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Re: Mass Effect:Andromeda

Posted: 2017-03-20 12:27am
by TheFeniX
Tribble wrote:I know it was inevitable but I still hate how the Internet went from:
"We can now patch things in case we make a mistake (but we'll try not to) ---> "We'll just release the game now and patch it after" ---> "We'll release the game before its even finished, and if you want a playable version you'd better pay extra, suckers!".
Also of note, how "unlocks" finally made the jump to paid DLC. Thanks EA. But yes, younger gamers don't have a reference for when things were better/worse.

Haha, sorry I meant that more in a newer generation sort of way. "You mean the developers would include a separately accessible soundtrack as part of the game?!" I can't seem to find my Twisted Metal and Sonic CD discs, alas.
I think before they realized soundtracks could be monetized, there was just no point in dealing with any other formats than what a CD-ROM could handle natively through the audio connection. They were desperate to fill up the CDs as much as they could anyways since we made the jump from an upper-limit of maybe 30MBs before you went out of business shipping floppies. Jumping to 650MBs must have been staggering. So, having an extra layer to just dump off 60 minutes of music that could be played without any kind of CPU time used would have been nice. Later on, they would probably also need more space for data itself, so I'm sure audio compression became a big thing.

You know, unless you're shipping out 35Gbs of uncompressed audio to deter pirates....

Edit: and yes I know this thread is supposed to be about ME:A, but let's be honest, the game's going to suck, so I'd rather stick to nostalgia :P
Honestly, the combat looks kind of fun. But if I wanted to play Titanfall, I would play Titanfall and get mechs. Also, Warframe seems to look a lot more seemless when it comes to crazy parkour and super-powers.

Re: Mass Effect:Andromeda

Posted: 2017-03-20 02:13am
by FaxModem1
So, when are they going to release the 'Can emote like a human' DLC?

Also, I'm wondering just what kind of story they're going to tell, as this is supposed to be a colony mission. Are they going to go for an Earth 2 style 'Little Home on the Range' story?

Re: Mass Effect:Andromeda

Posted: 2017-03-20 04:17am
by Starglider
TheFeniX wrote:
Starglider wrote:No, you did not give it a fair shot.
Sorry man, just don't/didn't feel it.


It's true that ME2 was changed late in development to lock down the first several hours of the game, i.e. you have to do the two prologue missions, go to Omega, then do the two recruitment missions there, before the main game unlocks. Unused dialogue and scripting shows that originally the game unlocked the whole galaxy immediately after the prologue. Exactly why this was done is not clear.

Re: Mass Effect:Andromeda

Posted: 2017-03-20 04:51am
by Crazedwraith
Starglider wrote:
TheFeniX wrote:
Starglider wrote:No, you did not give it a fair shot.
Sorry man, just don't/didn't feel it.


It's true that ME2 was changed late in development to lock down the first several hours of the game, i.e. you have to do the two prologue missions, go to Omega, then do the two recruitment missions there, before the main game unlocks. Unused dialogue and scripting shows that originally the game unlocked the whole galaxy immediately after the prologue. Exactly why this was done is not clear.


You don't have to do the two Omega Recruitments first. They suggest you get Mordin first but it doesn't actually matter. You can do any of the first 4 recruitments in any order.

It was split to put it on 2 Discs for 360 IIRC.

Re: Mass Effect:Andromeda

Posted: 2017-03-20 09:53am
by streetad
You see I clicked on this link to check up on MA:Andromeda but now I just want to talk about Beneath A Steel Sky being on 16 disks and how I tried to put an internal Hard Drive into my Amiga 1200 causing it to burn with the heat of a thousand suns.

Also I really enjoyed ME 2 but it does have a fairly slow start. It's not an epic galaxy saving story like the first, I'd probably compare it to a really good standalone episode of Star Trek where they won but set up the stakes for a later major story arc.

I'll probably buy this new one in a year or so when all the DLC is done.

