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Mass Effect: Andromeda’s first multiplayer mission live, investigate a kett base near Remnant artifacts

23 Mar

The first of several ongoing story-based multiplayer APEX missions in Mass Effect: Andromeda kicks off today.

These missions task the player with the elite APEX forces in Mass Effect: Andromeda multiplayer, and will feature new playable characters, weapons and items. Today a new fighter joins the ranks: the Krogan Gladiator.

The first APEX Mission, Drack’s Missing Scouts, is available now through March 27. In it, players are charged with investigating a new map, Firebase Paradox, for a potential kett threat.

Playing the single-player portion? Look no further than our Mass Effect: Andromeda guide. It has everything you need to know, a walkthrough – and even dating tips.

A number of krogan scout patrols have gone missing on a kett-held planet, and their last known position was near the Firebase Paradox – a kett base built around Remnant artifacts.

Players will squad up or send out their Strike Team on these limited time mission and can earn Mission Funds to spend on new equipment items. A new weapon, the Ruzad Shotgun, will become available in Store packs and you can get a look at it below in the gallery.

You can also find out more on the APEX mission in the briefing video above or read the mission briefing posted by Bioware below.

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Tiran Kandros, Leader of APEX Militia

“Good morning. I’ll keep this brief—I know you’d rather be in the field. If we haven’t met, I’m Tiran Kandros. I run the militia here on the Nexus. But I need teams out in the Heleus Cluster: defending our outposts, hunting down key targets, and pushing back enemy forces before they threaten the station. I need elite soldiers and operatives who think on their feet, protecting the Initiative and our allies at any cost.

That’s where you come in. Welcome to APEX.

I’ve seen the dangers of the Heleus Cluster up close. My scouting team was taken by the kett. We got a front-row view of their “experiments.” Counter-terrorism doesn’t prepare you for that kind of butchery.

How did we escape? First, let’s clear one thing up: I wasn’t a “hero.” My restraints were loose, that’s all. The kett were too… busy to notice they’d left a gun lying around. Once I’d freed the rest of the team, we taught the kett a lesson. I still don’t know why everyone acted like I was in charge, even after we got back to the Nexus. But that’s how the militia got started: with good people who knew what we were up against.

Besides the kett, we’ve got bands of outlaws and exiles, out for revenge against the Andromeda Initiative, or credits, or both. And now Pathfinder Ryder’s team has reported these strange “Remnant” machines who can threaten an entire outpost if they’re provoked. You, and the rest of your APEX colleagues, are our first line of defense.

Today’s mission will show us what you’re capable of. The krogan have lost contact with several of their patrols. We’ve tracked the scouts’ last known position to a kett-controlled world—which means trouble. I need you to get down there, hack the kett systems, and bring back any intel on what they’re up to.

This could be the first move of a larger plan by the kett. I don’t like it. But I trust you to get the job done.

Good luck, APEX.”

Mass Effect: Andromeda was released this week on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

GTA Online Double GTA$ & RP on Rockstar Created Special Vehicle races extended into next week

23 Mar

Rockstar is extending Double GTA$ & RP bonuses in GTA Online on all 20 Rockstar Created Special Vehicle Races from Cunning Stunts: Special Vehicle Circuit into next week.

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Rockstar Verified Stunt Races are also getting the Double GTA$ & RP this week in GTA Online. The verified races this week are Black and Yellow, Gordo, Love Canyon, Rocket Kars and Meuy’s Grand Line.

Garage Properties are also on sale for 25% off along with sports class vehicles Bravado Sprunk Buffalo, Declasse Drift Tampa, Dinka Jester and the Ocelot Lynx. The MTL Dune is 25% off and the discount also applies to throwables and explosives.

Below you will find schedules for Premium Races and Time Trials.

Premium Races

  • 3/21 – 3/27: “Drop Ship” (locked to Ruiner 2000)
  • 3/28 – 4/3: “Island Hopping” (locked to Blazer Aqua)

Time Trials

  • 3/20 – 3/26: “Coast to Coast”
  • 3/27 – 4/2: “Casino”

The Double GTA$ and RP bonuses will remain in place through Wednesday, March 29.

Leaked Destiny 2 poster reveals September release date, pre-launch beta

23 Mar

We may have our first look at promo art for Destiny 2.

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Leaked Destiny 2 posters and artwork have popped up online, revealing a September 8 release date. The poster, likely originating from an Italian Retailer, was posted on NeoGAF.

It mentions the release date at the top, as well as confirm that a beta will take place. The full sentence is cut off, but it probably refers to the beta as a pre-order bonus. Either that or pre-ordering gets you early access to the beta.

Here it is:

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Since then, Italian website League Network posted two other posters, sporting the same artwork. They’re watermarked, so we won’t include them here, but you can hit the link to see them.

Sadly, other than offer a different angle, they don’t reveal much else. That said, it’s worth pointing out that the poster header carries the same PlayStation blue accent seen around game covers whose publisher has a marketing deal with Sony. This was the case for the original Destiny and its expansions, and looks like it will continue with the sequel.

Bungie recently said that the next game will be such a big leap forward most of what you gathered in the three years of Destiny will not carry forward.

Destiny 2 has long be rumoured to be built on a new engine, with a PC version reportedly also in the works. At the time, some reports predicted the game would miss its usual September slot. At least for the time being, this appears to not be true.

Battlefield 1 – watch gameplay of the four new weapon variants

23 Mar

You can already tell some of the new weapon variants in Battlefield 1 will be favoured by many.

Earlier this week, DICE revealed four new Battlefield 1 weapon variants. Each of them is designed to make certain weapons more viable, or add nuance to already effective options.

The four variants hit the game’s CTE recently, all available for the those at class rank 10 and beyond with each of the four main classes.

In the video above, YouTuber DANNYonPC shows off footage of the Hellriegel 1915 Defensive, Selbstlader 1906 Sniper, Huot Automatic Optical, and the Martini-Henry Sniper. Reaching rank 10 is not enough, though, as you’ll still need to fulfil the unlock requirements for each of them.

The Selbstlader 1906 Sniper in particular looks like it could make the weapon more desirable, which it is definitely not at this stage. The Martini-Henry, on the other hand, may lead to another nerf for the powerful rifle.

DICE has yet to reveal when the four new variants will hit the live game.

The new Overwatch player reporting system is exactly what the game needed

23 Mar

Overwatch is setting an example once again. This time, it’s for something as simple as implementing competent anti-abuse measures.

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If you frequent the Overwatch sub-Reddit, or any forum that regularly discuses the game, you will have no doubt ran into many reports of players getting abused by others during matches, especially in Competitive Play.

The reasons for such offensive comments can be as small as someone not agreeing with your character pick, to people straight up losing it every time they hear a feminine voice. Like many games, Overwatch does include a report feature that’s about as typical as you’d expect.

Unfortunately, despite Blizzard repeatedly reassuring players that reports get investigated, the reporting tools just weren’t up to snuff for a game as complex as Overwatch. This often lead to people using the report button for things it wasn’t designed to do.

