, ,


Some discussion of gameplay details for Mass Effect: Andromeda, if you find that spoilery. Also, discussion of a specific combat.


So flophouse. Got it. Good advice. But not the advice I needed last night. No, the advice I needed last night was:

“If you’re tired, and you don’t have much time to play, and you want to do a very simple ‘Find the scientists’ quest, and, in so doing, you come across what looks so much like a metal devil you think you’re playing Horizon, do NOT try to finish the quest, do NOT get out of the NOMAD, and whatever the fuck you do do NOT attack the fucking thing unless you REALLY feel like wasting 45 minutes of your life.”

Guess what I did last night?

I mean, it didn’t start there. It started with me, tired, not much time, saying “Ok, I did all that work yesterday so I could get to 40% and set up the outpost. I’ll just do that and call it a day.” But that was easy, and didn’t take any time at all. Hardly worth turning the PS on. So I said “I’ll just pick up one more thing.” And there as the “missing scientists.” Now, “missing” whatever quests are easy. You go to a navpoint, you find the guys, maybe make a choice about something moral. You’re done. “Perfect,” thought I.

Not perfect.

And you know? I ALMOST had the fucker. I blew off three of its legs, and was working on the head when I died because I GOT COLD. Fucking LIFE SUPPORT! Having that in a level 2 hazard zone? Unfair.

So 45 minutes of real time. And I died. Of cold. And it restarted with me back in my NOMAD. Before the fight.

So I fast traveled away and rage quit. So we’re even on that front.

But at least it gave me a moment of clarity: It made me think “Why am I really trying to mop up these quests? I could be back on my nice, warm ship flirting. Fuck this planet.

And sometimes, you need that kick in your ass in an open world game.


Yeah, those missing scientists are still missing in my universe, too. I mean, not TOTALLY missing.

“I know they’re over there near that GIANT MONSTER KILLING MACHINE.” Freaking architects.

There’s also one on Eos (where it again springs up unexpectedly on a seemingly innocuous quest), and one on this planet I’m currently on. Haven’t defeated any of them. Haven’t even gone near the current one. I got a quest for it that specifically mentioned an architect, and was like “oh, hey, I have some infinite number of things to take care of first, but I will absolutely look into that sometime around never.”

I mean, I guess I will try again eventually. But I’m in no hurry.

Dying of cold is a low blow, too.


Dude, dying of cold when I was THIS CLOSE. I took out every leg, and had it really, REALLY damaged. Had it saved after I took out the legs, I’d’ve so killed it. AND dying of cold because instead of opening the door that would have gotten me to safety and, probably, killing the thing, I hit triangle when I wasn’t standing in the right place and whacked it with my omnitool instead.

Fuck. That.

But I did learn two things: Sick the drone on it (really, sick the drone on anything that moves) and hide, and DUDE the infiltrator/run away profile is great. That WHOOSH when you’re invisible (and invulnerable) is key. It aims, and WHOOSH WHOOSH WHOOSH and you’re clear. And, hopefully the drone is doing the real work.

Making it hazard level two was cruel. Cruel, I say.

I’m glad I played Horizon first. Otherwise, out of loyalty to bioware, I would’ve been all “Pfft. Giant metal killing snake that can make more metal things? So been there, so done that.”


Oh, man. That is a cruel, cruel death, and as a fellow player of games, my fists clench in sympathetic frustration.

Noted, though: I will go back to those things once I have the drone.

Also, you’re using the ‘switch profiles’ feature? I still haven’t tried it. At this point it’s sheer stubbornness. “I picked a character type and I’m sticking with it, damn it. You can’t make me change.”

Although invisible whooshing does sound pretty great.


It was cruel. Banging on the door with a weapon, saying “Let me IN!!!!”


You’re gonna love the drone.

I’m not actually switching profiles. I’ve only used this one. But I have intentionally looked to see what I have to do to get to the next level of it, and leveling IT up is pretty cool. Each one, you have to put a certain number of skill points into tech, biotics or combat. It’ll tell you “Next level: need whatever.”

