we earned it

“I am Native American from the Omaha tribe in Nebraska. My Indian name means ‘shooting star.’ I wish the world knew that we do still exist. And, no, we don’t all live in tepees. When I see people in headdresses or Native American accessories, I feel disrespected. They don’t know the meaning behind it, how we wear it, or what we do to earn it. This is a real eagle feather. It doesn’t just fall off an eagle and someone says, ‘Oh, here — it’s yours.’ You have to earn it in my culture. I feel powerful when I wear it, more confident, and more connected to my ethnicity. I’ve never been embarrassed about being Native American. I take pride in it. I love how spiritual we are — it’s like we’re in tune with the Earth and the universe. I know there’s no other culture out there like mine.”

Daunnette Reyome

Not everything our eyes are drawn to can stay in our sights forever.
Not everything our hands reach for can be ours to hold for a lifetime. Sometimes we’re allowed glimpses of things… worlds we cannot be a part of, or things we love but cannot keep. Understand that this is not a punishment. It’s not that we haven’t earned happiness, or that we don’t deserve it – it is simply because some happiness is transient and cannot stay with us forever. But what defines us as the person we are is how we accept our fate and how gracefully we let go of those things we wish to love forever for but cannot hold onto.
It’s not easy – I won’t tell you it is because it’s not… but somehow it feels ‘right’. I cannot explain it any other way than that, just that you will come to an understanding that as painful as it is – this is the way things are meant to be.
But the choice of how we move forward from this loss is ours and ours alone. We can choose to be bitter over the injustice of being unable to possess the happiness we desire – or we can choose to carry a piece of that happiness with us, simply by being grateful we were lucky enough to know happiness… to call it by its name and say that it was ours for that brief time we had it. Because as much as it hurts to let go of something like that… it’s nothing compared to the lifetime of emptiness we would have lived without it.

Our party has arrived back in town in need of funds and unsure what our next step should be. We decide head to the Orion Guild, where we can earn some gold and hopefully get a clue as to where we should go next.

DM: As you enter, you see Guildmaster Cid in his usual spot on the counter. It’s early enough in the day that most of the tables are empty… [and so on]

Me: [Fighter] checks the board for bounties.

The DM puts down a small handful of papers in front of us–the bounties that we’re eligible to take at our current ranks in the guild. One bounty reads:

ROAD BLOCKED!

A Crash of Rhinoceros has taken up station NE of Neverwinter on the main trade road, charging those who try to pass. They need to be removed, by force if necessary.

Sister: This one shouldn’t take too long, it’s just on the road.

Me: And [Druid] will probably like it.

My sister looks confused, which I don’t understand since her druid’s been taking every opportunity to seek out new animals to wildshape.

Sister: What’s [Druid] got to do with bandits?

Me: What bandits?

Sister: The crash of rhinoceros?

Me: Oh, I think he meant crash as in group. Like, actual rhinos.

DM: Yep.

Sister: …But then how are they collecting the tolls?

There’s a moment of silence. I actually lean over to look at the bounty again, since I didn’t remember reading the word “tolls” anywhere. Then he speaks slowly:

DM: …what tolls?

She looks at us like we’re nuts.

Sister: The ones they’re charging people on the road…?

And then she gets it. Her whole face changes.

Sister: Oh. You mean the rhinos are actually charging people.

We had to break for a few minutes until we got the laughter under control.

“Teachers get paid for six weeks off”

No, we get paid the remainder of the money we earned in the classroom that we asked to be saved for us so we had a means of survival during our 6 weeks of forced unemployment during which we are still expected to do work from home unpaid

So fuck off

How to Recover From an Accidental Screw Up

1. Although it’s natural to feel stupid or bad, don’t stay in the pit of self hatred and despair. It doesn’t mean you’re evil, or that nobody should like you. It just means you are human, and this time you got it wrong.

2. Try and gain perspective by looking for exceptions – and remembering those times when you felt proud of yourself. The picture’s not all black – we have good as well as bad days – and other people screw up, and get it wrong, as well.

