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Mass Effect Legendary Edition Will Get Rebalancing, Tuning, and Mechanical Improvements

When Mass Effect Legendary Edition is released, it will include all single-player content and DLC from Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, and Mass Effect 3 remastered for the modern day. BioWare has now gone into detail on the gameplay rebalancing, tuning and mechanical improvements they’ll be implementing into the game.

Combat Tuning

As the series progressed, combat changed throughout the three games. The first game was inspired by traditional RPG mechanics whereas the latter two games’ combat felt more accurate and reliable. The result is the team has made changes to combat within the first game. Accuracy has been improved so firepower is more consistent while still having to monitor shots and the overheat meter. Aiming down sights is more accurate thanks to a tighter camera view, and aim assist is more precise. Some abilities have been rebalanced too, such as Immunity that now provides a limited time powerful defensive buff instead of a permanent smaller buff. These are the main changes made to the first game:

  • Shepard can now sprint out of combat
  • Melee attacks are now mapped to a button press rather than automatically occurring based on proximity to an enemy
  • Weapon accuracy and handling has been significantly improved
    • Reticle bloom is more controlled
    • Weapon sway removed from sniper rifles
    • Aiming down sights/”tight aim” camera view has been improved
    • Improved aim assist for target acquisition
  • All relevant enemies now take headshot damage in the first game
    • Previously some did not, including humanoid enemies
  • Ammo mods (Anti-Organic, Anti-Synthetic, etc.) can now drop throughout the whole game
    • Previously, these stopped dropping at higher player levels
    • They are now also available to purchase from merchants
  • All weapons can be used by any class without penalty
    • Specializations (the ability to train/upgrade certain weapons) are still class-specific
  • Weapons cool down much faster
  • Medi-gel usage has been improved
    • Base cooldown reduced
    • Levelling benefits increased
    • Increased Liara’s bonus to cooldowns
  • Inventory management improvements
    • Items can now be flagged as “Junk”
    • All Junk items can be converted into Omni-gel or sold to merchants at once
    • Inventory and stores now have sorting functionality
  • Some abilities have been rebalanced
  • Weapon powers (i.e., those that are unlocked on each weapon type’s skill tree) have been improved:
    • Effectiveness/strength is increased (duration reduced in some cases)
    • Heat now resets on power activation

Additional Gameplay Improvements

The first game wasn’t the only one that needed some love and attention in terms of combat. The team has also tuned some encounters, enemies, and “how you engage in combat” across the trilogy. Mass Effect‘s XP progression has been rebalanced to be more consistent, especially near the end of the game; players can “more reliably” get to a higher level on a single playthrough and there’s no first playthrough level cap anymore. Ammo drop rate has also been increased in Mass Effect 2 as it was “spawning too scarcely”.

  • Squadmates can now be commanded independently of each other in the first Mass Effect, the same way you can command them individually in Mass Effect 2 and 3
  • Some boss fights and enemies in the first game have been tweaked to be fairer for players but still challenging
  • Cover has been improved across the trilogy
    • Additional cover added to some encounters
    • Entering and exiting cover is now more reliable
  • XP has been rebalanced in the first game
  • Ammo drops have been rebalanced in Mass Effect 2

The Mako

The M-35 Mako gained quite a reputation in Mass Effect, and it wasn’t necessarily a good one. The vehicle has now been calibrated so it isn’t as light and bouncy. While the ride is now smoother, players will be glad to know they can still drive off cliffs. There are new rear thrusters to help players boost up near-vertical surfaces and they work independently from the jump jets. Shields also recharge at a faster rate. This is the full list of changes to the vehicle:

  • Improved handling
    • Physics tuning improved to feel “weightier” and slide around less
  • Improved camera controls
    • Resolved issues preventing the Mako from accurately aiming at lower angles
  • Shields recharge faster
  • New thrusters added for a speed boost
    • Its cooldown is separate from the jump jets’
  • The XP penalty while in the Mako has been removed
  • Touching lava no longer results in an instant Mission Failure and instead deals damage over time

Unifying & Modernizing the Trilogy

The team has tried to make the trilogy more consistent between games. The Mass Effect: Genesis comics will be available before Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3, allowing players to make choices from earlier games even if they don’t want to play them. The character creator customisation options for Shepard have been unified, textures and hair models have been updated, and new options have been added, like skin tones and hairstyles. The same character creator codes can be used in all three games so Shepard can look the same across all three games if players choose. The full list of changes is below:

  • New unified launcher for all three games
    • Includes trilogy-wide settings for subtitles and languages
    • Saves are still unique to each game and can be managed independently of each other
  • Updated character creator options, as mentioned above
    • FemShep from Mass Effect 3 is the new default female option in all three games (the original FemShep design is still available as a preset option)
  • Achievements across the trilogy have been updated
    • New achievements have been added to the trilogy
    • Progress for some achievements now carries over across all three games (e.g. Kill 250 enemies across all games)
      • Achievements that were streamlined into one and made redundant were removed
    • A number of achievements have had their objectives/descriptions and/or names updated
  • Integrated weapons and armor DLC packs
    • Weapons and armor DLC packs are now integrated naturally into the game; they’re obtainable via research or by purchasing them from merchants as you progress through the game, rather than being immediately unlocked from the start. This ensures overall balance and progression across ME2 and ME3
    • Recon Hood (ME2) and Cerberus Ajax Armor (ME3) are available at the start of each game
  • Additional gameplay & Quality of life improvements
    • Audio is remixed and enhanced across all games
    • Hundreds of legacy bugs from the original releases are fixed
    • Native controller and 21:9 display support on PC, with DirectX 11 compatibility

Galaxy at War Rebalancing

To help players in the war against the Reapers, the Galaxy At War feature has been rebalanced. Galactic Readiness can’t be affected by multiplayer or the now-defunct Mass Effect 3 companion app. Players are still encouraged to complete as much content as they can before they reach the final fights so they’re as prepared as they’re ever going to be. Those who only play Mass Effect 3 will need to do “just about every option available” to get an ending that doesn’t result in huge losses. Preparing for the final fight is now more difficult in the Legendary Edition than it was when playing Mass Effect 3 with the now default Extended Cut ending. The good news is some moments in Mass Effect 2 are now more reliable to complete thanks to improvements to the Paragon-Renegade system — accurate reputation stats are displayed and all dialogue options are selectable when they should be.

Mass Effect Legendary Edition will be released on May 14 on PlayStation 4. The title will also be compatible on PlayStation 5 and will include performance enhancements for the new console.

[Source: EA]

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