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Leaked survey reveals an abundance of information on the next Mass Effect

NeoGAF users have posted information from a survey that contains information about the upcoming Mass Effect project Bioware has been teasing.

The survey explained that the next Mass Effect will take place in the Helius Cluster of the Andromeda Galaxy, “far removed by time and space from Commander Shepard’s heroic acts and the final events of the Mass Effect trilogy.” Players will be put into the position of a “pathfinder” leading an expedition to find a new home for humanity.

Some returning elements, such as loyalty missions, dialogue options, and the Mako are all confirmed to be within the new game, while the survey also notes an increased focus on exploration and the return of a multiplayer mode.

While the full survey can be found on the NeoGAF thread, user EatChildren condensed the information into bullet points for easy reading:

NARRATIVE:
Premise: Set in the Helius Cluster of the Andromeda Galaxy, removed by time and space from the Mass Effect “Commander Shepard” trilogy and its ending. Play as a “Pathfinder” explorer leading expedition with the aim of establishing new home for humanity. Encounter “savage untamed lands”, “cut-throat outlaws”, and “warring alien races” in an effort to survive and colonies. Andromeda is home to a mysterious alien race, the Remnants, who’ve left their vaults and ancient technology throughout.
Game Objective: Explore 100s of solar systems (over 4x size of Mass Effect 3) collecting resources, developing your ship, crew, and arsenal, while engaging in diplomacy in order to set up colonies, while discovering the mystery behind the Remnants and racing to secure their technology.
New Species: Remnants, an ancient race who’ve left ruins and technology throughout the galaxy. And Khet, seemingly antagonistic.
Squadmates: Same as previous games: make friends, take two with you on missions. Cora is able to generate biotic shields you can fire out of. Drack is a Krogan.
Loyalty Missions: Same as previous games: complete to unlock increased loyalty and new skill tree for that character. Example: Krogan colony ship has been stolen by outlaws. Track down the ship and return it to increase loyalty with Drack. Dialogue trees and end game impacted by loyalty status.
Dialogue: “Meaningful choices”. Deeper control over responses, such as interrupting conversation. Action based choices are physical choices to shape the course of conversation, such as pulling out a weapon and forcing them to open a door instead of attempting to do so purely via conversation.

EXPLORATION/CUSTOMISATION
Tempest Starship: Pilotable ship to discover 100s of solar systems. Customisable with trophies/loot/photos taken through the galaxy. Transition between flying ship, to landing on planet, to driving Mako, to getting out on foot, all seamless with no loading screens.
Mako Vehicle: Upgradeable with turbo boost, shield generator, hostile detector, etc. Customisable paint job.
Planets: 100s of surfaces to explore, for discovering places to colonise, and alien vaults/outputs to conquer.
Colonies: Build settlements on habitable planets. Able to decide what type of settlement for bonuses. EG: Recon Settlements will clear fog of war on space map and offer more strike team missions, meanwhile Mining Settlements will periodically supply crafting materials.
Blueprints: Allow you to craft alien technology using materials for better equipment and weapons, such as a jetpack for jumping, cryo-beam to target enemies, etc.
Crew: Customisable skill trees, gear, weapons, etc.

MISSIONS TYPES AND MULTIPLAYER:
Remnant Vault Raids: Ancient ruins in two variants. Standard: Accessed by finding and activating Remnant Monoliths, explored to find a “powerful artefact”. Acquiring artefact triggers defence systems: robots, traps, and restructured layout. Rewards with valuable loot, crafting resources, and Star Keys. Orbital Facilities: Unlocked with Star Keys, provide permanent stat bonuses, and optional higher difficulty vault raids that add Khet patrols and outlaws. Rewards with rare loot and narrative acclaim.
Khet Outposts: Optional wave-based combat challenges that reward with XP, reduced Khet power and additional narrative options in the region if destroyed.
Strike Team: Spend resources to recruit mercenaries and develop AI controlled strike teams to be deployed on randomly generated, time sensitive missions. Include settlement defence and remnant artefact recovery. Strike Teams return 20 – 30 minutes later with XP, currency, and equipment depending on mission outcome. Spend money/resources to train Strike Team, and buy better equipment, to increase success rate and send on dangerous missions.
Active Strike Team: See above, however you can choose to complete the Strike Team mission manually via play using your multiplayer roster of characters. Able to play co-op with friends, more friends increasing difficulty and rewards. Bonus rewards for joining another players strike team mission. XP, loot, and customisation rewards for Strike Team played characters are cohesive with multiplayer specific horde mode.
Horde Mode: Similar to Mass Effect 3: four players against waves of enemies with additional objectives such as disabling a bomb or assassinating a target. Similar XP/loot rewards to Mass Effect 3. APEX funds earned to be used in single player.

Confirmed details on the next Mass Effect are sparse, with Bioware having only hinted at the follow-up in pieces over the past few years. At last year’s N7 Day, the studio did confirm that the game would be written by ex-343 Industries writer Chris Schlerf, and showed off new concept art.

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