The PVC3 Mass Effect 2 Thread

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by AKS, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. I've been buying and playing through the Mass Effect 2 DLC recently, as well as playing through the game on the Insanity difficulty using classes I hadn't used much before.

    First, I'll post my class overview opinions, which I reworked from my PVC1 post.

    I've concluded that the Infiltrator class is definitely the best in the game, followed by the Adept. I have the Hardcore and Insanity difficulties in mind with my opinions and recommendations. My class tiers:


    Infiltrator- Very few weaknesses. Instantly headshot kill things before they even know you are there. Offensive punch of cloaked Widow headshots is godly; cloak both adds massive damage boost and provides a fantastic method to escape danger. Has a terrific combination of some of the best abilities: Incinerate, Disruptor/Cryo Ammo, Cloak, and AI Hacking (I use 1 point for distraction purposes) standard! Just add Reave (I choose Heavy Reave for my character) or AP/Warp Ammo and you have the god class.

    Adept- Singularity is an elite power. Little need to worry about limitations of ammo (i.e., endless attacks available). Singularity combines for incredible AoE distruction with Warp in particular, plus Singularity provides a great method of escape. Singularity sometimes slowly drains defenses such as shields while slowing down enemies with brief stun animations when protected by defenses. Can easily curve attacks around to blast even enemies trying to hide behind cover. No weapon or power can obliterate Husks like Singularity; it's unreal. Need to include party members with biotics to take full advantage of Singularity and other powers (such as Thane, Miranda, or Samara w/ Pull). Warp Ammo is a good choice, which gets bonus with enemies caught in Singularity. A bit squishy defensively, but it's less of a problem than you might think initially because of the ranged biotic powers available to you; just take care not to get rushed and use Singularity and beat feet if you do.


    Sentinel- Tech Armor is fantastic and lasts until destroyed rather than time limited. Good at breaking down defenses. Very flexible class; perhaps even more so than the Infiltrator class. A bit weak offensively until Advanced Weapons training, when you should probably add Assault Rifles. Good class, and better than good if you pick the right squad members that compliment the Sentinel's abilities. An excellent class for beginners, as it's hard to screw up in terms of upgrading the class or party members. Pretty decent mix of powers and abilities.

    Soldier- May initially seem like an elite class with Revenant LMG, but ever run out of ammo and you are toast. Not much available other than shooting. Rather boring to use. Easy to learn and use if you prefer simple shooters over RPGs. Adrenaline Rush is a very handy ability offensively or defensively depending on the situation. Can use all weapons, including the Revenant and Widow. Durable.

    Party Dependent:

    Engineer- Fun to use tactically, but always feels limited offensively to me, which is not ideal on time-sensitive battles. Organic/Biotic enemies can be a problem (this happens to include some of your most dangerous enemies unfortunately), requiring you to depend more on your squad. I'd recommend adding AP Ammo and Assault rifles; upgrade Incinerate, Overload, and AP Ammo (if you took my advice and added it) as soon as possible. Very capable against synthetic enemies, especially with AI Hacking. Drone spawns are extremely fast, making class master at distracting foes. An Armitage favorite, who will probably disagree with me for placing the Engineer so low.

    Vanguard- Easily the most difficult class to use in my view. Your bread and butter offense is Biotic Charge followed up by shotgun headshots, which I will admit does more damage than you'd think. Close range combat isn't that easy on the Insanity difficulty, so be prepared to die often. Other biotic powers kinda suck, especially Shockwave. Definitely have your squad try to take out shields and other defenses as quickly as possible. Adding a defensive power like Fortification can be a good idea, but then you have issues with competition with cooldowns of your Biotic Charge, which is constantly needed to get into shotgun range and for the brief shield boost it gives you. Make sure you pick a good squad because you'll probably need to lean on them often. Terrible at long range. You may want to have Garrus in your party, who is good at breaking shields and can provide you with Squad AP Ammo. Not very good against synthetic enemies. High risk/ mediocre reward. Can use all shotguns, including the Krogan shotgun, the Claymore.

