Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer Guide v1.10 - ShinesmanOW
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Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer Guide

by ShinesmanOW   Updated to v1.10 on
This walkthrough was originally written for Mass Effect 3 on the PC, but the walkthrough is still applicable to the PS3 version of the game.
Multiplayer guide for Mass Effect 3.

* New or revised material for this version, 1.1.0, is marked with
* an asterisk at the left side of the text.  Removed sections will
* have an asterisked line and a brief summary of the removed
* contents in parentheses.

* Because this is a major update, I have not marked the table of
* contents with updated sections, as more or less all of the sections
* of the guide have changed.  The specific character builds section
* has been completely rewritten.

***********************TABLE OF CONTENTS**************************

I. General
   A. Searching this guide
   B. Multi and Single
   C. "Horde Mode"

II. Gameplay
   A. Game setup
      1. Wave system
      2. Objectives
          a. Kill tarets
          b. Activate objects
          c. Hack computer
*         d. Escort drone
*         e. Retrieve objects
*         f. Extract the team
      3. Managing your team
*         a. What N7 rank means
*         b. Challenges
          c. Communicating
*         d. Kicking players
   B. Difficulty levels
*     1. Bronze
*     2. Silver
*     3. Gold
*     4. Platinum
*  C. Maps
   D. Enemies
      1. Cerberus
      2. Geth
*     3. Reapers
*     4. Collectors

III. Characters and Skills
   A. Capabilities common to all characters
*     1. Weapons
*        a. Sniper Rifles
*        b. Assault Rifles
*        c. Submachine Guns
*        d. Shotguns
*        e. Heavy Pistols
*        f. Weapons to avoid
*     2. Melee
*     3. Consumables
*     4. Equipment
         a. Ammunition
         b. Rails
         c. Armor
*        d. Gear
      5. Reviving
*     6. Combination effects
*     7. Defense and shields
   B. Adepts
*     1. Human Adept
*     2. Asari Adept
*     3. Drell Adept
*     4. Asari Justicar
*     5. Phoenix Adept
*     6. N7 Fury
*     7. Volus Adept
*     8. Krogan Shaman
*     9. Batarian Slasher
   C. Soldiers
*     1. Human Soldier
*     2. Krogan Soldier
*     3. Turian Soldier
*     4. Battlefield 3 Soldier
*     5. Batarian Enforcer
*     6. Vorcha Soldier
*     7. N7 Destroyer
*     8. Turian Havoc
*     9. Geth Trooper
*     10. Quarian Marksman
   D. Engineers
*     1. Human Engineer
*     2. Quarian Engineer
*     3. Salarian Engineer
*     4. Geth Engineer
*     5. Quarian Male Engineer
*     6. N7 Demolisher
*     7. Volus Engineer
*     8. Turian Saboteur
*     9. Vorcha Hunter
   E. Sentinels
*     1. Human Sentinel
*     2. Turian Sentinel
*     3. Krogan Sentinel
*     4. Batarian Sentinel
*     5. Vorcha Sentinel
*     6. N7 Paladin
*     7. Volus Mercenary
*     8. Asari Valkyrie
   F. Infiltrators
*     1. Human Infiltrator
*     2. Salarian Infiltrator
*     3. Quarian Infiltrator
*     4. Geth Infiltrator
*     5. Quarian Male Infiltrator
*     6. N7 Shadow
*     7. Turian Ghost
*     8. Drell Assassin
*     9. Asari Huntress
   G. Vanguards
*     1. Human Vanguard
*     2. Drell Vanguard
*     3. Asari Vanguard
*     4. Krogan Vanguard
*     5. Phoenix Vanguard
*     6. N7 Slayer
*     7. Volus Protector
*     8. Batarian Brawler

IV. Rewards, loot, and gear
   A. Rewards
      1. Experience
      2. Credits
      3. Special objectives
   B. What's in the packs?
      1. Recruit
      2. Veteran
      3. Spectre
      4. Others
   C. The Armory
*     1. Sniper Rifles
*        a. Sniper Rifle upgrades
*     2. Assault Rifles
*        a. Assault Rifle upgrades
*     3. Submachine Guns
*        a. Submachine Gun upgrades
*     4. Shotguns
*        a. Shotgun upgrades
*     5. Heavy Pistols
*        a. Heavy Pistol upgrades
   D. Recommendations on which pack to buy

V. Bestiary
   A. Cerberus
      1. Assault Trooper
      2. Nemesis
      3. Centurion
      4. Guardian
      5. Combat Engineer
         a. Turret
*     6. Phantom
      7. Atlas
*     8. Dragoon
   B. Geth
      1. Geth Trooper
      2. Geth Rocket trooper
      3. Geth Pyro
      4. Geth Hunter
      5. Geth Prime
         a. Drones and turrets
*     6. Geth Bomber
   C. Reaper
      1. Cannibal
      2. Husk
      3. Marauder
      4. Brute
*     5. Ravager
         a. Swarmer
*     6. Banshee
*  D. Collector
*     1. Trooper
*        a. Collector Webs
*     2. Captain
*        a. Seeker Swarms and Plagues
*     3. Abomination
*     4. Scion
*     5. Praetorian
   
* VI. Closing comments

*******************Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer Guide****************

--------------I. General

This is a guide to the multiplayer component of the ME3 gameplay.  It
was written for the PC version, but all of the advice should apply in
a similar fashion to other platforms.

* The guide assumes that all multiplayer DLC to date has been 
* installed, including: Retaliation, Earth, Rebellion, and Resurgence.
* All of this DLC is free and available on Origin.

* This version of the guide was written in January of 2013.  Many
* changes have been made to the game since release, and future changes
* may make some of the specifics in this guide obsolete.

__________
   A. Searching this guide

* To find a section, searching the table of contents for the exact 
* phrase, so "1. Cannibal" should take you only to the table of 
* contents and to the relevant section of the guide.

__________
   B. Multi and Single

Multiplayer for ME3 has one specific purpose - raise the galactic
readiness level to improve your effective military strength (EMS) in
the single player game.  The only benefit of increasing EMS is if you
have not completed all of the side missions in the game and want the
normal endings or if you want the "gasp" ending.

In short, most people play multiplayer because multiplayer is fun,
not because it helps them in the single player campaign.

In addition to raising galactic readiness, you can also increase your
EMS by promoting characters from this mode - doing so gives you a war
asset.

* If your only objective is to increase EMS for single player, stick
* to Bronze difficulty missions and play the class you play in single
* player, as the human default classes are broadly similar to the
* single player Shepard's skills, though more limited.

__________
   C. "Horde Mode"

The style of the multiplayer is informally called "horde mode" 
referring to a gameplay style in the Gears of War series, which Mass 
Effect has more than borrowed from in other ways.

It is a cooperative mode of up to four players against waves of 
enemies.  There is no friendly fire and there is no player versus
player option.  A competitive score is shown, but it has no effect on
* the match - all players in a game receive the same rewards, with the
* exception of a successful extraction bonus - if you aren't in the
* landing zone (alive) at the end of the mission, you don't get it.

__________

--------------II. Gameplay

This section addresses the basic mechanics of the game in general
terms.  For specifics, see sections III through V of this guide.

__________
   A. Game setup

There is only one game mode.  To join a match, it is generally best to
search for one instead of creating your own.  When searching, be sure
to set the correct difficulty - attempting to join a Gold match at low
levels will usually result in the other players kicking you out.  The
advantage to creating your own match is that you will be the host, and
the host always has the least lag.  This is critical for some play
styles, such as Human Vanguard charge/nova.

* If you are creating a game, setting the enemy and map to random gives
* XP bonus to all enemies killed as well as an additional XP bonus from
* a "medal" at the end of Wave 10.  These medals also count towards a
* challenge in addition to the XP.

***
1. Wave system
***

There are 11 waves in each match.  Each wave includes a set of enemies
which will spawn on the map and generally each higher wave will
include a larger number of stronger enemies.  Waves 3, 6, and 10 each
have a random objective and enemies will spawn infinitely until the
objective is completed.  For waves 1-10, the wave ends when all 
enemies have been defeated.  For wave 11, a two minute timer starts
and when it ends the round is over.  Wave 11 also has infinite enemy
spawns.

At the end of each wave, all dead players are revived and everyone
receives a limited amount of ammuniton (not grenades).

***
2. Objectives
***

Wave 3, 6, and 10 each include a random objective.  There are three
varieties of objective, and the one you get each time will be random,
so you could have the same objective each time or get one of each in
* a single match.  Wave 11 always has the extraction objective.

If the time expires on an objective other than extraction, the match
ends in failure.

Completing objectives gives credits, and once the credits are rewarded
failing will not take them away.  Completing objectives quickly gives
a bonus, but the bonus is not substantially affected by the time
remaining.  The wave 11 extraction objective gives xp instead and
* credits to any player that extracted successfully.  All other rewards
* are exactly the same for all players, so getting the "high score" is
* only for bragging rights.

* Rewards are saved to your character at the end of the match, so if
* you quit or are kicked from the match due to inactivity, you will
* not receive credits or XP.

* Enemies spawn infinitely until you complete objectives, so goofing
* off and not helping with the objective is actively harming your team
* and may result in angry team members, especially on the higher
* difficulties.

          a. Kill tarets

          In this objective, a timer is set and one of the spawned
          enemies is marked as a target.  When the target dies, the
          time increases.  After four targets have been killed the
          objective is complete.


          b. Activate objects

          For this objective, an interactable object spawns at a random
          location on the map and a timer starts.  A team member must 
          activate the object and wait for the bar to fill.  Having
          multiple players on the object does not increase the fill
          speed.  Once the bar is filled, a new object appears.  After
          four objects have been cleared, the objective is complete.


          c. Hack computer

          The third objective type sets a timer and places an
          interactable spot in one of a small number of random spots
          on the map.  After a player interacts with the object, a
          blue field is set up.  While team members are within the 
          field, a bar slowly fills.  More team members in range
          increases the fill speed.  After the bar is filled, the
          objective is complete.

*         This objective is the most common offender for total idiots
*         who run around instead of helping with the objective.


*         d. Escort

*         An object appears on the map, and after a player interacts
*         with the object, it transforms into a holographic drone that
*         moves across the map.  The speed of the drone is directly
*         linked to the number of players near the drone.  The drone
*         will sometimes stun enemies or restore player shields while
*         it travels.  Once the drone arrives at the destination, the
*         objective is complete.


*         e. Retrieve objects

*         An object appears on the map and a player that interacts with
*         the object adds a heavy backpack to that character which must
*         be walked to an extraction zone.  Dashing, activating cloak,
*         or rolling will cause the object to be dropped, but otherwise
*         the carrying character can fire and use powers normally.  This
*         is repeated once, and after both objects have been returned
*         the objective is complete.

*         The object, sometimes called "the pizza," can be carried
*         faster if you move backwards.


*         f. Extract the team

          The final objective, which always happens in wave 11, sets
          a two minute timer and a designated area for extraction.  At 
          the end of the timer, the game checks how many players are 
          in the designated area and gives an xp bonus based on that
*         number.  Extracted players also receive some credits.

***
3. Managing your team
***

Up to four players can join a match, one of which acts as host.  If
the host leaves the match, the game attempts to reassign hosting
duties to one of the other players in the match.  During this attempt
an option to leave the match will come up and many players will leave
the match assuming that there is no other option.

If the host leaves during the match, the wave restarts.  This has some
other odd effects as well, for example all consumables on remaining
players will reset to full even if they were used before the current
wave.

          a. What N7 rank means

*         N7 rank is increased by one each time a player gains a level
*         on any character.  It starts at zero, but it can instantly
*         be raised to six by starting a character of each class.  Each
*         time a class reaches level 20 and the player promotes the
*         class, N7 rank is increased by ten.  Nominally a player could
*         only use one class for their entire multiplayer career and
*         never promote it, ending up with an N7 rank of 20 even after
*         playing thousands of hours, so N7 rank is a poor indicator of
*         player experience.  The rank itself does nothing.


*         b. Challenges

*         These can be accessed by the menu that appears if you are in
*         multiplayer but not in a game lobby.  They are mostly self-
*         explanatory, and these points add up to a score that also
*         displays in the game lobbies.  Like N7 rank, there are ways
*         that players could avoid gaining challenge rank.  The rank
*         itself does not convey any benefits.


*         c. Communicating

          ME3 does not support text chat.  There are options for
          microphone settings in the options menu.  If you add players
          in Origin's overlay interface, you can use Origin's text
          chat function.


*         d. Kicking players

          Since there is no idle timeout, the most frequent reason for
          kicking a player is to deal with someone who is unresponsive.
          To kick a player, click on their entry on the match creation
          screen and select kick player in the bottom left.  The
          player is kicked when all other players in the match have
*         elected to kick the player.  There is an idle timeout during
*         the actual game.

__________
   B. Difficulty levels

* There are four difficulty levels available in the game.  Increasing
difficulty also increases the xp rewards and the credit rewards.  All
players should start on Bronze unless they have completed the campaign
blindfolded with the basic shotgun and no skill points on Insanity.

I say that because if you join a silver game as a level 1 N7 1, the
other players will likely kick you and you will be soloing.

***
1. Bronze
***

Bronze is the basic difficulty level, approximately equivalent to
"normal" in the single player campaign.  If your character is level 
1-10 you should be on Bronze unless you have very good equipment, and
when just starting it is probably best to go to level 20 for your
first character on Bronze alone.

Bronze is also a good place to test out new skills and weapons.  It is
sufficiently easier than Silver and Gold that tactics and strategies
that work on Bronze may not be applicable to the harder difficulties.

Bronze can be completed solo by any level 20 character, and being able
to do solo at least up to the first objective is a good indication 
that you are ready for Silver.

* Soloing isn't terribly hard when just killing enemies, the real
* challenge is completing objectives.  Luring enemies away from
* objectives and running back is a common strategy.  When soloing, try
* not to stay in one position too long as the enemy will flank you.

***
2. Silver
***

* Each of the increases in difficulty levels means that enemies have
* better stats and that harder enemies appear earlier and more
* frequently.  For example, in a Bronze game you might see three or
* four Atlas enemies total when fighting Cerberus.  In Silver, you might
* see seven or eight, often with more than one active at a time.

* Increasing the difficulty also increases the game's speed - everything
* moves faster, shoots faster, dies faster, and kills faster.

Expect to get kicked immediately from Silver games if your character
is not at least level 10 unless your N7 rank is at least 100-200.
Many, if not most players will play Silver for the 15-20 range.

Silver is substantially harder than Bronze, but it can routinely be
completed by a pickup group of four players without any particular
team or strategy so long as those players are well equipped and know
the game pretty well.

* (a comment about Cerberus as the preferred enemy was removed.)

Many casual pickup games with experienced players are played on Silver.

Soloing silver requires serious planning, major skill, and some of the
characters simply cannot do it without incredible luck.

***
3. Gold
***

* It's unusual to see characters in Gold games that are not at least
* level 18.  Expect to get kicked if you don't have some obvious
* indication that you're a veteran player (i.e. N7 rank or challenge
* rank).

* Many Gold games will involve players who have met before, and many 
* people who play on  Gold will have a microphone and use voice chat, 
* though it's not an explicit requirement.

Strategies are more or less required for Gold, you cannot simply waltz
in and kill enemies unless you have truly godly equipment.

* (a comment about an old strategy "Geth White Gold" was removed.)

* Soloing Gold is extremely difficult.  For the solo challenge, you have
* to do it twice.  Most players will not succeed even once.

***
4. Platinum
***

* This is the "super hard" difficulty for the crazy and the bored.  If
* you're reading this FAQ for advice, you probably shouldn't be trying
* it.  Platinum adds a twist to the usual gameplay in that you fight a
* mix of all enemy factions instead of just one at a time.  Later wave
* enemies will spawn almost immediately, with Atlases in the first wave.
* Watch some YouTube videos to get a sense of the setting before
* playing it - stick to your team, communicate, and be ready to use lots
* of consumables.

* Soloing Platinum need only be done once for the challenge.

__________
   C. Maps

* There are several maps in the game, mostly taken from side missions in
* the single player campaign.  Most of the maps also have a "hazard"
* variant where some aspect of the map is changed.

* -Firebase Condor is not an area from the single player game, though
* it uses textures and layout from the Turian moon mission.  There is
* no hazard variant.  Extractions from this map are required for the
* Resurgence Mastery challenge.

* -Firebase Dagger is a wide open area with a balcony overlooking three
* quarters of the map, an excellent place for long range fights.  The
* hazard variant adds a sandstorm that impairs vision.

* -Firebase Ghost has three open arena-like areas and several closed
* structures.  The hazard variant adds rain that damages shields and
* barriers, both yours and the enemy's.

* -Firebase Glacier is the most claustrophobic of the maps, and favors
* very short range fights.  The hazard variant adds a damaging vortex
* that wanders around the map, causing severe damage to enemies and
* players that are in the way.

* -Firebase Giant has narrow corridors and a lot of walls, which makes
* it better for close range combat with the exception of one open area
* and two more open outside corridors.  The hazard variant makes the
* map much darker.

* -Firebase Goddess uses the textures from Thessia, but does not
* resemble any layout in the single player game.  It has a large inside
* room and an outside area, as well as some hallways and side rooms.
* There is no hazard variant.  Extractions from this map are part of
* the Resurgence Mastery challenge.

* -Firebase Hydra uses textures from an area cut from the single player
* game, though it resembles some of the geth surface areas.  It has a
* very large open area and is an excellent map for snipers.  There is
* no hazard variant.  Extractions from this map are required for the
* Resurgence Mastery challenge.

* -Firebase Jade is based on the Salarian lab mission textures, though
* it does not resemble the area in the single player game.  Two enclosed
* hallways with balconies surround a central courtyard.  There is no
* hazard variant.  Extractions from this map are part of the Resurgence
* Mastery challenge.

* -Firebase London is based on the area at the end of the single player
* game, and vaguely resembles the forward operating base.  There is no
* hazard variant.  Extractions from this map are part of the Earth
* Mastery challenge.  It favors long-range fights, with a very effective
* sniper perch.

* -Firebase Reactor is a very dark map and it can be difficult to see
* enemies.  The hazard variant has the central section of the map close
* down and turn into a lethal damage zone every so often.  This effect
* can be triggered using buttons near the zone, and this can be used to
* kill enemies... or allies.

* -Firebase Rio is a two-sided map, one side has a maze of storage
* containers that hide spawn points and one side is more open.  There
* is no hazard variant.  This does not appear to correspond to any
* area in the single player game.  There is no hazard variant.
* Extractions from this map are part of the Earth Mastery challenge.

* -Firebase Vancouver uses the textures from the area at the very start
* of the single player campaign.  It is an open map with few structures
* though plenty of clutter for use as cover.  There is no hazard
* variant.  Extractions from this map are part of the Earth Mastery
* challenge.

* -Firebase White is a map that is brightly lit, with a large outside
* section and a narrower inside section.  The map was substantially
* changed during one of the content updates and has a different layout
* than the single player incarnation.  The hazard variant adds a snow
* storm to the outside areas that impairs vision.

Many players will simply leave the map set to random, as doing so
gives a bonus to xp gained, but playing on Gold usually ends up with
* a specific map chosen for specific reasons.  There is also an xp bonus
* for intentionally playing on a Hazard map, but it is smaller than the
* random map bonus.

Every map includes spawn points for enemies.  These spawn points are
fixed, but the enemies will attempt to spawn at locations where the
players cannot see the spawn point.  Firebase Dagger, due to its open
layout, will sometimes allow players to see enemies popping out of
thin air.  Cerberus troops will sometimes jump in on jet packs, and
they can get stuck at their starting points by a bug, though typically
* they are still visible if you know where to look.  Other enemies have
* similar propulsion aids and will also sometimes get stuck.

The maps also include ammunition boxes which spawn thermal clips and
grenades.  They only spawn a limited number at any given time and take
a few seconds to recharge (for clips) or longer (for grenades).  The
* number of grenades from boxes is not fixed.  On higher difficulties
* grenades spawn in smaller numbers, typically only one per box, and
* heavy grenade users will have to move from box to box very frequently
* to restock or rely on the consumable thermal packs for refills.

__________
   D. Enemies

For more details, see the "Bestiary" entries in section V.  This is
just an overview.  As with the maps, you get bonus xp if you allow the
game to pick which enemy you fight at random.

***
1. Cerberus
***

Cerberus is the most diverse of the enemy groups, but is also arguably
the easiest as only one of the units, the Atlas, is particularly
sturdy and the Phantoms are the only truly dangerous enemies.  The
"Care Bears" employ smoke grenades quite heavily, but they are the
only group that does so.  A sniper rifle mod can see through the smoke
but it is also possible to fire blindly, especially when fighting an
Atlas.  Cerberus Guardians have tall shields that are easily defeated
by cover piercing weapons or mods.

***
2. Geth
***

The Geth are a heavy and slow faction with a lot of sturdy troops that
will simply try to overwhelm you.  The Geth do not have any units that
can instakill a character, and are common choices for soloing.  They
also have a lot of shielded units, and Overload and Energy Drain are
particularly effective.  Sabotage is obviously more useful against the
Geth than any other enemy type.

***
3. Reapers
***

This faction does not include any Reapers, just their ground troops.
The basic enemies are not terribly hard, but the Ravagers do massive
damage at range, the Brutes are fast, aggressive, and hard to kill,
and the Banshees simply refuse to die.

* The Reapers used to be the "hard" faction, but with the addition of
* Geth Bombers and Cerberus Dragoons, the others have caught up.  Some
* players choose to fight against them specifically.

***
4. Collectors
***

* This faction was not in the original multiplayer, and the enemies are
* mostly returned from Mass Effect 2's single player campaign, though
* the captains are new and the seeker swarms are used in a different
* fashion.

* Their troops are more aggressive than some of the other factions, and
* they are much faster about executing downed players before they can
* be revived.  None of the Collectors are mechanical or have shields.

__________

--------------III. Characters and Skills

* The number of available characters has increased dramatically as the
* expansions have arrived, but all starting players have access to the
* six human characters, one for each class.  There are male and female
* variants but these are entirely cosmetic.  The unlocked Quarian male
* and female characters are different, and there are also additional
* unlocked human characters.

* One character is an anomaly, the Battlefield 3 Soldier, and that
* character is unlocked by a cross-game promotion with the game of the
* same name.  He is not involved in any challenges and isn't all that
* special.  He's also a available as a rare unlock with more recent
* patches.

* The non-basic characters are unlocked at random through purchases.  If
* you receive the same character again, it increases the number of options
* on the appearance customization and give XP to that class.

Each character starts at level 1.  As the character gains experience
they gain skill points.  The maximum level is 20, and each character
gains enough skill points to bring four of the five skills to the
maximum level.  Since cooldowns are shared between skills, leaving
one skill at zero is a common choice.  The "Fitness" skill, which
* is given to all classes, is also sometimes neglected for the higher
* difficulties, as attempting to survive hits outside of cover is
* improbable against any major enemy force.

If you want to reset your character's skills you can either promote
the character, bringing them back to level 1, or use a reset card if
you have one.  These cards are Rare items from purchases.  Given the
difficulty of finding any specific rare, it is generally better to
just promote the character to get a skill reset.

__________
A. Capabilities common to all characters


***
1. Weapons
***

Each character can carry one or two weapons.  The weight of the weapon
is shown as one of its statistics and affects the cooldown speed of
your powers.  Carrying very light weapons will substantially increase
the cooldown speed of powers, and any class that uses skills heavily
should have a 200% cooldown or be as close as possible or they will be
substantially less valuable to the team.

Despite what the loading screens tell you, carrying multiple weapons
is generally a bad idea unless you are a class with no cooldown-based
* powers or one (or both) of the weapons is (are) very light.  Very
* situational weapons like the Acolyte pistol will likely require a
* second weapon, as will weapons like the Javelin that have extremely
* limited ammunition carrying capacity.  The Infiltrator Tactical Cloak
* ability largely overrides normal cooldowns for thsoe characters.

The racial skill, a variant of which is available to all characters,
increases the weight capacity of a character.  Weight capacity is 
subtracted from the sum of the weapons carried and allows a 
character to carry more and remain at 200% or take less penalties from 
carried weapons.

* A section below in the guide, "The Armory" has full lists of weapons,
* these are just general highlights.

Weapons that have a "charged" mode will display their fully charged
damage on the information screen.  This is especially misleading for
* the otherwise rapid semiautomatic fire Arc Pistol.

Armor (yellow) reduces damage by a flat amount, so it's best to use
weapons with higher base damage against armored enemies instead of
rapid-fire weapons.

         a. Sniper Rifles

         The basic sniper rifle, the Mantis, is a one shot weapon with
         a long reload.  It does very high damage, and is fairly light
         for a sniper rifle.  Depending on your playstyle it is either
         decent or a complete waste of weight.

*        Many sniper rifles have a damage penalty if fired from the
*        hip instead of from the scope.  Many also have only a single
*        shot before reloading.  The reloading can be sped up by using
*        a separate action, such as activating a power, which cancels
*        the rest of the animation and if done after the display updates
*        ammunition to full will speed the reloading process.  Even
*        attempting to use medi-gel, which does nothing if the player
*        is not dying, will cancel the animation and allow firing.

         Heavy pistols with scopes are sometimes used instead of real
         sniper rifles, especially for weight-conscious classes.


         b. Assault Rifles

         The starting assault rifle is the Avenger, which is not very
         accurate and not very powerful.  It is, however, fairly light
         and once fully upgraded can be used by characters looking for
         a 200% cooldown.  It is not uncommon to see mid-ranked
         players carrying this as their primary weapon on power-based
*        classes, but the Predator pistol is a better weapon overall
*        with the caveat that rapid fire semi-automatic weapons are
*        hard on fingers and mouse buttons.

*        Assault rifles fall into three general groups: fully automatic
*        weapons like the Avenger, semi-automatic and burst-fire weapons
*        like the Mattock or Vindicator, and oddities like the grenade
*        launcher Falcon.

         The Raptor (Uncommon) is technically a sniper rifle, but
*        it largely behaves as a semi-automatic assault rifle.  There
*        are several of these "in the wrong category" weapons scattered
*        among the various weapon classes, and they are useful because
*        sometimes modifications such as thermal sight or piercing are
*        not available to the "right" category of weapons.


         c. Submachine Guns

         The Shuriken is a piece of garbage and should never be used
         by anyone.  Due to the way the burst system works, the basic
         heavy pistol can fire faster and is a superior weapon.

*        There are not very many submachine guns, with the Hornet and
*        Shuriken the only burst weapons and all others at full auto.

*        The Avenger basic assault rifle makes for a decent submachine
*        gun substitute, as does the Geth Pulse Rifle.

         d. Shotguns

         While the Katana is one of the lighter shotguns, it still
         should not be used by the cooldown-critical Vanguards, or
         anyone that cares about cooldowns.  The basic shotgun isn't
         terrible, but other than single shot power it has no real
         virtues and there are better weapons.

         In later patches, the Scimitar was made lighter and can now
         go to 200% cooldown when fully upgraded, important for any
*        Vanguard that expects to use a shotgun.  The Disciple is a
*        a rare shotgun that, once upgraded, can also reach 200%.

         There are some better shotguns, notably the Geth Plasma
         Shotgun (Rare), a chargable, accurate, and high damage weapon.
*        The shotgun group also includes oddities like the Reegar
*        Carbine, basically a flamethrower, and a shotgun that fires
*        single slugs, but many of the shotguns are just different
*        stats on the same basic weapon.

         e. Heavy Pistols

         The Predator is, despite being one of the basic weapons, one
         of the most useful weapons in the game.  Due to its extremely
         quick semi-automatic fire, it can deal substantial damage and
         has reasonable accuracy with almost no recoil.  It is also
         light enough to carry as a secondary weapon.  It may, however,
         cause carpal tunnel syndrome or damage to your left mouse
*        button if used excessively.  Some people have reported success
*        with binding the fire command to the rolling function of the
*        middle mouse button.

