Went from Havarl and back to Eos. 

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  • So like, I went to the top of the mountain to take out that kett facility which didn’t go too bad. 
    • If you’re a sniper/ infiltrator like me you like to hang back and do your uh, snipping. 
    • My discovery today is that Cora and Drack love to go tackle people which is absolutely fucking great because that means I don’t have to.
    •  I can snipe and they can go wreck havoc. 10/10 team combination. If you place them you can essentially make a bottle neck with a snipper and two bouncers, who’ll run out to tackle people, then jump back to spot. It’s great. 
    • So after that mission I went to go help scientists not be stupid and get themselves killed in Podromos, who for the unlightened is the small town in the valley underneath the mountain the Kett facility is on. 
    • Remember top of the mountain, bottom of the valley. 
    • Think high.
    • There is zero things stopping you from driving the nomad off the mountain and into the valley although the game will say fuck you and put you back on top
    • But you can totally jump
    • That’s a thing you can do
  • LOTS of running around, shit tons of running around. 
    • On Havarl to open the vault you have to go to the top of a tower to find a sage, run into a temple of some sort to find a glove, take that glove on the other side of the map to some guy, then take that guy into the vault to open it, then go find the monolith, and activate it. 
    • Go do this fetch quest on the other side of the fucking cluster. Do it.
    • Started trying to find Cora’s Asari ship or whatever. She said go to Eos and talk to this one chick and that chick said go to some other planet to find the next clue. c’mon.
  • I have successfully flirted with Vetra twice. I have set my heart upon her. Jaal with be my BFF.
    • Vetra’s “oh” when you realize you’re flirting with her, reblog if you agree.
  • Drack is fantastic
    • He’s a lot like Wrex, but he’s not as gruff as Wrex. Wrex was distant uncle who taught you how to play catch. Drack is grandpa who took you to the amusement park and let you ride the tallest ride as your first ever roller coaster then laughed as you puked. 
    • I adore his relationship with Kesh. They came to Andromeda together and it’s clear he loves her, in his own, krogany~ way. 
    • Great at tackling things. 
    • Would punch an alien for you.
  • Peebee is still cute as hell
  • Liam is the right place between everday guy Kaiden and suave Jacob, if you know what I mean? He’s the human character that those two guys filled, nothing too crazy about him but he’s got a story and a personality.
    • He’s also my BFF.
  • Something I noticed about Cora, is that she’s the perfect supporter. Even from the get go when you wake-up as the Pathfinder, she not only comforts you about your father but then says that she doesn’t mind that you’re the pathfinder even though she was next in line. 
    • She is on your side 100% and I’m glad that it was played like that, rather then have her be resentful.
    • I like to think of Cora as a mentor figure for Ryder since she’s more experienced in combat and leadership. That Cora is trying to help groom Ryder into being the pathfinder after having the role thrust upon them. 
The Fisher’s Lure - Chapter 19

Chapter 19: A Course For Elaaden

“Pathfinder,” SAM said in Sara’s head. “Dr. T'Perro has provided an update on Mr. Vidal’s condition. He is not yet awake, but he appears to be stirring. Given that she sees no cause for concern, she would like to return to the Tempest.”

“Please ask her to keep waiting. I want her to make sure he’s okay.”

Sara’s legs were hurting again, but she didn’t want to move. She was curled up behind a computer bank in the tech labs, hidden from well-meaning eyes and kept warm by electrical induction. Her voice stayed low. She didn’t want to be found.

Jaal knew she was here, though. He was leaning against the bulkhead opposite, watching her in that strange, solemn way of his. Whenever footsteps passed by the doorway behind Sara’s hiding spot, his eyes flickered away - but the moment the danger was gone, his steady gaze returned.

“Should I tell Mr. Jath to launch when Dr. T'Perro returns?” SAM asked.

“Not yet.”

Jaal’s eyes went to the door, and Sara heard someone approaching. The angara smiled broadly at the newcomer.

It was Liam. “Is Sara in here?”

Sara felt a flash of uncertainty - would Jaal give her away? - but the angara shook his head. “I have not seen her, Liam. Perhaps you should try her quarters.”

“Already looked there,” Liam grumbled. “SAM, is Ryder even on the ship?”

“Yes, Mr. Kosta.”

“Will you tell me where she is?”


