Let's Talk Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer (Not Another Ending Thread)

First and foremost, I have no interest to discuss any of the Mass Effect 3 endings in here, nor will there be any spoilers or discussion about the singleplayer campaign. That horse has been kicked far into it's grave, and I really don't care to speak about it anymore.

With that out of the way, can I take a moment to dispel some things I've been hearing about Mass Effect 3's multiplayer and the negative buzz it has been getting in some circles? Among the multitude of commenting waves of those who choose to discuss only the game's endings, It seems that some crowds are talking about shunning Mass Effect 3's multiplayer and how it's microtransactioned, or how it only seems to be a straight-forward ripoff of the Gears of War Horde mode. Let's get try to clarify a little bit of this.

To start off, yes, you can pay using real money to buy the booster item packs, but realistically you shouldn't need to spend any real money here. Aside from being completely optional to spend real money, the in-game credits you accumulate are more than enough to buy new items with, assuming you can come out of a single round victorious. A victory on the hardest Gold difficulty easily nets you enough credits (around 70,000) to buy the most expensive booster item pack (costs 60,000 credits) for at least one "rare" or top-tier items. Obviously it's an extreme longshot for a new player to even remotely see a victory here, but a victory in the easiest Bronze difficulty nets you around 17,000 credits, which is just about enough for the middle-tier item pack (20,000 credits). These middle-tier booster packs offer "uncommon" level items, and are more than viable enough to give a player some decent gear to start building a character with. Some notable pieces of "uncommon" level gear which can carry even into the hardest Gold difficulty include:

FYI, I am not including the "Premium Spectre pack" in this conversation, as it's a limited time on-and-off booster pack, that costs 99,000 credits - but offers 2 guaranteed "rare" items. And yes, I wish there was a trading system in place to help deal with some of the randomness of the items that get handed to you when buying the items pack.

If anything, I think maybe the main problem is people seem to be unable to get through all the way to the end of the 10 waves to garnish the full amount of credits, likely even on bronze, the easiest difficulty. Frankly speaking, I think there's simply a lot of people who have bad character builds (or possibly may not be that skilled at shooters). To the credit of these people, it isn't explained very well as to how to build an effective character or how to play certain classes to their best strengths, and even on the easiest Bronze difficulty, the enemies can come at you far harder than anything found in main singleplayer campaign.

There's a lot of RPG elements involved that people may not realize, as it's not just "SHOOT DUDES". Typical RPG elements like class specialization, aggro, crowd control, DPS (sustained and burst), elemental damage, ability synergy/combinations, line of sight, stealth, and party buffs are important factors to consider. I mean, you can play it just as "SHOOT DUDES", but you're not going to be the most effective, and it's going to end in more failures if everyone is playing it like a straight 3rd person shooter. I think a large part as to why some people may find the multiplayer bland or generic is due to this fact - people simply aren't exploiting their class powers enough, to take advantage of the deeper elements of the combat system. Again, I don't entirely fault the player for this - there simply isn't much in way of tutorial or description for this beyond the very minor descriptions in the character skill tree/powers menu.

I could probably talk at length about all those RPG elements and give a general guide as to how to effectively play Mass Effect 3 multiplayer, but I'll maybe save that for another time. As far as I can tell, it's maybe just a little too easy for people to shun Mass Effect 3's multiplayer with a generic blanket-statements of ignorance, just because it wasn't originally built as a multiplayer game, among other things. Those things probably warrant their own discussions as well.

Ultimately, I think Mass Effect 3's multiplayer should get a little more credit for what it brings to the table, especially with the surprising depth when the expectations of it were so low. It has a good share of it's own problems as well, but I think as it was Bioware's first attempt at an online experience in a territory that they haven't really explored before, it's a pretty solid.

Anyways, let me know what you guys think.

28 Comments
29 Comments
Posted by heatDrive88

First and foremost, I have no interest to discuss any of the Mass Effect 3 endings in here, nor will there be any spoilers or discussion about the singleplayer campaign. That horse has been kicked far into it's grave, and I really don't care to speak about it anymore.

