Mass Effect Series Catch-All

I finished Mass Effect 2 as well. It basically *forced me to do the Suicide Mission before I had gotten to doing Legion's loyalty mission. I used to know basically the perfect order to do everything in so you could have everyone loyal before it forced you to start the final mission.

So I spent the whole final mission hoping Legion didn't bite it. I didn't put them in harms way, but there is a spot or two where random non-loyal characters can die based on some math, but I think I got the average up high enough that it wasn't an issue. After surviving the mission I did Legion's loyalty mission and then Shadowbroker and lastly Arrival.

Was a little disappointed that rekindling your romance with Liara during the Shadowbroker content doesn't count for the Paramore achievements (this is a bug that was reported patched but I guess maybe it needs another patch).

Jumped into ME3 right after and as always I forget just how much of a jump there is between these two games in how the shooting and combat movement feels. Like the jump for 1 to 2 is still a lot bigger, but the jump from 2 to 3 is not insignificant. I think in the beginning where you are approaching Mars is still one of the most gorgeous things in any game ever (add sadly Youtube's video quality doesn't do it justice).

*

Spoiler:

If you don't do it right away half of the Normandy crew dies and if you don't do it in 2 or 3 missions everyone but the doctor dies.

I'm in the opening hours of ME2... just "unlocked" Mordin, straight after Freedom's Progress.

The pivot to working with Cerberus is a lot more jarring this time around, as everything from ME1 was fresher in my mind. I still remember those beast labs.

Maybe it's a side effect of working with Cerberus now, but does anyone else feel like ME2 nudges you toward Renegade more? So far, there have been more Renegade "interrupt" options and many dialogue choices are only between neutral or Renegade, without a Paragon option.

Maybe it's just me. I was all Paragon in my recent ME1 run and intend to stay that way all the way through. When I first played back in the day, I mixed it up and leant toward Renegade by ME3.

Felix Threepaper wrote:

Maybe it's a side effect of working with Cerberus now, but does anyone else feel like ME2 nudges you toward Renegade more? So far, there have been more Renegade "interrupt" options and many dialogue choices are only between neutral or Renegade, without a Paragon option.

Absolutely. ME1 was particularly bad about the "Paragon or Total Dickhead" morality. ME 2 is better about it being moral conundrums, and in ME 3 there are a few places where Paragon feels (to me) presented as quixotic idealism that hurts your ability to fight the Reapers.

I was too worried about "winning" my first time through that I was unnecessarily consistent in my choices. I don't recall whether/how much they rebalanced, but I'm having a lot more fun trying to take a nuanced/mixed/roleplaying approach.

I've also been thinking that playing more TTRPGs since I first played these has helped my attitude. A good story does not require that one "wins." Sometimes the "bad" choices are more poignant or interesting.

beeporama wrote:

I was too worried about "winning" my first time through that I was unnecessarily consistent in my choices. I don't recall whether/how much they rebalanced, but I'm having a lot more fun trying to take a nuanced/mixed/roleplaying approach.

This is one of the reasons I once pointed out that ME and DA are one of the few true "role playing" games in the classic sense in that they allow you to create the character of Shepard in the narrative sense through choices and actions. Shepard and her story aren't defined by her game stats by by the choices you make, and the game reflects that back to you.

As you make more Renegade decisions, people recognize you as a Renegade and relate that way. As you make more Paragon decisions, people begin to see you as a straight shooter.

And the game recognizes in-between choices as well. Some of my best experiences are in-betweens.

For instance, I have a playthrough of Shepard who's trying to be a Paragon, but if she can make it through easier with Renegade actions, she takes them.

With her, I planned to take the Dalatras' offer. It's who she is. It's what she'd do. But when Wrex started thanking her about her actions, it felt wrong to her.

In the end, she literally couldn't pull the trigger. She doesn't think a resurgent krogan would be good for the galaxy, but with Mordin standing between her and the deal, she just couldn't see it through. It was an awesome moment.

These mixed decisions can interact in surprising ways and it's interesting how some Paragon and some Renegade choices feel more authentic with Renegades and with Paragons respectively.

