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About Bjorn

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    Great Axe of Social Justice +1

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  1. The Hurricane, but it's much harder to level, so a maxxed Hornet might outdo a low level Hurricane. It's not my fault their a bunch of rejects! (it is my fault, I sent them on all their missions). At this point I'm deeply amused at the little narrative that I'm telling myself about my suicide squad. They picked up a 4th negative, they are now Cowards with a Hero Complex who get hysterical at the sight of two of the three enemy factions. Theyre a bad video game sidekick! I just sent them back out on a Gold with a 10 percent chance. At this point I'm rooting for the fuckups to keep accumulating negatives.
  2. Follow up on Strike Teams, I now have what I'm calling my N7 Team, who are badass and have 4 positive traits, no negatives. And then I have my suicide squad, who are some inept fuckers. They have 3 positive traits and 3 negative traits. I'm just going to keep throwing my suicide squad at golds and see what kind of a disaster they can be. FWIW, it doesn't seem like buying equipment for Strike Teams is a good payoff. From what people can tell right now, equipment can't be moved between teams. It's a one-off purchase that's stuck on that team, and if you want to buy something else for the same team, the first equipment you bought is lost. Given the cost of the good gear, it's literally in the 100s of matches in order for it to pay for itself, let alone turn a profit. The missions where it makes a difference might help you keep a negative trait or two off a team, but even figuring that in, it's just a very long payoff. I'd suspect just disbanding teams in and recruiting a new one as they build up too many negatives is the more cost effective approach. Edited to add: OH! I also got a Krogan Hammer from one of the SP reward packs for doing strike missions. I haven't even left the Nexus yet, and I already have the one weapon I was most excited about! So don't forget to open those packs. The credit rewards seem pretty terrible. But everything else seemed like it was useful, particularly if you don't want to have to scan a bunch.
  3. To be pedantic, you could always Charge > Nova, because in 3 Nova is a shield draining power, not a cooldown power. The shield drain is now an evolution on Nova. But the overall point absolutely stands, power classes can execute combo explosions much faster and more reliably now. It also means there are reasons to spec into all 3 powers now. In 3, a lot of builds would skip one power because the global cooldown meant you were probably only using two powers anyways. And with the Novaguard specifically, Nova also has an evolution that can prime for explosions now, which very few, if any, Vanguards could self prime without ammo in 3. Now you can Nova, Shockwave for an explosion and then Charge away to the next group. Also Gorbles, make sure to take a look at the Fitness tree of the kits, there are some really different evolutions compared to 3. Two of the Novaguards shield recharging evolutions are in Fitness. The 6th evolution that autorefills shields at low health was a lifesaver when I took it to Silver. Blowing through all my credits before I quit last night I got the Asari Huntress, the kit with the group cloak ability, which I'm super intrigued by. So far the single biggest break point in any match I regularly see is the Devices objective round. Without a good team watching someone's back, that objective can just fall apart fast. The group cloak seems like it would make it much easier.
  4. Haha, I always figured there were people who liked it. There's some repetitive stuff in games I like, the planets just never did it for me. On the general quality of faces and facial animations, they aren't great, but they don't really bother me except for one thing. And that's the eyes. The eyes move around a lot, and quite often end up not looking at the person speaking, and it's the weirdest most distracting thing. Between having a couple of Vanguards above 10 now and the Hurricane, I can consistently do Silvers, which is really speeding up getting all the common/uncommon stuff unlocked and upgraded. Since Character cards now unlock additional skill points, I've decided to leave all my level 1 Commons untouched until I can get more of the character cards and start off with 15+ points in them. The Human Novaguard seems really godly, like crazy so. With three different ways to recharge shields, she can just tank the hell out of almost anything on Bronze/Silver.