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Six Fun Activities To Pursue In Mass Effect Andromeda

Mass Effect Andromeda features the series’ largest universe to date. Previous games let us take on small side quests and visit planets for specific missions, but Andromeda is raising the stakes with less linear planets and hub cities, opening them up for greater exploration and more to do than ever before. “If you look at the trilogy, you see all the hubs we created and the side content that came off the hubs,” says producer Mike Gamble. “That’s one place to put it, but imagine that side content in a place where you’re not limited to keeping your weapon holstered. There are so many different elements we can bring in by putting it on those planets with exploration areas. It makes the number and the type of side quests that we can do that much more interesting, whereas before if you’re on the hub you’re kind of limited to a fetch quest type of thing.”

The planets you explore come in a variety of sizes. According to BioWare, some are bigger than anything it’s done before, so much so you’ll have to drive across them using the Nomad (the new Mako-like vehicle). Other planets are smaller and won’t require getting the Nomad packed up. Planets house a bevy of different discoveries, as you’ll find colonies, hidden dungeons, minerals, and other secrets to unlock on your journey. “This is the biggest we’ve ever gone, in terms of the number of pieces of content,” Gamble says. “Although we have a lot of different areas to go to, we want to make it so whenever you go to those areas, you remember them.” Some planets are on the critical path; others are completely optional. BioWare is providing a lot to do when you’re out exploring, but wants to keep a fair amount optional so the player can choose how much they want to invest in the experience.

When we visited BioWare for our cover story trip, we asked what we’d be able to do in these larger spaces. “There are combat-related encounters, puzzle-related encounters, narrative-related encounters, and a lot of things will happen that add more depth to the critical path,” Gamble says. While BioWare wants to leave some surprises, it discussed some of what you’ll find as you search planets. Here are our biggest takeaways.

Loyalty Missions
As we reported, loyalty missions, which were a highlight of Mass Effect 2, are back. These narrative-focused quests allow you to learn more about the allies around you, having you decide if helping them is worth it to improve your relationship. If you’ll remember in Mass Effect 2, loyalty missions often brought moral dilemmas, such as when Zaeed wants to kill innocent people to ensure he can get his revenge on an ex-business partner. In Andromeda, these will be completely optional, but are worth pursuing if you want to get to know the people around you better. This is the only time individual characters have the spotlight entirely on them, and these missions can provide interesting backstory into how and why they became who they are. “Because they veer off of the critical path, it just allows you to tell very different stories,” says creative director Mac Walters. During our trip, we saw a loyalty mission related to the Krogran and it brought us to a new planet that we wouldn’t have encountered if we just stayed on the critical path. So doing them not only unlocks new story beats, but can lead to interesting, new places to explore.

Navigating With The Nomad
Planets are much more expansive than previous entries. You need the Nomad to make the most out of searching the majority of them. In fact, most planets have some sort of biohazard obstacles, such as sulfur pools and magma flow. The Nomad is essential for protection from some of these threats. With the Nomad, you can boost and jump to get past hazards or fit into nooks and crannies to find hidden items. “A big focus for us is making sure that the Nomad handles better, drives better, cascades better – that it has all the nimbleness that the original Mako did without any of the frustrations,” Gamble says.

Tracking Down Drop Zones
Whenever you enter an area, you’ll want to scour to find drop zones for forward stations. Using this tech, you can reveal all the points of interest on the map. This is also how you establish a fast-travel point, and you can change your loadout here. While the points of interest give you a hint of where you want to explore, BioWare also wanted some surprises along the way and to encourage you to go off the beaten path. “We don’t want to just give you map markers to follow,” Gamble explains. “We want you to explore, and find things, and stumble upon them. We really wanted to do that for players because it teaches them to go outside of the roads, and that is what the game is all about and why we give you the Nomad.”

Taking Out Enemy Bases
As can be expected, not everybody is going to get along and want the same thing in Andromeda. Danger can always be lurking around the corner. As you explore different planets, don’t be surprised if you stumble upon an enemy hideout. “On most planets there is some level of hostile force, and usually that will be represented by enemy bases or hideouts or whatever you want to call them specific to that planet,” Gamble explains. The majority of the planets you visit will feature at least one of these to take down and obtain some worthwhile items. “These bases are pretty lengthy to take out, so if you approach one, you want to be prepared before you into it,” Walters explains. It’s fun, because there’s a combination of systemic and scripted stuff in there. If you tip off too many enemies, the alarms start going off and you have to shut them off. And there’s usually narrative tied around it.” The bases all play into your role as the Pathfinder, but they’re an optional activity. “As a Pathfinder the whole idea is exploring and creating viability in this cluster, eliminating those hideouts is a part of that,” Gamble says.  

