Follow TV Tropes


Headscratchers / Mass Effect: Andromeda

Go To

New entries on the bottom.

    open/close all folders 

    Leaving the Milky Way and the Reaper fleet 

  • A minor one and the game has not been released yet, but: It's confirmed that Andromeda project took off sometime between Mass Effect 2 and 3, so how did they left the Milky Way without the risk of running headfirst into the Reaper fleet? Consider that in ME3 the Reapers are capable of tracking down and destroying the Normandy (which has stealth devices) inside a space the size of a solar system.
    • Space is big, and the ending of Mass Effect 2 implied that the Reaper fleet stayed huddled pretty close together. The expedition missed the Reaper fleet.
    • Also, there is the factor of hibernation. The people on the expedition are already in stasis for the long journey to Andromeda by the time they enter dark space, and as for the Reapers; they go into hibernation after every cycle to conserve their power. So in the infinitely small (and this one means that literally) chance that the Andromeda Initiative does encounter the Reapers during said journey, they're probably not going to aware of their presence anyway, and vice versa. Because they're all asleep.
    • They left shortly after the Bahak system was destroyed by either Shepard or the 103 Marine Division. At that point the Reapers were all clustered around Batarian space, intending to steamroll them on the way to Earth. So, if the expedition stayed within Council Space, perhaps via the Nimbus Cluster or Silean Nebula, they can get to the intergalactic void unimpeded.
    • Alternatively, some people on the Ark ships are probably indoctrinated and intended to sabotage the ships, by waking from cryo sleep very early. However, the activation of the Crucible changed things. If destroy was picked, the saboteurs became gibbering catatonic basket cases who then starved to death. If control was chosen, Shepard ordered them to go back to cryo sleep and continue their mission. If synthesis was chosen, the saboteurs will attempt to cyborgify the Andromeda Galaxy, and it is up to you to decide whether to permit them or stop them.
    • No. If Bioware went so far out of its way to establish this game in a new galaxy to get around the ending of ME3 and make this an isolated story, it is highly unlikely the ending will have any effect at all.
    • In 3 they only rumble the Normandy when the plot demands it or when you use the scanner, and they're actively seeking Shepard at this point because it's gotten personal. They're not going to bother looking for a sleeper ship bound for another galaxy. By the time the Reapers enter the MW in 3 the Arks would be a ridiculously tiny speck of heat against the CMB (to the point of being literally undetectable to all but the best equipment ever built in-verse!) and the Reapers have bigger fish to fry. As for bumping into them in deep space: They come in through the Viper Nebula, from which it stands to reason that they sleep out past Viper. All the Arks have to do is leave via somewhere like Ismar, Shrike, or Titan and they're well away before anything kicks off. And if (as this troper suspects) one of Jien Garson's mysterious financial backers is in fact The Illusive Man then that's exactly what he would've told her to do!
    • The real answer to your question is: Space is big. Like...... mindbogglingly, incomprehensibly, inconceivably, unimaginably big. This holds true within a galaxy. Its a quintillion times even more true in the vast empty swaths of dark space between galaxies. The possibilities of two ships bumping into each other within the same galaxy are astronomically small. The possibilities of two ships bumping into each other in the vast infinite reaches of dark space are cosmologically smaller still. You have to remember that space is Three-Dimentional. What if the reapers were to the west of the milky way and the expedition left through the right? What if the reaper fleet was above, and the andromeda fleet left below? They didn't stumble into the reapers simply because it was almost impossible for them to do so, specially so in the vast void of dark space where there's no light, no matter, nada.
    • Also in addition to all of that, it has been confirmed that the Andromeda initiative launched at or near the start of mass effect 2, this means only 1 or 2 reapers were awake maybe, the rest were in stasis mode outside the known galaxy, which has been mentions is a mind boggling large area.
    • Another possible explanation is the ODSY FTL Drive was new tech the Reapers were not able to detect. The Milky Way had relied almost completely on Mass Effect relays for interstellar travel, so the Reapers may very well have considered other forms of FTL impossible.
      • No, there's still non-relay Mass Effect FTL for traveling between relays, which is what the arks used. The ODSY Drive is a modification of that which gets around the pesky range limit due to static buildup non-relay FTL has. (Note that Reapers don't have that problem; ODSY might be derived from Sovereign's salvage just like the Thanix Cannon was). Really, "space is too big" is all you need here.
    • Considering the reapers are controlled by what is essentially a hyper-advanced but still limited's entirely possible that once the ships were out of the milky way, they were no longer relevant to the reapers.
    • Based on the ME Milky Way map, the Reapers (who invaded through the Viper nebula and Kite's Nest) came in from around the directions of the constellations Vela or Puppis as seen from Earth, and presumably in or not far off the galactic plane. The Andromeda galaxy is 80-90° of declination and 5h of right ascension away in the sky. It's sort of like if bombers flying over London didn't see a plane taking off from New York.

