First Time in Mass Effect, Paragon or Renegade?

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#1 Posted by HBandell (10 posts) -

Yes yes I know, I'm very late to the party, but now that the big rush of big releases has been and gone I have some time free to embark on my first Mass Effect adventure.

I do have the intention, should I fall in love with the franchise (as I've been told will be a near inevitability), to play through 1 & 2 in time for 3's release, if I start now I reckon I can get both games done and dusted in time.

With that in mind, thinking ahead which side did/would you choose? Does being an asshole have more benefits than a saint or are the perks/consequences relative to the decisions? I'm right on the cusp of getting choices that will affect my status, wondering whether this lovely community has any recommendations. I've been told too that your Mass Effect character ports over to 2 and will do for 3, so I'm playing with a character setup I'd like to keep playing post-Mass Effect 1 (I'm a Soldier, the all round soldier-type class is generally the one I choose in an RPG).

Kinda tempted to be the biggest douche in the universe but I do tend to go through my first playthrough of a dichotomous game on the heavenly side of adventuring...

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#2 Posted by ZeForgotten (10368 posts) -

My first time through I normally pick whatever I would pick if I was the character in the game.  
But if being a huge douche is what you feel like doing then Femshep and Renegade is the way to go

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#3 Posted by Guided_By_Tigers (8020 posts) -

I'm evil on the first playthough of every game I play.

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#4 Posted by Ravenlight (8057 posts) -

Renegade all the way! There are a handful of situations where picking Paragon is a huge letdown and picking Renegade is awesome. I'm not sure if the inverse is true.

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#5 Posted by MideonNViscera (2269 posts) -

My first time through I always play as "me". As in, no strict alignment, case by case basis. However, the game does penalize you for being middle of the road. Some things, sometimes even HUGE things, require you to have one of the 2 bars nearly full or full.

So I say go Renegade, because ME2 Renegade Shepard is fucking priceless.

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#6 Posted by ShaggE (8455 posts) -

Paragade. (Renegon?) Be a complete pushover to your every whim. Be the very definition of a wild card.

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#7 Posted by HellBrendy (1139 posts) -

I would follow my heart first time around.

As for the character you are going to play ME 2 with, I would be as nice as possible. Renegade Shepard kills more or less any character you would other wise meet again in ME 2.

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#8 Posted by Klei (1798 posts) -

Renegade isn't cookie-cutter evil, it's more like, '' I'm not getting fucked. '' 
Because as a paragon, you are getting fucked. All the time. Now, if you man up, people see you as a renegade. And i'm fine with that.
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#9 Posted by Lazyaza (2485 posts) -

I have two commander shepards; my mostly paragon femshep who only occasionally kicks doods out windows but is generally nice and my all renegade all the time male shep who looks like the terminator and thoroughly enjoys punching reporters in the face.

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#10 Posted by MeierTheRed (5394 posts) -

Black or White? Use whatever you feel like. There won't be any huge difference in the end game anyhow.

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#11 Posted by Jimbo (10472 posts) -

I think it's a far more interesting piece of work if you play a renegade Shep. There's just no edge or tension to any of the racism / speciesism stuff if you're playing the same old boy scout you play in every game. Playing paragon turns it into more of a Return of the Jedi style love-in imo.

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#12 Posted by vilhelmnielsen (1770 posts) -

I wish I'd gone renegade, but now I'm stuck with self-righteous, asshole Shepard. I'm not starting over.

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#13 Posted by Firepaw (3060 posts) -

If you plan on going either good or bad (in this case, paragon or renegade) when going through these kind of games for the first time, you are playing them wrong.

You should do what you feel like in the situation (which for me seems to put me on the Renegade side of things in most games D:) and don't think about is the good option and what is the bad option, just what option you feel like your character would do/say, that way I find these kind of games much more enjoyable.

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#14 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8734 posts) -

Follow your mind.
I was mostly paragon but it really depended on who or what I was dealing with.

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#15 Posted by UnsolvedParadox (2005 posts) -

I'm Paragon the first time, then Renegade on the second play through.

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#16 Posted by Savage (642 posts) -

You should decide for yourself what you'd enjoy playing most. You're not locked in, so you can always change along the way (make your own character development!). Just don't feel obligated to go 100% with either alignment -- make choices based on the personality you like to envision for your Commander Shepard.

Also, the porting process from ME1 to ME2 will allow you to reshape the vast majority of your character (class, alignment, etc.), so don't feel that you'll be trapped with the same exact character in ME2 that you played in ME1. In fact, the story includes enough of a traumatic jump between ME1 and ME2 that it seems more plausible that Shepard wouldn't remain entirely the same person. And that's to say nothing of the presumed jump leading into ME3, which in all likelihood will again let you reshape your character significantly.

All that said, renegade femshep is actually the only way to play Mass Effect.

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#17 Posted by Humanity (16540 posts) -

Do full Renegade all the time. Theres plenty of awesome situations and it just feels like you're in charge rather than a dick. Other games make the evil track seem like you're some sort of huge jerk but in Mass Effect - 1 especially - you just feel RIGHT. You're a Spectre, out to save the universe, you're not taking shit from reporters, merchants or pansy dock workers.

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#18 Posted by Brodehouse (10827 posts) -

I dunno, Mass Effect 2 the renegade options make you seem pragmatic and direct. Mass Effect 1 the renegade options make you seem racist and enjoying the misery of the weak.