Epic Optional Fights
For those who want plenty of experience and goodies, intense battles are around you to make the most of. Sometimes it won’t just be enemies attacking you. Two factions might be fighting and you can join in, knock them both down, and reap the rewards. Even more enticing is that planets also contain their own super-bosses, which are massive creatures that you can often spot from a distance, always enticing you to test out your skills. These aren’t just battles you can expect to win at a low level or without some serious practice and upgrades. “You’ll find creatures and encounters that are so far overleveled to where you’re at naturally on these areas and you can tell right away,” Gamble says. “We have a lot of other things like that, where you’ll know that you’re not ready for this, but you’ll know you want to come back.” Gamble said the team worked hard to make sure players had some cool things like these to return to after they beat the critical path.

You’ve traveled to the Andromeda galaxy, which is completely foreign to you. Part of your task as Pathfinder will be to learn more about every planet you visit. As you explore, you might stumble on technology or rocks that you can scan, allowing you to send the data back to your ship. The more objects you scan, the sooner you have access to better technology, so this will be essential. “Scanning is one of the most important exploration tools you’ll have in the game,” says producer Fabris Condiminas. “You’re in a new galaxy; there are a lot of things where you just have no clue what’s going on. The scanner is a way to capture what is in your environment, send the information back to the Tempest to analyze it, and find those clues that we add to the codex, which might also give you access to crafting pieces, for example.” Crafting allows you to make better weapons and armor.

So far it looks like BioWare is giving you plenty of options for how you want to spend your time in Andromeda. Another thing you’ll encounter is Vaults, which we saw in the PS4 Pro trailer. These are more puzzle-based and tired closely to the narrative, so BioWare is keeping their purpose and function mysterious for now.

Day 12: Favorite Race

You are surprised it is turians.

Just kidding.

You are not surprised.

I love the turians. I love them because they are such an interesting contrast: an aggressive, war-mongering species…who also have a very deep and profound connection to civil service. They are the galaxy’s historians (records dating back to their iron age), the galaxy’s peacekeepers, and the galaxy’s mercenaries.

I love them because they are Space Romans – so similar, in fact, to romans that I think it can be argued that humans and turians met long, long before the Relay 314 incident.

And I love them because they’re the race that really frequently struggles with what it is to be turian, just as we struggle with what it is to be human. Because they have such a strong collectivist philosophy, turians have a huge emphasis on belonging – belonging to a unit, a colony, an occupation. Turians are joiners, turians are people who strive to belong.

And the game shows off both the positives and negatives of this very well.

The positive side of it is a relatively structured, mostly harmonious and compassionate society. Turians are an empire. There’s been fighting between the colonies but overwhelmingly, those issues don’t mean jack when the turians have bigger enemies to fight. Palaven came to Taetrus’ aid when Taetrus was taken over by the reapers and suffered very heavy casualties trying to take their troubled colony. When they failed, they issued a press release that they’d be trying again.

Let me repeat that: Palaven went to the aid of a colony they had recently been at war with because they were fellow turians, and they were suffering. That’s how strong the turian commitment to the hierarchy is. And that’s something that they extend to their entire empire – as soon as they regained Palaven airspace, guess where the turians went? That’s right, Irune, the Volus homeworld.

And at the end of the game, who is on Earth helping you out? The turians. In fact, the Primarch of Palaven itself is there in London supporting the final push. That’s huge! No other race sends their leaders into the fray, but the turians just take it as a matter of course. That’s how disciplined they are, and how compassionate their people can be.

It would have been very easy for the Hierarchy to cut off their troubled siblings, or a client race, or a relatively cool military alliance. Merchants are important during war time, but not as important as soldiers for a species whose warfare is primarily a numbers game. It would be easy to leave Taetrus to the whim of “ruthless calculus”– the turians don’t gain much by saving Taetrus, whose population was mostly living in refugee camps. They gain even less with the Volus, who, yes, have a fleet, but not one that competes with the turians’ own. And obviously helping out the Alliance goes above and beyond the call – no other race fights with you but the Krogran. It’s all the more notable when you consider that the asari, the salarians, and even the quarians don’t have leaders on the ground for the final push against the reapers, despite Earth being the “end of the line” in terms of the crucible.

Turians, at their best, embody all the positive aspects of the soldier: valiant defenders of the innocent, courageous men and women willing to lay their life on the line to help out kin, country, and the universe as a whole.

