Mass Effect: Andromeda


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I'll be avoiding replaying the series because I'd prefer not to start the new one with that bad taste in my mouth thanks.

Still, excited for this, as much as I probably shouldn't be. Hoping Bioware can remember they make RPGs this time around.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

Interesting article/interview on Gamespot.

Some of it sounds promising, but honestly feeling a little skeptical when the discussion that there are "tensions" and a lack of a real reveal of gameplay details based on the proposed timetable.

Sovereign Court

Cant knock it until I get a chance to rock it. Despite having some personal grumblings over ME:3 I'm still stoked for this game!


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Who else noticed this little gem?:

Mac Walters: "I think you can infer that the voyage and the effort to do this is not a task that anyone would've taken lightly. If you think about a process where you go to sleep and then 600 years later and you wake up,"

Folks, we have an official time frame. Considering how FTL travel works and such, I'd say that the most popular fan theory-that the Ark is a last resort against the Reapers-is the most valid right now.


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Some more huge news: Apparently (again, straight from the horses' mouth), the Andromeda dev team is removing the Paragon/Renegade system, which I fully support. They believe that by removing the system, multitudes of grey will spring up, where by making the callous choice and killing one to save hundreds won't automatically give you Renegade points, or saving that SOB drug dealer won't give you Paragon. I fully support this. Ever since Charm/Intimidate was removed, while people were in dialog, they were less thinking "What would my Shepard do," and more, "Okay, I need to grind more Nice points so I can make that Charm check that I've been whiffing." Plus, it'll mean that convincing NPCs to ally with you or to stand down will actually require roleplaying and diplomacy, rather than just selecting the blue or red text. I hope that they include the Approval/Disapproval system from Dragon Age as well, since that let characters evolve and react to your choices more, as well as not automatically admiring and respecting you. Anyways, rant done.


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Oh no... I hope they DON'T add the insane approval/disapproval system from Dragon Age. YUCK. Far better to leave the mission based approval system from Mass Effect. Nothing breaks suspension of disbelief faster than an approval system based on numbers... Sure I did everything he hates in the game but he loves me because I bought him some gifts and killed 300 dark spawn...

Scarab Sages

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I loathed the approval system in Dragon Age. None of the point movements ever seemed to have any rhyme or reason. I'd have a perfectly reasonable conversation with a character roleplaying what I thought, they'd seem perfectly engaged with it, and then when the dialogue finished it'd inevitably say I'd lost another ten points off the approval rating. It systematically made me loathe interacting with the NPCs, despite those interactions being the heart of what makes BioWare RPGs great.

Sovereign Court

That sucks about the paragon/renegade system; its iconic to ME! I liked it because it gave the game replay-ability. I would be fine if they dropped the points system or kept that under the hood. The developers could just give players a series of options based on previous actions/discussions. I think that would be way better than moving from blue/red to high/low numbers of DA. /meh


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
The Doomkitten wrote:
Some more huge news: Apparently (again, straight from the horses' mouth), the Andromeda dev team is removing the Paragon/Renegade system...

I think success of this will depend on the application of the system (if any) that creates the cause and effect. When Bioware started Mass Effect and the Paragon/Renegade system, it was creative and original; a little more ambiguous; but also painted the game with the sort of morality you would expect from a high-saga space opera. It was only as the story grew more broad and morally grey, plus the fact that Paragon/Renegade became more conventional in design, that it could grow tiresome.

If you are moving away from that, I am thinking less a Dragon Age approach and more possibly of what the Fallout series has done. That's a template that can be good and bad. Fallout: New Vegas, for example, had a karma system, but really became more faction driven. The endings could be good or bad depending on what you wanted the outcome to be and built up interest for the player depending on the NPCs. Fallout 4, avoided a karma system and was more faction system that I would say was also morally ambiguous but less successful. I really didn't have much interest in any of the groups by the end of it.

I can't say I hated the Paragon/Renegade system, at least when it came to ME's overall structure. But not doing it brings it's own share of questions as to what player actions mean (if anything) to the story.


My problem is both systems are too binary. Either you make a cut off or you don't.

Using both together could help soften that.