    Others leaving the galaxy 

  • Here's a big headscratcher: The Andromeda Initiative fleet left the Milky Way for a new galaxy, the trip took them 600 years. That's MORE than enough time for a reaper culling to begin and end. Why did nobody of the predecessors of our cycle ever thought of that? The Protheans attempted to put a million of their people into cryostasis beneath eden prime, to survive the culling, and then prepare the galaxy for the next cycle. Why did nobody attempt to do that but simply by putting the pods on a ship, have it fly out of the milky way galaxy for 300 years, then double-back for another 300 years? By then the reaper culling is over, its near impossible to find anyone or anything in the vast emptiness of the void. Considering how Crazy-Prepared the Protheans were, you'd think they'd try to pull off something like this, specially since they were at a far more advanced technological state than our cycle was, to the point that our advanced sci-fi tech is almost bronze-age stuff compared to theirs.
    • Who says they didn't? The series always had a cyclic theme, if this cycle tried it it's very possible that the others did as well. The fact that the Protheans had sleeper pods that could last 50,000 years means they could have easily sent multiple ships out of the galaxy if they wanted to, assuming they found a way around the static problem. They could have an entire colony on some distant galaxy, we would just have no way of knowing that. As for the "turn around and come back" plan, it would just have gotten them killed. The Reapers did leave the Collectors and Sovereign behind to keep an eye on things, if they had done anything noteworthy enough to call rebuilding civilization they would just have been wiped out again.
    • Remember that the current cycle had the benefit of the last Protheans disabling the "shut down the mass relay network" trick the Reapers had used in every cycle before the trilogy's, severely delaying that cycle's planned reaping. Chances are a galaxy getting close to being able to make intergalactic trips would be advanced enough to trigger a Reaper extinction: this cycle just got lucky enough to have that delayed long enough to actually manage getting people out of the galaxy.

    Reaping Andromeda 

  • So, I realize the game has not come out yet, and people probably will not have an answer to my question, but why would the Reapers not, well, reap the Andromeda galaxy every five thousand years? Is it just a Milky Way thing, the whole reaper ordeal, or what? It kinda bugs me that some extremely dangerous threat only ever destroys one galaxy, especially because the Andromeda galaxy has/had people on it. Also, correct me if I made any mistakes, and that the the Andromeda galaxy indeed has faced the reaper threat before, and that it has been mentioned in the previous games, because it has been a while since I have played the games, and I am a bit rusty on the lore.
    • As stated above, space is mind destroyingly, soul crushingly big. The distance between MW and Andromeda is, according to a quick search, 2.7 million light years. At Reaper speed that's over 200 years of non stop light speed travel to a galaxy rather may have no interest in, burning eezo and energy all the way. The Reapers must hibernate for a reason, so power conservation is a big deal to them.
    • In addition, the Reapers were created by a Milky Way intelligence to solve a Milky Way problem, and have been carrying out their solution ever since. They never went to Andromeda because they weren't programmed to.

    Going to Andromeda 

  • Why is the expedition going to Andromeda specifically? At least according to wikipedia there are several galaxies (like the Large and Small Magellanic Cloud) that are much closer to the Milky Way. Sure, they're not as big as the Milky Way or Andromeda, but it doesn't seem like that should be the main concern at the moment (and besides, if they settle, say, one of the Magellanic Clouds, and then start to run out of habitable planets, they could just send a new expedition when the time comes). Plus, by going to a closer galaxy there would also be less risk of being hit with technical difficulties (like failure of major ship systems). It just seems like going to Andromeda is more of a gamble (unless there are expeditions being sent to other galaxies, in which case this point is moot, but from what we've learned it doesn't seem like this is the case).
    • Speaking out-of-canon, marketing. Quite few people know about IRL surrounding galaxies, but as soon as you say 'Andromeda' any sci-fi fan worth their salt will understand what you mean
    • In fact, marketing may be an in-canon reason too. For this expedition they're taking the 'Go Big or Go Home' approach (And the expedition was being planned before Sovereign came in, so marketing would still be sensible). Plus, if other galaxies are closer, they may have already been colonized at some point.
    • The marketing has been hinting that the Andromeda Initiative was motivated at least in part by the incoming Reaper Invasion. The further you can get from the Reapers, the better. If, for example, the Milky Way fell and the Reapers caught wind of the Initiative, they might try to pursue them. But Andromeda is far enough away (even with their super-advanced FTL drives, the Reapers would take hundreds of years to get there) that the Reapers probably wouldn't bother even if they learned of it.
    • The Initiative has access to long range intergalactic scanners and telescopes, and used that technology to identify the best place to settle within Andromeda. They may have scanned and studied the other nearby galaxies, and determined that Andromeda was the best candidate for establishing a new society.
    • In terms of writing, it's for the recognisable Andromeda name stated above. In-universe, the main reason Andromeda was chosen was because of the specific cluster the Initiative was able to identify. Viewing the Heleus Cluster with the Geth telescope from the Milky Way in the 2180s yielded seven ideal 'golden' worlds, more than enough for a project the Initiative's size. With 'guaranteed' worlds identified and the Reaper invasion looming, the project was moved up and there probably wasn't time to look for more worlds elsewhere. Even if they did, what are the chances of finding seven ideal Goldilocks planets in the same cluster anywhere else, given that no other galaxies have Mass Relays and we lack the technological knowledge to construct them?