With that out of the way, can I take a moment to dispel some things I've been hearing about Mass Effect 3's multiplayer and the negative buzz it has been getting in some circles? Among the multitude of commenting waves of those who choose to discuss only the game's endings, It seems that some crowds are talking about shunning Mass Effect 3's multiplayer and how it's microtransactioned, or how it only seems to be a straight-forward ripoff of the Gears of War Horde mode. Let's get try to clarify a little bit of this.

To start off, yes, you can pay using real money to buy the booster item packs, but realistically you shouldn't need to spend any real money here. Aside from being completely optional to spend real money, the in-game credits you accumulate are more than enough to buy new items with, assuming you can come out of a single round victorious. A victory on the hardest Gold difficulty easily nets you enough credits (around 70,000) to buy the most expensive booster item pack (costs 60,000 credits) for at least one "rare" or top-tier items. Obviously it's an extreme longshot for a new player to even remotely see a victory here, but a victory in the easiest Bronze difficulty nets you around 17,000 credits, which is just about enough for the middle-tier item pack (20,000 credits). These middle-tier booster packs offer "uncommon" level items, and are more than viable enough to give a player some decent gear to start building a character with. Some notable pieces of "uncommon" level gear which can carry even into the hardest Gold difficulty include:

FYI, I am not including the "Premium Spectre pack" in this conversation, as it's a limited time on-and-off booster pack, that costs 99,000 credits - but offers 2 guaranteed "rare" items.

Granted, yes, I wish there was a trading system in place to help deal with some of the randomness of the items that get handed to you when buying the items packs, but that feeds into the loot lust element, which can bring replay value for many (myself included).

If anything, I think maybe the main problem is people seem to be unable to get through all the way to the end of the 10 waves to garnish the full amount of credits, likely even on bronze, the easiest difficulty. Frankly speaking, I think there's simply a lot of people who bad character builds (or possibly may just not be that skilled at shooters). To the credit of these people, it isn't explained very well as to how to build an effective character or how to play certain classes to their best strengths, and even on the easiest Bronze difficulty, the enemies can come at you far harder than anything found in main singleplayer campaign.

There's a lot of RPG elements involved that people may not realize, as it's not just "SHOOT DUDES". Typical RPG elements like class specialization, aggro, crowd control, DPS (sustained and burst), elemental damage, ability synergy/combinations, line of sight, stealth, and party buffs are important factors to consider. I mean, you can play it just as "SHOOT DUDES", but you're not going to the most effective, and it's going to end in more failures if everyone is playing it like a straight 3rd person shooter. I think a large part as to why some people may find the multiplayer bland or generic is due to this fact - people simply aren't exploiting their class powers enough, to take advantage of the deeper elements of the combat system. Again, I don't entirely fault the player for this - there simply isn't much in way of tutorial or description for this beyond the very minor descriptions in the character skill tree/powers menu.

I could probably talk at length about all those RPG elements and give a general guide as to how to effectively play Mass Effect 3 multiplayer, but I'll maybe save that for another time. As far as I can tell, it's maybe just a little too easy for people to shun Mass Effect 3's multiplayer with a generic blanket-statements of ignorance, just because it wasn't originally built as a multiplayer game, among other things. Those things probably warrant their own discussions as well.

Ultimately, I think Mass Effect 3's multiplayer should get a little more credit for what it brings to the table, especially with the surprising depth when the expectations of it were so low. It has a good share of it's own problems as well, but I think as it was Bioware's first attempt at an online experience in a territory that they haven't really explored before, it's a pretty solid.

Anyways, let me know what you guys think.

Edited by onan

Geth shotty had a silver border, whatever that is.

Edit: I think a big problem is that many people, even the people who chose to play it solely as an action game played through the game as a Soldier, relying on time-slowing powers, ammo types, and popping up the menu to get a breath, resulting in a much slower game than the fast-paced multiplayer. adrenaline works nothing like it does in the main game in multi, either.

Posted by Bass
Edited by Vivek

M-6 Carnifex Pistol is one of the best weapons, in the multiplayer. Single shot headshot on Bronze for normal level enemies and 2 on Silver. Luckily had mine since I first started playing, and have a mid-level Hornet that weights little to nothing as backup.

