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I'm not quite sure what to do with this page. Granted, it's useful info, but would it be more useful merged into various class guides? Either way it needs links and categories once we decide what to do with it. Thoughts? --Tullis 21:09, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

If we went the route of putting the different "best builds" on separate pages, we'd probably end up without many comparisons between builds, which would be both good and bad... good, because any comparisons (and hell, even what the "best build" is) would be POV, but bad because it would be very helpful to know what's better than other combinations. I'm inclined to say leave it as a single page; I based my current character off the suggested Vanguard build, and part of my decision was the stats about how it compared to other builds. Having all the info on one page made it easy to see what those builds were like.
And very Off-Topic: garr, I accidentally reset all the settings to defaults, and didn't realize it puts difficulty back at Normal; guess I've gotta do yet another playthrough then (was going for Hardcore completion). Oh well. Hezekiah957 04:35, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
OK. *rolls up sleeves* In that case this page needs cleanup and links. Actually this highlights the need for redirect pages for ammo/armour/weapon upgrades, rather than everyone typing out the long versions all the time... --Tullis 06:50, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

I deleted the Infiltrator/Operative/Assault rifle build and wrote a new one. The old build there was pathetically suboptimal. Specifically, the author of the build advocated assault rifles as a bonus talent. This was kind of pointless considering there were 6 in AR's, 5 in pistols. Considering the pistols can get better damage anyway, this was a fairly stupid idea. I wrote a new build, putting those points into pistol, thus having one good weapon instead of two mediocre ones. Also I used the bonus talent for AI Hacking, which gives a marked improvement in the tech abilities, and gives the infiltrator tech mastery comparable to an engineer. 02:47, 14 November 2008 (UTC)Slothen


I've gone through and overhauled this page, added links and images, fixed a few tiny bits of spelling, reorganised and whatnot. (And now my sanity hurts.) I'm going to turn those redlinks into redirects later, so it's easier to link to weapon and armour upgrades. --Tullis 17:03, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

I removed Prince's vanguard/shock trooper guide for a couple reasons. First of all, it was terrible. The low level biotics would be clearly ineffective on insanity, furthermore, the build didn't even list assault training(adrenaline burst) as a skill. Considering Shock trooper gets barrier and adrenaline burst specialization, the result would be a character with less offensive and defensive capabilities than a soldier, and severely underpowered biotics, at least for an insanity playthrough, which is the purpose of this article. 22:11, 13 November 2008 (UTC)Slothen

Adept/Bastion/AR alteration Edit

I was just debating whether or not to post my variation on the adept "mk IV" build, I've yet to complete my insanity play-through but was considering dropping 5 points of warp and adding it to spectre training (or possibly 4 in spectre and 1 in AR). Maxing warp feels pointless to me when I can have my team focus fire on the tough enemy I use advanced warp on and get practically the same effect. (Ashley works quite well as a damage sponge in this case also.) So I guess what I'm asking is should I post this very slight, variation (or make a note beneath the original build) or just leave it alone.

to clarify it's the same as the Adept/Bastion/Assault Rifle (Mk IV) with:

Assault Rifle 11 (or 12) Spectre Training 12 (or 11) Warp 7 (just enough to unlock singularity)

I'd like to point a few things about an adept/bastion/AR build: -I don't think basic Shield Boost is useful. It only reload the puny shields of your armor, so that you will better recast Barrier instead. I don't think it can be use as an "emergency boost" either, due to its slow speed of charge. Compare with Master Barrier that instantaneously give 1250 shields for a bastion. - +8% DR and hardening really don't make one hell of a difference. Playing an adept, there is really only two kind of attack on insanity: one will bounce off harmelessly of your barrier, the others(rockets, melee, acid spit) will kill you in one shoot no matter what kind of armor training you have. For this reason and the one above, I suggest forgetting entirely about basic armor training, and putting the points somewhere else. - As a continuation of the previous points, I suggest using Predator L from armax arsenal instead of Colossus Light. Its incredibly high Tech/biotic defence will greatly reduce the time during which you will be powerless because of Damping.

-- 21:48, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Finish testing it on Insanity first, then add it as a variation call-out to the old build if it works OK. --Tullis 00:32, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Alternative Infiltrator/operative/hacking Edit

I think your Infiltrator/operative/hacking build could use a bit of tweaking or at least the presentation of an alternative possibility. My preferred build is similar but with 8 on combat armor, 4 on damping and 12 on spectre training. I find this build is more than survivable even without the increased shield boost. In my opinion, any build with master immunity really doesn't need master shield boost . A couple of Medical Exoskeleton armour upgrades can take care of all the skill cooldowns and give you good regeneration. Immunity can then be kept on at ALL times and sabotage can be used often enough that the enemy barely has any opportunity to shoot at you.

