Gaming Forensics – Examining the Profiles of Online Mass Effect Players

on May 19, 2012 2:00 PM

Mass Effect 3 is played by a large variety of players, each with different styles and personalities. People react and play differently from each other and with others based on how other players act. There is an ongoing trend that when some classes are selected by a player in a group, looking at you Vanguards, others grumble or complain. What is it about these classes or player types that make other players question having them in their party? What are the profiles that players fall into and what are some of the defining traits of these profiles? It’s time to be like David Caruso, put on our sun glasses, step into the lab, and examine some profiles of players in Mass Effect 3 multiplayer.

There are so many different profiles that can be examined including some extreme edge cases. The focus will be on the most common player profiles and the traits that make them stand out. Let us put on our profiler caps and run an analysis of these profiles to determine the benefits gained and the issues created.

Gaming Forensics – Examining the Profiles of Online Mass Effect Players

“It’s dangerous to go alone!”
The first in our lineup of profiles to examine is the Kamikaze. The Kamikaze refers to players that have a tendency to rush into the heat of battle without always thinking things through. Some would say they do not look (puts on sunglasses) before they leap. Many new players tend to fall into this profile type and can become a hindrance because of their lack of experience. They do not realize other players cannot shoot or aim through or around them and when they drop it becomes almost to save them in enemy territory. But given time and experience, Kamikazes become very strong assets that can help clear a room or keep enemies off your six.  Vanguards and Soldiers are usually the most played classes of this profile type with an emphasis on heavy hitting powers and weapons. Krogans are the go to race given their durability and ability to do large amounts of damage with melee attacks.

Pros: Can take a hit, do large amounts of damage, and draw the attention of bigger enemies.
Cons: High rate of death and can block lines of fire.

Gaming Forensics – Examining the Profiles of Online Mass Effect Players

“I’m just an old killer hired to do some wetwork.”
Our next perp to look at in the lineup is the Killer. Players enjoy working at some goal even if it is not required. Some players want to have the top score, get the most kills, or be the best on their friends’ leaderboards. These players take competition very seriously, even in a game with a cooperative emphasis such as Mass Effect 3. Killers are efficient and try to take out as many targets as possible at the risk of annoying other players by stealing. But, they are not built for durability and end up causing unnecessary risks when facing bigger tougher enemies. They shine on whittling down groups from a distance with ease and hold down areas with little need of assistance. In a team based game having a player who can clear a field quickly is important even with the risk causing some tension in a party. The class most frequently played by these players is the infiltrator. They take advantage of powerful mid to long range weapons, such as the Widow Sniper Rifle and the Valiant.

Pros: Reduces enemy count and provide great mid to long range support.
Cons: Cannot handle bigger foes, does not always play as a team, and sometimes fall into the kill steal mentality.

Gaming Forensics – Examining the Profiles of Online Mass Effect Players

“You spoony bard!”
The next profile to be examined is the Specialist, a player who picks one class and sticks to that one class. No matter the flaws, a Specialist will play their chosen class in every situation possible. These players don’t stop (puts on sunglasses) until they get enough. By focusing exclusively at one class, a player becomes intimate with that class and how it functions. They are able to understand the nuances of the class and how to dispatch enemies using the various abilities provided to them. Many enemies require certain abilities to be used in order to defeat them, which puts a Specialist in a sticky middle area. Mass Effect multiplayer is very well designed and finds a way to balance all classes requiring them to need each other. For each enemy they specialize against there is an enemy they are not capable of handling. This becomes quickly apparent when matches are set to random enemies and higher difficulties where strengths of the class do not match up to the enemy. The two classes that fall deeply into this profile are Adepts and Engineers. These players focus their attention their class powers and less so on weapon boosting abilities.

Pros: They can take out the enemies they specialize for with ease.
Cons: Dealing with enemies that they do not specialize for causes them to lose their effectiveness.

Gaming Forensics – Examining the Profiles of Online Mass Effect Players

“Would you kindly…”
The final profile that we will take a look at is the All Rounder. A jack of all trades type of player, the All Rounder places a focus on using different classes to a balanced degree. This profile is one that I find to be more my style, as it is the most Red Mage-y of profiles. These players usually are the team players that will pick their class based on what other classes are in the party to help the team be prepared for most situations. Since their focus is on many classes, the All Rounder is good at each class and usually takes the risk of going for objectives. The downside of being good is that they are not great at the classes they play. Another downside is the fact they work on all classes and may not have each class maxed or be familiar with all the subtleties of using the class or race. They have a tendency to be slow starters for some of their lower level classes and become a risk on higher difficulties, such as Gold and Silver. But since these players use all classes, they find hybrid classes such as the sentinel to be a nice class for providing balance and assisting Specialists in whatever they are not effective against. This profile type is one that is great for bringing balance (pulls out third pair of sunglasses) to the force.

Pros: These players help balance out parties and work toward the objectives.
Cons: Lack of expertise can become evident, especially on harder difficulties.

Gaming Forensics – Examining the Profiles of Online Mass Effect Players

Mass Effect 3 is about getting players to become one with their character. Sometimes it makes you wonder what is going on in the minds of the players. To solve crimes a profiler must study the habits of a suspect and I think after this analysis we can figure out how these players function. By profiling what kinds of players you are playing with, you can determine who can help or break team chemistry. I would say we now that we understand our profiles we can move on to solving the crime of how to save the galaxy.

With this analysis I would say that is a case that would be (puts on sunglasses for last time I swear) closed. YEEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!

Gaming Forensics – Examining the Profiles of Online Mass Effect Players

 /  Staff Writer
Paul is what you would call a Jack of All Trades. He has an interest in programming and video games. He is also a capable artist, photographer, writer, reader, and an Ancient Karaoke Performer. He has been gaming since the late 80s starting with games such as Tetris and Arkanoid. His favorite genres in games include Role Playing, Action-Adventure, Rhythm, and Old School 2D Platformers. Books are another interest of his as his collection of books slowly overruns his living quarters.