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Mass Effect Andromeda Info / SPOILERS

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1 Mass Effect Andromeda Info / SPOILERS on Mon Nov 07, 2016 5:37 pm

Courtesy of Tytus_de_Zoo, via some person he knows on another forum (probably this post (link "stolen" from Luslanz)), from the GameInformer Andromeda Edition (digital copy):

I've added a couple notes, "N.B."

Backstory:
  • Around 2185, at the height of galactic progress, unaware of the impending Reaper invasion, several species band together for the "Andromeda Initiative"
    [N.B.: Mass Effect 1 takes place in 2183; also "Ah, yes, 'Reapers'. We have dismissed those claims." so saddening]
  • 4 Arks, each carrying a different race, are built, housing thousands of individuals to chart a course to Andromeda
  • The Heleus Cluster is noted as having a significant amount of "Golden Worlds", or planets ripe for life
  • Each ark is led by a "Pathfinder"
  • The Pathfinder, recon teams and others onboard are in cryosleep, unaware of what transpires in the Milky Way after they depart
  • You play as either Scott or Sara Ryder, the children of Alec Ryder (pathfinder of the human ark)
  • Alec Ryder is voiced by Clancy Brown
  • Events at the start of the game occur that pass this role down to you, you are untested and unproven, unlike Commander Shepard of the previous trilogy
  • This doesn't mean Mass Effect is Ryder's story from now on, they want the game to feel like a complete story (while teasing other stories that could happen)
  • More customization options than previous games
  • You can customize your father and your sibling, though not as extensively
  • The "Nexus" is basically a forward command center staffed by multiple species that arrives in Andromeda early to pave the way for the Arks
  • The Hyperion (humanity's ark) arrives at an incorrect location that's volatile and loses contact with the other arks and Nexus

Inspiration:
The (much improved) Mako of ME1, the loyalty missions of ME2, the multiplayer of ME3

N.B.: Later on it says The Nomad ("much improved Mako") has no weapons, therefore:
  • The Nomad << The Mako!
  • The Nomad < The Hammerhead!
  • BAD <whomever said "no weapons on 'Mako'" is "much improved">!!

N.B.: "<<" means much less than (ala "<" means less than)

Combat:
  • Global cooldowns are now replaced by individual timers
  • Powers are instead hotkeyed for quick use, no longer pausing to bring up a wheel and aim
  • Dynamic cover system (ala [The Last Of Us])
  • Still a cover based shooter with a goal to get the player moving around the battlefield more
  • Jetpack allows for more movement variety; you can quick dash instead of rolling
  • Jetpack has a hover function that allows you to hit enemies seeking cover or survey your surroundings
  • Less emphasis on linear, clearly telegraphed environments that tell you a combat encounter is coming (though linear areas are still in the game)
  • Game Informer's hands on was positive, feel the game has a clearer identity in combat than previous games
  • You still queue up attacks, combos, order your squad, etc

  • All key elements are still intact but the studio wanted to encourage more experimentation and wider variety of abilities
  • Class system is gone; instead you have full access to abilities from all classes, you can mix and match skills from tech, soldier or biotics
  • Goal is to allow players to try different approaches to combat without being locked in at the start
  • However, you can still specialize once you invest enough points into a category of skills, you unlock a profile that can get you bonuses for your particular play style
  • This is where class names like "Vanguard" (invest in combat and biotics) and "Adept" (invest in biotics) resurface
  • Invest in multiple categories and you unlock the "Explorer" profile
  • There is a narrative reason that allows you to reconfigure your points throughout the game so that you can try out multiple gameplay approaches without making multiple characters
  • You can customize your helmet, chest, shoulders, arms and legs, more extensive than previous trilogy
  • Many familiar weapons return, as well as new melee options like swords and hammers

  • The 'Kett' are the main enemy
  • The team wanted players to experience the first time encountering a new alien species vs already having it established in prior games
  • Rather than painting them as mortal enemies, BioWare wanted to make them feel foreboding but not ugly as they want you to also empathize with them

  • Instead of having "linear slices" of planets that you land on, you explore these planets from the surface to their underbelly
  • Critical paths, optional planets, major hubs, loyalty missions return

  • Your land vehicle is designated the "Nomad", and the team got special guidance from NFS developers on its handling.
  • The Nomad isn't sluggish and cumbersome like the Mako, it's very fast, still boosts and maneuvers much better
  • The Nomad doesn't have weapons, you can customize things like its speed and appearance