For example from Mass Effect 1,

The council might not support you because have a rep as a bit of a renegade, but because Garus and Liara vouch for you they go with what you say anyways.

Or Jack doesn't like your goodie goodie nature but the fact that Urdnot respects you helps her see there is a toughness to you worthy of watching/respecting.

Something like that could give more "pathing" to the logic choices of the game and break the "got to hit the threshold" mentality of the numbers game.


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Aranna wrote:

Oh no... I hope they DON'T add the insane approval/disapproval system from Dragon Age. YUCK. Far better to leave the mission based approval system from Mass Effect. Nothing breaks suspension of disbelief faster than an approval system based on numbers... Sure I did everything he hates in the game but he loves me because I bought him some gifts and killed 300 dark spawn...

dear god in heaven, this a million times. I truly hate the approval disapproval system. Paragon and renegade ARE mass effect to me and many others- don't take them out!


Huh. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

Or maybe just one stroke for one folk and another for all the others :P

I honestly never really noticed any weird Approval system things that were OOC for the characters, but I just played Dragon Age: Inquistion, only brought my three favorite (admittedly somewhat suboptimal) party members along, and focused on romancing Sera. So maybe I just didn't notice that the system was broken.


The Doomkitten wrote:

Huh. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

Or maybe just one stroke for one folk and another for all the others :P

I honestly never really noticed any weird Approval system things that were OOC for the characters, but I just played Dragon Age: Inquistion, only brought my three favorite (admittedly somewhat suboptimal) party members along, and focused on romancing Sera. So maybe I just didn't notice that the system was broken.

that is the only way an approval system works- if you only play with the three people you like. Try mixing up the party a bit and you will see the real flaws.


Ah, I see. Okay. Basically, as soon as I got Dorian, Sera, and Varric, I never changed my loadout. Other than the foooookin' Deep Roads. Guddamn, they continue to kick me arse...

Almost typed Depp Roads. Now I can't stop imagining Johnny Depp as a Hurlock.


The Depp Roads are notoriously hot.

Dark Archive

Freehold DM wrote:
Aranna wrote:

Oh no... I hope they DON'T add the insane approval/disapproval system from Dragon Age. YUCK. Far better to leave the mission based approval system from Mass Effect. Nothing breaks suspension of disbelief faster than an approval system based on numbers... Sure I did everything he hates in the game but he loves me because I bought him some gifts and killed 300 dark spawn...

dear god in heaven, this a million times. I truly hate the approval disapproval system. Paragon and renegade ARE mass effect to me and many others- don't take them out!

This is the point where I point out that Inquisition version of approval system worked differently and you weren't able to affect them with gifts from what I remember :P

And it sure is more immersive than everyone treating you like a hero in your party even if you are renegade of uber murder dick levels.

(seriously though, Inquisition version of approval system is actually pretty good. You don't even see the numbers, but you see that everyone has opinion on your choices)

At Doomkitten: I'm pretty sure they were talking about Origins' version of the system. Though I might be wrong, I can't really understand what they are talking about if they did mean the Inquisition version.


Aranna wrote:

Oh no... I hope they DON'T add the insane approval/disapproval system from Dragon Age. YUCK. Far better to leave the mission based approval system from Mass Effect. Nothing breaks suspension of disbelief faster than an approval system based on numbers... Sure I did everything he hates in the game but he loves me because I bought him some gifts and killed 300 dark spawn...

I felt like Inquisition handled it okay. You couldn't actually see the points at any time, and gift giving wasn't a thing like it was in Origins.


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This is why I used both "gifts" and "kills" because in inquisition it was kills instead of gifts. For example if I wished to get in good with Blackwall but was busy treating him like a jerk I could go farm dark spawn until his approval was good again.


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CorvusMask wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
Aranna wrote:

Oh no... I hope they DON'T add the insane approval/disapproval system from Dragon Age. YUCK. Far better to leave the mission based approval system from Mass Effect. Nothing breaks suspension of disbelief faster than an approval system based on numbers... Sure I did everything he hates in the game but he loves me because I bought him some gifts and killed 300 dark spawn...

dear god in heaven, this a million times. I truly hate the approval disapproval system. Paragon and renegade ARE mass effect to me and many others- don't take them out!