Damping isn't such a crucial skill but you still get plenty of bang for your skill-point buck with four points. After the first four points in damping the radius increase per point reduces to 2% from 4% (4th point gives you 18% up from 14%, the 5th gives you 20% up from 18%). This build also doesn't have those 2 wasted left-over points. It squeezes the absolute most out of every skill point gained. I also find it very hard to believe that anyone would advocate the use of sniper rifles without spectre training. Spectre training is the only way to increase the rate at which your weapons steady and it really is an absolute must for sniper rifles. Steadying the barrel takes noticeably longer without spectre training and timing is everything with snipers. A split second makes a big difference to the battle when you're waiting to take your shot. I find that this build is just as survivable as yours but has VASTLY improved sniper use. The only disadvantage of this build compared to yours is that it doesn't have advanced damping. However, overall i think it extracts more from each skill point used. And let us also not forget the usefulness of master unity which my build has.

Some Cleanup Edit

I've taken the liberty of conflating the 4 different Adept builds into one; SonsofNorthWind himself improved upon the first build, and Psykotyrant's further changes can also be considered an objective improvement. His second build, however, neglecting Armor entirely and being undecided wether to invest in Assault Rifles or Spectre Training, wasn't a convincing further improvement. I'd suggest putting new builds under the scrutiny of the Mass Effect forum's regulars, before adding them here.

Further changes I intend to make: Consolidating the soldier builds into one, based on Iseo Tiakan's and INMWME's soldiers, while keeping most of the useful advice; removing the rather uninspiring Operative Infiltrator build; and adding the orthodox Engineer and Sentinel builds from the forum.

March 23rd Face-lift Edit

First of all, this wasn't a content change. I didn't add any new builds, and hadn't originally removed any of the old builds. This was amended because I did include the changes made by (and so some of the removals made by him or her included the consolidation of the Adept builds).

Primarily, the changes I made were with regards to grammar, punctuation, spelling, formatting, and consistency; all for the sake of the user's readability and convenience. With things such as alphabetization (of both classes and individual talents), it is easier for the user to find and/or compare things.

Another major change made was the removal of excessive links. Each build was left with one link per topic. This removes unnecessary clutter, while still allowing readers the convenience of not having to scroll to a different build.

Most abbreviations have been removed for the sake of clarity, however, AI (i.e. Artificial Intelligence) and DPS (i.e. damage per second) are fairly ubiquitous and have intentionally been left unchanged.

Some of the original phrases, and wording of authors have been made, however, regardless of my own opinions I made every effort to maintain the author's original intent. Again, such changes were made for the sake of readability.

I did leave some sections with things that I did not necessarily like, but was hesitant to change.

1) *ADEPT / Bastion / Assault Rifle* build

The ">" sign could easily be changed to words, and this would be my preference, however I do not wish to change what it was the author intended, and left it be.

2) *SOLDIER / Commando / Warp*

a) I have no idea what the phrase, “The same is also true of damage protection as granted by Combat Armor, Immunity and Spectre Training," means. It really doesn't read very well, but since I didn't understand it, I didn't change it.

b) The original author mentions that “Wrex or Liara” would be good squad-mates, but makes no explanation or justification of this. It would be nice to include a little more detail.

I've been away for some time from this wiki, but coming back and reading the notes, I went in and tidied up my portion of the article to address the outstanding issues. I rewrote the sentence listed in item A to be more easily read, but I was basically just trying to say the added damage protection from shock trooper is in the same way unecessary as the added health, and that the combat armor/immunity/spectre training was ample for damage protection. For item B, I went back and expanded the sentence referencing Wrex and Liara, although I felt that it was explained well already. If you take it in the context of the previous sentence, I was saying that Warp redundancy could be achieved by Adrenaline Rush and/or using squad mates (Liara and Wrex in this case) who could cast Warp. I felt that it was implied, but added it anyways. T0rin 15:35, September 29, 2009 (UTC)


Andaryn 22:01, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

There may be a 'wikification' pass done on this too, for elegance of links etc. Also, the images are now over-sized for some reason; they need correcting or they look huge and pixelated. Other than that, good editing. :) --Tullis 22:11, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you mean by 'wikification,' Tullis, but I did try to resolve the image issue. And thanks! Andaryn 22:18, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
Actually 'wikification' is incorrect, as that refers to putting an article into wiki-correct language and this is fine. I'd just be checking the links and fixing one or two things (for example, some alien race names and words like 'biotics' are capitalised when they should not be, etc). Little fixes like that. --Tullis 22:22, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
Excellent. I'll keep an eye on the changes, so I can (try to) avoid those same mistakes next time! Andaryn 22:26, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
They're not mistakes, just changes. :) --Tullis 22:32, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
Hehe... shall we agree on improvements, then? Andaryn 19:30, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

Note On Adversary CapitalisationEdit

  • Geth units are capitalised (as they are the title of a unit) but the word 'geth' is not.
  • Asari commandos and krogan battlemasters -- some debate about this. For now I've been leaving them in lower case until we decide.