Re: Mass Effect:Andromeda

Posted: 2017-03-20 11:25am
by TheFeniX
Starglider wrote:It's true that ME2 was changed late in development to lock down the first several hours of the game, i.e. you have to do the two prologue missions, go to Omega, then do the two recruitment missions there, before the main game unlocks. Unused dialogue and scripting shows that originally the game unlocked the whole galaxy immediately after the prologue. Exactly why this was done is not clear.
Honestly, I don't think I can even be trusted to argue it at all. I remember so very little from the hours I did put into it I was so bored. Now, this could have been because this was about the time I was back into PC gaming and my wife would have wanted the 360 in order to play Black Ops or AssCreed. Also, IIRC the only SP game I could devote time to would have been Fallout: NV which, bugs aside, could grab and hold you based on the writing. My wife couldn't be bothered to give it any decent amount of playtime before I dumped it back off at Gamestop. Though she's not the biggest Sci-Fi fan out there nor did she play the original, so that's not saying much.

streetad wrote:You see I clicked on this link to check up on MA:Andromeda but now I just want to talk about Beneath A Steel Sky being on 16 disks and how I tried to put an internal Hard Drive into my Amiga 1200 causing it to burn with the heat of a thousand suns.
I was trying to get something running on my dad's old 386SX. I can't even recall what. But I was running out of memory and was going to make a boots disk to preempt DOS (and I couldn't find my bootdisk). But... I also couldn't find an empty floppy. So, I REMed out a bunch of stuff in the main autoexec.bat.

This somehow named every single DOS system file to .XX_. So, .EXE became .EX_ or .SYS became .SY_. MS-DOS obviously would not boot after this. The repair guy my dad used was working for hours. He would look over at me and say "what did you do?" every once in a while. I still have no idea what I did, though I've thought I might have started some kind of backup/archive process.

But, my dad was looking to get a new computer anyways, so he bought a 486DX and gave me the old computer with the understanding that I would never touch his PC again. So... score?

Re: Mass Effect:Andromeda

Posted: 2017-03-20 12:50pm
by TheFeniX
Double Post: so there's some "romance" videos out. You can actually see a nipple and what's her face "blonde" doctor has a..... 8-9/10 backside. So, BW can't model a face, but I guess they took notes from Blizzard about getting enough junk in the trunk.

I'm split on this: as little as I care for romance these days in any entertainment, this is a natural progression of the medium. No point in pulling punches: you want people bumping uglies, show the uglies as this is an M rated game. So, I have to give them props for not getting cold-feet and sticking with some sideboob. Though the wrath of the politician may or may not come down on them, that would just push even more units.

Re: Mass Effect:Andromeda

Posted: 2017-03-20 03:37pm
by Simon_Jester
Adam Reynolds wrote:Also, the reason for the smaller scale is that FTL without mass relays is extremely slow in the setting, so they are limited to a single cluster. Though given the fictional nature of the technology, they could have easily constructed their own mass relays as part of the premise if they really wanted to. Having the Nexus(new headquarters space station) as a single use mass relay for an emergency return to the Milky Way would be an interesting part of the premise and a nice source of drama as characters have a dilemma as to whether it should be activated.
My impression was that the "Citadel races" don't really have the knowledge base to construct their own mass relays. They never reached the same technological heights as the Protheans, and even the Protheans were barely to the point of being able to build their own mass relays. So the asari and friends might be able to build relays eventually, but it'd be a project involving centuries of R&D.

Or are you not talking about the, uh, protagonist species of Mass Effect here?

Re: Mass Effect:Andromeda

Posted: 2017-03-20 05:09pm
by TheFeniX
The Relays and reliance on Mass Effect pilfered knowledge seems to stunt ME races once they get to the citadel. The Turians had over a thousand years on Humanity when it came to blowing shit up in space and a Pre-Citadel humanity, relying only on what they discovered in Sol, was putting up a fight against them even though taking heavy loses. Not long after signing a peace treaty, they had an embassy on the Citadel and were vying for a council seat. Their Space Navy was only second to the Turians due to Citadel law as Turians were the military front, they were allowed to have more active ships.

There were more than a few Codex entries I recall of Citadel races being concerned Humanity would be running everything in a few generations due to their aggressiveness (not just militarily, but also politically) and ingenuity.

This was a bit of "Humanity is just awesome" but also telling that there seems to be no real push once you've reached parity with other races, read: stolen all the reaper tech they left for you. Though, a bit of galactic stupidity to put all your eggs in a basket you don't own or even know who DOES own it.

