Commander Shepard leans into the crossfire and centers his sights on a limping Krogan. His rifle hums as he finishes the job, and soon its overheated barrel signals an emergency cut-off. As the smoke clears, Shepard doesn’t think to check his ammo gauge, because there’s no need. In Mass Effect’s weapons, we enjoy the benefits of a miniature mass effect field, which is capable of firing microscopic shavings from a dense block of metal. With a large enough block, a weapon could theoretically fire thousands of rounds, but would quickly overheat without regular breaks.
After Saren’s defeat at the Battle of the Citadel, this brilliant technology appeared to be lost forever. Historians claim that the advent of kinetic barriers necessitated detachable thermal clips, which could be quickly replaced to reduce downtime. As most battles are won on the basis of “ammo attrition,” military research is largely devoted to maximizing weapon capacity and output. While this is great news, it doesn’t explain the new tech’s galaxy-wide proliferation in mere weeks. Get back to the firing range, Shepard!