--Tullis 14:40, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

I was under the impression that Battlemaster is a title, not just a class. None of the other characters are referred to as their class (Mechanist, Agent, Scientist), but Wrex is referred to as a Battlemaster. Redlaceparasol 05:30, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Face-lift Improvement Revist Edit

Better to ask, before I continue doing the wrong thing.


  1. I'm noticing you changed the [[<topic>|<topics>]] to [[topic]]s. Was that just your stylistic preference or was there a rule regarding this?
  2. Regarding capitalization, are mobs capitalized?
  3. If the answer to the above is yes, then is the species capitalized?
  4. Regarding mob links again, did you prefer full names always (e.g. geth fodder and geth morefodder versus geth fodder and morefodder)? I was under the impression that grammatically, repeating "geth," for example, is unnecessary if it is previously listed, and all the other parts of the list include it, as well.
  5. Regarding species links, I again noted you've removed them from mob links. Was this intentional?

I'll probably have a lot more questions as I go through the improvements. But for now if my changes are unnecessary, feel free to undo my revisit.


Regards, Andaryn 14:52, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Heh... always one step ahead of me, huh, Tullis? Andaryn 14:53, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Eh, we've had a lot of vandalism lately so my response time is up a bit :) ).
  1. It's a stylistic preference for elegance. It also makes it a hell of a lot easier to write articles if I just have to type [[asari commando]]s rather than [[asari]] [[asari commando|commandos]]. It cuts down on punctuation errors too, as it's very easy to forget to put in a comma after using lots of brackets.
  2. , 3., 4.: See above comments about adversary capitalisation.
5. Species links are removed from mobs because that title does not refer to the species, but the unit concerned. A link to its species is pretty much the first thing on that unit's page anyway.
Any other questions, lemme know. --Tullis 15:05, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Removed Build Edit

I removed the "ENGINEER / Medic / Barrier" build by "some random guest who thinks he's all that" as from what I understand this is supposed to be for the best builds in the game. The build was labeled as Gold Standard because, quite frankly, the person creating it thought that Gold Standard was speaking more about making people think rather than building a very effective character (glance at article history and read creator's comments if you need confirmation of that). If there is disagreement concerning the removal, I'm very sorry however quite frankly this is a bad build. I do not think anyone wants to play this game focusing on command class members with no fighting of their own and if so they can simply start a new character and not invest any talents. We do not need to be told how to build a weak character.

-- 18:49, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

That's reasonable. If people rise up as one and demand it back, I'll roll it back, but until then I don't think we'll miss it that much. --Tullis 19:29, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Adept/bastion+assault rifle Edit

Could I add a bit to this stating that the sniper as a bonus talent may not be the worst of choices? My reasoning is that the assault rifle while balanced may be one of its drawbacks. It takes 3 seconds of exposure to enemy fire(bad) to achieve the same amount of damage that a single sniper shot(maybe 1 second if you're at ~75m+ for aiming) can deliver, not counting the fact that assassination is +225% damage + instant shot steady vs overkill's nothing. It also, if outfitted with the correct weapon mods and ammunition has the ability to not only knock down, but knock back enemies with quite some force.

Yay or nays? 20:06, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Sure, add it to the 'Variants' section underneath. --Tullis 20:11, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

I've got a build that I'd like to add to this list. I was inspired to create it because of the lack of a Sentinel build here. I've played with it extensively now, and would like to post the build, I also ended up doing quite a bit of math on cooldown reductions, duration increases, actual damage values for various skills after ingame buffs, that I wouldn't mind posting, where would be a good place to put that page in?

(TomBeraha 21:03, 22 June 2009 (UTC)) Tom

Hrrrrrrrrrrm. Something like that might be suited to the Combat page. Why don't you knock it together as a guide for now, and we'll see how it goes?
As for your Sentinel build--go ahead and pop it in. --Tullis 21:35, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

SENTINEL build Edit

It's posted now, let me know if I messed up anything, first time doing an edit to a wiki. I think I'll try to place the cooldown guide I've transformed a bunch of the math I did into into the guide section named as such. If you think of a better place for it let me know :)

TomBeraha 00:01, 23 June 2009 (UTC)Tom

This build won't work well on the Xbox 360 version of the game because of the power wheel glitch. --Daitenzin 22:24, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

I hadn't read a lot about the bug for the console version of the game before. It looks nasty. You can eliminate one of your skills from the skill wheel by going Medic instead of bastion. Your cooldowns will be about 1.5sec slower on average, you can take Throw 12 instead of Spectre Training too, because the medic specialty will give you a much more powerful resurrection ability with first aid than unity will provide even at lvl12. I'm not sure when the bug exactly comes into effect, Is it a hard limit on number of abilities that you can have? If so then I think this will help somewhat to achieve the primary goal of the build (lots of options). I've made the trade before, the slightly weaker barrier can be tough on insanity, but is still manageable.

