Some advice about a few things I have found helpful in Mass Effect Andromeda’s multiplayer. (some learned when playing earlier Mass Effect multiplayer’s and still true in Andromeda.)
Extraction: When the extraction phase begins stay away from the extraction pad until it is nearly time to leave. Between 30 and 50 seconds from the shuttle leaving. Start well away from the pad and work your way toward it. Why? Because the bad guys are going to go where you are, and if you are at the landing pad then they will swarm it. If you are playing an infiltrator this is particularly handy, since you can save your stealth move, go invisible and run to the landing pad without any of the enemies seeing where you went.
Sticky Grenades: These are lovely little toys that I save until there is a big enemy, those huge brutish monsters or giant robot things, I’ll then lob all of the mines I have onto the big beastie and run the other way while they explode. I usually run for the nearest ammo box and grab more grenades out of it – just in case the first volley failed to take the thing out.
Hit Ammo Boxes When Down to Three Enemies: Often you will be on the opposite side of the field anyway, so let the others take on the enemy while you swing by the nearest ammo box and resupply – especially if you go through a LOT of ammo. The boxes refill at the start of the waves, so by hitting it at the end of the wave you’re full on ammo and there is plenty of ammo in the boxes for refills during the new wave. And you can always run to help on the enemies still if the others are not done before you get there.
Watch Out for Head Stomps: When you are on the ground waiting for someone to revive you, be wary of the enemies around you. If you get the feeling one is going to stomp you before your companions can get you up, use a revive on yourself. Although, there are times when it is better to save the revives. If the fight is almost over and you know the others can finish it without you, then a well used revive later in the match might be better spent. I recall a guy in Mass Effect 2 multiplayer that kept getting up, seemed like 8 times he got back on his feet, finishing off the wave and getting us to the extraction wave which we won and made a full extraction. So, it is just a matter of knowing when and how to use those. Just… watch out for those boots.
Asari Huntress Group Cloaking: I have been playing on the Asari Huntress when not on the Human Infiltrator, and something I have got in the habit of doing is hitting an ammo box on my way to the extract point so I have full power cells, then I will hit her group cloaking, shoot a few things with my sniper rifle, hit the group cloaking again… repeating until we’re out of there. This gives everyone in the area of effect a boost in damage when they make their next attack, and every bit helps when defending the evacuation site.
Infiltrator on Devices: If your group has an infiltrator in it, let them tackle disarming the devices. A good infiltrator can pop their cloak skill when they get to the device and have it mostly done before the cloak fades. This reduced the time it takes on these things, since enemies are not targeting the cloaked infiltrator (especially if the others are shooting at the enemies). The faster the devices are dealt with, the better score you get for them.
Stealth Revives: Playing infiltrator I will go stealth when someone goes down and run to them. I can usually have them up before it wears off, or shortly after it wears off.
I’ll add more tips as I think of them, please, feel free to share your own tips in the comments.
There are a few reasons for my not live streaming play, the biggest being that my connection does not allow for such things to be possible. I can not share play or let others watch my gaming. It is a shame, since I have had several requests to watch my gameplay, but until I have enough spare income each month to upgrade to a much better connection, I cannot do any live streams.
Another issue with me doing a live stream is time. It is not that I do not have enough time to do one, rather I am the king of kiting. (or is that queen of kiting?) Whichever… I get into trouble in a fight and I start kiting the enemy. This is great when I have backup, since it allows my companions to attack the enemy and wear it down while I run around and take the occasional pop at it with my sniper rifle. This is not so great when I am trying to take on the enemy alone.
In Dragon Age II there is a fight where Hawke has to fight one on one with the Arishok. This is not generally all that hard of a battle, however, I went into it with a little elf mage girl using mostly fire based spells on nightmare mode. -.- Yeah…. it was ugly. The Airshok is immune to fire damage on nightmare mode. There I am, trying to damage that guy and my attacks are doing extreme minimal damage to him. Not only that, but every time I do start to win the fight… he pops a healing potion and I am back to square one. I spent a good 6 hours kiting the Arishok in a figure 8 around the pillars, taking occasional breaks to rest my hands. I won in the end, but man that was one of the most grueling battles I have ever had in a game.
At the moment I have Mass Effect Andromeda on pause while I take a break from battling an Ascendant. The Kett Ascendant’s are nasty fellows who have a shield around them, you need to take out the Ascendant Orb that orbits around them to have a chance to take out the Ascendant. Again, normally not that bad of a battle, and yet I am now into hour 3 or 4 of this match. I even had to pause the fight a while ago to go make breakfast and eat it.