It really is a lot more interesting to pick what your Shepard would choose rather than trying to "win" the narrative arcs. They're all wins. But the best ones aren't all Paragon and all Renegades. The most interesting stories are of an imperfect Shepard.

Mass Effect 1 planet exploring: Kinda annoying but you did find cool stuff if you did it. You could skip it with little issue.

Mass Effect 2 planet scanning: Tedious but doable if you had a goal or were willing to zone out.

Mass Effect 3 system scanning?: The worst version. Limited scans before summoning enemies, time limits once you summons enemies, what you find seems to act the same as minerals from 1 and 2 but now I have to give them to a person.

I mean I am going to do it for the war assets but come on.

Also not a fan of the time limited missions in Mass Effect 3. I am having fun but the idea that I need a guide so I don't screw myself over because some of these time sensitive mission will wait for you to pick all the flowers in the side quests but others are actually time sensitive and will fail is an odd choice. Both mission types are shown in the same way.

Stealthpizza wrote:

Mass Effect 1 planet exploring: Kinda annoying but you did find cool stuff if you did it. You could skip it with little issue.

Mass Effect 2 planet scanning: Tedious but doable if you had a goal or were willing to zone out.

Mass Effect 3 system scanning?: The worst version. Limited scans before summoning enemies, time limits once you summons enemies, what you find seems to act the same as minerals from 1 and 2 but now I have to give them to a person.

This is one of the few places I'm using a guide, looking at how/where I need to scan in ME3.

I enjoyed the ME1 planet exploring a lot, simply because roaming an alien landscape under an unfamiliar sky is (to me) a delightful and relaxing part of sci-fi. I think it helped the pacing between the action sections. I realize most people won't feel the same way.

Stealthpizza wrote:

Also not a fan of the time limited missions in Mass Effect 3. I am having fun but the idea that I need a guide so I don't screw myself over because some of these time sensitive mission will wait for you to pick all the flowers in the side quests but others are actually time sensitive and will fail is an odd choice. Both mission types are shown in the same way.

Generally the "Priority: ..." missions move the plot forward (and close/open sidequests) in ME3, it seems; so if you don't want to sit on a guide... you should be pretty good if you just put those off.

ME2 is a lot fussier, but I think the only real vital thing to know is "put off the Reaper IFF mission until you have done every loyalty mission you want to do." And even then, in the long run, it's not necessarily world-shatteringly bad to screw up unless you obsess about a "perfect" run.

beeporama wrote:

... unless you obsess about a "perfect" run.

Why you gotta call me out like that?

A few guides I have looked at had labled a few missions as do asap. Such as grisom Academy and a few others. Where most other missions that had a time limit that said do before next priority mission. I would just have labeled these missions to make it clear.

There are a lot of side missions that get locked after completing certain Priority missions, but there is only one mission that you must complete within a certain time frame:

Spoiler:

Tuchanka: Bomb must be completed within 3 missions of acquiring it.

Full list is here if you want to consult it at any time.

THE DEFINITIVE LIST OF MASS EFFECT COMPANIONS!!!

Edit: Adding in Diana Allers.

*Based on my personal opinions about the characters within the story, and nothing to do with gameplay.

**What is this Andromeda of which you speak? The late 00 Kevin Sorbo vehicle? There is no other science fiction thing I know of with that name.

Honorable Mentions, because not everyone can go on away missions.

8. Chloe Michel: I could take you on the ship in ME3 to be the doctor, but why?

7. Richard Jenkins: Because someone had to die so you can meet Ashley.

6. Morinth: I’m just going to pretend I’m my mom and no one will know.

5.5* Diana Allers: So memorable I literally forgot to put her in originally. Can't not see Jessica Chobot.

5. Kelly Chambers: And somehow Miranda is the Cerberus cheerleader!? At least she feeds my fish. (And is better in ME3)

4. Karin Chackwas: Somehow, at any given pint, only at most the second best doctor on the Normandy, and only the second biggest drunk.

3. Steve Cortez: ME1 had the Mako, ME2 had them Hammerhead. Thank you Steve for not making me pilot the Kodiak.

2. Samantha Trayner: Great chess player, great data analyst, great taste in toothbrushes, but doesn’t know how to shower.