3. Accept responsibility for what you said or did – but that doesn’t mean you have to also feel ashamed. Often, saying we are sorry or admitting we were wrong will earn respect from others – so they’re happy to move on.

4. Related to this, communicate as fully as you can with those affected, and try to do your part to put things right where they’ve gone wrong. Being part of the solution will change how others see you. So don’t just withdraw, be as helpful as you can

5. Also, no matter how bad the consequences of your actions, the chances are that things will get better over time. Even if things fall apart, and are awful for a while, you can still start again – it doesn’t mean this is the end.

6. Hold your head high again and don’t keep thinking of what happened. You have goals to work towards, and a great future to create.

Style over substance= A MG rant

Dear Marc,

First of all, I think it would be fairly accurate to say that most Olicity fans know the DNA of Arrow better than you and your writers room. Whenever Arrow has been at its strongest it was when the focus was on character. To clarify, the characters we care about. The core characters. I think it to be of no coincidence that the upturn in quality of these past few episodes sees a return focus on Oliver, John, and Felicity. When you force characters on your audience and we tell you we don’t care, that isn’t out of pettiness, or because we want our ship back, its because you failed to introduce and write for these new characters in a way that would invest our interest. When you sideline popular characters and fridge already established dynamics to shove the newbies down our throats, the backlash is to be expected.

This season Arrow reached its 100th episode. Something to be celebrated. Appreciation should be shown for the incredibly talented cast that you are lucky to have. Instead, you marginalise them, disrespect them publicly and give into the fringe element of the fandom.

New characters should have been introduced in a way that tied in and enhanced the storylines of the core cast. But instead you shoehorned them in and stuck the others in no mans land.

You waited too long to unveil Prometheus. Josh Segarra has been a revelation in the role so far, but I feel like we are running out of time with him. His reveal should have been earlier.

Susan Williams was a mistake. You repeatedly told us that she was a good person and that Oliver had “deep feelings” for her. This was never shown on screen. She was introduced as someone who was manipulative, conniving and just plain awful. Then you had her date Oliver even though she was investigating him, which was a huge conflict of interest. Then you spent more time on her job than you gave to Felicity’s Havenrock storyline, or John’s being in jail storyline. Then you turned Oliver into Ollie 2.0 by making him an unbelievable douche. Then when Susan was kidnapped, Oliver barely blinked. He showed no concern for her at all. WTF? Don’t get me wrong, that last part was hilarious, but what the hell were you thinking with this whole storyline?

Don’t even get me started on Billy.

No one is asking for a whole episode of Olicity going shopping. Even Felicity would probably hate that. What we want is Olicity together in a healthy, happy, normal relationship. No baby mama drama, no bullshit love interests. No tropes. Just let them be together. Let them figure out how to be together and work together. Let them talk to each other. Be there for each other. Let them deal with any issues like adults. You can still have explosions, and stunts and action. You did it before. Its called 4A, remember the ratings back then?

Now, I know this isn’t about ratings. I get that. What it is about is writing to your shows strengths. Stephen Amell, Emily Bett Rickard, David Ramsey, Willa Holland, Paul Blackthorne. They are what this show was built on. Not your ego. So get over yourself.

One last thing, cutting the season shorter won’t solve Arrows problem. Getting better writers will. The fact that you actually said that cutting the season would reduce the number of “filler” episodes just proves this. Why don’t you use these “filler” episodes to focus on your incredibly talented cast. Instead of another villain of the week or gun PSA, write your own “Zeppo” episode.

Or maybe after 5 years, its time for you to go. Bring in some fresh ideas.

an important summary
  • Yen Sid: so this is the thing you two need to do in order to pass this exam and become masters
  • Riku: *does the thing*
  • Sora: *doesn't do the thing*
  • Yen Sid: Riku you pass, Sora you fail
  • Sora: aight cool ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • fandom: WHAT WHY DID SORA FAIL?? THAT MAKES ZERO SENSE?? THERE WAS NO LEGIT REASON?? PLOT HOLE??
  • Yen Sid: also I'm going to spell it out again here in 0.2 and remind you that you failed because you didn't get the ability that I specifically said you needed in order to pass. plus you lost all your powers and are no longer at the master level anyway, and you were nearly overcome by darkness which is another thing that tends to screw one's chance at passing, so I'm sure I don't need to explain again why you can't have the master title, right
  • Sora: aight cool ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • fandom: PLOT HOLE!!

