Mass Effect 3: Rare weapons are yours for the earning in first N7 Challenge Weekend

Assemble your team for this evening's Operation Goliath launch

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EA's announced the first N7 Challenge Weekend for Mass Effect 3, which will begin tonight at 5pm PST and run until 5am Monday. This weekend's Challenge is Operation Goliath, in which players will work to take down Reaper squads and unlock rewards previously only available through the game's Collector's Edition. If your team manages to defeat the Reapers on Silver difficulty or better (even if all players aren't extracted), you'll earn a Commendation Pack containing one of four N7 weapons, which EA says won't be available for separate download or purchase.

Here's our newest multiplayer strategy clip to help you on your way this weekend with some enemy-specific tips. If Operation Goliath results in a combined total of more than 1 million Brute kills, all participating players will receive a Victory Pack, whose contents haven't yet been disclosed. Weapons won in Operation Goliath will become unlocked 5pm Tuesday, and must be claimed within a week; EA wants players to ensure you've got "Upload Gameplay Feedback" set to "On" within the "Online Options" menu, or your hard work will win you naught but the thrill of working together to achieve a common goal. Which is a pretty crap reward for something you paid good money for.

Above: Click for a full-size version. You don't want to be squinting when teammates are counting on your sniping skills

Bioware's also shared some neat telemetry data from Mass Effect 3's time online so far. 1,800 years' playtime? Usually we'd say something here like “if you guys had put that energy into trying to cure cancer, we'd all live on the moon by now,” but with multiplayer success on the Gold difficulty level still hovering somewhere below the 1% mark, this is obviously something that's going to demand concentration...

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