    I've also been buying and playing through the DLC packs recently. I'll give a brief overview of some of the DLC I've played recently avoiding spoilers as much as possible.

    Firewalker Pack:

    I had this available to me for free all along somewhere in the Bioware website and it's crappy Bioware points interface but didn't realize this until I started buying DLC. Regardless, this DLC is mostly vehicle based and was a bit disappointing. You have a few missions to run through, and the controls are slightly wonky. It's OK.

    Shadow Broker:

    By far the best Mass Effect 2 DLC I've tried. Definitely buy this. I'd say it's about 2 to 4 times longer than a recruitment or loyalty mission. The Infiltrator is custom made for the final fight; that part was too easy with that class. There are some nice battles, and the environment in which it takes place looks awesome. The story is really good, but I'm not going to include any spoilers about it. It's well worth trying. You also get some nice features with this pack; one includes the much needed ability to re-spec party members.

    I have not yet tried Overload (downloading currently) or Kasumi yet. I'll update this later. I haven't purchased the Kasumi DLC yet.
  2. Nah, I don't disagree, that seems a fair assessment of the engineer to me. I agree that the main reason engineers are so squad dependant is that the majority of the enemies you face are biological in this game (or utilise biotic barriers). This is the reverse of the first game where synthetic enemies were the dominant foe, which was where engineers were one of the most powerful classes.
  3. I think AP Ammo and adding ARs cover a lot of the offensive weaknesses of the Engineer. The final component of the most powerful organic enemies is often armor, and no ammunition stings armor or health more than AP Ammo. If someone else can take down barriers (Warp Ammo is an alternative to AP but gets outperformed in every way except against barriers) the Engineer and a good squad can hang with tough organic enemies.

    BTW, how would you you rank the classes, Armitage?
  4. That is true, but you must still rely on your team mate for dealing with large amounts of enemies utilising biotic barriers.
  5. I was thinking of a Samara Reave/ Miranda Warp attack on biotic barriers followed by AP Ammo AR/ Incinerate from Shepard to finish the job against enemies like the Collectors. I can't think of a good 1-man army method to unleash hell on them like the Infiltrator with Reave and the Widow can.

    Alternative: If you like Garrus you could first use Squad AP ammo at the start of the mission, then use Heavy Warp Ammo for just Shepard. That would be very potent in terms of weapon damage for everyone in the party, and Shepard could take down barriers by himself (herself?).
  6. That was what I was thinking but still he'd be reliant on some squad member for an ability of theirs, in this case, Garrus. Still that seems reasonable for a way to bypass the need for direct biotic attacks to remove barriers.
  7. You'd need Garrus in your party, but the effects of ammo last the entire mission. If you used it in the first 10 seconds and Garrus was KOed the rest of the mission you wouldn't actually need him to do anything.

    Or you could always use Squad Warp Ammo to simplify things, but I personally think you're giving up more of an advantage than you're getting going Warp over AP with the exception of the Adept, as Warp Ammo gets an extra bonus when attacking an enemy is being influenced by biotics (caught in a Singularity for example). In most situations and levels AP Ammo outperforms Warp Ammo. Tungsten (lvl 4 AP specialization) gets like a 70% bonus or 50% for Squad AP Ammo versus 50% and 35% with Warp Ammo. Are barriers alone worth a 15% to 20% drop in bonus damage? In most cases they aren't.
  8. The first time through I played as a soldier and relied heavily upon the Revenant LMG. You're right about it being a rather boring class. While you can use every weapon, you don't have much in the way of special abilities. It's a class for people who aren't really into RPGs who want to cruise through on a lower difficulty setting. I think my second time through I'll play as an infiltrator on a higher difficulty setting. That was the class I played in the original game. In the first game, I found the infiltrator a bit too specialized and wished I had played as a soldier, but it sounds like it's a better class this time around.
  9. You should import your Infiltrator file from ME1. It was cool to see Wrex alive and a lot of the people resurfacing in ME2 based on choices I had made in ME1.
  10. @AKS

    Do Overlord and Lair of the Shadow Broker work with the Steam version? I've been wanting to try them.
  11. Yes, they do work with the Steam version. You need to close all ME2 related stuff first and then an installer program takes care of the rest.
  12. If you're into comics Mass Effect: Evolution #2 covers the origins of the Illusive Man.