*        Pistols include some oddities, such as the Scorpion minelayer
*        the Acolyte anti-shield grenade launcher, and the Talon
*        shotgun pistol.


         f. Weapons to avoid

*        There have been a lot of rebalances to the weapons, and few of
*        them are completely useless.  The N7 Eagle, for example, was a
*        terrible weapon at the time of release.  While it isn't stellar
*        now, it isn't unusably bad.  Some weapons are also only useful to
*        specific characters.  For example, the Incisor sniper rifle has
*        a lot of recoil and is best used by Turians because they have a
*        passive that reduces recoil.

         In general, though, few weapons are using at rank I-III or so
         if you have a rank X default weapon available.  The Viper
         sniper rifle (Uncommon) may be necessary for players that
         hate the Mantis.  For most classes, however, the worst weapon
         to use is one that drops your cooldowns substantially, since
         using powers faster is much better than having a marginally
         better gun for most classes.  Some classes, such as the Human
         Vanguard, are so power-dependent that they may as well not 
         carry a gun and should just carry a token Predator.


***
2. Melee
***

* Most characters have three melee attacks - a light attack which is
identical for all characters, a heavy attack that varies somewhat,
and the grab, a special move where the character instakills an enemy
that is on the other side of a piece of waist-high cover.  All use the
* same key, but the key is held down for the heavy attack.  Volus are
* the only exceptions, they have their own mechanics.

There is some auto-aim applied for most melee attacks, but the Krogan
heavy melee includes a short charge with auto-aim that is very 
effective.  Krogan also receive additional class bonuses that work with
melee attacks, though any character can upgrade their melee attacks
by the way they upgrade the Fitness tree.  Each race has a different
* melee attack with the exception of the Volus characters, where they
* have some minor abilities activated by the melee button, one of which
* does damage and is technically a melee attack, though that is not the
* primary use.

* Geth melee attacks are also notable since they deplete the user's
* shields.  While powerful, this is quite dangerous.  Geth attacks, like
* many of the nonhumans, affect an area and can hit up to three enemies,
* though only one is staggered.

* Heavy melee attacks tend to have long animations.  During those,
* the player usually has substantial damage reduction applied, though
* this isn't terribly reliable.

***
3. Consumables
***

Every character has the same four limited use abilities.  These require
supplies which are included in all of the purchases you make from the
game store.  The most important is Medi-Gel, which can be used to
revive yourself after your health has been depleted.  You cannot use
a medi-gel if you are killed by an instakill attack (Banshee, Brute,
* Atlas, Phantom, or Praetorian special melee attacks).

The second important consumable is the rocket launcher.  These one-shot
weapons will instantly kill anything in a fairly large radius.  They
are primarily useful for recovering from situations where your team
is being overwhelmed, but they can also be used to complete kill
objectives quickly or to dispose of difficult enemies.  Despite their
burst radius, they are slow and require a charge-up time so using them
* against distant enemies is not reliable.  They should not be wasted on
* hard enemies just for the sake of killing enemies, especially on Bronze,
* they are tools to solve problems, not lazy point-grabbers.

The other two consumables are the survival packs, which instantly heal
you and restore your shields, and the ammo pack, which refills your
ammunition for all of your weapons and also refills your grenades.
* The ammo pack also gives a very temporary bonus to weapon damage, and
* the survival pack gives a very temporary invincibility.

Every player starts with the ability to carry two of each supply into
each match.  One of the Rare items you can find from purchases is the 
ability to carry more of each supply.

* (a comment about the previous maximum of five of each supply was
* removed - this is more complicated now with equipment bonuses that
* give additional capacity).

***
4. Equipment
***

The game calls temporary bonuses "Equipment."  These last for one
mission before the effect disappears.  They come in three levels
* (I-III), with the higher numbers meaning greater effects.  There is
* also a "IV" level, but these items do not appear until all rares 
* have been completely unlocked, so they are unlikely to be seen by
* most players.

* The fourth "equipment" slot (Gear Bonus) is different in that those
* bonuses are retained, not consumed.  All of these have five tiers,
* and are improved by receiving the same item again, much like the
* weapon upgrades.

         a. Ammunition

         i. Armor Piercing ammunition allows your shots to go through
         light cover, such as a Guardian's shield.  They also increase
*        the damage you do against armor.  Drill rounds are a variant.
         -                      -                      -
         ii. Cryo rounds make your shots randomly freeze enemies if 
         they do not have shields, armor, or barriers.  Armored enemies
         will be chilled, take more damage, and move slower if the
         ammo effect triggers.
*        Cryo rounds can be used to start a Cryo Explosion combo.
         -                      -                      -
         iii. Disruptor rounds increase your damage against shields and
         barriers.  They also may randomly stun the target.
*        Disruptor rounds can be used to start a Tech Burst combo.
         -                      -                      -
         iv. Incendiary rounds increase your damage and may light 
         enemies on fire, doing additional damage.
*        Incendiary rounds can be used to start a Fire Explosion combo.
         -                      -                      -
         v. Warp rounds do additional damage to targets that are 
         affected by biotic attacks such as Stasis or Pull.
*        -                      -                      -
*        vi. Phasic rounds increase damage and prevent enemies from
*        recharging their shields.  They are extremely effective
*        against shields and barriers.
*        -                      -                      -
*        vii. Explosive rounds do exactly what they say - they explode.
*        The damage is based on the base damage of the weapon.

Data from Supernova 163 on GameFAQs, though this may have changed:

AP Ammo:
Armor Reduction = 50%/65%/75%
Damage = 10%/20%/30%
Penetration = 50/75/100cm

Cryo Ammo:
Weaken Armor = 25%/35%/50%
Freeze chance = 1/1.4/1.8 (these numbers aren't explained)
Duration = 3/4/5 seconds
Speed Reduction = 15%/25%/35%

Disruptor Ammo:
Damage = 5/10%/15%
Stun chance = 1/1.4/1.8
Stops shield regeneration for 8 seconds at all levels.

Incendiary:
Damage = 10%/20%/30%

Warp Ammo:
Weaken Armor = 25%35%/50%
Damage = 15%/25%/35%
Damage to Lifted targets = 25%/50%/75%


         b. Rails

         The game calls these "Weapon Bonus" but they are all the same,
         a temporary bonus to the damage with the specified weapon 
         type.



         c. Armor

         The armor bonuses, with one exception, do not affect your
         defense.  There is a shield bonus, but the other armor bonuses
*        affect running speed, power recharge time, power damage and
*        other bonuses


*        d. Gear

*        Unlike all of the other equipment, Gear Bonus items are not
*        consumed.  Many of their effects are fairly minor, but some
*        such as the grenade capacity upgrades can be quite potent.

***
5. Reviving
***

If a characters health is depleted, they collapse to the ground.  A
timer starts and the player can slow down the timer by mashing the
indicated key.

While they are down, another player can come up to them and revive
them by using the action key and waiting.  This is very short range,
and must be done carefully because the action key may have the player
roll or take cover instead of reviving.  Wait for the circle to change
color before hitting the action key to make sure you're giving the
right command.

* Enemies can also execute fallen players while the timer is running
* down.  Collectors in particular are very aggressive about this, so
* a player that falls in the midst of enemies may not survive despite
* vigorous button-mashing.

***
6. Combination effects
***

Not all characters can do all combination effects, but at least some
are available to every character.  Combinations fall into two
categories - kill combinations and skill combinations.  The skill 
combinations have a quirk in that the damage they do is based on the
maximum health of the enemy.  They are not terribly effective on the
Bronze difficulty, but are dramatically more useful in harder games.

* All of these are explained in the class sections below since they
* are limited by avaialable skills.  The only parts of the combinations
* that are not skills are the ammunition effects (Cryo, Fire, and
* Disruptor) all of which can be used to prime combos.

* All combos have two parts - a source and a detonator.  Even if a skill
* is valid as both parts of the combo (e.g. Warp for biotic combos)
* the same skill cannot be used for both parts.  There is a fairly short
* window for all of these effects and often one player will act as a
* source for another player's detonator when using skills.

* Only one combo can be primed at a time, so if a player uses Warp to
* set up a biotic combo and another player hits the target with
* incendiary ammo, the biotic combo will not detonate (though the power
* attempting to detonate the Warp might set off a Fire Explosion).

* There are four combos.

* Tech Bursts use electrical type powers and cause area damage that is
* twice as effective against shields.

* Biotic Combos use biotic powers and cause area damage that is twice as
* effective against barriers and armor.

* Fire Explosions use fire type powers and cause area damage that is
* twice as effective against armor.

* Cryo Explosions use ice type powers and, with the exception of the
* Snap Freeze skill, must freeze an unshielded unarmored target solid
* to start.  These do damage and attempt to freeze nearby targets.

***
7. Defense and shields
***

* All of the player classes have either shields (blue) or barriers
* (purple).  The difference is purely cosmetic and does not have any
* game effect, so this guide will often refer to "shields" for players
* to mean both.

* Shields on enemies, displayed in blue, are distinct from barriers, 
* shown in purple, in that some player abilities, such as Concussive 
* Shot, are more effective against one or the other.  In the case of
* Concussive Shot, it does additional damage to barriers and not to
* shields.  Some skills, like Energy Drain, work against both.

* Shields have an additional effect in addition to absorbing damage.
* A shield that goes down absorbs all of the remaining damage from the
* attack, referred to as the "shield gate."  This only works if the
* remaining damage is not enough to completely kill the target, so a
* headshot with a powerful enough sniper rifle will still kill an
* enemy, shields and all.  Players are very rarely killed through the
* shield gate, but it does happen.

* Player health is displayed as five bars, and will regenerate partially
* lost bars automatically.  Fully lost bars are usually restored at the
* end of every wave, when the player is revived, or when a survival pack
* consumable is used.  Vorcha also have an ability that regenerates
* health.  These five bars are simply divisions of the character's
* stat, so each bar could represent as little as 30 health (Volus with
* no health upgrades) or as much as 277.5 (Krogan with all health
* upgrades.

* Enemy health is displayed in red.  Some enemies do not have health
* and instead have armor, displayed as yellow.  Armored enemies are
* protected from many powers and take less damage from being shot.

* Players can be "staggered" and briefly unable to move when they take
* enough damage from a single attack.  Some enemies, such as Geth
* Bombers, have attacks that stagger players regardless of damage.

* Players can also "stagger" enemies by dealing damage.  Most offensive
* skills will also cause enemies to stagger, and this is very useful
* for setting up shots with slow or single shot weapons.

**********************************************************************
                         Build recommendations
**********************************************************************

* Each of the builds below has a recommendation for a playable build.
* Most of these are targeted more towards Bronze and Silver, though
* some will work just fine on higher difficulties as well.

__________
   B. Adepts

Adepts are biotic specialists.  Most adepts will focus on using powers
over weapons and will carry a minimal number of guns to keep their
cooldowns to a minimum.  Setting up and detonating biotic combos
are necessary for the higher difficulties.

* Because of the cooldown dependence, it's better to be good at one
* skill than bad at several.  Every biotic should build around
* eventually having at least one biotic combo available, though, and
* a token point in a detonator or source may be useful early on.

* A lot of the biotic powers refer to "unprotected" enemies, meaning
* those without armor, shields, or barriers.  In general, a power that
* does not affect an unprotected enemy cannot be a source for a 
* biotic combo.  This seriously harms the utility of Pull and Lash.

* Adepts, unless otherwise stated, have a 141% cooldown with a Katana
* X equipped.  This isn't a useful weapon, it's just a benchmark for 
* the character's "base" weapon carrying capacity.  Characters with 
* higher numbers can carry slightly heavier weapons with less penalty.

***
1. Human Adept (default, Male and Female)
***

The human adept starts with a single point in Singularity and is
* unlocked by default.  All of the human adept's powers have relatively
* long cooldowns, so it's not a great class for biotic combos, but it
* works.

         a. Singularity

*        Throws a projectile that creates a spherical field.  Enemies
*        in the field take damage over time, and this damage is a 
*        biotic combo source, not a detonator.  Enemies with no 
*        protection are picked up and float helplessly.

*   Recommended: Max this skill since you have a point.  After the 
*   first three, select radius, recharge, expand.  Try and grab a
*   single point in Shockwave and some basic stat upgrades when you
*   have spare points.  If you use a respec card or promote and don't
*   have a point spent here automatically, you can skip this skill and
*   use Warp/Shockwave for your combos.  If using Shockwave, max that
*   skill first.

         b. Warp

         Warp deals damage, increases the damage an enemy takes, and
*        can start a biotic combo or detonate one as long as either the
*        source or detonator is a skill other than warp.  It is a
*        projectile skill.  Warp also detonates fire explosions, tech
*        bursts, and cryo explosions.

*   Recommended: Skip this skill if you plan to use Shockwave.  If you
*   plan to use Warp, it is a detonator for Singularity combos and needs
*   only one point at first, but will be maxed eventually.  After three,
*   select damage, expose, pierce.

         c. Shockwave

         Shockwave creates a short-range pulse of biotic energy.  It
         can finish a biotic combo by default, and can initiate a
         biotic combo with the lift upgrade, though only against
         unprotected targets.  Shockwave's short range makes it a
*        situational skill.  As usual, it can't detonate the combos it
*        starts.  The main perks to Shockwave are that it can be fired
*        through walls and can stagger large groups of enemies.
*        Shockwave also detonates fire explosions and tech bursts.

*   Recommended: Skip this skill if you plan to use Warp.  If you plan
*   to use Shockwave, get one point early on as a detonator for
*   Singularity combos.  The skill is almost useless without the radius
*   and distance upgrades, so get those as soon as possible.  The
*   combo evolution is also reasonable, but losing range makes the
*   skill very hard to hit with in the first place.  For the last
*   evolution, get recharge speed.

         d. Alliance Training

         This skill is exactly the same for all human characters.  It
         increases weight capacity, power damage, and weapon damage.

*   Recommended: Take this skill to six.  The first point should be
*   taken early, others can wait.  After three, take Damage & Capacity
*   then Power Damage.  The last point depends on the weapons you have
*   available, and if you have a weapon that would leave you at 160-180%
*   cooldowns, take that.  If in doubt, take the damage bonus and stay
*   with the basic heavy pistol.

         e. Fitness

         This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
         be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
         damage.

*   Recommended: Max this skill, taking all of the barrier upgrades.

         f. Recommended skills and tactics

*        Keep your weapons light and spam powers.  Infantry enemies
*        will often dodge Warp, so reserve that power for softening up
*        major armored enemies.  Against slow-moving enemies like an
*        Atlas, Scion, or Ravager, use biotic combos to deal heavy
*        damage, otherwise just use powers for crowd control.


***
2. Asari Adept
***

* The basic Asari Adept is a combo powerhouse, but suffers from the
* problem that there are three useful skills and not enough points.
* There is a second Asari Adept, the Justicar, described below.
* This Asari starts with a single point in Stasis.  Instead of rolling,
* the Asari do a super-short biotic charge that lowers their
* barriers by a tiny amount and their heavy melee attack is a slow
* biotic nova.

         a. Stasis

         Stasis, unlike previous games, does not prevent the target
         from being damaged, it actually increases the damage taken.
         It is fairly useless until the final upgrade "Stasis Bubble"
         is taken, since it tends to miss otherwise.  It can affect
         shielded or barriered enemies, but not enemies that have armor
         instead of health.  It can set up biotic combos for anything
         it can effect, and those biotic combos when detonated will
         add a stasis effect to all nearby enemies.

    Recommended: Max this skill.  The fourth and fifth ranks are a
    matter of taste, but the sixth rank is all about Bubble.  When
    using Stasis as a crowd control tool (i.e. against Phantoms) the
    additional duration is important, since enemies build up a 
    resistance to stasis based on number of times cast.

         b. Warp

         Warp deals damage, increases the damage an enemy takes, and
*        can start a biotic combo or detonate one as long as either the
*        source or detonator is a skill other than warp.  It is a
*        projectile skill.  Warp also detonates fire explosions, tech
*        bursts, and cryo explosions.

*   Recommended: Max.  After three, Detonate, Expose, Pierce.

         c. Throw

*        Throw is a biotic attack that does weak damage, is easily
         dodged by enemies, and has an extremely rapid cooldown.  It
         is not a great skill, but it excels at exactly one thing:
         setting off biotic combos.  The skill includes bonuses for
*        doing exactly that.  It knocks down unprotected enemies and
*        does not do any meaningful damage other than combos on 
*        protected enemies.  It is only a detonator, not a source.
*        It also detonates tech bursts and both explosion types.

*   Recommended: Max.  After three, Force, Detonate, and Force & Damage.

         d. Asari Justicar

         The Asari version of the class skill is almost identical to
         the human variety.  It increases weight capacity, power 
         damage, and weapon damage.  The final upgrade gives a choice
         between overall weapon damage or a reduction in pistol weight
         instead of a general weight bonus.

    Recommended: Five ranks.  After three, Damage & Capacity, then
    Power Damage.

         e. Fitness

         This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
         be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
         damage.

    Recommended: Three ranks.  The third rank is useless, but you may
    as well spend the points.

         f. Recommended skills and tactics

         Asari Adept is used in one of two ways: either spam Stasis
         at everything that moves to lock down enemies, or churn out
         biotic combos with Warp and Throw.  Some players will use
         Stasis with a light sniper rifle or high damage pistol to
*        set up easy headshots, and those characters will probably
*        skip all but the most basic ranks of the Throw power.

         Carry Predator, upgraded Avenger, Phalanx, Tempest,
         or anything you like that allows a 200% cooldown if you 
         plan on abusing combos.  Otherwise just stay light.

***
3. Drell Adept
***

Drell Adept is a bit different.  It is the only adept with a grenade
power.  Like the Drell Vanguard, it has increased running speed,
increased weight capacity, and half the shields of other characters.
The Drell Adept is an Uncommon unlock.  Starts with a point in Reave.

* The Drell Adept has a 155 cooldown with the Katana X, ~15% better.

         a. Reave

*        Reave is a hitscan power which cannot be dodged.  Like Warp,
*        it can be used both for source or detonation of biotic combos.
*        All of the damage is dealt over time, and hitting an enemy
*        except a blue shielded type with Reave gives the caster a brief
*        reduction in damage.  Reave does extra damage to barriers and
*        armor.  Recasting Reave cancels the current effect, so there
*        is no point in spamming the power.

    Recommended: Max.  After three, Radius, Recharge Speed, Damage &
    Duration.

         b. Pull

*        This projectile picks up unprotected enemies and holds them
*        helpless.  It does a tiny amount of damage at first, but does
*        not do more unless the upgrade is purchased.  It acts as a
*        source for biotic combos, but only against unprotected targets.
*        With the fast cooldown it excels at setting up combos, but it
*        only works on enemies where combos aren't really necessary.

*   Recommended: Skip.

         c. Cluster Grenade

         Like similar powers, this works independently of cooldowns
         and instead uses grenades.  Cluster throws a group of grenades
         which pelt an area for moderate damage.  Because of the
         multiple grenade pattern, it is hard to aim at distance and
         is best used for indiscriminate bombardment.  One of the
         upgrades makes it do double damage to lifted targets, such
         as those affected by pull.  The grenades can also set off a
*        biotic combo, but cannot start one.  They also detonate fire
*        and cryo explosions and tech bursts.

    Recommended: Max. After three is a matter of how good you are at
    throwing the grenades.  If you're not very good, focus on area
    rather than damage.  The extra grenade on the fifth rank option is
    a dubious choice, as ammunition boxes only hold two.

    Some players do not care for the grenades and would rather spend
*   the points in Pull.  The grenades are less useful on Silver and
*   higer because the boxes spawn less grenades.

         d. Drell Assassin

         The Drell version of the class skill is almost identical to
         the human variety.  It increases weight capacity, power 
         damage, and weapon damage.  The final upgrade gives a choice
         between overall weapon damage or a reduction in pistol weight
         instead of a general weight bonus.

*   Recommended: All six.  After three, Damage & Capacity, then
*   Power Damage, then weapon damage unless you have a pistol you love.

         e. Fitness

         This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
         be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
         damage.  For Drell, it also increases their running speed,
         though the shield bonuses aren't so useful when the base
         shields are reduced.

*   Recommended: All six, taking all of the defensive upgrades.

         f. Recommended skills and tactics

*        The Drell is less of a combo-focused adept, though with Pull
*        it can churn out fast combos against weak enemies.  Using a
*        heavier weapon is reasonable, especially sniper rifles since
*        Reave will stagger enemies long enough to set up a headshot.
*        Because of the poor shields and fast movement, the Drell
*        Adept is best played as a skirmisher, tagging enemies with
*        Reave and running.

*        Use the Mantis, Widow, Geth Plasma Shotgun, or similar so 
*        that you can be effective at long range.  Weight is not 
*        critical unless you plan to use Pull, but try to keep weight
*        above 0%.

***
4. Asari Justicar
***

The Asari Justicar is a rare unlock in Resurgence DLC.  Confusingly,
it's also just called Asari Adept.  It has more in common with the Drell
Adept for powers, though it has the unusual and defensive Biotic
Sphere power, which is at one point by default.

* The Justicar has a 150 cooldown with the Katana X, ~10% better than
* average.  The class also has 100 extra barrier above a human (600
* instead of 500) and this is further increased by the percentage
* bonuses.  Like the other Asari, it uses a short biotic charge instead
* of a roll.

         a. Reave

*        Reave is a hitscan power which cannot be dodged.  Like Warp,
*        it can be used both for source or detonation of biotic combos.
*        All of the damage is dealt over time, and hitting an enemy
*        except a blue shielded type with Reave gives the caster a brief
*        reduction in damage.  Reave does extra damage to barriers and
*        armor.  Recasting Reave cancels the current effect, so there
*        is no point in spamming the power.

    Recommended: Max.  After three, Radius, Recharge Speed, Damage &
    Duration.

         b. Pull

*        This projectile picks up unprotected enemies and holds them
*        helpless.  It does a tiny amount of damage at first, but does
*        not do more unless the upgrade is purchased.  It acts as a
*        source for biotic combos, but only against unprotected targets.
*        With the fast cooldown it excels at setting up combos, but it
*        only works on enemies where combos aren't really necessary.

*   Recommended: Max.  After three, Radius, Expose, Recharge Speed.
*   Alternatively, skip it and use the points to max out stat bonuses.

         c. Biotic Sphere

         This creates a defensive field that reduces damage dealt
         to allies and increases damage dealt to enemies.  Because it
         is cast at the Justicar's location, it is extremely limited
         as an offensive tool, and it is primarily useful for defense
         of a fixed spot.  The final upgrade can be used to make it
         a starter for biotic combos, but the logistics of using it
         for combos are awkward at best.

    Recommended: Take Radius, Damage Reduction, and Allied Protection,
    maxing the skill.

         d. Asari Justicar

         The Asari version of the class skill is almost identical to
         the human variety.  It increases weight capacity, power 
         damage, and weapon damage.  The final upgrade gives a choice
         between overall weapon damage or a reduction in pistol weight
         instead of a general weight bonus.
 
         The Justicar's variety of this skill is different from the
         other Asari Adept's, but not significantly.

*   Recommended: Four ranks, taking the weight and power upgrades at
*   four.

         e. Fitness

         This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
         be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
         damage.

*   Recommended: Four ranks, with the shield upgrade at four.

         f. Recommended skills and tactics

         The Justicar is all about the sphere, and is basically only
         useful in situations where you are defending a fixed point,
*        which rarely happens on the lower difficulties.  Everything
*        else another class can do better, though a Pull/Reave combo
*        specialist can be done here instead of Drell for better
*        survivability.

*        Carry Predator, upgraded Avenger, Phalanx, Tempest, or
*        anything that allows a 200% cooldown.  Alternatively, you 
*        can skip Pull entirely and just play the Justicar for the 
*        Reave and Sphere, neither of which can be spammed.  The 
*        Justicar cannot set up combos on anything but unprotected 
*        enemies, so it is a weak class for the higher difficulties 
*        without another biotic on the team.

***
5. Phoenix Adept
***

* This is described as an ex-Cerberus human adept.  There is a Vanguard
* variant of this class that is identical except that it has Biotic
* Charge instead of Singularity.  The heavy melee attack for this class
* is weak but has a large area of effect.  It is a rare unlock.

         a. Singularity

*        Throws a projectile that creates a spherical field.  Enemies
*        in the field take damage over time, and this damage is a biotic
*        combo source, not a detonator.  Enemies with no protection
*        (only red health) are picked up and float helplessly.

*   Recommended: Skip it.

*        b. Smash

*        Attacks a short area in front of the Adept.  Depending on the
*        level 4 upgrade, this can either be a source for a tech burst
*        or a biotic combo, but by default it is only a detonator.  The
*        major flaw with Smash is the long animation before the attack
*        where the character is helpless.  Unlike many other skills
*        with long animations, Smash offers no invulnerability frames
*        or even damage reduction during that period, so it must be
*        used very carefully when under fire.  Like Shockwave, the
*        attack goes through walls, but the short range means that it
*        cannot routinely be used in this fashion.

*   Recommended: Maximum, Biotic Combo, Force and Damage, Impact Radius
*   for the evolutions.

*        c. Lash

*        Throws a projectile that pulls enemies towards the user and
*        detonates biotic combos.  The pull effect only works on an
*        unprotected enemy unless the shield piercing evolution is 
*        taken at level six, and the combos never work on anything with
*        armor.  It can be used as the source for a biotic combo, but
*        like all skills, it cannot be both source and detonator in
*        the same combo.

*   Recommended: Maximum, Detonate, Recharge Speed, Shield Penetration
*   for the evolutions.

*        d. Phoenix Training

*        The only difference between this and the standard human class
*        skill is that it gives a 25 bonus for pistols and shotguns
*        instead of a 20 bonus for everything on one of the level six
*        evolutions.

*   Recommended:  Maximize, choosing Damage and Capacity, Power Damage,
*   and for the last one whichever best suits your available weapons.

*        e. Fitness

*        This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
*        be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
*        damage.  The final melee evolution also gives a temporary
*        bonus to power damage in this case, but the Phoenix melee
*        attack is dubious.

*   Recommended: Maximize, taking all of the shield upgrades.

*        f. Recommended skills and tactics

*        The Phoenix Adept's basic strategy is to lash enemies into
*        range and then finish them with smash or with gunfire.  
*        Pulling enemies has the substantial flaw that a biotic combo
*        is unlikely to hit anything in the area.  The Phoenix Adept
*        is poor against armored enemies, and while a Singularity
*        and Smash combo would be effective against armor, it would
*        virtually require your opponent to stand still and is of
*        marginal use at best.

*        Carry something that can work well against armor and is 
*        effective at short range, but won't hurt your cooldowns
*        excessively.  One of the medium assault rifles like the 
*        Mattock or one of the heavier heavy pistols like the 
*        Carnifex are ideal.  Rapid fire weapons and most shotguns
*        will not fit the bill because of the way armor works.

***
6. N7 Fury
***

* This is a human adept with a focus on damage over time abilities.
* It also has a variant heavy melee area of effect attack.  It is a
* rare unlock.  There are two options - the long range variant and the
* short range variant.  Long range uses Dark Channel as the basis for
* combos, and short range uses Annihilation Field.  The build below is
* the long range variant, but moving all the points to Field instead
* of Channel is the only real difference.

*        a. Annihilation Field

*        Creates a damage zone around the Fury that lasts a long time.
*        It can be activated again to deal immediate damage, and this
*        detonation will finish biotic combos.  The field itself sets
*        up a biotic combo, but the detonation effect cannot detonate
*        the combo set up by the field.

*   Recommended: Skip.  Note that promoting a character that has been
*   deployed automatically removes the default skill point.

*        b. Dark Channel

*        This is a long duration damage over time effect that acts as
*        a source for biotic combos.  It hits automatically, and if
*        the target dies, the effect moves to another nearby enemy
*        and this continues until the duration is over or there are
*        no immediate targets.

*   Recommended: Maximum, choose Damage, Recharge Speed, Damage.

*        c. Throw

*        Throw is a biotic attack that does weak damage, is easily
*        dodged by enemies, and has an extremely rapid cooldown.  It
*        is not a great skill, but it excels at exactly one thing:
*        setting off biotic combos.  The skill includes bonuses for
*        doing exactly that.  It knocks down unprotected enemies and
*        does not do any meaningful damage other than combos on 
*        protected enemies.  It is only a detonator, not a source.
*        It also detonates tech bursts and both explosion types.

