Rune Of Play

By Daniel Slawson

Mass Effect 3 Skill Analysis: Throw

I wanted to highlight one of Mass Effect’s more interesting skills, Throw, to help show what separates good and mediocre skill design. Throw is one of those skills that could stand at the center of a lesser game and shine, but ends up standing shoulder to shoulder with any skill in Mass Effect 3’s ample roster.

You don’t need to have played Mass Effect to understand what makes this skill work: for the less familiar, Throw is basically a medium-speed projectile that does light to medium damage and displaces (or at least stuns) its target(s). Here’s a quick look at the skill in use:

(For reference, here are its in-game stats).

It seems clear this skill was made to fill two major roles:

It also adds a side of supplementary damage to sweeten the pot (both direct damage and contextual damage from the impact of whatever the target is pushed into).

In my experience, these are the situations where Throw really shines:

I find that meeting at least one of these criteria happens fairly often, making Throw a truly bread-and-butter skill for any class that has it. It’s a great skill tactically, but let’s look at the specific ingredients that make it shine:

Opportunities for mastery

Visceral pleasure

Minimal negative feedback

Skills that reliably add all this to the experience are the kind of skills you want. Imagine if Throw was designed solely for combo detonation and didn’t ragdoll or stun enemies? This is definitely a great skill to study to make sure you’re getting the most out of your gameplay.

Text and artwork copyright © Daniel Slawson 2017