    Investing in Andromeda 

  • Related to the above: Were the Council species so desperate to find new habitable worlds in another galaxy to invest the considerable amount of resources for the Andromeda expeditions? It would make sense if the Milky Way was running quickly out of space, but before the Reapers invaded I was under the impression that there were still plenty of uncharted worlds and systems in the galaxy.
    • Less than 2% of the Milky Way has been explored (partially because of society's over-dependence on mass relays slowing expansion) and it was stated that the expedition was privately funded, so it's likely the Council had limited involvement. We won't know for sure until the game is released, but it's likely the expedition is more an attempt to get a thousand-year head start on settling a new galaxy and to ensure the continuation of the galaxy's species in case of a massive life-exterminating war in the Milky Way (a concern which ended up being vindicated by the Reaper invasion).
    • In the backstory of the first Mass Effect game, the Citadel Council has outlawed opening unexplored Mass Relays ever since the Rachni Wars. In fact, that law is what caused the First Contact War between humans and turians in the first place. However, by sending an expedition to another galaxy, millions of light-years outside the Citadel's 'jurisdiction', the Andromeda explorers are free to explore and expand as they see fit.
    • As it turns out it was mostly one woman's personal project and a lot of dreamers. There was no practical reason they had to go to Andromeda, they just wanted to. Also at least some in the Initiative knew the Reapers were coming.
    • There's also the 'because it's there' factor as well as the identification of 7 ideal planets all in the same cluster.
    • The Council is very unlikely to have had any involvement in the Andromeda Initiative. It's never mentioned as being anything other than a privately-funded project. If the Council/Asari laughed the blue off Matriarch Aethyta's ass for even suggesting Mass Relay research, it's doubtful they'd have any interest in going to another galaxy. The Council would likely say 'why?' whereas the Initiative would say 'why not?'

    2. 54 million years 

  • The light (and other EM Emissions) from the stars of the Andromeda Galaxy left there 2.54 million years ago (give or take about 200,000 for any given star, as it's oriented edge on relative to the Milky Way). That's a long time for things to happen. Why does the Initiative see any reason to believe that any given planet discovered in the Heleus Cluster that may be habitable by a given sapient species would still be so by the time they arrive? For that matter, what reason does the Initiative have that the Cluster itself will still be extant when they get there? Open clusters are relatively short lived, and the stars of Globular Clusters tend to get within Jupiter's orbit of each other rather too often for comfort, as in at least once every 15,000,000 years.
    • Habitable planets aren't typically found around multiple star systems, globular clusters, etc., because the amount of radiated emerge is too high, and there exists a higher than average possibility of star collisions, which can cause gravitational upending at the least, and supernova explosions at the worst. So, such areas would be ignored in a search for garden worlds. Also, you would want to not look at any blue main sequence stars, as they live for only a few million years before going kaboom, and even before that occasionally expand into red and blue supergiant phases. So, they wouldn't look for habitable planets there either. Yellow stars like our sun would be excellent places to look, and the stars themselves don't change much in 2.6 million years. Those yellow stars that have already entered a red giant phase, will be ignored, as red giants are also unstable and hostile to life. The only case where a star appears yellow in an image, but turns out to be something different when physically explored are old yellow stars. Also, planets don't usually go through massive atmospheric changes in 2.6 million years, unless some cataclysm occurred. But then, that is precisely why the Pathfinders exist - their job is to scout out these possible habitable planets to ensure that they are still viable.
    • 2.54 million years is an eyeblink on the cosmic scale a disaster may have happened to render a planet uninhabitable, but that's unlikely, and if it did happen over the millions of years between, the planet will have recovered in that timeframe. You'd need to have a disaster happen shortly before they arrive (within a hundred thousand years) for it to still keep the planet uninhabitable, and that's an even shorter timeframe.
    • Here's the explanation. The geth made an FTL telescope to study dark space (probably looking for the Reapers), and the quarians got a hold of the data.