*   Recommended: Maximum, choose Radius, Detonate, Force & Damage.

*        d. N7 Fury

*        Despite the fancy name, this is identical to the normal human
*        Alliance Training and gives the same passive boosts.

*   Recommended:  Maximize, choosing Damage and Capacity, Power Damage,
*   and for the last one whichever best suits your available weapons.

*        e. Fitness

*        This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
*        be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
*        damage.  The final melee evolution also gives a temporary
*        bonus to power damage in this case.

*   Recommended: Maximize, taking all of the shield upgrades.

*        f. Recommended skills and tactics

*        The Fury's basic combination is the Dark Channel and Throw
*        pair.  Dark Channel can also be used for hit and run attacks
*        since it will eventually kill almost anything given enough
*        time.  Use Throw by itself to suppress basic enemies.

*        For weapons, keep above 100-150% cooldowns so that you can
*        do the biotic combos, but 200% is not critical.

*        For the short range variant, walk up to enemies with the field
*        on and spam throw, setting off a biotic combo.  If not dead,
*        walk back slightly and then back up to reapply the field and
*        repeat throw.  200% cooldowns a must.  Dying likely.

***
7. Volus Adept
***

* This character cannot sweep all that opposes it like a great biotic
* wind, unfortunately, but it is a handy supporting member of a team
* with Stasis to hold enemies and Shield Boost to restore ally 
* defenses.  Unfortunately, by itself the character is basically
* helpless.  It is an ultra rare unlock.

* The Volus Adept has a 125 cooldown with the Katana X, ~15% worse than
* the humans.  They also have incredibly low health.

* Volus do not have melee attacks.  Instead, the melee button activates
* a short cloaking effect when tapped and a short-duration invincibility
* when held.  They cannot take cover, though they can hide somewhat.  
* This means that they never have the accuracy bonus for firing from 
* cover, and the "standing behind low cover" isn't as effective as
* actually using the cover system.

         a. Stasis

*        Stasis, unlike previous games, does not prevent the target
*        from being damaged, it actually increases the damage taken.
*        It is fairly useless until the final upgrade "Stasis Bubble"
*        is taken, since it tends to miss otherwise.  It can affect
*        shielded or barriered enemies, but not enemies that have armor
*        instead of health.  It can set up biotic combos for anything
*        it can effect, and those biotic combos when detonated will
*        add a stasis effect to all nearby enemies.

*   Recommended: Max this skill.  The fourth and fifth ranks are a
*   matter of taste, but the sixth rank is all about Bubble.

*        b. Biotic Orbs

*        This conjures up three orbs that circle the Volus.  Each one
*        reduces cooldowns somewhat and they can be fired as projectiles
*        that deal damage and detonate biotic combos.  The recharge
*        time is based on when the orbs were summoned, so even with a
*        heavy weapon three could be fired, immediately resummoned, and
*        another three released.  The recharge time remaining is never
*        shown in game.  The orbs do extra damage to armor and barriers.
*        They can also detonate Fire Explosions and Cryo Explosions.

*   Recommended: Maximum, choose Damage, Recharge Speed, Expose.  Even
*   more recharge speed might be useful for the final upgrade if the
*   team needs more shield restoration, but the best defense is a good
*   offense.

*        c. Shield Boost

*        This is not a biotic ability.  It restores some of the shields
*        of all allies in a small radius and continues to restore them
*        for a short period after.  While casting it, the Volus is
*        invincible.

*   Recommended: Maximum, choose Shields, Recharge Speed, Protection.

*        d. Volus Training

*        This is the usual class passive power, with the quirk that
*        there is no headshot bonus, instead the 5th evolution has the
*        option to improve the Shield Boost ability.

*   Recommended: Take to rank four, choosing the weight and power
*   damage upgrade at four.

*        e. Fitness

*        This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
*        be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
*        damage.  The final melee evolution also gives a temporary
*        bonus to power damage in this case... but the Volus don't
*        have melee attacks anyway.

*   Recommended: Take to rank four, choosing the shield and health
*   upgrade.

*        f. Recommended skills and tactics

*        The Volus is a pure supporting character, and while it is
*        capable of biotic combos using stasis and orbs, these will only
*        affect unarmored enemies.  The best tactic is simply to follow
*        allies around restoring their shields and suppressing enemies
*        with Stasis, detonating combos with the orbs when necessary
*        but using the orbs first and foremost for the cooldown
*        reduction.  This may be more of "Biotic Guardian Angel" than
*        "Biotic God" but close enough, right?

***
8. Krogan Shaman
***

* The most durable of all of the Adept classes, the Shaman like any
* Krogan is a walking tank with massive health and barrier bonuses
* compared to a human adept.  They are slower and they can't roll.
* Like all Krogan, they have great melee attacks which are further
* improved by the rage ability.

* Surprisingly, the Krogan Shaman does not have a bonus to weight
* capacity.  Because of the inherent recharge speed in Barrier, the
* Shaman will probably never be the ultimate in power spam.  It is a
* rare unlock.

*        a. Barrier

*        Barrier functions much like a Sentinel's tech armor - it slows
*        power recharge in exchange for damage reduction.  It can also
*        be released to deal damage to nearby enemies.  This explosion
*        also lifts unprotected enemies temporarily and is a source
*        for a biotic combo.  The explosion does not detonate combos.

*   Recommended: Max this skill.  Take Barrier Strength at four and six,
*   and Power Synergy at five.

*        b. Warp

*        Warp deals damage, increases the damage an enemy takes, and
*        can start a biotic combo or detonate one as long as either the
*        source or detonator is a skill other than warp.  It is a
*        projectile skill.  Warp also detonates fire explosions, tech
*        bursts, and cryo explosions.

*   Recommended: Max this skill, taking Damage, Expose, and Pierce.

*        c. Shockwave

*        Shockwave creates a short-range pulse of biotic energy.  It
*        can finish a biotic combo by default, and can initiate a
*        biotic combo with the lift upgrade, though only against
*        unprotected targets.  Shockwave's short range makes it a
*        situational skill.  As usual, it can't detonate the combos it
*        starts.  The main perks to Shockwave are that it can be fired
*        through walls and can stagger large groups of enemies.
*        Shockwave also detonates fire explosions and tech bursts.

*   Recommended: Buy three ranks of this skill for use as a detonator
*   on biotic explosions, or skip it entirely.

*        d. Krogan Berserker

*        This is the usual class passive power, with the quirk that
*        the weight bonuses are larger than usual.

*   Recommended: Take to rank five, choosing Damage & Capacity at four
*   and Power Damage at five.  If you skipped Shockwave, buy rank six.

*        e. Rage

*        The Krogan version of the Fitness skill, which is broadly
*        similar to the usual health and shield boosts or melee damage
*        of other characters except that it has bonuses to the Krogan
*        racial ability to enter rage after making melee kills.

*   Recommended: Take to rank six, choosing defensive upgrades if you
*   don't plan on meleeing heavily.  Melee is inadvisable at higher
*   difficulties, but is incredibly powerful on Bronze.

*        f. Recommended skills and tactics

*        The Shaman is not a real combo powerhouse because of the speed
*        penalty inherent in Barrier, but it is the most survivable of
*        the Adept classes.  Using heavier weapons and relying on Warp
*        as a debuff rather than as a combo centerpiece is the plan of
*        the build given above.


***
9. Batarian Slasher
***

* The only Batarian without the Blade Armor skill is a mishmash of
* powers and unless you're a big fan of the four-eye folk, he's not a
* great character.  The character is slower than humans, but has more
* barrier strength.  Starts with a point in Warp and is a rare unlock.

*        a. Warp

*        Warp deals damage, increases the damage an enemy takes, and
*        can start a biotic combo or detonate one as long as either the
*        source or detonator is a skill other than warp.  It is a
*        projectile skill.  Warp also detonates fire explosions, tech
*        bursts, and cryo explosions.

*   Recommended: Max this skill, taking Damage, Expose, and Pierce.

*        b. Cluster Grenade

*        Like similar powers, this works independently of cooldowns
*        and instead uses grenades.  Cluster throws a group of grenades
*        which pelt an area for moderate damage.  Because of the
*        multiple grenade pattern, it is hard to aim at distance and
*        is best used for indiscriminate bombardment.  One of the
*        upgrades makes it do double damage to lifted targets, such
*        as those affected by pull.  The grenades can also set off a
*        biotic combo, but cannot start one.  They also detonate fire
*        and cryo explosions and tech bursts.

*   Recommended: Max. After three is a matter of how good you are at
*   throwing the grenades.  If you're not very good, focus on area
*   rather than damage.  The third grenade on the fifth rank option is
*   a dubious choice, as ammunition boxes only hold two at most on the
*   higher difficulties.  Using ammo packs to refill grenades may be
*   necessary.

*        c. Lash

*        Throws a projectile that pulls enemies towards the user and
*        detonates biotic combos.  The pull effect only works on an
*        unprotected enemy unless the shield piercing evolution is 
*        taken at level six, and the combos never work on anything with
*        armor.  It can be used as the source for a biotic combo, but
*        like all skills, it cannot be both source and detonator in
*        the same combo.

*   Recommended: Buy three ranks of this skill for use as a source
*   on biotic explosions, or skip it entirely.

*        d. Batarian Enforcer

*        Batarians, in addition to the usual class bonuses, also get
*        some additional ammunition.  The rank six option is for
*        25 points on sniper rifles and shotguns.

*   Recommended: Take to rank five, choosing Damage & Capacity at four
*   and Power Damage at five.  If you skipped Lash, buy rank six.

*        e. Fitness

*        Same skill as everyone else, with melee bonuses or shield
*        and health bonuses.

*   Recommended: Take to rank six, choosing defensive upgrades.
*   Batarian melee isn't terrible, but other than Lash the Adept has
*   few skills that synergize well, and Lash is only so-so.

*        f. Recommended skills and tactics

*        The Slasher is largely similar to the Drell Adept, with the
*        replacement of Lash for Pull and Warp for Reave.  Reave is
*        generally a better power, especially for an Adept using heavy
*        weapons.  The same general tactic can be used here, carrying
*        guns as the primary offensive tool and leaving the biotics for
*        debuffing.

__________
   C. Soldiers

Soldiers shoot stuff.  They don't get fancy tech abilities or amazing
magical biotics, instead they get passive and semi-passive bonuses
* and just shoot stuff better.  Each of the soldiers has a spammable
power, though skill spam is better done with other classes.  Soldiers
more than any other class will likely ignore their cooldown percentage
and just carry the guns that they enjoy.

* Again, the Katana X is used as a benchmark for base weight capacity.
* It is not a recommended weapon.

***
1. Human Soldier
***

The Human Soldier isn't subtle.  They just do damage, or in the case
of adrenaline rush, more damage.  If wacky powers aren't your thing,
this is the class to play.  Starts with a point in Adrenaline Rush and
is unlocked by default.

* With the Katana X, the human has 155% cooldown, ~15% better than most
* characters.

         a. Adrenaline Rush

         This power increases the damage of all attacks and gives a
         variety of other bonuses depending on the upgrades applied.
         Unlike the single player version, it has no effect on the
         game speed.  The cooldown on this ability does not start
         until the ability itself ends.

         Adrenaline Rush also reloads your weapon.

    Recommended: Max.  After three take damage, duration, and shield.
    If you plan to spam Concussive shot, ignore as possible, three
    ranks eventually when you have nowhere else to spend points.

         b. Concussive Shot

         While this shot does very low damage, it also can be arced
         around cover, has a very quick cooldown, and can knock basic
         enemies down.  It isn't worth getting if you plan to use 
         heavy weapons, but it does give the Soldier a "skill spam"
*        option.  Amplification and Warp Ammo do not allow biotic
*        combos, unlike the single player.

    Recommended: Ignore or Max.  After three take Radius, Recharge
*   Speed, and Hammer.

         c. Frag Grenade

         The simplest of grenade powers, this doesn't do any strange
         damage over time or lifting or carpet bombing, it just does
         old fashioned damage.  Since it ignores cooldowns, it remains
         useful even with a heavily armed soldier.

    Recommended: Max.  After three take radius, bleed damage, and
    armor piercing.

         d. Alliance Training

         This skill is exactly the same for all human characters.  It
         increases weight capacity, power damage, and weapon damage.

    Recommended: Max, unless using Concussive Shot.  After three, for
    non-shot builds take weapon damage, headshots, weapon damage.  For
    shot builds take damage & capacity, power damage, and stop.

         e. Fitness

         This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
         be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
         damage.

*   Recommended: Max, spending all points in the defensive boosts.
*   Human soldiers aren't terrible for melee, but they aren't Krogan.

         f. Recommended skills and tactics

         The question for a Human Soldier build is essentially between
         Concussive Shot or not Concussive Shot.  If you don't intend
         to spam it, you may as well not take it.  Regardless of what
         else you do, make sure to get the frags, as they are the best
         skill the class has.  Other than that, just shoot things and
         pop Adrenaline Rush when things get hairy.

    Recommended: Carry whatever you like, though remember that
    Adrenaline Rush won't be as useful with too heavy of a load.  For
    shot builds, carry Predator or whatever gives you a fast cooldown,
    though 200% isn't necessarily critical.

***
2. Krogan Soldier
***

The Krogan Soldier's main draw is his mighty melee, but he can also
be played as a tank that refuses to die.  The Soldier is Rare, and he
* starts with a point in Fortification.  Krogan cannot roll, but have 
* increased health and shields.

The build here is a fun melee build, not a serious Gold-running build.
Krogan aren't that good for the higher difficulties, as their heavy
shields still go down near-instantaneously.

* With the Katana X, the Krogan has 170% cooldown, ~30% better than most
* characters.  They also have double a human's shields and 50% more
* health.

         a. Fortification

         This power closely resembles the Tech Armor power that the
         Sentinels have.  Instead of dealing damage when turned off,
         though, it increases your melee damage for a short period
         instead.  The first key press turns it "on" and hitting the
         key again discharges it.  While it is on, the character takes
         less damage from all sources.

    Recommended: Max.  After three, take melee damage, recharge speed,
    durability.

         b. Carnage

         This is basically an improved version of concussive shot, but
         it lacks the quick cooldown.  It can stun enemies, deals good
*        damage to armor, and can set off or prime a fire explosion.
*        Like all powers, though, it cannot do both, so it has to be
*        paired with an ammo power or a grenade.  It can also set off
*        tech bursts and cryo explosions.

*   Recommended: Take to three as a detonator for fire explosions.

         c. Inferno Grenade

         While powerful, the Inferno Grenade is not as good as the
         frag since it takes time to work.  It is, however, quite good
         at slaughtering groups of weak enemies or weakening harder
         ones so that you can finish them off with your mighty melee.
*        Can be used as a source for fire explosions.

    Recommended: Max.  After three, take Radius, Damage, Radius &
    Shrapnel.

         d. Krogan Berserker

         The Krogan version of the class skill is almost identical to
         the human variety.  It increases weight capacity, power 
         damage, and weapon damage.  The final upgrade gives a choice
         between overall weapon damage or a reduction in shotgun weight
         instead of a general weight bonus.

*   Recommended: To five.  After three, weapon damage on four, and the
*   fifth rank depends on playstyle.  For grenadiers, power damage,
    otherwise headshots.

         e. Rage

         The Krogan version of the Fitness skill has a different name
         and an additional effect.  If the Krogan kills three enemies
         (reduced to two with an upgrade) with melee attacks they enter
         rage mode and have a melee damage bonus as well as a damage
         reduction bonus.  Note that this is not "kill with melee" but
         "melee and kill."  Other than that, this skill is just defense
         and melee damage like Fitness is.

    Recommended: Max.  After three, melee damage, martial artist, then
    pure rage.

         f. Recommended skills and tactics

         It's possible to use the Krogan Soldier with no cooldown
         powers at all and be completely free to carry the heaviest
         weapons you can find.  Inferno Grenade is very nice, but the
         Krogan's big ability is his improved heavy melee strike.
         While not as useful on higher difficulties, Krogan melee is
         ludicrously powerful on Bronze.  With the right skills, you
         can one-shot most common enemies with a swing of your mighty
         arm.  More important than being effective, Krogan is fun.

*        Carry whatever floats your boat.  One possibility is to
*        carry light weapons and discharge Fortification whenever 
*        needed, but more likely carry the biggest and meanest 
*        things you can find, especially a weapon with some sort of
*        blade attachment for melee damage.  A long range weapon is
*        also handy when dealing with objectives where you can't run
*        around freely.

***
3. Turian Soldier
***

The Turian's main draw is the class ability that increases stability,
which makes high recoil weapons less useless.  Turians can't roll.
The lack of a grenade power makes the Turian somewhat suspect as a
heavy weapon class.  The Turian Soldier is an Uncommon unlock and
starts with a point in Marksman.

* With the Katana X, the turian has 175% cooldown, ~30% better than most
* characters and the best base weight capacity of all characters.  They
* have 50% more shields than a human but can't roll.

         a. Marksman

         This skill makes you shoot faster and more accurately. It's
         essentially a variant on Adrenaline Rush.  Like the rush, it
         doesn't start cooling down until it ends.

    Recommended: Max.  After rank three, it really depends on which
    weapon you plan to use with it.  For most weapons, firing rate,
    duration, and accuracy & firing rate will work.

         b. Concussive Shot

         While this shot does very low damage, it also can be arced
         around cover, has a very quick cooldown, and can knock basic
         enemies down.  It isn't worth getting if you plan to use 
         heavy weapons, but it does give the Soldier a "skill spam"
         option.

    Recommended: Ignore.  The same trick the human soldier uses is an
    option, but the Turian has other things to do.

         c. Proximity Mine

         This skill sets up a mine which will detonate if an enemy
         walks over it.  You can also shoot it directly at enemies,
         which may be useful since it does decent damage.  You can't
         use it to set up huge minefields, only one mine at a time.
         Proximity mine also has some debuffing powers on upgrades.

*        The mine is also handy as a way to stagger enemies to line up
*        headshots.  It also detonates fire and cryo explosions as well
*        as tech bursts.

    Recommended: Max.  After rank three, radius, damage taken, damage.

         d. Turian Veteran

         The Turian version of the class skill is almost identical to
         the human variety.  It increases weight capacity, power 
         damage, and weapon damage.  The final upgrade gives a choice
         between overall weapon damage or a reduction in assault rifle
         weight instead of a general weight bonus.  The Turian also
         gets a bonus to weapon stability, reducing recoil.

    Recommended: Max.  After three, weapon damage, headshot, weapon
    damage.

         e. Fitness

         This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
         be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
         damage.

    Recommended: Max.  Take the bottom three shield upgrades.

         f. Recommended skills and tactics

         The Turian Soldier is more or less designed to use the heavy
*        rapid fire weapons with recoil problems, most notably the
*        N7 Typhoon.  With Marksman, however, even full auto submachine
*        guns can turn into laser-accurate bullet hoses, though be sure
*        to take something to use against heavily armored enemies.

         
***
*4. Battlefield 3 Soldier
***

The BF3 soldier is a cross-game promotion only available to people
who also have Battlefield 3.  It's a variant on the Human Soldier
with Carnage instead of Concussive shot, and honestly isn't that
different.  There isn't a full guide here, just review the Human
Soldier above as it's almost indistinguishable.  There is no female.

*        b. Carnage

*        This is basically an improved version of concussive shot, but
*        it lacks the quick cooldown.  It can stun enemies, deals good
*        damage to armor, and can set off or prime a fire explosion.
*        Like all powers, though, it cannot do both, so it has to be
*        paired with an ammo power or a grenade.  It can also set off
*        tech bursts and cryo explosions.

*   Recommended: Max.  After three, take Radius, Damage, Radius &
*   Shrapnel.  If you're not going to use this power, you might as well
*   just use the standard human soldier.

***
*5. Batarian Enforcer
***

The Batarian Soldier was added in the Resurgence DLC and is a rare
unlock.  The fun use (like the Krogan) is in melee, but the Batarian's 
Ballistic Blades power is also quite potent.  The class starts with one 
point in the blades.

* With the Katana X, the Enforcer has 141% cooldown, the same as most
* characters.  They have 50% more health and shields than humans and
* cannot roll.

         a. Ballistic Blades

         This ability fires a short-range cone of blades in front of
         the Batarian, like an oversize shotgun.  In addition to the
         damage, which is decent, the blades also stun enemies, setting
         them up for the melee attacks.

    Recommended: Max, taking spread at four.  For melee users, the
    recharge speed may be more important than range but this is a
    matter of preference.  Explosive blades at rank six.

         b. Blade Armor

         The Batarian version of the armor power reduces incoming
         damage like all of the other armors.  It also increases melee
         damage and deals damage to enemies that use melee attacks on
         the Batarian.  Unlike the other armors, it cannot be
*        detonated.  It can be turned off, but this has no effect.

*    Recommended: Max, taking durability, recharge speed, durability.
*    Melee fanatics would take melee damage at four.

         c. Inferno Grenade

         While powerful, the Inferno Grenade is not as good as the
         frag since it takes time to work.  It is, however, quite good
         at slaughtering groups of weak enemies or weakening big ones.
*        Can be used as a source for fire explosions.

*   Recommended: Take up to rank 3.  The Enforcer has no way of
*   detonating a fire explosion from the grenades, so they're worth
*   token points but not as useful as they could be.

         d. Batarian Enforcer

         The Batarian version of the class skill, in addition to the
         usual schticks, also gives additional spare ammo capacity,
         which is rarely important.

    Recommended: To rank five, taking damage & capacity then power 
    damage for melee, weapon damage and headshots otherwise.

         e. Fitness

         This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
         be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
         damage.

    Recommended: Max.  Take the bottom three shield upgrades.  For
    melee builds, take the melee damage bonus upgrades.

         f. Recommended skills and tactics

         The Batarian excels at melee with the additional bonuses
         provided by the Blade Armor and the short range stun from
         the Ballistic Blades.  Alternatively, like the Krogan, the
         Batarian can ignore melee, ignore the blades, and just run
         around carrying the heaviest weapons possible.

*        A melee-focused Batarian will want a weapon with a meleee bonus
*        Since the blades are useful for stunning, cooldowns should be 
*        reasonable, so don't go too crazy.  Alternatively, skip the
*        blades entirely and load up on your favorite big guns.

***
*6. Vorcha Soldier
***

* The Vorcha is another Rare unlock, and differs from his Sentinel
* cousin only in that he has Carnage instead of Cluster Grenades.  Both
* classes have the Flamer, a powerful anti-armor weapon, and a berserk
* mode where the Vorcha gets temporarily stronger as he kills enemies.
* The ability to regenerate health is offset by the lower shields of the
* Vorcha (half of a human), though they have 50% more base health.

* The Vorcha soldier has a 141% cooldown with Katana X, the same as most
* non-Soldier characters.

*        a. Bloodlust

*        This is an activated passive ability that remains active until
*        turned off.  It does slow power usage while active.  While it
*        is in use, the Vorcha regenerates health, moves slightly
*        faster, and does increased melee damage.  Every kill increases
*        these abilities for 15 seconds.  Unlike shield regeneration
*        where the player needs to be temporarily safe, the health
*        regeneration is constant, meaning that the Vorcha can survive
*        constant low damage as long as there are a few stacks up.

*   Recommended: Max, taking health regen at four and six unless doing
*   a melee specialist.  For rank five, take power damage to improve the
*   Flamer or just weapon damage if you prefer guns.

*        b. Flamer

*        This power has a duration once activated, but can be cancelled
*        early.  It's a short range "Hollywood" style flamethrower that
*        does good damage at short range, especially against armor.
*        Enemies struck by the fire will continue to burn and the power
*        is a source for fire explosions.  It can be dangerous to use
*        on higher difficulties because of the time spent out in the
*        open, and firing short bursts to ignite enemies allows some
*        time in cover and less recharge time.

*    Recommended: Max, taking Reach, Damage, and Armor Damage.

*        c. Carnage

*        This is basically an improved version of concussive shot, but
*        it lacks the quick cooldown.  It can stun enemies, deals good
*        damage to armor, and can set off or prime a fire explosion.
*        Like all powers, though, it cannot do both, so it has to be
*        paired with an ammo power or a grenade.  It can also set off
*        tech bursts and cryo explosions.

*   Recommended: Take up to rank 3 as a fire explosion detonator or
*   just ignore it entirely.

*        d. Vorcha Resilience

*        This is just the same class skill with a different name.
*        The rank six option is for 25 points of shotguns or assault
*        rifles.

*   Recommended: To rank five, taking damage & capacity then power 
*   damage for flamer, weapon damage and headshots otherwise.  If
*   skipping Carnage, take all six ranks.

*        e. Fitness

*        This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
*        be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
*        damage.  The rank six melee damage also gives a temporary
*        bonus to weapon damage after a melee kill.

*   Recommended: Max.  Take the bottom three shield upgrades.  For
*   melee builds, take the melee damage bonus upgrades.

*        f. Recommended skills and tactics

*        Because the Flamer can be fired and cancelled to drastically
*        reduce recharge time, carrying heavy weapons is not a problem
*        as long as cooldown times don't go far into the negative
*        ranges.  Using the Flamer for a short range weapon means that
*        all the Vorcha needs is a long range weapon, though it has no
*        abilities that help it set up shots with a sniper rifle so a
*        more forgiving weapon like the Geth Plasma Shotgun or the 
*        Mattock is desirable.

***
*7. N7 Destroyer
***

* The Destroyer is a guy in a suit of powered armor, and all of his
* abilities are described as being from the suit, but in reality it's
* just another character.  Unlocked as a rare, the N7 Destroyer has a
* lot of neat ideas, but the missile launcher and the grenade are both
* decidedly sub-par.

* Despite the battlesuit, the Destroyer still has a 141% cooldown with
* the Katana X, meaning no bonuses.  He does have double the shields of
* the average human, but slower movement which is further slowed by
* 

*        a. Devastator Mode

*        This is a toggled mode that slows the Destroyer's movement
*        speed while active but gives bonuses to damage, rate of fire,
*        and magazine size.  The movement speed penalty is noticeable,
*        but it is not crippling.  Magazine size bonuses make this mode
*        especially useful with Collector weapons and the particle
*        beam rifle, but for most weapons the rate of fire and damage
*        are all that matters.

*   Recommended: Max, taking shield regen at four, rate of fire at five
*   (unless specializing in particle weapons) and damage at six.

*        b. Hawk Missile Launcher

*        This is another toggled mode power, and it is terrible.  The
*        launcher on the suit's shoulder will, every so often, fire a
*        weak homing missle.  Because the suit doesn't aim very well
*        it often hits terrain on the way to the target, and even
*        upgraded the damage is nothing special.  While the mode is
*        active, the user's shields are reduced substantially.  The
*        launcher's missiles can be dodged, and this is sometimes more
*        useful than having them hit since the enemy will not dodge the
*        next attack and the missile wasn't going to do much damage
*        anyway.  Some players have reported it being useful for
*        staggering enemies on a more sniper-oriented Destroyers.

*    Recommended: Skip it.

*        c. Multi-Frag Grenade

*        This skill looks good on paper, but in practice it is almost
*        unusably bad.  The grenades fired by this skill launch in a
*        shotgun-like pattern upwards, making them almost impossible to
*        aim.

*   Recommended: I would say skip it, but there are extra skill points
*   to use and it's much less useless than the Hawk.  Radius, Force and
*   Damage, and Grenade Count make it less useless, especially as a
*   short range panic button, but don't expect much.

*        d. T5-V Battlesuit

*        This is just the same class skill with a different name.
*        The rank six option is the usual human 20 reduction on all
*        weapons.

*   Recommended: Max it, taking weapon damage, headshots, and weapon
*   damage.

*        e. T5-V Internal Systems

*        Fitness by another name.  Given that none of the Devastator's
*        abilities complement melee attacks, the upper row of options
*        might as well not exist.

*   Recommended: Max.  Take the bottom three shield upgrades.