Why? Because I am fighting this guy alone. You see, I am attacking a Kett base, and somehow my companions (Liam and Jaal) got glitched in a room behind a locked door with about 4 baddies. A sane person would have reloaded the game, but I realized it was just me and a Chosen in there, so I went for the computers. Logic was that maybe, if I get the computers, my companions would revive. They did not. Instead an Ascendant spawned into the room and I began kiting. I’m on a circuit around the balcony level, pausing now and then to try to get a clear shot at the Ascendant Orb. When the orb is almost finished off I reload and wait for my next opening (which is when the orb pauses so the guy can shoot me). I shoot the orb once, shield drops, and I put my remaining three rifle rounds into the Ascendant before he can get his shield back up. Running this tactic I have got him down to around 1/4 life left. Unfortunately I am nearly out of ammunition and I have depleted most of the ammo drops in the room. There is one drop left that I know of, with one bar for ammo on it. After that… I’ll probably walk up to the guy and give him a big hug, since I seriously doubt I can melee him down. Good news will be my companions will be up to help me out, bad news is I will be back at the start of the mission segment and have a lot of work to do; including that fight all over again.
The real amusing part: Since my companions are locked out of the room with some baddies, and the mission is to eliminate the remaining Kett threat… I will likely win this fight and still have to reload because I can not get that door open to wake my companions and finish off the Kett.
And that is why live streaming would be a bad idea for me. Who wants to watch me spend 6 hours on a fight that did not even get me advanced any in the game and needed to be redone because of my own stubbornness?
Back to the battle for me, I’ll let you know how it turns out in another post later today.
Early this morning I wrote about a battle I had got into where my companions were locked in another room and dead while I tried to solo an Ascendant. I am happy to report that I won the fight, I beat the cuss… and was then slaughtered by the four bad guys that had got locked in with my companions before I could get them on their feet.
I managed to get Liam up, but before I could get Jaal on his feet the enemy had killed off Liam and while I was trying to get back around to revive one of them I ran nose first into this huge guy with a Gatling gun. It was bloody and messy and reset me back to the start of that part of the mission so I had to get through several waves of bad guys and that dang Ascendant all over again. This time I had backup, but I still died four more times before I tired of the situation and decided that I would back the difficulty down a notch.
I am now playing on Hardcore mode rather than Insanity, so the fights are a lot easier. After notching it down I took that battle in one try. I could have managed it on Insanity, had already soloed it on Insanity aside from a few goombahs (the Mario Brother’s bad guys, not the Italian slang), but it might have taken several more hours and I really did not feel like wasting that time to move forward in the game. I’ll be playing it again, so there will be plenty of time to try out Insanity on a full run through later on. For now, I am going to kick back and enjoy the story. Might even notch it down to normal mode if I hit another aggravating fight, we’ll see how far I get on Hardcore first though, I am having fun on it.
I decide to do a bit of a self interview about my tendency to play games on the hardest setting, give people a look into why I game the way I do and expand a little on the ‘about me’ part of this site.
Do you always set a new game to the hardest setting possible? Yes. It is inevitable, when I get a new game I am going to see what the hardest setting I can play on is and start out on that.
Why? Why go through such self torture for a game that is supposed to be relaxing? I suppose I do it for the challenge. Not the trophies or some contest with others, the self challenge of doing my best against the game’s best. It helps that I am not the type to get upset if I lose a fight in a game. I simply learn from my failure and try again to beat the area. (Bonus: once I have beaten the game on the hardest difficulty I have all of the PlayStation trophies for the difficulties under that one, so no need to replay it unless I really did enjoy the game.)
Don’t you die a lot that way? Yes. I die a whole lot. For me, a lot of games are kind of like Dark Souls, dying (over and over and over). It is just a part of playing the game for me.
Have you ever lowered the difficulty on a game? Yes. There are a few games that I can think of where I lowered the difficulty to get past an area. In Mass Effect 3 I lowered the difficulty on the last fight in order to finish the game, then went back to the save with it still on the highest setting and used the techniques I learned in the fight to finish it on the harder setting. In Thief I ended up lowering the difficulty on the last fight, I got irritated at not being able to pick the lock fast enough. When I played the first Dishonored game I played it on a lower setting to make it quicker to get through it for the bad ending, then forced myself to tough it out on the hardest difficulty for the good ending as penance. In Call of Juarez Bound in Blood I am sitting at the last fight still because I was determined not to back the difficulty down. I’ll go back to it one of these days and lower the difficulty just so I can finish it, but at something like 5 years since I played it I am not in too big of a hurry to get back to that one. Uncharted 4 I might lower the difficulty just so I can finish the story out on it, then go back and get the hardest difficulty later. Haven’t decided yet. I nearly lowered the difficulty on Mass Effect 4, but it is on Insanity still and I have managed to find my way through all the fights so far.
