Mining In Mass Effect 2

So, I just finished ME 2 recently, and I found that the story, fiction, and dialogue all to be well written.  Also, the changes from ME 1 were welcome.  All of them except for one, the mining.  Being that the game's been out a while now, I've seen all the reviews about it, and all mentioned that the mining was a bit boring, but easy to overlook.  That IMO, is the understatement of the year.  If it wasn't for the satisfying story and interesting characters, it would be game breaking.  I know it was done in lieu of the Mako, but wow, it's almost as if the designer who brought us the Mako, thought, "oh, so fans aren't crazy about my Mako idea, eh?",  sat down with utter contempt in his heart and set to work on the mining aspect of ME 2.  That part makes me want to tear my hair out.  Am I alone in this?  It was crazy how terrible it was and how much it was given an overwhelming pass by most of the media.  It felt as if we were misled by all the comments.  It was like saying, getting hit by a bus is going to sting just a "little". 

19 Comments
20 Comments
Posted by Santa_8aby

So, I just finished ME 2 recently, and I found that the story, fiction, and dialogue all to be well written.  Also, the changes from ME 1 were welcome.  All of them except for one, the mining.  Being that the game's been out a while now, I've seen all the reviews about it, and all mentioned that the mining was a bit boring, but easy to overlook.  That IMO, is the understatement of the year.  If it wasn't for the satisfying story and interesting characters, it would be game breaking.  I know it was done in lieu of the Mako, but wow, it's almost as if the designer who brought us the Mako, thought, "oh, so fans aren't crazy about my Mako idea, eh?",  sat down with utter contempt in his heart and set to work on the mining aspect of ME 2.  That part makes me want to tear my hair out.  Am I alone in this?  It was crazy how terrible it was and how much it was given an overwhelming pass by most of the media.  It felt as if we were misled by all the comments.  It was like saying, getting hit by a bus is going to sting just a "little". 

Edited by Binks37

I almost prefer the mako over the mining.  It basically came down to me grinding it out for the last achievements, but in a game where there was so many new features and changes from the orignal, there was bound to be something that wouldn't work out.
Posted by Santa_8aby

Firstly, hey Binks, how the hell are ya?
 
Now to business at hand.  Sure, there were quite a few omissions and additions, but I feel that if they left the mining out and replaced it with something else, more fun or left it out all together, I don't think many people would protest it, nor would it be game breaking.  It seemed like a terrible design choice that left a very ugly blemish, on what otherwise was an excellent game from beginning to end.  If they didn't want you to break the economy by having access to all the upgrades at the beginning, perhaps a less offensive way to do that would be to pace the upgrades as they did the experience.   What do you think?

Posted by Beforet

I just want the mako back. =\

Posted by Crafted92

i want a completely new system for collecting minerals :P
Edited by HitmanAgent47

You don't need to mine everything, skip the planets that said anything other than rich. Still during my first play through I actually mined every planet. At least they let you keep your minerals for your next play though.

Posted by Alex_Murphy

I didn't mind it at first, but now I'm on my third playthrough (going for the insanity level achievement) and it is starting to get on my nerves a bit.

Posted by RJM

"it stinks" - jay sherman

Posted by Santa_8aby
@HitmanAgent47:  I, like you, mined almost every planet.  After beating the game, I had over 300,000 of every element except element 0.  When I started my 2nd playthrough, it immediately gave me a bonus of 50,000 but when I got to my ship, I only had the 50,000 and not the 300,000+ that I mined the 1st time.  So, I don't think they allow you to keep your minerals which is a major bummer, since I spent a few hours doing it the 1st time.  Bioware should have said, "you know what, you were a good little worker bee, we won't bore you a 2nd time around, you can keep your minerals from the 1st playthrough."    I don't think it would ruin the game, in fact, I think it would be more compelling for a 2nd playthrough, since you don't have to do the boring nonsense.  It's kinda like you ate your vegetables, now you can get to the meat & potatoes.  What do you think?
Posted by Santa_8aby
@Alex_Murphy:  You tolerated it to a point, which is the most, I think that the majority of people can do.  You can excuse it only so far, thus the purpose of this blog.  Man, I am totally with you on this.  I've started my insanity playthough and the only thing that prevents me from plowing through it, is that damn mineral mining, I know awaits me.  Good luck to you though.
Posted by PhatSeeJay

I would have been able to forgive the mining a bit more if the scanner upgrade actually made the scanner fast.. It more changed the pace from a grinding halt to painfully slow. :P

Posted by haggis

The mining didn't actually bother me all that much, but I can see how some would be aggravated by it. I think it was a missed opportunity. They could have made it an entertaining little side-game, and instead made it a but tedious. But it wasn't just that the mining was required for upgrades, but that there was no mining market. Often I found myself with way too much of one element and not nearly enough of another. There should have been some kind of market for minerals that would allow trading. That would have taken the edge off of going from planet to planet (especially during a first playthrough) looking for eezo and finding nothing. That was frustrating.
 
