jake plays mass effect

Oh my god I am so. Slow. At progressing the story in Andromeda. I keep talking to everyone about everything and fiddling with loadouts and reading codex entries and scanning everything with my tricorder *cough* omni-tool *cough*. At this rate i should finish sometime this summer. :p

But I can’t bring myself to hurry, because what if I miss something?!?!

While trying to work with plasticard I got careless with the x-acto knife (multiple times) and basically turned my fingertips into very sensitive hamburger. Gonna probably take a couple days off from hobby stuff and just play mass effect with my free hours until I recover enough to work on adding the green stuff to Bobby G’s cape and making him new pteruges simce the last ones i tried to make got screwed up in the process of me mangling myself.

But first, a depressive reward nap since I recruited all but the last me:a squaddie and mostly fixed a planet.

i crashed and burned like 5 hours ago after having been awake for like 30 hours, and i’m still really really really tired, and i should go back to sleep, but i hear the siren song of mass effect and i dunno if i’m gonna be able to have the discipline to choose my health over a video game.

i am an adult.

Mass Effect: Andromeda is coming up and so far I have decided:

  • I will be playing Sis!Ryder because I took a look at the VA’s respective IMDB pages and while the woman voicing Sis!Ryder has a pretty healthy body of work Bro!Ryder is limited to one role as something called “octo-dad” and I’ve made the mistake of going with the worse (male) VA before as my Mass Effect canon and, like, fool me twice; shame on me
  • I wanna use a space sword since you can apparently use a space sword
  • Also apparently the Andromeda species all use plasma weaponry (?) so maybe I can get her a sweet plasma pistol and a sword and she can run around like a Warhammer 40k character, only not awful (and hopefully not blowing herself up with her own plasma weaponry but we’ll see)
  • Apparently the Sith Warrior story/companion writer (meaning Vette’s writer) is writing Peebee so there’s like an 80% chance I will be ENTIRELY THRILLED WITH Peebee and like a 20% chance I will be ENTIRELY SKEEVED OUT BY HER ROMANCE but that seems the likely route
  • I was all set to try and make either a Chicana Ryder or a Desi Ryder (the former because Latinos! In! SPAAACE!!!, the latter because I haven’t made any Desi characters in BioWare games before unlike just about every other major group of humans) but now I’m hearing that there are a number of pre-set faces for a few ethnicities that you can edit from but those pre-sets have actual face scans so they’re probably gonna be better rendered so maybe I’ll just go with a pre-set and only change a couple cosmetic details like hairdo and eye color and scars/tats???!?!
  • So now I can’t even pick?? A name?! Because I don’t know which pre-set ethnicity face I’ll like best?! Is her name gonna be like, Esperanza? Jyoti? Aorei? Fuckin BECKY?! I DON’T FUKKEN KNOW!!!*
  • I don’t know if I want her to have had Security, Leadership, or Explorer training first. Like that’s pretty fuckin’ basic and I don’t? Know?!?!
  • I have to sell off a bunch of my old space marines (I was gonna anyway) so I can afford to buy the game at all when it comes out next month but I keep dawdling on that because posting so much shit on eBay is a huge pain in the ass but I gotta get fuckin’ to that

*it will not be Becky

by far the most compelling source of inspiration for me when contemplating what sort of character to make in Mass Effect: Andromeda is Star Trek (exploration, hope, humanity as learning to be better) but specifically Kirk. Picard is too… ‘mature federation frowny face’ about moral quandries. Like… secure in the knowledge that humanity is better, now… he’s genuinely shocked by the episodes where we show that we’re really… not. And the Sisko already heavily influenced the way I ran my Shepard: reluctant savior-figure who runs himself ragged trying to save everyone despite knowing full well how much of a racist garbage pile humanity can be. Janeway could be an interesting take (at least when well-written): a Ryder who is a big science nerd who genuinely cares about doing the Right Thing but whose ultimate duty is to Her Crew.

But Kirk seems to fit my personal optimum of “Deeply moral person driven by passions for exploration and justice, struggling sometimes to overcome her own base nature, actively delighting in diversity, willing to compromise until the minute she suddenly isn’t because there is a hard moral line she will not cross.”

So I guess I’m going for the ‘leadership’ background specialty after all. Now if only I knew what ethnicity I was going to make her so I could settle on a name. :-/

Beefs people have with Andromeda that seem sensible and legit to me:

  • “Play the game and find out!” *wink wonk* about characters’ sexualities, except for the romances available to het bro Ryder of course
  • people being upset that the human black guy is written by the same dude who wrote Jacob Taylor so shittily, and that he’s again the ‘boring expository friend’

  • several others pertaining to real-world issues that affect real-world people who want to play this game and not deal with the same tired real-world shit they have to deal with every day outside of their escapist media

Beefs people have with Andromeda that seem odd to me to have as beefs if you’re familiar with BioWare games:

  • bad hair. bad, bad hair. always.
  • weird/creepy facial animations. They don’t use motion capture. the ‘digital acting’ software doesn’t look as good as real human acting, of course, and the humans tend to be mildly uncanny. this is why people smooch the aliens.