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Heleus Academy! - Chapter 1 - michellemagly, WriterSine - Mass Effect: Andromeda [Archive of Our Own]
An Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
By Organization for Transformative Works

Mass Effect Andromeda High School AU

Sara Ryder / Peebee | F!Scott Ryder / Jaal

Summary:  Twins Sara and Scholastica “Scott” Ryder are starting their sophomore year of high school at the prestigious Heleus Academy. Normally, the Ryder family would never be able to afford the private school’s steep tuition, but the Andromeda Initiative, a program designed to uplift poor but intelligent students, is sponsoring their attendance. The twins soon discover, however, that the Andromeda Initiative is not exactly a popular program among the elite student body. Flung into the middle of a class war between the student cliques, Sara and Scott will have to overcome more than just their father’s “mad scientist” reputation to succeed. Add a Pathfinder Program counselor with no social skills, a grumpy old Krogran gym teacher, and the devious Principal Archon, and it might just be too much for them to handle!

Chapter Notes:  This fic is a high school AU starring the characters of Mass Effect Andromeda. Both Sara and Scott Ryder are girls in this fic. Sara in particular is a trans girl and we will be exploring some of the struggles she faces with one or two bigots. However, that will not be main focus of the story. This story is not about Sara’s transition or her trans identity, but we wanted the readers to be aware that we will be touching on a couple difficult things that young trans individuals deal with in life. Our decision to write the Ryder twins as two girls comes purely from a place of WriterSine wanting to writer F!Ryder/Jaal while Michelle Magly wanted to write F!Ryder/Peebee. Neither of us envisioned this story as having a poly romance, so we opted to have two female main characters to work with instead.

Mass Effect Headcanon

I have this headcanon that more artistically-inclined krogan are harassed by other members of their species for not being as into the whole macho-macho-let’s-start-a-war mentality, and that in the artistic fields on a galactic level, other species have a lot of disrespect for them.

Most directors won’t employ them in theatrical jobs besides as tech assistants.

Even as tiny a genre as it is, krogran songs are only touched by people who want to listen to “underground” music.

A special krogan actor’s union is constantly fighting legal battles against employment discrimination.

Krogan literature, being sparse enough, is ignored by all but the most devoted of cultural researchers.

And hardly anyone outside of the species cares, because who ever heard of a krogan with a talent for the pen?

Day 8 - Favorite Female Companion

It’s probably not a huge surprise that my favorite female companion is Tali, is it?

I love Tali. I love Tali for many reasons. She is resourceful; she is fun; she is smart. She is flirty and in charge of her sexuality; she is a powerful engineer who doubles as a shot-gun wielding maniac in a fire fight.

More than any of that, though I love Tali because she is our door to thinking about Mass Effects’ galactic society.

Shepard and co.were all lucky enough to be born human. Being born human isn’t quite as privileged as being born salarian, turian, or asari, but it’s close. Everybody knows that your race will get a council seat sooner, rather than later. Everybody knows that you are to be respected.

Your first likely Citadel recruit – Garrus – doesn’t break the status quo. He’s respectful to you. But the next two recruits completely shatter our ideas about the power distribution of this universe.

Wrex is kind of nasty. He’s brusque, short-tempered, and dangerous. He works as a mercenary, an assassin; any kind of talk about Tuchanka visibly bristles him. It’s clear that he takes a lot of pride in his Krogan identity, but he comes across as hostile and threatening whenever you want to talk to him about it. Any attempts to relate Krogan history to human history with him fall flat. It’s easy for a player to look at Wrex and go “This is someone who fits every possible stereotype about his people. I guess Krogans really are as bad as everyone says.”

In contrast, Tali is a sweetheart. Tali keeps quiet about her quarian heritage at first. She does not hesitate to help you. She does not complain about being a dextro soldier on a levo ship. She is all too eager to help you go after Saren, even though she doesn’t have a personal stake in that fight. Tali is, in short, Wrex’s polar opposite.

And then you get in an elevator with her and Garrus, and Garrus snidely says: “I hope your people are contrite for unleashing the Geth, Tali.”

Record Scratch

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I hope the krogan make an appearance i  adromeda (depending if you cured the genophage or not in me3). They suffered so long and really deserve a comeback. It always rubbed me wrong how other species considered krogan dangerous when they only used them as fighters and after the rachni wars didnt give a shit about their [krogan] kind. I dont get why no one ever hated salarians for that ? Fuck the salarians for their horrible ideas and ‘solutions’

Urdnot Wrex Chalkboard

I think I’m figuring out this scanning thing! Yahoo! Chalkboards don’t scan well at all. For some reason the colors come out really desaturated, but the Curves tool is really handy.

I like this one a lot! I hope you guys do, too! Wrex wasn’t looking right at all until the last ten to fifteen minutes that I was working on him. That last moment when you go from frustration to seeing something that just clicks is the greatest moment ever. 

EDIT: Yes, I’m definitely doing a series of these. I’ve got, I think six or eight portraits due on the 11th!