I just picked up my retail copy of Mass Effect 3 today, and was appalled at the flawed installation process. I placed Disc 1 in my DVD drive, clicked Install, and it proceeded to launch Origin and REQUIRE me to download 10GB of game files from the Internet. This is incredibly stupid and wasteful, as we in third-world countries don’t have the Internet speed or bandwidth for it. Not to mention, my 10GB of files are right here on the two DVDs I just purchased; why wouldn’t Origin use those discs instead of downloading 10GB of files I already had?
After some Google hunting, I found this forum post which fixed the problem. I’m reposting it here just in case someone else out there is looking for the fix.
How to Install Mass Effect 3 from DVD (without download)
1.) Install Origin
2.) Let Origin Update to the current Version
3.) Restart Origin
4.) Enter your Mass Effect 3 Code in Origin
5.) Don’t start the Download, but close Origin with a right click on the Origin Icon in the Systray -> Exit
6.) Restart setup.exe from Disc 1, it will start Origin and the Installation from the DVDs
ME3 is now installing
Big thanks to author of that post: botcherO
The only difference for me was that I’d already started downloading Mass Effect 3 through Origin, and so the fix wouldn’t work with a partial download started. Be sure to cancel your download completely before doing the steps above.
Defaulting to online downloads when physical copies are available is really idiotic and unfair to the rest of us with poor Internet, and I don’t know how this could possibly be acceptable. Thanks, EA.
P.S. You should hear how upset my bf is about the game refusing to import saved character faces from Mass Effect 1 and 2, but that’s another story.
UPDATE (3/27/12): I’ve been averaging ~160 hits a day on this post, which shows you how many people are having the same installation trouble. Unfortunately, I’m not tech support (I’m just a gamer like you) so I don’t really know more than the fix I’ve reposted above. If you’re still having problems with Mass Effect 3, please try talking to Origin directly at help.origin.com. Thanks!