TomBeraha 11:38, 25 June 2009 (UTC)Tom

The bug causes you to loose a bonus tech or biotic off the wheel. I think it's triggered by having seven non gun abilities other without the bonus talent (so not having unity would prevent it) but it may be 6 tech or biotic powers. Gun abilities have a special slot so they don't get lost. If the power is mapped to the bumper before it's lost it can be used that way but it's kind of awkward. I'd suggest looking at the official forums as there are fairly standard builds for sentinels, particularly bastion, taking the bug into account. --Daitenzin 20:22, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

I'm sure there are other Sentinel Builds that are viable and focus on fewer active skills, it just seemed to me to be kind of contrary to what a Sentinel should be. In my mind, the hybrids of any game / world are jacks of all trades, I'd rather have as many options as are possible available when playing as one and never be as good at any of them as a true specialist would. Sentinels are the Bard of the Mass Effect universe to me :) Do you think it would be worth adding to the Notes at the bottom a 'Console Friendly' variant?

TomBeraha 00:17, 26 June 2009 (UTC)Tom

I don't want to get into a discussion about optimisation of the build here. The best place to get it critiqued is the official forum. A Sentinel which allows for the bug is a different build, I think you should add a note that this build will be subject to the bug. --Daitenzin 00:46, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

ExpiredRascals 03:18, October 4, 2009 (UTC) I tried editing the sentinel build to attribute it to the original creator, ExpiredRascals, yesterday. It has since reverted to its original form. The original postings proposing this build can be found here with some auxiliary informal debate here. I think it necessary that it be attributed to the original creator just as the other builds are. I understand the possible perceived conflict of interests given my own role as creator, but I know that I was the first to pioneer and propose it, and at the point that I left the forums it was not yet generally accepted as the best. Upon my return to the forums I saw the general respect for the once-underdog bud and decided to check if it had been added here.

On a side note, it would be worthwhile to incorporate some of the points from those threads into the reasoning and purpose of the build--ExpiredRascals 03:17, October 4, 2009 (UTC)

NOTE ON SIGNATURES: After some thought, I've put the Gold Standards author signatures into the wiki code itself. Your signature is still there, it just isn't there to the casual observer. My reasoning is this: the wiki is not a forum. All edits have the disclaimer beneath about articles being "mercilessly edited". On a forum, you have ownership of your posts and therefore your builds, but putting these builds on the wiki opens them up to the public for editing, improvement and other ideas which ultimately benefits everyone. My hope in "removing" / hiding the signatures is to discourage a feeling of ownership and focus on making the build the best it can be, and allow input from other wiki users. Otherwise people become upset when their build is edited. A wiki is a living document: there will always be changes to whatever's submitted here. --Tullis 15:34, October 4, 2009 (UTC)

Tullis, While I can very much understand your reasons for hiding the authors, it causes you to run afoul of plagiarism by not giving fair credit to the original creators. This normally would not come up as people wave such interests by posting their own work on a wiki, but these builds were taken from another location without any action by the creators. They therefore did not wave those interests. Under the current format, it very much appears like the forums gave inspiration for this page but may not have actually helped much on the specifics. This is complicated by many of the builders exact words being reproduced here outside of quotations. This page, while edited by people on a wiki, is almost completely pulled from another location where the directly quoted authors have not waved their rights to their work. ExpiredRascals 19:03, October 4, 2009 (UTC)

ExpiredRascals 09:13, October 4, 2009 (UTC) I removed the variant suggestion for an AI hacking Medic Sentinel from the notes category as such a build is far from gold standard for a plethora of reasons. Some such reasons include the pitiful benefit gained from medic specialization when when compared to bastion, that AI hacking will initiate the power-wheel glitch, that most crowd-control is non-target-specific and therefore removes the utility of AI hacking by neutralizing your hacked opponent, that medic would suggest the investment of points into shock which is an inferior version of throw. This has been established on the forums and so the "variant" listed in the notes felt like someone personal sub-optimal build

On the subject of citing the authors/creators Edit

I posted this originally among the sentinel build talk (on this page), but on second reading it is clear that it is best applied as a separate issue (I intentionally have not removed it though from its original location for despite the duplicity). So here is my piece, copy and pasted:

"Tullis, While I can very much understand your reasons for hiding the authors, it causes you to run afoul of plagiarism by not giving fair credit to the original creators. This normally would not come up as people wave such interests by posting their own work on a wiki, but these builds were taken from another location without any action by the creators. They therefore did not wave those interests. Under the current format, it very much appears like the forums gave inspiration for this page but may not have actually helped much on the specifics. This is complicated by many of the builders exact words being reproduced here outside of quotations. This page, while edited by people on a wiki, is almost completely pulled from another location where the directly quoted authors have not waved their rights to their work." ExpiredRascals 22:54, October 4, 2009 (UTC)