Oh you made some money? Please give a quarter of it to the State—who will build the roads after all?

Oh you want to spend the after-taxes money you have left over? Please give up to 10% more to the State every time you make a purchase; I know we already taxed your earnings, but these roads really need to be built.

Oh so now you want to actually use our roads? Well you better pay a tax on the gasoline you need to navigate them in your car (which we also taxed by the way, for the roads of course).

Writing Prompts

• It was a great opportunity.
• They don’t come looking for you.
• I need to move there.
• A lot of it makes me uncomfortable.
• That’s funny to you only.
• Can we watch this?
• You always begin there.
• Can we talk about sleep?
• It’s about trying to live.
• Can you lock the door?
• It has never been popular before.
• Can we follow you?
• We make those decisions.
• Who were you then?
• Someone saw you.
• I want to be seen.
• People listen to you.
• I want to live in that house.
• It’s a cloudy day.
• Where is te moon?
• It clears your head.
• Where do you work?
• What’s your background?
• It’s a really strange tale.
• Bring your books.
• You’ll need to carry me.
• Who told you that?
• And people forget.
• This is what we want.
• It’s not ours to take.
• They bring in the profit.
• You took it to an extreme.
• I don’t eat that.
• You need new values.
• I don’t need uplifting.
• We’ll still be here then.
• Do we have a future?
• We tried to separate them.
• Have you found anyone?
• I never enjoy this part.
• That’s not noble at all.
• We could charge you.
• We have never found it.
• Have we earned this.
• Can you prove it?
• These cases are so cold they are freezing.
• We see them every day.
• Can they help us?
• We can solve this together.
• I need to put an end to this.
• We don’t have the technology yet.
• I can’t justify it.
• Keep your window open.
• They were never given that information.
• Will you protect me?
• You’ll need a new one.
• You’ll always have a place here.
• Is it related in any way?
• You always take all the credit.
• They find them every day.
• Give me a name.
• Is it required?
• Do we have any new information?
• You can answer for me.
• I enjoy your confidence.
• Don’t fall asleep.
• What were you going for?
• Where does it begin?
• I don’t want them to know.
• It’s just glue.

Sherlock and The Social Dots

I keep seeing people continue to fight over Sherlock and the meaning of Eurus’ tests so I wanted to write a little thing on it.  I’m doing this with a wrist brace on and heinous fibro-turd pain, so forgive any misspellings.  

The way I have personally absorbed Sherlock and the meaning of Eurus’s tests is that it’s about Sherlock as an empty person.  He is an incomplete picture until he begins connecting the dots that are his social connections and even more importantly, his emotions.  Let’s look at his relationships one by one and I’ll explain.

Dot 1: Greg Lestrade

  Lestrade represents respect for authority.  In fact, he is the only real authority figure in the series.  He’s Sherlock’s ‘boss’ in a way.  Bosses need people they employ to be reliable, respectful, and trustworthy.  Sherlock treating his boss/mentor like crap, making fun of his intelligence and skirting around him at every chance he gets is terribly disrespectful.  Sherlock is childish and arrogant and disregards Lestrade in most cases, even refusing to acknowledge his name.  We’ve all had those bosses when we were young that we didn’t respect, so we act like spoiled brats about it even though those people probably have way more experience than we do.  They have earned their position via the rout of hard work and being reliable and respectful.  By the end of the series, however, Sherlock shows us he has resolved the issue of his respect for Lestrade by politely asking him, by name, a first for the entire series, to please take care of his brother.  Sherlock is no longer a bratty child and he has connected the social dot of respect.