Good news! It looks like this is about to change. The game’s PTR currently has an overhauled player reporting system. This system is already a huge improvement for a couple of reasons.

As you can see in the GIF above via Redditor Arsenal2454, there are now seven, very distinct reasons for reporting a player.

You have spam, abusive chat, cheating, griefing, inactivity, bad Battletag (username), and poor teamwork. Whenever you go to report a player, you will be able to tell Blizzard exactly why you think they should be punished.

The other reason this system is very promising is that it gives a clear explanation of the type of actions each category covers, and what it does not. For instance, you can report a player for poor teamwork if they’re not pushing the objective, not when they pick a hero you don’t think is appropriate for the mode.

Hopefully, Blizzard will act on the reports received and all players will get to enjoy a less toxic environment.

Mass Effect Andromeda Naming the Dead visual guide – screenshots and map locations for colonist bodies

23 Mar

Mass Effect Andromeda has a quest called Naming the Dead, and it is a pain in the arse.

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Early in Mass Effect Andromeda you’ll probably stumble across Task: Naming the Dead. This (extremely) secondary mission has you finding and scanning deceased colonists on Eos. The quest is triggered the first time you find one.

This is such a minor quest that we’d normally recommend just ignoring it, along with 95% of the “Task” section of Mass Effect Andromeda’s quest journal, but Naming the Dead is hugely annoying if left unfinished because every time you wander around Eos Ryder will talk about it, even if you’ve already scanned the dead colonist they’ve spotted (and you probably haven’t; Ryder can see through walls, apparently).

So do yourself a favour and finish Naming the Dead as soon as possible. It’s still best to do it after you’ve cleared the Eos vault and advanced the main Mass Effect Andromeda plot a little, to clear the radiation on Eos. That makes exploration much less of a chore.

Unfortunately, there are no map icons to guide you to the dead colonists’s bodies. That’s where we come in: without further ado, here’s where to find every dead colonist in Mass Effect Andromeda and kick Naming the Dead right out of your quest journal so it never interrupts a vital audio prompt ever again.

Naming the Dead colonist body locations

1. Promise: Theo J. Harwell
Visit the Eos settlement ruin called Promise and search behind the buildings near the big circular structure for this body. If you’re back on Eos later in the game, there’s a merchant right nearby.

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2. Resilience: Gordanus Trenitus
Head directly south from Theo J. Hartwell’s body until you reach Resilience, the second Eos settlement ruin. Go down to the lower level. The body is in an area with Kett mobile cover barriers. For some reason, it tends to bug out and vanish after scanning, so our screenshot shows the location, but not the body itself.

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3. Resilience: Thysa Ylar
Move further south from Gordanus Trenitus’s body and search along the balconies and stairs around the cluster of buildings to find this body.

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4. Resilience: Porter M. West
Search the gully east of the lower Resilience site for this body.

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5. Northern monolith: Tegan C. Avante
This body is by a big rock by the road that goes past the monolith where you meet Peebee.

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6. Central monolith: Amira S. Pavlov
There are several bodies at the second monolith. Pavlov is on her back with one arm stretched out.

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7. Kett Research Centre: Darin T. Anton
Head to the Kett facility at the southernmost monolith and look for the autopsy room on the north side of the central complex; the body is on one of the tables.

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Note that you can always return to scan a body a second time to check the name, if you’re not sure which ones you’ve done so far. Except for that damned Turian in Resilience who vanishes! Truly, he is the final boss of Naming the Dead.

All the Mass Effect: Andromeda romance scenes we’ve come across so far

22 Mar

The culmination of all the flirting in Mass Effect: Andromeda.

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Romancing love interests has always been an integral part of roleplay in Mass Effect, and Mass Effect: Andromeda is no different.

Depending on whether you choose to play as Scott or Sara Ryder, your available romance options will vary. This, in turn, affects the romance scenes you’re going to get in the game.

We’re going to list all the in-game scenes for both male and female Ryder as we come across them. Here’s what we have so far:

Some of these videos contain minor spoilers, not mention they’re probably NSFW.

Scott Ryder

Cora

Vetra

Peebee

Gil

Reyes (story spoilers)

Sara Ryder

Peebee

Liam

Jaal

Suvi

We’ll update the story with more videos as they appear. For now, you should definitely take a look at our updated romance guide. All you need is there, including how not to lock yourself out of certain romancing certain people.

Mass Effect: Andromeda Guide – Into the Vault, clearing the Eos radiation and founding Prodromos

22 Mar

We’re going deeper underground.

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Down into the Remnant Vault on Eos – A Better Beginning

After meeting Krogan grandpa Drack and activating the remaining Remnant Monoliths scattered around Eos, something big happens: the monoliths appear to power up one final ancient building. A new navpoint will be marked on your map: a bunker that’s out in the middle of the large lake that dominates the currently exploration friendly section of the map. Well, that’s interesting.

You can get to the vault either by fast travelling to a nearby forward station (you should’ve dropped a few across Eos by this point) or simply by driving there – it isn’t far, and you might discover some quick combat encounters that’ll reward EXP and possibly hide loot boxes along the way. When you get there it looks hopeless – there’s a big gap between you and the newly-opened bunker-type structure. But… approach.

A bridge forms up in front of you as you drive. An invitation, of sorts. Head on over. Here you’ll meet up with Peebee and see some cutscenes – if you want to perform the narrative action with RT/R2 here you can, it has no ill effects – you just look like a slightly reckless badass.

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Exploring the Vault

You’ll now find yourself down in the vault, a dark, mysterious mess of corridors and neon lighting. At first here you’ll have another remnant console which you’ll need to scan (you guessed it) and follow the cabling. Scan the console where it leads to get the password, then head back up to the console and use it. Don’t forget to scan liberally down here, as there’s lots of remnant tech that rewards remnant research points.

After a cutscene Peebee splits off from the group leaving you with a party of 3 once more. Take a look around – note there’s a room to the West you can’t access right now. On your way out of the vault you’ll be able to get in here and open a container later if you care to make the effort.

From here on in the vault is a pretty linear set of passages and open rooms, and it’s not really worth us exploring the thrill of exploration – you can make it through on your own. As a rule, however, you should be looking, scanning and climbing everywhere you can, as there are a few containers littered around here with decent loot. This loot is welcome but not be-all end-all, so if you just want to get out of here you can forge ahead without it.

As you go you’ll encounter remnant guard units. Some of these can actually be bypassed with stealth if you so wish – voice work will clue you in as to when. If you sneak or not is your choice, but remember that unlike Mass Effect 2 and 3 Andromeda actually rewards you EXP for every single encounter in the game, so if you take the time to fight these remnant you’ll get a decent EXP boon for your trouble. These encounters add up, so if you want to level up fast take every chance you can to fight.

After you cross paths with Peebee again your next destination is a door on the right, but if you continue past it you’ll find a container with loot.