  • BioWare did not want to repeat having things like mineral nodes and multiple identical outposts scattered across planets
  • Points of interest include combat encounters, puzzles, narrative beats etc on planets
  • One planet, called 'Elaaden', is flagged as a possible habitat zone, however the surface is hazardous (no water, extremely hot); you can be pointed in this direction in multiple ways, for example, a Krogan can request the Pathfinder to find a missing colony ship or you can just choose to land on the planet yourself and see what you find
  • On planets, one of your priorities is to scout for drop zones for your crew that drop "forward stations" that establishes a foothold for you
  • These stations allow for changing up your loadout, fast travel point, etc
  • Planets can have multiple dangers like acid pools, burning wreckage, weather etc that can all kill you
  • Most planets have at least one major enemy base
  • Planets can have areas, encounters and "super bosses" that are too tough for you to handle at first, encouraging players to come back later

  • Since Andromeda is a new galaxy, Ryder can actively scan and discover things in the environments; that gets sent back for analysis and unlocks new technologies for the player
  • Scanning and discovering these things also allows you to obtain blueprints to craft weapons and armor for yourself
  • You can create a wide array of items, not just ammo types and weapon mods, items that haven't been seen before in the Milky Way (thanks to new alien tech)
  • Some plot threads and missions lead you across multiple planets

Squadmates:
  • Peebee: Asari squadmate shown in previous footage. Went off on her own after arriving on the Nexus and described as having a "bubbly personality". She's smart and not concerned with social norms and "niceties".
  • Liam: Arrived with the Pathfinder, former police officer and described as having a "light attitude", bringing levity to situations

The Tempest (Your Ship):
  • Important to harken back to the Normandy as it was a fan favorite
  • There are no loading screens as you move through the ship
  • Galaxy map returns but rather than piloting a mini ship on a map, it is more immersive, you select a planet, the game gives you sense of traveling towards that planet, and when you back out, you're immediately at your destination
  • You don't pilot the ship manually, but it feels seamless as you go from planet to planet and see them from your bridge getting closer in the window
  • They wanted a seamless experience from picking a planet to walking down to your cargo hold, hopping into the Nomad and landing on a planet. There is a landing sequence and you get off the ship. No more loading screens and instantly popping up on the surface of a planet.

Relationships/Characters:
  • There are more relationships in the game than any other Bioware game (as they noted fans make a big emphasis on romance in the games)
  • The squadmate with the least amount of lines in Andromeda has more lines than the squadmate with the most amount of lines in ME3
  • Due to complications in the awakening process, your sibling won't join you in combat but you can interact with them and build a relationship
  • Many of these dealings are optional, and discovering more about the Ryder family is a plot thread
  • BioWare is confident the details of this story are what differentiates it from a traditional "hero's journey"
  • Loyalty missions return but they are not critical to the ending of the game; you can complete them after you complete the main story path for example
  • Emphasis that relationships don't just culminate in a sex scene, but rather characters can just want to get in the sack, while others are interested in long term relationships and others still aren't interested at all. Bioware wanted to capture more "shooting bottles with Garrus" moments in the game, of which there are plenty

Multiplayer:
  • More evolved and refined form of ME3
  • Card based economy where you earn XP and credits
  • There are microtransactions but no real world money is required, you can unlock normally
  • You still set the map, enemy, as before but you can also activate modifiers that can give you decreased health (for greater reward) or more damage (less reward)
  • Bioware also plans to release custom crafted missions with unique modifiers that players can't change themselves
  • These custom missions give you a 3rd currency, "mission funds" which allow you directly purchase items and weapons vs the mercy of random card packs; however these items are only available for a limited time in the store and can change often
  • In MP, you play as the "Apex Force", a militia strike team from the Nexus
  • Different enemies require you to use different tactics (some are shield heavy, some use heavy biotics etc)
  • Playing MP will have advantages for the single player but it absolutely does not affect the ending of the game
  • New "Prestige" mechanic added: With several types of characters, you earn regular XP and prestige XP. The prestige XP goes into every character of that 'type', for example 'tanky' characters. Earning enough prestige can grant you added health for all tank characters, etc.