*        f. Recommended skills and tactics

*        Since none of the three skills on the class are spammable, the
*        impulse would be to take the heaviest weapons available, and
*        this isn't terrible unless you expect to disengage Devastator
*        Mode in order to run and set up in another location.  This is
*        not likely to happen often and playing without Devastator mode
*        for a few seconds isn't lethal, but it's probably best not to
*        be at -200% penalty cooldowns.  This class was made for the
*        N7 Typhoon, an ultra-rare assault rifle, but it works with most
*        weapons.  Short-range weapons like some of the shotguns are
*        inadvisable given the class's slow movement speed.

***
*7. Turian Havoc
***

* The Havoc is a variant on the Turian Soldier that has some dubious
* skills and one great skill.  This is a class that excels at soloing
* because of the ability to recharge shields at will on an already
* sturdy class.

* The other Turian Soldier gets the highest bonus to weight capacity,
* and the Havoc gets the same 141% with the Katana X as most characters
* do.  The Havoc gets the same 50% extra shields as the basic Turian,
* but while he also cannot roll, he can do a jet powered hop that ends
* up being more of a liability than an asset.

* There is no Turian Vanguard, so this is the next best thing.  The
* Havoc has a partner, the Turian Ghost, an Infiltrator, that shares the
* Stimulant Pack power that makes the Havoc useful.

*        a. Havoc Strike

*        This is a rocket powered charging attack that moves the Havoc
*        to an enemy and deals some damage.  The Havoc is invincible
*        while the power is active and after arriving has 4 seconds of
*        50% damage reduction.

*   Recommended: Skip or max.  This skill is pure gold to a melee build,
*   and useless to a character that wants to remain at range.  Take
*   Cooldown, Melee Damage, and Incendiary Strike for a melee build.

*        b. Stimulant Pack

*        This is a power that uses grenades to represent the charges of
*        avaiable uses.  When activated, the power restores the user's
*        shields and gives a small temporary damage bonus.  This skill
*        is excellent when soloing, as it massively increases your
*        ability to survive in dangerous situations and can be used far
*        more times than the consumable supplies with a similar effect.

*    Recommended: Max it.  Use it with a grenade capacity gear bonus if
*    at all possible.  Take Max Shields, Duration, and Survival.  If you
*    don't have a capacity bonus you may want to consider the capacity
*    bonus from the skill at five in lieu of Duration.

*        c. Cryo Blast

*        This power does not do damage, but instead throws a freezing
*        projectile at enemies.  Affected targets are frozen solid if
*        they do not have shields, barriers, or armor, and targts that
*        are frozen solid can be used as a source for cryo explosions.
*        Targets that are not frozen solid will be slowed and take
*        additional damage.

*   Recommended: Skip or max.  Melee builds will not want this since
*   Havoc Strike is a far better skill, but non-melee builds may as well
*   take it as a tool to debuff heavily armored enemies or for crowd
*   control.  It's not a great power, but it's better than nothing.
*   After three take Radius, Cryo Explosion, and Frozen Vulnerability.

*        d. Armiger Legion

*        This is just the same class skill with a different name.
*        The rank six option is 30 weight reduction on assault rifles.
*        Like all the Turians, it includes stability bonuses that
*        reduce the effect of recoil.

*   Recommended: Max it, taking weapon damage, headshots, and weapon
*   damage.

*        e. Fitness

*        This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
*        be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
*        damage.

*   Recommended: Max.  Take the bottom three shield upgrades unless
*   doing a melee build.

*        f. Recommended skills and tactics

*        While the melee build is the most fun to have on the class, the
*        Havoc is mostly useful for the Stimulant Packs and the ability
*        to survive massive punishment.  Use of ammunition packs to
*        restore grenade counts, especially grenade counts augmented by
*        gear bonuses, mean that the Havoc can survive things that would
*        kill just about anything else.  The Turian Ghost Infiltrator
*        can do similar things, of course, and is for the most part just
*        a better class.

***
*8. Geth Trooper
***

* Could also be called Geth Pyro.  This rare unlock has two almost
* contradictory passive activated skills, and using both is improbable,
* so Flamer will almost certainly be taken eventually.  Geth have great
* shields and terrible health, so taking cover only when shields are
* down may be too late.  With Fortification the Geth is a fairly sturdy
* soldier type, and the powers do not interfere with heavy weapon use.

*        a. Flamer

*        This power has a duration once activated, but can be cancelled
*        early.  It's a short range "Hollywood" style flamethrower that
*        does good damage at short range, especially against armor.
*        Enemies struck by the fire will continue to burn and the power
*        is a source for fire explosions.  It can be dangerous to use
*        on higher difficulties because of the time spent out in the
*        open, and firing short bursts to ignite enemies allows some
*        time in cover and less recharge time.

*    Recommended: Max, taking Reach, Damage, and Armor Damage.

*        b. Fortification

*        This power closely resembles the Tech Armor power that the
*        Sentinels have.  Instead of dealing damage when turned off,
*        though, it increases your melee damage for a short period
*        instead.  The first key press turns it "on" and hitting the
*        key again discharges it.  While it is on, the character takes
*        less damage from all sources.

*   Recommended: Max.  After three, take durability at four and six.
*   The fifth rank is debatable, as the power damage improves the Flamer
*   and the shield recharge boosts survivability.  With the Geth's
*   heavy dependence on shields, the recharge is probably better.

*        c. Hunter Mode

*        This is an activated passive skill which remains on until
*        deactivated.  It shows you the location of enemies through
*        walls or smoke and gives combat bonuses, but it also drops
*        your shields in half.  It also causes a lot of visual field
*        changes, which can take some adjustment since you will see
*        enemies that you can't shoot at and there is clutter on the
*        screen.

*   Recommended: Skip it.  While not a bad skill, the Hunter Mode does
*   not mesh well with the expectation from Fortification of high
*   survivability and the short range flamer.

*        d. Networked AI

*        This is the Geth class skill.  In addition to the usual class
*        skill bonuses, it includes an additional damage bonus to Geth
*        weapons (the Javelin is the only affected weapon without
*        "Geth" in the name).

*   Recommended: Weapon damage, headshots, and weapon damage in a
*   maximized skill.  The headshot and power damage are a toss-up, as
*   the flamer benefits from the power damage and the Trooper does not
*   have any skills to stagger enemies to set up easy headshots.

*        e. Advanced Hardware

*        This is the Geth version of the fitness skill.  In addition
*        to the usual abilities, it also gives a shield recharge
*        speed bonus at rank 1 and a wacky power damage/melee synergy
*        at rank six that is a complete waste of time given the lack
*        of pure damage attack powers.

*   Recommended: Take at least three ranks, then put points here if
*   ignoring hunter mode or overload.  With five ranks in AI and three
*   ranks here you will have enough points to max hunter, overload,
*   and the turret.

*        f. Recommended skills and tactics

*        With Fortification, heavy shields, and the powerful but short
*        range Flamer, the Trooper is a top tier front line fighter.  It
*        lacks a way to detonate combos, however, and that limits the
*        offensive capability of the class.  Since Flamer can be pulsed
*        to ignite enemies and retain a minimal cooldown, the Trooper
*        can afford to carry quite a bit in the weapons department,
*        though going below 0% is inadvisable.

***
*9. Quarian Marksman
***

* The Marksman is sadly not voiced by Adam Baldwin.  Between Marksman
* and Tactical Scan, the Quarian is based more on upgrading existing
* weapons rather than using powers to directly attack enemies.  The
* Sabotage power is marginal, since with two other cooldown-based powers
* and no way to detonate the tech bursts it simply isn't useful except
* against Geth.

* Quarians have 20% more shields than humans, and the Marksman has the
* same 141% with Katana X as most characters.  Sadly, the Marksman has
* little to offer, since the Turian Soldier does the Marksman power
* better with innate stability bonuses and better carrying capacity and
* the Quarian Infiltrator does Sabotage better with less competition
* between cooldowns.

*        a. Marksman

*        This skill makes you shoot faster and more accurately. It's
*        essentially a variant on Adrenaline Rush.  Like the rush, it
*        doesn't start cooling down until it ends.

*   Recommended: Max.  After rank three, it really depends on which
*   weapon you plan to use with it.  For most weapons, firing rate,
*   duration, and accuracy & firing rate will work.  Alternately, if
*   you can guarantee you'll be fighting Geth, skip this and use
*   Sabotage instead.

*        b. Tactical Scan

*        This power debuffs a target, showing their position to all
*        allies, even through walls.  While the target is affected
*        their movement is reduced and they take additional damage.
*        This does not stagger the target or do any damage.

*   Recommended: Maximize, taking weapon damage at four, headshot at
*   five, and damage at six.

*        c. Sabotage

*        This skill takes over a technological enemy briefly.  It also
*        stops enemies with weapons from attacking.  Enemies that are
*        dominated will at least stand helpless for a few seconds even
*        if your allies are shooting them, and taking over Cerberus
*        turrets, which are vicious at short range, is also effective.
*        Overall, if you can't communicate with your team this skill
*        is rarely useful.  It also does little against the Reaper
*        and Collector enemies, who do not have any technological 
*        units.  Sabotage can set up Tech Bursts.

*   Recommended: Use this only if you're skipping Marksman and
*   exclusively fighting Geth.

*        d. Quarian Defender

*        The Quarian class skill is like all the others, with a level
*        six option for a 30 weight reduction in SMGs.

*   Recommended: Max.  Weapon damage, headshots, and weapon damage.

*        e. Fitness

*        The usual melee and defensive upgrades.

*   Recommended: Max, taking the health and shield upgrades after three.

*        f. Recommended skills and tactics

*        The Quarian will likely use fairly light weapons such as the
*        Mattock or Tempest so that he can hit an enemy with Tactical
*        Scan and quickly open up with Marksman.  In general, the
*        Turian Soldier is a better Marksman user because of the better
*        base weapon capacity, but the Quarian is more agile.  Sabotage
*        allows for fun with Geth, but even there it's a marginal
*        power that requires more work than the results justify.

__________
   D. Engineers

* Engineers are tech specialists.  Many of them have drone powers that
* can distract enemy fire, though melee enemies ignore the decoys.
* Almost all of the engineers can do some sort of combo innately,
* typically either fire explosions or tech bursts, and like the Adepts,
* they are more driven by their abilities than by the weapons they
* carry.


***
1. Human Engineer
***

While the term is "Engineer" the description that might come to mind
is "mage" with lightning bolts, fireballs, and a familiar.  The
Human Engineer may not be a heavy hitter, but it can still a major
asset to a team.  The Human Engineer is unlocked by default and starts
with a point in drone.

         a. Combat Drone

         This skill creates a temporary ally that floats around the
         battlefield, poking at enemies.  It can be upgraded to spam
         stunning attacks that make it more useful as a defensive
         tool, but it is primarily a distraction.  The "Detonate"
*        evolution will detonate tech bursts, fire explosions, and cryo
*        explosions, but making this happen can be tricky at best.

    Recommended: First three ranks.

         b. Incinerate

         The basic fire attack can, of course, be used to set up a
         Fire Explosion, but it can also trigger a Tech Burst.  
         Incinerate is also a decent way to dish out damage to armored
*        opponents.  It also detonates cryo explosions.

    Recommended: Max.  Take damage, damage over time, and damage to 
    armor after the first three levels.

         c. Overload

         Overload immediately damages an opponent without a projectile
         and is primarily useful for stunning opponents or stripping
         off shields, especially once upgraded since it can hit three
         opponents with the same shot in a chain lightning effect.  
         This skill is ideal for setting up or setting off Tech Bursts
         because of the multiple targets hit.  The neural shock option
         is truly optional - enemies are stunned just fine without it.
*        Overload will also set off fire and cryo explosions.

    Recommended: After three, take chain, recharge speed, chain.  The
    neural shock upgrade increases the duration of the stun, but not
    by any significant amount.  It also makes the enemy fall down,
    which makes them harder to hit.  Recharge speed also works against
*   all enemies, not just organics.  The final evolution is debatable,
*   with some players preferring the increased damage to shields and
*   barriers.  Chain makes for better crowd control.

         d. Alliance Training

         This skill is exactly the same for all human characters.  It
         increases weight capacity, power damage, and weapon damage.

    Recommended: After three take damage & capacity, power damage,
    and skip the sixth rank.

         e. Fitness

         This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
         be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
         damage.

    Recommended: Max this skill eventually.  After the first three,
    take the three shield upgrades.

         f. Recommended skills and tactics

         Human Engineer is best played with as short a cooldown as
         possible, spamming upgraded "chain lightning" overload to
         lock down entire groups of enemies.  Paired with a Salarian
         Engineer or Infiltrator, Energy Drain and Overload will set
         up insane numbers of tech bursts, perfect for taking down
         hordes of enemies.  The Human Engineer isn't a killing class,
         it's a controlling class, and works best as part of a team.

*        Carry the Predator or whatever gives you a 200% cooldown.  
*        Alternatively, carry the Mantis and use Overload to stun 
*        enemies while you line up headshots.

***
2. Quarian Engineer
***

The Quarian engineer's main perk is the "fire and ice" combination
and synergy.  Unfortunately, her skills don't quite keep up with the
other Engineers.  Starts with a point in Sentry Turret, and is
unlocked as a Rare.

* Quarians have 20% more shields than humans.

         a. Sentry Turret

*        This turret does not fire enough to be very useful or potent,
*        but it can do decent damage with the flamethrower upgrade at
*        short range.  The flamethrower can be used to set up fire
*        explosions and the cryo ammo can set up cryo explosions.

*   Recommended: Max. Shock, Cryo Ammo, Flamethrower.  Do not
*   take the rocket launcher, it does not work very well and the
*   flamethrower is quite potent, especially for point defense.

         b. Incinerate

         The basic fire attack can, of course, be used to set up a
         Fire Explosion, but it can also trigger a Tech Burst.  
         Incinerate is also a decent way to dish out damage to armored
*        opponents.  It also detonates cryo explosions.  It is a
*        projectile attack and can be dodged by enemies.

    Recommended: Max.  Radius or damage is a personal preference,
    then burning damage, freeze combo.

         c. Cryo Blast

         Cryo Blast can be used to freeze basic enemies or to chill
         more advanced ones, increasing damage and stopping or slowing
         the enemy.  Unfortunately, it doesn't slow the advanced
         enemies very much and this skill is primarily useful for
         crowd control on weak enemies or setting up Cryo Explosions.
*        It is a projectile attack, and can be dodged, though the radius
*        upgraded power may score a hit even when dodged.

    Recommended: Max.  Radius, cryo explosion, vulnerability.

         d. Quarian Defender

         The Quarian version of the class skill is almost identical to
         the human variety.  It increases weight capacity, power 
         damage, and weapon damage.  The final upgrade gives a choice
         between overall weapon damage or a reduction in SMG weight
         instead of a general weight bonus.  This is rather a shame,
         as most SMGs don't weigh much to begin with.

*   Recommended: Rank five, capacity and damage, power damage.
         
         e. Fitness

         This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
         be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
         damage.

*   Recommended: Rank three.

         f. Recommended skills and tactics

         The Quarian Engineer's main perk is the ability to set up
         Cryo Explosions and Fire Explosions, but these are rarely
         useful on lower difficulties as there often aren't enough
         enemies to make them useful.  On higher difficulties, the
*        fire and ice synergy can make short work of armor, but the
*        Quarian will have trouble with barriers and shields.
*        Unprotected enemies are easily handled with Cryo Blast.

*        The Quarian lacks the ability to detonate her own fire
*        explosions with the exception of enemies set on fire by the
*        turret.  Mixing in an ammo power to set up tech or fire combos
*        can allow Incinerate to detonate those powers.

*        Given the spamming of powers inherent to the class, keeping
*        cooldowns reasonable is critical, though 200% is not necessary.
*        An SMG or shotgun to use against shields and barriers is ideal,
*        and the Acolyte pistol is exactly what the doctor ordered.

***
3. Salarian Engineer
***

The Uncommon unlocked Salarian Engineer is not as effective offensively
as the Human variant, but the Decoy skill is a superpower when dealing
with massive hordes of enemies such as on Gold.  Starts with a point
in Energy Drain.

* Salarians have 20% more shields than humans.

         a. Energy Drain

*        This power has many effects and uses.  Firstly, it deals
*        damage to an area of effect that is very powerful against
*        shields and barriers, as well as staggering smaller enemies.
*        If it hits shields, barriers, or technological enemies it also
*        restores the user's shields by 50%.  This acts as a source for
*        a tech burst.  It will detonate tech bursts, fire explosions,
*        and cryo explosions, but only on enemies with shields/barriers
*        or technological types.

*        Because of the area of effect and no projectile travel time,
*        Energy Drain is great for staggering enemies to line up easy
*        headshots.

    Recommended: Max.  After three, increase radius, recharge, and
    damage.

         b. Decoy
         
*        The Decoy is just that, a distraction for enemies.  On lower
*        difficulties it is a waste of time unless soloing, but on
*        higher levels it is a godsend as enemies will waste time and
*        effort on the image, which seems to be more durable than the
*        numbers suggest.  The "Exploding Decoy" evolution will 
*        detonate tech bursts and fire, and cryo explosions, but this
*        is primarily a defensive skill.

         Important note: Enemies will only attack the decoy if it is
         closer to them than any other target, so careful placement is
         critical.  The Decoy does not move and cannot be cast at a
         distance.

*        Decoy has been nerfed and is not as effective as it was
*        at release.  It is still a very useful skill.

    Recommended: Raise to rank three.  The later evolutions aren't
    useless, but the Decoy works just fine at low ranks.

         c. Incinerate

         The basic fire attack can, of course, be used to set up a
         Fire Explosion, but it can also trigger a Tech Burst.  
         Incinerate is also a decent way to dish out damage to armored
*        opponents.  It also detonates cryo explosions.  It is a
*        projectile attack and can be dodged by enemies.

    Recommended: Max.  After three, raise damage, damage over time,
    then damage to armor.

         d. Salarian Operative

         The Salarian version of the class skill is almost identical to
         the human variety.  It increases weight capacity, power 
         damage, and weapon damage.  The final upgrade gives a choice
         between overall weapon damage or a reduction in sniper rifle
         weight instead of a general weight bonus.

    Recommended: Max.  After three, raise damage and capacity, power
    damage, and weapon damage.

         e. Fitness

         This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
         be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
         damage.

    Recommended: Five ranks.  After three, take shield upgrade and
    shield recharge.

         f. Recommended skills and tactics

         Since the decoy appears to not need the shield upgrades and
         the damage upgrades are marginal at best, some points can be
         saved there.  Salarian Engineer is a class that is primarily
*        useful on hard fights, as the Decoy is essentially useless if 
*        enemies die quickly.  Energy Drain is an effective tool for 
*        tech bursting, and can also be used to stagger enemies to
*        set up headshots.

*        Tech bursts are the major damage output of the class and it is
*        primarily a power spamming character, so keep cooldowns quick.
*        Long range weapons that excel at headshots, like sniper rifles
*        and heavy pistols, are ideal since Energy Drain will stagger
*        enemies long enough to make long distance shots easy.

***
*4. Geth Engineer
***

* The Geth Engineer is a rare unlock.  Like all Geth platforms, they 
* have poor health and excellent shields.  Unfortunately, this platform 
* is somewhat lacking in offensive skills, and makes for a "guy with 
* drone" more than a full Engineer, but the Geth Turret's ability to 
* restore shields makes this one of the sturdiest Engineer classes 
* and a big boon to group play.

*        a. Geth Turret

*        The turret will shoot at enemies, but the primary perk is
*        that it restores the shields of allies.  With the flamethrower
*        evolution it can act as a source for fire explosions.

*   Recommended: Max, picking Shield Restore, Restore Range, and
*   Restore Frequency.  Take the Flamethrower if you plan to use
*   Overload to detonate Fire Explosions.  Alternatively, using an ammo
*   bonus to initiate explosions allows a combo on this class without
*   relying on the unpredictable and short range turret flamethrower.

         b. Hunter Mode

         This is an activated passive skill which remains on until
         deactivated.  It shows you the location of enemies through
         walls or smoke and gives combat bonuses, but it also drops
         your shields in half.  It also causes a lot of visual field
         changes, which can take some adjustment since you will see
         enemies that you can't shoot at and there is clutter on the
         screen.

    Recommended: Max or ignore.  With the substantial penalties for
    this power, it is not worth using as a partial skill.  For the
    Engineer, you may still be better off using the weapon accuracy
    and rate of fire improvements since the Geth does not have very
    many options in attack powers.  The final "Speed & Vision" upgrade
    is only important if you plan to use a high penetration weapon
    like the Javelin.

         c. Overload

         Overload immediately damages an opponent without a projectile
         and is primarily useful for stunning opponents or stripping
         off shields, especially once upgraded since it can hit three
         opponents with the same shot in a chain lightning effect.  
         This skill is ideal for setting up or setting off Tech Bursts
         because of the multiple targets hit.  The neural shock option
         is truly optional - enemies are stunned just fine without it.
*        Overload can also detonate fire and cryo explosions.

*   Recommended: After three, take chain and stop at four.  If you
*   ignored Hunter mode, take chain, recharge, and chain.

*        d. Networked AI

         This is the Geth class skill.  In addition to the usual class
         skill bonuses, it includes an additional damage bonus to Geth
         weapons (the Javelin is the only affected weapon without
         "Geth" in the name).

*   Recommended: Take damage and capacity at four and stop.  If you
*   ignored hunter mode, max the skill, taking headshot damage at five
*   and weapon damage at six.

*        e. Advanced Hardware

*        This is the Geth version of the fitness skill.  In addition
*        to the usual abilities, it also gives a shield recharge
*        speed bonus at rank 1 and a wacky power damage/melee synergy
*        at rank six that is a complete waste of time given the lack
*        of pure damage attack powers.

*   Recommended: Take at least three ranks, then put points here if
*   ignoring hunter mode.

*        f. Recommended skills and tactics

*        The Geth Engineer is more of a Soldier than an Engineer, and
*        uses Overload mostly to stagger enemies or set off combos from
*        ammo powers or teammates.  Take heavier weapons than with most
*        engineers, especially sniper rifles with penetration, using the
*        stagger from overload to line up shots on visible enemies and
*        the penetration to hit hidden ones.


***
*5. Quarian Male Engineer
***

* The second Quarian is also a rare, and shares one power, Incinerate,
* with the female variant.  It does not have a drone power and instead
* has grenades that with upgrades allow the male to do both tech bursts
* and fire explosions.  Reliance on grenades is problematic on higher
* difficulties, but does allow the character to carry heavier weapons
* and still make use of powers.

*        a. Tactical Scan

*        This power debuffs a target, showing their position to all
*        allies, even through walls.  While the target is affected
*        their movement is reduced and they take additional damage.
*        This does not stagger the target or do any damage.

*   Recommended: Take it to three.

         b. Incinerate

*        The basic fire attack can, of course, be used to set up a
*        Fire Explosion, but it can also trigger a Tech Burst.  
*        Incinerate is also a decent way to dish out damage to armored
*        opponents.  It also detonates cryo explosions.  It is a
*        projectile attack and can be dodged by enemies.

*   Recommended: Max.  Radius or damage is a personal preference,
*   then burning damage, armor damage.  Radius will mean less dodging
*   by small enemies but less effect against major enemies.

*        c. Arc Grenade

*        This grenade, unlike most, detonates on contact instead of
*        bouncing, which makes it easier to aim but limits trick shots.
*        It can detonate tech bursts and fire and cryo explosions, and
*        can act as a source for tech bursts with one of the rank five
*        evolutions, Electrical Damage.

*   Recommended: Max this, taking Radius, Electrical Damage, and Armor
*   Piercing.

*        d. Quarian Defender

*        The Quarian class skill is like all the others, with a level
*        six option for a 30 weight reduction in SMGs.

*   Recommended: To five.  Weapon damage at four, power damage at five.

*        e. Fitness

*        The usual melee and defensive upgrades.

*   Recommended: Max, taking the health and shield upgrades after three.

*        f. Recommended skills and tactics

*        With only one spammable power, Incinerate, the male is a bit
*        less cooldown-dependent than the female Quarian, and can carry
*        a heavier weapon selection.  Sniper rifles are inadvisable
*        since the character lacks a tool for staggering, though
*        Incinerate works in a pinch since if they dodge it they will
*        stop briefly.

*        Upgraded Arc Grenades mean either using Incinerate to Arc
*        Grenade for a fire explosion or the reverse for a Tech Burst,
*        depending on the situation.  The reliance on grenades for
*        combos makes the character less appealing on higher
*        difficulties where grenades are less frequent.

***
*6. N7 Demolisher
***

* This is a wacky class based entirely on grenades, with a unique power
* that keeps the character supplied with the tools of the trade.  It is
* a rare unlock.

*        a. Supply Pylon

*        The Demolisher's unique power is the ability to spawn an ammo
*        supply box that generates grenades, valuable on the higher
*        difficulties where the standard supply boxes are less than
*        generous.  It has a long recharge time and only one can be
*        placed at a time so you cannot just construct additional
*        pylons and have a huge supply.  It also provides ammunition
*        and gives a bonus to shields in a small radius.

*   Recommended: Maximize it, taking Resupply Frequency, Power Damage,
*   and Extra Grenade.

*        b. Arc Grenade

*        This grenade, unlike most, detonates on contact instead of
*        bouncing, which makes it easier to aim but limits trick shots.
*        It can detonate tech bursts and fire and cryo explosions, and
*        can act as a source for tech bursts with one of the rank five
*        evolutions, Electrical Damage.

*   Recommended: To five, taking Damage and Electrical Damage.  If you
*   like to live dangerously, skip Fitness and take the sixth rank.

*        c. Homing Grenade

*        This grenade functions like a projectile power as the homing
*        is minimal and requires a target.  The Fire Damage evolution
*        at rank five allows it to be used as a source for fire
*        explosions, and it detonates tech bursts, fire explosions, and
*        cryo explosuions by default.

*   Recommended: Max, taking Damage, Fire Damage, and Split Grenade.

*        d. N7 Demolisher

*        The Demolisher's class skill is quite unusual in that instead
*        of giving carrying capacity for weapons, it gives capacity for
*        grenades.

*   Recommended: To six.  Damage and max grenades at four, power damage
*   at five, and power damage at six.

*        e. Fitness

*        The usual melee and defensive upgrades.

*   Recommended: Ignore it, or take three and skip rank six on one of
*   the two grenade powers or the class skill.

*        f. Recommended skills and tactics

*        With no activated powers except grenades and more grenades, the
*        Demolisher is capable of impressive damage output over short
*        times but may have trouble with routine fights.  The Homing
*        Grenade can be used against normal foes, resupplying often to
*        keep a deep reserve for emergencies.  For tech bursts throw
*        the Arc Grenade followed by a Homing Grenade and for fire
*        explosions reverse the order.

*        For weapons, cooldowns are not irrelevant since spawning the
*        Pylon will give another grenade or two, but the cooldown is so
*        long that you will not be spamming it regardless.  Since the
*        class is inevitably going to spend a lot of time with ammo
*        boxes to resupply grenades, using an ammo-hungry weapon like
*        the Cerberus Harrier or the N7 Typhoon is more practical here
*        than with most other characters.

***
7. Volus Engineer
***

* This ultra rare unlock is a quirky support specialist that is useless
* in a straight up fight, but with two mine powers and a shield boost,
* he can contribute to the team even if he's not tall enough to see
* over the chest high cover.

* The Volus Engineer has a 125 cooldown with the Katana X, ~15% worse
* than the humans.  They also have incredibly low health.

* Volus do not have melee attacks.  Instead, the melee button activates
* a short cloaking effect when tapped and a short-duration invincibility
* when held.  They cannot take cover, though they can hide somewhat.  
* This means that they never have the accuracy bonus for firing from 
* cover, and the "standing behind low cover" isn't as effective as
* actually using the cover system.

         a. Recon Mine

*        This power sets up a scanner that shows the position of all
*        enemies in range, even through multiple walls.  It can be
*        detonated for massive damage or left in place for scanning
*        and as a debuff with the right upgrades.