Dot 2: John Watson

John represents friendship, pure and simple.  John is literally the “replacement” for Victor, Sherlock’s best friend who was killed when he was very, very little. That left Sherlock as the empty shell that we see at the start of the series.  The loss of his friend at such a young age meant that he essentially shut down the part of him that he felt could even have friends.  He rejected the idea of personal connections with other people entirely, so that he wouldn’t suffer loss again.  John, through all their trials and tragedies, has now healed that wound for Sherlock.  Even more, John as Sherlock’s friend, has helped him connect all the other dots.  He walked with him step by step to do it.  Without John’s companionship, Sherlock would still be empty.  John’s maturity helped Sherlock grow up and be the man he was supposed to be, had he not suffered such a terribly traumatic event in his youth.

One other thing John represents is family, brotherhood to be specific.  Mycroft was very cold to Sherlock in their youth, even though it’s obvious it wasn’t always that way.  In the family videos we are shown, Sherlock absolutely loves his brother.  It isn’t until later, after Victor, that he feels so alone.  It’s obvious Sherlock loved Victor just like a brother, like the brother he really needed but was taken from him.  Sherlock says John is “family” in TFP, and he means it.  It also shows just how much emotion Sherlock has.  His love is that strong. His friend was his brother, a part of his own blood, even if they wren’t born as brothers.

Dot 3: Mrs. Hudson

Mrs Hudson represents a parent’s love.  It’s clear that Sherlock has a very strained relationship with his parents. He doesn’t hate them, but he doesn’t appear to believe that they care for him.  They’re not around when he is still basically a child in a grown man’s body.  He has cut them off in his mind.  Maybe they weren’t there for him in the past so he continues to believe they’re not there for him now.  Meanwhile, Mrs. Hudson dotes on Sherlock, brings him tea and food and generally ‘takes care’ of him.  She’s kind but not a pushover.  She’s also led a life that is about as tumultuous as you can get, which I think appeals to Sherlock.  He always surrounds himself with people who aren’t “regular” people.  Mrs. Hudson holds enough action and adventure in her life that she appeals to Sherlock, and she is also loving and sweet to boot.  Mrs. Hudson is the connected parental dot for Sherlock.

Dot 4: Irene Adler

Irene Adler represents sexuality.  What’s even better is that Irene represents fluid sexuality, and more importantly, the rejection of labels.  Regardless of how everyone has interpreted this, when you get down to the simplicity of it, it is simply about rejection of boxing one’s self in.  Sherlock’s box was his own making, his image as the “higher power” that Irene pointed out.  Irene’s own box was her sexuality.  Both of these people had discovered during the episode that their boxes weren’t taped shut all the way.  There was wiggle room.  Back to the sexuality part, Irene awakened Sherlock sexually.  The entirety of ASIB was loaded with sexuality, from Sherlock being naked and looking extraordinarily dashing, to the very naked Irene appearing to completely disrupt his logical thinking power.  It’s as close to canon as one can get that Sherlock did sleep with Irene after Karachi (judging by Eurus’s reaction to his violin song for her).  Sex and intimacy was something Sherlock had very much refrained from in his life and Irene connected that dot for him.  

Dot 5: Molly Hooper

Molly represents authentic love, or “romantic entanglement” as Sherlock puts it.  Everything about Molly and Sherlock’s interaction falls in line with how everyday romantic relationships blossom.  They began just like kids, with Molly having a crush and Sherlock being a jerk to her, ignoring her, or thwarting her attempts to date other men. As they grow together, they begin to close the gap between them.  Molly earns Sherlock’s complete trust, which was monumentally difficult for her to do considering Sherlock’s fear of connecting with people too closely.  Molly loves Sherlock through his best times and his worst times, unconditionally, even though he doesn’t appear to return her feelings.  From small things we’re shown, however, it feels as if Sherlock does feel something for Molly, but he has compartmentalized it and buried it as deep as he can underground out of fear.  Eurus’s test is what forced Sherlock to dig up that box, that box he’d put his heart in and covered it underneath the earth.  Eurus forces that box open, and connects the dot of romantic love for Sherlock.