But this one gives you the WHOOSH (which I rely on so much now I’m never switching out) and, if you aim at a baddie with a sniper rifle, it outlines them in red for good, like tagging an enemy in Uncharted. So even when it’s dark or sandy or snowy, there they are.

It’s pretty cool.

But switching….I dunno. Like I said, I’m so used to being able to do this stuff that NOT being able to do it, even if I could do OTHER cool stuff, would cramp my style. I’d hit circle, there would be no WHOOSH and I’d die. Need the WHOOSH.

So it’s not stubborness so much as habit. You know, you get used to something, you just do it automatically. Whatever that something is.


“Take that, door! Oh, damn it…”

I’ve done that many times with the Nomad, so I know whereof you speak. Amble over, plan to open the door and get in, and instead “whack! Take that, Nomad!”

Yeah, you’re right, sticking with the one profile is habit as much as stubbornness. Because like you, I have my things that I use all the time and never switch out (in my case, vortex and pull and that slam thing that knocks people over when they’re close to you ), and I’m used to them, and if I changed profiles I’d be hitting a button expecting one thing to happen and something else would happen that was cool but in a different, situationally useless way, and then I’d die.

I’d hate that.

Also, do you kind of miss the ‘power wheel’ from previous MEs?

I used to always be calling up that wheel and selecting things, and I feel like I used a lot of different powers including sometimes the weird ones that are only occasionally useful, but I swear in this game I’ve literally only ever used the three on the ‘quick bar’ or whatever it’s called, because I like the ones I have and cannot be bothered to swap them around.

It’s to the point that I don’t even bother adding new ones, because I know I’m not going to use them. I add ranks in other profiles, instead, even though I’m not going to use them either (but I try to add the triangle ones at the bottom, that give you abilities you don’t have to specifically turn on).


Oh I’d crazy hate that. Shit, I like jumping. I jump in games. It’s efficient, as there’s always something in your way. I have played a long, LONG series of heroes who just spring though life. As such, I wear out X on the Tempest wondering why nothing is happening.

“Oh hey Liam, I’ll just jump over this couch and OUCH.”

If that happened in combat, I’d be SO pissed.

Dude, the reason I keep changing the paint on the NOMAD is to cover up the dents I’ve given it. Every time I get in HIIIIYA! and I can hear my pals mumbling “great, gonna have to paint it…again…”

And the power wheel, dude, yes. It really has trapped me in one thing. Can you even change them without a loadout? Cuz fuck that. I’ve changed them exactly once, and that was to add the drone. You MUST add the drone.

But yeah, and it means I don’t think I’ve done a single biotic thing at all, which is lame.

I, too, have plopped points into things like “Assault rifle” and all that, because, yeah, what’s the point?

And I don’t think the game wants you to do that. They want you switching all over the damn place, but between button habits and all that, who can be bothered?


I will add the drone! And then never change anything ever again.

I think you have to be in loadout to change them, yeah. If so, no wonder we never touch them, because, as you so eloquently put it, fuck that.

I think that’s part of what switching profiles is supposed to be good for, since they each have their own selection so you could put different powers in different profiles, but I still don’t really care about this shift from “I am one character who can do 9 different things!” to “I am three characters who can do three things each!”



And, as that is, like the ONLY thing you can do without a loadout, I never do it. I’ve been conditioned to think I can only do shit from the loadout screen. And shit, half the time I forget to change my squadmates. If I can’t remember that, I can’t remember anything else, really.


It’s true. I travel with the same people for months at a time because I don’t think to switch them out. Even though I regularly fast travel to forward stations, from whence I can readily access the loadout screen!

It’s just, “I came here to this forward station for some specific reason, such as a particular quest I’m following. What do I feel more like doing: hopping in the Nomad and driving off to pursue said quest, or standing here poking around in the loadout options?”

The answer is pretty much never “loadout options, please!”


I just go straight to “squad.” I have no idea what I’m wearing. Not a cool sports outfit, that’s for sure.