     Getting Around a New Galaxy 

  • So how is a Mass-Effect dependent society getting around a place with no mass relays? The Reapers are the impetus of all FTL capability in the Milky Way, and if they've never been to Andromeda, then how are the explorers going to get around? It'd take years to go check planets for habitability? It's established that the intergalactic journey was done the slow subluminal way. So, how do the extragalactic invaders... err... explorers get around the distances that are (as moot as it is) generally greater than those of the Milky Way?
    • First of all they seem to have scanned the Andromeda galaxy for sustainable planets before making the trip. In Mass Effect 3 you can get technology of a massive interferometric array as a war asset which can scan the whole Milky Way if connected to the crucible, so the technology to do that is there. They also don't actually travel across the whole Andromeda galaxy, only inside a small star cluster (comparable to the star clusters in the other Mass Effect titles). They choose the Helios cluster specifically because it seemed to contain multiple habitable worlds.
    • The journey wasn't subluminal-Andromeda is millions of lightyears away. Since they took 600 years to get there, they were going much much faster than light is. The Tempest is supposed to be able to go 13 lightyears per day, meaning they can travel around the one cluster they are in in a reasonable amount of time.
    • You... do know that element zero-based drives mass effect already enable faster than light travel, right? Yes, you need mass relays to travel across an entire galaxy very quickly, but they still have drives able to get up to twelve to sixteen light years in a day, which is more than sufficient to move around stellar clusters, which can contain millions of stars.
    • The Golden Worlds briefing trailer explains that the Heleus Cluster was chosen as the Ark's destination, precisely because the 7 most likely colony worlds are relatively close together, and can be easily reached with standard FTL drives.


  • Peebee is stated to be at least a century old, but she sports eyebrows that the devs have said are a sign of human paternity in at least one of her ancestors. Human contact with the Asari is as of the departure of the Andromeda Initiative is less than thirty years old. Logically speaking, Peebee shouldn't even be in puberty yet, unless her backstory involves Time Travel, the Krogan head trophies at Duke Prosper's estate and the Winter Palace and the Ogre statue in Donovan Hock's vault being more than just Easter Eggs, or Samara's tale of being Shakespeare's muse from the cut content of Mass Effect 2 being promoted to canon and Samara having at least one undocumented teammate. What gives?
    • They aren't human genes, that is something of a WMG among the players (due to humans being the only real sentient species with hair) fanned by a twitter post by Ian Frazier. It initially said that it was human ancestor, but several hours later he clarified that it was "Not necessarily a human gene. Just an unusual recessive gene from an ancestor." Quarians are shown to have hair, making them a more plausible alternative, but that is just a guess.
    • For what its worth, in game, Peebee claims that her father is/was an elcor.

