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Is there a major gameplay disadvantage if I don't import saves?

This being my first Mass Effect game, I don't have a Shepard to import. Imported Shepards can seem to start as high as level 30, it seems like that would give a decided advantage over a brand new level 1 Shepard.

It seems like there would be a lot less worry about gaining experience if I downloaded and imported a Shepard from the internet. Should I just do that instead?

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@kotekzot Hmm I didn't see that one, but I'm wondering if there is actually an advantage and not having to "worry about experience". I'm not a fan of meta gameplay like grinding and credit collecting. –  Resorath Mar 9 '12 at 18:23
    
Having more experience to start with will mean you have more experience towards the end. You'll have to decide for yourself if that's something you want. –  kotekzot Mar 9 '12 at 18:28
    
@Resorath We can't really quantify the advantage of "not having to worry about experience" for you. That's pretty subjective. –  Sterno Mar 9 '12 at 18:28
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marked as duplicate by Fluttershy, Sterno, Resorath, jmfsg Mar 9 '12 at 18:37

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In the long run, there will be nearly no distinguishable differences between the imported Shepard and new Shepard as there is a new game + mode where you retain your experience etc.

In the short run, your Shepard does start out with extra skills to play with, but the enemies are slightly harder as the enemies in this game scale along with you and they also have more skills to play with so its still rather balanced.

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