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Clearing the Eos Radiation

Once you head through the previously mentioned door prepare yourself for actual combat. At the end of the hallway you’ll be fighting Assemblers and Observers plus a turret. Observers should be your top priority – they have a powerful laser beam and shields, but they also have a very obvious glowing eye that is an irresistible weak point. Hit them there and hit them hard with a rapid-fire weapon like an assault rifle or SMG, then mop up the assemblers and any other units they’ve assembled while you took on the observer. There are also consoles you can hack in this room – one turns a turret to your side, the other creates cover you can use to protect yourself.

Sweep this area for loot as there will inevitably be some, then use the gravity well in the middle. You end up in a new room – but there’s a water leak. Once Peebee arrives, scan to fix the leak then use the console. That opens a door. Search to the north before you leave to find a chest with some loot inside – a new melee weapon.

The next room is a large chamber with various terminals you must interface with in order to raise and lower platforms. White glowing lines indicate what each terminal will impact, with the currently active section lit up brighter in a glowing white. This room might seem complicated at first glance but it really isn’t: the waypoint shows you where you need to go, and you simply need to wind your way through the area activating terminals in order to build the necessary platforms to get there.

As you go you’ll face off against enemies – mostly Observers and Assemblers. As before, prioritise the Observers as they can tear through your shields very rapidly indeed. Don’t forget as you explore this area to go off the beaten path – most often, there’s a chest. To the south of the area there’s one chest with some static loot – an armor mod that vastly powers up one aspect of your skills while vastly damaging another aspect. You’ll know when you hit this one as it requires solving a Decryption Puzzle.

When you pass the giant plants, scan them for some research data. Keep pushing on through combat. When Liam remarks how cool the plants and self-building bridges are, you’re close. When you enter a room with a giant glowing laser light of bright white in the middle of the room, you’re at the end of this vault-slash-dungeon.

You’ll want to take a moment here: once you activate the vault, you can never come back in here again. If you want to head back and sweep for optional chests, this is your one and only opportunity to do so short of starting a New Game+. (As a note, the door from earlier still won’t be open… more on that in a second.) Once you’re ready, activate the vault.

Escape from the Vault

As soon as the vault is active, run! As you approach the entrance of the dungeon again you’ll pass by that room you couldn’t get into from very early on – it’s now open. Duck inside and grab the items inside, but be damn quick about it!

Once you escape the vault fully, the vault’s purpose will be revealed: it’s a terraforming facility, and over time is going to make Eos much more habitable. The viability of Eos will raise by 50% – but if you leave the planet and return later you’ll see a serious improvement over time, which in turn will open up other areas of the planet that couldn’t be explored before due to radiation, thus unlocking more sidequests.

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Settling Prodromos: your first outpost

Once you’re out of the vault, hop back into the Nomad and head to your latest waypoint: a suitable site for a new settlement, away from the mess of Site 1 and Site 2. You can either abuse fast travel or not to get there – your choice.

Once you arrive you’ll find Drack is present and causing a ruckus – fighting a bunch of Chosen and a few Anointed Kett. Anointed have shields and big guns, so abuse shield-restoring powers such as charge and cover in order to defeat them. Remember for tougher enemies you can use the D-Pad to instruct your allies to target specific enemies – you should have everyone focus fire on the anointed.

Once the kett are cleared out, you can now settle Eos with a new settlement that’ll be called Prodromos. This will give you +10 viability but also once the settlement is down offer up a bunch of new quests from the new settlers. But… you’re also faced with a question. Science or Military?

First outpost: Science or Military?

As with every Mass Effect game, Andromeda features some big choices. This is arguably the first big choice you face in Andromeda: If you should make the Prodromos outpost into a science-focused settlement or a military base style settlement. You might find this choice difficult to make.

Let us make it a little easier: Don’t sweat it too much. While this does have an impact on dialogue and the way some NPCs will react to you, the overall outcome for this particular choice is the same. This is more intended to introduce you to big choices – but soon enough you’ll have to make some where those hard choices do matter a lot, so be prepared.

Here are a few new quests you can grab on Eos post-vault:

  • Shock Treatment: access the audio terminal inside the research building. You’ll find entries that lead to this quest on this terminal.
  • The Secret Project: head back to Site 1 (Promise) and find the datapad inside the ground floor of the two-floor building.
  • Pathfinder Armor Crafting: this quest is gathered from Jacob Mittney, a settler in Prodromos.
  • Waking up to the Future: Found on a terminal at Prodromos after it’s founded.

Drack will join you, too – but for now, we recommend not taking on these quests. Instead, take the Tempest towards space and back to the Nexus for a return visit to catch up with Nexus brass and to pick up some new side quests.

Ghost Recon: Wildlands Title Update 2 out on PC, allows you to turn radios off by default – patch notes

22 Mar

Title Update 2 for Ghost Recon: Wildlands is available today for PC, and finally, players will be able to turn the radios off by default.

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The update for Ghost Recon: Wildlands also allows the user to choose the type of vehicle they want to spawn when using the Drop Vehicle rebel skill.

Those who like to play with the HUD hidden will now be able to select the type of intel they want to collect when they interact with files or NPCs.

According to the development team, all areas of the game from gameplay content to connectivity and stability tweaks have been worked on. Also, an XP farming exploit related to the Rebellion Rising mission, which created interference with the co-op experience, has been fixed.

Various fixes and tweaks related to trophy and weapon packs unlocking have been applied. And issue related to the Charactersmith model not being positioned correctly has also been fixed.

As with previous patches, players in-game will need to reboot to apply it, and in order to play co-op, all the players will need to have the same version of the game.

Title Update 2 will be made available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One tomorrow, March 23. It is up to 5GB on PC in size and approximately 3GB on consoles.

PC specific fixes and improvements are at the end of the notes, but it’s worth pointing out the Home, End, Insert, Delete, Page Up, and Page Down keys can now be remapped.

Ghost Recon: Wildlands Title Update 2 Patch Notes

Missions and Narration

  • Adjusted various missions markers & GPS pathfinding.
  • Adjusted various mission triggers in order to smoothen the player’s progress and game experience.
  • Fixed situations where dialogue and barks would not trigger correctly.
  • Fixed infinite XP farming exploit on “Rebellion Rising” mission.
  • NPCs now exit the vehicle properly in “Stop the Convoy” missions

These missions are now unlocked correctly for players who reported issues:

  • Gold Rush
  • Sueño’s proposition
  • Sandoval Dead body
  • El Cerebro

The following missions are now replayable:

  • El Cerebro
  • Boss missions
  • Sandoval confession
  • Western cocaine cache

User Interface

  • Players can now select what intel they want to collect, even with all the HUD options turned off.
  • Fixed Character hiding behind menus in certain situations.
  • HUD now updates when XP boosters are activated.
  • Trophy requirements adjustments: The Champion, Eagle-Eyed, With a Pistol
  • Fixed some weapon packs not unlocking properly: Underbarrels & Rails Pack

Co-Op

  • Fixed a bug where hits would register with a 0.5-second lag.
  • Fixed kick/ban vote notifications.
  • Fixed game freezes in 4-player sessions.