Choices:
  • No more Paragon/Renegade system
  • They want more nuance and subtlety and giving the player more opportunity to express themselves
  • You can agree or disagree with someone without being punished or cornered into a paragon or renegade choice
  • Dialogue option tones: heart, head, professional and casual.
  • These don't affect you or sway a meter one way or another, rather they allow you freedom without worrying about unintended consequences
  • "Narrative actions" (previously "interrupts) return but rather than giving a "red"=bad or "blue"=good choice, it can say "shoot", leaving more ambiguity to your choice
  • Decisions aren't necessarily obvious "right" or "wrong", there are pros and cons to each and you'll just have to play the game the way you want

N.B.: "it can say 'shoot', leaving more ambiguity to your choice"... so, shoot the hostage because you don't care? shoot the hostage taker? shoot the air next to...? This does not instil confidence.

The Future:
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda leaves the door open for more games (obviously)
  • New Game+ mode allows you to change your gender if you choose
  • BioWare is coy about multiple endings; "it's a surprise", "it's different than the trilogy"

Rosebud:
It was his sled Razz



Last edited by lurker4701822 on Sun Nov 13, 2016 1:39 pm; edited 2 times in total

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2 Re: Mass Effect Andromeda Info / SPOILERS on Mon Nov 07, 2016 5:50 pm

I agree...



the Hammerhead was a POS.

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3 Re: Mass Effect Andromeda Info / SPOILERS on Mon Nov 07, 2016 7:25 pm

I just checked one spoiler tag. I'll let you guess which one. Cool

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4 Re: Mass Effect Andromeda Info / SPOILERS on Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:34 pm

I hope Bioware sticks to what the company has always been good at. DAI was a step in the right direction in many ways because EA turned down their corporate stupidity and let them go back to Origins in some ways, but even then the game fell short of its potential because EA did still tell them to copycat Skyrim which resulted with a shorter and less good main story with large tracts of pointless land.

I do like some of what I am reading here, but my main worry is that they are not focusing on the Role Playing Story as much as they should. Also concerned this game will have relentless SJW pandering and a boring player character but those are less pressing as the game could still be great regardless

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5 Re: Mass Effect Andromeda Info / SPOILERS on Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:58 pm

Boring PC/MC is a given given that he/she is a 'player-defined' 'character'. "Relentless SJW pandering" can be called either 'relentless over-the-politicking' or 'excessive LCD'. A big concern is all the unnecessary padded drama they felt they needed to insert into the story instead playing with the natural drama that would arise from their situation.

Also, I don't have much hope for that lazy horribly made villain. His introduction is literally just randomly running into him and him saying "I am Archon. We will all burn." How boring and bland can he be? Is he trying to out-Corypheus Corypheus?

Minor nitpick; that 'cluster map' they showed is horribly scaled unless Bioware is trying to say that black hole is 4 light-years in diameter.

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6 Re: Mass Effect Andromeda Info / SPOILERS on Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:10 pm

SilverDragonRed wrote:Boring PC/MC is a given given that he/she is a 'player-defined' 'character'.  "Relentless SJW pandering" can be called either 'relentless over-the-politicking' or 'excessive LCD'.  A big concern is all the unnecessary padded drama they felt they needed to insert into the story instead playing with the natural drama that would arise from their situation.

Also, I don't have much hope for that lazy horribly made villain.  His introduction is literally just randomly running into him and him saying "I am Archon.  We will all burn."  How boring and bland can he be?  Is he trying to out-Corypheus Corypheus?

Minor nitpick; that 'cluster map' they showed is horribly scaled unless Bioware is trying to say that black hole is 4 light-years in diameter.

I didn't think the Warden was boring at all (I've never felt more connected with any of my characters as much as him), liked Shepard, even enjoyed purplehawke even if Hawke was barely a roleplayable character in any sense of the word. The Inquisitor was just dull, tried to be in between Shepard and the Warden but only had the weaknesses of both with the strength of neither imo.

Politicking is half the concern of SJWness, dislike how it makes all the women empoweredTM (not to be confuse with actual empowerment or actual good female characters) while the guys are Jensen Ackle pretty boys or 50 shades characters.

Archon looks and sounds dull as dirt too. This game was supposed to be different, if it is "save the world from le big evul army" again I will honestly set the controller down and do something else.

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7 Re: Mass Effect Andromeda Info / SPOILERS on Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:17 am

I fear it is just a last attempt for milking this franchise one last time (see also their sales strategy).

I would be happy for a good Space RPG... but I have little hope.

Anyway I won't preorder it anyway (that was a hard learned lesson by ME3).

Eruanne

P.S.: @Ser Arthur: Where is mentioned that the Warden was boring? did I overread something?

