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DUS Update #3 - Andromeda Special Edition

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March 23rd 2017 - Andromeda Special Edition

Welcome to the third installment of the DUS Weekly Update, and a special one at that. What's so special exactly? Well, not much actually, it's still the same weekly update with some colourful Andromeda-themed tinsel. We've got half of the fancy 2.0 graphic set for the weekly update rolling with this update, and celebrations for the release of Mass Effect Andromeda, as well as a host of shoutouts for members putting in the hard yards for the community. As I'm writing this ME:A is currently sitting on 80% installed, so as you can quite imagine I'm about as excited as a hamster on coffee.

None the less, kick back and enjoy!

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Just as a heads up for all who are eager to read this section, I will not be covering spoiler material based on what I have played so far. Any comments on the game will be purely from the standpoint of mechanics ie. romance, combat, design, soundtrack as well as addressing some of the spoiler free reviews currently out there for the game. Plot details will not be covered whatsoever, however, if you wanted to discuss these in the comments below (which I'm more than encouraging), please use the spoiler BB Code when posting and make it clear that your post contains spoilers - perhaps it might be worth creating a spoilers thread even?

Wake Up, Pathfinder
For those of us without EA Access, Mass Effect Andromeda finally releases today. From reading spoiler-free reviews online as well as watching the occasional clip here and there, Andromeda looks to be another great installment into the Mass Effect Universe. Let it be known for all those players picking the game up on Xbox One (like myself), there will be a 2.07GB day one patch required before the game can be launched.

Within the next couple of weeks I will be running through the 50 hours of singeplayer experience as well as hitting up some matchmaking. Feel free to party up, hope to see you out there!

Romance - Companions and Crew
Closer to the release date this week, Bioware revealed a complete list of romanceable companions and crew. The smallest romance in Andromeda is rumored to be at least five times longer than the longest of the original trilogy - which immediately shouts a huge positive for the game. Also, a welcome surprise for traditional Mass Effect players in that you are now treated to a more Witcher 3 style romance scene - Bioware has made embracing eternity all that little bit more satisfying, will leave this for everyone to discover, but wow. Hats off design and writing team.

Below I've compiled a list of romanceable companions for both Sara and Scott Ryder. Note that I have also included the different types of relationships you can enter with them, some more flexible than others. The list includes:

Companions:
  • Cora Harper - exclusive to Scott Ryder. Her romance results in an exclusive relationship.
  • PeeBee - can romance with Scott or Sara Ryder, but is happy to enter a no strings attached relationship. Can also enter an exclusive relationship if you choose.
  • Vetra Nyx - willing to bed either Scott or Sara Ryder, but she also will demand an exclusive relationship.
  • Liam Kosta - exclusive to Sara Ryder. His romance arc is similar to PeeBee’s; he is happy to create a “unique” friendship with an additional option to go exclusive.
  • Jaal Ama Darav - will only romance Sara Ryder. He is willing to enter into a unique friendship with Sara with the option to go exclusive too.

Crew:
  • Gil Brodie - the ship’s engineer, will only romance Scott Ryder. He has the option to commit at the end of the game’s story.
  • Suvi Anwar - the ship’s pilot, will only romance Sara Ryder. She also demands an exclusive relationship.
  • Avela Kjar - the coy curator at the museum on Aya, will have a brief fling with Scott Ryder is he helps her during two quests I'll let you explore for yourself.
  • Reyes Vidal - the seedy presence in Kadara, will romance either Scott or Sara Ryder. He’s not fussy. But you will have the option to commit to him if you so wish.
  • Keri T’Vessa - the journalist who interviews you on the Nexus, will have a brief fling with either Scott or Sara Ryder if you flirt with her enough during a select task I'll let you explore for yourself. Such an encounter is totally strings free too – it won’t affect any other relationships you might have brewing.

How to Initiate or Advance Romances in Andromeda:
  • Loyalty Missions are easily the best way to advance a romance sub-plot - like they were in Mass Effect 2
  • But your actions in those loyalty missions may stop relationships entirely
  • You need to flirt with the character you’re courting at least three times in the game.
  • You can flirt with anyone, but once you commit to one person those options will disappear.
  • Reading emails also plays a part (albeit a small one) so always check those too.
  • Essentially: keep talking to the person you are keen on after each mission - similar mechanics to the original trilogy, essentially

