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Mass Effect
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Toger
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January 24, 2010 - 4:29 pm
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Because I'm not yet ready to immerse myself -again – into Dragon Age and I know Scout has succumbed to BioWare's siren call.

Thanks to xtal's hints in another thread, I've got the targeting assist set to its highest level and have dropped the difficulty down to easy – I am a combat weenie and not afraid to shout it from the rooftops. [Image Can Not Be Found] After having the game for over a year, fighting the squishy controls and not feeling the love for the last 6 months I've finally progressed past the fight with Fist in Charon's Den. It only took half a dozen reloads and losing at least one of my squad-mates each time to figure out how to use/peek around cover and fire.

I spent about four hours last night getting lost and doing a bunch of side quests on the Citadel. I've managed to pick up a couple of new companions – Wrex, the Krogen and Tali, the Qanari – and have attained Spectre status. I still haven't managed my squad very well as they have a habit of just rushing into a fire fight and getting themselves killed. I plan to do as many quests on the Citadel before commiting myself to planet hopping.

The elevator rides are beyond stupidly overlong although they are kinda funny what with the piped-in Musak and the news updates.

After Dragon Age, not having my companions carry on conversations as we wander around has been strange. I want/need chatter, people! They don't seem to respond the same way if you stop to talk to them either. KotOR and DA:O has spoiled me forever.

As before, I'm playing on the 360. Comfy gaming FTW.

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xtal
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January 25, 2010 - 11:14 am
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An interesting choice about Mass Effect that the developers made regarding squadmate dialog was basically streamlining it so it all takes place on the Normandy. Anything not related to your mission-at-hand, that is. On particular worlds each character has a quip or two about the general situation and surroundings, and on uncharted planets likewise, but more generic. I was very disappointed by this at first-- especially after getting great banter in previous BioWare games like KotOR's classic "force trip" scene between Mission and Bastila ... sigh, none of that here-- eventually I got used to it. The only place (off-ship) that your squadmates address each other is on some of the elevator rides. Sometimes it's even amusing or interesting, and I wish it would happen elsewhere and more often.

As for your squad tactics, Toger, if you're up for a bit of squad management during battle I'd recommend that in the Options > Gameplay menu you change the squad power usage option to "Defense only." This way your squad will use powers such as biotic barrier or shield boost, but they won't fire offensive stuff like biotic lift or AI hacking without your say so. This can often be handy when you want to target something in particular, say a Geth Armature, and sabotage it so you gain a few precious seconds to focus attacks on lesser enemies, rather than bringing up the power wheel only to have your mates' portion of it say "in use" because they're doing something foolish on their own.

It can make combat more challenging if you forget to utilize it frequently, but I found it a boon to have their powers reserved for when you feel the need to deploy them. The frequent pausing can also give a newbie a better tactical advantage. [Image Can Not Be Found]

Good luck!

p.s. I personally have found Feros to be the planet suited best for your first mission; I find its end portion seems to give the least bit of hassle to low-level players.

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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Toger
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January 25, 2010 - 4:24 pm
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ahh, so no banter until cruising on the Normandy. That's good to know.

Tactics: I seem to always have an issue with that. I'll have to play with it and see if I can come to grips with it. Thanks for the tip! I think I tried messing with them on my last attempt at playing and then forgot about it this time out.

Rant: I hate, hate, hate the QTE-ness of opening lockers and safes. I'd much rather play the hacking game from Bioshock, that was at least entertaining and didn't require my memorizing which face buttons are in which position. [Image Can Not Be Found]

For one side-quest, we were following the stray signal that was stealing the money from the gaming machines. I track it to its source only to be confronted by a code? How the hell would I have known this code? Is it sitting in some desk or storage locker that I've yet to find? I'll admit that I've been wandering all over hell and gone in the Citadel and still get lost but come on! [Image Can Not Be Found]

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Scout
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January 25, 2010 - 10:24 pm
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Toger, what kind of character are you playing? I just got to the Citidal and haven't started any quests yet. I've been reading the Mass Effect thread over at QT3. Surprisingly, I have apparently registered over there sometime in the past as I was able to log in as scout. I think I submitted the request over a year ago then forgot.

