Morning Discussion

Tonight the village hall is treated to the long-awaited return of Jessica Langley, 83,'s popular globetrotting gastronomic lecture series 'Around the Globe in Eighty Meals.' Ms. Langley, 83, will make her triumphant return with what we're assured will be a fascinating talk on the subject of a novel ethnic food she discovered in exotic Londinium named 'A Scotsman's Egg.' If you've seen Jessica, 83, in action before you'll know we're in for a wild ride! Afterwards, all will be treated to Ms. Langley, 83,'s culinary recreation of what she theorises the Scotsman's Egg would must be like inside its plastic wrapping.

And with the pointless event of Valentine's Day fast approaching, Shacker mittense helpfully points out some cephalopod Valentine postcards for you to impress those you supposedly care for with a love not limited by a foolish skeleton.

From The Chatty
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    February 4, 2010 5:01 AM

    I'm Dave-A, and this is my favorite chat thread in the Citadel!

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      February 4, 2010 5:02 AM

      David A-is-for-Apple, are you caught up in the ME2 madness as well? For some reason I didn't picture you as an RPG guy.

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        February 4, 2010 6:10 AM

        After all my longwinded blathering about Fallout 3 and Oblivion? You have not being paying attention, young man >:(

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          February 4, 2010 6:27 AM

          Well, I wasn't around for Oblivion, but I must have missed the Fallout stuff, or specifically avoided it because I was playing it.

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      February 4, 2010 5:04 AM

      I'm surprised that hasn't come back to clamp its teeth upon Shepard's rear.

      There have been a few times where the Paragon action has turned out to be 'wrong' and I get the feeling we'll be seeing more negative consequences to Paragon actions in Mass Effect 3. Which is why I'm getting a little more renegade in my actions, to ensure everything is stable and secure for ME3.

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        February 4, 2010 5:16 AM

        I hate thinking about how my decisions are going to show in ME3. I just made the decision in how it would directly affect the game at that time. If ME3 doesn't like my all renegade character, then so be it!

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        February 4, 2010 6:03 AM

        I'd love to see more of this. Sort of holding the player accountable within the game. Something 'good' once may not be 7 times later. And we could see some Jack bauer renagade justifiable actions.

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        February 4, 2010 6:12 AM

        I've been playing mainly goodie-goodie, but I feel like Sheppy is way more punch-happy in ME2. I've been clockin' fools like Russell Crowe at a hotel convention!

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          February 4, 2010 6:21 AM

          I maxed out my paragon but still managed to do some pretty sinister things. When pulling out Garus there's the guy working on the gunship that I not so discretely and very literally stab in the back. Then there are the dudes on Tuchanka standing above some kind of gas line that I took out, and also during the quest to save Miranda's sister I just shot the dudes up before they were even finished the first sentence. Oh oh and playing the bad cop during the interrogation portion of Thane's loyalty mission was extremely satisfying. Multiple punches to the guy's face. Damn this game is just too good. I need to replay the entire thing as a renegade.

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        February 4, 2010 6:16 AM

        I'm kind of disappointed at how the decisions that seemed paramount in the first played little to no role at all in the second. That kind of blows. For example, saving the council granted me a single conversation with them in the sequel. What the fuck was that about. And similarly, (end game ME2 spoilers here) when deciding to turn over the collector base to the Illusive Man, I wondered how much of an impact that would have in the third.

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          February 4, 2010 6:27 AM

          I don't think BioWare really planned far enough ahead to make specific choices matter.

          I have a feeling the choices from ME2 are going to make a MUCH bigger impact in ME3 than ME1 did with ME2. BioWare probably designed ME2 with this in mind.

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            February 4, 2010 7:06 AM

            They said before that they designed ME1 with this in mind too...

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            February 4, 2010 1:34 PM

            I'm pretty sure ME3 is going to be the turning point for all the little choices that you made such as The rachni queen, Saving the council (and then not being an ass to them), Anderson being on the council, etc and all the alternatives to this. Since it's pretty apparent at the end of ME2 that there is going to be a giant freaking battle and you're gonna need all the help you can get. The rachni queen already offered her help, and having Anderson on your side makes me think that he'll be more willing to help you than the other guy.

