It appears that BioWare is sticking to their promise to continue to improve Mass Effect: Andromeda. The company released patch 1.06 today which introduces a huge number of changes to both the single player and the multiplayer in the game.
For starters, BioWare has continued to address the elephant in the room; those absurd animation oddities. For now, they paid particular attention to the opening hours of the game, where first impressions are crucial to sucking players into the experience.
Andromeda runs smoothly for the most part, but there are certainly areas of noticeable slowdown. Of particular note is the framerate issue encountered after accessing a research terminal. That bug was not specifically referenced in the patch notes, but BioWare may have lumped it in with the more general “enhancements to performance and stability.”
Among the more impactful adjustments are a few especially noteworthy fixes to the solo experience. Conversations have been tweaked so that dialogue no longer appears “greyed out” if a character has something new to say on the subject. This’ll cut down on instances where dialogue is repeated. (Flirting with PeeBee, anyone?)
SAM will no longer incorrectly report that the player has new email. The only thing worse than spam is being spammed about spam that doesn’t even exist. The maximum Nexus level has increased to 29, so all of those perks can now be grabbed. The limit on autosaves has been bumped up, which should cut down on instances where a bug will halt your progress because you don’t have any saves prior to encountering it.
The list goes on, and there are so many awesome little fixes to the single player gameplay that this update should improve the experience tremendously. Multiplayer was paid a considerable amount of attention in this patch too.
BioWare has made several adjustments that should improve the flow and balance of the gameplay. For example, they determined that many weapons and powers were “underperforming at higher difficulties.”
To fix this, a whole bunch of weapons and powers got their base damage increased so that they would scale better on Silver and Gold runs. Power combos were distinctly underwhelming, which BioWare resolved to change by increasing their damage potential by a great deal. Powers will also improve as they are leveled up, thanks to big boosts to the upgrades that perks offer.
Aside from the Vanquisher sniper rifle, which up until now was the only weapon that proved a must have, many of the guns were simply ineffective. Primarily, shotguns and assault rifles weren’t worth the precious weight cost to equip.
BioWare envisioned shotguns as weapons designed for skirmish tactics. To encourage that, shotguns had their damage and accuracy outside of cover upgraded. To compensate, their accuracy behind cover was reduced. With the changes, turtling should be more of an option now, as opposed to a necessity.
Melee builds have had their time in the sun, but the developers felt that everyone was risking skin cancer. The base damage of many other guns (assault rifles in particular) was increased to encourage more gunplay. The Vanquisher had its damage reduced, however, bringing the gun more in line with other snipers of its caliber.
Fighting enemies on the various difficulties could prove an unpredictable affair. The Kett could be especially problematic on Gold missions, as each unit is individually potent in a number of ways.
Throwing a whole mess of Kett at you compounded the issue. To fix this, BioWare reduced the health and defenses of Kett units across the board.
Conversely, the Outlaws were a little too straight-forward. Sharpshooters and Hydras were the focus here. They’ve been made even more lethal in an effort to drive players into cover.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Outlaw units will still rush players, forcing them out of cover. Berserkers (Krogans) will have a harder time stun-locking you out of cover as a way to compensate for the added difficulty.
BioWare made no changes to the Remnant in multiplayer.
Believe it or not, these fixes really just scratch the surface of what patch 1.06 introduced. It’s already available to download, as well. For a full list of the changes the update brings, click the link in the first paragraph above.