1. Jeff ‘Joker’ Moreau: If every vehicle controls like the ones I control in the series, Joker is the single most op character in all of speculative fiction.

C Rank: I have to take you out or you’ll hate me, but you’re not going if you don’t have to.

19. Jacob Taylor: Mass Effect avoids most of the tropes against black people by making Jacob void of personality. Still somehow has an absentee father.

18. Ashley Williams: If you leave her around until ME3, she has an ok redemption ark. Or she could eat a nuke with a bunch of Salarians. Hold the line, Ash.

17. Zaeed Massani: He has a good mission and some fun war stories. But that’s it.

16. Kasumi Goto: See Zaeed, but has a better mission, comments on the crew, and has more fun things to do in ME3.

15. Kaidan Alenko: Please don’t ban me Eleima. Only interesting because by the third game he could discover he is bi/pan. And he gets headaches. But honestly, I wouldn’t care if he ate the nuke too.

B Rank. You got something going on there. But not enough.

14. Javik. Don’t get me wrong, I love my emo Prothean. But he is still someone who shouldn’t have been DLC.

13. Samara. Somewhere there is a copy of the Justicar code. Reading that would be more interesting than Samara is as a character.

12. James Vega. I feel like we needed Jimmy to get to Iron Bull. So I will take rough draft Iron Bull.

11. Miranda Lawson: What if Mean Girls but Star Trek?

10. Urdnot Grunt: Between he and Miranda, Grunt is the more interesting genetic ideal of the more interesting species.

9. EDI. I don’t know who did it first, Mass Effect, Andromeda (no, not that one that does not exist), or something else. But I know the ship AI in a human form is done best in the Ancillary Justice series.

A Rank. You’re the best! Around! Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down!

8. Thane Krios: The best assassin with a code in Mass Effect 2, with better kid issues than the other one.

7. Jack: My bad biotic b!tch who ends up being a high school teacher to make sure no kids have to suffer like she did. Sign me up.

6. Urdnot Wrex: I used to think that it was unrealistic that a criminal and mercenary would go on to lead his people. Make Tuchanka Great Again!

5. Legion: It is a crime that if you want to play with Legion more in ME2 you need to kill your crew. And they should probably use they/them and not he/him. And definitely not it/it’s.

S Rank. My ride or die, fam.

4. Mordin Solus: You are a medical doctor, a researcher, a bad-ass STG op, and you can sing showtunes? Did someone interview me, write a character just for me, and then wipe my brain. Must have been Mordin himself, because someone else would have gotten it wrong.

3. Liara T’Soni: I love plot development, and Liara goes from being a postdoc when you meet her to being the

Spoiler:

Shadow Broker.

And she likes me.

2. Garrus Vakarian: Probably the character I most want to have a beer with and trade stories. And I love that he has a romance that has nothing to do with me.

and finally...

1. Tali’Zorah vas Normandy: The character that grows the most, she is inspired by recognizable cultures without engaging in bad tropes, and again, actually has arcs where she grows internally, externally, and romantically. Keelah Se'lai Tali.

I agree with most of these, except I'd have Jack in the C rank since she's written deeply obnoxiously in ME2, and too obviously written self-consciously edgy a la Bioware Marilyn Manson phase. If I could have seen her grow up a bit during the game (say similarly to how Ashley did in ME1, or how the ME1 plot challenged Garrus's ethos) I'd like her more. She's much better in ME3, but it doesn't make up for how hard she is to be around in ME2.

After Eleima's lobbying on behalf of Kaidan I've given him more of a chance this time round, romanced him in ME1 (and kept him alive). He still needs more of an arc during ME1 than just being shagged by Shepard.

I agree that Garrus is still BEST BOI, but playing ME1 again really made me cringe at the cop "do whatever to get the arrest" mentality he had. That's a big yikes in 2021.

However, in 2 he's already the vigilante going after the gangs that are taking over/controlling Omega, so whatever. It's redeemed quickly.

I'd say Wrex was BEST BOI if you could use him in more than just the first game. He could "Shepherd" me all day.

List objectively wrong, clearly mistake was made, I must make adjustment, someone else might get it wrong.

I do love Mordin.

I would say Wrex is S tier because I watched a bunch of cut scenes you may not be a seen and how to get them. A sieres of them are Wrex must die to get this. I am willing to do a lot of stuff to see different parts of game. I will not do that.

This change also bumps Grunt to an A rank. He is my idiot son, Wrex said he will make me an honorary krogan and I will not let my son have a B rank. He is the perfect krogan. Even though I don't feel like I need him in my squad at all times I would be sad if he died. My renegade shepherd would order it if it saved the galaxy, so A rank not S.

EDI is a strong B+ and this is my first playthough of ME3 so no opinion on Vega yet other than who are you and why are you on my ship.

I got to a part I'd largely forgotten: in the middle, in the f*cking middle of trying to untangle the Battle of Rannoch, with multiple missions that need tending to, such as rescuing a very popular Admiral from the surface of the geth-controlled planet and doing something about the fighter group attacking civilian ships, I get told I better check on Ash. And whaaaaat do I find? In the midst of all this horsesh*t she "needed to blow off some steam" and got black-out level trashed as is currently laying like a slightly more useless lump than normal on the floor! Not after. During. I guess in that state she's less likely to get duped into nearly getting the Council killed, but I'm going to have to continue to scoff at Ash having any sort of redemption arc. Her becoming slightly less of an overt bigot gets my most sarcastic slow clap.

Stealthpizza wrote:

I would say Wrex is S tier because I watched a bunch of cut scenes you may not be a seen and how to get them. A sieres of them are Wrex must die to get this. I am willing to do a lot of stuff to see different parts of game. I will not do that.

IMAGE(https://i.imgflip.com/5e21ig.jpg)

I am just about to the final mission of the Krogan chapter of ME3 and there is some great dialog on the Sur'Kesh mission between Wrex, Liara, and Garrus and between Garrus and Grunt on the mission you do with him. I think they really got better at this in ME:A and DA:I though of just giving your squadmates random things to chat about as you are walking/riding/driving around.

Final thoughts as I head to Earth to kill the Reapers.

Spoiler:

And yes, kill the Reapers. I am not doing the Illusive Man ending (blue) or the Saren ending (green).And I still don't think that snot-nosed brat is a reliable narrator.

-Playing all three of them, I am amazed at how much ME2 feels like a weird off shoot. ME1 introduces the Reapers, ME3 is about killing the reapers. ME2 is about Collectors who were/are Protheans?

-ME1 has the best story, ME3 has the best combat. But ME2 is the best game.

-Flaws in my list- I think Jack may be too high (mostly because she. is less grading in her limited time in ME3) and Wrex may be too low (after watching what could happen to him). But I am not moving anyone, because my hot takes are still hot.

-I also forgot that Jessica Chobot is somehow in ME3, and should have been on that list. I may edit her in, but she is somewhere near the middle. Like that entire era of IGN.

-I have been playing ME wrong for these three games, and for years. I really started using powers in the AA Arena, and find that my soldier and her guns aren't as good as spamming biotic powers. (I usually shot things and let my squad do their own thing). Maybe I should start again and play a biotic and be a Space Wizard? Or at least order my Space Wizards to do more wizardy things.

-Speaking of which, if I do replay this game, I may try a male Shep (which I have never done for more than an hour). Hopefully, I can get past the voicework.

-If I do roll a Male Shep, I think I will keep my same romance (Liara), but I may throw in a fling with Tali in ME2. Lets use those induction ports.

-If I don't, I may try a romance with Thane in ME2, but mostly because I want the Trophy (I am broken like that).

-Did I mention I hate the system where you need to dump money into guns and mods in ME3 to make them better? There are so many cool guns in ME3 that I can't functionally use because I need to pick one of each type and level it. Serious design flaw. And the trophy for getting a gun to Level X, which can only be done by restarting the game, leveling it to VII, and finding it again (or rebuying it) can fork off.

-If I win the lottery, I am having someone design a house that is identical to the apartment. Everyone who is vaccinated on here will be invited over for a quiet-energetic-dance party.

Series comparison hot takes.

Best Villain: Saren (with a nod to Soverign)
Best Romance Options: 3
Best Planet Scanning: 2
Best gun: M96 Mattock (but I also enjoy the N7 Valkyrie... tell what guns I like).
Best armor: Anything with an N7 and the red and white stripe, but the Blood Dragon is cool
Best helmet: Sentry interface (because it makes sense in cutscenes and for drinking)
Best vehicle: The ones I don't drive.
Best character that needs to be explored more: Barla Von.

This is the best value in games right now. If you love any or all Mass Effect, pick this up. And if you have never played or bounced off, how are you broken, but play it again. Trust me.

Spoiler:

I would be super excited to play what Bioware does next, but I know what they do next is Andromada and Anthem.

Spoiler:

Now, If I ask nicely, can I have the same treatment for Dragon Age on PS5 and Series X?

dp

Mass Effect 3 Complete:

Casualties:

Spoiler:

Ashley
Mordin
Samara
Legion
Thane
Miranda (I am mad about this one as I did not know the not unless you tell me more option was a no)

Only think left to do if have a party.

I think I may give either Andromeda or Inquisition another go. But I should have a cleanser as I don't think anything can stand up to these games.

Stealthpizza wrote:

Casualties:

Spoiler:

Samara
Miranda (I am mad about this one as I did not know the not unless you tell me more option was a no)

Spoiler:

Miranda has to be loyal from ME2 and you have to do all her call ups on the citadel (the one I usually miss is when she vids in to the Specter Office).

Samara can be saved if she is loyal with a Paragon Interrupt. Her last daughter Falere agrees to live on the remains of the compound and rebuild, which does not violate the code.

Mordin can be saved too, but you have to be a monster to do it

Wait you guys dont kill Rex in ME3?

UpToIsomorphism wrote:
Stealthpizza wrote:

Casualties:

Spoiler:

Samara
Miranda (I am mad about this one as I did not know the not unless you tell me more option was a no)

Spoiler:

Miranda has to be loyal from ME2 and you have to do all her call ups on the citadel (the one I usually miss is when she vids in to the Specter Office).

Samara can be saved if she is loyal with a Paragon Interrupt. Her last daughter Falere agrees to live on the remains of the compound and rebuild, which does not violate the code.

Mordin can be saved too, but you have to be a monster to do it

Yeah...that's annoying.

Spoiler:

I chose to let Samara die as my renegade Shep would not trust her daughter to stay on planet. So to me it made sense that she would see that Samara either had to kill her child or break her code and kill Shep. Whenever I do a paragon run I will save her.

I thought I got all the Miranda calls. Good to know for the future.

I am not sure when I would do a full run again as it takes a while to do all three games but male paragon biotic would be my next run now that my cannon Shep has finally been in all three games.

At what point does andromeda kick into gear? I can see the potential but so far it is a big slog but I am only 6 hours in.

I kind of wish I was playing the parent Ryder. No one on my squad jumps out as someone I like so far.

Uh, my summation of ME:A was pretty much "I can see the potential," so I'm afraid I'm going to have to say "Probably at No point."

Six hours or so was when I abandoned ship, so I am going to say it isn't.

There is some good stuff to be found in that game, but it is buried deep inside a very underwhelming whole. They really went too far in on the whole open world exploration bit and the smaller linear segments are much better. I have tried to replay it twice and I always get burned out right after the first vault.

Let's not forget that in ME: Andromeda, they hand wave away the fact that there are less alien races than in the original trilogy with a throwaway line of "oh, the ships launched from the Citadel but they are just not here yet."

SO LAZY.

Vrikk wrote:

Let's not forget that in ME: Andromeda, they hand wave away the fact that there are less alien races than in the original trilogy with a throwaway line of "oh, the ships launched from the Citadel but they are just not here yet."

SO LAZY.

There was DLC planned but it got canceled

This makes me sad because the planet exploring feels like a great idea that is just clunky and the fighting feels like a slog. This may be a chip away at it game for me since so many people seem to have hit the same wall I am at at about the same time.

Vrikk wrote:

Let's not forget that in ME: Andromeda, they hand wave away the fact that there are less alien races than in the original trilogy with a throwaway line of "oh, the ships launched from the Citadel but they are just not here yet."

SO LAZY.

Also every intelligent race in an entirely different galaxy is a bipedal humanoid with 2 eyes, 2 arms, 2 legs.