by Christina Norman
With up to 10 squad members, equipping your team in Mass Effect 2 could have been a daunting task. To make this task manageable we’ve made two inventory advancements: squad inventory, and auto-upgrades.
Whenever Shepard finds an upgraded weapon he scans it with his omni-tool, uploading detailed data to his ship. Using that data, this ship’s armory can replicate the weapon, making it available to any squad member trained to use that weapon type. For example, if you find a superior shotgun, your armory will fabricate copies, making that shotgun model available to any squad member with shotgun training. This gets rid of tedious inventory management tasks, like unequipping and transferring items between squad members.
Squad members will automatically start using upgraded weapons when they become available. Combined with squad based inventory, this makes managing your squad’s loadout very easy.
Let’s say you find an upgraded sniper rifle. You scan it and upload the data to your ship’s armory. The armory immediately starts fabricating copies. Thane, back on your ship, grabs one from the armory and starts using it. All this is accomplished without any manual inventory management.
Customizing Your Team’s Loadout
You can customize your team’s loadout. At the start of every mission you’ll be given a chance to set weapons for your squad. At this point you can override any choices the auto-upgrade system has made. This is also your chance to customize Shepard’s weapons, including his heavy weapon.
While most weapons are shared, some are so advanced or so personalized to an individual that they can’t be easily replicated or transferred. These unique weapons will automatically be received by a specific squad member. This approach helps differentiate your squad members, and creates opportunities for individual progression. Since these weapons are tied to a specific squad member, they work with our auto- upgrade system. Your squad member will start using their new weapon immediately once you obtain it.
This is the second in a series of blog posts by Lead Gameplay Designer Christina Norman on the RPG systems of Mass Effect 2.