Dot 6: Mary Watson

Mary represents, I think, coming to terms with one’s self, and the different shades of the self.  She represents acceptance.  Mary connected with and accepted Sherlock instantly because they were the same.  They both came from dangerous lives, they are both morally gray, and they both have a need to be accepted for who they are, the good and the bad.  Mary was in many ways, a reflection of Sherlock’s own duality.  I think Mary made him question things about himself (no not sexually), and I think she also taught him how much he is worth as a person.  She showed him that even though you are this person you’ve constructed out of your own pain, you don’t have to live just as that person.  You can have anything you desire and still be you.  You can live with shades of yourself, and those around you who truly love you will accept you as that.  They will love you for the good that you are, and forgive you for the bad that you are.  Mary connected the dots of acceptance for Sherlock.

Dot 7: Jim Moriarty

Jim represented fear.  He represented who Sherlock would have been, had he not had some form of love and connection in his life.  He was a madman, a true sociopath.  He showed Sherlock what it really would be like if he was who he said he was. We learn very quickly, however, what Moriarty already knew.  Sherlock can never be like him because he does have a huge capacity for love.  He’s hidden it, denied it, but it is there.  Anywhere Moriarty appeared, it caused great fear in Sherlock.  Even after his death, Moriarty was in Sherlock’s mind, chained up in a padded room like a some kind of caged monster.  As much as Sherlock tried to be like him, he really feared becoming that.  He also feared that Moriarty would be the undoing of his friends and family, forever a threat to their lives.  Moriarty was an endless threat to Sherlock, an endless fear of madness and murder.  Jim connected the dot of fear, true fear, for Sherlock.

Dot 8: Mycroft Holmes

I admit this one’s tough. I feel Mycroft represents weakness.  For all the power Mycroft wields in the government, he’s very fearful of being out in the world.  He keeps people as distant as he can manage and still be a part of  functioning society.  He also did a terrible thing and locked up his little sister and lied to his family about it because he feared confronting it.  All along in the series, we see Mycroft chastise Sherlock for things like having friends, being close to people, tangling with psychopaths, etc.  Mycroft is a very soft, fearful person, which makes his nickname The Ice Man sort of ironic.  Its not that he doesn’t care, he’s just far too soft to care.  We see his softness demonstrated with Sherlock, time and time again.  He cares so much for his little brother and fears so much for him that he constantly keeps watch on him.  Mycroft also tried to help Sherlock by proxy, using John as a means to help Sherlock heal his wounds.  In the end, Sherlock comes to realize his brother isn’t a bad person, and that he loves him deeply.  In fact, he loves his little brother enough to die for him so that he won’t be left like he was as a child, without his best friend.  I think Mycroft regrets being as weak as he is, because he didn’t do more to help his siblings. It just required too much care, and he wasn’t able to fulfill that.  In the end, it is Sherlock who is the stronger of them, and he is stronger because of his connected dots.  The last dot is connect by Mycroft, and that is Sherlock understanding that he is capable of protecting the weak, that he is stronger thanks to his mind, heart, and soul now being complete.


That’s about all.  I only included the major characters here, the ones we see almost every episode.  I’ve already talked a bit about how Eurus forces Sherlock to confront trauma, so she represents that last little bit which Sherlock needs to connect everything together.  She wasn’t a dot, so much as the one who helped him see the entire picture he’d made.  Also, Rosie helps Sherlock in her own way, as Sherlock now has this capacity to care for the smallest of people: children.  Rosie is a teeny, tiny, adorable dot.

I mostly wrote this because I had wanted to for a while, but also because some people are still arguing about the I Love You scene.  They’re missing the forest in favor of the leaves.  The bigger picture is pretty clear on what everyone’s purposes were in the show, and how they affected Sherlock as a man.  To become a great man, he needed to be a complete man.  All these connected dots make him that man.  

We Can't Wait Another 40 Years to Close the Wage Gap

When I graduated from college back in 1976, women made 60 cents for every dollar that men made. That meant my classmates and I had far less value than our male peers, in the most literal way. That meant the deck was stacked against us from the start. And that meant we were set up for a lifetime of less pay, and the likelihood that we would never catch up.