     Krogan relations 
  • There are Krogan members of the Ark project enough that Krogan breaking away from the Ark they're on is a significant event, including the high-ranking engineer Nakmor Kesh. This is despite the fact that the Krogan do not have good relations with the rest of the galaxy, especially a level of hostility towards the turians and salarians due to the Genophage. How and why did the Andromeda Initiative extend an invitation towards the Krogan? Why would a large number of Krogan accept this offer? In addition, Nakmor Kesh is from Clan Nakmor, a very secretive female clan. If even meeting other Krogan tribes on Tuchanka is highly regulated and done through an intermediary, how did the Andromeda Intiative's offer even reach Clan Nakmor and why did the Krogan allow it?
    • 1) the krogan weren't on any ark, they were with the nexus, which has had zero contact with the arks. 2) Clan Nakmor supposedly has some resistance to the Genophage, which has been enhanced by 600 years of Gene Therapy. It seems to have been especially effective too, since the mechanic mentions viability as high as 4%, up from the roughly 0.1% mentioned in previous games.
    • Thank you for explaining Clan Nakmor's motivation for joining the project and clarifying they're on the Nexus not the Arks. Yet that doesn't answer the question of why the Krogan got into the Andromeda Initiative in the first place given the Krogan's and the Council Races' cold, hostile political relations to each other? Second, that doesn't explain how Clan Nakmor was contacted with this offer between their reclusive, protected nature in the Krogan system and again both sides having little to no communications and being hostile to each other?
    • That's because the Andromeda Initiative wasn't started by the Council, it was started by Jien Garsen. And since she allowed Alec Ryder to be the human Pathfinder, despite the fact that he's a dishonorable discharge and his entire family is blacklisted, and the use of SAM, an illegal AI, she doesn't seem to give a crap about politics. As for Nakmor, it's been a while since I played Mass Effect 2, so I could be wrong, but all the Nakmor ambassador says in that game is that they're a small clan out in the wastes and their claim to notability being that they're the clan of the famous Nakmor Krall. There doesn't seem to be any indication that they're any more reclusive or secretive or isolated than any other clan.
    • If you want hired muscle and are willing to go 'off the book', a Krogan clan is far from the worst choice. Especially given it's a mission that appeals to them on several levels.
    • I agree that the Krogan are a good choice for hired muscle; the issue is their willingness to provide that help. The indicators I had that the Krogan are secretive come from the second game; Wrex (if alive) states that the Krogan females have their own clans (one of his major reforms is that there is a neutral ground where females are shared between clans). Also, the Nakmor representative (I think) stated he spoke for the female clans. Also another Krogan told Shepard in that game that he will not see the female clans despite being an honored friend of their chief (if the chief is Wrex).
    • The Krogan are not secretive, far from it. They are very traditional, inherently combative due to their evolutionary history and often very proud, but they aren't secretive. Mostly the other races just don't understand Krogan ways, dismissing them as warmongering primitives who aren't worth consideration except as muscle.
    • The Nakmor clan might have been so secretive because going from series timeline, they were likely already involved with the Ark project. And given that Kesh seems to be very respected within the clan by the time of Andromeda, it's quite possible she (or another female) is in charge at that time too. Wrex does note the women have a lot of 'ideas', and joining the project is one good way to get away from Krogan politics and make a fresh start.
    • Kesh has been involved with the project for a long time. Her building the Nexus in the milky way is what got Vetra to join the project as Vetra was one of the people getting her the materials.
    • After finding the Krogan Colony it's made clear that the group that came over is at least 60% female and the females are in charge, so what we were told about clan Nakmor seems to have been correct.
    • Im not 100% sure where I found this out in Mass Effect 2, but I know it was correct, and it was proven by one of the emails in a terminal on New Tuchanka. The way it worked in the Milky Way was that each clan was composed of a "male clan" and "female clan" each with their own separate camps. Due to the Genophage, the female clan, which also held the children, was revered and protected by the male clan, which is led by a warlord who could be female if she were tough enough. The male clan and its camp typically looked like the Tuchanka landing zone in Mass Effect 2.
    • It's worth noting that the Initiative krogan are not the norm for krogan. The same can be said for any of the Initiative members. They're all strange enough people to want to throw themselves out to another galaxy and inclusive enough to want to be part of a multi-species effort for ever. The krogan that came to Andromeda are going to be odd-balls who listened when Initiative recruiters dropped by Tuchanka. They're also not all Nakmor; there's at least one Urdnot and a handful of Brenk, likely others too. The Nakmor just make up the majority.