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8 Re: Mass Effect Andromeda Info / SPOILERS on Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:01 am

Ser Arthur made the correct inference when I lumped all six(seven) of the Wardens and Shepard into the 'boring blank-state characters with almost no actions or moments to define them' category. But hey, at least I can give Bioware characters a +1 for having a modicum of a backstory.

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9 Re: Mass Effect Andromeda Info / SPOILERS on Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:29 pm

Ah ok, I sometimes overread things.
Thank you!

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10 Re: Mass Effect Andromeda Info / SPOILERS on Thu Feb 09, 2017 4:10 pm

New info today Very Happy

pc gamer wrote:

Most important bit:
There are also over a dozen ‘hubs’ in addition to the planet areas, including the Nexus, a Citadel-like space station, and Kadara, a populated zone that looks like a more cyberpunk version of a Wild West town from Firefly.
Others:
There is no 'big bad' like the Reapers, no overarching threat.
The story is slightly more optimistic bent, 'instead of barreling towards certain doom'
The stories are 'of a more casual nature', says Michael Gamble
"The Reapers had basically attacked and everything had all gone to shit. It’s really hard to have a story about an individual, their struggles, their personal crises. For Andromeda we wanted to remove that a little bit so that we can tell stories of exploration, stories of a more casual nature. We definitely want to take on a bit of a lighter tone, for sure."
Father passes down Pathfinder job 'for as-yet-unknown reasons' in first act
Some of the Initiative apparently 'broke off and formed factions'
Planets will have enemy bases to clear out, powerful optional enemies and areas to scan for crafting opportunities
There are also puzzle-locked vaults to uncover
"One of the things that was very critical for us early on was this saying that when we develop these planets, each one needs its own story and its own history, its own backstory and its reason for existing."
“We are approaching the completionist aspect very differently, because we’ve done and learned a lot from Inquisition. But we’ve also observed what other games have been doing, like The Witcher. And it was very important for us that the quantity of scope doesn’t downgrade the quality of whatever you are doing there.”
Side quests are 'meaningful'.
Loyalty missions like in ME2
“The squad members that you have, whether they’ve arrived with you or whether they’ve come before or whether they’ll come after – in addition to the kind of political game that’s been going on already in Andromeda, that sets a cool ground for us to tell a lot of different side stories. The story is not only about the cast. The story is about settling, the story is about survival, the story is about the locals – and that’s where the loyalties will definitely focus.”
'Not everyone arrives at the same time, there are things going on in Andromeda that you have no control over.'
Cora is 'more militaristic and orders and rules based', Peebee will appeal to those who think adventure is fun
Interrupts return
'The ability to express tone and different emotions to many NPCs in the game, and have different reactions from them based on that, is not just exclusive to your love interests anymore. It’s kind of sprinkled more throughout the game.'
Instead of rolling you use a dash attack and cover is automatic
Story missions are a little more arena-like (than out in the open world)
Space (the map) is more 3D than 2D

So I'm hyped about all the hubs, even though I'm sure most will be Val Royeaux sized. It's interesting what they said about no big bads, I wonder what this Archon is then.

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11 Re: Mass Effect Andromeda Info / SPOILERS on Thu Feb 09, 2017 4:44 pm

pc gamer wrote:There is no 'big bad' like the Reapers, no overarching threat.
This sounds like a blatant lie considering Archon, or the tomb worlds.

Father passes down Pathfinder job 'for as-yet-unknown reasons' in first act
Cora is 'more militaristic and orders and rules based',...
Hello ME Cassandra.

“We are approaching the completionist aspect very differently, because we’ve done and learned a lot from Inquisition. But we’ve also observed what other games have been doing, like The Witcher. And it was very important for us that the quantity of scope doesn’t downgrade the quality of whatever you are doing there.”
Ah look, Bioware is learning.  How cute.

But, seriously though, it is a bit surprising that they might be 'learning' from other games.  Maybe they should observe Deus Ex or Alpha Protocol.

Side quests are 'meaningful'.
Loyalty missions like in ME2
Interrupts return
Kinda odd that they specifically mention these, and kinda raises some red flags for me.  The last time I paid anything to Bioware promises like this was when they said that ME3 wasn't going to end with an A,B,C choice.

'Not everyone arrives at the same time, there are things going on in Andromeda that you have no control over.'
Some of the Initiative apparently 'broke off and formed factions'
If only those things happen around the same time instead of the Initiative cast-offs breaking away before the game begins.