Fast forward to last May, when my daughter, Chiara, graduated from college. You would think — you would HOPE — that in the four decades between her graduation and mine, we would have closed the wage gap. Here’s the reality: From the very beginning of our careers, women and people of color have been paid less than our colleagues for the exact same work. And every time we get a new job, our salary is based on what we were making before. So not only do we start lower on the earnings ladder — we don’t rise as high with each rung we climb.

Today, women of all ethnicities make, on average, 80 cents for every dollar men make. White women earn 82 cents for every dollar white men make. Black men earn 73 cents for every dollar white men make. And women of color are paid the least by far. For example, Latinas make just 54 cents for every dollar men make. How can this be the case in 2016, in a country that claims to be a meritocracy?

The City of New York is answering these questions with bold, progressive policy because we need to make fundamental changes in the way people are hired in our City. The Commission on Gender Equity, which I lead as co-chair, is working to close disparities in pay in NYC and improve economic mobility. We are bringing the full force of City government to jump-start the effort. The Executive Order we announced last Fall will go a long way to ensure equal pay for equal work in our city, beginning with our hardworking public servants. We can’t wait another forty years to close the wage gap — and we won’t.

Hot head | Montgomery De la cruz

⚠️Mild violence warning, and oh yeah- a shit load of swearing too ⚠️ * Your pov*

You and Hannah burst into the boys locker room. Most of the guys hills red and whistled at you both whilst others hid away- pulling up their short or heir shirts back on. Hannah pulled you through the clouds of sweat and testosterone.

“Y/N, Hannah, you know you can’t be in here” Zach informs you

“Why? Afraid we’re gonna see a bunch of dicks form a bunch of dicks?” You snap

“Nice one” Justin says as he makes his way over to you. You spot Montgomery by the mirrors.

"Of course you’d be at the mirror you vain fuck” you whisper under your breath before storming over to him. He spots you approaching him in the mirror and turns to face you.

“We need to talk” you demand “Like, now”

Montgomery looks at you expectingly then holds his arms wide open “Talk then” before slapping them down by his thighs.

You look around- everyone’s eyes we’re on you. “No-not here”

"Why not?” Bryce questions as he swings his heavy arm over Montgomery’s shoulder. Montgomery folds his arms over his chest “Whatever you have to say. You can say it infringes of my boys”

All the boys murmur in agreement and begin to surround you and Hannah.

"Fine. Why’ve you been ignoring my calls, and my messages and my-

“Here we go” Bryce says- earning a crescendo of deep male laughter from the others.

"You can’t just have sex with a girl then just ignore her!” Yells Hannah

“Hannah?!” You snap

"Shit sorry” she pleads and you sigh

“Babe-baby” Justin says calmly, putting one of his arms over your shoulder. “Montgomery here isn’t the type of guy to be in relationships- and to be honest- your not a relationship type of girl”

You scoff and shrug his arm off your body. What the fuck is that suppose to mean?

“Your a- how can I put his nicely… a one night stand” says Bryce

"A smash and dash” adds Marcus

“Or a hump and dump?” A random jock suggests from across the room

"A hit it and quit it” Justin continues

“Guys. That’s enough” Zach says, joining the circle. You watch Zach, he throws a quick but subtle smile at you but you just cut your eyes at him.

"An ejaculate and evacuate” Bryce adds to the list “Its nothing personal. Don’t take it to heart”

“Nothing personal?” You repeat. You look up at Montgomery “Is that all I was to you?”

He doesn’t respond- he was barley able to look at you.

You continue “Because you we’re so much more to me” All the guys ‘aww’ sarcastically in unison.

"Shut up!” You yell at them. You take a deep breath and hold Montgomery’s hands in yours “And I know how much I mean to you. You wouldn’t have chased me so much if I didn’t mean anything. Remember?”

"No comment” Bryce says, making the others laugh again but you just ignore them.