But yes, ignorance is the name of the game. One guy seems to want to study the Keepers (the bugs that keep the Citadel running that the Asari ignored for 3000 years) and he's looked at as a loony. I honestly have to wonder if it's a limited form of indoctrination at work and if certain people/races have an inherent resistance to it. It would explain a lot if humans had a natural resistance and someone like Shepard has a near immunity.

Re: Mass Effect:Andromeda

Posted: 2017-03-20 05:45pm
by SolarpunkFan
TheFeniX wrote:This was a bit of "Humanity is just awesome" but also telling that there seems to be no real push once you've reached parity with other races, read: stolen all the reaper tech they left for you. Though, a bit of galactic stupidity to put all your eggs in a basket you don't own or even know who DOES own it.


Something like that worked for Absolution Gap, maybe it could be workable here too. :wink:

Although in that case the aliens were trying to help humanity. Plus it was a novel written by a pretty good author, so that's an entirely different medium, but I still think it could be workable. :P

Re: the Shark Attack 3 quote. Funniest thing of all is that that line was supposed to be edited out because that was just a line the guy said to get the actress in the mood for the role. Of course that's the least of the movie's problems. :lol:

Re: Mass Effect:Andromeda

Posted: 2017-03-20 05:56pm
by Imperial528
I've always considered it's more an extreme case of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." The keepers are a fine example, as all of the early Asari attempts to study them resulted in the keepers being studied self-destructing, and frankly, if you're relying on them to keep the air breathable, it's not hard to lay down laws preventing any interference with them for fear that someone will go too far.

Studying the relays is also problematic since, if I remember right, council law forbids attempting to disassemble them or even get too close to them without permission. Frankly, they may even be designed to destroy themselves if someone tried to take them apart, and we know just how catastrophic a relay explosion can be.

There is that one Asari matriarch you can talk to in ME2 that is of the opinion that the Asari should be trying to build their own relays, implying that they at least have enough understanding of eezo to do attempt it, and it seems in line with the reaper modus operandi of harvesting cycles just before they can actually present a credible resistance to the reapers themselves.

Re: Mass Effect:Andromeda

Posted: 2017-03-20 06:42pm
by Adam Reynolds
Simon_Jester wrote:My impression was that the "Citadel races" don't really have the knowledge base to construct their own mass relays. They never reached the same technological heights as the Protheans, and even the Protheans were barely to the point of being able to build their own mass relays. So the asari and friends might be able to build relays eventually, but it'd be a project involving centuries of R&D.

Or are you not talking about the, uh, protagonist species of Mass Effect here?

Matriarch Aethyta(Liara's father) indicates that it is certainly possible, as she argued that the asari should begin to construct their own mass relays. It is also likely that she was in the loop with respect to the Prothean beacon hidden on Thessia, and so knew more about how exactly it was possible than most.

My initial assumption with the Nexus in Andromeda is that it is a one way mass relay. Apparently it is not.

TheFeniX wrote:The Relays and reliance on Mass Effect pilfered knowledge seems to stunt ME races once they get to the citadel. The Turians had over a thousand years on Humanity when it came to blowing shit up in space and a Pre-Citadel humanity, relying only on what they discovered in Sol, was putting up a fight against them even though taking heavy loses. Not long after signing a peace treaty, they had an embassy on the Citadel and were vying for a council seat. Their Space Navy was only second to the Turians due to Citadel law as Turians were the military front, they were allowed to have more active ships.

It seems to be a case of punctuated equilibrium, in which innovation only occurs when a new race is discovered and brings something new to the table. One reason why the human fleet was so effective is that they did things unconventionally, like building a stealth warship or using fighters that were exempt from treaty limitations more heavily than every other race(an obvious reference to the Washington naval treaty and the development of aircraft carriers in the 1930s). Mass effect technology is something that conveniently makes space fighters effective, along with every other random tech that makes the setting possible.

For all their martial prowess, turians don't seem to understand several elements of warfare that humanity understands intuitively. Garrus argues in favor of using the Normandy as a frontline warship, rather than its vastly more useful function as an intelligence platform, which Wrex points out to him. The turians that released the genophage likewise argued that it was pointless to build a weapon without intending to use it, failing to understand the concept of deterrence that the salarians liked intended it for.