    "The First Murderer" and the Andromeda Initiative's Lack of a Criminal Justice System 
  • So how was Nilken convicted in the first place? They have NO EVIDENCE. What little they have is circumstantial. Assuming the Initiative has a code of law - which is doubly stupid if they do not and just set out to found a new society without laws or a constitution- and assuming it resembles most Earth laws (And the Director/Founder was human, so no reason not to assume it is), To convict someone you need them to be guilty BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT. That's what the presumption of innocence is. It wouldn't need a lawyer to point out it's not the case here. You don't even need a lawyer, someone who has once walked past a law school or seen an episode of Law and Order would know this.
    • Okay, so Nilken's not guilty of murder. He IS guilty of attempted murder, which I assume is still a crime right? Or is attempted murder okay so long as you're bad at it? So why is freeing him of the murder charge and then trying him for attempted murder not an option?
    • It's stated in game that he will serve community after he is released, so presumably it's for the attempted murder.
    • Double jeopardy. At least in current western(-inspired) law systems, you can't be tried twice for the same crime, regardless of if the charges are two different charges. So because he was already tried for murder (plotting to kill someone well in advance and then doing it) he can't be tried again for attempted murder (plotting to kill someone well in advance and then failing to do it) because it's the same 'event'.
    • Don't think double jeopardy would apply here. What was found was exculpatory evidence, so presumably the murder conviction would be quashed. Most legal systems pile on lesser included offenses for this reason - if exculpatory evidence exonerates a convict of the actual killing, then unless that evidence exonerates him off all the planning and premeditation involved, those charges could still stick as "conspiracy to commit". As to why they don't exile him for attempted murder, it is probably due to the fact that murder can be a capital offense, while attempted murder isn't. So, exiling him is in the Nexus' minds a death sentence. However, they don't have the resources for long term incarceration, as a guy stewing in a jail cell for years only eats and sleeps with nothing gained in return. So, community service it is.
    • WHY IS RYDER LEFT TO MAKE THE CHOICE? "Your investigation complicated matter, what should we do???" Did you not just give a speech about how your establishing legal precedent here? So why is "Asking some rando what we should do coz he dug around and found evidence" a good precedent?" If you're not sure what to do, declare the old trial invalid or let him appeal, and re-try him with the new evidence.
    • Ryder makes the choice because Tann is clearly way, way out of his depth. He is not supposed to be the Director of the Initiative, he's an accountant. Most of his decisions are driven by keeping the status quo and his own position safe (even though nobody really has designs on removing him).
    • You're not just some random citizen, you are the Pathfinder. Since you were the one who brought up this issue, Tann can't just ignore it - you have way more resources being connected to SAM than some rando. Him asking you to decide that guy's fate is Tann giving you the proverbial "rope to hang yourself with". Mess it up, and Tann has you ready as a scapegoat. If he ignores the Pathfinder asking questions, who knows what kind of nut job conspiracies will spread about Nexus leadership covering something up and even keeping the Pathfinder in the dark. Tann dealt with one revolt already, so he doesn't want to misstep here and cause another one.
    • Tann makes a fuss about how it was the first crime in Andromeda and they need to get this right... then proceeded to fuck it up every which way. Like, the quest dodges the issue of how terrifyingly awful justice on the Initiative is. It makes the Council's Specters look fair and sane by comparison. Apparently Andromeda has no presumption of innocence, and your sentence can be decided on the whim of "some rando".
    • I think the options of let him go, or exile him are because of the bad shape that the Initiative is in. Like the Quarians, they can't afford to lose anybody. I personally would have put him on probation for 10-15 years, and if he is convicted of a violent crime during it he gets exiled. Community service or accepting dangerous missions would reduce it.
    • People get convicted of crimes on circumstantial evidence all the time. Having flawed and imperfect legal system isn't a headscratcher, it's a reflection of reality.
    • The Nexus is in a state of emergency and under martial law isn't it? Why is this a shock? For all we know this is traditional Turian justice since they usually confess to crimes when caught.
    • Although he escapes lawful punishment, he doesn't escape social punishment. He can be seen on the Hyperion's cryo deck asking to be put back in cryo since everyone still sees him as a murderer and his wife left him when she found out the truth.
    • What if the Nexus did have judges and lawyers and all the trappings of a real justice system, but they weren't awake yet? It's doubtful they would have been a high priority to wake up, since the Initiative was assuming that the first wave would be too worried about survival to commit any major crimes. Then when a crime was committed, Tann (being a bit short-sighted and struggling to maintain his power) wouldn't want to upset the balance by waking up the people who actually knew how to deal with it. So he decided to just get rid of him, resulting in a bunch of people getting annoyed with his terrible leadership and staging a mutiny.
      • There is actually a conversation between somebody saying they want a lawyer and the guard saying they haven't thawed out any lawyers yet, there isn't much of a need and there being a joke in there somewhere.