Soundtrack
Andromeda's soundtrack follows the same cinematic-styled ways of Mass Effect 3, and in large part fits the game pretty well. So far I've only listened through about 30 minutes (just under half) and am enjoying it thoroughly, then again that could just be due to my love for the universe. Considering the team behind the soundtrack were tasked with composing music outside of the Shepard trilogy, yet in the same universe, they've done the fans proud. You really are able to feel like an explorer in moments of vast discovery, tense when nothing seems to be going your way and on the edge of your seat (in some moments) during combat. For those who wanted to check it out or revisit it, the complete OST has been linked below:



Multiplayer Experience
Just thought I'd also drop in this livestream of the multiplayer experience. For those who have played Mass Effect 3 and enjoyed what it had to offer back in the day, you'll love what Bioware's done in Andromeda. It's bigger, broader, ten times more dangerous and something that's just looking like plain fun. Take a peak for yourselves below, or fire up the game on Xbox, grab a party and get grinding!

Design
Just a quick sidenote and shoutout to the design team; Andromeda looks bloody amazing. Addressing the issue of faces - yes, I do feel a little let down considering how promising they looked during development, however it is what we all signed up for when we saw the EA logo on the cover. In terms of that, both Bioware and EA have taken two steps back for what (here's hoping) will be one giant leap forward in a sequel if it ever happens. Aside for faces, I'm very pleased with how the design team has captured the familiar and cast it on a 600 year journey into another galaxy - thus a huge shoutout to everyone involved.

HQ Activity in the Past Week
For those of you who might have missed, Stevo is back at it again with his writing for the DUS - Our Story section of our community in the latest chapter "Relentless". Sure gave me the kick I needed to survive the transition from Sunday afternoon into Monday morning. For a new member still catching up, the past few nights of reading these has been thoroughly enjoyable. Absolutely top work to all those involved previously, and Stevo for the latest thriller.

And last, but certainly not least, is the latest installment of the DUS Crosshairs. This week Jaybone sat down with Lato for what I can recall as one helluva embarrassing moment. If you missed it or just want to relieve the glory of it, check it out here.

DUS Clip of the Week:
Thanks for the suggestion Gothic as well, huge shoutout to you bud. I'm currently trying to figure out how to access XBL's ability to embed a video into these posts, so unfortunately I'll be unable to pull any clips from there this week. Despite this DUS Greedy (Halo 5), DUS Jaybone (Titanfall 2), DUS Gothic (Battlefield 1) and DUS Dercrunch (Battlefield 1) all deserve a mention for a host of killer clips over the week - I suggest everyone scoots on over to the profiles to have a look at their most recent captures in the meantime.

But. BUT. There was one video that popped into my YouTube feed earlier this week from DUS x SSJ4 x as he pushed for the Achilles helmet in Halo 5. What an absolute classic. Watch keenly below this comedy fest of some actually pretty damn good assassinations. Note the JAWS at 1:14;

Weekly Update Graphics 2.0:
This update might look a tad thin compared to others, however, I'll try to cover more material from different games after the Andromeda hype has died down a little bit... I know you Battlefield and For Honor lads have been waiting patiently! We're getting there. We're definitely getting there. Whilst these sections didn't exactly get a feature this week, here's a sneak peak at more things to come from the graphical department.
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For those keeping a keen eye on these, as of tomorrow the following will appear on the website (either here or in my graphics thread):
  • Battlefield 1 - Weekly Update Banner, Signature Set, Userbar
  • For Honor - Weekly Update Banner, Signature, Userbar
  • Titanfall 2 - Weekly Update Banner 2.0, Userbar Set
  • DUS - Weekly Update Banner, Universal Userbar
  • Miscellaneous - Rank Userbar Set #2, Signatures across various games, Custom Art created for a few members


Previous Editions of the Weekly Update:
Miss an update? Want to revisit something? Not a problem. Each week I'll be updating this list so members can quickly navigate back to an earlier update for reference or catchup. As always, I'd love to hear from members in terms of new features for each week to keep things fresh and interesting. Feel free to flick me a PM on the website or over XBL throughout the week and we'll work to incorporate it into the update. Hope everyone's had a swell week - here's to the next one!


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Posted Mar 23, 17 · OP · Last edited Mar 23, 17
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Absolutely loving these updates brother, keep up the awesome work :(,
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Posted Mar 25, 17 · Last edited Mar 25, 17
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Agreed. Supremely good work here. A pleasure to read!
Posted Apr 2, 17
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nice work!!!
Posted Apr 17, 17
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I'm sure some gaming publication will snap you up for your talents here Hawk. Maybe start running a blog for Playboy (I heard it's coming back.......with the laaaaaadies)
Posted Apr 17, 17
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Great work. I was heart broken to read that Suvi is a lesbo. This is the first homo sexual game I have played.
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Posted May 1, 17
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