This is the point where I point out that Inquisition version of approval system worked differently and you weren't able to affect them with gifts from what I remember :P

And it sure is more immersive than everyone treating you like a hero in your party even if you are renegade of uber murder dick levels.

(seriously though, Inquisition version of approval system is actually pretty good. You don't even see the numbers, but you see that everyone has opinion on your choices)

At Doomkitten: I'm pretty sure they were talking about Origins' version of the system. Though I might be wrong, I can't really understand what they are talking about if they did mean the Inquisition version.

still hate it- inquisition or origins.

Sovereign Court

ugh encouraged farming....Kills are worse than gifts.


Meh. Yeah, I just played Inquisition-DON'T MURDER ME!-but I'll probably get around to playing Origins and 2 at some point, just so I can experience having Leliana as a party member and seeing Varric again.

I honestly didn't notice the "kills" thing, but again, I always just played with Dorian, Varric, and Sera.

We were the snarkiest party on the face of Thedas :P


Also, Bioware is going to have to pull something magical out of their ass on N7 day to make up for the poor showing at E3.

Considering Bioware, though, they'll probably pull out the Holy Avenger that they've been hiding up there...

Dark Archive

Multiplayer?

Scarab Sages

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NenkotaMoon wrote:
Multiplayer?

Ugh, people. If I wanted to interact with other people, I wouldn't be sitting in my boxers in the dark pretending I was a space cowboy.

Dark Archive

Duiker wrote:
NenkotaMoon wrote:
Multiplayer?
Ugh, people. If I wanted to interact with other people, I wouldn't be sitting in my boxers in the dark pretending I was a space cowboy.

I loved ME3 multiplayer.


Multiplayer is confirmed, actually.


Multiplayer is an interesting can of worms. We all want it but don't want it. If you have the time to work your way through a RPG with other friends start to finish and the game can handle that dynamic then it would be a hugely rewarding experience. BUT who has the time to coordinate the schedules required for such a thing? Well students on summer break might but that is an incredibly narrow audience to build content for. And having friends drop into your game, make story choices, then drop out of your game can be a bad experience. The best compromise I have seen so far is the ability to have your friends drop into your game NOT as a new player but as an NPC depriving them of story choices while letting them fight by your side in the boots of a character who isn't going to vanish when your friend heads off to Florida. BUT that isn't hugely rewarding for your friend and so it isn't a feature likely to generate interest all on its own.

Dark Archive

Aranna wrote:
Multiplayer is an interesting can of worms. We all want it but don't want it. If you have the time to work your way through a RPG with other friends start to finish and the game can handle that dynamic then it would be a hugely rewarding experience. BUT who has the time to coordinate the schedules required for such a thing? Well students on summer break might but that is an incredibly narrow audience to build content for. And having friends drop into your game, make story choices, then drop out of your game can be a bad experience. The best compromise I have seen so far is the ability to have your friends drop into your game NOT as a new player but as an NPC depriving them of story choices while letting them fight by your side in the boots of a character who isn't going to vanish when your friend heads off to Florida. BUT that isn't hugely rewarding for your friend and so it isn't a feature likely to generate interest all on its own.

Actually, I just want more if what ME3 offered but more refined.

Scarab Sages

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Aranna wrote:
Multiplayer is an interesting can of worms. We all want it but don't want it. If you have the time to work your way through a RPG with other friends start to finish and the game can handle that dynamic then it would be a hugely rewarding experience. BUT who has the time to coordinate the schedules required for such a thing? Well students on summer break might but that is an incredibly narrow audience to build content for. And having friends drop into your game, make story choices, then drop out of your game can be a bad experience. The best compromise I have seen so far is the ability to have your friends drop into your game NOT as a new player but as an NPC depriving them of story choices while letting them fight by your side in the boots of a character who isn't going to vanish when your friend heads off to Florida. BUT that isn't hugely rewarding for your friend and so it isn't a feature likely to generate interest all on its own.

