problem with the overheat system in ME1 was the fact that once you leveled up a fair bit there was no overheat system. Some skills reduced heat build up, the right combination of higher tier weapons and mods along with those skills left you with guns that never overheated. (Unless hit with tech powers, not even then sometimes)

I'm split.

The overheat system is a more interesting fit in the lore. It feels more like the act of putting tiny bits of metal downrange had progressed in the centuries past.

The thermal clip system is the better game mechanic, or more precisely overheating was a bad mechanic. The issue was that overheating naturally progressed you to only two outcomes. Either you built weapons that never or hardly ever overheated or you accepted the fact that they would and built cannons. Thermal clips allowed for a wider variety of weapons to be explored that weren't just on the two extremes.

Also, while my high explosive ammo and railed sniper rifle was awesome, it was annoying hearing that "dun dun dun dunnnn" warning of the overheating over and over.

I prefer thermal clips. Overheating guns just never felt like a good idea to me.

Look at it this way. If Mass Effect 1 had thermal clips, but ME2 and ME3 had overheating, you'd all think it's a dumbed down system. And you'd be right. With overheating you don't have to worry about ammo at all. Not having to worry about a gameplay aspect is pretty much the definition of dumbing down. It's basically the same thing as regenerating health.

Also, thermal clips just feel more techy and sci-fi than overheating guns.

Overheating system was far superior to the fucktarded little clip things.

Thermal clips were good in the sense that it kinda added a rhythm to the game. Made things more interesting when you had to decide WHEN was the best time to reload. As cool as overheating was in ME1, it did make combat ridiculously easy when you slapped the right mods on the right weapon and you could just spam RT endlessly.

Plus, thermal clips were everywhere and if you knew how to aim, you didn't need to backtrack for ammo.

Thermal Clips are reduced to pointlessness in Mass Effect 3. There are simply too many of them even on the high difficulty modes, along with ammo capacity upgrades, for the system to really impact gameplay in any meaningful way, just bring your favourite gun and get that big ass cooldown bonus. Or skirt the issue entirely with the gamebreaking Prothean rifle.

Mass Effect 2 on the other hand can really be a mixed bag depending on your gameplay style and the difficulty you select. If you like playing say, a Soldier with a Widowmaker, then you can reasonably expect to be able to headshot any enemy with one blow on the lower difficulties and not run into much ammo problems if you hit your targets (Which with Adren rush, is very easy to do).

The problem for single weapon players arises on Hardcore and Insanity, where every enemy gains some form of secondary health bar, be it Armour, Shields or a Biotic Barrier. Suddenly you are unable to use even a fully powered up cloaked Infiltrator to oneshot targets because certain types of additional health are heavily resistant to a sniper rifle. This leads to more shots and eventually running out of ammo, which can lead to having to use potentially weak cooldown powers to finish off enemies.

But that is just one scenario, I myself find the ammo system, lack of clips and the way ammo is restored by clips to be a great incentive to force the player into mixing up what tools he uses. When I played Infiltrator on Insanity, I realised I couldn't snipe enemies with one blow, so I started my game by doing Kasumi's loyalty mission first and aquiring her sub-machine gun, an incredibly accurate weapon that can strip down shields very quickly (Co-incidently, said mission is a total cakewalk if you bring along the Arc Projector to fry the groups that come up the elevators at the end).

My gameplay style from then on would devolve into using my Locust SMG and Overload/Incinerate to strip the first layer of defence from targets, then cloak and snipe to finish them off with a headshot as they started to make a move toward my squadmates.

What the ammo system in ME2 and ME3 does to promote weapon switching is that the clip restores a set amount of ammo to all weapon types. If you have full ammo for your smg and 5 rounds missing from your sniper, picking up a small clip would just restore 1 sniper round. But if you had some smg bullets missing as well, you'd get 1 sniper bullet and a bunch of smg rounds as well.

In constast, Mass Effect 1 freely let's you stick to one weapon type for the entire game as long as you can deal with the overheat time for it. You can bypass weapon weaknesses by using ammo mods to make it more effective against any target, whereas in ME2/ME3 you'd actually have to bring a Squadmate with the ammo power or specific abilities to deal with troublesome weapon types in the mission. I've actually had to restart the Mordin recruitment mission during an Insanity playthrough because I had no fire tech on either my character or my squadmates, leading me to get stalemated at a particuarly large pack of Vorcha who would just regenerate their health.

It's a personal preference that some will not agree with, but I feel that Mass Effect 2's ammo system, along with other game mechanics, contributed to making the player on the toughest difficulty setting force themselves to use everything at their dispoal in an intelligent way in order to complete the game, which is a good thing as it made sure they would experience as much of the combat mechanics as possible in a single playthrough.