Do you play on hardest setting for bragging rights? No. I know a lot of people think I am a bit insane to dive into things like Resident Evil 6’s No Hope mode, particularly when there was not even a trophy for having got through that. My roommate is always telling me not to start on the hardest setting, to just play normal mode and enjoy the game, but… playing on the hardest setting is part of the enjoyment for me. I am fighting against impossible odds; aliens invading the world, gunmen blasting away on city streets, ruffians trying to beat me to the world’s greatest treasure… whatever the obstacle is, it is not supposed to be an easy path for my character to walk. I want to push myself to the limit and when I do I get this thrill at winning a fight, a small adrenaline rush of triumph, knowing that I not only won the fight, I stood up to the enemy at their best and gave my best and I won.
Should everyone play on the hardest setting? No, absolutely not. If they want to, then yeah, by all means, enjoy the chaos, but if the fun of the game is lessened by the higher difficulty setting then it is not the right setting. I would encourage my fellow gamers to play on whatever setting maximizes their enjoyment of the game. If all you want is to see the story, then play on the lowest setting and enjoy it. You paid for the game, you dedicated hours of your life to exploring the game, it is no one else’s place to tell you how to gain the most enjoyment from it. That is why games have multiple difficulty settings, to allow everyone to find a level of challenge they enjoy. I remember when I was around 11, my mom would buy books filled with crossword puzzles and assorted other logic puzzles. She loved to do the crossword puzzles, but had little interest in any of the other puzzles. I liked the logic puzzles that asked you to figure out things like who had the red coat at the dinner party, where did they sit and what did they eat? Same book, but my mom and I found the highest enjoyment in two completely different styles of thought puzzles.
What about MMOs like Final Fantasy XIV? I don’t go in much for things like the savage modes in games like FFXIV, but if I am in one I can hold my own once i know the fight. I’m also very patient, and if I am in a dungeon and someone is new, or just does not know how the mechanics of the fights work, I am always happy to tough it out until the dungeon or mission is completed (as long as life does not force me to leave early).
Have any more questions? Feel free to ask anything you want about my tendency to play games on their hardest setting, or share your own thoughts on game difficulties.
One of the first major things you do in Mass Effect is visit a certain world where you meet up with a new species called the Angara. Everything went smoothly for me, until the end of the first talk with the Angara where one of them joins my crew, then the game went into a never ending black loading screen.
I tried to reload my last manual save and redo the cut scenes a few times to no avail. Finally I closed the game and picked “resume” after starting it up. This put me at the last dialogue segment for that cut scene. I made my choices for it and the game loaded me into the next area as normal.
So, after having played Mass Effect Andromeda for a bit longer I have come to the point where it is time to ask… was it worth the money and worthy of being pre-ordered?
I still have not gotten my monkey, but that is from a combination of my own lack of realizing where and how to get him and then laziness on my part. I’ll pick the pyjak up on my next visit to the Nexus. For now, however, I think I want to suggest that anyone who is feeling a bit let down by Mass Effect Andromeda consider what about the situation was beyond EA’s capability to control.
I have been looking more closely at the characters in the past couple of days and, while I had hoped for something better than what I first saw, I realized that the characters really are rather well done. With the exception of someone who was unconscious moving their lips while talking during one part of a conversation (I’d explain, but… spoilers.) Anyway, the facial expressions and all of that are rather well done. The skin textures are good in the cut-scenes for the default characters, but we all know that the custom made characters are, by necessity, not as pretty to look at as the ones build on the developer’s systems. I will play with the character creator more later on, when I am not playing on Insanity mode, to see how the game renders cut-scenes with custom builds.
I’m kind of both liking and hating the planet scanning. It is not too bad, especially done in small doses like I have been doing it, but I can see where having to survey planets could make a lot of people unhappy. It might have been nice had the planet surveying been set up so that Ryder sent survey groups out after clearing one planet in the system, rather than Ryder visiting every planet in a system to look for minerals.