  13. Does that include an explanation of those creepy but cool looking cybernetic eyes?
  14. I expect that it would. The picture looks like he's getting eyes adjusted.
  15. I always thought the Illusive Man could have been quite a bit more illusive.
  16. The AKS Vanguard Strategy Post

    I've found some damn good strategies for using the Vanguard class I thought I'd share.

    First, I'd recommend going with Reave and Assault Rifles (Mattock AR if available) as your extra ability and weapons training. Of course you'll want to fully upgrade your shotgun and anything related to shields considering that this class engages in the closest range combat of any class in the game. Common sense. I'd choose the Eviscerator shotgun over the Krogan Claymore shotgun, which requires a reload after only 1 shot.

    Next, I'd strongly recommend fully upgrading Reave to Heavy Reave, which can be crucial for taking down biotic barriers. You'll be surprised how effective it is at this if you max biotic upgrades. Also, Reave may be the best biotic power in the entire game (Reave and Singularity are 1a and 1b) and is quite useful in a variety of situations.

    I'd recommend going with the Champion path for a bit of extra health and especially faster recharge. The key to using this class is to charge enemies and then immediately blast them in the head with your shotgun. Charging gives you a big shield boost and couple seconds of bullet time slowdown with Heavy Charge, which is when you need to blast them point blank and then quickly get to cover. It's a good idea to try to pick off strays from the pack near cover, and you can also charge to the other side of the enemy line to put the squeeze on them, making it extremely difficult for them to find effective cover.

    The charge itself is more defensive/passive in nature and doesn't do much damage alone. It very briefly stuns, gives you a temporary huge shield boost, and almost instantly puts you in the perfect position to deliver a point blank shot from a buffed shotgun. It's the close range shotgun blast you deliver immediately afterwards that gives you the massive damage, not the Charge itself. You can fly right through most obstacles in charging, but you have to be targeting an enemy in an area that is accessible. It looks a lot like the attack from the werewolf in that old SEGA game, Altered Beast. Another secret strategy that really helps is shooting them with the shotgun, throw in a quick melee to stun them, and then immediately unleash a second shotgun blast. Few enemies will survive that.

    In general, I think Incendiary Ammo is a bit redundant for most classes given AP Ammo usually outperforms it in terms of damage. However, this is not the case with the Vanguard class. Incendiary Ammo causes a brief sun animation from the fire, which is crucial for the Vanguard's high risk style of play. I chose to fully upgrade this ammo to Inferno Ammo for just Shepard, which is very damaging and also explodes for splash damage and more stuns, and it also stops health regen. Incendiary Ammo is very well suited to the Vanguard's needs, and I strongly recommend fully upgrading it to Inferno Ammo. It just sucks a bit against mechs, so have a party member use squad ammo for you in that situation.

    For party ammo, I usually have Garrus first cast Squad AP Ammo or Jack cast Squad Warp Ammo and then cast Inferno Ammo over it for just Shepard (except for mechs, although it stil burns the hell out of armor).

    I found that one of the best parties for a Vanguard fully upgraded in this way is Miranda and Garrus (squad AP) for most occasions and Miranda and Jack (squad Warp) for strictly biotic/organics (such as the Collectors). Miranda is a perfect compliment to the Vanguard, as you can allocate a point to Pull for Warp explosion combos, she can use Overload for shields, and you get the extra party health bonus. Always take Miranda if you are a Vanguard.