Nov 10th 2016 by joejuba • 14 Questions • 226 Points
Greetings! I’m Joe Juba, senior reviews editor at Game Informer, and the person who wrote our recent cover story on Mass Effect Andromeda.
I’ve been at GI for a long time (almost 13 years), and BioWare games have been among my favorites to cover. In addition to the Mass Effect Andromeda feature, I wrote our cover stories for Mass Effect 3 and all three Dragon Age games – not to mention various previews, reviews, and features on BioWare titles.
The Mass Effect series had me hooked since the beginning. I’ve read the Mass Effect novels (well, most of them), gotten all 1000 achievement points in all three games, and waited patiently for BioWare to reveal more info on the latest installment. Then, miraculously, I got to be a part of that reveal when our team traveled to BioWare Montreal last month to see Mass Effect Andromeda in action. We got a demo of the game that lasted several hours, we interviewed the team, and even played multiplayer for ourselves. After all that, I got to write 16 pages about what I saw and heard, which you can read in our latest issue. You can also get our digital issue on mobile.
I’m happy to answer any questions you have about Andromeda, the big changes, my impressions, our visit to BioWare’s studio, and the process of coordinating and writing cover stories in general. However, I should emphasize that I can only speak from my own experience. I’m not a spokesperson for EA or BioWare. I’m not involved with making the game, I didn’t see everything, and there are some questions I can’t answer – especially those involving story spoilers. With that in mind, ask away!
EDIT: I'm going to have to call it here folks, but I just wanted to say "thank you" to everyone for your insightful questions! This was a lot of fun. Like you, I love this series, and it's great to just be able to chat with my fellow fans about its next big step. Sorry I couldn't get to all of the questions, but hopefully you'll get more answers during our coverage this month! Thanks again!
I want to be honest with you folks during this, so believe me when I say I wish I had more information to share on this front. The folks at BioWare were pretty tight-lipped when it came to details regarding specific romantic interactions and who they might be with.
I get it. The characters and their romantic arcs are many fans' favorite part of Mass Effect, so I can understand not wanting to spoil them. But I'm right there with you – I wish I knew, too.
What I CAN say about romance, however, is that the team seems committed to offering of broader range of interactions. Like, it won't just be "pursue a love interest, make the right dialogue options, then have sex before the final dungeon." Some characters might be up for a longer term thing, some might just be flings. Some might completely unromance-able, but even in those cases, the dev team wants to make the culminations of those relationships interesting – even if they aren't sexy.
Do you know if there are going to be any major hub zones like the Citadel?
The team referenced the existence of more than one hub, but the exact number and their relative sizes isn't something I know.
To speculate: I'd guess the Nexus (the forward station that arrived before the Arks) is your primary hub eventually, though it is apparently out of communication when the Hyperion arrives in Andromeda.
How deep are the customization options for character builds, weapons, character faces, you know the works?
Unfortunately, I didn't get to experience this first-hand, so I can't pretend to know the full range.
However, I did talk to the combat people on the team about their approach to it. My big takeaway was that they don't want players to feel bound to a class before they have a chance to experiment with what that playstyle really means. (I can certainly appreciate that. Vanguard in ME1 sounded so cool to me...but in reality, I learned about 20 hours in that it wasn't what I wanted).
However, for players like me who love optimizing, there are still incentives to stick to a class. Like, if you really love biotics and use a lot of biotic skills, you'll unlock the Adept "profile," which gives you bonuses tailored to that playstyle.
So, the bottom lines seems to be allowing for diversity without forcing it on more experienced players.
Do we get to play before reaching the Andromeda Galaxy? Or before departing the Milky Way? If not, is there gonna be an intro for that?
I don't believe so. As far as I know, the first time the player controls Ryder is as they wake up in the Ark after arriving in the Heleus cluster of Andromeda.
I'm sure there's going to be some sort of intro that explains the situation to new players who haven't been following the game prior to release, though.
How many characters are in the multiplayer at the moment and how many of the original races are returning from the original Mass Effect 3 multiplayer?
Do they have 3 combat skills plus 2 passives like in Mass Effect 3 multiplayer or has the system changed?
The class system is not returning in the singleplayer. Is this true for the multiplayer as well?
In the original ME3 Multiplayer you could choose up to 4 different enemy factions. How many do we have in Andromeda?
Is the weight system returning both in singleplayer and multiplayer or there is a different system for weapons and cooldowns?
In multiplayer, do we buy weapons and stuff or packs with RNG?
Is the system still P2P or will they be dedicated servers?
Are any dlc planned for Andromeda multiplayer and if yes, will they be free or not?
Thanks for any answer you can give!
Some things here I can't really answer (especially specifics on numbers), but I'll tackle those I can!
-Class system is still there in multiplayer. You have different "kits" like in ME3: asari adept, human infiltrator, krogan soldier, etc (just random examples, not confirming any for MEA, btw)
-You still buy RNG loot packs. However! There's a Destiny-like store where you can spend a different currency to buy a specific item in stock, and stock will rotate.