*   Recommended: Max this skill.  Take Radius, Damage, Invasive Scan.

*        b. Proximity Mine

*        This skill sets up a mine which will detonate if an enemy
*        walks over it.  You can also shoot it directly at enemies,
*        which may be useful since it does decent damage.  You can't
*        use it to set up huge minefields, only one mine at a time.
*        Proximity mine also has some debuffing powers on upgrades.

*        The mine is also handy as a way to stagger enemies to line up
*        headshots.  It also detonates fire and cryo explosions as well
*        as tech bursts.

    Recommended: Max.  After rank three, radius, damage taken, damage.

*        c. Shield Boost

*        This ability restores some of the shields of all allies in a 
*        small radius and continues to restore them for a short period 
*        after.  While casting it, the Volus is invincible.

*   Recommended: Maximum, choose Radius, Recharge Speed, Protection.

*        d. Volus Training

*        This is the usual class passive power, with the quirk that
*        there is no headshot bonus, instead the 5th evolution has the
*        option to improve the Shield Boost ability.

*   Recommended: Take to rank four, choosing the weight and power
*   damage upgrade at four.

*        e. Fitness

*        This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
*        be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
*        damage.  The final melee evolution also gives a temporary
*        bonus to power damage in this case... but the Volus don't
*        have melee attacks anyway.

*   Recommended: Take to rank four, choosing the shield and health
*   upgrade.

*        f. Recommended skills and tactics

*        The Volus does not have innate combo abilities, but the
*        Proximity mine can be combined with an ammo power to give a
*        big boost to damage capability.  Cooldowns are the lifeblood
*        of the class since Recon Mine is slow to recharge and the
*        Shield Boost has to be spammable or the Volus will die very
*        quickly.  A submachine gun or pistol, with weight reduction if
*        available, is the ideal choice.

*        The focus is on supporting allies with shields, proximity mine
*        damage boosts, and information.

***
*8. Turian Saboteur
***

* The only non-Quarian with the Sabotage power, the Saboteur is another
* Engineer that plays more like a Soldier with a pet than as a tech
* specialist.  Like all Turians, it cannot roll, but it has 50% more
* shields than a human.  It has the jet powered hop that it shares with
* the Havoc and Ghost Turians instead of the roll.

*        a. Sentry Turret

*        This turret does not fire enough to be very useful or potent,
*        but it can do decent damage with the flamethrower upgrade at
*        short range.  The flamethrower can be used to set up fire
*        explosions and the cryo ammo can set up cryo explosions.

*   Recommended: To five, taking the Shock and Cryo Ammo upgrades.
*   If not interested in Sabotage, take Flamethrower at six.

*        c. Sabotage

*        This skill takes over a technological enemy briefly.  It also
*        stops enemies with weapons from attacking.  Enemies that are
*        dominated will at least stand helpless for a few seconds even
*        if your allies are shooting them, and taking over Cerberus
*        turrets, which are vicious at short range, is also effective.
*        Overall, if you can't communicate with your team this skill
*        is rarely useful.  It also does little against the Reaper
*        and Collector enemies, who do not have any technological 
*        units.  Sabotage can set up tech bursts.

*   Recommended: To three, mostly for the tech bursts.

*        c. Homing Grenade

*        This grenade functions like a projectile power as the homing
*        is minimal and requires a target.  The Fire Damage evolution
*        at rank five allows it to be used as a source for fire
*        explosions, and it detonates tech bursts, fire explosions, and
*        cryo explosuions by default.

*   Recommended: Max, taking Damage, Fire Damage, and Armor Damage.

*        d. Armiger Legion

*        This is just the same class skill with a different name.
*        The rank six option is 30 weight reduction on assault rifles.
*        Like all the Turians, it includes stability bonuses that
*        reduce the effect of recoil.

*   Recommended: Max it, taking weapon damage, headshots, and weapon
*   damage.

*        e. Fitness

*        This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
*        be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
*        damage.

*   Recommended: Max.  Take the bottom three shield upgrades.

*        f. Recommended skills and tactics

*        The Saboteur is best equipped with fairly heavy and rapid fire
*        weapons, ideally the N7 Typhoon.  Use the Homing Grenade to
*        detonate tech bursts set up by Sabotage and as a general anti-
*        armor tool.  Sabotage can also be used to stagger enemies and
*        set up head shots if using a slower weapon.

*        Cooldowns are not very important as the turret remains in play
*        and doesn't often get killed and Sabotage is not a spammed
*        power, but try to avoid going below 0% cooldown modifier.

***
*9. Vorcha Hunter
***

* The Vorcha is another Rare unlock, and is notably inferior to his
* Sentinel and Soldier brothers since he is much more dependent on 
* cooldowns, and these are hampered by the Bloodlust racial power.
* With this issue, the Engineer is probably the best suited of the
* Vorcha to use as a melee specialist.

* Vorcha have 50% more health and 50% less shields than humans.  With
* the Bloodlust regeneration this is not a bad thing, but not having the
* defense bonus from shield gating means that the Vorcha can still be
* very fragile.

*        a. Bloodlust

*        This is an activated passive ability that remains active until
*        turned off.  It does slow power usage while active.  While it
*        is in use, the Vorcha regenerates health, moves slightly
*        faster, and does increased melee damage.  Every kill increases
*        these abilities for 15 seconds.  Unlike shield regeneration
*        where the player needs to be temporarily safe, the health
*        regeneration is constant, meaning that the Vorcha can survive
*        constant low damage as long as there are a few stacks up.

*   Recommended: Take to six, taking melee damage, power damage, and
*   melee damage.

*        b. Incinerate

*        The basic fire attack can, of course, be used to set up a
*        Fire Explosion, but it can also trigger a Tech Burst.  
*        Incinerate is also a decent way to dish out damage to armored
*        opponents.  It also detonates cryo explosions.  It is a
*        projectile attack and can be dodged by enemies.

*   Recommended: Take it to three for use as a combo detonator.

*        c. Submission Net

*        Fires a projectile that snares unarmored enemies, paralyzing
*        them briefly and dealing damage over time.  Small enemies will
*        often dodge, and the net is slow to fire.  It can set up tech 
*        bursts but does not detonate any combos.  Deals damage to 
*        armored enemies even if it does not hold them.

*   Recommended: Max it, taking Damage, Recharge Speed, and Electric
*   Field.

*        d. Vorcha Resilience

*        This is just the same class skill with a different name.
*        The rank six option is for 25 points of shotguns or assault
*        rifles.

*   Recommended: To rank five, taking damage & capacity at four and then
*   power damage at five.

*        e. Fitness

*        This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
*        be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
*        damage.  The rank six melee damage also gives a temporary
*        bonus to weapon damage after a melee kill.

*   Recommended: Max, taking the top three skills for melee damage.

*        f. Recommended skills and tactics

*        The Vorcha Engineer build given above is a melee build that
*        uses the Submission Net for crowd control.  As stacks build,
*        the character is faster and deadlier and should be able to
*        quickly cut through easier enemies, but will have problems with
*        bigger foes.  Using the Submission Net and Incinerate for tech
*        bursts should contribute well, but you may be better leaving
*        the big targets for your allies and focusing on mop-up.  Weapon
*        choice should be as light as possible to keep the net's
*        cooldown to a minimum since it will often miss.  A pistol with
*        the melee stunner or a light shotgun like the Disciple are
*        preferable.

__________
   E. Sentinels

* The Sentinel class is supposed to be a hybrid between tech and biotic
* with a defensive shield for support.  Some sentinels have only tech
* powers, others only biotics, and not all of them have armor or shields
* so apparently they need more bosses since they didn't get the memo on
* what they were supposed to do.

***
1. Human Sentinel
***

If Sentinel is a mix between tech and biotic, the Human variant didn't
get the memo, since it only has biotic powers.  The combination of
Warp and Throw makes this character a biotic combo powerhouse, though
that is hampered by the irritating tendency of enemies to dodge both
powers.  Starts with a point in tech armor and is unlocked by default.

         a. Tech Armor

         The first time this power is activated, it stays on until
         the key is pressed again.  While it is active, the character
         takes less damage from all sources but cooldowns are slowed,
         making it a dubious choice for power spamming builds.  When
         deactivated, the armor causes an unimpressive explosion
         centered on the user.

    Recommended: Take to three, but only after everything else is done
    as you may not even be activating it consistently.

*        b. Warp

*        Warp deals damage, increases the damage an enemy takes, and
*        can start a biotic combo or detonate one as long as either the
*        source or detonator is a skill other than warp.  It is a
*        projectile skill.  Warp also detonates fire explosions, tech
*        bursts, and cryo explosions.

*   Recommended: Max, taking damage, expose, and pierce.

*        c. Throw

*        Throw is a biotic attack that does weak damage, is easily
*        dodged by enemies, and has an extremely rapid cooldown.  It
*        is not a great skill, but it excels at exactly one thing:
*        setting off biotic combos.  The skill includes bonuses for
*        doing exactly that.  It knocks down unprotected enemies and
*        does not do any meaningful damage other than combos on 
*        protected enemies.  It is only a detonator, not a source.
*        It also detonates tech bursts and both explosion types.

*   Recommended: Max.  After three, Force, Detonate, and Force & Damage.

         d. Alliance Training

         This skill is exactly the same for all human characters.  It
         increases weight capacity, power damage, and weapon damage.

    Recommended: After three take damage and capacity, power damage,
    and skip the sixth rank.

         e. Fitness

         This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
         be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
         damage.

    Recommended: Max.  After three take all of the shield upgrades.

         f. Recommended skills and tactics

         On Bronze, the human sentinel is a lackluster character since
         enemies die fast enough to make the biotic combo focus
         unimpressive.  Especially against armor-heavy enemies like
         the Reapers, Sentinels can be devasting with their biotic
         combos.  On Bronze it is best to simply spam Throw to knock
         down enemies and just kill them with guns.  Using the armor
         is entirely optional, since the cooldown reduction may be
         more counterproductive than the benefit justifies.

*        Carry the Predator or whatever gives you a 200% cooldown.  
*        Until you have both Warp and Throw unlocked you might
*        as well carry whatever you want, though you could spend the 
*        first level's point on throw and spam that repeatedly instead.

***
2. Turian Sentinel
***

* The Turian Sentinel is a jack of all trades, and has a lot of good
* abilities that don't mesh well together, making him in need of a 
* friend to help with combos.  Turians can't roll.  This character is 
* an uncommon unlock and starts with a point in Tech Armor.

* The recommended build is an aggressive skill-based sentinel, not a
* "walking tank" sentinel.  This character has many, many options.

* The Turian Sentinel gets 170% cooldowns with the Katana X, meaning he
* has approximately 30 more weight capacity by default than a human.
* Like all Turians, he has 50% more shields than a human.

         a. Tech Armor

         The first time this power is activated, it stays on until
         the key is pressed again.  While it is active, the character
         takes less damage from all sources but cooldowns are slowed,
         making it a dubious choice for power spamming builds.  When
         deactivated, the armor causes an unimpressive explosion
         centered on the user.

    Recommended: Five ranks.  At rank four, take damage protection 
    and at rank five take power damage.

         b. Warp

         Warp deals damage, increases the damage an enemy takes, and
*        can start a biotic combo or detonate one as long as either the
*        source or detonator is a skill other than warp.  It is a
*        projectile skill.  Warp also detonates fire explosions, tech
*        bursts, and cryo explosions.

*   Recommended: Max.  After three, Damage, Expose, Pierce.

         c. Overload

*        Overload immediately damages an opponent without a projectile
*        and is primarily useful for stunning opponents or stripping
*        off shields, especially once upgraded since it can hit three
*        opponents with the same shot in a chain lightning effect.  
*        This skill is ideal for setting up or setting off Tech Bursts
*        because of the multiple targets hit.  The neural shock option
*        is truly optional - enemies are stunned just fine without it.
*        Overload will also set off fire and cryo explosions.

*   Recommended: After three, take chain, recharge speed, chain.  The
*   neural shock upgrade increases the duration of the stun, but not
*   by any significant amount.  It also makes the enemy fall down,
*   which makes them harder to hit.  Recharge speed also works against
*   all enemies, not just organics.  The final evolution is debatable,
*   with some players preferring the increased damage to shields and
*   barriers.  Chain makes for better crowd control.  Warp can detonate
*   the tech burst if you have fast enough cooldowns.

         d. Turian Veteran

         The Turian version of the class skill is almost identical to
         the human variety.  It increases weight capacity, power 
         damage, and weapon damage.  The final upgrade gives a choice
         between overall weapon damage or a reduction in assault rifle
         weight instead of a general weight bonus.  The Turian also
         gets a bonus to weapon stability, reducing recoil.

    Recommended: After three, take damage and capacity, power damage,
    and weapon damage.

         e. Fitness

         This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
         be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
         damage.

    Recommended: Rank three only.

         f. Recommended skills and tactics

         The Turian Sentinel is somewhat crippled by having too many
         options.  It's possible to focus on Overload or Warp instead
         of trying to do both, depending who you typically play with
         and want to set up combos for.  Between the two, Overload's
         ability to mass-stun groups or Warp's ability to take down
         barriers and armor both have their places, and it depends on
         which is more important to the player.

*        For weapon loadouts, try and keep things light since it is a
*        power-based class and Tech Armor will slow you down a bit by
*        default.  If focusing on one or the other between Warp and
*        Overload a heavier weapon is a good option.  Weapons with high
*        recoil like the Incisor or Tempest might find good homes here.

***
3. Krogan Sentinel
***

The Krogan Sentinel is a rare unlock and is really very similar to his
brother, the Krogan Soldier.  Both have a single activated power,
an armor power, and a grenade.  The Soldier can do some things better,
but if you're looking for Krogan Smash! the Sentinel does just fine,
or arguably better.  Starts with a point in Tech Armor.

The recommended build is a "tank" build that ignores melee and ignores
cooldowns.  Incinerate spam is better done by one of the engineer
classes.  Melee is highly unrecommended on anything but Bronze, though
some players do attempt it and it is not impossible.

* Krogan have twice the shields and 50% more health compared to humans.
* The Krogan Sentinel also has a 170% cooldown with the Katana X, which
* means about a 30 weight capacity bonus compared to most characters.

         a. Tech Armor

         The first time this power is activated, it stays on until
         the key is pressed again.  While it is active, the character
         takes less damage from all sources but cooldowns are slowed,
         making it a dubious choice for power spamming builds.  When
         deactivated, the armor causes an unimpressive explosion
         centered on the user.

    Recommended: Maximum.  At rank four, take damage protection 
    and at rank five take power damage.  At rank six, take damage
    protection.

         b. Incinerate

         The basic fire attack can, of course, be used to set up a
         Fire Explosion, but it can also trigger a Tech Burst.  
         Incinerate is also a decent way to dish out damage to armored
         opponents.

*   Recommended: Ignore or take three ranks for use in combos.

         c. Lift Grenade

         Lift Grenade, like all of the grenade powers, ignores
         cooldowns and instead uses the grenade ammunition.  It has
         the distinction of being the grenade with the largest single
         burst radius, and temporarily lifts enemies, paralyzing them.
         It can be used to set up a biotic combo.

    Recommended: Maximize.  After three increase radius, duration,
    damage & radius.

         d. Krogan Berserker

         The Krogan version of the class skill is almost identical to
         the human variety.  It increases weight capacity, power 
         damage, and weapon damage.  The final upgrade gives a choice
         between overall weapon damage or a reduction in shotgun weight
         instead of a general weight bonus.

    Recommended: Maximize.  After three increase weapon damage, 
*   power damage, and weapon damage, skipping the final if Incinerate
*   taken.
         
         e. Rage

         The Krogan version of the Fitness skill has a different name
         and an additional effect.  If the Krogan kills three enemies
         (reduced to two with an upgrade) with melee attacks they enter
         rage mode and have a melee damage bonus as well as a damage
         reduction bonus.  Note that this is not "kill with melee" but
         "melee and kill."  Other than that, this skill is just defense
         and melee damage like Fitness is.

    Recommended: Maximize.  After three take the shield upgrades.

         f. Recommended skills and tactics

         Like the other Krogan, the easiest way to make use of the
         Sentinel is in melee.  Also like the Soldier, there is an
         option to simply skip Incinerate and not bother with anything
         related to cooldowns at all (unless you set off tech armor).
         The alternative is to build the Krogan Sentinel as a tank,
         since with Krogan bonus health and shields on top of Tech
         Armor you will have the studiest character in the game.

         Carry whatever weapons seem appropriate, since setting off 
         Tech Armor is the only cooldown available and there is little
         point in doing so.  One long range weapon like a sniper rifle 
         and one short range weapon like a shotgun are typical picks.

***
*4. Batarian Sentinel
***

The Batarian Sentinel was added in the Resurgence DLC and is a rare
unlock.  The distinctive power is the Submission Net, which isn't
bad but is very slow and unreliable.  Like the Batarian Soldier, the
Sentinel is fun for melee, but isn't exactly stellar overall.

* Batarians have 50% more shields and armor than humans, but can't roll
* and move more slowly.

         a. Blade Armor

         The Batarian version of the armor power reduces incoming
         damage like all of the other armors.  It also increases melee
         damage and deals damage to enemies that use melee attacks on
         the Batarian.  Unlike the other armors, it cannot be
*        detonated, though it can be turned off if the recharge penalty
*        becomes a problem.

     Recommended: Max, taking durability, recharge speed, durability.

*        b. Shockwave

*        Shockwave creates a short-range pulse of biotic energy.  It
*        can finish a biotic combo by default, and can initiate a
*        biotic combo with the lift upgrade, though only against
*        unprotected targets.  Shockwave's short range makes it a
*        situational skill.  As usual, it can't detonate the combos it
*        starts.  The main perks to Shockwave are that it can be fired
*        through walls and can stagger large groups of enemies.
*        Shockwave also detonates fire explosions and tech bursts.

*   Recommended: Buy three ranks of this skill for use as a detonator
*   on tech explosions or skip it entirely.

*        c. Submission Net

*        Fires a projectile that snares unarmored enemies, paralyzing
*        them briefly and dealing damage over time.  Small enemies will
*        often dodge, and the net is slow to fire.  It can set up tech 
*        bursts but does not detonate any combos.  Deals damage to 
*        armored enemies even if it does not hold them.

*   Recommended: Max it, taking Damage, Recharge Speed, and Electric
*   Field.

*        d. Batarian Enforcer

*        The Batarian version of the class skill, in addition to the
*        usual schticks, also gives additional spare ammo capacity,
*        which is rarely important.

*   Recommended: Max, taking weapon damage, headshots, weapon damage.
*   Skip weapon damage if taking Shockwave.

*        e. Fitness

*        This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
*        be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
*        damage.

*   Recommended: Max.  Take the bottom three shield upgrades.  For
*   melee builds, take the melee damage bonus upgrades or a mix.

*        f. Recommended skills and tactics

*        This class is fairly weak, since it has an activated passive
*        that slows cooldowns on the other two powers, no innate carry
*        bonus, and not much else of note.  While it can do its own tech
*        bursts with Submission Net to Shockwave, the cooldowns are
*        unlikely to be fast enough with very light weapons.  If you
*        have a reset card or a promotion, you can dispense with the
*        Blade Armor and use it as a quasi-Adept.

*        If trying to make use of the powers, carry light weapons.  The
*        alternative is to ignore the active powers, focus on the armor
*        and passives, and just use whatever gun suits your fancy.

***
*5. Vorcha Sentinel
***

* The Vorcha is another Rare unlock, and differs from his Soldier cousin
* only in that he has Cluster Grenades instead of Carnage.  Both classes
* have the Flamer, a powerful anti-armor weapon, and a berserk mode 
* where the Vorcha gets temporarily stronger as he kills enemies.  The 
* ability to regenerate health is offset by the lower shields of the
* Vorcha (half of a human), though they have 50% more base health.

*        a. Bloodlust

*        This is an activated passive ability that remains active until
*        turned off.  It does slow power usage while active.  While it
*        is in use, the Vorcha regenerates health, moves slightly
*        faster, and does increased melee damage.  Every kill increases
*        these abilities for 15 seconds.  Unlike shield regeneration
*        where the player needs to be temporarily safe, the health
*        regeneration is constant, meaning that the Vorcha can survive
*        constant low damage as long as there are a few stacks up.

*   Recommended: Take to three.

*        b. Flamer

*        This power has a duration once activated, but can be cancelled
*        early.  It's a short range "Hollywood" style flamethrower that
*        does good damage at short range, especially against armor.
*        Enemies struck by the fire will continue to burn and the power
*        is a source for fire explosions.  It can be dangerous to use
*        on higher difficulties because of the time spent out in the
*        open, and firing short bursts to ignite enemies allows some
*        time in cover and less recharge time.

*   Recommended: Max, taking Reach, Damage, and Armor Damage.

*        c. Cluster Grenade

*        Like similar powers, this works independently of cooldowns
*        and instead uses grenades.  Cluster throws a group of grenades
*        which pelt an area for moderate damage.  Because of the
*        multiple grenade pattern, it is hard to aim at distance and
*        is best used for indiscriminate bombardment.  One of the
*        upgrades makes it do double damage to lifted targets, such
*        as those affected by pull.  The grenades can also set off a
*        biotic combo, but cannot start one.  They also detonate fire
*        and cryo explosions and tech bursts.

*   Recommended: Max. After three is a matter of how good you are at
*   throwing the grenades.  If you're not very good, focus on area
*   rather than damage.  The third grenade on the fifth rank option is
*   a dubious choice, as ammunition boxes only hold two.  Other than
*   just carpet bombing, these can be used to detonate fire explosions.

*        d. Vorcha Resilience

*        This is just the same class skill with a different name.
*        The rank six option is for 25 points of shotguns or assault
*        rifles.

*   Recommended: To rank five, taking weapon damage and then power 
*   damage, which affects the flamer and the grenades.

*        e. Fitness

*        This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
*        be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
*        damage.  The rank six melee damage also gives a temporary
*        bonus to weapon damage after a melee kill.

*   Recommended: Max.  Take the bottom three shield upgrades.  For
*   melee builds, take the melee damage bonus upgrades.

*        f. Recommended skills and tactics

*        Because the Flamer can be fired and cancelled to drastically
*        reduce recharge time, so a heavyish weapon is more than
*        tolerable as long as cooldowns go far into the negatives.  As
*        the flamer can handle close enemies and armor, weapons to use
*        against shields/barriers and long range weapons are needed.
*        The Vorcha Sentinel can do one combo, the fire explosion, which
*        is not terribly important on lower difficulties since the
*        Flamer will burn down armored enemies without any assistance.

***
*6. N7 Paladin
***

* Another Sentinel that didn't get the memo, the Paladin has only tech
* powers.  The Sentinel is unique because of his melee tool, an actual
* shield that can set up combos, block attacks, and adds depth.  His
* actual powers aren't bad either.  He has 50% more shields than an
* average human.  The heavy melee is replaced by the Omni-shield.

* Activating the shield blocks attacks from about 90 degrees, 45 degrees
* to either side of the Paladin's face.  The shield can take a limited
* amount of damage, and this is recharged every time the shield is used.
* The Paladin cannot move while shielding.

*        a. Snap Freeze

*        This creates a short-range cone of ice that deals damage and
*        freezes unprotected enemies solid, chilling anything else and
*        slowing it.  All affected enemies take additional damage for
*        the duration of the power.  It can be used as a source for
*        cryo explosions or as a detonator for tech bursts.

*   Recommended: Maximum.  Take Reach, Cryo Explosion, and Tech Combo.
*   Pairing this with Energy Drain will create devastating Tech Bursts.

*        b. Incinerate

*        The basic fire attack can, of course, be used to set up a
*        Fire Explosion, but it can also trigger a Tech Burst.  
*        Incinerate is also a decent way to dish out damage to armored
*        opponents.  It also detonates cryo explosions.  It is a
*        projectile attack and can be dodged by enemies.

*   Recommended: Skip it or take three ranks to detonate long range
*   combos when too far for Snap Freeze or fire explosions from melee
*   attacks with the fire upgrade.

*        c. Energy Drain

*        This power has many effects and uses.  Firstly, it deals
*        damage to an area of effect that is very powerful against
*        shields and barriers, as well as staggering smaller enemies.
*        If it hits shields, barriers, or technological enemies it also
*        restores the user's shields by 50%.  This acts as a source for
*        a tech burst.  It will detonate tech bursts, fire explosions,
*        and cryo explosions, but only on enemies with shields/barriers
*        or technological types.

*        Because of the area of effect and no projectile travel time,
*        Energy Drain is great for staggering enemies to line up easy
*        headshots.

*   Recommended: Max. After three take Radius, Drain, and Armor Boost.

*        d. N7 Paladin

*        This is just the same class skill with a different name.
*        Like most humans, the Paladin gets a 20 reduction as one of
*        the level six options.

*   Recommended: To rank five, taking weight and power damage at four.
*   and power damage at five.  If skipping Incinerate, take the sixth.

*        e. Shield Mastery

*        This is a variant on the typical fitness skill.  In addition
*        to the usual health and shield bonuses, the Paladin gets a
*        bonus to the amount of damage his Omni-Shield can absorb.
*        The final evolution also adds elemental powers to melee
*        attacks instead of giving melee bonuses or health bonuses.

*   Recommended: Max.  Fire or ice is a difficult choice.  Fire allows
*   fire explosions with Incinerate and does more melee damage, and Ice
*   freezes enemies and reduces armor protection by 50%.  If in doubt,
*   take ice.  At four, take the shield upgrade and at five, take the
*   recharge upgrade.

*        f. Recommended skills and tactics

*        The Paladin's shield is a useful schtick, but the class is
*        also capable of an impressive tech combo variety, with four
*        methods for initiating combos.  Sadly, Incinerate is the only
*        reliable finisher because of Snap Freeze's short range, and
*        since the Paladin lacks the final health bonus he is actually
*        a little bit squishier than the average character, especially
*        compared to one with Tech Armor or equivalent.

*        Given the huge number of available powers and options, the
*        N7 Paladin is ironically best served by the M-77 Paladin, a
*        Heavy Pistol with good range and damage, as the tech powers
*        and melee can handle closer enemies and a heavier weapon is not
*        advisable.  Since the M-77 is an ultra-rare, having it at high
*        level to bring the weight down is improbable, so other weapons
*        are likely.  Try to keep as close to 200% bonus as possible,
*        given the number of tech powers to use.

***
7. Volus Mercenary
***

* This ultra-rare unlock is a pure support character with no offensive
* powers, just a decoy and a drone and shield recharge.  While people
* have used him effectively, he is more of an oddity and a challenge
* than a powerhouse.

* The Volus has a 125 cooldown with the Katana X, ~15% worse than the
* humans.  They also have incredibly low health.

* Volus do not have melee attacks.  Instead, the melee button activates
* a short cloaking effect when tapped and a short-duration invincibility
* when held.  They cannot take cover, though they can hide somewhat.  
* This means that they never have the accuracy bonus for firing from 
* cover, and the "standing behind low cover" isn't as effective as
* actually using the cover system.

         a. Decoy

*        The Decoy is just that, a distraction for enemies.  On lower
*        difficulties it is a waste of time unless soloing, but on
*        higher levels it is a godsend as enemies will waste time and
*        effort on the image, which seems to be more durable than the
*        numbers suggest.  The "Exploding Decoy" evolution will 
*        detonate tech bursts and fire, and cryo explosions, but this
*        is primarily a defensive skill.

*        Important note: Enemies will only attack the decoy if it is
*        closer to them than any other target, so careful placement is
*        critical.  The Decoy does not move and cannot be cast at a
*        distance.

*   Recommended: Take this skill to four, picking Duration at four.

*        b. Combat Drone

         This skill creates a temporary ally that floats around the
         battlefield, poking at enemies.  It can be upgraded to spam
         stunning attacks that make it more useful as a defensive
         tool, but it is primarily a distraction.  The "Detonate"
*        evolution will detonate tech bursts, fire explosions, and cryo
*        explosions, but making this happen can be tricky at best.

*   Recommended: Maximum, choose Detonate, Shock, and Chain Lightning.