Corrected various replication issues, such as:

  • Paint jobs & attachments not showing correctly in the lobby
  • Rebel Radio explosion not synchronizing
  • Sniper scope glare effect not synchronizing
  • Players seen running beside VHC/bike they should be sitting in
  • Suppressor not synchronizing when removed from a vehicle’s shooting position
  • Burning corpses from systemic events
  • Explosion not replicating if the distance is too high

The following achievements should now be awarded in the two missions below:

  • A Better Mousetrap
  • The Cluster Bomber

Connectivity

  • Fixed various disconnection bugs.
  • Fixed a bug where the user could not reconnect to a previous session.
  • Fixed errors when looking for public sessions.

Gameplay

  • Players can now select the vehicle they want to spawn when using the “Drop Vehicle” rebel skill.
  • Fixed XP awarded when killing an enemy undetected.
  • Fixed a bug where sometimes vehicle seats could stay booked after NPC exiting.
  • Fixed a bug where the player would take cover too far from certain props.
  • Players can no longer teleport to safe houses while being hunted.
  • The Medical Helicopter will now spawn correctly in the Tabacal area side-mission.
  • Fixed bikes not slowing down in water.
  • Fixed flash grenades not stopping detection.
  • Fixed an occasional instant game-over when falling off a dirt bike.
  • Fixed a bug where sometimes the player could not tag enemies after hot joining.
  • Adjusted damage caused by explosives in Arcade difficulty.
  • Fixed an issue where sometimes pilots didn’t die after AI helicopter crash.
  • Fixed a situation where sometimes vehicles disappeared when driving at high speeds.

Audio

  • Added a feature allowing the player to mute every radio in-game.
  • Fixed Car radio not functioning in various situations.
  • Amplified the radio voice effects to avoid player confusing El Sueño’s voice on the radio and the one of the Ghosts.
  • Introduction video mix enhanced.

Graphics

  • Fixed player models appearing with twisted limbs if they were killed in certain positions.
  • Fixed low-resolution textures appearing while aiming/driving.
  • Fixed camera clipping through some textures & props.
  • Fixed missing textures in certain environments.
  • Fixed drone showing blur effect on objects.
  • Fixed the textures flickering when using parachute or helicopter.

Stability

  • Fixed various crashes.
  • Fixed an occasional infinite loading screen after validating settings at first launch.

World

  • Fixed various world building glitches.
  • Fixed some world parts where the player could get stuck.

Ghost Recon: Wildlands Title Update 2 PC Specific Patch Notes

Graphics

  • Added the SMAA anti-aliasing mode.
  • Added a notification for anti-aliasing recommendations in multi GPU setups.
  • Addressed a series of issues causing flickering in multi GPU setups.
  • Fixed an issue with HUD scaling in 4 monitor multi display setups.

User experience and interface

  • Added support to bind Home, End, Insert, Delete, Page Up and Page Down keys.
  • Added several menu navigation improvements with mouse and keyboard.
  • Added a notification if the video driver is outdated.
  • Added a notification when the system is low on free RAM and starts writing to the virtual memory.
  • Fixed a HUD issue in co-op for users who have already completed the selected mission.
  • Fixed the Pitch icon display when using mouse to steer helicopters.

Co-Op

  • Fixed an issue with co-op sharing of systemic activities.
  • Fixed the use of Push to Talk in the co-op lobby.

Controls

  • Changed the Enable Controller default option to Only Gamepads.
  • Addressed a number of issues with the Steam Controller icons and functionality.

Performance

  • Addressed a series of random crashes encountered by users.
  • Fixed an issue causing framerate drops when the saving icon was being displayed.
  • Fixed an issue where the menu was lagging while running the game on a Hard Disk Drive.
  • Solved an issue with VRAM bar update when lowering Resolution scaling.

Miscellaneous

  • Fixed a bug on the Medication Air Transport mission in Tabacal.
  • Fixed an issue with character poses in Ansel.
  • Solved a controls issue where one couldn’t sprint from crouch or prone position.

Battlefield 1 is getting 4 new weapon variants for the 4 main classes

22 Mar

DICE is currently testing four new weapon variants in the Battlefield 1 CTE, to be later added to the live game.

DICE has made a surprise move recently by making four new weapon variants available on the Battlefield 1 CTE servers. The variants offer a different take on each of the four level ten class weapons.

The new variants come with unlock requirements, too, similar to DLC weapons in the They Shall Not Pass expansion. In the video above, Westie offers his take on why, for at least three of them, the variants bring big changes.

Let’s go over the new variants and their unlock requirements as they currently stand in the CTE:

Assault – Hellriegel 1915 Defensive

This variant comes with a 120-round drum magazine and a bipod. It offers more rounds in the magazine, and it’s deigned for stationary use. To unlock it, you need to get 300 kills with the Hellriegel 1915 Factory, and 25 kills with AT Mines.

Medic – Selbstlader 1906 Sniper

This version of the Selbstlader 1906 comes with a sniper scope and a bipod. It offers increased range for an already accurate weapon. You need 300 kills with the Factory variant, and 25 kills with rifle grenades to unlock it.

Support – Huot Automatic Optical

This variant includes improved sights and a foregrip. It’s designed for on-the-move combat and offers greater control over recoil. To unlock it, you’ll need 300 kills with the Low Weight variant, and 25 kills with Limpet Charges.

Scout – Martini-Henry Sniper

The already very powerful Martini-Henry gets a sniper variant with a long-range scope and a bipod. As you’d expect, this could make the weapon more effective at further ranges, if for nothing else than replacing the iron sights. You need 300 kills with the Infantry variant, and 25 kills with the bayonet charge.

Obviously, you need to reach level ten for each weapon’s respective class, since all unlock requirements are tied to the level 10 class weapons.

Mass Effect: Andromeda Guide – Character Creation: Training, Classes, Profiles and Starting Skills

22 Mar

It’s time to wake up. Andromeda awaits.

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After leaving behind the Milky Way (and the incoming nightmare of the Reaper Invasion) in between the events of Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3, the Ark Hyperion arrives in the Andromeda Galaxy. It’s one of four arks and part of a larger expedition designed to take the races of the Milky Way Galaxy to a new home – but all isn’t going as planned.

Mass Effect: Andromeda kicks off in earnest when Scott or Sara Ryder (your choice) is awoken from cryosleep. Your first task as player is to decide which to pick: and that involves going through a typical RPG-style character creation system. This is a natural place for our guide to start, so let’s talk about building a character.

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Creating a character and choosing the best class for you in Mass Effect Andromeda

Once you’ve got the business of deciding on a look for your Ryder out of the way you’ll then be given a major choice: you’ll be asked to ‘Choose Training’. Choosing your training is the closest thing Mass Effect: Andromeda gets to picking a class – the game actually doesn’t have a typical RPG class system.

Instead of classes, once you kick off the game Ryder will be able to access almost every single one of the skills in the game freely. You can turn your eye (and your skill points) to any skill you choose, and the skills you pick will then inform the game which ‘Profiles’ you can best fit into. Profiles can be switched between at any time, each carrying bonuses that grow depending on how you invest your skill points.