Anyway I've read that Infiltrator Commando is a good way to go. Also I so itch to use Biotics and since I'm not that far into the game, I could easily replay the opening quest. I was on normal doing fine, but got tired of dying during the timed sequence so I dropped the game to easy and just ran in and gunned them all down. Not my usual style but me no likee timed sequences.

I too have the targetting set to high though I'm back to normal gameplay for now. I'll try to set the squad to defense for a bit and see how it works. The one time I managed to use THROW, I enjoyed it quite a bit compared to just shooting though I figured out to just kinda steadily shoot with the sniper rifle instead of waiting for the perfect shot…which of course drifts off. I'm still fumbling around trying to get the Biotic guy to use his powers and not just keep dying.

Any tips xtal, don't be shy. We have no shame in Bollocks.

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Scout
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January 26, 2010 - 9:48 am
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Banter in Dragon Age was priceless and added a lot of depth. The scene where the dwarf from Ostergaard (as you can tell I suck at names) remembers Branca his girlfriend and goes on and on and then ends with some heavy breathing and the remark: "I'll be in my tent." Cornering Alistar re his sex life or lack of one was good too.

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Toger
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January 26, 2010 - 11:09 am
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I miss the banter from Dragon Age so much!

um... I think I'm playing an Infiltrator (or a Vanguard) but I honestly don't remember (is that sad or what?). I'll have to look when I next fire it up. I've managed to get my decryption up enough to hack some computers I couldn't before. That code I needed for the side-quest: trial and error! I loathe trial and error puzzles. No one likes them, developers. Stop adding them to your games!

I'm now in command of the Normandy and looking for the asari, Liana.

Here's a question (because I'm stupid and/or can't find it in the manual): I've landed on some planet and found a probe that I can salvage; however, my Tech isn't high enough. Does that mean my character's tech or the entire team? If it's just me, how the hell do I take control of another character? I know I've done it before - in another play attempt several months back - but damned if I can find it now. Think I'll slink over to gamefaqs and see if I can figure that out. [Image Can Not Be Found]

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Scout
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January 26, 2010 - 12:36 pm
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From what I'm reading, any skill in the squad goes into a kind of pool. So your player character has whatever skill at their command as exists in the squad. Don't think you can take over squad characters but would I love to be wrong about that. Except for weapons use commands...I think.

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Steerpike
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January 26, 2010 - 4:12 pm
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That's right, skills pool when you're partied. So like Tali should come along if you need lots of tech or hacking or whatever. Sometimes you can't guess this at the outset, so it's useful to bring a party that can do anything and bump their skills accordingly.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Toger
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January 26, 2010 - 4:17 pm
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Danke.

I had Tali in the party (I've been working her and Wrex exclusively) but apparently not long enough to bump her skills sufficiently. I'll just have to remember to come back for that probe at a later time… being a semi-completionist and all. That's if I remember which planet and system it is. [Image Can Not Be Found]

Oh, and based on my skill set, I'm an Infiltrator.

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Scout
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January 27, 2010 - 11:22 am
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I started over as a Vanguard and have advanced to the same place as before. I think I'm gong to stick with this class and see how it works out.  When playing Dragon Age I found myself playing most of the game as Morrigan, running to the front of the party and using crowd control and then damage attacks. I liked that a lot.  Hopefully I'll find the same  gameplay using the Vanguard class in Mass Effect.Once I get the hang of deploynig Biotics and then following up with pistol or shotgun I think I'll be fine.

I'm starting to enjoy the game so I'm glad I chose to play the first one before getting ME2. I just got the General and the Consort mission so I am officially starting to run quests. Here we go. Wow, this Citidal place is huge.

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Steerpike
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January 27, 2010 - 11:25 am
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Yeah, you could easily spend... 3-6 hours in the Citadel, I'd say. And all this is happening before the game "really" begins.

Aside from the big-brother thing mentioned on the front page, ME2 is awesome so far.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Scout
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January 28, 2010 - 11:05 am
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Another timed sequence while saving Tali. Ugh. At least they are not too onerous.