“We even had sex because I thought it was what it wanted” your voice had risen “I wasn’t ready but I did it for you and now your just gonna treat me like shit?!”

”..Sorry” Montgomery shrugs- no emotion in his tone whatsoever

“Your an ass!” Hannah spits

“And your a slut!” Montgomery snaps back.

Offended. Pissed off. And on the verge of tearing him a new one, you raise your hand and slap him across the face, but before anyone could react, he does the same to you. Stunned, everyone stood silently as you held your cheek which was now tingly and warm.

A few tears began to stream down your face.

“What the fuck Montgomery?!” Alex shouts

"Mind your business Standall!” Bryce yells back

Justin pushed Montgomery against the locker “Never hit a woman. Are you crazy?!”

"Yeah, that’s fucked up!” Marcus added

Hannah grabs or hand and basically drags you out the locker room. You stop outside the nurses office and you just brake down crying.

He hit you and it was embarrassing. He hit you and it was physically painful. He hit you and it ached your heart because all you wanted was for him to love you. When did it get so bad? When did you begin to accept abuse? Other relationships weren’t like this. This wasn’t normal.

“It’s okay- it’s okay” Hannah says as she hugs you. You sob in her arms for a long time before you brake away and wipe away the mascara from your chin. Hannah even wipes a tear from under our eye.

You stare into her bold blue eyes “Thank you Hannah”

Originally posted by chriswoods

The more I think about it, the more I think the main thing that ‘went wrong’ with Andromeda is that it plays everything so safe. I still like the game, but that is the one overarching issue that stopped me from enjoying it as much as I wanted to.

This is a new galaxy; they could have done anything, but it all feels so utterly familiar.

The story starts at the wrong point in the time line

The biggest mistake they made, story wise, was making us come into the galaxy at the point that we did. I will never for the life of me understand why they took a game that was going to be about exploration and how ‘we’re the aliens now’ and not let us be the first humans to arrive in Andromeda.

Just start the game at that point. Before the uprising, before the outposts, before the Nexus is half-built. Have us truly be the first humans the Angara meet. Have us struggle to understand each other, and slowly win their trust, only to lose it when the Uprising happens and they see a darker side to humans.

How devastating would it be to have worked to gain their trust, gain Jaal’s trust, and then see it all get swept away by events out of our control?


This way we also get more chances to bond to Alec, as he’ll be around for longer than 2 minutes. Think about establishing those first outposts on Eos with Alec, only to see them fail disastrously with us, the pathfinder team, carrying that guilt with them.

This also means we’ll see the Nexus fail, see Garson murdered (not entirely clear on the timeline for that tbh). And eventually we will have to see characters we know turn against us during the Uprising itself!

And if they have to get rid of the dad, he could die during the Uprising (adding a personal touch to having to deal with the Exiles), or hell, maybe he joins them. 


As it is now, it just feels like we missed a large part of interesting narrative in Andromeda. We’re made pathfinder in 2 seconds and succeed from the word go. There are obstacles to getting the outposts up and running, but no real struggle. Another consequence of setting the story 18 months (I think it’s 18) from when the first people arrived is that it robs us of being the first.

(I’m also not entirely clear on why the Nexus had to be there first, because it can’t function without Outposts, they need a pathfinder to find outposts, but the arc’s had the pathfinders and they were meant to arrive later on? Also, no one on the Hyperion says they arrived too late, but on the Nexus they say they thought everyone was dead, which seems to indicate they were waiting for longer than they thought they had to? I might be missing something here.)

Planets are not inviting to explore

As it stands, it just adds more familiarity into a game that already suffers from taking too few risks.

Everything from the planets to the wild life to who we encounter feels so safe. Storybeats are repeated from the original trilogy, enemies as well. On four of the planets we already see a lot of milky way equipment/ milky way species. And even Kandara Port (though I like the design), which was built by the Angara feels like it wouldn’t be out of place in me2.

All the planets are a bit of a let down when it comes to how not-alien they feel, excepting Havarl and arguably habitat 7, they don’t feel that alien. And the frustrating thing is, this isn’t filmed on location, they’re not constrained by planet Earth; they could have gone all out. 