    Two things about Suvi 
  • Two questions about Suvi. 1) Is Suvi a lesbian? 2) What is Suvi's religion? The page says that Suvi is a love interest for a female Ryder because they flirt and go out. However what confirmation is that, when Ryder can flirt with characters that they can't romance in the game? A male Ryder can flirt with Liam who appreciates the thought of appealing to everyone but says he's not into men. The date between Ryder and Suvi could turn out to be an outing with friends and it doesn't become romantic or sexual. As for the second question that is curiosity based; (to address a potential issue, yes most real-life religions disapprove of homosexuality, and yes a person can be both homosexual and religious, so the question was inspired by wondering whether she follows a real-life religion such as Judaism, one that is debatably a religion such as Buddhism, or an alien religion), all that's known is going by Suvi's comment on "the divine intelligence behind all creation" it's theistic; is Suvi's religion stated, and if so what is it?
    • Suvi is a lesbian. Her sexuality is revealed gradually, depending on your Ryder. A male Ryder offers to teach Suvi how to shoot during their first conversation. Suvi turns them and and then politely informs him if he's hitting on her that she's not interested, claiming to want to keep it professional. If playing as a female Ryder, she's happy to take her up on this, only wanting to wait until they have spare time to do so. As for Suvi's religion I'd have to play more of the game to see what it is, but yes from her dialogue it is theistic. Maybe someone else can answer the question of Suvi's religion...
    • Suvi doesn't mention WHAT religious ideals she subscribes to. When Ryder gets a chance to respond to her dialogue, you're given the dialogue options of "I can see why people believe in a god" (or something like that?) or "There is no god". Presumably, the dialogue is keeping vague because of the vast amount of religions out there and it'd be difficult to properly make sure the player can voice what they are subscribing to. Also, religion, as far as I'm aware, is somewhat uncharted territory when it comes to Mass Effect. Thus, keeping things vague means that the writers don't have to go into too controversial of a topic and allow the players to fill in whatever religion they so want. Side thing, but I didn't really like that it was put to such a binary of 'I believe' or 'There is no god' in the dialogue options. I feel like I'd be an ass to tell a clearly religious woman that there isn't a god, but I didn't want my character to be religious either. I'm not sure what the dialogue is for the actual option though, just the dialogue wheel caption.
    • From that statement it can be inferred that Suvi's faith is in a monotheistic religion (since she refers to God). While Mass Effect tends to take a mostly secular view, sidestepping or handwaving the issue in regards to humanity and real-life religions, BioWare has explored religion in other franchises, especially Dragon Age. It'd be easy to make the player character ascribe to a particular religion (just record lines where affirming a specific religion, like following the Bible or saying they worship Allah), but BioWare avoids that route due to the possibility of alienating parts of the fanbase that don't ascribe to the religion selected, the idea clashing with views of members of the dev team themselves or all of the above. Back on topic, Suvi's beliefs are monotheistic and since no alien religions are mentioned the most likely candidates are Christianity or Judaism.
    • Or Zoroastrianism. Her name has a Middle Eastern root.
    • It's entirely possible that Suvi doesn't actually subscribe to an organized religion while still being spiritual and believing in a higher power/creator figure without assigning any specific belief system to it. She talks about faith, not belief, and spirituality, not religion.
    • Consider all the religious movements that have sprouted up since the 19th century here on Earth like Mormonism or Scientology, and that was without the discovery of alien life and psychic powers. It's not at all unlikely that Suvi may worship a religion that only exists in the future of Mass Effect, or at least a significant offshoot or derivative of an extant one (like the relationship Christianity has to Judaism).
    • Her description of "god" does sound more like a personal view than an organised religion and frankly comes across as Deist rather than Theist. She describes god as an artist, at no point suggests that god is going to actually help her and even pokes fun at the idea of such a being imposing behavioural limits, stating that she doesn't think god is going to "check to see if I've brushed my teeth."

    How is Alec Ryder a biotic? 
  • Alec Ryder was born in 2129 CE, but the first human biotics weren't born until the 2150s - how was Alec exposed to eezo in-utero when he was born two decades before eezo was even discovered?
    • His SAM implant seems to give him the ability with the biotic profile, the Pathfinder implant is technically a biotic one. This is presumably the same way both Ryder children gain access to biotics even if they didn't start out with the abilities.
    • Word of God is that both Ryder children have biotics from the get go. This is supported by the fact that the training backgrounds you can choose at the start of the game includes options like "Biotic" and "Scrapper" that provide biotic powers, implying that the Ryders already had biotics back in the Milky Way during their service in the Alliance.
    • Even before SAM, Ellen was experimenting with biotic implants. Alec probably was outfitted with experimental L1 implants, and had no biotic ability as a result. Boosting that, was probably why he started to dabble in AI research. Also, due to Ellen working around Eezo all her life, it would actually be a surprise if the twins weren't biotics. This is why you can start putting points into biotic abilities right from the get go.
    • There is a bit of precedent: it's implied that Cerberus gave Kai Leng biotic abilities through Reaper implants, because those abilities weren't mentioned in the books where he was initially introduced. It's possible that Ellen was working on a way to do this with existing Milky Way tech, which would explain Alec's biotics, how the twins got exposed, and how she got sick with an eezo-related illness.
    • In addition to Cerberus research, in ME1 the Krogan are mentioned to have once had a surgical procedure for creating their own Biotics, so there is precedence for artificial biotics.

    Why didn't they just take turns with the helmet? 
  • The shuttle was less than five minutes away and apparently they can swap the helmet on the fly. The obvious thing to do would be to take turns with the helmet. One breathes for a minute, the other holds his breath, and so forth until the shuttle shows up.
    • Likely a combination of things. The Ryder child was already in critical condition from breathing in the air and gaps in breathable oxygen might have increased the chances of fatality. Alec's choice is fleshed out more later when you go to his room and hear his recordings. He's worried about the unconscious Ryder twin despite the fact he KNOWS he has to be professional and thousands of lives rest on his shoulders. It's the fear he's going to loose both his children that drives him to sacrifice himself. But from what I gathered of the scene the crucial thing was not passing on the helmet so much as giving his child the SAM implant to fix his child's dying body. Like Shepard in Mass Effect 2, we see Ryder go through a resurrections of sorts as they become the Pathfinder.
    • Ryder Jr. (both) already had the SAM implant, Alec simply switched the link to SAM from himself to his child. It's still a major shock to the body and neural system, but it's only possible because the implant was already there.
    • Because the helmet takes a few seconds to put on (and off). Ryder Jr. is already passing out - even with the helmet on. There's no guarantee Dad Ryder won't pass out too.
    • The air is toxic, not just lacking oxygen. Note that Ryder is rendered critical after just twenty or so seconds of breathing it in, an older man like Alec is going to be terminal after far less time. Put simply, swapping the helmet would have almost certainly killed them both.