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              February 4, 2010 2:48 PM

              I haven't finished the game yet, but all the geth decisions will play a major part of 3 I betcha

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          February 4, 2010 7:03 AM

          I'm more concerned about my decision to kill the civilians and save the spacesport.

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      February 4, 2010 5:08 AM

      I whored myself out so many times that it isn't funny.

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      February 4, 2010 5:09 AM

      I beat it last night. What a fantastic game from the start.

      Level 28 Vanguard. Everyone was loyal except for Thane/Legion. So I let those 2 be part of the choices at the end of the game. I don't know if I am going to bring this character over for an Insanity playthrough or not. I may just start a new character/class. Adept looks fun.

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        February 4, 2010 5:47 AM

        it was tali for me. and she died at the end after making her crawl through the tunnels on the collector ship

        i would have liked to get the suicide achievement but maybe on the next play through.

        does your renegade level carry over in new game +? i didn't get to max it out either.

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          February 4, 2010 5:50 AM

          I didn't check after I imported last night actually but I assume it resets.

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          February 4, 2010 6:29 AM

          I sent Thane down the first time but he died so I reloaded and then sent Tali. She lived for me. In fact, everyone did. I didn't lose a single member of the team or crew.

          My decisions were:
          Tali down the duct
          Garrus to lead the fire teams (both times)
          Jacob to escort the crew back to the ship
          Jack to provide the biotic shield against the collector swarm

          Everyone was loyal and I had all personal and ship upgrades completed. I mixed up the tactical squad between the stages.

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            February 4, 2010 6:30 AM

            Still pissed I ended the game with 2 people not loyal. Pissed me off :(

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              February 4, 2010 6:37 AM

              Why didn't you complete their missions?

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                February 4, 2010 6:44 AM

                I did.

                Thane's fucked up and ended. Legion's I have no idea why it didn't go to Loyal status. Probably because I killed the heretics instead of re-writing them

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                  February 4, 2010 7:10 AM

                  i killed them and he was still loyal to me. i think it's when tali makes you chose between letting him download the files or telling him to stop when they're arguing

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                    February 4, 2010 7:10 AM

                    because after that, she was no longer loyal to me.

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                    February 4, 2010 8:03 AM

                    Yeah, there are persuasion options there to maintain loyalties on both sides (like the whole Jack/Miranda deal).

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                    February 4, 2010 8:31 AM

                    Maybe that's what it was because I told him to stop.

                    The paragon/renegade options were greyed out during that :(

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      February 4, 2010 5:11 AM

      Dave how does it feel to be one of the only shackers in your time zone?

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      February 4, 2010 5:43 AM

      Hey everybody! This chatty discriminates against poor people!

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        February 4, 2010 8:37 AM

        The shack in general discriminates against poor people.

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        February 4, 2010 1:37 PM

        Keep an eye out for my thread this weekend then. Going to give away a copy or two of me2 to a lucky non lurking shacker. Bought some extras from the ea store and feel like spreading the love.

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        February 4, 2010 2:33 PM

        Fine, but you still hurt my feelings... 3:

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      February 4, 2010 6:01 AM

      So? How are you liking it? I haven't gotten to play much lately. Frownies.

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        February 4, 2010 6:09 AM

        It's great! Went to the Citadel, found the Normandy wreckage, and did the Zaaaaaed side mission last night. I wish I was playing it right now!

        Scanning planets is kinda awful though :/

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          February 4, 2010 6:12 AM

          Scanning planets wouldn't be so bad if you didn't have to hold down the right mouse button. Or if the game gave you more guidance to finding the minerals than the meters on the right.

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            February 4, 2010 6:27 AM

            I hate the rotation of the planets, if you could have a 90 degree snap it would be better, I always worry I'm missing a little bit on the planet so I end up going over the whole thing 3 times to be safe :(

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              February 4, 2010 6:32 AM

              I only go over a planet once, or until it's "depleted", whichever comes last. That does remind me of a weirdness: All the planets are the same size in the scanner. When you're prospecting, a tiny little Mercury-sized planet is the same size as a Jupiter-sized gas giant.

