Mass Effect 3 stats guide released by BioWare

In a few weeks, most of us will be playing Mass Effect 3 for fun like normal human beings. Some of you, however, figure there's no point in playing if your Shepard isn't all he can be, and you'll want to take an approach more akin to managing an Excel spreadsheet. BioWare has heard your pleas, math nerds, and provided a detailed breakdown to help you min-max your characters.

Senior designer Manveer Heir outlined the stat formulas on the BioWare forums (via Eurogamer). "We realized this would be a very small percentage of people that do this so instead of confusing people and trying to explain everything in game with complicated formulas, we do the math in the background, give you guys the results that matter and let you make your choices from there," Heir said. "The truly hardcore can read this, hopefully helpful, forum post to understand everything further."

He points out that the hardcore players probably have thousands of questions on specific powers, but he says they can't take time to answer each one. "I'm going to try to avoid going into huge details for future inquiries regarding powers," he said. "There's just too many of you, too few of us, and we still have work to do on top of reading forums. I hope you understand."

We won't publish the full entry, because we don't want to put our readers to sleep. But as an example of just how nitty and gritty the guide gets:

Sum of all the rank bonuses are the bonuses of every other rank that you have bought added all up. So if Rank 3 upgrades damage 10% and you bought Rank 4 evolve that upgrades damage 15% and at Rank 6 you bought the evolve that upgrades damage 25% then the sum of the rank bonuses are 50% (add all three numbers). You only add in rank bonuses for the stat you are upgrading that you have bought. Note, this value is expressed as a floating point number so 50% = 0.5. 100% = 1.0.

Oh yes, that's power-nerd right there. Mass Effect 3 is due out for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on March 6, which gives you a few weeks to draw up your flow charts.