I usually play as Engineer, on Bronze the Combat Drone can take down a Brute by itself. Plus Incinerate is pretty good at tearing down Armour and knocking enemies back. 2 Engineers on Silver can hold a corridor down pretty easy.

Banshees and Phantoms are always a pain in the arse, but the most effective offensive is Teamwork. Though I know this can be hard to find.

Posted by dudeglove

So far on all three bronze games I've played, I've found little in the way of enemies doing decent flanking. Those Cerberus ninjas are bullshit btw.

Posted by rjayb89

I'd like sniper rifles more if they slowed down time in multiplayer, but obviously that would be a bad idea. I have like 7 sniper rifles, including the Widow, and I'm just poopy with them.

Posted by Deathmachine117

The Phaeston on full auto with concussive shots. Thats all I use and its pretty effective means. But it does tend to not work so well with the Reaper faction.

Does anyone have any tips to take banshees down fast ? They are the worst.

Posted by BonOrbitz

I've promoted a level 20 Vanguard and used the cheap-but-fun, Biotic Charge/Nova/Heavy Melee combo with great success on Bronze. I'm playing a soldier now and am wanting to explore Silver more so I can get more money, but I found more difficult than that enemies in that level is the fact that too many players are lonewolfing when we should be sticking together as a team. My very first multiplayer ME3 experience randomly found me on Silver with a team that stuck together and cooperated. We all survived and I shot up from level 1 to 9. I had no idea what the hell was happening but it was so much fun, especially the rewards but since then it's been difficult to get assigned to a reliable group.

Also, there's barely any communication more than "AAH! BRUTE! FUCK!".

The communication thing I chalk up to playing with strangers because of the lack of my friends playing ME3. Everyone isn't in their comfort zone. I find that the Bronze levels are fine if nobody communicates. I've never been with a team that didn't survive one of those.

Posted by heatDrive88

@onan said:

Geth shotty had a silver border, whatever that is.

Edit: I think a big problem is that many people, even the people who chose to play it solely as an action game played through the game as a Soldier, relying on time-slowing powers, ammo types, and popping up the menu to get a breath, resulting in a much slower game than the fast-paced multiplayer. adrenaline works nothing like it does in the main game in multi, either.

I did a quick Google search, and some sources say it had a gold border on the Geth Plasma Shotgun, so I'll wait it out a bit before I change anything.

That aside, I've really only encountered one viable soldier build that can moderately work on Gold, and it's a Turian Soldier spec'd for maximum weapon damage and stability, with heavy emphasis in the Marksman ability for accuracy. Geared up with a Revenant assault rifle, it is quite good at hammering masses of mobs, or even the Vindicator, it can be used quite effectively as a triple-burst headshot machine with perfect pinpoint accuracy. It's still ineffective for larger enemies like Brutes or Geth Primes and such, but it's about as good as it gets for Gold. On Bronze and even Silver, it works wonderfully though.

Posted by Tennmuerti
@Deathmachine117 said:

The Phaeston on full auto with concussive shots. Thats all I use and its pretty effective means. But it does tend to not work so well with the Reaper faction.

Does anyone have any tips to take banshees down fast ? They are the worst.

Spam biotic explosions.
Warp/Throw 6/6 works best, both with detonation and reduced cooldowns to 3 and 1.5 seconds respectively
 
If you are not a biotic:
Overload/Energy drain can take out their shields fast.
Then Incinerate and armor piercing ammo works best.
Posted by DrFlapjack

@Deathmachine117: "Concentrated fire from three or more teammates with adequate weaponry, supplemented by Energy Drain, Disruptor Rounds, Overload, Reave or Warp for the Barrier, and then Warp, Incendiary Rounds, Incinerate, Frag 'nades and Reave for their armour usually brings them down with no casualties.

You just need to work together. Two or more Banshees at once though is a death sentence without missiles."

Posted by BonOrbitz

@heatDrive88 said:

That aside, I've really only encountered one viable soldier build that can moderately work on Gold, and it's a Turian Soldier spec'd for maximum weapon damage and stability, with heavy emphasis in the Marksman ability for accuracy.

Does playing the different races have any effect on the character's abilities or is it strictly for aesthetics?