These profiles are named after and feature similar bonuses to the classic Mass Effect classes such as Soldier, Adept, Sentinel, Vanguard and so on. We recommend that you pick a particular type of combat expertise and focus on it, as doing so will give you a significant advantage in combat.

When you choose to customise Ryder and then Choose Training, you’ll be given a number of options. Here’s what skills they begin with as default. You’ll be stuck with these skills for the first couple of hours but relatively early on will also be able to respec if you so desire – as soon as you have free access to the Tempest just head to the medbay where you’ll find a respec station.

Character Creation: Training Options – how to pick the right training for you

  • Security

    Concussive Shot (A heat seeking round that knocks enemies down), Turbocharge (A boost to weapon fire rate & ammo), Combat Fitness (Increased durability & more weapon slots) – most similar to Soldier in ME Trilogy

  • Biotic

    Throw (Hurl opponents into the air), Singularity (Create a vortex that traps, disables & damages enemies), Barrier (Defence buff) – most similar to Adept in ME Trilogy

  • Technician

    Overload (Electric attack that deals high damage to shields & robotic enemies), Invasion (Infect opponents to weaken defences & damage their weapons), Team Support (Boost the effectiveness of your squad) – most similar to Engineer in ME Trilogy

  • Leader

    Energy Drain (Drain enemy shields & restore your own), Annihilation (Create a mass effect field that damages foes over time), Team Support (Boost the effectiveness of your squad) – sort of similar to Sentinel in ME Trilogy

  • Scrapper

    Charge (Launch at an enemy, slam them, regain shields and damage them), Combat fitness (Makes you more durable & allows more weapon slots) – most like Vanguard in ME Trilogy

  • Operative

    Tactical Cloak (Become invisible and deal large damage bonus on your cloak-breaking attack), Combat fitness (Makes you more durable & allows more weapon slots) – most like Infiltrator in ME Trilogy

The abilities above are the ‘key’ abilities for each class, and the first of these abilities listed for each training option will begin already unlocked when you gain control of Ryder.

Next up, it’s time to head down to Habitat 7 – the first world in Andromeda, and supposedly a potential new home for humanity.

Major Diablo 3 patch 2.5.0 out now, adds new features, items, quality-of-life changes

22 Mar

Diablo 3’s long-awaited 2.5.0 patch has been released on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

Blizzard has deployed patch 2.5.0 for Diablo 3 across PC and consoles. The patch is among the game’s most feature-packed, bringing a number of big improvements and changes.

The two biggest features are the Armory, and the crafting material storage. The Armory allows you to save up to five different builds per character. Each build will keep track of everything it includes, such as as socketed gems, skills, as well as Kanai’s Cube powers. The Armory can be found at the different town hubs.

What’s more, when you equip any of your saved builds, the game will automatically swap the necessary gear and items between the character stash and the inventory.

The crafting mat storage is basically a one-stop storage for any of the crafting materials you obtain. This frees up space in the shared stash by automatically assigning them to a separate menu.

There’s also a new item type called Primal Ancients for players who finished their Season journey, and managed to find all the gear needed for their build. Blizzard says these items give high-level players something to work towards. Primal Ancients are also available for regular characters gaining Paragon levels.

In short, Primal Ancients are items guaranteed to come with Ancient-level stats, and the maximum number of sockets. They can only be found after reaching Greater Rift 70 solo with at least one of your characters.

The patch notes include changes to Adventure Mode, some quality of life fixes, and more. Hit the link for the rest. Patch 2.5.0 also brings Seasons to consoles, though the first console Season won’t start until March 31.

For now, you can spend the time getting acquainted with the new features and learning all the Season tricks you can from the PC players who’ve been at it for a while.

No Man’s Sky patch 1.23 improves frame-rate on PS4 Pro, adds option to lock or unlock the frame-rate

22 Mar

No Man’s Sky continues to get improvements, and this time the additions benefit the PS4 version.

The recent No Man’s Sky patch, dubbed the Path Finder update, brought PS4 Pro and 4K support, but it wasn’t without its issues.

Which is why the new patch, version 1.23, is good news to players on Sony’s console. First of all, the patch improved the frame-rate on PS4 Pro when running in 4K mode. Players of the PS4 version, even on the base console, can now also lock or unlock the frame-rate.

Digital Foundry spent some time with the new patch and concluded that up to 5fps have been added to the 4K mode on PS4 Pro, making the frame-rate much more consistent at 30fps when locked. For HDTV owners, the 1080p mode produces “flawless” 60fps.

As far as unlocking the frame-rate on the base model, the site found that some sections of the game actually ran at 60fps. On planet surface, performance drops to 30fps at the lowest point, but generally manages 30-50fps. In this case, the report recommends capping the frame-rate rather than suffering the drops.

Patch 1.23 also came out on PC, bringing some general fixes for many of the bugs introduced recently.

Mass Effect: Andromeda – BioWare looking at patching “lots of issues”, wants to “strongly support the game”

22 Mar

Expect more Mass Effect: Andromeda patches in the future. Whether or not they fix the stuff that bugs you is another story.

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Mass Effect: Andromeda has been catching a lot of flak for being generally unpolished, but the biggest sticking point cited repeatedly has to do with how janky the character animations are.

People made fun on it, and reviewers have similarly not been kind. Although BioWare previously said it has no immediate plan to fix them, fans continue to ask the developers to promise a fix of some kind.

The latest batch of these were directed at lead designer Ian S. Frazier. “As a majority of the mass effect fanbase is upset about current state of the facial animations, and the studio aware of the issue. Could we expect a patch or something down the line to fix these issues?” asked one Twitter user.

Frazier did not comment on the animations problems directly, but he did promise that many issues are being looked at. “We’re looking at patching lots of issues and want to strongly support the game moving forward. I can’t say more just yet,” he said.

Many also felt the character creator didn’t provide the depth they expected, and some asked Frazier whether an update will be made to the creation tool anytime in the future.

“Can’t promise anything yet, but we’re currently evaluating various options for making it better,” he told one Twitter user.

“No promises, but I’ve got it on the list of things we’re looking at potentially fixing/adding for character creation,” he told another, referring to more beard options in the character creator.

Mass Effect: Andromeda is out now in North America. The rest of the world follows tomorrow.

Mass Effect: Andromeda Guide – A Better Beginning and Activating the Remnant Monoliths

22 Mar

It’s time for some alien sudoku, some fighting, and a bad-ass Krogan.

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A Better Beginning: Activate Remnant Monoliths

Now you’ve activated the first monolith and met Peebee in the process, you now have an idea of what to do on the planet: these big alien monoliths are doing something, and you are unique in that you’re able to interface with them and use them. It’d be rude not to make use of this, wouldn’t it?

If you look at your map you’ll have waypoints to guide you to the next monolith, which is handy, but it’s worth noting that each of the monoliths also fires a bright white laser across the sky of the planet. These lasers converge on one point that seems to lead to a whole lot of nothing right now, but you can trace the lasers back to the monoliths you need to find if you want to track them down in a more organic way.