The only thing they did wrong was making the Biotic powers not have any effect at all on Armoured/Shielded/Barriered targets. Jack was sorely neglected :<

I don't really prefer either because I feel that both systems have both merits are flaws.

For ME1, I would have preferred overheating to be tied to rate-of-fire only, and not to any notion of infinite ammo. Being penalized for firing too fast or for too long adds another tactical layer to firefights that can work - the player need only adjust to and compensate for it - but implementing it at the expense of traditional ammo clips for traditional-ammo weapons (effectively giving those weapons infinite ammo) never made sense to me.

The codex entry explaining the change in philosophy for ME2 reads (in part):

"It was long thought that personal weapons had plateaued in performance, but the geth proved all theories wrong. Mathematically reviewing their combat logs, the geth found that in an age of kinetic barriers, most firefights were won by the side who could put the most rounds down-range the fastest. But combatants were forced to deliberately shoot slower to manage waste heat, or pause as their weapons vented. To eliminate this inefficiency, the geth adopted detachable heat sinks known as thermal clips."

In my mind, this doesn't sufficiently explain why the concept of heat discharge was ever the limiting factor to guns that have actual, physical ammunition (i.e. bullets) that must be reloaded at some point (from a logic perspective). It sounds to me like they over-fixed a perceived problem with the ME1 combat and tried to cover this gap in logic at the same time. It would be a different story if all of the regular arms were plasma or laser-based or something, because then the entire concept would be hypothetical in nature and not subject to comparison to modern-day weaponry.

However, if the primary difference between present-day guns and the guns that are used in the game are the manner in which the actual slug is propelled, then it stands to reason that any notion of "infinite" ammunition is flawed. Therefore, from the perspective of lore, it's not possible to justify the overheating system from ME1, regardless of its merits.

The ME2 system makes a little bit more sense in that guns that should require some sort of reloading actually can and must be reloaded (even if their clips are ubiquitous and completely interchangeable). Nevertheless, I would have preferred that the overheat-system continue to be applied to plasma-based weapons only, thereby giving the player the ability to choose among some weapons that will never run out of ammo, but will have an overheating penalty if fired too quickly or too often, and others that are the exact opposite.

how about, both systems
they say the guns don't cool down by themselves because the cooling chambers were removed so the gun could fire more powerful shots
so, why not just make it so that the chamber itself (you know, the part that shoots the rounds =P) could be manually vented in case you have no more clips?
mechanically, you could make it so that using clips gives you limited but more powerful ammo, while not using clips gives you a pretty much infinite capacity at the cost of damage

also I loved in ME using the spectre sniper X (whatever it was called) with High Explosive Rounds X, granted it fried the rifle after every shot, but it was basically a scoped rocket launcher ^-^

Overheat all the way. Thermal clips were a stupid justification.

Flavorwise? Overheating was fantastic.

Gameplaywise? Thermal Clips were fantastic.

A great mix of flavor and gameplay? This:

I still say the best option -snip- would've been to combine the 2 systems so that ok, you had the heat sinks, but when you ran out of them your gun started to overheat and behave like it did in ME1, but you could still use it.

The only thing you'd need to do is slighrly reduce the number of thermal clips you can carry around so that the overheat part actually comes up.

I like both systems, but if they were going to go for an ammo/reload system in ME2, they should have just subtly introduced regular ammo and not made a big fuss about it. (It was, after all, established in ME lore that the weapons eventually needed to be reloaded, even if it wasn't a game mechanic in ME1.)

Introducing the reload system in the form of Thermal Clips was just idiotic, and created a bunch of plot holes.

As people have brought up already, the option to either let the weapon cool down on its own or to switch the thermal clip would have made more sense. You'd never completely run out of ammo, and you'd have the option to spend a clip in order to avoid unnecessary downtime.

Definitely clips loads of things about how Mass Effect worked was appalling (combat, inventory, upgrades etc.) If it weren't for the phenomenal story it would have been one of the worst things I had ever played.

I'm an overheating man. I found that, combined with hostiles' regenerating health, the overheat mechanic forced me to pick a specific target and focus on him in order to kill anyone. It made the enemies' regenerating health just as powerful as Shep's and really helped my suspension of disbelief.

Considering the explanation for the thermal magazine technology I always thought it would have made more sense to keep the cooldown & add the ability to swap out your heat sink to rapidly reset the system in an intense firefight. It would have been the best of both worlds and apparently nobody in the ME universe ever thought to try it.

Clips, the overheating system was a huge fucking annoyance.