*        c. Shield Boost

*        This ability restores some of the shields of all allies in a 
*        small radius and continues to restore them for a short period 
*        after.  While casting it, the Volus is invincible.

*   Recommended: Maximum, choose Radius, Recharge Speed, Protection.

*        d. Volus Training

*        This is the usual class passive power, with the quirk that
*        there is no headshot bonus, instead the 5th evolution has the
*        option to improve the Shield Boost ability.

*   Recommended: Take to rank four, choosing the weight and power
*   damage upgrade at four.

*        e. Fitness

*        This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
*        be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
*        damage.  The final melee evolution also gives a temporary
*        bonus to power damage in this case... but the Volus don't
*        have melee attacks anyway.

*   Recommended: Maximum, taking the shield upgrades.

*        f. Recommended skills and tactics

*        The purpose of this class is to harass and distract the enemy,
*        keeping your allies safe while they do the dirty work of
*        killing.  It is woefully inadequate at killing enemies, and
*        Shield Boost in particular demands rapid recharge so carrying
*        heavy weapons is inadvisable.  Expect to get the lowest score
*        every single game.

***
8. Asari Valkyrie
***

* The Valkyrie is all about activated passives, and the strategy is
* about melee range biotic combos since the Annihilation Field primes
* targets and Warp sets them off.  It is very similar to the "short
* range" variant of the N7 Fury, but has slower cooldowns because of
* Warp and the Tech Armor penalty.

*        a. Tech Armor

*        The first time this power is activated, it stays on until
*        the key is pressed again.  While it is active, the character
*        takes less damage from all sources but cooldowns are slowed,
*        making it a dubious choice for power spamming builds.  When
*        deactivated, the armor causes an unimpressive explosion
*        centered on the user.

*   Recommended: All the way.  At rank four, take damage protection 
*   and at rank five take power damage, and at rank six take the
*   reduction in recharge penalty.

*        b. Annihilation Field

*        Creates a damage zone on the Valkyrie that lasts a long time.
*        It can be activated again to deal immediate damage, and this
*        detonation will finish biotic combos.  The field itself sets
*        up a biotic combo, but the detonation effect cannot detonate
*        the combo set up by the field.

*   Recommended: Take to five, choosing Radius and Damage Taken.  There
*   is some question as to whether Radius affects only detonating radius
*   or if it affects passive radius.  If it is ever proved that it does
*   not affect passive radius, switch to damage, but the purpose of the
*   field is to prime combos, not to whittle enemies.

*        c. Warp

*        Warp deals damage, increases the damage an enemy takes, and
*        can start a biotic combo or detonate one as long as either the
*        source or detonator is a skill other than warp.  It is a
*        projectile skill.  Warp also detonates fire explosions, tech
*        bursts, and cryo explosions.

*   Recommended: Max.  After three, Detonate, Expose, Recharge.

*        d. Asari Valkyrie

*        Despite the name, this is the same as Justicar, and gives the
*        same pistol weight bonus at six.  It's the usual passive bonus
*        class skill.

*   Recommended: Five ranks.  After three, Damage & Capacity, then
*   Power Damage.

*        e. Fitness

*        This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
*        be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
*        damage.

*   Recommended: Four ranks, taking shields and health at four.

*        f. Recommended skills and tactics

*        The point of this class is to run up to enemies, "paint" them
*        with Annihilation Field, and hit them with Warp for a biotic
*        combo.  This is devastating against armor and barriers, but
*        the Valkyrie will need a way of dealing with shields and with
*        enemies at longer range.  This ends up being a high risk, high
*        reward playstyle that will end up with a lot of deaths.  With
*        the need for constant combos, cooldowns must be kept at an
*        absolute minimum.

__________
   F. Infiltrators

* Infiltrators are in many ways the class with the least variety, as
* all of them share the same cloaking skill, with the Asari Huntress
* variant the only substantial deviator.  The nominal description of
* the Infiltrator in the first Mass Effect was of a soldier and tech
* specialist hybrid, and many Infiltrators retain that influence,
* with the Huntress the only Infiltrator with a biotic power.

* To save repetition in every class description, cloak is a complex 
* ability with a lot of facets.  The most obvious benefit is that the
* enemy will sometimes ignore you.  Specifically, cloak makes you a
* lower priority target, and the AI will sometimes attack the position
* where it last saw you rather than your actual location.  In a group,
* the enemies will almost always target your allies if you are cloaked.
* In other words, cloak is not "invisibility" and it makes a poor
* panic button if cornered.

* Cloak increases damage for all of your attacks, and with rapid
* firing weapons it will boost several shots before falling.  The bonus
* damage for powers does not appear to affect grenades, but should
* work with the other abilities.  The Huntress's cloak works 
* better for powers but not as well for weapons.

* Cloak has a mechanic where the cooldown is reduced if you do not
* remain cloaked for the full duration.  This is very commonly abused,
* since firing a power while cloaked and then canceling the cloak will
* use this reduced cooldown, regardless of the power's normal cooldown,
* and regardless of weapon weight it is easy to hit Cloak's minimum
* cooldown of 3 seconds.  This is incredibly valuable in that it allows
* Infiltrators to use their powers frequently even when carrying very
* heavy sniper rifles, and is even more ridiculous when dealing with
* powers like Proximity Mine that normally have very long cooldowns.

* If using a charged weapon like the Geth Plasma Shotgun, starting to
* charge the weapon will break cloak, but releasing a charge will not,
* so you can fire a charged shot without becoming fully visible.

* While cloaked, your shield regeneration is frozen and you will not
* start recharging shields and any recharge in process is stopped.  For
* recharge purposes, any time spent cloaked (including for Shadow
* Strike) effectively does not exist.

* Cloak's level four evolution is between damage and duration, and the
* duration bonus is critical for any Infiltrator that wants to complete
* activation/deactivation objectives while cloaked or move any
* distance.  This guide strongly recommends it for most characters, but
* there are exceptions.  If playing Infiltrator primarily as a heavy
* sniper, the damage is very handy.

* Cloak's level five evolution is largely useless - the recharge bonus
* is irrelevant if using the reduced cooldown from not using the full
* duration, and the reduction can't bring cloak below the three second
* minimum.  The alternative is melee, which is only really useful to
* the Shadow.

* Cloak's level six evolution is also dubious.  The extra damage is,
* as always, welcome, but it's not very much given the number of points
* required for a sixth evolution, especially if skipping the fifth.
* The "use one power" ability isn't useless, but it's only necessary
* for a few characters.

***
1. Human Infiltrator
***

The human infiltrator is unlocked by default, and is stuck with Cryo
Blast and Sticky Grenade, two of the worst powers in the game.  The
Tactical Cloak, however, makes up for it as one of the best.  This
class is an excellent choice for players who prefer to shoot things
instead of using funky powers, as the cloak can massively increase
damage dealt.

         a. Tactical Cloak

*        Non-invisibility.  See the description under the class heading
*        above.

*   Recommended: Max.  After three, duration, recharge speed, and
*   sniper damage.

         b. Cryo Blast

         Cryo Blast can be used to freeze basic enemies or to chill
         more advanced ones, increasing damage and stopping or slowing
         the enemy.  Unfortunately, it doesn't slow the advanced
         enemies very much and this skill is primarily useful for
         crowd control on weak enemies or setting up Cryo Explosions.

    Recommended: Ignore.

         c. Sticky Grenade

         The sticky grenade is the least effective of the grenade
         powers.  While it still has its uses, the small burst radius
         doesn't make up for the slightly higher damage.  As the name
         implies, it sticks to the target, but this is rarely useful
         or even relevant.

    Recommended: Max.  After three increase damage, armor piercing,
    damage.

         d. Alliance Training

         This skill is exactly the same for all human characters.  It
         increases weight capacity, power damage, and weapon damage.

    Recommended: Max.  After three increase weapon damage, headshot,
    weapon damage.

         e. Fitness

         This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
         be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
         damage.

    Recommended: Max.  After three increase the shield powers.

         f. Recommended skills and tactics

*        The Human Infiltrator is unfortunately the worst of the lot,
*        since Cryo Blast is dubious and Sticky Grenades are not great.
*        Grab a sniper rifle, cloak before firing, and throw sticky
*        grenades at the big enemies.  Carrying a backup weapon for
*        close range use may be useful on some maps, and a submachine
*        gun (not the Shuriken!) may be useful for stripping shields
*        or barriers from the stronger foes.

***
2. Salarian Infiltrator
***

The Rare Salarian infiltrator is quite good, ditching the dubious
secondary powers of the Human and Quarian for the very useful Energy
* Drain and the situational Proximity Mine.  The lack of a grenade
* power limits the Salarian's ability to really crank out damage, but
* it's a good class regardless.

         a. Tactical Cloak

*        Non-invisibility.  See the description under the class heading
*        above.

*   Recommended: Take to four, with radius at four.

         b. Proximity Mine

         This skill sets up a mine which will detonate if an enemy
         walks over it.  You can also shoot it directly at enemies,
         which may be useful since it does decent damage.  You can't
         use it to set up huge minefields, only one mine at a time.
         Proximity mine also has some debuffing powers on upgrades.

*        The mine is also handy as a way to stagger enemies to line up
*        headshots.  It also detonates fire and cryo explosions as well
*        as tech bursts.

*   Recommended: Maximize, choosing Radius, Damage Taken, and Damage.
*   The slowing ability on the fifth evolution is also very nice, and
*   may be more useful on Gold and Platinum.

         c. Energy Drain

*        This power has many effects and uses.  Firstly, it deals
*        damage to an area of effect that is very powerful against
*        shields and barriers, as well as staggering smaller enemies.
*        If it hits shields, barriers, or technological enemies it also
*        restores the user's shields by 50%.  This acts as a source for
*        a tech burst.  It will detonate tech bursts, fire explosions,
*        and cryo explosions, but only on enemies with shields/barriers
*        or technological types.

*        Because of the area of effect and no projectile travel time,
*        Energy Drain is great for staggering enemies to line up easy
*        headshots.

*   Recommended: To four, taking the increased radius at four.


         d. Salarian Operative

         The Salarian version of the class skill is almost identical to
         the human variety.  It increases weight capacity, power 
         damage, and weapon damage.  The final upgrade gives a choice
         between overall weapon damage or a reduction in sniper rifle
         weight instead of a general weight bonus.

*   Recommended: Maximize.  Weapon damage at four and six, headshot
*   damage at five.

         e. Fitness

         This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
         be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
         damage.

    Recommended: Maximize, taking the shield bonuses after three.

         f. Recommended skills and tactics

         Firing off Energy Drain before shooting an enemy will often 
         stun them briefly, allowing you to set up even easier head
         shots.  As long as you fire immediately after using the 
         ability you will still get the cloak damage bonus even if
         you do not have the "use one skill" cloak upgrade.

*        Proximity mine can also be used to stun enemies, though it
*        has travel time and has an irritating tendency to hit walls
*        on the way to the target.  Don't worry about using it to
*        set traps, just fire it directly at enemies to apply the
*        damage bonus or speed penalty or to set off combos.


***
3. Quarian Infiltrator
***

The Quarian Infiltrator, an Uncommon unlock, has a unique ability that
was abusable early in the game's history - Sabotage, which hacks an
enemy synthetic and makes it change sides.  Unfortunately, Sabotage
is rarely useful now since the duration is much shorter.  It also has
the decidedly irritating problem that your teammates will tend to
shoot whatever it is you hack, and the skill will be wasted.

         a. Tactical Cloak

*        Non-invisibility.  See the description under the class heading
*        above.

    Recommended: Max.  After three increase duration and recharge,  
*   and sniper damage.  The "use a power" upgrade is more useful to
*   the Quarian if you plan on making big use of Sabotage to control
*   enemies.

         b. Sticky Grenade

         The sticky grenade is the least effective of the grenade
         powers.  While it still has its uses, the small burst radius
         doesn't make up for the slightly higher damage.  As the name
         implies, it sticks to the target, but this is rarely useful
         or even relevant.

*   Recommended: Max.  After three increase damage, armor piercing,
*   damage.

         c. Sabotage

         This skill takes over a technological enemy briefly.  It also
         stops enemies with weapons from attacking.  Enemies that are
         dominated will at least stand helpless for a few seconds even
         if your allies are shooting them, and taking over Cerberus
         turrets, which are vicious at short range, is also effective.
         Overall, if you can't communicate with your team this skill
         is rarely useful.  It also does nothing against the Reaper
*        and Collector enemies, who do not have any technological 
*        units.  Sabotage can set up tech bursts.

*   Recommended: To three.  If you can confirm you'll be fighting Geth
*   you might want more, but even there it's not a great skill.

         d. Quarian Defender

         The Quarian version of the class skill is almost identical to
         the human variety.  It increases weight capacity, power 
         damage, and weapon damage.  The final upgrade gives a choice
         between overall weapon damage or a reduction in SMG weight
         instead of a general weight bonus.  This is rather a shame,
         as most SMGs don't weigh much to begin with.

    Recommended: Max.  After three increase weapon damage, headshot,
    weapon damage.

         e. Fitness

         This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
         be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
         damage.

    Recommended: Five ranks.  After three take the shield and shield
    recharge.


         f. Recommended skills and tactics

*        The Quarian is unfortunately even more dubious than the
*        Human infiltrator, though Sabotage can be used to stagger
*        enemies to help with aiming, even to the point where it's
*        worth using.  Cloak, Sabotage to stagger, fire, repeat, and
*        like the Human use the Sticky Grenades against bigger
*        enemies.

***
*4. Geth Infiltrator
***

* The Geth Infiltrator is another Resurgence DLC class, also a rare 
* unlock.  Like all infiltrators, it starts with a rank in tactical
* cloak.  While not as potent as the Salarian since it lacks a useful
* non-cloak power, it is the ultimate sniper since it simply has more
* bonuses because of Hunter Mode.  Like all Geth, it has big shields
* and terrible health.  The heavy melee attack drains your shields
* somewhat, but is very powerful.

*        a. Tactical Cloak

*        Non-invisibility.  See the description under the class heading
*        above.

*   Recommended: Four ranks, taking duration at four.

*        b. Hunter Mode

*        This is an activated passive skill which remains on until
*        deactivated.  It shows you the location of enemies through
*        walls or smoke and gives combat bonuses, but it also drops
*        your shields in half.  It also causes a lot of visual field
*        changes, which can take some adjustment since you will see
*        enemies that you can't shoot at and there is clutter on the
*        screen.

*   Recommended: Max this skill.  With the substantial penalties for
*   this power, it is not worth using as a partial skill.  For the
*   Infiltrator, you may still be better off using the weapon accuracy
*   and rate of fire improvements since the Geth does not have very
*   many options in attack powers.  The final "Speed & Vision" upgrade
*   is only important if you plan to use a high penetration weapon
*   like the Javelin.

*        c. Proximity Mine

*        This skill sets up a mine which will detonate if an enemy
*        walks over it.  You can also shoot it directly at enemies,
*        which may be useful since it does decent damage.  You can't
*        use it to set up huge minefields, only one mine at a time.
*        Proximity mine also has some debuffing powers on upgrades.

*   Recommended: Take to five, choosing radius and then a debuff of
*   preference.  Either works.  If in doubt, take the damage received
*   upgrade.

*        d. Networked AI

*        This is the Geth class skill.  In addition to the usual class
*        skill bonuses, it includes an additional damage bonus to Geth
*        weapons (the Javelin is the only affected weapon without
*        "Geth" in the name).

*   Recommended: Take weapon damage, headshots, weapon damage and 
*   max the skill.

*        e. Advanced Hardware

*        This is the Geth version of the fitness skill.  In addition
*        to the usual abilities, it also gives a shield recharge
*        speed bonus at rank 1 and a wacky power damage/melee synergy
*        at rank six that is a complete waste of time given the lack
*        of useful damaging attack powers.

*   Recommended: To five, taking shield strength and recharge.

*        f. Recommended skills and tactics

*        Hunter mode is not optional for this build, and in many ways
*        the Geth Infiltrator is better off than the other infiltrator
*        classes because they can focus on tactical cloak with the
*        benefit of a passive.  With incomplete shields and Hunter Mode
*        this will be a very squishy build, so play carefully.

***
*5. Quarian Male Infiltrator
***

* The second Quarian Infiltrator's main power of interest is the
* tactical scan, which gives passive bonuses to all allies attacking a
* specific target.  Unfortunately the character does not have a
* staggering skill, so fighting agile enemies will require either top-
* notch aim or grenades.

*        a. Tactical Cloak

*        Non-invisibility.  See the description under the class heading
*        above.

*   Recommended: Four ranks, taking duration at four.

*        b. Tactical Scan

*        This power debuffs a target, showing their position to all
*        allies, even through walls.  While the target is affected
*        their movement is reduced and they take additional damage.
*        This does not stagger the target or do any damage.

*   Recommended: Maximize, taking weapon damage at four, headshot at
*   five, and damage at six.

*        c. Arc Grenade

*        This grenade, unlike most, detonates on contact instead of
*        bouncing, which makes it easier to aim but limits trick shots.
*        It can detonate tech bursts and fire and cryo explosions, and
*        can act as a source for tech bursts with one of the rank five
*        evolutions, Electrical Damage.

*   Recommended: To four, taking damage at four.

*        d. Quarian Defender

*        The Quarian class skill is like all the others, with a level
*        six option for a 30 weight reduction in SMGs.

*   Recommended: Max.  Weapon damage, headshots, and weapon damage.

*        e. Fitness

*        The usual melee and defensive upgrades.

*   Recommended: Maximum, taking shield bonuses.

*        f. Recommended skills and tactics

*        Carry a heavy sniper rifle for superpowered headshots against
*        heavy targets and a submachine gun for use against faster
*        enemies.

***
*6. N7 Shadow
***

* This class has a lot of complex abilities and is the only one of the
* Infiltrators that relies heavily on the "Use one power while cloaked"
* evolution at rank six of the cloak, as many of her abilities leave
* her very vulnerable otherwise.  This is the only infiltrator that is
* specifically built for melee.  There's a lot to be said about this
* class, so be sure to read other guides if you expect to make the most
* of this character.

*        a. Tactical Cloak

*        Non-invisibility.  See the description under the class heading
*        above.

*   Recommended: Maximize, taking melee at five and "use one power" at
*   six.

*        b. Electric Slash

*        Creates a wave of electric pulses that pass through walls and
*        deal damage.  It will detonate tech bursts as well as cryo
*        and fire explosions.  The skill has a "wind-up" attack that
*        is separate from the actual skill, and it can be cancelled
*        during the wind-up by using heavy melee or roll for a "free"
*        attack that won't break cloak.

*   Recommended: To four, taking damage bonus at four.

*        c. Shadow Strike

*        The Shadow floats to behind a target and slashes it with the
*        sword.  This doesn't break cloak until you strike.  You can
*        still quite easily be hit while moving, so do this attack from
*        cloak.  This is a melee attack, and gets bonuses from all of
*        the usual melee attack bonuses.  Electrical Damage evolution
*        sets up tech bursts.

*   Recommended: Maximize, taking Damage, Electrical Damage, and
*   Damage.

*        d. N7 Shadow

*        Despite the fancy name, this is exactly the same as the other
*        human class skills.

*   Recommended: To five, taking power damage and weight, then power
*   damage.

*        e. Sword Mastery

*        This is a quirky variant on the usual Fitness passive.  The
*        first few ranks are the same, but the rank five upgrade works
*        with all melee attacks (including Shadow Strike) instead of
*        just heavy melee or gives movement speed in addition to shield
*        recharge, and the sixth upgrade gives options between melee
*        damage bonuses (armor or shields/barriers) rather than an
*        option for more durability.

*   Recommended: To five, taking the bottom two (health and shields,
*   movement and recharge).

*        f. Recommended skills and tactics

*        The ideal gun for this class is the Acolyte, a charged pistol
*        that can be charged and released so that it will fire while
*        "traveling" for Shadow Strike.  The gun can also have a melee
*        damage bonus part added, the Melee Stunner.  While the Shadow
*        can abuse the cloak recharge like any Infiltrator, cooldowns
*        should be kept light as the powers are the focus of the class.
*        Be sure to carry a weapon that will be tolerable at long
*        range for situations where you can't use your usual abilities.

***
*7. Turian Ghost
***

* The Turian Infiltrator is an ideal class for soloing, with cloak,
* Stimulant Packs to restore shields allowing for crazy survivability,
* and Overload, a skill that is both useful for staggering enemies and
* for detonating combos.  The class doesn't innately have a way to set up
* combos, but this is easily done with ammo consumables.  Like all Turians
* it can't roll, has improved shields, and it has a slight (155 vs. 141
* with the Katana X) improvement in carrying capacity.  Like the Havoc,
* the Ghost has a jump jet system used in place of rolling.

*        a. Tactical Cloak

*        Non-invisibility.  See the description under the class heading
*        above.

*   Recommended: Four ranks, taking duration at four.

*        b. Stimulant Pack

*        This is a power that uses grenades to represent the charges of
*        avaiable uses.  When activated, the power restores the user's
*        shields and gives a small temporary damage bonus.  This skill
*        is excellent when soloing, as it massively increases your
*        ability to survive in dangerous situations and can be used far
*        more times than the consumable supplies with a similar effect.

*    Recommended: Max it.  Use it with a grenade capacity gear bonus if
*    at all possible.  Take Max Shields, Duration, and Survival.  If you
*    don't have a capacity bonus you may want to consider the capacity
*    bonus from the skill at five in lieu of Duration.

*        c. Overload

*        Overload immediately damages an opponent without a projectile
*        and is primarily useful for stunning opponents or stripping
*        off shields, especially once upgraded since it can hit three
*        opponents with the same shot in a chain lightning effect.  
*        This skill is ideal for setting up or setting off Tech Bursts
*        because of the multiple targets hit.  The neural shock option
*        is truly optional - enemies are stunned just fine without it.
*        Overload will also set off fire and cryo explosions.

*   Recommended: To four, taking chain at four.

*        d. Armiger Legion

*        This is just the same class skill with a different name.
*        The rank six option is 30 weight reduction on assault rifles.
*        Like all the Turians, it includes stability bonuses that
*        reduce the effect of recoil.

*   Recommended: Max it, taking weapon damage, headshots, and weapon
*   damage.

*        e. Fitness

*        This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
*        be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
*        damage.

*   Recommended: Max.  Take the bottom three shield upgrades.

*        f. Recommended skills and tactics

*        Overload can be used to stagger enemies from cloak, setting up
*        shots against fast-moving enemies.  Like almost all of the
*        Infiltrators, weight doesn't matter excessively to the Ghost,
*        so take a powerful sniper rifle or really whatever weapon suits
*        your fancy.  If using ammo powers for combos, be sure to bring a
*        faster-firing weapon than a typical sniper rifle.

***
*8. Drell Assassin
***

* This class is the ultimate abuser of the cloak cooldown bonus, with the
* ability to fire off extremely powerful Recon Mines at extreme rates.  It
* otherwise lacks a power to use for staggering and the homing grenades
* are dubious, but it's still a powerhouse.  Like other Drell it has fast
* movement and poor shields, but unlike other Drell it has no weight 
* bonus, which doesn't really matter since the cooldowns are based on the
* abuse of Cloak rather than the normal mechanics.

*        a. Tactical Cloak

*        Non-invisibility.  See the description under the class heading
*        above.

*   Recommended: Four ranks, taking duration at four.

*        b. Homing Grenade

*        This grenade functions like a projectile power as the homing
*        is minimal and requires a target.  The Fire Damage evolution
*        at rank five allows it to be used as a source for fire
*        explosions, and it detonates tech bursts, fire explosions, and
*        cryo explosuions by default.

*   Recommended: Max, taking Damage, Fire Damage, and Split Grenade.

*        c. Recon Mine

*        This power sets up a scanner that shows the position of all
*        enemies in range, even through multiple walls.  It can be
*        detonated for massive damage or left in place for scanning
*        and as a debuff with the right upgrades.

*   Recommended: Max this skill.  Take Radius, Damage, Armor Damage.
*   Invasive scan is nice, but the Drell is best served using this as a
*   slow-firing attack power.

*        d. Drell Assassin

*        The Drell version of the class skill is almost identical to
*        the human variety.  It increases weight capacity, power 
*        damage, and weapon damage.  The final upgrade gives a choice
*        between overall weapon damage or a reduction in pistol weight
*        instead of a general weight bonus.

*   Recommended: All six.  After three, Damage & Capacity, then
*   Power Damage, then Weapon Damage.

*        e. Fitness

*        This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
*        be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
*        damage.  For Drell it also improves movement speed.

*   Recommended: To four, taking the health bonus at four.

*        f. Recommended skills and tactics

*        Use Recon Mine from cloak, then cancel cloak either by shooting
*        or light melee.  Once the Recon Mine is armed, detonate it.
*        Repeat as needed.  Since the cloak cooldown is largely immune
*        to heavy weapon weight penalties, weapon selection is simply a
*        matter of preferences, but be sure to have something that will
*        work up close against fast enemies since the mines are fairly 
*        slow.  Use Homing Grenades when you need to do additional damage
*        as fast as possible.


***
*9. Asari Huntress
***

* Infiltrators were originally supposed to be tech-soldier hybrids, but
* the Huntress is nothing of the sort.  As predictable for an Asari, the
* character is a biotic, and a good one at that.  The cloak serves to 
* boost power damage, but the ability to use cloak's cooldown means that
* the Huntress can also be better armed than many Adepts.

*        a. Tactical Cloak

*        Non-invisibility.  See the description under the class heading
*        above.

*   Recommended: Four ranks, taking duration at four.

*        b. Dark Channel

*        This is a long duration damage over time effect that acts as
*        a source for biotic combos.  It hits automatically, and if
*        the target dies, the effect moves to another nearby enemy
*        and this continues until the duration is over or there are
*        no immediate targets.

*   Recommended: Maximum, choose Damage, Recharge Speed, Damage

*        c. Warp

*        Warp deals damage, increases the damage an enemy takes, and
*        can start a biotic combo or detonate one as long as either the
*        source or detonator is a skill other than warp.  It is a
*        projectile skill.  Warp also detonates fire explosions, tech
*        bursts, and cryo explosions.

*   Recommended: Max.  After three, Detonate, Expose, Pierce.

*        d. Asari Huntress

*        Despite the name, this is exactly the same as the other Asari
*        class skills.

*   Recommended: To five.  After three, Damage & Capacity, then
*   Power Damage.

*        e. Fitness

*        This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
*        be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
*        damage.  For Drell it also improves movement speed.

*   Recommended: To five, taking the health bonus at four and the shield
*   regen at five.

*        f. Recommended skills and tactics

*        Use Dark Channel to set up biotic combos and Warp to detonate
*        them, much like an Adept.  The only real difference is that the
*        Huntress is free to use far heavier weapons.  Be sure to bring a
*        weapon for up-close work, as the Channel/Warp combination is too
*        slow to use against fast enemies.

__________
   G. Vanguards

Vanguards are a hybrid between guns and biotics, at least on paper.
The Human Vanguard (aka "Manguard") is a pure biotic and one of the
most powerful characters for Bronze, albeit rather less effective on
higher difficulties.  All of the Vanguards get the Biotic Charge
ability by default, and this ability is the Manguard's pride and joy,
* where the others are more the "part time biotic" expected for the
* class as described in the first Mass Effect.

* Despite the tradition set in the previous games, there is no real
* reason to use a shotgun on any Vanguard.  For the Human Vanguard it
* is an especially poor choice since they have far more effective
* close range tools in their skills and almost all shotguns are too 
* heavy for that completely power-dependent class.  Players that want
* a shotgun vanguard should go for the Krogan or Batarian - heavy
* fighters that charge, but don't rely on power cooldowns as much.

***
1. Human Vanguard
***

The Manguard is a controversial character, mostly because there are a
lot of players who play it very, very badly.  Played correctly, it is
near invincible, but the tiniest lag or slipup and it becomes suicidal.
The key to Manguard is that the character is invincible while using
the Biotic Charge or Nova skills, and with a low enough cooldown the
character can alternate between them with mere fractions of a second of
vulnerability while dealing massive damage.