We’re going to focus on the main quest here, and while in the last part of this guide we did tell you to mostly stay in the Nomad and make your way very specifically from story point to story point it might be worth hopping out if you pass anything of interest along the way – you might find some Remnant robots to fight, or some Kett, and many of these places also hold containers that have loot for you to grab.

When you reach the next monolith you’ll have to fight to clear it of enemies – easy enough, just remember to take cover as needed and don’t forget to spend your skill points from levelling up to enhance your powers. When you’re done, you’ll be faced with a console and another little puzzle.

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Reactivating the second Remnant Monolith & solving its glyph puzzle

The first thing you’ll need to do is attempt to decrypt the Remnant Monolith sitting in the middle of this area. When you do it’ll toss up a puzzle screen: it’s immediately clear that this one isn’t as simple as waving a hand and activating it as with the last. You can’t complete the puzzle, however, since you’re missing some of the glyphs.

To get the glyph, pop open your scanner and look at the console. Follow the cabling that comes out of the console underground and watch where it goes: you’ll see it goes up high, but in the same direction as the cable you’ll see another console. Interact with this – platforms will rise, allowing you to use your jump-jets to boost your way up to where the cable leads.

Once you’re high up, activate your scanner again and look around – just as at the last remnant site you’ll find a glyph. From this vantage point you’ll be able to see a second glyph too, so scan them both. Now we’re talking!

Jump down and hit the main console again. The puzzle flashes up: and this time it’s doable! We’ve got a dedicated page that explains to you just how this monolith decryption mini-game works, so if it confuses you and you want to do it legitmately head on over there and read those tips. Basically it’s sudoku, though: each grid and line can’t contain the same icon more than once.

If you want to cheat, well, here’s the answer:
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After you activate the monolith some concerned Kett soldiers will show up – take care of them.

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A Better Beginning: The final Monolith & the Kett Base

Once the second monolith is activated our job is to head to the third, obviously. This one is a little bit more complicated still – it’s surrounded by a force field that you can’t penetrate and is surrounded by a Kett base. You’ll need to storm this base and kill the Kett inside in order to deactivate the force fields and reach the monolith. Head south-east following your waypoint to reach the base.

The base is symmetrical, with one entrance that splits into left and right pathways that are more or less identical. Park up the Nomad and begin your siege. This is your first major combat challenge, so use cover properly, don’t forget to keep moving using your jump jets and don’t rush – be patient and take out the Kett in small waves rather than by rushing too deep into the base.

Don’t forget to scan absolutely everything new that you can for research points. Power generators scattered along the pathways will deactivate cover that enemies use, making them more vulnerable.

Once all the Kett are dead you’ll need to scan for one last power generator – it’s at the far end of the base, right near the force-field that prevents you from getting inside. Deactivate it and you’ll be treated to a cutscene and meet a new character. That old grandpa is cool.

Activating the final Remnant Monolith

With this done, head to the final monolith. The score is the same here as before: whip out your scanner, scan the console, then follow the cables to find the two glyphs. They’re both on the roof of nearby pillars. Once scanned you can interact with the main console.

This time there’s no puzzle – you’ll mercifully just be given immediate access to the monolith and activate it. Once this monolith is active, major changes are afoot here on Eos. It’s time to check out whatever it is the monolith activated. Prepare yourselves…

Mass Effect: Andromeda guide, tips and walkthrough – absolutely everything you need to know

22 Mar

You might be an explorer, but that doesn’t mean you need to get lost: here’s our complete guide to Andromeda.

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It’s hard to believe that five years have passed from Mass Effect 3, but here we are: and we now finally have another entry in the Mass Effect series that’s far disconnected from the threat of Reaper-induced extinction.

Mass Effect: Andromeda has proved to be a polarising game for many, and though we found that it has a heart of gold that’s worth fighting to find, you might have to do some digging to get there. It’s scored a fair bit lower than other Mass Effect games, but we still think it’s pretty good and well worth a look.

One of the things that might make the rougher aspects of Andromeda a little easier to handle is knowing where you’re going, what you’re doing and how to best tackle its various systems. After over 100 hours of play across the VG247 team, we’ve got some strong feelings on some of Andromeda’s mechanics: so here are our tips, tricks and other guide assistance for would-be pathfinders. Good luck out there!

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Tips, Tricks and other vital information

All us to help you get started.

  • Frequently asked Questions answered

    How to change armour, your first outpost, respec, best training and more covered in this guide to some of the most commonly recurring questions during the early hours of the game.

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Main Quest Walkthrough

Fight your way to a new home but keep the stress-levels low.

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Other Notable Pages

Mass Effect Andromeda Patches & Updates

Got any questions about Mass Effect: Andromeda we haven’t answered here? Drop us a comment and we’ll see what we can do.

Fallout 4 VR will be at E3 2017, is it going to be this year’s ‘It’s out right now’ moment?

22 Mar

Fallout 4 VR is going to be something special, according to Bethesda, and we’ll be seeing it at E3 2017.

Bethesda announced a fully-fledged VR version of Fallout 4, dubbed Fallout 4 VR, at its E3 conference last year. We weren’t shown any footage, but the developer promised at the time to release the game within 12 month.

Fallout 4 VR will make an appearance at this year’s E3, it’s now been been confirmed. Bethesda’s Pete Hines told HipHopGamer (video above, via GameRant) this little tidbit in an interview.

The YouTuber asked Hines for an update on the the game, Hines relayed the excitement game director Todd Howard had the last time they spoke. “Fallout 4 VR is the most incredible thing you’ve ever seen in your life,” Hines said, relaying Howard’s words.

“You can’t even imagine what it’s like, playing in VR and how realistic it looks and everywhere you turn your head. It is going to blow your mind. It is the craziest thing you’ve ever seen.”

Now that we know the game will show up during Bethesda’s E3 2017 conference, the company may pull another one of its “and it’s available now” moments and release it by the time the showcase ends.

If the game is indeed that far along in development, this outcome won’t be too far fetched.

Fallout 4 VR was announced for the HTC Vive, but it’s unclear if it’ll come to other PC headsets (or PSVR) at some point after the initial release.

Mass Effect Andromeda questions answered: how to change armour, your first outpost, respec, best training and more

22 Mar

Mass Effect Andromeda is a huge game, and you don’t want to faff it up right from the get go. We understand. Benefit from our experience. Some spoilers ahead.

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Mass Effect Andromeda doesn’t always make a heck of a lot of sense, and that’s even before you open the inventory menu and start thinking about sending BioWare a dog pooh flavoured cake for Christmas.

We’ve been seeing a lot of questions about the enormous RPG in comments, via email and even just by monitoring incoming search terms, so we’ve put together this little Q&A page to answer some of your more common Mass Effect Andromeda queries.

If there’s something else you want to know about Mass Effect Andromeda, please do ask us, either in the comments or via email, and we’ll do our best to add it to this page as we go along.

