Day 0 Guide for the New Vanguard Class in Mass Effect 3's Earth DLC

Comic-Con 2012: Take a closer look at this character build for the new N7 Slayer multiplayer class in Mass Effect 3.

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By now you've probably saved the universe in Mass Effect 3 a few times over. However, developer BioWare is hoping you'll keep your galactic readiness rating high--just in case--by pumping their multiplayer mode full of new DLC. The latest is the upcoming Earth DLC, a free update that brings three new weapons, three new maps, and a new character for every class. At this year's Comic-Con, we caught up with quality assurance associate team lead Reid Buckmaster to learn his strategy with one of the new classes: the N7 Slayer.

The Mass Effect 3 Earth DLC will be available on July 17 for the Xbox 360 and PC worldwide. The PlayStation 3 will get the update on July 17 in North American and on July 18 in Europe.

CLASS

N7 Slayer (Vanguard)

This new class is based largely on Kai Leng from the single-player campaign, with high mobility and a close-range play style.

POWER EVOLUTION

Biotic Charge: Force & Damage (4), Power Synergy (5), Barrier (6)

The staple for any Vanguard class, biotic charge has been modified to deal extra damage while granting the user extra shielding. The extra defenses will be paramount since this build forgoes many of the fitness durability upgrades.

Phase Disruptor: Damage (4), Knockdown (5), Shield Damage (6)

This biotic power fires a burst of energy in a straight line in front of the user, similar to the Phantom's palm blast. The blast takes careful aiming since it has a narrow hit cone, but it does a great job of staggering enemies, even the Atlas. You can't abuse it too often, however, since it costs roughly half your maximum shields to cast.

Biotic Slash: Damage (4), Recharge Speed (5), Damage (6)

This biotic power is a two-in-one attack. First, the caster performs three quick melee attacks that will strike enemies around him. Second, the caster finishes with a fourth strike that sends out a cascading wave of biotic energy, similar to the shockwave ability. Be careful not to abuse this power as well, since the caster cannot cancel the attack once it starts and is exposed to ranged attacks during the first portion.

N7 Slayer: Damage & Capacity (4), Power Damage (5)

Fitness: (1), (2), (3)

WEAPONS

N7 Piranha X: This new shotgun has a high rate of fire thanks to its top-loaded drum barrel, a wide shot spread, and low recoil for extra control. By default, it can fire eight shots before needing to reload. The new omni-blade attachment was used, increasing melee damage by 50 percent, but also increasing weight. A high-caliber barrel for additional weapon damage was also used.

STRATEGY

This build is a glass cannon, designed to be used as a hit-and-run assassin that takes maximum advantage of biotic powers. The N7 Slayer also uses the new teleport mechanics. His dash pops him out of existence and reappears a few feet away. It costs roughly a sixth of maximum shields, but can go through walls and other pieces of cover. The melee and heavy melee attacks also use teleportation. Quick melee strikes pop the user between multiple targets quickly--somewhat reminiscent of Nightcrawler form the X-Men. Heavy melee had the user draw his sword, teleport ahead a few feet (locking onto the target), and strike with a single, powerful slash.

The map we played on was the new London map, with a layout of several ruined buildings surrounding a central courtyard. It was described as a great map for snipers, since the buildings provided good sniper nests with great views overlooking the main area. A new mission type--escort--also came up. This involved activating a drone on the map and escorting it back to the extraction point. The more characters standing near the drone, the faster it moved.

Discussion

35 comments
Taz_12_Dave
Taz_12_Dave

SINGLE PLAYER DLC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Crypto145
Crypto145

Whoever was playing wasn't very good, but I got a feeling this will be a favorite class.

Mimicry
Mimicry

 

So when are we getting single player DLC? Or did you forget, Bioware, that the reason ME3 exists is because its SINGLE PLAYER predecessors made this franchise a success?

Zondergrod
Zondergrod

Well I for one am ready to launch Poopy Joe into space. I've been stockpiling the australium for weeks.