* Manguard is mostly a Bronze phenomenon, though it works on Silver.
* It's just too dangerous to be routinely effective on the highest
* difficulties.

Using a heavy weapon (e.g. any shotgun except the Disciple) on a Human
Vanguard may result in players kicking you from a game immediately
since it is obvious you are playing the class wrong.  Some players
have run into so many poorly played Manguards that they simply kick
* Manguards by default.  This happens less now than it did in the past
* but you may get a lot of snide comments if you're not playing the
* class to its full extent.  Then again, other players may keep quiet
* because it means they can actually get a few kills in.

There is no "alternate way" to play the Manguard - it is a one trick
pony character.  Then again, when that pony is a rabid avatar of
destruction, why would you want anything else?

         a. Biotic Charge

         This ability restores half of your shields and teleports you
         at an enemy, potentially setting off a biotic combo.  Very
         important upgrades to the ability increase the number of
         targets affected and the amount of shield restored, and these
         upgrades are not optional for the Manguard.  The area of
         effect stuns most enemies briefly, preventing you from being
         interrupted before you can Nova.  The shield restoration is
         a no-brainer because Nova deals damage based on your shield.

         Important note: it is generally best to play Manguard as the
         host of a game.  Lag will sometimes result in Charge not
         activating immediately, and those fractions of a second mean
         death.

*        Biotic charges can also set off tech bursts, and fire or cryo
*        explosions.

    Recommended: Max.  After three increase area of effect, power
    damage, and shield restoration.  Upgrade this skill first, and
    don't bother with Nova until you have the rank six full shield
    recovery.

         b. Shockwave

         Shockwave is listed for the Manguard, but you'd be crazy to
*        spend any points here.

    Recommended: Ignore.

         c. Nova

         Nova reduces your current shield to 0 and changes it into a
         biotic explosion around you which can set off a biotic combo.
         You are invincible while using it, but after the animation
         ends you will die quickly since you are at point blank range
         with no shields.  Following Nova with a Biotic Charge 
         restores the shields, setting up another Nova.  The Nova 
         skill does not use the cooldown timer, it only checks if you
         have a shield to use.

         There is some debate between the use of Half Nova or the
         recharge bonus for the fifth upgrade.  Either will work.

*        Nova will also detonate tech, fire, or cryo combos.

    Recommended: Max.  After three increase radius, recharge, and 
    damage to armor.  Finish upgrading charge before spending points
    here.  Since you have a male and female Vanguard, try putting
    recharge on one and half nova on the other and experiment as to
    which you prefer.  It's the only real decision in playing Manguard.

         d. Alliance Training

         This skill is exactly the same for all human characters.  It
         increases weight capacity, power damage, and weapon damage.

    Recommended: Max, eventually.  The first point can be spent early,
    but after that this is a low priority.  Raise damage & capacity
    on four, power damage on five.  The sixth depends.  For new players
    without much choice in weapons, the weight upgrade may allow use
    of better weapons while remaining at the all-important 200%,
    otherwise the weapon damage upgrade is better.

         e. Fitness

         This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
         be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
         damage.

    Recommended: Max.  Take the first two ranks as soon as Biotic 
    Charge is fully upgraded, the others can wait.  After three, take
    the shield upgrades.  While melee may seem appropriate for the
    Vanguard, the shield upgrades increase the damage on Nova.

         f. Recommended skills and tactics

         If your cooldown is not 200%, you are playing this character
         wrong.  The main purpose to the Manguard is to spam charge,
         then nova, then charge.  There are situations where you'll
         want to actually use a gun.  For example, Banshees, Brutes,
         and Atlases will not be staggered by charge and can instantly
         kill you at short range, so charging them is inadvisable.
         When doing a hacking objective, it is difficult to stay
         inside the circle while charging, so you may have to fall 
         back on using a weapon.  The Predator pistol is more than
         sufficient for these limited tasks, and is sometimes useful
         for finishing off enemies that are more or less dead anyway.

*        200% cooldowns are a must once the Manguard has Nova, as the
*        time spent in cooldown is your only vulnerable point when
*        riding the biotic death train of charge/nova.  At first 
*        level when all you have is a single rank in charge it might 
*        be reasonable to carry a bigger gun, but even then the 
*        ability to constantly restore your shields is far more 
*        useful than a slightly stronger weapon.  No weapon compares
*        to the damage Nova deals, so the only time you'll actually
*        use the gun is against Guardians (Charge moves their shield
*        but Nova is too slow to finish them) and when defending
*        objectives, drones, or delivering pizza.

***
2. Drell Vanguard
***

* Like other Drell, the Vanguard has a higher base movement speed,
* half the usual barrier strength, and a higher base capacity for
* carrying weapons.  Unlike other Drell, the Vanguard is expected to
* use the suicidally squishy shields at point blank range.  While the
* character is playable, there isn't anything about it that's very
* good, and unless running a challenge there's very little reason to
* play this class.

         a. Biotic Charge

         This ability restores half of your shields and teleports you
*        at an enemy, potentially setting off a biotic combo.  This
*        deals moderate damage and knocks the enemy back.  It will
*        also detonate tech bursts and fire and cryo explosions.

*   Recommended: Maximize, taking Radius, Weapon Synergy, and
*   Barrier.  This is a low priority ability, as the Drell will only
*   use charge to move into position or as a panic shield
*   restoration.

         b. Pull

*        This projectile picks up unprotected enemies and holds them
*        helpless.  It does a tiny amount of damage at first, but does
*        not do more unless the upgrade is purchased.  It acts as a
*        source for biotic combos, but only against unprotected targets.
*        With the fast cooldown it excels at setting up combos, but it
*        only works on enemies where combos aren't really necessary.

*   Recommended: Take to four, selecting Radius at four.

*        c. Cluster Grenade

*        Like similar powers, this works independently of cooldowns
*        and instead uses grenades.  Cluster throws a group of grenades
*        which pelt an area for moderate damage.  Because of the
*        multiple grenade pattern, it is hard to aim at distance and
*        is best used for indiscriminate bombardment.  One of the
*        upgrades makes it do double damage to lifted targets, such
*        as those affected by Pull.  The grenades can also set off a
*        biotic combo, but cannot start one.  They also detonate fire
*        and cryo explosions and tech bursts.

*   Recommended: Max. After three is a matter of how good you are at
*   throwing the grenades.  If you're not very good, focus on area
*   rather than damage.  The extra grenade on the fifth rank option is
*   a dubious choice, as ammunition boxes only hold two.  Grenades are
*   less useful on higher difficulties because of the slower spawn
*   rate, but you're basically stuck with them.

         d. Drell Assassin

         The Drell version of the class skill is almost identical to
         the human variety.  It increases weight capacity, power 
         damage, and weapon damage.  The final upgrade gives a choice
         between overall weapon damage or a reduction in pistol weight
         instead of a general weight bonus.

*   Recommended: Take to four, picking the power damage and weight
*   capacity.

         e. Fitness

         This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
         be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
         damage.  For Drell, it also increases their running speed,
         though the shield bonuses aren't so useful when the base
         shields are reduced.

*   Recommended: Maximize it, taking all of the shield upgrades.

         f. Recommended skills and tactics

         Don't play the Drell Vanguard.  If you must, take into account
         that Pull and Biotic Charge sometimes fail to set off a
         biotic combo for some reason.  There really isn't anything
         good to say about this class.

*        If you're playing it for the Outsider Mastery Challenge (or
*        just for the challenge, period!) it's best to play the
*        Drell Vanguard with some decently heavy weapons, as your
*        powers aren't a big source of damage.  A sniper rifle is
*        inadvisable without a power to use to stagger enemies, so
*        the ever-useful Geth Plasma Shotgun is probably the weapon
*        of choice.

***
3. Asari Vanguard
***

The Asari Vanguard is quite different from the Manguard in style, and
using a respec card to take the point out of Biotic Charge and put it
in something else might even be a reasonable choice.  Between Stasis
* and Lift Grenade, the Asari Vanguard has a lot of crowd control, but
* she's somewhat lacking for options against heavy armor.  She's an
* uncommon unlock.  Like all Asari, the Vanguard doesn't roll, she
* has a short range biotic dash.  Her heavy melee has a small area of
* effect, but is painfully slow.

*        a. Biotic Charge

*        This ability restores half of your shields and teleports you
*        at an enemy, potentially setting off a biotic combo.  This
*        deals moderate damage and knocks the enemy back.  It will
*        also detonate tech bursts and fire and cryo explosions.

    Recommended: Ignore, and raise to rank three when there's nowhere
    left to put your points.  It can be used to detonate biotic
    combos, and it's not worthless, but it's not that useful either.

         b. Stasis

         Stasis, unlike previous games, does not prevent the target
         from being damaged, it actually increases the damage taken.
         It is fairly useless until the final upgrade "Stasis Bubble"
         is taken, since it tends to miss otherwise.  It can affect
         shielded or barriered enemies, but not enemies that have armor
         instead of health.  It can set up biotic combos for anything
         it can effect, and those biotic combos when detonated will
         add a stasis effect to all nearby enemies.

    Recommended: Max this skill.  The fourth and fifth ranks are a
    matter of taste, but the sixth rank is all about Bubble.  When
    using Stasis as a crowd control tool (i.e. against Phantoms) the
    additional duration is important, since enemies build up a 
    resistance to stasis.

         c. Lift Grenade

         Lift Grenade, like all of the grenade powers, ignores
         cooldowns and instead uses the grenade ammunition.  It has
         the distinction of being the grenade with the largest single
         burst radius, and temporarily lifts enemies, paralyzing them.
         It can be used to set up a biotic combo.

    Recommended: Max this skill.  After third raise radius, duration,
    radius and damage.  Lifted enemies are hard to hit with charge, 
    so using this to open a biotic combo isn't that effective.

         d. Asari Justicar

         The Asari version of the class skill is almost identical to
         the human variety.  It increases weight capacity, power 
         damage, and weapon damage.  The final upgrade gives a choice
         between overall weapon damage or a reduction in pistol weight
         instead of a general weight bonus.

    Recommended: Maximize.  After third raise weapon damage, headshot
    damage, and weapon damage.

         e. Fitness

         This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
         be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
         damage.

    Recommended: Maximize.  After third take the shield bonuses.

         f. Recommended skills and tactics

         Stasis can be used to set up reliable headshots on enemies,
         and it gives a damage bonus as well.  Since Lift Grenade
         ignores cooldowns, the Asari Vanguard can be played as a
         biotic Soldier class, carrying around big guns like sniper
         rifles to take advantage of the stasis effect.

    Recommended: Light sniper rifles such as the Mantis are on option,
    but this build is ideal with a weapon like the Carnifex or Paladin
    that can deliver reasonably powerful headshots without massive
    weight.  Because of the way Stasis works, this build will be more
    effective fighting Cerberus than other opponents.

***
*4. Krogan Vanguard
***

The ultimate melee god is a rare unlock added in the Resurgence DLC.
With the ability to recharge shields with charge, the ability to add
huge amounts of damage reduction from barrier and rage, and the usual
Krogan strength, he's a blast to play.  This still suicidal on Gold,
and it lacks the Manguard's "near constant invincibility" perk, but
* it works pretty well with the massive damage reduction.  Like all
* Krogan, the Vanguard can't roll and has 50% more health and double
* the shields of a human.  He can use the Katana X with a 160%
* cooldown, about 20 better than most characters.

         a. Biotic Charge

         Charge is not really your main weapon on the Kroguard, it is
         a tool for shield restoration.  It is still quite potent, of
         course.  The Krogan variant is slightly different in that it
         offers a bonus to melee damage instead of power damage on the
*        fifth evolution.  Charge kills count as melee for triggering
*        the Rage ability.  Charge can detonate any combo, and while
*        the Krogan can use Carnage for a Fire Explosion he cannot
*        do a biotic combo on his own.

*   Recommended: Max.  After three, take area, melee damage, barriers.

*        b. Carnage

*        This is basically an improved version of concussive shot, but
*        it lacks the quick cooldown.  It can stun enemies, deals good
*        damage to armor, and can set off or prime a fire explosion.
*        Like all powers, though, it cannot do both, so it has to be
*        paired with an ammo power or a grenade.  It can also set off
*        tech bursts and cryo explosions.

*   Recommended: Ignore.  Nice ability, but doesn't play well with the
*   other powers available to the Kroguard.

         c. Barrier

         This is a variant on the usual armor powers.  It can be
         detonated to detonate a biotic combo, but the Kroguard has
         no way to start that combo.  Mostly it's just damage
         reduction.  It has a bizarre lack of animations.

    Recommended: Max.  Take barrier strength, power synergy, and
    barrier strength.

         d. Krogan Berserker

         The Krogan version of the class skill is almost identical to
         the human variety.  It increases weight capacity, power 
         damage, and weapon damage.  The final upgrade gives a choice
         between overall weapon damage or a reduction in shotgun weight
         instead of a general weight bonus.

    Recommended: Max.  After three, take the weight bonus, then power
    damage.  The final upgrade is a matter of taste, as the Kroguard
    will very likely use a shotgun for the blade attachment but the
    Scimitar is light enough to do that without the bonus.

         e. Rage

         The Krogan version of the Fitness skill has a different name
         and an additional effect.  If the Krogan kills three enemies
         (reduced to two with an upgrade) with melee attacks they enter
         rage mode and have a melee damage bonus as well as a damage
         reduction bonus.  Note that this is not "kill with melee" but
         "melee and kill."  Other than that, this skill is just defense
         and melee damage like Fitness is.

    Recommended: Max.  After three, melee damage, martial artist, then
    pure rage.

         f. Recommended skills and tactics

         This is a simple-minded class.  Use charge to close with
         enemies.  Use melee attacks.  If shields are low, charge
         again.  Repeat.

*        For weapons, a shotgun or pistol with the blade attachment
*        is ideal.  The Omni-Blade is stronger, but the Kroguard does
*        care about cooldowns so the excess weight may be a poor
*        choice.  A weapon with decent range is needed for situations
*        where charge and melee are inappropriate, such as hacking
*        objectives.  The ideal would be the Geth Plasma Shotgun.
*        Try to keep cooldowns over 100%, but since the Kroguard is
*        not constantly charging, they don't need to be at 200%.

***
5. Phoenix Vanguard
***

* This is described as an ex-Cerberus human biotic.  There is a Adept
* variant of this class that is identical except that it has
* Singularity instead of charge.  The heavy melee attack for this class
* is weak but has a large area of effect.  It is a rare unlock.

*        a. Biotic Charge

*        This ability restores half of your shields and teleports you
*        at an enemy, potentially setting off a biotic combo.  This
*        deals moderate damage and knocks the enemy back.  It will
*        also detonate tech bursts and fire and cryo explosions.

*   Recommended: Maximize it, with Radius, Power Synergy, and Barrier.

*        b. Smash

*        Attacks a short area in front of the biotic.  Depending on the
*        level 4 upgrade, this can either be a source for a tech burst
*        or a biotic combo, but by default it is only a detonator.  The
*        major flaw with Smash is the long animation before the attack
*        where the character is helpless.  Unlike many other skills
*        with long animations, Smash offers no invulnerability frames
*        or even damage reduction during that period, so it must be
*        used very carefully when under fire.  Like Shockwave, the
*        attack goes through walls, but the short range means that it
*        cannot routinely be used in this fashion.

*   Recommended: Maximum, Biotic Combo, Force and Damage, Impact Radius
*   for the evolutions.

*        c. Lash

*        Throws a projectile that pulls enemies towards the user and
*        detonates biotic combos.  The pull effect only works on an
*        unprotected enemy unless the shield piercing evolution is 
*        taken at level six, and the combos never work on anything with
*        armor.  It can be used as the source for a biotic combo, but
*        like all skills, it cannot be both source and detonator in
*        the same combo.

*   Recommended:Take to three, or just skip it and get the next rank
*   of Phoenix training.

*        d. Phoenix Training

*        The only difference between this and the standard human class
*        skill is that it gives a 25 bonus for pistols and shotguns
*        instead of a 20 bonus for everything on one of the level six
*        evolutions.

*   Recommended: To five, choosing Damage and Capacity, Power Damage.

*        e. Fitness

*        This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
*        be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
*        damage.  The final melee evolution also gives a temporary
*        bonus to power damage in this case, but the Phoenix melee
*        attack is dubious.

*   Recommended: Maximize, taking all of the shield upgrades.

*        f. Recommended skills and tactics

*        Use charge to close distance and use Smash on enemies.  This
*        is not nearly as safe as charge/nova because of Smash's
*        lack of protection mid-animation, but this character can
*        continue to Smash after arriving.  Smashing and then using
*        Biotic Charge will detonate a biotic combo or tech burst
*        depending on the evolution picked for Smash.

*        For weapons, take something that you can use at long range
*        and will give you a 200% cooldown, such as a scoped version
*        of a heavy pistol.

***
6. N7 Slayer
***

* The Slayer, like the standard Manguard, has an ability that consumes
* barriers to deal damage.  Unfortunately, the Phase Disruptor does not
* have Nova's invincibility period, but the Slayer is much less of a
* one trick pony charging class, very important for higher difficulties.

* This character has some unusual melee attacks, and is invincible for
* some of the light melee swings and can teleport through walls with
* the heavy melee.

*        a. Biotic Charge

*        This ability restores half of your shields and teleports you
*        at an enemy, potentially setting off a biotic combo.  This
*        deals moderate damage and knocks the enemy back.  It will
*        also detonate tech bursts and fire and cryo explosions.

*   Recommended: Take to three.

*        b. Phase Disruptor

*        This skill consumes part of your barrier to create an
*        explosion at a distance.  This is not a biotic ability and
*        does not detonate biotic combos, but will detonate tech, fire,
*        and cryo.

*   Recommended: Maximum, Damage, Efficient Blast, Armor Damage.

*        c. Biotic Slash

*        This is a variant on Shockwave that has an excessively long
*        windup animation and does a second attack while winding up.
*        You can cancel it during the windup, after the windup attack,
*        and not suffer a cooldown.  It will detonate all types of
*        combos, but does not act as a source for any.  Like all of
*        the Shockwave variants, it goes through walls.

*   Recommended: Maximize it, taking radius, recharge speed, and range.
*   If you will reliably have a combo partner available, the combo
*   evolution at rank five is worthwhile, but the Slayer can't make
*   use of it alone.  The radius and range setup are optimal for using
*   the skill as a blind wall-piercing attack.  If you're confident on
*   your ability to aim (i.e. you know the maps very well), the damage
*   options are better.

*        d. Phoenix Training

*        The only difference between this and the standard human class
*        skill is that it gives a 25 bonus for pistols and shotguns
*        instead of a 20 bonus for everything on one of the level six
*        evolutions.

*   Recommended:  Maximize, choosing Damage and Capacity, Power Damage,
*   and skip the last one.

*        e. Fitness

*        This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
*        be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
*        damage.  The final melee evolution also gives a temporary
*        bonus to power damage in this case, but the Phoenix melee
*        attack is dubious.

*   Recommended: Maximize, taking all of the shield upgrades.

*        f. Recommended skills and tactics

*        Use phase blast and biotic slash to harass enemies from a
*        distance, never showing your face for longer than necessary.
*        Charge is a short range panic button when you're cornered or
*        a movement tool, not a primary attack.

*        An alternative concept is to maximize charge and use phase
*        blast to soften enemies, finishing them with charge.

*        For weapons, take something that you can use at long range
*        and will give you a 200% cooldown, such as a scoped version
*        of a heavy pistol.

***
7. Volus Protector
***

* Probably the weakest of the Volus, this character is a bit of a joke
* but is still playable.  The main power that the Volus have is their
* ability to restore shields at will, and the main power that Vanguards
* have is their ability to restore shields by charging, so there's too
* much overlap.

*        a. Biotic Charge

*        This ability restores half of your shields and teleports you
*        at an enemy, potentially setting off a biotic combo.  This
*        deals moderate damage and knocks the enemy back.  It will
*        also detonate tech bursts and fire and cryo explosions.

*   Recommended: Take to three.

*        b. Biotic Orbs

*        This conjures up three orbs that circle the Volus.  Each one
*        reduces cooldowns somewhat and they can be fired as projectiles
*        that deal damage and detonate biotic combos.  The recharge
*        time is based on when the orbs were summoned, so even with a
*        heavy weapon three could be fired, immediately resummoned, and
*        another three released.  The recharge time remaining is never
*        shown in game.  The orbs do extra damage to armor and barriers.
*        They can also detonate Fire Explosions and Cryo Explosions.

*   Recommended: Maximum, choose Damage, Recharge Speed, Expose.  Even
*   more recharge speed might be useful for the final upgrade if the
*   team needs more shield restoration, but the best defense is a good
*   offense.

*        c. Shield Boost

*        This is not a biotic ability.  It restores some of the shields
*        of all allies in a small radius and continues to restore them
*        for a short period after.  While casting it, the Volus is
*        invincible.

*   Recommended: Maximum, choose Shields, Recharge Speed, Protection.

*        d. Volus Training

*        This is the usual class passive power, with the quirk that
*        there is no headshot bonus, instead the 5th evolution has the
*        option to improve the Shield Boost ability.

*   Recommended: Take to rank five, choosing the weight and power
*   damage upgrade at four and power damage at five.

*        e. Fitness

*        This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
*        be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
*        damage.  The final melee evolution also gives a temporary
*        bonus to power damage in this case... but the Volus don't
*        have melee attacks anyway other than the shield.

*   Recommended: Take to maximum, taking all of the bottom options.

*        f. Recommended skills and tactics

*        With orbs and boost the Protector can still do an adequate job
*        of, well, protecting, but he lacks the ability to do his own
*        biotic combos and charging as a flimsy Volus is decidedly
*        dangerous.  For the ultimate in insults you could specialize in
*        melee and use the power shield against enemies, but don't expect
*        to do well.  If really desperate to make the class work, using
*        an ammunition power to prime combos that you can detonate with
*        Orbs might make for a decent showing, but...

***
8. Batarian Brawler
***

* The Slasher, like the Krogan Battlemaster, is a near-invincible
* juggernaut with massive health and barriers, a defensive activated
* passive, and the ability to Charge for quick shield restoration.
* While lacking the Krogan's Rage ability makes the Batarian less of
* a melee deity, the Slasher is still a beast at close range.  Like
* the other Batarians it has extra health and shields but slow running
* speed and the inability to roll.  The Batarian heavy melee is very
* slow, but very satisfying.  The character has substantial damage
* protection during the melee animation, which makes it less suicidal
* than might be expected.

* The Brawler is the "shotgun in your face" character that veterans of
* Mass Effect 2 vanguard play will appreciate.

*        a. Biotic Charge

*        This ability restores half of your shields and teleports you
*        at an enemy, potentially setting off a biotic combo.  This
*        deals moderate damage and knocks the enemy back.  It will
*        also detonate tech bursts and fire and cryo explosions.

*   Recommended: Maximize, taking radius, weapon synergy, and barrier.

*        b. Blade Armor

*        The Batarian version of the armor power reduces incoming
*        damage like all of the other armors.  It also increases melee
*        damage and deals damage to enemies that use melee attacks on
*        the Batarian.  Unlike the other armors, it cannot be
*        detonated.  It can be turned off, but this has no effect.

*    Recommended: Max, taking durability, melee damage, durability.
*    Recharge speed is usually recommended at five, but the Slasher
*    will usually Charge to restore shields instead of waiting for the
*    automatic rechage.

*        c. Lash

*        Throws a projectile that pulls enemies towards the user and
*        detonates biotic combos.  The pull effect only works on an
*        unprotected enemy unless the shield piercing evolution is 
*        taken at level six, and the combos never work on anything with
*        armor.  It can be used as the source for a biotic combo, but
*        like all skills, it cannot be both source and detonator in
*        the same combo.

*   Recommended: Skip it.

*        d. Batarian Enforcer

*        The Batarian version of the class skill, in addition to the
*        usual schticks, also gives additional spare ammo capacity,
*        which is rarely important.

*   Recommended: Maximize.  The choices here mostly depend on what
*   weapon(s) you plan on using.  If using heavier tools, take the
*   weight upgrades.  The Slasher doesn't need 200% cooldowns and is
*   primarily a weapon class, so don't neglect the weapon damage bonus,
*   especially headshots since you will spend a lot of time at short
*   range.

*        e. Fitness

*        This skill is nearly identical for all characters.  It can
*        be used to increase shields/health or to increase melee
*        damage.  The final melee evolution also gives a temporary
*        bonus to weapon damage.

*   Recommended: Maximize, taking shield bonuses.  For the fifth
*   evolution you might skip the recharge speed in favor of the melee
*   bonus, again with the logic that the Slasher has a faster way to
*   restore shields, but unless you plan on using melee consistently
*   the temporary boost is unlikely to be useful.

*        f. Recommended skills and tactics

*        Grab a shotgun.  Charge into enemies, shoot them with the
*        shotgun, and charge again when your shields go down.  Having
*        a 200% cooldown is largely irrelevant, but you don't want to
*        carry super-heavy weapons like the Claymore unless they've
*        been upgraded substantially.  Be sure to carry a secondary
*        light weapon for long range use, such as a scoped Predator.

__________

--------------IV. Rewards, loot, and gear

There are two major ways to improve your characters, and neither of
them is dependent on what you did personally in a match, it only
depends on how your team did as a whole.  The third way inovlves
special objectives that will be displayed as pop-up messages, these
have varied and should be self-explanatory.

__________
   A. Rewards

There are two major resources to acquire: Experience, which is
directly based on the team's score from the match, and Credits which
are based on the team's performance on objectives.  Experience
rewards increase somewhat as difficulty increases, and credit rewards
nearly double for each difficulty level.

If your character is already at level 20, you do not get any benefit
from the experience.  Getting to level 20 is not terribly challenging
so most players are more concerned about the credits than the 
* experience unless they are constantly promoting characters.

***
1. Experience
***

Experience rewards are based on match scoring.  Each enemy type has
a base experience point value, and the majority of the experience from
each match comes from these kills.  If multiple players participate
in defeating an enemy, the total points awarded will add up to the
value of the kill if a single player had killed it.

There are also bonuses that are granted during the match for various
activities.  Each one has three levels - Bronze, Silver, Gold, worth
increasing amounts of experience.

Some other bonuses include grabs, killstreaks, and bonuses for groups
of waves completed without any characters going to zero health.  A
bonus is applied for completing wave 10, and another bonus may be
applied based on the outcome of the extraction objective.

The amount of experience required to gain a level increases with each
subsequent level, but the higher levels also grant more skill points
than the lower levels.

Again, for clarity, experience rewards are granted equally to all
team members regardless of individual score, so "stealing kills" is
irrelevant and competing for highest score is purely a matter of pride
rather than any game effect.

***
2. Credits
***

Me, as author.  No, just kidding, this section is about money.

A typical Bronze match grants around 15-17 thousand credits.  Silver is
approximately double in the low to mid 30's, and Gold is approximately
twice silver, usually in the low 70's.  The amount awarded varies 
based on how quickly the objectives were completed.

These credits can be used in the store to buy packs which will be
described in section B of this chapter.


***
3. Special objectives
***

Typically called "Operation fillintheblank" these have been limited
time weekend promotions.  Some of them have set community and 
individual goals for various objectives.  If there is an objective,
the reward typically includes a "Commendation Pack" which gives a 
chance at the otherwise unobtainable N7 weapons, which should not
be confused with the N7-marked black "Ultra Rare" items.

* These N7 weapons vary widely in quality, with the Typhoon and the
* Valiant (SMG and Sniper) both excellent weapons and the other
* three unimpressive, especially since most players will have them
* at rank I compared to their other rank X weapons.

__________
   B. What's in the packs?

The store lets you buy a variety of packs, one of which you get at the
very start of the game and never see again.  There is also typically
a weekly special pack that contains different items each week.  All
of the contents are random, and there are no guarantees that a pack
will contain anything of use.

The rarity lists are the next topic in the guide.

Unlocking a character you already have grants the character xp (if
not already level 20) and unlocks additional appearance customization
options.  If you're at 20 and have unlocked the appearances, the
character is worthless.