  5. Haha, I still haven't got to the planet exploration stuff, I'm moving slow through SP. I got to the Nexus this evening, and then switched over to MP because I had a stressful day and wanted to murder things, not talky talk. I got my first UR, saved up for a Premium Pack and a Hurricane dropped It's much more satisfying than the Charger. Some of the APEX missions are tough with characters that are still just in their teens. Tried a Silver tonight with the modifier of +100 percent shields, -75 percent health. It meant that once your shields broke, you were toast. So many chain revives, didn't even make it through Wave 3.
  6. I've got the Krogan Engineer, he's basically a Krogan version of the Human Engineer from ME3. I've only played a round, but I liked what I saw. As for Vanguards, Charge will recharge their shields half full, or all the way full with an evolution. A key to vanguarding is to have low enough cool down to be able to take just enough of a beating until you need to charge again. With Nova (on the Human and Krogan guards), you get another power that lets you stagger enemies in a group around you, buying you more time to wait until Charge is ready. Humans gets an evolution in their fitness tree that lets them recharge shields with melee attacks, and recharge shields when low on health. Krogans get Rage, giving them more damage resistance when headbutting things to death. Basically it's all about stacking various ways of regenning shields, cooldowns, damage resistance and screaming YEEEEEEEHAAAAAAAAW a lot. Vanguarding is my favorite MP class The Drellguard in ME3 was one of the hardest but most rewarding classes to play. All the squishiness of a Drell, but a powerhouse from hell thanks to 'nades and the best passive damage tree in the game.
  7. I started up single player briefly last night, played til you land on the first planet. And I'm definitely seeing what people mean with the criticisms. Just the opening few sections are very...inconsistent in terms of quality of voice acting, animations, performance. I was particularly surprised at how poorly the Character Creation tool ran. I fucking had it lag up on me multiple times. I've never been a Breckon type player of skipping past stuff in games, I've always wanted to see and hear all the story/lore stuff. But I found myself wanting to skip past stuff last night and just get to something actually happening. Which...probably not a good sign for a Bioware game? On MP, I have successfully completed a single Silver mission now! Wooo! I'm pretty sure that's a couple of weeks faster than I was able to do a Silver in ME3MP. I would say for anyone looking to try and get into some silvers, both the Human Vanguard and Kroguard (if you have him) are probably easiest kits to make the jump at around level 10ish. Between Charge, Nova and Melee, they can compensate for their underpowered guns. Oh, and I bought the Juggernaught thingie from the Gear store, it's a 10 percent shield bonus and 75 percent melee bonus. Doesn't appear to have any levels, just a one off purchase. The ammo one is apparently a 75 percent increase to reserve ammo. So gear looks like it's going to be really valuable for some builds, not just a nice bonus. I also discovered that your AI Strike Teams can get negative traits for failing missions. I know have an AI person who is afraid of Outlaws and gets a penalty for going on Outlaw missions. I had just been throwing both my teams at every mission, but I may back off sending them on Golds for awhile, it could be really bad to pick up a second negative trait on one.
  8. There's a pretty straightforward way to handle that if you want a tip, it's the way that speedrunners handle it as far as I know (it's what was the recommended way when I did my sub-4 hour run). It's in the spoiler.
  9. The companion app (Android/ios) launched worldwide this afternoon. It's called Apex HQ The most useful thing about it is being able send out your Strike Teams (AI teams who run missions for you) without having to go into the game. There seem to be about 8-9 missions a day, 3 of which you can run yourself as an MP match if you want, and the rest are AI only. You get SP resources for them, but then you also get "Mission Funds" which are quite necessary for MP. Mission Funds let you buy Gear (persistent stat boosting equipment that can be equipped, not the one off boosters that are consumables), let you buy Respec Cards for MP characters and let you buy consumables like rockets, medigel, etc. The gear is time gated, each piece of gear is only available 2-3 weeks at a time. I assume they'll be rotated in and out, so they'll be back eventually, but getting those mission funds built up now will be super useful for the early gear that is on sale. There's two pieces now. One boosts reserve ammo and the other boosts shields/melee damage.