Mabrry
Mabrry

Probably won't get it, with all the dlc coming out for every game I find it hard to choose what to get...so i don't get any of it :D Problem solved! 

stailcookie
stailcookie

I loved the multi, but even I am getting tired of the rapid, game-changing DLC that's coming out for it.  

kierwinyoung
kierwinyoung

I hope they make Single player Campaign DLC that includes all the MP weapons.

so we can experience them in the Campaign

shinspikes
shinspikes

I too would love to see single player stuff, but I gotta give so much love for all the free dlc.  No one has treated us better.

CalamityKate
CalamityKate

Dear Bioware:  Please start incorporating new multiplayer maps into the single player campaign in the same manner as the original ones.  This would give those who prefer single player a reason to return to the game.

 

Also, I would pay a kazillion credits for a Jade Empire 2 with a fully voiced protagonist.  It would be the perfect vehicle for the more action-oriented combat style you've gone with in recent games.  If it's any incentive, make that ten kazillion credits (this being imaginary money, I don't feel the need to be stingy with it).

 

Or at least, I'd buy new and be willing to pay full price, and I seldom buy before a price drop or two.

Otaku_Bryan
Otaku_Bryan

For the love of God make this available for solo campaign!

FalcoMercenary
FalcoMercenary

its only my opinion but the multiplayers of mass effect 3 and assassins creed have been their biggest mistake, they lower the quality of the single player experience

Soviet330
Soviet330

Didn't even read this article. First line is "By now, you’ve probably saved the universe in Mass Effect 3 a few times over." Really? Maybe play the game to the end or pay attention to the huge outcry about the ending before you write an article. Complete garbage.

-Jonce-
-Jonce-

That Sentinel shield looks interesting. I wonder how the eternal stand-off with a Cerberus Guardian would end?

xdrmonkeyfishx
xdrmonkeyfishx

This looks pretty good. I'm glad that they are constantly revitalizing their multiplayer. Keeps it fun

cryingdevil63
cryingdevil63

Nice,looking forward to trying these guys out 

BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

I'm not sure what type of business move this is but I find it refreshing to see bioware release all these multiplayer add on content to ME3.  Sure I have my own beef with the studio for watering down their rpgs here in the recent years but I'm glad they are still standing by there product..

Dope1990
Dope1990

 @Mimicry Leviathan Dlc is comming also rummors for Take Omega Back are around...

Remember that bioware has 2 teams working on the dlc's...one for MP once for SP...so getting MP stuff isnt keeping SP dlc's back.

PrplMnkyDshwsr7
PrplMnkyDshwsr7

 @Mimicry Not gonna happen...we knew it was just gonna be map packs and the like when the shoved MP down our throats.

Enundr
Enundr

 @stailcookie sadly the DLC doesnt actually change too much other then scenary , when i watched that video i saw a very similar Human Vangaurd (the one skill they have originally now looks like that blade attack) , the other skill though did actually seem new. if they actually wanted game changing DLC , they would add NEW game modes , change that in game store to actually not be a complete joke and feel like your going to a slot machine nonstop wasting credits for stuff you dont need ;-P

justinka777
justinka777

 @kierwinyoung

 id also love it if they included some of the new powers to use as your bonus option power

CalamityKate
CalamityKate

 @shinspikes Well, while I get your point and free stuff is always nice, Bioware itself has done better in the past, specifically Mass Effect 2.   The day one DLC for ME2 was free for those who bought new, as well as Firewalker, a weapon pack, and daily in-game news updates every business day for a year. 

 

All free if you bought new.  That's the way to do a "buy new" incentive right, and pretty much the high water mark for free DLC in a primarily single-player game.  Then, of the paid single player missions, there was one great one (Lair of the Shadow Broker), two very good ones (Stealing Memory and Overlord), and one decent one (Arrival).

 

And all of the DLC boss fights (Hock, the Shadow Broker, and David) were more creative than in the original game.

 

I think ME3 is a great game.  It's biggest failing may be that it came after ME2, which is one of the great games of this generation.

 

And when it comes to paid DLC, Borderlands beats everything.  Three of the four DLC packs have more content than most whole games, ten to twelve hours of high-quality content, and for ten bucks each.  If all paid DLC was Borderlands good, I'd constantly being handing over my money and quoting Oliver Twist.