No, we don't all want it. At all. I don't want to play a video game with other people any more than I want someone reading over my shoulder when I read a book. It's an individual activity and I don't have any desire for it to be a group activity, in principle or in practice.


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I would just like to mention that they said that the multiplayer won't affect the main story AT ALL.

Dark Archive

The Doomkitten wrote:
I would just like to mention that they said that the multiplayer won't affect the main story AT ALL.

Like I wanted. That is good.


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Duiker wrote:
Aranna wrote:
Multiplayer is an interesting can of worms. We all want it but don't want it. If you have the time to work your way through a RPG with other friends start to finish and the game can handle that dynamic then it would be a hugely rewarding experience. BUT who has the time to coordinate the schedules required for such a thing? Well students on summer break might but that is an incredibly narrow audience to build content for. And having friends drop into your game, make story choices, then drop out of your game can be a bad experience. The best compromise I have seen so far is the ability to have your friends drop into your game NOT as a new player but as an NPC depriving them of story choices while letting them fight by your side in the boots of a character who isn't going to vanish when your friend heads off to Florida. BUT that isn't hugely rewarding for your friend and so it isn't a feature likely to generate interest all on its own.
No, we don't all want it. At all. I don't want to play a video game with other people any more than I want someone reading over my shoulder when I read a book. It's an individual activity and I don't have any desire for it to be a group activity, in principle or in practice.

Sorry, I am a LAN party geek. That will color my perspective a bit.

Scarab Sages

Aranna wrote:
Duiker wrote:
Aranna wrote:
Multiplayer is an interesting can of worms. We all want it but don't want it. If you have the time to work your way through a RPG with other friends start to finish and the game can handle that dynamic then it would be a hugely rewarding experience. BUT who has the time to coordinate the schedules required for such a thing? Well students on summer break might but that is an incredibly narrow audience to build content for. And having friends drop into your game, make story choices, then drop out of your game can be a bad experience. The best compromise I have seen so far is the ability to have your friends drop into your game NOT as a new player but as an NPC depriving them of story choices while letting them fight by your side in the boots of a character who isn't going to vanish when your friend heads off to Florida. BUT that isn't hugely rewarding for your friend and so it isn't a feature likely to generate interest all on its own.
No, we don't all want it. At all. I don't want to play a video game with other people any more than I want someone reading over my shoulder when I read a book. It's an individual activity and I don't have any desire for it to be a group activity, in principle or in practice.

Sorry, I am a LAN party geek. That will color my perspective a bit.

No offense taken, different strokes for different folks and all that!


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
NenkotaMoon wrote:
I loved ME3 multiplayer.

I would agree. What made the ME3 multiplayer interesting was that a) it made sense in context of the game story and b)wasn't just a pvp kill-fest match play. The idea that you were sort of coalition of races fighting a common enemy and that there was generally an objective-based type of self-contained combat was (at the time) very original to me.

All that aside from the fact that I felt like the weapons in multiplayer generally were balanced and handled well than in single-player mode.

As long as they don't incorporate Andromeda multi into that "victory point" process that was added to the main game in ME3 (and it sounds like they won't) I am pretty interested in that element. I understood how the point system incorporated into the main game's "war story element" as victories for the alliance, but it just felt forced as something you had to do for storyline success. If it hadn't turned out to really fun, I probably would have hated it that part.

Sovereign Court

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ME3 multiplayer was hella fun.


Yep. Volus were so adorable.


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MannyGoblin wrote:
Yep. Volus were so adorable.

The adorable Volus was the one in the merc base on Illium. The one with the line "I am a biotic god!"


Feel my great wind!

Sovereign Court

He was a scary badass support the Volus. Many a times our asses got saved by a Volus.


I just hope that Mass Effect Andromeda's story can evoke such a visceral emotional reaction in me that the other parts of the series did. I can get teary just listening to these songs.


Okay. I'm sorry for bringing this up again, but I feel like I can offer an example of why removing Paragon/Renegade is a great choice.

Firstly, I got reminded of the debate by this Extra Credits video. If you don't have time to watch it, the gist comes down to how the rewrite/destroy choice in ME2, during Legion's loyalty mission, made the writer think about the implications of each choice, free will, and which one was right and which one was wrong.