I still think that they cut too far back on upgrades, weapons, and armor components. The little bit of customization they offered was nice, but not enough for an RPG. The first game gave us too many choices with few differences. This game gave us the opposite. I think adding in a marketplace for trading minerals and allowing us to use minerals to buy upgrades would have made that aspect of the game more acceptable. I certainly wouldn't have minded mining if there was something more tangible as a result of spending time doing it.
 
I expect massive changes to the system in ME3. I hope. Almost all the reviews for the game were glowing, but nearly all of them pointed to mining as a problem. Bioware listened well last time, so let's hope they do so again.

Posted by riffingt0n

I thought (still in the middle of my first playthrough) that the mining was pretty terrible at first.  But it got a lot better when I realized:
 
* Feathering the scan button is sufficient for finding the big stuff 90% of the time, and vastly faster
* You don't need that many minerals really, I just find Rich planets, probe a couple spikes until it's good or moderate and move on
* There's no advantage to 'storing up' minerals.  I just mined as needed, being a little choosy about what to upgrade.
 
Now I occasionally spend 5-10 minutes on it here and there but it is way faster than the old Mako levels.
 
It's not as good as it should be, but definitely a step in the right direction in terms of tedium from driving around that Mako.

Posted by Kyreo
@Beforet said:
" I just want the mako back. =\ "
I made the Mako fun by jumping up and down a little bit as I was going straight and it made it look like it was a little girl bouncing up in a field of flowers .
Edited by Egge

The ME2 mining is a perfect example of a situation in which obsessive compulsive completionist tendencies can really screw you over. Mining is needed far less than you might think...but you wouldn't know it if you were under the impression (as a lot of us were during our first playthroughs) that there were most likely good reasons to mine all or most of the star systems.

Posted by Garrus

Fuck the mining, Bioware. Give us a fricking minerals merchant or something. I have more palladium than I know what the hell to do with yet I never have enough platinum.

Posted by FalconCritical

Most of us now should have the achievement for finishing ME2 twice or importing a ME1 character and finishing ME2.  My point being once you have that achievement you start the game with 50k in each resource, which is plenty enough eezo to never have to mine that again.  In terms of the other elements you can pretty much get all that you need from the Omega system, so if you mine there early on you'll never have to again.  Oh and only mine the super spikes, a proper peak normally nets you like 2k in a resource, whereas a mid peak can be like 300.

Posted by Santa_8aby
@haggis:  You make some good points.  Anything done to make the game less tedious is an improvement.  Having a mineral market would be a good addition to solve the excess/deficiency problem. 
 
 That being said, why should there be any tedium in a game.  Is there some kind of rule stating games can't be all fun?  I'd be in favor of having missions to hijack or "confiscate" goods or minerals from ne'er do-wells.  At least then it wouldn't feel like work.  Arguably the best part of playing ME is the action/shooting element.  So why not play to their strengths?  
 
@riffingt0n: I also pulled and released the trigger in order to speed up the mining process and was more selective in the planets I mined towards the end.  Admittedly, I overmined quite a bit during my 1st playthrough, but more to the point, I think we'd all agree that doing the actual mining itself is in no way fun or enjoyable. But I like the suggestions, may help some ease the pain. 
 
@Garrus:  Don't sugar coat it, say it like it is. :)
Posted by haggis
@Santa_8aby: No tedium would be great. But compared to the grinding in most RPGs, what Mass Effect 2 demands isn't that bad. Honestly, devs revert to grinding to lengthen the main quest. Silly, I think, when ME2 clocks in at thirty hours or so. I think any minigame is going to be tedious to some people. Mining didn't bother me, but I'm sure I'm in the minority on that. I trust Bioware to do better next time.
Posted by Icil

It should be, "Hey, we launched some probes. Go retrieve them in the MAKO!" Kill some shit on that planet, and get minerals as rewards.
 
I just want the Mako back. They'd improve the controls and Dune-wyrm battles would be epic.