I'm not aware of "rights" relating to character builds. There is a difference between giving credit and having rights to material. That is why the author names remain in the code, as it goes against our style guide for people to visibly sign their work on pages. These are character builds, not works of fiction, which blur the line of "original works" where copyright would apply. Besides, you cannot level ownership because there must be thousands of people who created these builds themselves on their home consoles, either deliberately or by accident, but are not forum-goers and never posted them to "claim" them. So there will be thousands of identical builds out there not claimed by their creators, who have as much "right" to those builds as anyone else. But I understand your concerns, so I want to handle this.
We can't have it both ways with this page. We can't be a forum and a wiki at the same time. Our options are: these builds remain static and unchanged and accredited to the authors who posted these builds--which is understandable--but that violates the concept of a wiki and the entire point of posting them to begin with. Or, we have the current system, where people are free to edit them but the original build gets changed--for better or worse. Or, we notify the "creators" of these builds and point out that they're free to remove them from this page if they don't want them displayed or changed.
Or, and this is increasingly becoming my preferred option, we remove this page from the wiki entirely due to these various conflicts and link directly to the forum thread instead. --Tullis 00:05, October 5, 2009 (UTC)

I understand your exasperation with this page as it obviously must be a frequent bone of contention. I think it provides something valuable to the wiki, but I believe that the direct reproductions of others work (more their written work surrounding the build rather than the actual point spreads) without their consent and without attributing it to them put this on shaky ground. For example, the shock trooper build by chaw has extensive original research and testing that should be attributed to him, also so should the extensive write-up written by him and then posted here verbatim by others. I believe that a wiki while edited by all does atleast note where they pull their information. That is why wikipedia has quotation marks on reproduced work and miles of citations at the bottom of each page. It is not to create edit wars, it is to preserve the reputation of wikis and to fairly give credit where credit is due. I don't think it mandatory to necessarily add the references in line, but they should be accessible on the article page without showing intent to edit. --ExpiredRascals 05:48, October 5, 2009 (UTC)

Actually this page hasn't been a bone of contention so much as it's been a pain to keep organised. This is the first complaint I've had since removing the visible signatures, so I have to deal with it. But there is a link to the original forum thread right at the top of the page to show our sources, and again, the signatures do remain on the page, though I do understand (and to an extent, agree with) your original point. I also would point out that several authors of these builds have edited and contributed to this page in the past.
My problem is that, again, having signatures on guides on the wiki avoids a lot of these problems, but there are some people who don't mind submitting guides for all and some who do not. Again: forum / wiki issues. As I said, I'm thinking that a better solution may be to simply delete this page entirely, and turn its links into a link to the forum thread. I have to admit I've always had a little bit of concern about whether this page belongs here, not only due to the signatures issue but because it doesn't really come under guides: it's just people's opinion that was posted pretty much verbatim from the forums.
Have you asked on the forums what people's views would be? Also: what are others' opinions on this? Andaryn, any thoughts? --Tullis 12:50, October 5, 2009 (UTC)

Why not simply go the wikipedia route? numbered citations at the bottom. This prevents the builds from becoming competitions as the in-line citations seem to incite, but it keeps it accessible for the interested --ExpiredRascals 16:19, October 5, 2009 (UTC) Edit: I personally though like your current set-up, I didn't see it until just now, so by no means am I advocating a change, I am just trying to offer things that would be more agreeable to you. --ExpiredRascals 16:21, October 5, 2009 (UTC)

I put the signatures back in for the time being until this is decided, but citations would work. (What do you mean by "current set-up", by the way?)
Unfortunately I'm staying the heck away from the Mass Effect forums right now, as avoiding spoilers has become like trying to tango on a minefield. : ) Is there any chance you could gather those links for us, and I'll find a way to work the attribution into the page? --Tullis 16:41, October 5, 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, I think that I have most of the pages favorited on the forums, so I'll try to scrounge up those links. I am absolutely terrible at webcoding though, so I would prefer not to be the one adding them. "current set-up" meant the way it is now with a one-liner above each build citing the author. back to the topic of the forums, I am unsure how to link to a specific post with their specific forum software, so unless I can figure it out or get some pointers, I will only be able to get the specific pages rather than the specific posts --ExpiredRascals 16:58, October 5, 2009 (UTC)