TheFeniX wrote:This was a bit of "Humanity is just awesome" but also telling that there seems to be no real push once you've reached parity with other races, read: stolen all the reaper tech they left for you. Though, a bit of galactic stupidity to put all your eggs in a basket you don't own or even know who DOES own it.

They assume that it was left by the Protheans, as the Reapers ensure that every race assumes it was left by the last dominant race. Javik indicates that his people assumed that the mass relays were left by the race that came before his in the cycle. Though given that no one exactly knows why the Protheans were wiped out, it is rather foolish to assume it is safe.

It is notable that one of the biggest threats to the Reapers is the geth, as they are not evolving on the intended path. Another major threat was the rachni, for the same reasons. It is notable that the Reapers were the ones behind the Rachni Wars, as well as that each new threat requires a new species to solve it, as the old ways of thinking are incapable of meeting that demand. It takes the uplifted krogan to stop the rachni, the upstart turians to stop the krogan, and the upstart humans to stop the geth and Sovereign.

But yes, ignorance is the name of the game. One guy seems to want to study the Keepers (the bugs that keep the Citadel running that the Asari ignored for 3000 years) and he's looked at as a loony. I honestly have to wonder if it's a limited form of indoctrination at work and if certain people/races have an inherent resistance to it. It would explain a lot if humans had a natural resistance and someone like Shepard has a near immunity.

I actually wonder if the council chambers specifically have this effect. shape of the council chambers]Their shape indicates something is wrong.

What is odd is that the Citadel DLC indicates that the Council had no doubt that Shepard was telling the truth, as you see a historical note in the archives that points out that Soverign is a Reaper and not Geth. They were just saving face publicly, because they recognized they had no chance to actually defeat the Reapers.

It also isn't just humans that have a degree of immunity, it is more generally outcasts that have a greater degree of immunity, while the orthodox thinkers are those more easily converted or distracted. Shepard's entire crew is made up of outcasts of one sort or another, which is largely why they are so effective. You have cases like Garrus and his inability to blindly follow orders, Liara's dedication to a narrow field of study that is rare for an asari, especially one so young, or Wrex's unusual degree of strategic intelligence for a krogan.

Re: Mass Effect:Andromeda

Posted: 2017-03-20 07:08pm
by Simon_Jester
TheFeniX wrote:The Relays and reliance on Mass Effect pilfered knowledge seems to stunt ME races once they get to the citadel. The Turians had over a thousand years on Humanity when it came to blowing shit up in space and a Pre-Citadel humanity, relying only on what they discovered in Sol, was putting up a fight against them even though taking heavy loses. Not long after signing a peace treaty, they had an embassy on the Citadel and were vying for a council seat. Their Space Navy was only second to the Turians due to Citadel law as Turians were the military front, they were allowed to have more active ships.

There were more than a few Codex entries I recall of Citadel races being concerned Humanity would be running everything in a few generations due to their aggressiveness (not just militarily, but also politically) and ingenuity.

This was a bit of "Humanity is just awesome" but also telling that there seems to be no real push once you've reached parity with other races, read: stolen all the reaper tech they left for you. Though, a bit of galactic stupidity to put all your eggs in a basket you don't own or even know who DOES own it.

But yes, ignorance is the name of the game. One guy seems to want to study the Keepers (the bugs that keep the Citadel running that the Asari ignored for 3000 years) and he's looked at as a loony. I honestly have to wonder if it's a limited form of indoctrination at work and if certain people/races have an inherent resistance to it. It would explain a lot if humans had a natural resistance and someone like Shepard has a near immunity.
I like this speculation, but counterargument there is that the most conspicuous indoctrinated group of Shepard's cycle is Cerberus, an all-human organization.

Adam's "it's outcasts that are resistant to consensus stupidity and falling into Reaper traps" theme works better for me.

Imperial528 wrote:I've always considered it's more an extreme case of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." The keepers are a fine example, as all of the early Asari attempts to study them resulted in the keepers being studied self-destructing, and frankly, if you're relying on them to keep the air breathable, it's not hard to lay down laws preventing any interference with them for fear that someone will go too far.