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          February 4, 2010 6:17 AM

          Minigames always suck, it's really annoying when devs FORCE you to play them in order to complete the main game.

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            February 4, 2010 6:26 AM

            They don't always suck. I didn't mind the hacking ones in BioShock, Fallout 3, or ME2. The planet scanning is just slowly moving the cursor around until you find something!

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              February 4, 2010 6:28 AM

              I don't mind the hacking stuff, I guess I only really hate the ones that last more than 30 seconds.

              The stupid bowling/darts crap from GTA4 is another example of shitty minigames.

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                February 4, 2010 6:33 AM

                It's really just a chore. Either make me something that's complex and interesting, like a simulation of what the Star Trek sensors would really be like - doesn't have to be a game but let me believe I'm actually working some dials and scannin some doods - or take it out all together.

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                  February 4, 2010 6:35 AM

                  I just don't understand how they could have every thought "Hey! This will be a lot of fun!"

                  Staring at a rotating globe for 10 minutes while I move a bullseye up and down is not my idea of fun. It actually sucks real bad.

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                    February 4, 2010 6:40 AM

                    My favorite minigame of this type was the lock picking from Oblivion. It required actual finesse.

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                    February 4, 2010 6:42 AM

                    Well... it's either this or the mako. Take your pick.

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                      February 4, 2010 6:43 AM

                      You wouldn't need either of those if you could purchase upgrades with regular credits and find improved weapons/equipment along the way.

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                      February 4, 2010 6:44 AM

                      I'd rather do circles around stupid worm things as I slowly kill them than this shit.

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                        February 4, 2010 6:49 AM

                        Yeah, the problem with the Mako wasn't what you were doing with it. The problem with the Mako was the terrain and the way the damn thing handled like a toy RC monster truck.

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            February 4, 2010 6:26 AM

            The racing minigame in KOTOR was almost enough to make me ragequit. Good thing the rest of the game was fucking spectacular.

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              February 4, 2010 1:38 PM

              I forgot about that. yeah, it was pretty fucking terrible

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            February 4, 2010 6:30 AM

            You're not forced to do it here at all. Doing so gives you resources for upgrade purposes but you don't have to do that.

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              February 4, 2010 6:32 AM

              The game would be a LOT more difficult without weapon upgrades and whatnot.

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                February 4, 2010 6:38 AM

                True N7 warriors do not rely on such crutches to complete their task.

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          February 4, 2010 7:03 AM

          That's a nice start! I really enjoyed building my A-Team of intergalactic badasses.

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      February 4, 2010 6:25 AM

      Repost for great faster-loading justice. If you feel like you're spending a fuckton of time staring at loading screens, you probably are. Original link here: http://www.shacknews.com/laryn.x?id=22045810#itemanchor_22045810

      Last night was the first chance I had to really play after finding out about this, and god damn did it make a huge difference. I don't dread wandering around the Normandy's decks anymore.

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        February 4, 2010 6:31 AM

        I almost feel bad for my 3-10s load times :(

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          February 4, 2010 6:38 AM

          10-seconds of alt-tabbing after starting the game saves me probably around 10 minutes of load-screens during an hour or so of playtime.

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          February 4, 2010 6:44 AM

          Aside from that weird issue, the worst part about the load times in this game is that with everything except elevators, the bink videos that play while the game loads always plays to completion rather than getting skipped. And most are like 15 seconds long when the game is actually done loading in 2-5 seconds. It's either a holdover from being the videos being used to mask the loads on the 360, but they were smart enough for the elevator vids to be skipped for some reason, so it must have been a design choice.

          I've started replacing all those videos I've run into with image files made into 1 frame bink vids and my load times have dropped to 10-20% of what they were across the board.

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            February 4, 2010 6:46 AM

            I didn't mind those forced videos because they were pretty sweet to watch. My Normandy sections loaded so fast I couldn't skip them.