Send 'em to me in an email or put them on my Talk page, and I'll sort it out. That's m' job. : ) --Tullis 19:54, October 5, 2009 (UTC)
Well, why not get rid of this page and be done with it? Full Disclosure: I've never been to favorably disposed to this page. That being said, this page has never really seemed to me like it fits with the wiki's intended goal as an encyclopedia, as right at the top of the article it states that these are opinions, nothing but. And opinion-driven "articles" such as this really belong on forums, not in an encyclopedic work. SpartHawg948 21:27, October 5, 2009 (UTC)
That was part of my thinking on this issue. However I didn't want to arbitrarily delete it without getting input and going through possible alternative options first. On the other hand this page has been here for ages, and this issue has only suddenly come up since I removed the signatures. Again: if this is going to be a problematic page for other reasons, and may encourage more opinion-over-fact editing, and other such things, maybe it's better if it goes. --Tullis 22:51, October 5, 2009 (UTC)
I think it a tad unfair to say that something with a basis in opinion does not belong on a wiki. Along these lines, much of linguistics and many parts of history would be omitted from wikipedia along with all religions and many scientific theories. Nearly everything is based in opinion. There are optimal builds. Some builds are better than others. This page belongs here because of this. (And sorry that I haven't gotten those links to you yet, I'm still working on it and Mondays are heavy for me.) --ExpiredRascals 01:13, October 6, 2009 (UTC)
But to bring this down to earth: we're an encyclopedia about Mass Effect, not a forum or a linguistic analysis section. Saying there are better builds than others only applies to individuals. My Vanguard build is far from optimal, but she suits my playstyle perfectly. This isn't reporting something that's in the game, we're getting into quibbling over nuances. --Tullis 01:20, October 6, 2009 (UTC)
Exactly! These are optimal builds for some, not for others. And to be honest, you can't compare religion, with thousands of years of history, documentation and tradition, or history, which is observed and recorded for posterity's sake and then pored over by scholars, to a couple of class builds from a video game. Bottom line- this is an encyclopedia of observed facts from the games and novels. A few class builds that are optimal in the opinions of a few people do not belong. Save it for the forums. SpartHawg948 03:22, October 6, 2009 (UTC)
except that they aren't optimal purely based in opinions. The gold standard builds have been tweaked, argued, tested, and calculated ad nauseum. These have enough backing them that they belong in any comprehensive Mass Effect wiki. You pointed out that religion has been around for millenia, and that is true, but much of linguistics has developed recently and and topic such as philosophy constantly shift and are important areas of study despite being purely based in opinion. Hell, there is so much of random opinions spread throughout this wiki in particular that would make it a travesty to lose this as you would be excising the only well thought-out and backed up "opinions" of the bunch. belittling what this wiki is and what purpose it serves hardly serves your point and in fact weakens your position.
As I hinted at in my reference to CHaw's work, these builds may have hundreds of man-hours behind them from Macsbug's hacking to determine the damage formulae to the hours spent bickering on the forums about every little tweak, to the hours of gameplay needed to level and test these. This work looks oddly scientific due in part to the heavy base in empirical data--these builds are not people blow smoke out of their ***es.
This wiki is meant to serve people interested in the Mass Effect games and universe. They are here to learn. Most people that come here are here for one of two reasons: to guide them through their first playthrough or to add to the metagame. The metagame is where the power-gaming often comes in, where people build the strongest builds that can possibly be made. These builds are here to offer that service to the people that obviously are interested. I find my ire rising, so I'm going to leave it there--ExpiredRascals 04:23, October 6, 2009 (UTC)
Well, Mass Effect is an rpg, and like all rpgs, there is no right or wrong way to play it. Therefor, any attempt to put out a class build is a matter of opinion. As has been said, what is optimal for one, or a few, is far from optimal for others. I would also object to your statement that "there is so much of random opinions spread throughout this wiki in particular...". First, I would obviously object from a purely grammatical standpoint, but can you please cite examples of "random opinions" in our articles? (Note: Talk pages, blogs and trivia sections don't count, as all these are clearly distinguished from the encyclopedic portion of the wiki) This wiki is meant to provide information to people interested in the Mass Effect games and universe, but there are services that we do not provide. This site is not a forum, as those already exist, and that is beyond the purview of an encyclopedic site. If you want this info to be accessible to others, put a link to the page (or pages) where this info originated on your user page. Simple enough. SpartHawg948 09:28, October 6, 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I'd also like to know where these random opinions are. I don't know why most people come to the wiki, but those I've spoken to come here for reference, interest or fun, or to contribute. We do have existing class guides which suggest different playstyles, but creating pages solely for the power gamers is a little different. As SpartHawg states below, we have to accept people can either keep adding to this page ad infinitum, or simply link to the forums so people can find the info if they need to.
I'm sorry but we can't be all things to everyone. You seem to want us to keep this page to showcase these builds here on the wiki, but when we take measures to open them up for editing and changes (removing the signatures) that's not okay, despite the fact that if they are on a wiki, they WILL get changed by people who are not the original authors unless we lock the article and throw away the key. This is our 17th most-visited page, so if there was a better solution I'd like to find one, but doesn't linking here to the forum thread accomplish what everyone wants? Power gamers have somewhere to look, that includes all the arguments and justifications that accompany the builds, you guys can be certain your work's being credited properly, and we're providing for the power gamers who may come here too.
I'd also like to point out that this discussion is getting over 2,500 words. Scary. --Tullis 13:00, October 6, 2009 (UTC)
What? We can't be all things to everyone? Hmmm...guess I should stop advertising us to people as "The Mass Effect Wiki- We're everything to everyone!" :P Yeah, I mean, I have no problem whatsoever with linking to forums with this info, I just don't believe this is the place for it. ME is a Role-Playing-Game, and the great thing about RPGs is that you are free to create your character however you want. There is no right or wrong way to do it! Saying that one person's ideal is the "optimal build" is like saying there is an optimal way to eat an ice cream cone. (I know, I used that one already in the next thread, but I couldn't come up with anything better) No matter how extensively you test and analyze it, it's still just your opinion. SpartHawg948 20:51, October 6, 2009 (UTC)