CalamityKate
CalamityKate

 @Otaku_Bryan Yep, that's what I'd like to see.

 

Specifically, I would like to see the multiplayer DLC maps from the expansions as new single player N7 missions.  Have the mission pop up after the priority mission for its planet has been done with a generic retrieval or activation goal against Cerberus or Reapers (or Geth for Hydra), as with the original six multiplayer maps in the single player game. 

 

I find it a little annoying that all this free DLC is multiplayer exclusive, but if you want playable DLC in the single-player campaign, you're going to have to pay extra for it.

 

It would also be nice to see some of these new abilities incorporated as part of a new playable player class for Shepard, or at least a few of the skill trees as selectable bonus powers.

AirDog80
AirDog80 moderator

 @-Jonce- It starts with a shield bromance and ends when your buddies get jealous and stab the Guardian in the back.

Enundr
Enundr

 @xdrmonkeyfishx if only they could add actually different game modes rather then just pump out more maps , and classes / guns in a broken "store" feature ;-P

Enundr
Enundr

 @BlackBaldwin ill tell you what kind of business move it is , its EA / Bioware trying to get back some of the ticked off fan base they generally spat on in regards with the horrible ending and keep pumping out free stuff for a little while longer. sadly it might work on some ppl , though i guess those ppl dont seem to realize theres no actually different game modes , it would be like playing TDM  in another game i wont mention and just added new scenary to the same maps.

Mimicry
Mimicry

 @Dope1990 I really hope you're right; That SP DLC team needs to step on it, or by the time they push something out the door nobody would give a damn.

Soviet330
Soviet330

 @CalamityKate The problem is that you don't get to save the galaxy in ME3. So the first line of this article tells me the author has not played it therefore I won't waste my time. 

CalamityKate
CalamityKate

 @Enundr No, I don't know that.  The three choices implied largely different consequences, even if not shown on screen, and they weren't exactly the same, differing in small, but often important, details, details that were fleshed out without being fundamentally altered in the EC.

 

Before the extended cut, every possible choice in the end game sequence resulted in the galaxy being saved from the Reapers.  The first line in the preview is accurate for anyone who has played the game to completion several times.  If you didn't like the endings, I can understand that, and even empathize with you, but that doesn't mean the endings don't show the defeat of the Reapers and the galaxy being saved.  All of them do just that.

 

Things are in bad shape, but not due to what the player-as-Shepard does.  Every choice leaves the space-faring races in the galaxy (save the synthetics in "destroy") in better shape than they would be if Shepard does nothing.

 

Look at it it this way:  If Shepard does nothing, all advanced life in the galaxy dies.  By activating the Crucible, the Reapers are defeated, and the space-faring races survive.  Even if all of the pessimistic assumptions regarding the consequences of the destruction of the mass relays had been accurate, and not everyone interpreted the endings in this manner, this is still a better situation than "everyone dies".

 

Things are in bad shape after the Crucible is activated, I grant you that, a point made even in the EC endings, but even prior to the EC, "alive and able to rebuild" is better than "everyone dead". 

 

It's like Western Europe after WW2.  Things are in bad shape, but immeasurably better than the alternative.

Enundr
Enundr

 @CalamityKate you do know pre EC all of the choices still ended up you damming the galaxy because of the mass plot holes and the action the "colors" did.  no matter how you looked at it. ill keep this spoiler free , but you know what i mean , all 3 choices pre EC were the exact same with the same outcome.

CalamityKate
CalamityKate

 @Soviet330 Are you talking about Mass Effect 3?  All three original choices result in Shepard saving the galaxy.  In the expanded version, only the refusal ending doesn't save the galaxy, and even then, that applies only to this cycle - Liara's beacons and Shepard's story manage to do the job in the following cycle for that choice.

 

There is no ending in which the galaxy isn't saved from the Reapers.  I'm not sure how you could come to the conclusion that the author hasn't played the game from the statement you reference.

Nu2m
Nu2m

 @Soviet330

 yet you waste your time by being  a total ass to both the game and the author