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              February 4, 2010 6:53 AM

              After a while they get bothersome, especially the video that plays every time you load a save. Can be brutal in a rough section on a difficulty like hardcore or insane. Why do we need to see the wireframe mass really and the ship overlay thing in its entirety every single time when the game was loaded 12 seconds ago? Why do we need to see the wireframe diagram of the drop ship when the in game cutscene shows the same thing a few seconds later?

              Some of it is really unnecessary. I'm super glad there is a way to fix manually, but there should be a way to skip them in game. Like where it says loading in the lower right it can say "done" when it's done and space would skip the rest or you could choose to watch it all. Oh well!

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                February 4, 2010 7:28 AM

                Do you happen to have a list of the filenames associated with those vids? I flat out removed the BioWare and EA logo videos, so I'm curious if you can just remove the loading vids, too.

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                  February 4, 2010 7:49 AM

                  Unlike the startup logo vids, the game will crash if you remove them when it tries loading a segment that plays said videos, I've tried. So like I said, I ended up making 1 frame bink vids out of images that end up looping until the game is loaded seconds later.

                  They are all prefixed with load_ in the movies directory. load_f01.bik is the main one used when loading saved games. There are dozens of others in there for various situations. The only ones that seem to actually skip when the game is loaded are the all the elevator, like on the Normandy and Illium.

                  I've only replaced a dozen or so of the more common ones so far, and since this issue was only brought to my attention recently, I haven't replaced all of the ones I probably would want to yet.

                  Some nice ME2 concept art I've used for more than a few of my loading screen binks were posted by ysbreker yesterday: http://www.shacknews.com/laryn.x?id=22062956

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                    February 4, 2010 8:01 AM

                    It's really easy to make a 1 frame bink with the "rad video tools"

                    Just pick the pick the image file you want to use and click bink it. You'll probably want to tweak the compression settings so it's not pixelated, but other than that it only takes a second.

                    Here's the one I'm using for the saved game load if you or anyone else wants to compare the time it takes to load a game vs the default one: http://sites.google.com/site/pyidefiles/load_f01.bik

                    Just back up the original first.

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                      February 4, 2010 8:08 AM

                      Thanks man! I'll probably do this tonight.

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                      February 4, 2010 2:50 PM

                      Awesome, this is a big problem for me...or at least was when I could play. :(

                      Stupid road trip.

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            February 4, 2010 2:58 PM

            Can you zip up those vids and host them somewhere? Would love to replace them if it makes that much difference!

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        February 4, 2010 6:31 AM

        Hmm, weird. It must only be certain CPUs, as I have a dual-core (E8400) and don't run into this problem at all.

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        February 4, 2010 6:48 AM

        does this imagecfg tool do the same thing as the alt tab method, but more convenient? seems like with alt tab, you're disabling a core and then re-enabling it, but with this it just keeps it disabled. not sure if that's true or not, didn't see much documentation on it.

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          February 4, 2010 7:25 AM

          My assumption was that imagecfg disables the 2nd core permanently when running ME2 (or any app you configure it to do so). That being my guess, I've stuck with just a quick alt-tab, CTRL-SHIFT-ESC, and a couple mouse clicks.

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      February 4, 2010 6:35 AM

      huge spoiler alert - can someone post the video of the ending where everyone dies except Joker? I can't find it anywhere

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      February 4, 2010 6:51 AM

      Is this about mass effect? will you guys label your threads so i know what in the hell you're talking about!!?!?!

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      February 4, 2010 6:58 AM

      I don't really have anything to say just yet, but for right now, all I would like to do is hang out with you people and talk about MF'n Mass Effect 2--is that ok? :)

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        February 4, 2010 7:01 AM

        Welcome friend.

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        February 4, 2010 7:02 AM

        warcrow my dear, I haven't got very far yet, so ensure you enspoilerinate your spoilers!

        Quick question for the Zaaaaaaaaaaaeeeed Massani side quest - did anybody not save the refinery workers?