  10. Maxed out the time on my account in MP over the weekend. I'm very sad that the Drell didn't make it to the Helios Cluster. I miss my little space ninja lizards in MP. Really hoping that expansions bring in some of the old races, the Vorcha, Volus, Batarian and Drell were all some of my favorite MP characters (yes, even the Volus, because they were hilarious). Edited to add: Oh, and the game unlocks tonight at 11pm central, 9pm Pacific for those of you who didn't do the trial.
  11. I'm getting on MP to burn through the rest of my time if anyone is around.
  12. I still haven't touched SP, just going to leave that for Tuesday, but I've put a few more hours into MP (I actually activated Access on the lady's origin account as well so I would have time on Sunday to for sure play). I'm really warming up to MP, as long as it's not laggy. Now that I've got a couple of characters I like, a little more map familiarity and am more comfortable with the pace and movement, there's a lot of potential here. But, lag, lag is the devil. That increased movement and speed make lag feel even worse than in ME3MP. If you've got good internet, probably not that big of a deal, but with our shitty internet....
  13. I spent about 2 hours in MP last night and have thoughts. Matchmaking/Lobby - Way, way, way better than ME3MP. No loading screen entering or leaving a lobby. The game is definitely faster than ME3 was. It was jarring at first, but after a couple of matches I got used to it. THE KROGAN VANGUARD HAS NOVA. KROGAN SMASH. Heavy Melee, as near as I can tell, is gone. And this blows big juicy chunks. The Krogan backhand was the most satisfying thing in ME3MP. This is just wildly mystifying to me. From all early accounts, melee was getting a great overhaul/refinement in SP, but removing Heavy Melee is pretty gutting for MP. The bit I played around, I also didn't see melee combos. Before, most characters had a light combo, now the couple I tried just did the same light attack over and over. The Omni-Button is gone. No more, "Hit A for everything". Move up against cover and you automatically take cover. Promotions seem to be gone, which is not bad. You level up each individual character to 20 (you leveled up entire classes in ME3), and then can respec either with cards that drop, or spending the new currency that you get from specifically doing Strike Team missions. Each character has a permanent experience pool which once filled gives small permanent bonuses to all characters, which I think is something similar to what DA:I did. I only glanced at the Strike Team stuff, but it seems interesting. Each MP Strike Team match has modifiers that give benefits and penalties, like you might have reduced weapon damage but increased power damage. Much like what we've seen from SP, the models are a mixed bag. Some are really good, but some of the humans just look wrong. Like, heads to big for bodies in some cases. The Supply Pack (rockets, medigel, etc) is much more reasonably priced now. I didn't buy one to see what the quantities were, but in ME3 it was 30K credits and now it's 5K. You can also buy supplies with the Strike Team currency. Out of like 7ish matches, I think only 3 of them reached extraction. Bronze is fucking hard when you're starting out with all low level characters/equipment. Which, that makes it pretty hard for me to have a good feel for the long term play, because ME3 really shined once you were better kitted out. Matches are 6 waves plus extraction, but they seem to start off with more enemies on wave 1, so it's like they cut the first 4 waves. It does speed up matches, I think the longest one was maybe 20 minutes. I think it may ultimately make matches feel...less weighty or epic, but overall being able to play more matches in an evening is probably better/more fun. It would really suck in ME3 when you only had an hour or so to play, and ended up with a nightmare team who could drag out a match to 30+ minutes. I would say that overall it was a pretty positive experience, but I don't have a good feel for if it's got the legs that ME3MP had, because a lot of that is going to be contingent on how it feels at Silver/Gold with higher level characters and gear. Leveling up characters feels a lot slower, but that might just be because I'm stuck doing bronzes.
  14. The trial went live early tonight, I'm downloading it now. Origin id is BjornDaDwarf and sent friend requests to those of you who gave your IDs.
  15. I watched part of Waypoint's stream today, and Austin Walker said he had some reservations about the SP campaign, but that was based on what was still very early, limited play, but that he also thought there was tons of potential for great stuff. He also has spent awhile in MP, and seemed absolutely delighted with it. Also, Danielle and her puns make for delightful color commentary to someone's playthrough of a game.