Unlocking a weapon you already have increases the weapon's rank,
which decreases the weight and increases the other stats by small
amounts.  Weapon ranks are shown in roman numerals.  Once a weapon is
at rank X, it will cease to appear in packs.

Unlocking a weapon upgrade you already have increases the upgrade's 
rank, which increases the benefits of that upgrade.  Upgrade ranks are
also roman numerals, but upgrades only increase to V.  Like the
weapons they will cease to appear in packs after fully upgraded.

Unlocking a consumable upgrade increases the amount of that consumable
you can carry.  Once you can carry five, the upgrade for that specific
consumable ceases to appear in packs.

Unlocking a reset card allows you to reset the skills of a character
on the powers screen.  If you already have three reset cards, they
will not appear in packs.

This section is based on observation and speculation, not on 
examination of the code.  It may contain errors.

***
1. Recruit
***

These cost 5,000 credits.

Slot 1: One of the Gel/Missile/Heal/Ammo consumables
Slot 2: Same list as slot 1, but never the same item
Slot 3: Same list as slot 1, but never the same item as 1 or 2
Slot 4: Weapon/Armor/Ammo "Equipment," rank I
        *or* an increase to a default weapon
        *or* a Human character
        *or* a common upgrade
Slot 5: An increase to a default weapon
        *or* a Human character
        *or* a common upgrade
        *or* (small chance) an uncommon weapon
        *or* (small chance) an uncommon character

***
2. Veteran
***

These cost 20,000 credits.

Slot 1: Three of one of type of the Gel/Missile/Heal/Ammo consumables
Slot 2: Same list as slot 1, but never the same item
Slot 3: Weapon/Armor/Ammo "Equipment," rank II
Slot 4: Weapon/Armor/Ammo "Equipment, rank II
        *or* an increase to a default weapon
        *or* a Human character
        *or* a common upgrade
        *or* (small chance) an uncommon weapon
        *or* (small chance) an uncommon character
Slot 5: An uncommon weapon
        *or* an uncommon character
        *or* (small chance) a rare weapon
        *or* (small chance) a rare character
        *or* (small chance) a consumable upgrade (considered a rare)

***
3. Spectre
***

These cost 60,000 credits.

Slot 1: Five of one of type of the Gel/Missile/Heal/Ammo consumables
Slot 2: Weapon/Armor/Ammo "Equipment," rank III
Slot 3: Weapon/Armor/Ammo "Equipment," rank III
        *or* an increase to a default weapon
        *or* a Human character
        *or* a common upgrade
        *or* an uncommon weapon
        *or* an uncommon character
Slot 4: a common upgrade
        *or* an uncommon upgrade
        *or* a consumable upgrade (considered a rare)
        *or* a reset card (also considered a rare)
Slot 5: A rare character
        *or* a rare weapon
        *or* (small chance) an ultra-rare weapon

***
4. Others
***

There are sometimes other packs for sale, such as the Equipment pack,
which contains five of each consumable and a random weapon/armor/ammo
temporary bonus, or the Premium Spectre pack, which contains two
guaranteed rares and a higher chance at an ultra-rare.

The Premium Spectre pack is identical to the normal spectre pack
except that slot 2 is skipped and there are two slot 5's.

The Equipment pack contains five of each consumable and a random tier
III "equipment" item.

__________
   C. The Armory

This section contains a list of all of the unlockable weapons and
upgrades.  A handy checklist is available at the following link:

http://narida.pytalhost.com/me3/mpchecklist/me3_mp_checklist.pdf

Each weapon can hold two upgrades at a time.

***
1. Sniper Rifles
***

The sniper rifles have the unfortunate distinction of having only
one common upgrade.  Ironically, the main strike against the Viper,
which is otherwise a decent weapon, is that most dedicated sniper
rifle users will want to focus on buying Spectre packs to unlock the
weapon mods and are not likely to see the Viper at high rank.  The 
Incisor is terrible because of the high recoil, though it is usable
if stabilized by firing from cover or by a Turian with their racial
bonus, but even then it has poor stopping power.

The extended barrel and the piercing mod are good choices for general
use, but switching the piercing mod for the spare thermal clip may
by necessary for the rapid-firing Valiant.


Default/Common:

M-92 Mantis: Single shot, high damage, relatively light.


Uncommon:

M-13 Raptor: Semi-auto, low damage, low scope magnification.
* Part of the Outsider Mastery Challenge.

M-29 Incisor: Burst fire, high recoil.

M-97 Viper: Semi-auto, medium damage.

Rare:

M-98 Widow: Single shot, highest damage, heavy, pierces thin cover.

* Kishock Harpoon Gun: Charged shot, high damage, damage over time.
* Part of the Resurgence Mastery challenge.

* Krysae Sniper Rifle: Slow firing, more rocket launcher than rifle.
* Part of the Rebellion Mastery challenge.

* Collector Sniper Rifle: Infinite ammo particle beam, when magazine
* expended it has to cool down but will recharge much faster if it
* never hits zero.  Best used as a semi-automatic (click repeatedly)
* to better control ammunition usage.  Part of Retaliation Mastery.

Ultra-Rare:

Black Widow: Three shot, high damage, heavy, pierces thin cover.

Javelin: Single shot, high damage, heavy, pierecs thick cover.
* Part of Machine Mastery Challenge.

* M-90 Indra: Fully automatic low damage, not really a sniper rifle.

N7 (Commendation pack only):

Valiant: Three shot, high damage, medium weight, just better.

         a. Sniper Rifle upgrades
         ---Common---
         Spare Thermal Clip-increases reserve ammunition count.
         ---Uncommon--- 
         Enhanced scope-increases accuracy, see through smoke.
         Extended barrel-increases damage.
         Piercing-increases damage against armor, pierces cover.
*        ---Rare---  (These add 50 to the weapon's weight)
*        High-velocity barrel-Combined damage and piercing.
*        Thermal scope-Like enhanced scope but shows enemies
*                      through walls.

***
2. Assault Rifles
***

Many of the assault rifles are rather trashy, unfortunately.  The real
tragedy of this group is the Phaeston, which was improved and is still
not really worth using over the basic Avenger since it weighs more
* and isn't much better.  The Geth Pulse Rifle falls in the same camp,
* better than the Avenger but not better enough.  Both, like the Avenger
* itself, are usable, especially on Bronze, but on higher difficulties
* they're like the Spaghetti Factory - mass production of wet noodles.

The two rare assault rifles that fire grenades are best paired with
cryo ammo as crowd control tools.  Neither does excellent damage, but
they can be quite devastating against groups.

For assault rifles, the scope and barrel upgrades are common picks.
Since the barrel is uncommon, it may make sense to use a higher level
basic upgrade instead of a minimal level barrel upgrade.  The upgrade
for penetration isn't useful for penetration, but is useful for the
bonus against armor when using the low damage high speed rifles.

Default/Common:

* M-8 Avenger: Full auto, low damage, low accuracy, low weight.  It's
* best to think of the Avenger as an SMG that can accept rifle upgrades.

Uncommon:

* M-15 Vindicator: 3-shot burst, low damage, high accuracy.  The burst
* limiter on this gun means that it's basically semi-automatic for the
* amount of times you'll have to press the trigger.  Use the Mattock
* instead.

* M-96 Mattock: While a lot of people have heaped praise on this semi-
* automatic rifle, it's not as good as it was in Mass Effect 2.  That
* said, it's by far the best of the Uncommon assault rifles and is only
* bad for characters that are reliant on maximum cooldown speeds as it
* is a little bit heavy.  Semi-auto means tired fingers, unfortunately.

* Phaeston: Much like the Avenger, just bigger and heavier.  Between an
* Avenger X and a Phaeston I, choose the Avenger every time.  This gun
* is part of the Commando Mastery challenge.

Rare:

* Geth Pulse Rifle: Full auto and high accuracy but pathetic damage, 
* this gun is part of the Machine Mastery challenge and that's the only
* reason to use it.  It is fairly light once upgraded.  Again, like the
* Phaeston, a fully upgraded Avenger is a better weapon at first.

M-37 Falcon: Grenade launcher, staggers enemies, no headshots, heavy.

M-76 Revenant: Full auto, medium damage, low accuracy, too heavy.

Striker Assault Rifle: Full auto grenade launcher.
* Part of the Resurgence Mastery challenge.

* Collector Rifle: Originally available as promo-only, now just a rare.
* Part of Retaliation Mastery, and broadly similar to the Avenger but
* much heavier.

* M-55 Argus Pulse Rifle: Fires two shot bursts, heavy.

Ultra-Rare:

M-99 Saber: Semi auto, high damage, high accuracy, heavy.

* Cerberus Harrier: By far the best weapon in the class, the only
* downsides to the Harrier are its poor ammunition supply and its
* fairly high weight.  Part of the Rebellion Mastery challenge.

* N7 Typhoon: Powerful fully automatic machine gun, rate of fire
* increases as the trigger is held.  Very powerful, but very heavy
* and only useful in long bursts.  Part of Earth Mastery challenge.

* Particle rifle: Infinite ammunition as long as it doesn't hit zero
* on the ammunition counter.  Once zero is reached it requires a long
* recharge, otherwise recharge is fairly quick.

         a. Assault Rifle upgrades
         ---Common---
         Magazine-increases number of shots before reloading.
         Precision scope-increases accuracy, adds scope.
         Stability damper-reduces recoil.
         ---Uncommon---
         Extended barrel-increases damage.
         Piercing-increases damage against armor, pierces cover.
*        ---Rare--- (all add 50 weight)
*         High Velocity Barrel-Increases damage, adds piercing.
*        Omni-blade-Increases melee damage.
*        Thermal scope-Increases accuracy, sees through smoke,
*                      and shows enemies through walls.

***
3. Submachine Guns
***

The SMGs are the shortest list, and the list of ones worth considering
* is even shorter.  The N7 Hurricane is the most powerful of the SMGs,
* but it goes through ammunition at crazy speeds and is not very light.

* A very important upgrade to the SMGs is the ultralight materials
* option.  With the rank V version of that upgrade, the lighter SMGs
* will reduce cooldowns on the order of 5%, almost weightless.


Default/Common:

M-4 Shuriken: 3-shot burst, very low weight, pathetic damage.

Uncommon:

M-9 Tempest: Full auto, low weight, high recoil, low damage.
M-12 Locust: Full auto, low weight, accurate, pathetic damage.

Rare:

M-25 Hornet: 3-shot burst, medium weight, high recoil, medium damage.
* Part of Outsider Mastery challenge.

Geth Plasma SMG: Full auto, low damage, accelerating rate of fire.
* Part of the Resurgence Mastery challenge.  The GPSMG is amusing
* to use with the increased magazine capacity and heat sink upgrades
* as it can be turned into a literal bullet hose firing thousands of
* rounds over the course of a mission.

Ultra-Rare:

* Collector SMG: Full auto, low damage, infinite ammunition.  If the
* ammunition counter reaches zero it must recharge, otherwise the 
* ammunition comes back quickly.  The magazine or heat sink upgrade
* are virtually required to make this weapon function.  It is not
* very light, and finally it is part of Retaliation Mastery.

N7 (Commendation pack only):

N7 Hurricane: Very fast full auto, low weight, high recoil, low damage.

         a. Submachine Gun upgrades
         ---Common---
         Heat sink-Chance of not using ammo on each shot.
         Magazine-increases number of shots before reloading.
         Scope-increases accuracy, adds scope.
         ---Uncommon---
         High caliber barrel-increases damage.
         Ultralight materials-decreases weight.
*         ---Rare--- (The barrel increases weight)
*        High velocity barrel- Adds piercing.
*        Recoil system - Reduces accuracy lost while firing.

***
4. Shotguns
***

Most of the shotguns are very similar, and the default Katana will
probably be better than any of the other basic shotguns since it is
much easier to increase.  The chargeable rare shotguns are the only
weapons in this category used with any frequency, though the basic
shotguns are also worth picking up because of the blade attachment.
Pistols can also be used for melee bonuses, but the upgrade there is
uncommon and the shotgun melee bonus is much easier to get to V.

For upgrades on the shotguns, the barrel is, as always, a good pick.
The choke is useful for the Claymore, but for most shotguns it is a
* waste of time, especially the Geth Plasma Shotgun (GPS) where it
* literally does nothing.

Default/Common:

M-23 Katana: medium weight, low accuracy, medium damage.

Uncommon:

M-27 Scimitar: Lighter than Katana but larger magazine.
M-22 Eviscerator: Like the Katana, smaller magazine, higher damage.

Rare:

* AT-12 Raider: Rapid fire, short range.

Disciple: Light for a shotgun, otherwise about the same as Katana.
* Part of Commando Mastery challenge.  Staggers enemies.

Geth Plasma Shotgun: Chargeable, accurate, fires three shot group.

Graal Spike Thrower: Chargeable, accurate, fires slow-moving shots.
* Part of Blood Pack Mastery.

M-300 Claymore: Single shot high damage.

* Reegar Carbine: Lightning flamethrower, short range.
* Part of Rebellion Mastery challenge.

* N7 Pirahna: Full auto, short range.
* Part of Earth Mastery challenge.

Ultra-Rare:

M-11 Wraith: Higher damage Eviscerator with only 2 shots per magazine.

N7 (Commendation pack only):

N7 Crusader: A shotgun firing a slug, not shot, that pierces cover.

         a. Shotgun upgrades
         ---Common---
         Blade attachment-increases melee damage.
         High caliber barrel-increases damage.
         Smart choke-increases accuracy.
         ---Uncommon---
         Shredder mod-increases damage against armor, pierces cover.
         Spare thermal clip-increases reserve ammunition.
*        ---Rare--- (both add 50 weight)
*        High velocity barrel-Increases damage and adds piercing.
*        Omni-blade-More melee damage than Blade Attachment.

***
5. Heavy Pistols
***

The basic predator, the phalanx, and the carnifex form a progression 
of increasing weight and damage and decreasing rate of fire and
* magazine and reserve capacity.  These are the basic and most common
* choices for heavy pistols.  The Talon is also a common pick, though
* it is really a shotgun in the pistol slot.

For upgrades, the most commonly used for pistols are the barrel for
more damage and the scope for long-range accuracy.  Armor piercing is
also an option instead of scope if the pistol is a backup anti-armor
* tool or for use against Cerberus Guardians.

Default/Common:

M-3 Predator: Very low weight, accurate, low damage, high rate of fire.

Uncommon:

M-5 Phalanx: Low weight, accurate, medium damage, medium rate of fire.

Rare:

Arc Pistol: Medium weight, chargeable, otherwise like the Predator.
* Part of Machine Mastery challenge.  The Arc Pistol's charged shot
* uses up to three ammunition, and can be quite powerful but takes
* some practice.

M-6 Carnifex: Medium weight, accurate, high damage, low rate of fire.

* Acolyte: This pistol must be charged to fire, and it fires a slow
* arcing projectile that explodes and does quintuple damage to shields
* and barriers.  It is part of the Earth Mastery challenge.

Ultra-Rare:

M-358 Talon: Heavy weight, high damage, shotgun-like.
* Part of Outsider Mastery challenge.

M-77 Paladin: Carnifex with less shots and higher damage.

Scorpion: Fires proximity mines, heavy, no headshots.
* Part of Commando Mastery challenge.  The proximity mines do not
* last very long, and it is better to think of the Scorpion as a
* grenade launcher pistol.

N7 (Commendation pack only):

N7 Eagle: Full auto, medium weight, otherwise like the Predator.

         a. Heavy pistol upgrades
         ---Common---
         Magazine-increases number of shots before reloading.
         Precision scope-increases accuracy, adds scope.
         High caliber barrel-increases damage.
         ---Uncommon---
         Melee stunner-increases melee damage.
         Piercing-increases damage against armor, pierces cover.
*        ---Rare--- (Heavy Barrel adds 50 weight)
*        Heavy Barrel-more damage than high caliber barrel.
*        Cranial Trauma System-adds headshot damage,

__________
   D. Recommendations on which pack to buy

A common question from new players is "which pack should I buy?"

In general, all of the basic weapons except the Shuriken are worth
using for their own class, and there is no reason to use a submachine
gun when the pistol fires faster.  As such, getting the basic weapons
to rank X is a good early-game goal and will require quite a few
Recruit packs, maybe 20 rounds of successful Bronze runs worth.  This
will clear out the list so that the basic weapons don't show up in
the more expensive packs and displace more valuable drops.

Once the basic weapons have been finalized, the next question is more
"what do you want?" rather than general advice.

Players who know that they want a specific weapon should consult the
rarity list.  Some of the uncommon weapons are quite decent, such as
the Mattock and the Phalanx, and players looking to max out those
weapons should buy Veteran packs.

Unless there's a specific uncommon weapon or character that's desired,
or unless the goal is to collect absolutely everything, it's better to
skip the the Veteran packs and go straight to the Spectre packs,
since they're the only reliable way to unlock the uncommon upgrades.

__________

--------------V. Bestiary

This is just a list of the enemies you'll face.

__________
   A. Cerberus

This was the only enemy faction in the demo.

      1. Assault Trooper

The trooper is the basic "Care Bear" unit.  It has a basic gun attack,
a melee attack, and can throw grenades.  The grenades are instant 
death on Silver or higher but are fairly easy to avoid.

      2. Nemesis

The nemesis is a Cerberus sniper unit.  They have shields in addition
to health.  Their sniper rifle attacks are always preceded by a bright
red laser sighting beam.  The nemesis has a tendency to hang back, and
is often the last enemy finished in a wave since it doesn't seek out
the players aggressively.

      3. Centurion

These are essentially a heavier version of the trooper.  In addition
to the guns and melee, they can also throw smoke grenades and the AI
is fairly intelligent about them.  They have shields in addition to
health.

      4. Guardian

Guardians have shields.  No, not the blue kind, the "sword and shield"
kind.  They're glacially slow, but actually rather annoying to kill,
since you either have to shoot them through the slot in the shield or
shoot they feet.  If they're facing a different direction they're easy
and combat drones can make them turn around.  A variety of skills can
stagger them, moving their shields out of the way.  Stasis makes them
drop the shields.  The alternative is to use any weapon that pierces
cover or use an upgrade or armor piercing ammo.  With any of those
effects, you can ignore the shield.

      5. Combat Engineer

Engineers have shields and light weapons, but their main offensive
ability is laying a heavy turret.  Engineers can be killed like any
other humanoid enemy or you can blow them up by targeting their
backpacks.  The engineer can drop an infinite number of turrets, but
generally only sets up one at a time.

         a. Turret

The turrets are far more dangerous than the engineers themselves.  
They fire long bursts with pauses between, so stay in cover until the
turret is done firing.  They also have fairly limited range and can
be taken out safely at long distance.  The turrets have shields and
armor.

* Because of the dangers posed, Turrets and Engineers are typically
* considered the highest priority targets when fighting Cerberus.

      6. Phantom

While not the "ultimate" Cerberus unit, the Phantoms are the most
dangerous.  They have a short range attack with a distinctive sound
and are the only Cerberus enemy with barriers, so they are hard to
misidentify, but they are also fast and tend to stay low so they can
sneak up on you.  They are primarily dangerous with their melee
attacks and can insta-kill players at mele range.  If their barriers
are down they will run and cloak until they are restored.  Meleeing
or Biotic Charging a Phantom is not recommended, but they are weak 
enough that it's not a terrible idea.  Charges will stagger them, so
* Vanguards are relatively safe as long as they're targeting the
* Phantom itself!

* Phantoms will put up a shield when attacked with powers, and are
* immobile while shielding.  The shield only stops powers, it does
* not stop you from shooting them in the head while they hide.

      7. Atlas

The most powerful Cerberus unit is actually not that much of a threat.
Their missiles will immediately drop shields, but their rate of fire
is so slow that an Atlas alone will have trouble killing anyone.  Like
the Phantoms they can insta-kill at melee range.  The main risk for
Atlases is that they take quite a lot of punishment to kill and they
can overwhelm you, especially on higher difficulties, if you do not
take them down before they overrun your position.

*     8. Dragoon

* These were added in a later patch.  They are aggressive armored
* soldiers with light guns and heavy, easily dodged melee attacks.
* While not terribly difficult, they can do a lot of damage very
* quickly and are somewhat sturdy.  Their armor makes them immune
* to some of the crowd control measures that keep Phantoms under
* control, but otherwise the tactics and problems are the same.

__________
   B. Geth

Depending on your choices in the game, fighting the Geth may make
very little sense, but they do have a throwaway line that not all of
the Geth were swayed by the decision.

The Geth have a tendency to form large, slow moving groups, and
falling back is sometimes a useful tactic since none of the Geth are
* particularly fast with the exception of the bombers.

      1. Geth Trooper

The basic Geth troopers are weaker than the other two factions in that
they lack grenades.  They are also very easy to headshot since they
aren't as fast and have big heads.

      2. Geth Rocket Trooper

Rocket troopers are the snipers of the Geth faction.  They have some
shields, and fire very their rockets very slowly.  Like the Atlas, the
rockets will take down your shields but are unlikely to kill you 
unless there is something else shooting at you.

      3. Geth Pyro

These slow-moving enemies have both shields and armor.  They will
slowly walk towards players and once in range will fire their rather
nasty flamethrowers, which have longer range than you might expect.
Overall, though, it is simply a matter of killing them at a distance.

      4. Geth Hunter

Like the Pyros, the Hunters slowly charge and overwhelm positions.
They approach under cloak, but the cloak doesn't stop you from shooting
them and they aren't hard to spot on the brightly lit maps.  Their
plasma shotguns are actually effective at long range, but the AI uses
them as if they had even shorter range than the Pyros.

      5. Geth Prime

The Geth Prime is the heavy unit for their faction, and like the Pyro
and the Hunter, it moves slowly.  Unlike the Pyro and the Hunter, it
has an effective long range weapon that fires a three round "burst"
that can easily kill if you're out of cover.  They also spawn both
turrets and drones.  With shields and armor, the Prime takes a while
to take down.

         a. Drones and turrets

The turrets and drones aren't very dangerous, only have shields, and
* die quickly.  If killed, the Prime will just spawn more.

*     6. Geth Bomber

*     Bombers are harassment units with shields and armor that are
*     somewhat difficult to kill because of their agility.  Unlike
*     most Geth they can move fairly quickly, and they are considered
*     high priority targets because of their abilities that will
*     knock players out of cover.

__________
   C. Reaper

No, there are no Reapers in this faction.  There also aren't any 
Harvesters, and those are the only enemy in the single player that's
not in the multiplayer.

      1. Cannibal

Cannibals are the basic troops.  They have ranged attacks and grenades
and their "head" is actually the face on the front of the model.

      2. Husk

Husks do not have armor, just health, and die fairly quickly.  They
also spawn infinitely while other enemies are alive.  With no ranged
attacks, husks just run up to you and grab, forcing you to wipe them
off by mashing the melee button.

      3. Marauder

Marauders have assault rifles and shields, but they spend most of
their time putting additional armor plating on the husks and cannibals.
The buffs they give to the other enemies aren't that significant,
and the Marauders are not a major threat.

      4. Brute

Here's where the Reaper faction gets interesting, and by interesting
I mean dangerous.  Brutes only have armor, and the damage you deal to
them varies based on where you hit them, which isn't as obvious as
the headshots on other enemies.  They move quickly, and deal massive
damage with their melee attacks.  In addition to being slow to die,
they can also instakill you at melee range, though they don't use the
instakill move frequently.

      5. Ravager

Ravagers are the heavy artillery.  It's easy to tell where they are
aiming with the twin aiming beams.  Like the Geth Prime, being caught
in the open by a Ravager's ranged attack is very dangerous.  They only
have armor.  In addition to their ranged attack, they also spawn
little minion creatures called swarmers.

* Ravagers can be very dangerous on open maps, but in close quarters
* they're extremely weak.

         a. Swarmer

Swarmers are the easiest enemies in the game.  They die when they
attack, and any damage kills them.  They do, however, appear in large
groups, and while they're not that dangerous they're just another
reason to dislike Ravagers.

      6. Banshee

With heavy barriers and armor, the major annoyance of Banshees is 
their absolute refusal to die at any reasonable speed.  Their attacks
aren't terribly strong, but they teleport around at irritating speed
and can easily pop up right next to a player and insta-kill them.
Only the truly suicidal will use Biotic Charge or a melee attack on
a Banshee, as they are very fond of that insta-kill.

* Banshees are usually the highest priority target when fighting the
* Reapers, since they have an irritating tendency to insta-kill at
* amazing distances and their insta-kill is permanent until the end
* of the round.
 
__________
*  D. Collector

* The fourth enemy faction was added later.  They are the most
* irritating of the enemies, with agile infantry, frustrating and
* annoying seeker swarms, and a disturbing tendency to execute
* downed players almost immediately.  If a friend goes down, revive
* them sooner rather later, because there usually isn't a later.

* All of the Collector units can be "possessed" which boosts their
* stats and gives them new abilities as well as barriers if they
* did not previously have them.  There is, however, no meme-worthy
* saying every time this happens.

*     1. Trooper

* Basic Collectors are more agile than the basic troops of the other
* factions.  They are also substantially more aggressive, though
* they are not quite as grenade-happy as the Cerberus troops.

* When possessed, Troopers can create "Collector Webs" and get
* barriers, but are otherwise similar to their basic varieties.

*        a. Collector Webs

* Not really an enemy, just a barrier that absorbs shots and blocks
* movement.  Some small points are awarded for destroying them.

*     2. Captain

* The captains, in terms of offense, are not that different from the
* basic troopers, though they do have barriers even when not
* possessed.  Their most irritating ability is spawning Seeker Swarms
* and when they are possessed, Seeker Plagues.

* Because of this spawning ability, Captains are often considered
* high priority targets.

*        a. Seeker Swarms and Plagues

* Swarms are fairly durable, fairly agile, and fortunately slow-
* moving bunches of bugs.  If they hit a player, they will disable
* all cooldown-related powers for a short period.  Plagues are
* similar but also have barriers.

*     3. Abomination

* These are similar to the Reaper faction's husks, but they are
* stronger since they explode on death, dealing some damage.  Like
* husks, they will grapple with characters if allowed close, leaving
* the player an easy target for other nearby enemies.  Possessed
* variants on Abominations create much larger explosions on death
* and have barriers.  In all cases, headshots will kill the
* Abomination without causing an explosion.

*      4. Scion

* These armored enemies are the faction's artillery, firing three
* shot bursts that will kill most players outside of cover.  They
* have easily dodged melee attacks at close range, though dodging
* the attack often leaves a player at range for the main guns.
* The possessed variant has barriers and fires a large cluster of
* grenades in addition to the three shot burst.  The grenades
* will either force a player to move or will make them stand up,
* leaving them vulnerable to the guns.

* On large open maps, Scions should be considered high priorities.
* in areas with plenty of walls, they aren't terribly dangerous.

*      5. Praetorian

* Large, beetle-like flying enemies that move fairly quickly.  In
* addition to their eye-beams, which are slow and easily dodged,
* the Praetorian has vicious melee attacks, including an insta-
* kill attack that prevents reviving.  While not harmless at range,
* they are far more dangerous up close, and they are extremely
* sturdy enemies that will not die quickly.  The possessed
* variants are even sturdier and have a scion-like long range
* attack in addition to the eye beams.
__________
   
--------------VI. Closing comments

I'd like to acknowledge the help of some folks on the GameFAQs ME3 PC
board for their input on some questions I had.  Cindragoons, SKA_,
Dangaard, Gamemako, mimycri, Spideyknight, Seishomaru, yegaboo11,
Duneman, and El_Kaz.  I'm probably forgetting some people.

This the second draft of this guide and it is done in the short term.

In the meantime, this guide is copyleft - all rites reversed.  Do with
it what you will.  It's kind of lame to steal it and claim that you
wrote it when I did all the work, but honestly I don't care, I enjoy 
writing FAQs.

7Apr12-Original release
11May12-Small update, added a variety of recommendations and comments.
* 13Jan13-Major update to include expansions and rebalance.
Changes are marked with a "*" at the start of the line.
(0.1023/d/web8)