Besides not feeling alien the planets also feel so… dead. I know there is a bit of an in game reason for this, but 1. they created the reason 2. I don’t think that’s the reason.

Every planet gets one or two pieces of plant life, looking only slightly alien from what we see on earth. The rest is desert, snow desert, almost barren ground. Throw in a lot of rocks. And 4 different animals, all just reskins of that same set from other planets. (Even those acidic lakes are things we can find right here.) And why do we still not have a weather or day/ night cycle? It’s one thing if you just work with smaller hubs, but bragging about your huge maps and then have them be utterly static seems a bit weird.

We also only get one alien city. One, and it’s tiny. At least it feels more like a city than Val Royeaux, but not by much. I do like Aya’s design though. We do see some smaller camps? settlements? of the Angara, but if they were such a presence in the cluster until 80 years back when the Kett arrived, where are the ruins to their civilization? The abandoned cities of the Angara?

The Jardaan certainly piqued my interest, but what do we really see of them? The vaults, that one giant starship, not-Meridian, and Meridian itself, which is one of the few places that was inviting to explore so of course we couldn’t. Did they just not leave any other marks on the planets except those things and the ‘points of interest’ (that are not interesting)?

All we really have to interrupt these huge boring maps, clearly designed to only rush through with your Nomad, is some random fights (the same two variations I think) and ‘points of interest’, except there’s never anything of interest except some remnant to kill and a container? After a while I just gave up checking them out tbh, so please point out any great ones you found.

There are of course a lot of sidequests thrown in, some of them I found pretty fun and a huge improvement on da:i, but they don’t invite you to explore. The planet itself isn’t worth exploring so when doing a sidequest you just rush to the point you have to get. In other games, games that do this concept well, you set your quest and then while going there get distracted by things you find out in the world. Here that happened maybe a few times, and usually it was because I came across a point for another quest and someone hailed me. It was never because I saw something that piqued my interest and I went over there and it had something fun to do.

A lack of new species, and disappointing returning aliens

They never showed a lot of the milky way species and the ones we did see lacked diversity. The just picked one head morph - or two in the case of Turians where the females have different facial structure - and slapped on some paint. I expect more not less from a newer game. The Asari were the most jarring - to the point I avoided Kerri because she has Lexi’s face and it’s just ridiculous. But the Salarians have just as little diversity. Google salarians in mass effect and you’ll see they did so much more with them in the original trilogy. And I have to say, there were too many Turians with white faces,  a few of them important characters as well, I still mix up Kandros and Avitus.

And what do we get in exchange for all the species we don’t see return and the diversity that’s gone? One new species. One. I love the Angara, but I can’t help but be disappointed that we travel to a new galaxy only to discover one new race. Unless we count throw away enemy the collectors .2 the Kett. But really, they only brought back 4 of the original trilogy’s races and still didn’t have enough resources to add some diversity to Andromeda? Really? We just get the Angara…

Finally…

I would just have scrapped the giant maps, and gone for smaller but denser packed ones, like Havarl and Habitat 7. Add much more plant life and animal life and real diversity in those two, to all the planets. And make them more alien.

Have no more than one desert planet, I vote Elaaden as it was the best desert, and stick more sunken ruins in it that have actual things to discover about the Jardaan. And make that the only planet so huge that you absolutely have to use the Nomad.

Make Kadara much smaller, with much more lakes so it looks more like a deadly lake planet.

If we have to have a snow planet, make it more original than a white reskin of a desert planet. Maybe we have to drive in giant ice caves, maybe we don’t even get to walk on the surface, maybe the Angara have buried themselves underground in ruins of a old Jardaan city.

And this is just sticking to the planets in game, but they should just have scrapped all of them except Havarl and gone much more alien than they have.

I still like the game, I just think there was a lot of potential there they never bothered to explore. All in all it just feels like they played it safe. Maybe that’s a reaction to the backlash after me3′s endings, but I think it’s where they failed the game the most, and for me it leaves the game in ‘if only’ limbo.