One aspect of *Mass Effect 2* that left some fans scratching their heads was the watered-down RPG elements and simplification compared to what the original game offered players. Sure, they still existed on some level, but for the most part, *Mass Effect 2* was a shooter that happened to tell an interesting story.

It has been asked if RPGs are a dying breed or simply evolving with the gaming community, and though a simple answer cannot be given, one thing is for sure: ** Mass Effect 3** is striking a unique balance of action as well as getting back to its RPG roots from the original game.

The *Mass Effect 3* squad screen will display all statistics on powers, including power bonuses, dynamic bonuses, and cool down times. BioWare is doing this to allow the hardcore RPG player to maximize their potential and know what is happening at all times. But information is a double-edged sword, and after playing the demo, many players flooded the BioWare forums, claiming the numbers weren’t correct and their bonuses were not calculating properly. BioWare Senior Gameplay Designer Manveer Heir took to the forums to set the record straight and let the fans know how the power upgrades were actually calculating.

**Normal Power Upgrades**

New Value = Base Value at Rank 1 * (1.0 + Sum of all rank bonuses + Dynamic Bonuses)

“Dynamic Bonuses are from things like your passives and weight capacity. So you could have 100% bonus total by having a 70% bonus from weight capacity, 10% from wearing certain armor, and 20% from your passive power. Note, this value is expressed as a floating point number so 50% = 0.5. 100% = 1.0.

If the upgrade modifies the current value, the upgrade is more useful for players who have a higher value from things like passives and all that. This means powers can quickly become overpowered or an upgrade is useless for some players and ridiculously powerful for others.”

Normal power upgrades are not including cooldown timers, but instead they focus on such powers like damage, force, and impact radius.

**Recharge Speed Upgrades (Cooldown)**

New Value = Base Value at Rank 1 * (1.0 / (1.0 + Sum of all rank bonuses + Dynamic Bonuses))

“If recharge speed is 10 seconds at Rank 1, the sum of your rank bonuses is 50% and the dynamic bonuses total at 25%, using the formula above what you find is the value is 5.7. Only recharge speed is calculated using this formula. Also, it should be noted that Henchmen power recharge speeds are always double what Shepard’s recharge speed is (there may be one or two execptions, but those are close to double). This is to stop the henchmen from being overpowered.”

**Hard Value Bonuses**

New Value = (Base Value at Rank 1 + Sum of Rank all rank bonuses) * (1.0 + Dynamic Bonuses)

“This formula is used for stats that are expressed as percents. So, normally if you are upgrading something like Force, that is measured in Newtons. So you are upgrading 25% to the base 100 N of Force. However, what do you do when the stat you are upgrading is Weapon Damage Bonus, like many of the passives have. Weapon Damage Bonus is expressed as a percentage.

So Rank 1 Weapon Damage Bonus may be 10%. If we say at rank 2 the Weapon Damage Bonus increases by 50% what is the correct result for total weapon damage bonus now. If you used formula 1, it would be 15%. But that goes against what people expect, because you are increasing a percent by a percent. Instead, you expect the numbers to add together. So a 50% increase to 10% should be 60%.”

Just think: many of you had the audacity to ask your high school math teacher “when will we ever use this?!?” Here you go. At the end of the day, however, only the most ardent RPG enthusiasts are going to pay attention to the detailed statistics. Heck, choosing to play the game in “Action Mode,” all of this data is done behind the scenes, allowing the player to spend their time fully devoted to blasting the Reapers back to dark space.

* Mass Effect 3* will be released March 6, 2012 for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. The demo is currently available for all platforms.

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Source: BioWare