Posted by EuanDewar

There's still something about it that for some reason puts me off it everytime I go to sit down for a sesh'. Not sure what though. Still.

Posted by Tennmuerti
@bonorbitz said:

@heatDrive88 said:

That aside, I've really only encountered one viable soldier build that can moderately work on Gold, and it's a Turian Soldier spec'd for maximum weapon damage and stability, with heavy emphasis in the Marksman ability for accuracy.

Does playing the different races have any effect on the character's abilities or is it strictly for aesthetics?

different races have different abilities
Posted by onan

@heatDrive88 said:

@onan said:

Geth shotty had a silver border, whatever that is.

Edit: I think a big problem is that many people, even the people who chose to play it solely as an action game played through the game as a Soldier, relying on time-slowing powers, ammo types, and popping up the menu to get a breath, resulting in a much slower game than the fast-paced multiplayer. adrenaline works nothing like it does in the main game in multi, either.

I did a quick Google search, and some sources say it had a gold border on the Geth Plasma Shotgun, so I'll wait it out a bit before I change anything.

That aside, I've really only encountered one viable soldier build that can moderately work on Gold, and it's a Turian Soldier spec'd for maximum weapon damage and stability, with heavy emphasis in the Marksman ability for accuracy. Geared up with a Revenant assault rifle, it is quite good at hammering masses of mobs, or even the Vindicator, it can be used quite effectively as a triple-burst headshot machine with perfect pinpoint accuracy. It's still ineffective for larger enemies like Brutes or Geth Primes and such, but it's about as good as it gets for Gold. On Bronze and even Silver, it works wonderfully though.

Hm, maybe I'm misremembering it. I really liked the geth shotty and remember thinking it was under-ranked or something, but maybe I'm thinking of a different gun.

Posted by SlightConfuse

the multiplayer is really fun and requires team work for effectiveness. i wish the packs were a little less expensive but i guess people would not spend real money otherwise

Posted by heatDrive88

@bonorbitz said:

@heatDrive88 said:

That aside, I've really only encountered one viable soldier build that can moderately work on Gold, and it's a Turian Soldier spec'd for maximum weapon damage and stability, with heavy emphasis in the Marksman ability for accuracy.

Does playing the different races have any effect on the character's abilities or is it strictly for aesthetics?

The different races indeed have different abilities, and different health/shield stats. In most cases, different races even have different gameplay strategies.

For instance, the human Sentinel class in most typically heavy biotic combination artillery for DPS with emphasis on using Warp and then Throw. Depending how your fill your skill tree, the Tech Armor skill also provides a 20% power damage boost, and also some mild damage reduction to increase your survivability. However, the Krogan Sentinel is essentially a melee damage character and requires a completely different playstyle.

These different builds for the same class type aren't necessarily concrete either, as some people can really work different races and classes in different ways, but obviously effectiveness can vary based on your skill and approach. I think this alone can really speak to the depth in combat that might not be seen otherwise.

Posted by roughneck117

@Deathmachine117: Taking down the banshee is definitely the most difficult aspect in multiplayer. The one strategy that has worked for me is using a class with warp, mine being the Asari Adept. Hit her with two warps when shes doing her biotic jump move and you take the barriers down, and after that just keep warping here and shooting her, which takes down the armor fairly fast. It only works if you have one banshee though. Two or more and that strategy falls on its ass if youre alone. Warp has the advantage of being a power that can cause a biotic explosion, so hit her with warp and then with some other biotic power, like throw or something and that causes a biotic explosion which does high damage. Throw is also useful because if you have the barriers down, it will stagger them a bit, giving you the chance to zoom in and shoot her in her fucking face.

The class that ive found to be the most useful to me is the Asari Adept, or the Asari Vangaurd. Both classes have the stasis power, which will freeze most enemies, allowing you to shoot her to your hearts content, and also does damage when stasis wears off. A good idea is to have an infiltrator alongside or a sniper rifle with you, stasis the enemy, and shoot em in their faces. Works great. The number of times ive saved my team by hitting a phantom, engineer or rocked geth with stasis are too high to count.

Posted by heatDrive88

@bonorbitz: I know pick-up groups can be tough on anything harder than Bronze, but I think this is where your team's class make-up is most important, and where the RPG team elements start to shine. It's obviously not going to do anyone any good if your group is fully made up of Vanguards.

It's literally going to come down to 3 types of roles:

  1. DPS (Sentinels, Soldiers, Vanguards, most Adepts)
  2. Crowd Control (Asari classes with Stasis, but best done with Engineers and decoy skill)
  3. Objectives and team reviving (generally Infiltrator only thanks to cloak)
Posted by BonOrbitz

@heatDrive88 said:

@bonorbitz: I know pick-up groups can be tough on anything harder than Bronze, but I think this is where your team's class make-up is most important, and where the RPG team elements start to shine. It's obviously not going to do anyone any good if your group is fully made up of Vanguards.

It's literally going to come down to 3 types of roles:

  1. DPS (Sentinels, Soldiers, Vanguards, most Adepts)
  2. Crowd Control (Asari classes with Stasis, but best done with Engineers and decoy skill)
  3. Objectives and team reviving (generally Infiltrator only thanks to cloak)

You're absolutely right. You certainly show that it's a deeper multiplayer shooter then what it initially seems. How do you learn all this info?

Posted by innacces14

As a frequent Infiltrator player I just want to say one thing on behalf of the Quarian character; Stop shooting at the fuckin' sabotaged Geth Trooper/Rocket Trooper/Pyro/Prime and Cerberus Turret/Atlas. You wanna know why we keep getting shot? Cause you're killing our bait and bringing agro back on us whenever we bunker down for extract. Jeez.

Posted by heatDrive88

@bonorbitz said:

You're absolutely right. You certainly show that it's a deeper multiplayer shooter then what it initially seems. How do you learn all this info?

Strangely enough, from rummaging around the Bioware forums and Gamefaqs boards, and probably too many hours of gameplay on Gold.

Posted by Bass

I think a lot of people misunderstand their roles on the team when they choose a class. For instance, I see a lot of people that pick a human vanguard and then proceed to use a black widow or some other incredibly heavy weapon setup. If you really want to use such high caliber weapons, its a good idea to choose a class that gets substantial weapon damage buffs (infiltrator, soldier). Instead, they take the vanguard's most useful ability (to set off biotic explosions at an incredible rate) and completely neuter it.

Like mentioned on the previous page, certain classes fulfill certain roles. Some of those classes are better suited to handling those roles without help, while others are not. An Asari Adept, for instance, is pretty damn good regardless of what her teammates are. However, paired with a vanguard that knows what he/she is doing, this duo is quite a force to be reckoned with (the only downside being that vanguard's are vulnerable to instant-kill moves).

I really enjoy the multiplayer a lot. Its surprisingly deep, and bioware is doing a good job of supporting it already with a slew of promotions that incentivize continued play. That said, I wish they would work on the few bugs that there are. Its pretty annoying to play a Vanguard off host because you never know when your charge is going to send you floating through the top of the map. Using the Falcon off host is frustrating as well (if you are attempting to fire too fast, your projectile will disappear). If they spent some time working on this stuff I would be incredibly happy.

Posted by heatDrive88

@Bass: There is a Salarian Infiltrator in my Gold game right now using a Revenant.

/cry

Posted by dudeglove

Godammit write a general guide. I need this info.

Posted by oldschool2112

I am considering buying the game solely for the MP, which to me sounds way more interesting then the single player game. Couldn't get in to ME2. HOpe it goes on sale soon.

Posted by finnith

oh no someone mentioned single playerrrr

Posted by damswedon

My tip is if your skills aren't recharging during a firefight YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG! You should always be using your powers, even the skill isn't effective against an enemy it is almost always worth it.

Online
Posted by Sgykah

I just played a Krogan Battlemaster on silver. Is their ability to tank via high damage resistance, barrier, melee triggering of rage, and self healing through biotic charge as overpowered on gold as it is on silver? I mean, I liked the Krogan Sentinel, but the lack of real healing hamstringed his ability to tank; the Battlemaster can pretty much heal himself indefinitely.

Side note, I hate insta kill moves... :(