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Needless to say, there be spoilers in here... If you have not completed Mass Effect 3 or haven't yet played the Citadel DLC than you have been warned and it's your own fault!


During the party in the Citadel DLC, provided you have Kaiden as your Virmire survivor and have invited Kaiden, and at least Liara and James Vega are invited, a discussion comes up between Liara and James discussing the merits between physical strength and biotics. During this discussion, Kaiden mentions that through training hard he has improved his biotics and is now able to Reave.

Miranda, Liara, Jacob and Jack will all comment on this revelation in surprise, almost in disbelief that a L2 biotic is able to Reave. Why is this such a surprise?

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Probably because it's not something an L2 biotic should be able to do. –  kotekzot Apr 22 '13 at 10:38
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That's like the guy with the Pentium II saying he got Crysis running. –  Raven Dreamer Apr 22 '13 at 11:16
    
@RavenDreamer I like this analogy! –  kalina Apr 22 '13 at 12:39
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2 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

First, some speculative background:

Considering the only people in the ME games that we see can use reave are extremely strong Asari (Samara and Aria T'Loak) and Commander Shepard (possibly one of the most powerful human biotics ever), we can hypothesize that reave is an extremely 'high level' biotic ability that only a very few can pull off.

Taking this into mind, and coupling it with what we know of the L2 implants from the Mass Effect wiki:

The L2 implants were first implemented in 2167. The results vary wildly - some L2s are hardly stronger than an L1, others are strong but unstable, while a few are powerful and stable enough for combat, though they usually suffer some discomfort from their implants. L2s are all around the same age.

I'd imagine that the majority of people with L2 implants fall into the 'hardly stronger than an L1'. This and their general mental instability (remember what happened in ME1) has lead to the public perception that L2s are not fit and possibly will go insane before being able to master the stronger biotic powers.

Also, Kaidan did mention in an earlier conversation with Shepard that he can 'spike higher than most L3s with the exception of Command Shepard'.

This does come at a significant cost of extreme discomfort, so I'd imagine they are more surprised at the fact that he can tolerate those levels of discomfort to pull off such a difficult ability without going crazy.

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I'll bite and say that Reave may require a high degree of control and finesse rather than raw power. The L2 spikes high but I've gathered here and there in unique dialogue that the implant doesn't offer any fine control. Or safeguards to prevent side effects.

I'm guessing they were amazed that Kaidan could fine tune such an attack on someone's health and resistances with an outdated implant built more for hard hitting combat.

It should probably also be mentioned that at one point Liara offered to teach Kaidan asari meditation techniques to counter the negative side effects of his implant. Asari being what they are I always assumed that meant she taught him how to have finer control of his nervous system. That's just my take anyway.

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