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          February 4, 2010 7:09 AM

          I didn't, because I am a SPACE ASSHOLE

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            February 4, 2010 7:16 AM

            So what happens? Does Vido still escape?

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              February 4, 2010 7:25 AM

              Vido was burned to a crisp by Zaeed.

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          February 4, 2010 7:10 AM

          I didn't. F them.

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          February 4, 2010 7:24 AM

          I totally left those silly, weakasses to die so they could no longer pro-create. Besides, who has time when you're a renegade! :)

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            February 4, 2010 8:44 AM

            If you save them you still gain his loyalty. I found that interesting.

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              February 4, 2010 1:34 PM

              But I wanted my renegade points sir! I am mean! >;(

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              February 4, 2010 1:36 PM

              Really?
              I saved them and I didn't gain his loyalty

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                February 4, 2010 2:26 PM

                you have to use the charm option after the metal thing falls on him and hes all mad and stuff.

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      February 4, 2010 7:08 AM

      I know this has been posted already, but what are the bonuses for doing a 2nd playthrough?

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      February 4, 2010 7:15 AM

      ship upgrades question. weapons, shields, etc.

      does it make any difference? or is it just a mining sink.

      i beat the game, the weapons tore the shit out of the collectors ship but the shields and armor upgrades didn't look like they did fuck all since the collectors still grounded the normandy 2 pretty easily

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        February 4, 2010 7:16 AM

        Yes. If you are lacking ship upgrades, people die. I don't know who exactly but you do lose crew members.

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          February 4, 2010 7:22 AM

          Yup. For example, you lose Tali if your shields or something aren't adequate.

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        February 4, 2010 7:28 AM

        Yup, every upgrade has a role. I'm not certain of it, but I think they will die at a certain point, once you go through the relay, if you don't upgrade their specific feature that they offer when you recruit them. (?)

        That's a guess though.

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        February 4, 2010 2:28 PM

        I believe that the people that are affected are Jack, Grunt, and Tali. The others are based on loyalty and their own personal upgrades.

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        February 4, 2010 2:38 PM

        do you get anything if you tear through to the end with a bare minimum of upgrades/crew/loyalty, and damn the costs? i mean, that's the true renegade way to go

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        February 4, 2010 2:49 PM

        bookmarked for later

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      February 4, 2010 7:23 AM

      Mining: I may be on the short bus with this and the last to hear, but I found an awesome mining trick yesterday. Move around the cursor (without rotating the planet or anything) all throughout the screen, flickering the LT button to keep popping in and out of scan mode. The cursor moves much quicker when not in scan mode and you can find the large deposits very quickly that way. I was able to take a Rich planet to Depleted in about three or four minutes, as opposed to my normal 10 with slow scanning.

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        February 4, 2010 7:25 AM

        Yeah I started doing this on the 2nd or 3rd planet I scanned :P. Fuck holding it and going around the entire planet.

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          February 4, 2010 7:30 AM

          I may be the lone wolf here, but if you upgrade your scanning, you can scan at minimum twice as fast. :)

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        February 4, 2010 7:48 AM

        yea i did this the whole game too - woulda killed myself otherwise

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        February 4, 2010 7:56 AM

        Also don't forget that if you have a mouse with adjustable DPI, jacking it up for mining makes things speedy. I can get a planet from rich to poor or depleted pretty quickly (<5 mins) this way.

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        February 4, 2010 1:20 PM

        I tried that for a while but even hitting it pretty rapidly I still seemed to miss a lot of areas. Beats sitting there I guess...

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        February 4, 2010 1:23 PM

        Great minds think alike.

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      February 4, 2010 10:09 AM

      I AM THE VERY MODEL OF A SCIENTIST SALARIAN.

      Wait wait, I'm sure that other stuff is important, but...you sing & dance?! -Shepard

      So great! :)

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        February 4, 2010 1:50 PM

        Best moment of the game so far for me. Especially after he's done and Shepard has no response but to just look at him. I fucking about died laughing.

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        February 4, 2010 2:52 PM

        I think you are losing it!