Studying the relays is also problematic since, if I remember right, council law forbids attempting to disassemble them or even get too close to them without permission. Frankly, they may even be designed to destroy themselves if someone tried to take them apart, and we know just how catastrophic a relay explosion can be.

There is that one Asari matriarch you can talk to in ME2 that is of the opinion that the Asari should be trying to build their own relays, implying that they at least have enough understanding of eezo to do attempt it, and it seems in line with the reaper modus operandi of harvesting cycles just before they can actually present a credible resistance to the reapers themselves.
Thing is, this doesn't negate the "this is a multi-century project" issue, so while it may be a valid strategic argument, it doesn't really mean anything in the context of the Mass Effect game series as a whole, be it one, two, three, or Andromeda.

Re: Mass Effect:Andromeda

Posted: 2017-03-20 07:30pm
by Imperial528
Simon_Jester wrote:Thing is, this doesn't negate the "this is a multi-century project" issue, so while it may be a valid strategic argument, it doesn't really mean anything in the context of the Mass Effect game series as a whole, be it one, two, three, or Andromeda.


I would expect any Asari relay project to take possibly a millennium; most of their projects take decades or centuries because they do have the time to do things the slow way.

I imagine the engineering difficulties alone would mandate a good hundred years of work, given that relays (and reapers in general) seem to violate all of the in-universe laws about mass effect technology.

Re: Mass Effect:Andromeda

Posted: 2017-03-20 09:06pm
by Civil War Man
For me, the part of Andromeda that seems most out of sync with the rest of the ME setting is that the Tempest is apparently equipped with a full AI. Even during ME3, they establish that only the crew of the Normandy and maybe some of the high-level Alliance brass know that EDI is an AI, and they bend over backwards to hide that fact from the public, from EDI pretending to be a VI during the inter-game refit to posing as Joker's personal assistance mech while on the Citadel. With pretty good reason, considering that AIs are almost universally distrusted and hated, and EDI was an AI who was a) made using Reaper tech out of b) a malfunctioning VI by c) Cerberus. She's only missing a Geth connection to hit the AI fear bingo.

It makes sense that a project as big as the Andromeda mission would have been run by an AI, but since it is established to have launched before the Reaper invasion, it seems odd that they would have found enough volunteers for it. Maybe if they kept the existence of the AI from the colonists, but even then it must have been difficult for them to find enough people with liberal attitudes towards artificial intelligence that they could even fully staff the Pathfinder ship. I mean, if I were an Alliance marine who truly believed that all AIs must be destroyed lest they wipe out all life on the galaxy, and I was recruited for a mission that turned out to be run by an AI, it would make total sense to anonymously leak that tidbit to Khalisah al-Jilani or Emily Wong because I'd consider the ensuing political shitstorm and likely jail time for leaking classified information to be a small price to pay in exchange for saving at least tens of thousands of lives, maybe more, from the clutches of the evil murderous computer.

Re: Mass Effect:Andromeda

Posted: 2017-03-20 11:16pm
by Mr Bean
I have purchased the game it's going to unlock in forty minutes and honestly I can't wait because I'm in full MST3K mode at this point.
And I'll be honest this is the first time in a year a new game came out and I looked at my bank account and did not instantly think "No way I can buy that or I won't make rent/power/food this month"

Huzzah for disposable money, now I just need someone as the control who can go out and buy 60$ worth of Pizza this evening and tell me if that was a smarter buy.

Re: Mass Effect:Andromeda

Posted: 2017-03-20 11:40pm
by Anacronian
Oh MEA is plenty fun in MST3K mode, Especially if you know some of the lore of the other Mass Effect games, Then it just becomes awesome fun counting the times this game contradicts its own lore - that is of cause a bonus to the goofy animations.

Re: Mass Effect:Andromeda

Posted: 2017-03-20 11:40pm
by TheFeniX
Imperial528 wrote:I've always considered it's more an extreme case of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." The keepers are a fine example, as all of the early Asari attempts to study them resulted in the keepers being studied self-destructing, and frankly, if you're relying on them to keep the air breathable, it's not hard to lay down laws preventing any interference with them for fear that someone will go too far.
But that's.....I dunno. So I move into a house I didn't know anything about and the Roombas keep blowing up when I try to pick one up, that would worry the HELL out of me.

