Despite Bioware having made it clear many times before it seems that there’s still a lot of gamers out there having trouble grasping how the multiplayer affects their singleplayer storyline and how playing multiplayer is not required to achieve the “perfect” ending in Mass Effect 3. Now that the game has been released into the wild to fend for itself there’s even more gamers running around with bemused looks on their faces.
So, Jarrett Lee of Bioware took to the official Bioware forums to clarify things for gamers and explain exactly how the system works, how it affects the outcome of your singleplayer game and reminds everyone that multiplayer is entirely optional. Pay attention, now, there might be a test later:
“I’ve seen some posts where there is a bit of confusion about the ability to get the “perfect ending” by only playing single-player, because if you don’t play multiplayer (or the iOS game, Infiltrator) your Galactic Readiness stays at 50%.
You do NOT have to play multiplayer to get the best single-player endings.
Here’s a bit of clarification:
Your ending(s) are determined by your “Effective Military Strength” (let’s call it EMS for now) bar. Focus on that bar – that is your indicator of how well you will do in the end-game.
You can maximize your EMS just by collecting War Assets in the single-player game. There is a certain threshhold of these you would need to exceed (I can’t get too specific) but I can tell you there are MORE than the required amount that can be gathered in the single-player campaign.
“Galactic Readiness” is a modifier you can improve by playing multiplayer. That is to say, if you play a lot of multiplayer, you will need less War Assets from single-player to fill up your EMS bar (ie it will balance out the requirements to account for you playing in both modes). Single-player game play does not impact that bar.
EMS = success. EMS can be maximized via collecting war assets alone, even if your Galactic Readiness is 50%.”
Have you got that? Good. Now run off, kids, and go save the galaxy from the Reapers like the good little Commander Shepard you are. Or like the bad little Commander Shepard you are.