I never got to experience that, because I selected the rewrite option. Why? Because I needed to grind Paragon points, and just selected the upper option without thinking about the implications. I was panicking about how I lost Miranda's loyalty, and I felt the need to make sure I had enough points to resolve any disputes that came up in the future.

This grinding of morality points, this mindless selection, this boiling down charm and intimidate into red and blue dialogue options, prevented me from accessing deeper parts of the narrative, and interesting, driving questions were lost in the blur. I couldn't really put my finger on why I disliked paragon/renegade (even though I prefer it over good/evil, honestly) until I watched that video. Sorry for beating a dead horse, I just though I should articulate a little.

Liberty's Edge

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Yeah, but that's your fault for choosing to play the game that way rather than making the choices you thought were right for you amd your character and accepting the consequences.


As far as dialog options I liked the Dragon Age 2 way of selecting a response based on the personality you wished to express at that moment. I just wished they had MORE options than Paragon(effectively)/Renegade(effectively)/Comedian... It looks like they originally had more personality Icons but just left it at those three.

Still Paragon/Renegade is a good way to track alignment. Maybe they could just separate it from your ability to convince people of things so that people wouldn't feel the need to grind one or the other alignment.


I understand why they bound the two together in Mass Effect. It makes writing for different outcomes easier if they tie everything to two alignments. I have a friend who made an unpublished Neverwinter Nights 1 campaign and DID try to program in every little twist and turn you might take in dialog. It wasn't surprising they eventually gave up. The dialog content for that one unfinished game alone was larger than the entire chain of games made for Neverwinter Nights 1... it was insanely huge and it just covered levels 1 to 3. Such games are better than simpler ones but since they have to pay people to write this stuff it makes the game bigger, longer, and more expensive than intended. And while I would pay extra for such a game I realize that others wouldn't. They need to find a balance and that balance the one that seems to work is the Paragon/Renegade thing. Still I can hope they expand it a bit more and see what happens.


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Oh and yes I still hate influence points... that was the worst. If you don't like always picking top or bottom for paragon vs renegade to farm up influence in general I can't see why anyone would like having to do that with EACH CHARACTER you interact with rather than just once for the whole game. And to complicate things you had to often guess which response to needed to say to the NPC to get the reaction you wanted rather than have a top bottom interface to make it easy on the ones farming.

Liberty's Edge

Again, you chose to plaY the game that way rather than to just interact with the characters and story and see where it goes.

You can certainly play the game however you want, but when you play it in a way contrary to the way the game's design supports complaining that it doesn't work perfectly is kinda weird.


Sometimes the game isn't programmed to respond to the way you play. Take the charming rogue for example. Do you go renegade to showcase your roguish life or paragon to reflect your charm and wit rather than the brute intimidation the renegade unlocks... neither works. And the characters may not naturally like or dislike such a character as they would either, since the game didn't program for it.


As for farming influence, Yes it isn't realistic, but you need to do it to see a character's whole story arc play out.

Sovereign Court

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Maybe im odd one out here, but on my first play-thru I went with whatever I felt was the best choice in any given situation. That meant a mixture of Para/Rene and I was quite satisfied. It was curiosity that lead me to repeat play-thrus, so I thought it was splendid design. Sure Shep may have had some fairly rigid choices at times, but I felt content with the amount of reactions. I felt ME made a number of personalities enjoyable enough to replay the game without it boiling down to simple black/white. YMMV.

I do think there is room for improvement, but I hope they dont throw out the baby with the bathwater. Whatever path they choose I sure hope it doesn't involve individual pet scores, kill farming, or gifts.


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Krensky wrote:

Again, you chose to plaY the game that way rather than to just interact with the characters and story and see where it goes.

You can certainly play the game however you want, but when you play it in a way contrary to the way the game's design supports complaining that it doesn't work perfectly is kinda weird.

People who play in a way to maximize paragon and renegade points are not playing contrary to the way the game's designed. They are playing the game in exactly the way it was designed. The game literally rewards you for playing this way. The only way what you said about the game's design could be true is if the game were designed without paragon and renegade points in the first place.

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