Mass Effect 3 patch fixes character import bug, breaks online connectivity

A face only a Krogan could love.

When Mass Effect 3 hit store shelves on March 6, the game was immediately maligned by long-time series fans who were looking forward to finishing the series with the iteration of Commander Shepard they had spent hundreds of hours meticulously crafting through the previous two entries in BioWare’s flagship space opera epic. A rather unfortunate glitch in the game’s code had a tendency to horribly mutilate imported characters, and while it had no real effect on gameplay, many fans were miffed that their hand-crafted vision of humanity’s savior had been unexpectedly beaten with an ugly stick.

It took more than a month, but BioWare and publisher EA have issued a patch for the problem that unfortunately seems to bring with it a rather severe glitch of its own.

The official BioWare forums are now host to a 7-page-long thread full of players reporting that after downloading and applying the new patch, the game simply refuses to connect to EA’s servers. Given the extensive online functionality hardcoded into Mass Effect 3, this is a pretty severe problem — doubly so when attempts to connect to the servers cause the game to crash entirely.

Fortunately, it seems that BioWare is aware of the issue and is working on a solution to its earlier solution. “We have narrowed down this issue but are still looking for some answers from those encountering this issue,” writes community liaison Thomas Abram, before requesting a very specific list of information from anyone experiencing connectivity issues.

Heartening though it may be, that response indicates that a solid, official fix is still a ways off. If you find your copy of Mass Effect 3 prone to crashes now that you’ve applied the game’s latest patch, please take a moment to toss your info at Mr. Abram, and while you’re there have a look at some of the makeshift solutions discovered by other Mass Effect 3 fans. As with everything on the ‘net, you should take the community’s advice with a giant brick of salt, but it just might be the fix you need until BioWare issues yet another patch.