Multiplayer is great fun, just as it was in Mass Effect 3. I still miss my Talon Mercenary, but the Male Human Infiltrator is making a good alternative to him, and even cuts out at times with “Amateurs!” after some fights, making it easier for me to see the guy as having been a Talon Mercenary back in the Milky Way. Add in a few cain trip mines and an Omni-bow and I could be quite happy, although the mines I have now make the big bads a bit more manageable.
Overall, I’m glad I pre-ordered and think I will be getting my money’s worth out of this game. I also look forward to seeing what EA has in store for releasing over the course of the coming year for it.
I picked up a quest on the Nexus to help out with plant samples from around Andromeda, the Task: Cultivation for the Nexus Hydroponics lab. Goal is to go out and collect up 10 specimens for them. Easy enough, although I was kicking myself for having sold off all those seedlings I had gathered. Turned out that was okay, since the task calls for finding specific plants, not seedling vials.
So, off I go to do a mission on Eos and while I am there I swing by the area where the fist plant sample is to be collected. Seems easy enough, I pull up alongside this huge red rock defying gravity in a way I’ve only seen in Utah and start poking around the base of it for this plant sample it says is there. Nothing. Okay, I do some Omni-tool scans… still nothing. I spent an embarrassing amount of time searching around for the first plant sample in the shade of that damn rock, circled the rock, got spit on by giant sand fleas and shot at by irate aliens. Even nearly died to solar radiation more than a few times. No plant.
I came to the conclusion at long last that the thing, clearly marked as being under the overhang on that rock, must be on top of the rock. Makes sense, the Andromeda team seemed to like to make me climb up monoliths, so why not rocks? I start trying to get on top of it, even going a few rocks away in a search for a rock to climb up so I can jump up there. Nothing. Can’t climb the sides of them, can’t jump to them from the Nomad… it came down to a Google search for the answer… but… no answer. This issue is nowhere to be found online yet.
Back to the puzzling and contemplating just giving up, but anyone that has ran missions in any game with me knows I do not give up easily. I went back to the rock area with my Omni-tool and started working my way search grid style out from the rock. Had to race back to the safety of my Nomad at one point, nearly died of radiation because I was too focused on my search, but… I FOUND IT!
The plant is NOT under the ledge of the rock like it first claims to be, instead it is a couple hundred feet to the east in a small cluster of mini trees and spindly shrubbery. Look for the cluster of green stalks with red ends on them.
Mass Effect™: Andromeda Task: Cultivation plant location on Eos
I figured out how to find my pyjak at long last. You need to accept the mission in your email on the Tempest, then go to the docking bay and find the vendors at the back of the area on the lower level. There will be a cage in there with your space monkey in it. Interact with the cage and someone will deliver the monkey to your ship for you.
This drove me a bit crazy, since I kept trying to go and interact with the guy that had sent me the email, after I finally figured out how to find him, thinking I would get the pyjak from him.
While you are picking up the pyjak, you should talk to the merchants. You can get a couple of models from them (Nexus and Nomad) and a nice N7 paint job for the Nomad. MUCH better than the gold one that came with pre-order.
Just found out that it is very unsafe to try to get past the water on planets. I was going to try to hop over a small area of water in my Nomad and ended up sinking it in the water. Every time I try to get to the machine it says I have gone outside the mission area and pops me back to the shore… without my Nomad. I am going to have to restart back to my last save to get my Nomad back. Lesson learned, don’t try to booster jet over water as a shortcut.
Mass Effect™: Andromeda – Nomad rover stuck in water
Mass Effect™: Andromeda
It’s a nice feeling, seeing my name at the top of the extraction panel. I really don’t worry too much about it, though, as long as we make it to the extraction and everyone has fun. Even when we don’t make it to the extraction, it can be a lot of fun. That’s what is important to me, that the team has fun and we all enjoy playing the game. So far the multiplayer in Mass Effect Andromeda has been a lot of fun and a lot of that is thanks to the awesome players I have met in the matches. I have seen a case where someone was voted to be kicked by two of my fellow team mates. The guy had a level one character and I think that was the reason for the votes. Shame, but every community will have such things happen. I must admit, I took the cowards way out of that situation and left the team. I was not going to kick someone for having a level 1, or even for messing up. I got into a few other matches, one of which saw me giving more revives to team-mates than kills on enemies, and I had a lot of fun. Winning is nice, but… it is not the only thing in this game and bronze level is for people to relax and learn the fights. I’ve also learned a lot more about the lay of the maps and that is helping a lot on both having fun and staying alive.