Instead of rolling you use a dash attack and cover is automatic
So instead of rolling you Shao Khan shoulder check someone...?

That thing about cover being automatic makes it sound like Ryder has a sticky back, and that cover might become an awkward thing in combat.

Story missions are a little more arena-like (than out in the open world)
Thanks for more telegraphing of your shoot-outs.

Space (the map) is more 3D than 2D
I'll be honest and say I didn't like this mechanic since ME2, especially when you starting having little Reapers chasing you on what was supposed to be a navigational screen.  Making it 3D sounds pointless.

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12 Re: Mass Effect Andromeda Info / SPOILERS on Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:23 pm

Archon's presentation could be trailer dramatic effect, because I remember them saying that the Kett were a more sympathetic kind of villain. Or maybe he's one of several major antagonist factions.


Hello ME Cassandra.

Miranda 2.0 Razz


Kinda odd that they specifically mention these, and kinda raises some red flags for me. The last time I paid anything to Bioware promises like this was when they said that ME3 wasn't going to end with an A,B,C choice. wrote:

To be fair ME3 set a very low bar when it comes to side quests.

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13 Re: Mass Effect Andromeda Info / SPOILERS on Fri Feb 10, 2017 5:50 am

It does seem contradictory and it definetely raises some red flags for me.

But to be honest, I sooo hope I am wrong and this will be my new favorite game.
I would love that. I love Space RPG games... and I would really like a new AAA Title to be great.
That we have great facial epression etc. in a emotional Space RPG.

But I doubt it, I strongly doubt.

And hey, since I definetely WON'T preorder it, I can watch and see.

Eruanne

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14 Re: Mass Effect Andromeda Info / SPOILERS on Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:15 pm

Dammit, I'm allowing myself to get hoyped. Currently replaying ME2, and I forgot how much I've missed talking to characters and uncovering the lore of the galaxy.

For Andromeda, I'm predicting there is going to be a much bigger threat by the end of the game, and I think the Andromeda initiative has some major ulterior motives behind it, possibly by Cerberus.

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15 Re: Mass Effect Andromeda Info / SPOILERS on Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:34 pm

give in to the h o y p e

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16 Re: Mass Effect Andromeda Info / SPOILERS on Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:18 am

I don't know if this is the right place to post this...

But what would have made the game even better, even more alien, is to have there be no one face to the antagonist. Just have there be a galaxy almost devoid of life with this Dark Energy enveloping entire worlds. That would have made the entire thing so much better.

Leave the Remnant structures. But just those. Everyone comes to Andromeda to see it being swallowed by Dark Energy and we have to find a way to stop it. Perhaps being an omen to the Milky Way's future.

The climax of the game? Sending that information back to the Milky Way in the hopes that someone there will get it and use it to prevent the same thing from destroying them.

Just my two cents.

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17 Re: Mass Effect Andromeda Info / SPOILERS on Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:21 pm

Here's some insight into the entire Animation issue in MEA

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18 Re: Mass Effect Andromeda Info / SPOILERS on Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:18 am

Man... I loved the game but it was quite under-cooked. Problem is that's hard to explain when Bioware has a competent team and five years in development, so I'm inclined to believe the issues came mostly from the money side of things.

It's funny that they brought up Uncharted because after ME3 I thought Bioware was going to move the series in that direction, like a linear cinematic story peppered with dialogue trees and rpg elements. ME's DLC was along those lines, particularly Omega which is what done by the same team as ME:A.

Given Bioware's history of overcorrection perhaps they should do that for the sequel, get rid of open world exploration and sidequesty stuff and concentrate efforts on the cinematics/key conversations and the crit path gameplay.

Here's a video of leaked alpha footage vs the released version, makes you wonder...

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19 Re: Mass Effect Andromeda Info / SPOILERS on Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:57 am

When their main concern is removing a line from a trans character's dialogue whom they included for diversity's sake, because people got offended that said trans character would say that line (maybe said offended people are trans, maybe not, who knows), there is a problem. They've got their priorities shuffled out of order.

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20 Re: Mass Effect Andromeda Info / SPOILERS on Sat Apr 15, 2017 3:11 am

There is also the problem where SOMEONE somewhere approve of the line, "My face is tired"

This line and many others like it speaks very clearly about how much the team cares about writing and their story, which is completely zero. The whole story was a total joke that reads like a first draft.

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