Deletion Edit

Due to the fact this topic has become a bone of contention, I suggest we hold off a) any decisions about deletion, and b) detailed discussion on the subject of deletion, until 20 October 2009. That will give us a long cooling-off period to approach this more rationally. --Tullis 00:06, October 7, 2009 (UTC)
  • Ok, well, this idea has been bounced around a bit, and since the ongoing debate about this page's relevance to/appropriateness on this site seems to be going nowhere and getting some tempers up, let's just put it on the table. This is a fact-based encyclopedia. The standard we have set is pretty simple- to qualify, it needs to be documented and verifiable in the games/books/official BioWare sites. Opinion is a no-no, as is speculation. Class builds in a role-playing game are, by their very nature, a matter of opinion, and opinion is a matter for the forums, not for a wiki. Furthermor, this page just seems to be growing and growing. When does it end? Will it keep getting longer and longer as more games come out and more people come up with their own "optimal builds"? We need to draw the line somewhere, and this should be a no-brainer. This is not a matter of fairness or anything, it's a simple matter of policy, and the policy is clear. Facts are for the wiki, opinions for the official forums.
  • Of course, should anyone disagree, this is the place to make those feelings clear, but know that action will be taken (one way or the other) shortly. SpartHawg948 09:41, October 6, 2009 (UTC)
*puts on devil advocate T-shirt*
Well, we do have existing class and weapon guides that are arguably opinions on how to play best. (Though I think we're starting to apply that restriction a bit too harshly, but that's a discussion for elsewhere.) Those guides, though, tended to fill in for the lack of a tutorial in the original 360 release rather than be fan-created builds.
My issue is that this is a page that seems better suited for a fan site than a wiki. If we're just supposed to display these class builds as if they're in a glass case, that's not what we're here for. This is getting uncomfortably close to what I've seen on Talk pages, where people use them to post long theories on story and plot (i.e. the old Thorian Talk page) that don't really belong on those pages. This is a very popular page, though, so we have to think of the users involved before arbitrarily deleting it. That's why I've been hoping other users will speak up and let us know what they think. Linking to the forum thread seems the most sensible option for everyone, for the reasons I've listed above, but I want more than three people's opinions before we delete this. Just my input. --Tullis 13:11, October 6, 2009 (UTC)

The way I see it, SpartHawg is WAY to strongly in favor of deletion, I am probably not the most level-headed person to argue for its retention, and tullis is nicely in the middle with a leaning towards deletion (not what I would hope, but not bad per se) and a very level-headed view. On to my argument (building on what I've already said though much seems ignored):

I don't think that these builds are purely opinion. What the optimum is, is not just whatever works for someone, especially because this is an rpg. This was gone over extensively in the forum thread (see for example the argument over speechcraft). Just because you want something easier to achieve and less time consuming, doesn't mean you can change the definition of optimal or question the results.

These builds are not in glass cases. Anyone can create a gold standard build, but they must: extensively test it, evaluate alternatives, meticulously craft their argument for it, and through these, prove its compatibility with the gold standard. These builds are to show what is most effective AND why. They are here to show all that a character can be if the time is taken.

I used to play Diablo 2. When creating a character, putting stat points into something like strength that your items would eventually give you was a choice that you could make, but everyone knew that it lowered your character from the optimum even though it may have made early leveling easier.