So pausing for 5 seconds so your gun could cooldown was more of an annoyance for you than running out of clips and having to switch from the gun you were comfortable with to a gun you were uncomfortable with until you found some more f*ing clips. o_0

Zen Toombs:
Flavorwise? Overheating was fantastic.

Gameplaywise? Thermal Clips were fantastic.

A great mix of flavor and gameplay? This:

I still say the best option -snip- would've been to combine the 2 systems so that ok, you had the heat sinks, but when you ran out of them your gun started to overheat and behave like it did in ME1, but you could still use it.

The only thing you'd need to do is slighrly reduce the number of thermal clips you can carry around so that the overheat part actually comes up.

Not really, as in ME2 (I haven't played 3) I found myself running out of clips quite often which is partially why I hated the whole clip thing.

I think they should have made some kind of hybrid system. Like the weapons still cooled down on their own, slower than in ME1, but if you really needed to fire right away, you could eject the clip real quick and be back in the fight. And then make fresh clips more scarce in the levels. It really makes no logical sense to go from an squad that has unlimited ammo, to a squad that has to scavenge ammo constantly just to keep fighting.

Overheating for sure.

As I see it the change to thermal clips happened with the change from Action RPG to Action TPS, they had to hand the OCD shooter market something to reload every 5 seconds.

Weapons today use ammo, you run out? chances are you are as good as dead. Thermal clips are a step backwards. "Hey we have these long life heat sinks, lets ditch them for crappy little tubes that simulate a 30rnd magazine from a hundred years ago!" Cos war isn't hard enough in the future apparently.

Funny that people never complain that Adventurer A can swing his/her sword for hours on end, without their muscles getting tired and slowing down strike rate and lowering damage output. Yet the idea of "infinite" ammo weapons in a future with some pretty fancy shit like, oh I don't know, space faring warships, AI and alien races, FTL travel and the magical Element Zero, is beyond their comprehension.

Id like a combination of the 2, the thermal clips cools down,although slowly.
So if its overheated, you can chose between reloading so you can fire again instantly or waiting for it to cool down.
EDIT: Damn ninjas!

I like thermal clips from a game mechanic PoV.
The main issue with overheating was that the difficulity curve went from "challenging" in the beginning to "lululezmode" an hour into the game. With just about any anti-heat mods coupled with higher level guns you can dish out sustained fire for an eternity, and with that some weapons, like the pistol and the assualt rifle, becomes ridicilously overpowered in comparison to the sniper rifle and shotgun. You'd have to jam explosive ammo in there with their 500% heating increase to have any issues, and again, that sort of ammo was only ever feasible on weapons like sniper and shotgun.

Not that thermal clips in ME2 was perfect. The main problem for me is simply the fact that there's way too much ammo, and that it regenerates in some places way too often. Even if you only use 2 or 3 weapons, you rarely run out of ammo, especielly if you mix abilities with weapons fire. The sole exceptions to that are the very few places with limited ammo, and some boss fights. Also, the exception includes the Mattock, because that gun burns ammo like butter in sunshine.(which it makes up by still being one of the better guns in the game)

ME3 handles that better imo, because it gives lowers the available ammo quantity somewhat and it allows you to ditch guns in order to use specialized abilities more. There are plenty of times I can recall where I had to litterly risk Shep's neck to run for ammo, or to navigate around an enemy carefully in order to reach a stack. Or where I had to melee or ability-kill enemies because my guns ran dry. I think that adds some flavour rather then the nonstop "guns blazing" of ME1.

From a storytelling PoV though I do generally agree that the transition to thermal clips was clumsily done.
I understand the concept that having guns(that use mass effect engines) overheat can be quite bloody disastreous. Imagine having one of those blowing up in your face. We've seen some examples of mass effect engines and devices being destroyed by heat and force and the effects are quite devastating, so I understand the thermal clip as an essential -safety- feature at the cost of ammo quantity. The question is however if it truly is worth it, and if the risk of a weapon overheating enough to actually explode is big. Becuase thermal clips basicly makes mass-effect based weapons a lot less "independant" and a hellova lot more supply-based, something im sure was quite the downside in the reaper war(massive supply line issues).

Also an issue of course is the pace this change takes place in. I can buy that Shep mostly faces high-tech well-geared opponents that optimize their gear to the highest standard, but that it is the case of every single opponent, and that it is just done in -2- years, sure takes reason by the collar and throws it out the window. The same can also be said about other tech upgrades, such as thanix cannons and omni-gel. I guess new tech spreads darned quickly in the mass effect universe. Even people on stranded planets with no contact with the outside galaxy(See the Hugo Gernsback mission) gets the new stuff.