Adam Reynolds wrote:It also isn't just humans that have a degree of immunity, it is more generally outcasts that have a greater degree of immunity, while the orthodox thinkers are those more easily converted or distracted. Shepard's entire crew is made up of outcasts of one sort or another, which is largely why they are so effective. You have cases like Garrus and his inability to blindly follow orders, Liara's dedication to a narrow field of study that is rare for an asari, especially one so young, or Wrex's unusual degree of strategic intelligence for a krogan.
Ohhhhhh, that's some pretty good head-cannon as far as I'm concerned. I don't have much to add to the rest of your post.

Simon_Jester wrote:I like this speculation, but counterargument there is that the most conspicuous indoctrinated group of Shepard's cycle is Cerberus, an all-human organization.
Not big on ME2 lore, but wasn't Cerberus jacking around with a whole lot of Reaper tech for quite some time? And even then, didn't it take the Illusive Man a pretty long time to finally get indoctrinated?

Re: Mass Effect:Andromeda

Posted: 2017-03-20 11:44pm
by Imperial528
TheFeniX wrote:But that's.....I dunno. So I move into a house I didn't know anything about and the Roombas keep blowing up when I try to pick one up, that would worry the HELL out of me.


As it would for me. But we've seen bureaucrats do dumber things in reality, and at much worse cost.

Re: Mass Effect:Andromeda

Posted: 2017-03-20 11:50pm
by Starglider
TheFeniX wrote:So I move into a house I didn't know anything about and the Roombas keep blowing up when I try to pick one up, that would worry the HELL out of me.


Your grandchildren won't care though. The citadel had been inhabited for at least a hundred generations, possibly more.

Re: Mass Effect:Andromeda

Posted: 2017-03-21 12:01am
by Anacronian
About the stagnant tech - I think that once Humans became a council race the other races shared tech with the humans moving the humans forward in tech, So it's not that the council races are standing still and humans just waltzed in and were their equal.

Hell, the Turians even codeveloped an Alliance frigate before ME1 so interchanging tech must have gone on for some time I think.

Re: Mass Effect:Andromeda

Posted: 2017-03-21 02:10am
by Adam Reynolds
In response to Civil War Man, on the issue of the AI used in Andromeda, Spoiler
it was illegal. The protagonist's father Alec Ryder built it illegally in an attempt to save his dying wife before reusing it on the Andromeda project. It is actually even worse than a more traditional AI like EDI, as it links with the human brain directly. Alec believes this will cure the geth problem, as the human input will cause it to care more about humanity and not rebel. We'll see how it turns out.

In the process of making it he made deals with people like the Shadow Broker(before Liara took the role, when it was the yagh who also made deals with the Collectors) in order to get what he needed.


TheFeniX wrote:Not big on ME2 lore, but wasn't Cerberus jacking around with a whole lot of Reaper tech for quite some time? And even then, didn't it take the Illusive Man a pretty long time to finally get indoctrinated?

It certainly didn't take him any longer than it did Saren. The point of indoctrination is that it works very slowly. So he believed that he was in control, right up until he was already indoctrinated.

Though a better case against humanity being in any way special in this respect is the events of the Arrival DLC from ME2. In that case, a small team of human operatives were investigating a Reaper artifact, and were able to realize that it was counting down to something. Unfortunately, in the process of studying it, they themselves became indoctrinated and sabotaged their own operation. Shepard was able to intervene and do something about it, or if a character was imported to ME3 without the DLC, an entire marine battalion did the same thing.

Re: Mass Effect:Andromeda

Posted: 2017-03-21 02:24am
by TheFeniX
Starglider wrote:Your grandchildren won't care though. The citadel had been inhabited for at least a hundred generations, possibly more.
That is actually what pushes me this way because "kids" kind of forget to care why things are the way they are. They lose the emphasis their parents may have had. And this can happen within the span of a few decades in the real world.

