I’ve been playing quite a bit of Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer mode, and I have a few tips to share. All just based on my observations.
Credits Uber Alles
You can gain XP just by participating in multiplayer, but you can only advance so far. Level 20 isn’t an instant-win. Credits are your real measure of progression, so make sure your multiplayer efforts are designed to maximize your credits.
Focus on surviving Bronze challenges. If you can do that, see if you can survive through wave 6 of Silver. Once you start beating Silver, see if you can survive through wave 6 of Gold. But if you can’t survive that long, don’t feel bad about retreating to a lower difficulty. You’re just being smart and maximizing your effort-to-reward ratio.
Open Recruit Packs
Recruit Packs only come with low-quality items, but they come with a LOT of them. A Spectre Pack might grant you 10 consumable items and a level 3 boost. For the price, you can buy twelve Recruit Packs, which will give you 24 consumable items and 12 level 1 boosts.
The boosts aren’t as powerful, but the important thing is that you have a LOT of them. Enough to equip a boost in every match, and to equip the boosts you WANT, not just the ones you happen to have on hand.
Equip your equipment
In particular, ammo powers are great. I had a lot of fun with level 1 Disruptor ammo, which caused any Cerberus agent I tagged with my sniper rifle to go into electrified convulsions (and be easy prey to a follow-up shot).
Read your ‘Training’ power
Every race has a slightly different ‘Alliance Training’ power. Turians get weapon stability naturally, and others get more or less weapon damage and power damage. Make sure your race and class match your play style.
It’s okay not to shoot
In a recent match, my three teammates were repelling an attack, unleashing a hailstorm of bullets down a hallway. Rather than join in, I chose to turn around and watch our flank. It meant that for 30 seconds or so, I was just looking at walls, not shooting or using powers. And that’s okay. I trusted my teammates to handle the main fight.
You need a trick for more damage
On Silver and Gold, shooting your enemies in the torso just isn’t going to cut it. You need a trick to boost your damage. Maybe you focus on setting up or executing biotic combos or tech combos. Maybe you take a Revenant and maximize your close-range shredding, or learn to use a sniper rifle effectively so you can reliably hit the head. Even better, you might coordinate with a partner, such as an Asari locking a target with Stasis so a Krogan can line up a heavy melee hit.
Vanguards and Krogan become a liability, but you can work it out
Melee-focused classes love being in the thick of enemies, furiously lashing out with attacks. Unfortunately, this means that their shield can vanish in an instant, and once they fall, they’re in the middle of a horde of enemies. On Silver and above, this happens unacceptably quickly.
Learn your limits. If your team is effectively sniping targets from a window, you do not need to Biotic Charge down there and mix it up. If you’re dealing with a cluster of enemies, target your charge at weak targets and enemies on the edge of the cluster. It doesn’t help to bravely charge and kill a Geth Hunter if you place yourself right between two Geth Pyros.
A Krogan can be patient, softening approaching targets with their shotgun before finishing them off with a headbutt. Krogan are great at covering hallways, where enemies are funneled in a narrow line. In order to do this, they need to resist their urge to charge forward after a kill, but instead retreat back into position, ready to attack the next target that comes forward.
Also, don’t get locked in a single strategy. So many Vanguards just Charge>Nova>Charge>Nova. Learn to quickly assess the battlefield in that moment after a hit. If you don’t see a target in range, why Nova? If you’re in the thick of things, is there a way you can Charge away to safety?
I’m loving ME3 multiplayer because it rewards intelligence. Spend more time thinking and less time hammering buttons, and you’re on the road to success!
Problem: Non-host players have no control over multiplayer.
There’s something for everyone in Burnout Paradise! There’s online races, stunt runs, demolition derbies, and the team-based ‘Cops and Robbers’ multiplayer, as well as things to discover and challenges to complete based on the number of players in the game.
The problem is that only the host can determine which activities everyone will be playing. The other players have no power over the game – they can’t suggest activities, vote for what to do next, or veto the host’s choices. The best they can do is to call out their choices on voice chat, or spam the host with text messages.
This weakens the game’s multiplayer mode, because everybody wants to be the host in order to complete their list of multiplayer challenges. So instead of 10 awesome games filled with 8 players, you would be more likely to see 30 games with 2-3 players each. This makes the online play seem much more sparse than it actually is.
Nowadays, I have only a few challenges that I’m still trying to do. The only way to get anything done in Burnout is to start an online game, then go away and do something else for an hour or two. When I come back, if I’m lucky, there will be 4-5 players still in the game, and then I can start a challenge, and hope that everybody doesn’t immediately drop. Sound lame? It is.
Solution: Allow FPS-style nominations and voting.
Burnout Paradise just needs to implement systems that allow players to have a voice, similar to what you might see in a FPS. Between events, players can access the list of available activities and challenges, and suggest one to be the next event. The game takes all the suggestions, chooses one randomly, then puts it up to a vote. Players can use up and down on the D-Pad to vote ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’ If half the players vote ‘No,’ then the event is cancelled, and the next random suggestion is put to a vote. Otherwise it starts immediately, with the player who suggested it in control of the event setup. (In other words: if nobody votes, it’s assumed that the suggestion passes.)
In order to prevent griefing with this system, players can also nominate other players in order to kick them from the game. The same voting system applies, and if a majority votes ‘Yes,’ the player is kicked from the game and prevented from rejoining for a few minutes. (In other words: If nobody votes, it’s assumed that the kick attempt fails.)
The system isn’t perfect – a bloc of 3-4 players voting together can control the game – but it gives players a greater incentive to just choose ‘Easy Drive’ and join a random online game, knowing that they’ll be able to exert some control over the game events. A player can now expect to be able to make some progress on their list of challenges, or to be able to get into a good race, without needing to host the game themselves and just hope that enough players show up.