  • bizarre animation bugs, especially wrt walking animations. always.
Things I myself am currently a bit worried about:
  • the game will go the Inquisition route of replacing too much in the way of story and character interaction with bullshit explore/harvest/craft drudgery
  • Liam falling into racist tropes because his writer is such a tool

  • BioWare being so busy patting themselves on the back for being progressive that they fail to actually do better and still think Kotor 1 levels of *squint and you might spot the non-straight romance!* are progressive

HOKAY. I have reached DECISIONS about my Mass Effect: Andromeda character.

So I had already decided that I wanted to play Sis!Ryder based on the relative strengths of the VAs’ IMDB profiles (Bro!Ryder has been in like two things and neither looked compelling, Sis!Ryder’s been in lotsa stuff), and I wanted to not go with the default face and name in favor of somebody who ain’t so dang white.

Then I learned that people will call your Ryder by their first name if you keep it default. Would’ve been awfully nice if anyone could’ve called my Shepard “Alex” like… ever. But then I’m stuck with the name Sara, which isn’t what I wanted really. It’s a nice enough name (better by far than ‘Scott’ imo) but enh.

After much tearing of hair, I have decided to have it both waysr. In that I will have a custom face and name but her NICKNAME will be Sara so people can refer to her as such in cutscenes (since that seems to be a thing that’s actually programmed in if you keep their names):

Sarala Ryder (Sara for short), mixed European (hence the surname) and Indian ethnicity, faceclaim/as close as I can get in the character generator anyhow is Deepika Padukone (almost certainly with much worse hair- this is a BioWare game)

Her personality is going to be, basically, Original Series Jim Kirk: Tries like hell to be fair-minded and patient and wise but occasionally just needs to yell at people who are being immoral and/or get into knock-down brawls and/or romance an alien or two. Idk who’s going to be available to Sis!Ryder between Jaal, Vetra, and Peebee, or who I’ll like her better with, but god knows humans are boring so it’s going to be AN alien she ends up with.

Leaning toward either the ‘Leadership’ or the ‘Explorer’ background, with a backstory that she attended and excelled in Starfleet Academy West Point the Alliance Officer Academy. She practices Khadgavidya (sword-fighting) for cultural and exercise purposes, which will come in handy when they let you have a SPACE SWORD.

Heard but did not confirm that the Andromeda locals use primarily plasma weaponry rather than mass effect projectile weapons, so if I can give her a plasma pistol and sword and have her run around like a WH40k HQ so much the better.

Probably going to go for black and (command) gold for her armor. Don’t know what sorts of other outfits you’ll get but if there’s a nautical-style coat available, you can bet she’ll be rocking that Star Trek movies 2-6 look.

Space Girlfriend?

Starting a replay of my canon Shep is fraught with unanticipated hazards.

Such as missing the hell out of my favorite person* in the galaxy.

I mean, Shepard isn’t as distraught at this point- sure he misses her because they’re friends, but he’s all hung up on Liara still because this is ME2 and she hasn’t pushed him away yet.

But goddamit I’m bummed it takes so goddam long to get Tali. So a lot of that gets projected onto Shep.

Tali where are you why are you not over here making Ken and Gabby look bad

If she can’t be here I may as well slowly kill myself with booze

Tali I miss you soo mu-hu-huuuuuch

Shepard, get up. Get up and look at the new dossiers.

*Tali is my favorite person, Garrus is my favorite squadmate.

Okay the character creation in ME:A is… very very limited. Abandoning my initial plan to play a desi Ryder who looks like Deepika Padukone because I couldn’t get anywhere close. Went with a variation on preset face #1 which is east asian, made her skin a bit darker and her nose a bit bigger/project more to make her stand out as ‘mixed’, maybe with some desi ancestry? Maybe euro ancestry? Maybe both?

Purple wavy bob at collar length, faded scratch scars on left cheek and puzzle piece tattoo on left throat mirror my custom Scott Ryder’s faded scratch scars on his right cheek and puzzle piece tattoo on right throat. See because they’re twins: they go together like puzzle pieces. The scars stem from some childhood shenanigans with a wild alien critter; I’ll work on the details later.

Will post pics when/if I manage to get any worth sharing. Will avoid posting spoilers for a few days, maybe two weeks.