This page belongs here (that is my stance if it wasn't clear before) -- 17:30, October 6, 2009 (UTC) --oops hadn't signed in ExpiredRascals 17:34, October 6, 2009 (UTC)

  • I would like to point out that my original points for deletion remain unanswered: 1)Where is the sourcing from official sources (as is required of articles here); 2) How is playing style/character composition for a role-playing game not opinion? Saying there is an optimal way to play it is like saying there is an optimal way to eat an ice cream cone- you may have extensively tested and evaluated it, but it's still opinion; and 3) Where does it all end? This is getting waaaaayyyy too long. SpartHawg948 19:48, October 6, 2009 (UTC)
1. that was my original issue with this page, if you bother to look back at my point on the sentinel build. Not really sure what the problem is, that just means that this page requires clean-up--not deletion
2. You completely ignored my point here, but even playing style, when speaking of the optimum, is not an opinion, but a choice of when and where to deviate.
3. "This discussion is getting long, so let's just do what I want" i'm not sure what the pointy of this is...
--ExpiredRascals 20:31, October 6, 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure what the "pointy" is either! :) The point is that we need to have a finite end point. This can't just go on ad nauseum. Also, in reference to your second point, I'm pretty sure I addressed it directly when I stated that in an rpg there is NO RIGHT OR WRONG way to play and NO RIGHT AND WRONG way to set up a character. There are opinions as to what is optimal, but that's all they are, opinions. (And honestly, I think my ice-cream cone analogy was spot on) Well, starting another debate is not the purpose of this particular thread, soooo... I think I'm gonna sit back and be quiet for a while, see what other users think. SpartHawg948 20:37, October 6, 2009 (UTC)
I didn't read the entire discussion so I may repeat or disregard something that was already said.
Personally I don't see a point in having this page, not because it's "to each is own" style of play, but because Mass Effect is not really a build oriented game - the change is almost unnoticeable, especially if you look at the build in levels 50-60 (at that point of the game, I rarely try to find cover and just tackle the opponents head-on). There are games like Neverwinter Nights in which changes to a character build could have a major significance and although it always depends on play style, you still have allot of minor and major modification to a character that allow for better utilization of the game. --silverstrike 22:39, October 6, 2009 (UTC)
i've not been around for as long as some of you, guys, but, for what's it worth:
this page is pointless. it's just a set of personal prefferences from some random people and, no matter the amount of math and research put into these builds, this stuff simply isn't wiki material. i could give you a lot of examples, like, say, armor training, which is mentioned in many so-called "gold builds" - i never bother with this stuff, because to any action player worth his salt shotgun+colossus light+obstacles for cover (like mako)=completely eliminates the need for additional protection from armor training. and, before somebody says 'but what if i want to "tank"?' - that, as mentioned already, a personal prefference and as such has no place whatsoever on the wiki. i could go on but, frankly, it's so obvious i just can't see why defend this page.
just an opinion. LLlaxmep 11:13, October 7, 2009 (UTC)
Deletion or not, there's one big problem with this page - the long-winded, nauseatingly painful, and in my view, totally unnecessary descriptions and analysis on every single aspect of the build and its conception. They should ALL (especially the two Soldier ones, which quite frankly are a joke) be limited to sentences split into: 'Talents, 'Bonus Talents', 'Style of play', and a very brief, short pros and cons. Nothing else, no bull****, no justification, and something simple like 'Singularity: Allows you to pull enemies out of cover. VERY useful' If I can abridge most of those builds into a much smaller, neater, and generally comprehendable product in my head, I'm sure the writers of them can as well. Phylarion 13:26, October 9, 2009 (UTC)

October 20thEdit

So the long-awaited date of October 20th is here, and a clear majority would seem to support the deletion. SpartHawg948 21:51, October 20, 2009 (UTC)
I would agree. --Tullis 21:54, October 20, 2009 (UTC)
Down with the turians- I mean down with this page. 09:14, October 21, 2009 (UTC)
With that in mind, I'm gonna delete the page. I have removed all 1 of the links from other articles to here, however I have not removed the links from talkpages, as I prefer not to alter those without consent. SpartHawg948 12:08, October 21, 2009 (UTC)

Builds Anywhere?Edit

Obviously I'm late to the party, and I would very much like to avoid stepping on any toes. In my opinion, sites like this are a general resource for the community, and while I can appreciate the desire to differentiate fact from opinion, I still think opinion has a place on it. I personally would like to see at least some builds living somewhere on the wiki, whether it be on the class-specific guide pages or in a central depository. That all being said, it looks like there have been Decisions (with a capital D) made on this topic, so I would just like to confirm my guess with a question. Should builds exist anywhere on this wiki? --Apparentbliss 18:59, November 13, 2009 (UTC)
Someone decided to add builds on one of the wiki's forum pages, but that's it. The points listed above still stand. I keep saying that we are not a forum. We don't exist to host people's opinions on the best builds, because that just starts this whole discussion all over again: we're here to report and gather factual information. The forums exist for people to post and discuss them if they wish; people can put their Shepard's builds on their talk pages; but if we start hosting builds again, it's going to be more trouble than it's worth. Purging this page was enough of a trial. I really don't want to start it again. Sorry. --Tullis 19:05, November 13, 2009 (UTC)
No apologies necessary. -- Apparentbliss 19:11, November 13, 2009 (UTC)

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