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#19 Edited by pyromagnestir (4470 posts) -

I just chose the what seemed to me to be the most interesting choice to each situation for my first character.

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#20 Posted by Undeadpool (6024 posts) -

The cool thing is that it's not really a matter of "good" or "evil," it's "compassionate" vs "efficient." With that in mind, which of those two sounds more appealing?

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#21 Posted by Buscemi (1125 posts) -

I've played through them both a loads of times, but as the third one's coming I'm playing them again. And I've decided how my character is going to play out. In ME I was the good guy, not always Paragon, there were a few Renegade options, but basically the good guy. In ME2 I was kind of transformed into this bitter guy who everybody thought was dead, that everybody had forgotten and moved on from. So In like 75% of the cases I'm Renegade. Only if there is someone truly in need of some kindness I will give it to them. The third one is going to be a mixture of the two, I've seen some stuff now. Renegade, Paragon, whatever you like, man!

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#22 Posted by Fozimuth (177 posts) -

I liked Paragon in the first game, usually Shepard would actually say something smart. Then the morality system was just a mess in the second game. All of the Renegade actions were completely thuggish (punching people, shoving them out of windows, stabbing them in the back), and you got Renegade or Paragon for the strangest things. I remember Joker says the ship is under fire, and if you ask if everyone is okay, you get Renegade points? What?

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#23 Posted by StarvingGamer (11401 posts) -

I think it's worth plaything through each of the games twice at least, once for Paragon and once for Renegade. If you are set on choosing only one, I'd make it Renegade FemShep.

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#24 Posted by Nottle (1933 posts) -

I think the most interesting way to play the game is to choose what you think is right. Being so polar and predictable is kind of boring. I tend to lean on the paragon side, but some renegade options are pretty awesome. It just depends on the situation.

Oddly enough one of my least favorite things about the Mass Effect games is the paragon and renegade system. You can't just make choices, you have some meters judging you all the time. The game rewards you for being one way or the other. I you want to lay somewhere in between your worse off gameplay wise. Just a fair warning, when you get to Mass effect 2 don't do both Miranda and Jack's or Tali and Legion's loyalty missions until you have either a high renegade or paragon meter. I really wish these games would have more tough choices to make so many of them just seem like the bad guy or good guy response.

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#25 Posted by Mike76x (559 posts) -

My first play is always full paragon. Be nice to everyone even if I would personally wouldn't.

This is the future man, what would Picard do?

Then when you go full renegade it almost feels like a new game.

After that I mix it up when playing again for achievements.

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#26 Posted by Soapy86 (2740 posts) -

Don't "pick a side". That's stupid. Just make the decisions that make sense to you and don't worry about how it affects your morality meters. I really wish they didn't put those in the game.

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#27 Posted by MideonNViscera (2269 posts) -

@Soapy86 said:

Don't "pick a side". That's stupid. Just make the decisions that make sense to you and don't worry about how it affects your morality meters. I really wish they didn't put those in the game.

Without my meter how would I know it's ok to go to Virmire, or do the loyalty missions?

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#28 Edited by Mr_Skeleton (5195 posts) -

If you want to choose one side than paragon in the first game and renegade in the second. Of course this is kind of a bad way to play the game because the game lets you be both good and bad you should choose what you think fits the moment or how you feel about the situation and this will make the game much more interesting and unique to you (it will mostly affect the second and third game).

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#29 Posted by Solidfox (63 posts) -

My first playthrough was going to me a "me" Shep. However being the apparent goody good that I am, I was mostly a Paragon... I found the experience more fun and personal being a "me" character. While being put into a perk basis, it feels more like dumping points into a bucket and hoping you get a good ending. For story's sake, it might be more fun with a "me" character.

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#30 Posted by karatetron (698 posts) -

Renegade is the only way to play.

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#31 Posted by kermoosh (919 posts) -

whatever side you choose is up to you but i wouldn't be a soldier

i was a soldier on my first playthrough and it was alright, but on my 2nd playthrough i played as the vanguard (biotic/soldier) and i found that to be more fun, cus shooting people only goes so far, with vanguard you get most guns and get to use the force

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#32 Posted by ObsideonDarman (828 posts) -

Just choose the dialogue options that appeal most to you. Make sure and choose Female Shepard though, Jennifer Hale puts in a far better performance in both Games than the guy who voices Male Shepard plus she is so much more of a badass than him.

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#33 Posted by astonish (234 posts) -

Either pick a style to role-play or, more fun in my opinion, choose what you would choose IRL. Both paths, and even the middle path are all interesting. The only arguable point is that renegade is funnier in that "shepard is a total dick" kinda way

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#34 Posted by JCTango (1500 posts) -

Female Renegade Shepherd is the way to go. She just oozes kick-assitude.

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#35 Posted by MezZa (2795 posts) -

A little bit of both. When you're faced with a decision pick whichever you would actually do. Don't get bogged down with being perfectly paragon or perfectly renegade your first time through. Doing so makes Shepard less of an interesting character imo.

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#36 Posted by Hargreaves93 (267 posts) -

I usually play Paragon when I first play through a game but this game is so much better when you play as a Renegade - some of the options are hilarious!

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#37 Posted by project343 (2895 posts) -

@ShaggE said:

Paragade. (Renegon?) Be a complete pushover to your every whim. Be the very definition of a wild card.

Renegon sounds like a real bad Transformer reject.

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