We’ll clearly flag spoilers on this page, so skip past any section that kicks off with a flag and proceed directly to the next heading.

How do I change armour in Mass Effect Andromeda?

You cannot change armour or weapons in Mass Effect Andromeda except on the loadout screen, which is generally only accessible in three places:

  • There’s a loadout station in a room off the bridge of the Tempest, on Suvi’s side, opposite’s Peebee’s escape pod hideout.
  • When you disembark the Tempest in a potentially hostile zone, you’ll be presented with the loadout screen.
  • The loadout screen can be access from Forward Stations on the planet surface.

By default the loadout screen shows your weapon selection, but you can browse across to armour, consumables, squadmates and Nomad cosmetics using the tabs at the top of the screen. On PC, click them, and with a control pad, use the shoulder bumpers.

How do I respec in Mass Effect Andromeda?

There’s a respec station in the Med Bay on the Tempest, which is on the lower floor opposite the crew quarters.

It costs credits to respec in Mass Effect Andromeda, and the price goes up every time you use it, so make sure you know what you’re doing and why. We’ve got some tips on how to craft effective builds in our Mass Effect Andromeda tips carousel.

What is the best training to choose during character customisation?

Honestly? It doesn’t matter. The very first time you level up you can choose any power or passive ability you want, from any skill tree. This isn’t like picking a class in a standard RPG, as you’re not locked into anything. The only difference it makes is what abilities you’ll have access to for that first hour while you’re waiting to level up.

For more information on choosing a starting training and other aspects of character creation, see our Mass Effect Andromeda character creation guide.

We recommend choosing one of the three trainings that straddle two powers, just because we believe it gives you the best headstart on a strong build: Leader, Operative or Scrapper. For the record, Alex and Brenna both chose Scrapper because biotic charge is a thing of beauty forever.

What should I choose for my first outpost?

It super doesn’t matter. There’ll be some small difference in later side quests depending on which you pick, but there’s no major consequence. Just do what you think is right. Remember, this first choice is supposed to set the tone for the Initiative’s presence in Andromeda. What kind of message do you want to send?

How should I finish the First Murderer side quest? [Spoilers]

At the end of First Murderer you’re faced with a choice of whether to exile or free Nilken. There are no significant consequences to this choice. In both instances you can debrief with Nilken later in the game. Optionally, if you decide to free him, you can report back to his wife and ruin his marriage.

What are my romance options?

Conveniently, we have penned a whole Mass Effect Andromeda romance and banging guide. Have at it.

What do the dialogue icons mean?

Again, we have an entire Mass Effect Andromeda conversation options guide which details all the dialogue icons and distinguishes between the ones that matter and the ones that, uh, don’t. At all.

How do I change my appearance in character customization?

Ah yes, Mass Effect Andromeda’s character customization screen is a little bit unintuitive. You can’t customize your character based on the default appearance; if you want to make your own Ryder, you need to first select one of the other presets.

Once you have a preset select, though, you can go buck wild – use the tabs across the top of the screen to enter individual menus for hair, eyes, features and so on.

Make sure to confirm your changes and don’t open a different preset after you’re done – you’ll lose all your hard work if you do.

While we’re on the subject, here are three neat little character customisation facts:

  • You can change your twin’s appearance.
  • Ryder senior’s looks change depending on which preset you started with.
  • If you keep the default name of “Scott” or “Sara”, characters will address you by name sometimes instead of “Pathfinder” or “Ryder”.

What are glyphs and monoliths, and how do I solve remnant decryptions?

Why, look at that – we have once again put together a Mass Effect Andromeda monoliths, glyphs and remnant decryption guide for you.

What’s the best build in Mass Effect Andromeda?

Dunno. What’s the best colour?

If you’d like a recommendation for a viable build path, both Brenna and Alex are playing Vanguard profiles with a heavy emphasis on biotic charge, melee and shotguns.

Alex likes to have one biotic primer and an anti-armour tech power, while Brenna prefers two controlling biotic powers. Both of them play a very mobile game with plenty of dashes and quick changes between biotic combos, melee, shotguns, and powers. Each of them agree throwing all your spare points into passive abilities is the best bet once you’ve maxed out your chosen powers and weapons.

What is “salvage”in Mass Effect Andromeda?

“Salvage” is just Mass Effect Andromeda’s term for what would be called “Junk” in Dragon Age and many other RPGs – loot items you receive that serve no purpose other than be sold on for credits.

You should mash that “sell all salvage” button whenever you visit a merchant, but you might want to browse that section of the inventory every now and then – there are some cute little easter eggs in there for those who fossick through the item descriptions.

What’s the deal with Kirkland? [Spoilers]

You can not save Kirkland. His death is inevitable no matter how quick your trigger finger is.

For Task: The Model of the Spheres, how do I scan planets?

All you need to do to scan a planet is to visit it in orbit and tap the scan button; it doesn’t need to have an anomaly on it or anything. Once you press the button, the system’s completion percentage will then update, and you’ll get a tick of progress on this task. Note that you need to advance the critical path a little in order to have access to enough systems and planets to complete the task.

Does mining really suck or is it just me?

No, mining really sucks! There’s no visual indication on the field or your map to show where the mining zone begins and ends, so you just need to work out the boundary by trial and error while SAM repeatedly tells you you’re in a mining zone.

Once you know roundabout where the edges are, you can run a grid search to locate the nodes by opening your mining interface and waiting for the graph to jump a bit. Many of the mining fields include cliffs and big hills, which is very annoying, and sometimes that one last node you want to tick off is like, halfway up a mountain, in a tiny hole. And it’s like four iron or whatever.

Mining does not have any effect on viability so ignore it unless you particularly want some minerals for something; that’s our advice. It’s just a pain.

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Mass Effect Andromeda conversation options guide: what those dialogue icons mean

22 Mar

Mass Effect Andromeda’s conversation system may baffle series newcomers and BioWare fanatics alike. Let’s break it down.

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Mass Effect Andromeda follows in Dragon Age’s footsteps by introducing a tone system to dialogue, where your responses reflect your attitudes and behaviour rather than driving you down “good” and “naughty” paths, as with the old Paragon and Renegade system in previous Mass Effect games.

These four tone dialogue icons come in addition to several other more mechanical conversation option symbols used throughout Mass Effect Andromeda and past games, and it’s not always obvious what it all means.

On this page we’ll provide a quick summary of what each icon on the Mass Effect Andromeda conversation wheel means, and what effect it will have on your game progress. Let’s start with the ones that have consequences for your game.

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Conversation branching dialogue icons

Except in situations where you’re choosing between tone responses, the dialogue icon shown on the conversation wheel in Mass Effect Andromeda will indicate if the choice you’re about to make will have a consequence on the conversation and your relationships, or merely provide more information.