I had this same problem recently with Fallout 4. There's this locked door right at the entrance to one of the vaults. There's a vault security guard stationed right next to said locked door. And it isn't until the Sole Survivor needs it as a convenient dungeon exit it gets opened. I can assume the original vault dwellers were told to stay away from it, but successive generations give a shit? Even after said vault had to open it's "doors" to trade supplies? No one thought: "Hmmm, maybe there's something worthwhile in there."?

Imperial528 wrote:As it would for me. But we've seen bureaucrats do dumber things in reality, and at much worse cost.
True, but it's hard to believe, for just one example, the Turians were as accepting as they were considering their backstory. You've got all kinds even in the original Citadel Trinity: long lived Asari, normal lived Turians (a bit more than humans IIRC), and short-lived Salarians and all the different personalities that come with these groups. It just takes a lot of belief suspension to think no group made some kind of major push to start a commission to figure out "how does this tin-can actually work?" If I remember the codex right, large sections of the Citadel were unexplored. That... seems really stupid a place to use as your seat of government.

To go further than that: pride. The seat of the galactic UN exists essentially due to squatters rights. Just give me something: a joint-project mini-citadel being constructed next to the main one that's been held up for a millennia due to bickering. Something.

I would much more easily believe some form of indoctrination or "something in the water" made Citadel inhabitants ignore this glaring issue with their fancy home.

Re: Mass Effect:Andromeda

Posted: 2017-03-21 02:59am
by Simon_Jester
RE: Mass Effect Andromeda thread on SDN

My impression is that it's fairly easy to reverse-engineer advanced technology from the mass relay systems, but hard to improve on that technology once you've done so. I suspect a lot of species wind up following more or less the same development trajectory humans did- invent hardish SF technology, then discover a mass relay in or near their star system, then abruptly get catapulted into a higher level of technology that includes mass effect field manipulation and so on. At this point the new species winds up making contact with the interstellar community in fairly short order, too.

I think technological stagnation isn't so much a non-human trait in this setting, it's a trait deliberately encouraged and cultivated by the Reapers. They literally give new species technology that will make them abruptly advance to a high-tech plateau, but one that they're not really prepared to ascend further from.

And if there are any signs of the new species deviating from the planned scenario of growth along planned lines, the Reapers jump in and crush the civilization that is thus deviating from the plan. That's what determined the timing of the Reaper attack on the Protheans, as far as I can tell- the point at which they started building their own mass relays. Implicitly, that means they were reaching a level of technology that would enable them to present a threat.

Shepard's cycle seems to be characterized by a much stranger and more complex array of species going "not as planned." The rachni and the geth come to mind. The greater diversity of Shepard's cycle might be because in the Prothean cycle the Protheans themselves exterminated a lot of 'strange' species, like the AIs Javik references.

With the asari as the dominant race of the new cycle, this cycle is characterized by a relatively inclusive and tolerant, high-diversity order with a central consensual government on the Citadel, compared to the heavy-handed military and imperial government the Protheans organized when given the same opportunities.

But at the same time, none of this really breaks the problem of technological stasis. Most species seem to be rather limited in what they can conceptualize and develop for their own. The Protheans never really learned to 'live and let live.' The asari never learned to do anything else, to the point where their military capabilities atrophied and they were unable to defend themselves effectively against Reaper attack. The turians are collectively rather narrow-minded and inflexible, as discussed above.

We never really find out what or if the limits of human nature are supposed to be in Mass Effect. Obviously human-supremacist characters in the series will deny that such limits exist, but it's kind of an open question.

Re: Mass Effect:Andromeda

Posted: 2017-03-21 03:03am
by Imperial528
I wouldn't put it past the reapers to make the Citadel have a form of pacification aura or something based on indoctrination. Hell, it may just be designed to increase red tape and disorganization among the cycle's disparate species. As far as we know the only cycle to put up effective resistance prior to the current was the Protheans, and they had the advantage of being so militarized that it took centuries for the reapers to wipe them out. Despite that even their empire was effectively decapitated by the initial strike on the Citadel.

I think the biggest difference of the Mass Effect era cycle to the previous ones is that species which were directly studied by the Protheans (and in the case of the Asari, almost uplifted by them) survived the end of the Protheans themselves.