Thermal clips. I hate overheating, I even hate it in other games where it's usually only limited to mounted weapons (which makes no sense if the said weapon is a multi-barrel minigun), unless they give me spare barrels (thank you, Red Orchestra). Thermal clips fit the lore and ejecting them looks extremely cool.


Clips, the overheating system was a huge fucking annoyance.

So pausing for 5 seconds so your gun could cooldown was more of an annoyance for you than running out of clips and having to switch from the gun you were comfortable with to a gun you were uncomfortable with until you found some more f*ing clips. o_0

Yeah, combat pacing was fucked up. With the clips, it's frantic, and also requires you to think and prioritise a little - especially if you're sniping. Presumably you don't play many shooters if you find running out of ammo annoying.

I prefered the overheat system. Not only was it different, but it made sense withing the premise of the universe. Thermal clips do not. They're universal, but I can run out of clips for my sniper, and not my pistol. They are also just an excuse to make a generic clip like in every other game ever. boring.

Apparently they DID experiment with a hybrid system, during development, but couldn't find a balance that did well in playtesting.

Overheat. I never really had any problems with ammo supply with the thermal clips system, and I think that the guns could have overheated a little more quickly in ME1 (though it was serious fun to equip the higher level heat sinks to pistols or assault rifles and have a bullet hose), but the overheat really made ME1 distinguish itself for me in terms of gameplay, and it made sense given the setting. I do really like the idea of a hybrid system though. Maybe they'll put it in ME4! xD

Not really, as in ME2 (I haven't played 3) I found myself running out of clips quite often which is partially why I hated the whole clip thing.

0.o Really? Because I can count on my hands the number of times I've run out of ammo with a gun other than in the final boss fight, and I usually only use one gun (sometimes more to better hit enemy protection, but I usually only use one gun). And that's over the course of 9 playthroughs, most on veteran or hardcore.

Huh, I guess I'm better at the game than I thought.

Anyways, back on subject. I was only suggesting a reduction of about one clip per gun, and add Mass Effect 1 style cooldowns when you run out of clips.

It would have also had the additional benefit of making Jacob's Loyalty mission less headscratchy and far more tactical, because they could reasonably make your enemies not drop thermal clips on that mission.

I like the overheating system. Honestly the thermal clip thing conflicts with core design decisions in ME2. You regenerate health but you need to pick up bullets. In the first game you essentially had infinite bullets. Regeneration health and not needing bullets seem to mesh more then regen health and thermal clips.

Thermal Clips were made with idiots in mind.
People just aren't capable of controlling their own rate of fire to minimize heat buildup in their weapons.
A real life (sorta -- mean the plaers :p) example of this is on Left 4 Dead 2. Almost anyone who jumps on a mounted machine gun will just hold the button down until the weapon overheats and becomes temporarily useless.

Why not just burst fire or break between groups of shots? Then you can use it indefinitely :o


I was wondering what peoples thoughts were on Thermal clips vs ME1s overheat system.
I also liked the fact that the speed of cooldown was an important factor when modding weapons. I was interested in what you guys thought though

I greatly preferred ME1's cooldown system.

I HATE the fact that after every battle in ME2/3, I need to run around the empty area looking for spare thermal clips for my Sniper Rifle (or whatever). Thermal Clips break game flow - cooldowns slow down people who use Assualt Rifles (and no one else).

And, come on, - who uses Assualt Rifles? They are far and away the worst weapon in the game. Heavy Pistols are better than Assualt Rifles. Submachine Guns in 2 and 3 are better than Assualt Rifles. There is no class that benefits from having an Assualt Rifle compared to other weapons.

To people saying that "I liked the combat better in ME2/3, so I guess clips" - I say, clips had NOTHING to do with the better combat in ME2/3. I liked the combat better in ME2/3 too - and I would have liked it even better if I didn't have to backtrack for fucking Thermal Clips after firing my Sniper Rifle six times.

I don't know how you play Mass Effect, but unless you just run around spraying bullets at walls, I can't see how you would need to collect clips. There are so many it's not funny.

And no, Assault Rifles are not useless. Soldiers can rape face with an Assault Rifle, as can a Sentinel.

Thermal clips, both in-universe and in-game. The idea behind the infinite ammo was nifty, but it seemed a little silly in the same universe where people have shields, armor, and possibly be protected by a psychic barrier. MORE shots isn't going to be as effective as ones that can punch straight through.

Plus, it made the fights much more interesting when the answer to every situation wasn't "Heat Dampeners+RT=Win"

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 NEXT

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked