Category Archives: PC Games

The Amazing Drell Adept

Didn’t play Mass Effect 3 for a long time and picked the game up again about 3 to 4 weeks ago. Played mostly Silver games because you can hardly find players in ME3 public Bronze games anymore especially during week days in my time zone.

The few characters that I would usually bring to Silver games are the Human Engineer, who is an all rounder power house and provides great support to the team, or a Turian Sentinel, who is hardy and good with the guns. Occasionally, I would bring a Batarian Brawler Vanguard to Silver games, but he is a lot less useful in Silver due to stronger enemies– a wrong charge would get him killed.

Decided to give the fragile Drell Adept a try on Silver yesterday, expected to do badly, and get booted out by other team players in the next game.

We were in wave 10. The thing that I hated most in wave 10 of silver games is to complete an objective especially the hacking, very often, the team will get overwhelmed by the relentless waves of bosses. We got a pizza delivery objective here.

A player got the goods and the rest of the team escorted him back to the extraction zone. To our horror, the extraction zone was filled with enemies– the Atlas, Phantoms, and a whole crew of other lower ranked mooks. Needless to say the team got slaughtered, in the midst of the mess, someone did manage to get the goods to the extraction zone, but with the sacrifice of 2 players, either stomped to death by the Atlas or instant killed by Phantoms.

We were now down to a Qurian Infiltrator and my Drell Adept, could we complete the remaining task?

We were bombarded badly and I got myself killed when trying to revive the remaining partner, not giving up, both of us used the medi gel, unfortunately, due to the Qurian Infiltrator’s bad position, she went down again. Naturally, I tried to revive her but got hit badly as well, in a split second, I remember how most Sliver games ended badly– when one player fell, the rest of the team got mobbed trying to revive him/her in a bad situation. I decided to run away, re-group, hopefully she would do the same after using a medi-gel. But unfortunately, she didn’t manage to even after wasting another 2 or 3 medi-gels.

Oh my god, I am alone, and to make things worse, there is still an objective to complete. There were 2 Atlases, with a group of guardians. I was in despair, almost wanted to give up, but decided to die gloriously instead. So I ran towards the goods, picked the baggage up, good, the enemies were clustered together following me. Fired a few Reaves at them, and crawled towards the extraction zone. Just a few steps away from completing the objective, a few Guardians turned up at the corner and shot me to death.

Used another medi-gel, and ran the opposite direction, got ambushed by an Engineer, gosh, I had to take him down fast before he set up a turret to make my already miserable life worse.

I ran around to the other far end and waited for the enemies to come to me. Took down a couple of them, and dashed back to the goods, tada! A touch down! Reaved and threw all my grenades at the 2 Atlases and party, creating massive biotic explosions, not sure how many did I kill, because they were all hidden in smoke. I turned my back and pop an Ops Survival pack, but I am now out of grenades. Great, it would take me forever to get my inventory up. I was lost again, what am I going to do? There is still a possibility that both Atlases survived my grenades bombardment.

Thank my lucky star that, I remember reading from somewhere using the Ammo reload pack would replenish the grenades as well. Great, let’s give it a try, and true enough, I have 4 more grenades to play with.

I hid at a column and waited, wow, only one Atlas left, the rest of the enemies went down with my mad grenades rush to the smoke awhile ago. The lone Atlas didn’t survive the next wave of biotic explosions that I threw at it, and voila! Wave completed!

Looking back, I could have used the missile. But at the point of time, I was so nervous that I totally forgotten about the missiles that I have been carrying with me.

The Drell Adept’s Reave is very powerful. It won’t take out the enemy instantly, but will slowly chew their health away for the entire duration or could be used to set up gigantic biotic explosion with the Clustered Grenade. I was surprised when the I got the message that only one enemy was left because all the while I thought there were a few others scattered around the map which I didn’t kill. I only threw Reaves at them and ran away. These mooks were probably killed over the power duration. The other possibility is they were all killed in one big cluster when I set up multiple biotic explosions. They were hidden in smoke so I couldn’t count how many were there.

I thought for long how did my squishy Drell Adept survive while other stronger characters died in the game? One possible explanation is the Drell’s agility. I got a feeling that it runs faster (need to confirm this), in the game example, I could run out of a bad situation while the other survivor, Quarian Infiltrator could not despite using a few medi-gels. Same situation in the game where I first “solo” a wave in Bronze game, using Drell Adept as well, I could run out of the massacre while the rest couldn’t.

Though it is not the first time I “solo” a section of silver games, but doing this so “spectacularly” using a squishy Drell Adept is amazing. Drell Adept is definitely up in my permanent roster of characters for Silver games.

Good Games, Bad Games

I was on an extremely good run 2 weeks ago with some random players on Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer Silver games, clearing games after games until I gotta leave reluctantly to sleep. I think we played at least 8 to 9 games with only 1 failed mission at wave 10. Everyone just stuck together, while I stunned all the targets using Energy Drain for teammates’ easy sniping.

While I am not a good ME3 player and I might not be able to lift the team especially in Silver, but I think (I hope other players think that too), I am not a burden to the team. When teamed up with bad players, grrr… it would be real tough for me as I can only take care of myself in Silver.

I was with this group of players, where everyone would just run in different directions, needless to say, we did not manage to go past wave 7 or 8 in every games. Finally I decided to quit the group after 3 or 4 games.

There was also this random group that I joined, did not complete even the 3rd wave, odd enough, they kicked me out despite the fact that I was the 2nd highest scoring, so close to the top spot, perhaps it has something to do with my low N7 ranking…

The worst games that I have played so far? It gotta be a couple of bronze games 2 days ago with a rank 200+ N7 who was teaching his friend how to play ME3 multiplayer and both were talking on the mic throughout the games. His friend is new the MP which I can tell easily because his N7 rank is exact equal to his character’s level. I am fine and have patience for new players as I have been through the same, I even mentally prepare myself to stay close to this guy to assist/ revive him if need be, bronze is no longer a problem for my Female Infiltrator.

I do not know what the experienced friend is trying to teach his friend, both of them never took part in any escort process, in fact, any team objectives except the eliminating of the high profile enemy personnel. They were busy raking up kills, and exhausted their cobra missiles whenever a boss character appear . That’s fine too, if they could at least take care of themselves. But while me and the other player were escorting the drone, they HAVE.TO.DIE somewhere far. I screamed (glad I wasn’t on mic) when the other player ran away from the escort process trying to revive them, and got killed. So it was all me alone escorting the drone slowly, and ran to their rescue after that…

Hacking was again, me alone, the pair of friends never appear, they did not even bother to stick around nearby helping to take care of the enemies while I remained in the hacking circle. I have to fend for myself, running in and out of the circle, stopping the hack process in between. Finally the other player came, and we completed the hacking.

The pair constantly die together, which I thought is very strange, as the “teacher” friend is 200+ N7 rank (much higher than me), though the ranking doesn’t tell how good a player is, but at least is telling how experienced the player is. The final straw came in the 2nd game when I had to run from one end to another to revive them again for the umpteenth time, after reviving them, I saw what’s coming ahead, cloaked and ran ahead trying to shotgun the cannibals to death. As I sprinted forward, both of them fell again! I decided to take care of the cannibals before returning to them. Instead of saying thanks and waited for my return, both were whining and screaming at me, something like, “Where did she go?” “Hey Bitch! Someone is dying here, where are you?”

On the final wave, with less than 30 seconds to extraction, god, please forgive my vulgarities, the pair had to charge (one of them is a vanguard) outside the extraction zone, and got themselves killed. I think the other player shared the same sentiment as me, we decided to stay and waited for our extraction leaving them to be eaten by the cannibals.

Mission Impossible

I was in a Mass Effect 3 Bronze game using a level 14 Drell Adept, Firebase ??? (not sure of map name), with Geth as the enemies. I never thought Geth was difficult until I started playing other characters instead of my good old Salarian Engineer, and many Geth games (bronze) ended with failed mission.

So, in this game, all teammates were down in one cluster, bombarded by Geth Pyros and Rocket Troopers, and I was the only one that escaped the massacre barely. Unable to revive the teammates, I decided to run, and used a Ops Survival pack. I was caught in a situation I have never been to– Solo, and the burden of success or failure of the mission on my shoulder.

As I ran away, I was shot by the Geth to low health and running out of Ops Survival pack, I thought that’s it, the end of the mission. Knowing all the teammates are now looking at me playing, I just couldn’t die, be called a noob, and a laughing stock in the ME3 community. I took cover, fired a few shots back and reave like a madman. Ran, cover, in between performed a few flipping stuns, took out another Geth, and one by one, I finally did it! Wave completed. I never felt so relieved and proud of myself in a mission, and I just have to pat my own head after that.

I think I am finally getting somewhere in the ME3 multiplayer game–  at least I am not a burden to the team any more. I managed to even become the 2nd highest scoring member with my Salarian Engineer. Yay.

Mass Effect 3 Ending Thoughts

Warning: Massive Spoilers.

I searched the internet for answers after completing the game, wow, it was full of furore against Bioware & EA. Wow.

Count me in as one of the disappointed fans about the ending. I have started another character run, and couldn’t help but think is this all worth doing? Perhaps the writers in Bioware are trying to tell a story of life that no matter how hard you try, sometimes life just sucks.

I just do not understand why the need to bring up the Child, the supposedly creators of Reapers, and thus the complains. Since the Crucible is a device drawn up and improved through the previous cycles, how did the Child even know about its function? Why did the builders/ planners of the Crucible even include a function of synthesis in the Crucible since that is something they do not want to see? I would think the designers from various cycles were only bent on destroying the Reapers with limited time left and should have only one function! Hmmm… Let’s see, maybe we need a few more years to finish up the Crucible so that we could add a feature to synthesize with the Reapers while they are destroying us and synthesizing us with them? It does N.O.T. M.A.K.E. S.E.N.S.E.

The Crucible couldn’t be a Reaper device because why would Reapers want to add a feature on destroying all Reapers or even the control feature?

Reapers are intelligent sentient machines, this is what we have learned. Shepard crossed paths with Harbringer many times in ME2, and I was wondering why didn’t Harbringer even talk to Shepard this time? Now we know, they are dumbed down to become just machines controlled by the Child.

I shall not repeat what other great points raised by other fans, and the followings are just some additional rants that I have on the ending.

Moving of Citadel

How did it even move and pass through the Mass Relay? Why move in the first place? Let’s see… the human alliance need to mount the Crucible that will destroy us to the Citadel, let us help them by moving the Citadel to the Sol system.

Effects of Crucible

From what I read on the possible endings, the EMS does nothing major to the endings except determining whether Shepard lives or not in one ending, and why does it even determine how the Mass Relays are destroyed?

Shouldn’t the completeness of Crucible determine how effective it is and not the overall EMS since the Crucible only made up a very small fraction of the total Military Strength? Bioware could have a separate effective bar for the Crucible– the more resources you employ into building it, the more effective it is. Eg., Kosumi, Salarians (which will make our decision on Genophage even more difficult), Cerberus Scientists might add bonus into the Crucible effectiveness. Highest effective level will only destroy the Reapers, medium effectiveness may disable the Mass Relay as well, low effectiveness may even kill all other synthetics on top of disabling the Mass Relay, lowest level could have the potential to annihilate the whole galaxy…

Effective Military Strength

If Bioware decided to ignore decisions from previous games to count in ME3, can they at least make sure the EMS does matter?

At first I thought it could be like DAO where the more forces you gather, the easier will be the final fight, but this is not so. They could have made the end battle slightly different with different level of EMS, e.g, add some helping forces in the last battle if your EMS is high enough…

Highest EMS would mean additional forces helping you to fend off the waves, other squad mates not in your final team could also be scoring some victories in other battles, making the destruction of the Reaper destroyer easier or even take down the Harbringer, thus the dash to the conduit is easy and relatively unharmed (Shepard may live). Medium EMS will have the final battle as it is (some squad members may die including Shepard), extremely low EMS could have an ending where Normandy is destroyed, most squad mates including Shepard die looking at the Thanix missed the Reaper destroyer again, and have a cut scene showing Reapers destroying world after world and finally peace again… Cycle repeats or make the battles extremely difficult to win.

 

Post note (10 July 2017):

ME3 ended up as the last Bioware game that I have purchased. I watched DA3 and ME4 pass by, though I must admit I was very tempted to purchase DA3 with the reviews.

Mass Effect 3 Day 17 (Final)

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Didn’t realize I was already near the end game after the Priority:Rannoch mission. It was followed by Priority: Thessia, then was on a no return journey– routing the Cerberus HQ, followed by Earth. Think I didn’t complete some of the Citadel quests, as I wanted so much to see what’s going to happen next.

The Rannoch mission is touching, and I am so relieved that I could broker a peace between the Geth and the Quarians. I was biting my fingers when Shepard was trying to talk down Admiral Gerrel with Legion counting the percentage completion. What an ass is the Admiral Gerrel? So glad Shepard punched him on the stomach not so long ago.

I was surprised at how things turn out at Thessia, thinking that it would just be another quest that would require me to just go in, battle the Reaper’s force, and retrieve the Catalyst. Finally, had a long overdue talk with the Illusive Man, and together with the next mission at Horizon, found out why the Cerberus were behaving like they are in the game. I still wish that Shepard could have a chance to talk them down and unite them against the Reapers, but, well, that’s how Bioware wants them to be.

The most satisfying part in the Cerberus HQ is sitting on the Illusive Man’s seat, hahaha… I am now the new Illusive Man. Of course the killing of Kai Leng is satisfying too, not the final battle itself, but the cutscene and the Renegade Interrupt that punched a blade into Kai Leng’s kidney. Finally, getting rid of the bastard that has been taunting me since Citadel, and I thought I could kill him in Thessia… The battle with Kai Leng was a tough one especially on the part where there were other Phantoms and Nemesis helping him, it was a big confused battle where I had difficulty getting my orientation right and running away from the Phantoms and Kai Leng. I was running, spamming Medi-Gel, firing at whatever in front of me, wondering when will this going to end, then I saw Kai Leng on the far end, and to my great surprise, with his shield’s gone (thanks to Garrus and EDI), concentrated my firing at him, took him out and ended the battle.

Towards the end of the game, Black Widow has replaced M-13 Raptor as my sniping riffle of choice. With a Thermal Clip modification, Black Widow’s reservoir of ammo is pretty good, and I have not run into situations where I am out of ammo. I will re-try the final battle using Raptor and see whether it is easier with a Raptor or Black Widow. I have also switched back to Phaeston after trying Revenant for a few missions. Phaeston though with lower damage output, is pretty accurate and easier to use than the Revenant, and it has as big ammo reservoir as the Revenant.

Priority Earth is in my humble opinion, the best part of the game. I have united the Galaxy and now come a full cycle, battling the Reapers on Earth. The battles are just epic. I talked about how difficult it was to take down 3 Brutes not too long ago, and you get to face 4 Brutes at the same time now; thanks to them and I began to appreciate the value of Shotguns.

The last battle of the game was especially difficult, open space, with Reapers force flanking you from different directions, and worst of all, Banshees, and 3 of them at the same time. I didn’t know the final wave is never ending until you hit the Thanix Missile controller (thought I would clear the enemies then go for the controller). I was cursing and swearing, how many Banshees do I have to kill? Damn it… and needless to say got myself killed umpteen times, until I reset the game difficulty to casual, then to story mode… and finally decided to make a dash to the controller instead of fighting the wave.

The end game was rather, erm, unexpected, and left me wanting for more. I will probably talk about it in another post. Overall, the journey has been very satisfying, in terms of game play I would think ME3 is a vast improvement over ME2 except some minor areas.

I can finally take a good rest.

Mass Effect 3 Day 13

Warning: Spoiler Alert

I am on the 13th day of playing the game, clocked over 35 hours so far, but I suspect a lot of the time was passed idling in Normandy where Shepard was left staring at Miss Traynor while I am doing something else.

Have been busy scanning new sectors for war assets, tidying up the quests list, and currently in the middle of Geth Dreadnought quest.

Despite some minor complaints like the Cerberus, how the mini assignments are being handled, and etc, I have enjoyed the game very much. Did I mention the battles are pretty tough to handle for a shooter idiot like me? At times I wanted to give up or lower the difficulty level like engaging 3 brutes or 2 Banshees at the same time…

I have developed a very careful approach, whenever I step into an open area, hmm… clips lying around, hint hint. Look around for good sniping spots and hang in there to wait for enemies to appear. My favorite sniping riffle is the M-13 Raptor. This is probably the best weapon in the game so far! I wasn’t impressed with the damage and stats of the riffle at first and was reluctant to switch from my trusted Viper, but boy, the firing rate alone makes up for all the shortcomings. Atlas? No problem, snipe it from a distance, and it will be done after emptying 2 full clips onto it. Javik’s grenade is invaluable as well, I couldn’t think of other ways to pass the few Cerberus Nemesis and Phantoms in Citadel except throwing these grenades at them.

The hardest decision that I have made so far is the curing of Krogan Genophage. I have no problem accepting the quest at first in order to get the Turians and Krogans working with each other. Furthermore, in this character’s play through in ME2, the data for the cure is preserved.

As the game progressed, seeing how violent and vengeful Wreav is, my resolve was shaken, especially before landing on Tuchaka, Shepard was given the option of sabotaging the cure by the Salarians. I kept my silence all the way, contemplating the options, until finally reaching the Shroud Tower. I took a deep breath, recalling the good friend Grunt who sacrifice himself to get Shepard out, believing there is still good in the Krogans and that Urdot Bakara will become the true leader and there will be finally peace with the Krogans, I proceeded with the cure. Wow. Talk about how hard a decision is in a game, I don’t recall I have to make such a hard decision in any games that I have played and it surpasses the dilemma before the final battle in DAO.

I wonder how will this will play out with another character where there is no Grunt, the data destroyed, Maelon & Mordin dead.

The other very nice change in the game which I have mentioned before is the squad mates do not just stand at their location all the time, they will go to different parts of Normandy, chat with each other, and visit to Citadel as well. I have had a great time with Garrus at the Citadel shooting the bottles and let him win on that– the game portrayed the doom day mood pretty well here, just do whatever harmless fun you would like, as who knows when is your turn to die in the midst of a Reapers invasion? For my Shepard, he is just glad to have a heart to heart talk with Garrus, and made his day.

Mass Effect 3 Day 11

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Had good gaming sessions last couple of days and made a lot of progress, completed the Tuchanka quest, 2 N7 quests, and the Citadel II priority quest.

Last week, I made a post on how we are meeting ex-squad mates/ associates left, right, and center, this time round, I am seeing them dying one by one – first it was Mordin, followed by Thane. The demise of Thane is quite emotional for me, and I had this emptiness feeling after leaving the hospital, luckily I bumped into Jack in the Purgatory and felt a lot better after that- “Everyone knows you can’t dance!”, lol, hope she doesn’t have to die… I like Jack a lot more in ME3, perhaps because Shepard is no longer working for the Cerberus? Back in Normandy, my Shepard had a good talk with Garrus at the memorial wall about death. I think this part of the game is very well done.

Back to Cerberus. They are just plain evil this time, and seems so illogical to me. If Cerberus has maintained their moral ambiguity in ME3, the game will be a lot more interesting– should we work with Cerberus? Or at least come to a compromise? I am just curious why didn’t the Illusive man contact Shepard after all the sabotages by him? My Shepard didn’t leave in bad terms with the Illusive man except bombing the Collectors’ base, and have sort of “soften” his perception of Cerberus while working with them.

Somehow, the human Alliance hatred for Cerberus is also very unusual. In reality, it should be very different, the humans might not be agreeable to the means of Cerberus, but they should not hate the group who is promoting their interest. Just like in real life, Country “A” though officially condemned it’s own terrorist group, but on the ground, the people do not hate them and might even sympathize with the group, which is different from the victims.

I guess I have hit the mid way point of the game like “Horizon” quest in ME2. I picked up a lot of quests in Citadel… Gee, I really don’t like how the mini quests are implemented in ME3- because I didn’t speak to the person that requires assistance, it is difficult for me to remember who actually gave the quest and where is he/she located. What I have done after finding a few items is, to run around and see if anyone is “talkable”. Bad implementation.

Mass Effect 3 Day 9

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Completed the request from the Turian Primach, and should now be ready to free the Krogans of the Genophage.

Again, Cerberus is everywhere, and why is Cerberus stopping the Turians from defusing the bomb? If Reapers are not stopped, Cerberus will be gone too? Perhaps they are so strong that they can face the Reapers alone? Which is not a very far fetch idea because the army they have is so massive (you see hordes of them in every other missions) that they could conquer the Universe.

Now you don’t see the squad members standing at their locations forever as in ME2, it is nice to see Garrus sitting in the lounge chatting with Liara. Very nice change. The only odd one is, why is Wreav always so busy typing on the computer? Talking about Krogan using the computer, it is funny to receive an email from Grunt.

I am finding the planet scanning a nuisance now, mainly due to the Reapers, and I suspect some systems’ resource might not be available yet though it shows 50% harvested, if this is the case, the game should indicate 100% and reduce the percentage when new resource is available. I will continue to scan after every mission to see if I can get everything to 100%…

The available squad members in ME3 seems small, though I have met a number of ex-squad mates, only Garrus & Liara are in the team. I was happy initially to finally be able to bring another ex-squad mate back to the Normandy — Mordin, but I can’t bring him to missions, and he will just be at the med bay. Hmmm… Anyhow, my soldier Shepard’s favorite team is Javik and Garrus, this team will make the missions like cake walk. I do not know how to make good use of EDI yet, have to try a few more times.

Mass Effect 3 – War Readiness

As I gathered more war assets against the Reapers, I noticed this bar “War Readiness” did not change whether I have completed a mission or recruited a new squad member or not. I searched the net for information on this, and to my “horror”, I need to play multiplayer games and/or Mass Effect Infiltrator and/or the Mass Effect Datapad in order to increase it!

This is so wrong. The Mass Effect 3 should be a complete game by itself, and not require the playing of other games to increase the war readiness! I do not like Multiplayer games, and from what I read, you can only play the multiplayer game on Xbox which I do not own.

I am glad I do own an iPad, and for those who do not own either a xbox or iPad/iPhone will have their games crippled, which in my opinion, is seriously unfair.

I have since downloaded the Mass Effect Datapad, and is trying hard to increase the war readiness, hopefully it will be in time for my final confrontation with the Reapers. As for the ME Datapad game itself, it is not only boring, slow, not sensitive to touch on the buttons, but buggy too. I absolutely hate it.

Not sure whether the war readiness will be reset in a new game, if it does reset, it will seriously impact the re-playability of the game.

Bad move, Bioware, bad move.

Mass Effect 3 Day 8

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Completed the Missing Krogans mission.

I was pretty emotional at the end of the mission where Grunt asked Shepard to leave while he held off the indoctrinated Rachnis. While watching the cutscene, my thought was I wronged Grunt so much– he was a character that I did not like very much in ME2, mainly because in a dialogue with him in ME2, he mentioned that he would fight Shepard one day. Furthermore, a perfect Krogan is a perfect threat to the Universe. Never thought he would sacrifice himself for Shepard.

So in one of my ME2 play through, I “engineered” an ending where it was hopeless for the Krogan — Killed Maelon, destroyed the research data, and I even made sure Grunt and Mordin stay dead in the Suicide Mission. Not sure how the game will play out with such ending, but I am regretting that decision, and hopefully it is not the Infiltrator character that I wanted to import to ME3.

Man, am I relief to see a blood soaked Grunt climbed up before Shepard left the planet? Well done, Bioware.

Other thoughts from the last few days of playing:

1. The result of Bioware trying to fulfill every fans’ whims of returning characters, is we bumped into every one of them at every corner. I have lost count on how many I have met so far, it sure makes the Mass Effect universe seems so small. It could be implemented in a more discreet way like you only heard news of a few them from ex-companions, space out the encounters a little more, or some of them could have been with Shepard from the beginning especially the human companions and crew, as it was only 6 months after the events of the Arrival DLC, thus reducing the “they are everywhere” kind of feeling.

2. Cerberus is everywhere. The threat is about Cerberus or the Reapers? Or both? I have yet to find out. I thought there should be more missions like the Missing Krogans, where Shepard will try to reduce the Reapers’ strength by eliminating some of their lesser subjects instead of fighting the Cerberus. ME3 also totally eliminated the greyness of Cerberus Bioware was trying so hard to build in ME2. In ME3, they are just plain evil. The plot will be a lot better if Cerberus is portrayed the same (grey) in ME3, adding the twists that would make Shepard contemplate whether to support Cerberus effort or not in some missions.