I just made Spectre grade and had to chuckle at the first human to make Spectre line. I actually suck at this style of combat so color me not very impressed by Spectre's admission guidelines.

I have Wrex and Tali now. Pity me and Wrex share the same class. I like him but with only two picks for a party, and me already being a Vanguard, I don't forsee using him much. Still running around the Citidal picking up quests.

Did anyone notice how terrible the resolution in the elevators is? Eye blinkingly ugly. That, the horrible music and the forever wait, makes me pretty hesitant to go anywhere near one. We can just use the trasit system anyway, right?

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Steerpike
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January 28, 2010 - 11:11 am
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I rarely used Wrex either, Scout, though I know lots of people loved him. Actually my biggest complaint about the guy was that he's so big you have difficulty seeing around him.

In general my go-to guys for missions were Garrus, Tali, Liara, and Ashley.

One nice thing about ME2: the textures and resolution problems have been solved.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Toger
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January 28, 2010 - 11:28 am
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I hate the Mako with the burning heat of a super nova. It gets stuck on scenery, backs up instead of turning around, moves on its own even when I'm not pushing the left stick and is as delicate as an eggshell. I will admit that bunny-hopping in the Mako made me laugh.

I already suck at shooting; driving and shooting is 1,000x worse. I met my first sandworm (can't remember what they're actually called) last night. 10 reloads and 45 omni-gel capsules later it finally went down.

Why won't the game remember I've turned the difficulty down to "casual" even after I've saved the changes? If I manage to finish this game, it will be through sheer willpower alone due to the squishy controls. [Image Can Not Be Found]

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Steerpike
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January 28, 2010 - 12:34 pm
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I wish there were some advice I could give you regarding the Mako, Toger, but unfortunately it figures prominently into many of the most important missions in the game. The most I can suggest is that you hang back and use the turret - the missile launcher thing - rather than the minigun to face enemies. Also watch your angle of elevation... that is to say, if you (in the Mako) are higher than your foe, you must drive the Mako down a slope to get a good bead on the enemy. The Mako's guns cannot aim downward - only parallel to the ground and up. This is a useful tip on the Feros mission. Is it Feros? The one with the colony that's under attack.

Those worms are obnoxious.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Toger
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January 28, 2010 - 1:45 pm
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Thanks, Steerpike.

I did discover that the missle launcher/cannon is better than the machine gun; although the mounted machine gun doesn't take 10 seconds to reload. I get the reality of loading an actual cannon, but Jeebus on a stick the lag time between firings makes me crazy.

No, I'm not on Feros. The worm was on some dust storm bedeviled planet where a fake distress beacon lured a squad of Marines. Where'd the worm get the distress beacon? How did it turn on the beacon - with its acid dripping tongue? And why couldn't I destroy said beacon to keep it from luring others? (These are the things I think about when not swearing at the Mako) The bunny hopping episode occurred on some god-forsaken orbiting mining rock where the geth had set up some sentries. I'm still there as I need to take out the rest of the sentries guarding... something or other.

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Scout
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January 28, 2010 - 10:53 pm
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Steerpike that is funny about how big Wrex is. I used him in the strip club battle and the first thing I did was to run right into him in a doorway.

Also in the me1 wtf dept. What is up with the enemies shooting through pillars and boxes???? It confused me at first as I couldn't figure out where the fire was coming from. Is this a feature? [Image Can Not Be Found]

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Toger
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January 29, 2010 - 10:51 am
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That shooting through solid objects doesn't seem to happen all the time. I noticed it in the strip club, but I noticed that rock outcroppings have been effective cover on whatever hellhole planet I'm currently roaming.

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Steerpike
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January 29, 2010 - 11:40 am
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on whatever hellhole planet I'm currently roaming.

Ahh, Toger, it's because of stuff like that we keep you around. 🙂

I just remembered another irritant in ME1 that's fixed in ME2: your guys no longer push you off of cover. I can't count the number of times I died because Garrus wanted to be hiding in the spot I happened to be hiding in.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Toger
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January 29, 2010 - 2:09 pm
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Can you tell that I wouldn't be a really good space explorer? [Image Can Not Be Found]

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