The four conversation options you need to worry about in this regard are shown above. Here’s what they mean to your Mass Effect Andromeda progress:

  • The branching arrows dialogue icon usually comes in pairs or even greater numbers, and means you’re moving the conversation forward. Once you choose this icon, that part of the conversation will end, forever, and you can’t choose one of the other responses.
  • The question mark dialogue icon will provide more information on a topic, or even open a submenu of further questions. Choosing this won’t end a conversation or lock you to a particular response.
  • The two people dialogue icon means you’re taking steps to forge a friendship with a character. It won’t lock you out of romance options, and can help open up loyalty missions.
  • The large heart dialogue icon is the flirt button Don’t be afraid to use it often; it takes many uses and plenty of time to lock in a relationship. See our Mass Effect Andromeda romance and banging guide for more.

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Tone wheel conversation options icons

Although the dialogue icons described above have important consequences for your Mass Effect Andromeda progress, the tone wheel is all about shaping your character. Ryder’s personality is gradually built up by what you choose in dialogue – but these choices rarely have any sort of gameplay impact. They’re just there to make you feel that you have some say in the events unfolding around you – even when you don’t.

You can check the progress of your Ryder’s psychological progress at any time by looking through the Codex. Lexi regularly updates your profile as you make Mass Effect Andromeda your own through conversation options.

There are four tone dialogue icons in Mass Effect Andromeda, although often you’ll only be given a choice of two. These are:

  • Emotional dialogue icon

    A small heart always shown in the upper left of the conversation wheel, emotional conversation options are for those who wear their hearts on their sleeves, showing empathy and sympathy – but also sometimes anger and disgust.

  • Logical dialogue icon

    A cog wheel symbol in the upper right of the conversation wheel, logical conversation options are pragmatic and to the point, efficiently communicating Ryder’s intentions and needs. Ryders who choose this option get things done no matter what distractions arise.

  • Casual dialogue icon

    A spiral in the lower left of the conversation wheel, casual conversation options allow Ryder to joke around, lightening the mood and deflating swollen egos. This is for Ryders who face the world with a smile and see everything as an adventure.

  • Professional dialogue icon

    A spiral made of right angles in the lower right of the conversation wheel indicates a professional conversation option. These Ryders get the job done, and approach others with a formal courtesy that some may appreciate, and others find a bit stiff.

Unlike past BioWare RPGS with tone wheels, making repeat choices in the same category doesn’t seem to alter your Ryder’s ambient dialogue, and although you’ll get different reactions from NPCs depending on your choice of tone, it doesn’t seem to matter much which dialogue icon you choose when you’re given this sort of conversation option in Mass Effect Andromeda.

As such, you should feel free to play Mass Effect Andromeda choosing Ryder’s responses to fit the situation; maybe you’ll want to sympathise with a friend here and there, and other times you might want to be coldly professional when speaking to an authority figure you disagree with it. This is your story, Pathfinder; do as you will.

Mass Effect Andromeda monolith, glyph puzzles and Remnant decryption guide

21 Mar

Mass Effect Andromeda wants you to play alien sudoku. The hows, whats and whys of monoliths, glyphs and Remnant decryption.

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Mass Effect Andromeda is littered with Remnant ruins – the scattered evidence of a long lost race of beings, now represented only by shattered, half-buried structures and mechanical automatons.

The Remnant, whatever they were, had access to amazing advanced technology – so alien that none of the races in Mass Effect Andromeda, be they Heleus locals or Milky Way arrivals, can interface with it. Except Ryder, of course, through the magical anchor – whoops! We mean SAM, the AI fused with their brain.

Find more tips, tricks and explanations in our Mass Effect Andromeda guide and walkthrough.

This is really important because each landable planet in Mass Effect Andromeda contains three monoliths covered in glyphs, which you’ll need to decrypt in order to access the vault, the central control system for all Remnant tech on the planet. Once you’ve explored the vault, which you can think of as a sort of dungeon, you’ll increase the planet’s viability – which is good news for everyone. For example, clearing the vault on Eos means you can come back after a few missions and find that annoying radiation has cleared.

Clearing monoliths by scanning glyphs in Mass Effect Andromeda

To track down monoliths in Mass Effect Andromeda, open your map on any landable planet and zoom out to spot three symbols that look like twisted spires. Click on one to activate and track a quest to activate all three. Once you’ve dealt with them, it’s off to the vault.

Unfortunately, resolving monoliths isn’t just a matter of shooting the baddies who protect it and looting any nearby containers, as with general Remnant ruins found all over Mass Effect Andromeda.

For starters, you’ll need to locate any nearby glyphs. Glyphs are those weird symbols you’ll see when you try to interact with the central console at a monolith (and also in some other Remnant ruins and dungeons, on switches and chests. Because nobody speaks Remnant, you often need to work out some of the glyphs in order to be able to communicate with Remnant technology.

Most monoliths in Mass Effect Andromeda require three glyphs to solve. To find a glyph, open your scanner (D-pad down on consoles and G on PC) and examine the ground around the central console. You’ll see a number of glowing wires or paths leading away around the environment.

Track each of these wires from the base of the console to the far end and then scan the glyph they terminate at; in normal view it looks like a faint tracing of blue energy, but through your scanner it’s a glowing square, flat on a surface. This often means clambering all over the structures that surround the monolith, and many times the glyph will be on top of an object or behind it. Don’t forget to press the actual scan button once you find the glyph, and be sure there’s no object between you and it when you do so.

Once you track down every glyph attached to a monolith, either Ryder or SAM will tell you you’ve collected all the glyphs you need. Head back to the central console to begin Remnant decryption.

Remnant decryption in Mass Effect Andromeda

With all glyphs scanned, activate a monolith’s central console to begin Remnant decryption.

Remnant decryption in Mass Effect Andromeda is basically sudoku, although the grids are usually smaller and the divisions can be all sorts of shapes rather than just squares. The rules are the same, however: you cannot repeat a glyph in any row, column, or division.

If you’ve never played sudoku, there are all sorts of logic tricks to help you solve them. Here are our hot tips for Remnant decryption in Mass Effect Andromeda:

  • Find an empty square and click through (“browse”) all available glyphs. Give them nicknames so you can differentiate them easily. This just makes it a bit quicker, mentally, when you’re working out what’s missing from a row – like “I’ve got a hat, a pair of socks, the L and the hawk, so I need the jam jar”.
  • Look at the glyphs that have already been filled in. Are there any rows, columns or divisions that are missing just one glyph? If so, you can fill in the blank with whichever glyph is not already present.
  • Count all the types of glyphs and see which one is the most common. If you have three of one kind of glyph and the puzzle board only has four rows and columns, there’s only one place the remaining glyph of that kind can go without conflicting with its buddies.
  • If you find a row, column or division with just two missing glyphs, try both of them in the empty squares. Odds are you’ll see one of them can’t work in one of the spots, which means it has to go in the other.

If all else fails you can override Remnant decryption with keys, often found in Remnant ruins or sometimes purchased from shops.

Once you’ve completed a Remnant decryption at each monolith, you’ll unlock the vault – where more Remnant decryption awaits you. You’ll be doing a lot of this in Mass Effect Andromeda, but practice makes perfect.