    Fixing the helmet 

  • Why didn't one of them just repair Jr.'s helmet with the Omni-Tool like Ryder Jr. did when he/she broke the helmet his/herself right when they crash landed? A few seconds of exposure didn't cause any lasting damage when that happened either so they had the time.
    • Love Makes You Dumb? Remember Alec's obsession with AI to save his wife got him and his children blacklisted, so this wouldn't be the first time it happened to him.
    • I had to have someone point it out to me, and rewatch the repair scene a couple of times to catch it, but although it does look like the whole left side of Jr's face plate is gone in that scene, it actually isn't, there's just a crack across it through which the suit air is escaping. A completely blown out faceplate is therefore presumably a much more serious problem the Omni-tool can't fix. Once you know to look for it, I think it is fairly obvious this is what's going on, but if you don't the 'left side of faceplate is gone' interpretation is the natural one. At least it was for me. And you only have a few seconds to register what is happening. It really could have done with a bit more reflection off the helmet faceplate or extending the crack pattern to make this more obvious.
    • The first time this happens when Ryder Jr. lands on the planet and fixes the face plate its just a crack, that can be easily patched with the omni tool. However the second time this happens with Ryder Sr. around, its not just a crack, Ryder Jr. looses his entire face plate. It is the difference between fixing a crack in a helmet with some superglue, or taking a sledgehammer to the same helmet and trying to fix it with the same superglue.
    • True, but as we saw in Mass Effect 1 with the Mako and elsewhere the Omni-tool is perfectly capable of using Omni-gel to fix large machines in seconds. I'd be surprised if the Omni-tool couldn't make a helmet wholesale on the spot not to mention replace a face plate.
    • When you fix the Mako in Mass Effect 1 you're getting a large amount of Omni Gel stored on the Mako presumably through an on-bard fabricator. Ryder (Jr and Sr) have just their suits resources. Not to mention that even if one of them could make the faceplate they'd then have to fit it into the broken helmet, all the while dying of oxygen starvation and poison.

     Why can't Ryder install weapons on the Nomad and Tempest? 
  • It makes perfect sense to not bring an actual tank or armed frigate with you, since the Council might be concerned about someone taking an army with them to a new galaxy without official government oversight, or the Initiative not wanting to appear hostile to Andromeda natives. However, once the Kett attack, it is very clear that these guys are hostile. So why can't Ryder say "I'm feeling really vulnerable driving around in possibly hostile enemy territory in a vehicle without weapons" and decide to strap a BFG onto the Nomad to fight back if attacked? Or use it to devastate Kett FOBs or any large wildlife? And similarly, why can't Ryder say that outmaneuvering and outrunning hostile ships aren't enough, in some instances, we might have to fight back, and install a BFG or some torpedoes on the Tempest?
    • The Tempest has no room for torpedoes (Remember how big the torpedo launchers were in the SR 2?). So to do so he'd have to take the Tempest out of commission, rebuild the entire hull. Furthermore, it's been designed for its current mass and shape. Adding that weaponry might make the Tempest unwieldy and unable to land like it is supposed to. Furthermore, while the Tempest is undergoing this expansive refit, the ship will be unavailable. And the Nexus can't afford to wait for a few more months for their Pathfinder's ship to be ready. Similarly adding a gun turret on top of the Nomad would require rebuilding the nomad's hull, with the same issue as the Tempest (with it potentially losing its balance and suddenly handling like the Mako).
    • There's also the point that installing weapons on the Tempest is of very limited use. Sure, you might be able to ding the other guy's hull before he blasts you out of the sky, but a unsupported frigate has no place fighting another warship. Even the SR 2 generally limited combat action to shooting down probes and desperate rushes against a still warming up Collector ship, and that was a beast compared to the Tempest.
    • This is actually discussed by the crew in the cargo bay in an ambient conversation with Jaal and Drack really pushing for some weapons to be installed. Cora, Vetra, and Gil have to shoot the idea down pointing out the ship was designed to be strictly unarmed and if they decided to hook up even basic defenses the recoil would blow out the Tempest's numerous windows, decompressing the whole damn thing. Ultimately, it was never designed to be a warship, and it turned out to be a shortsighted decision.
    • That still does not excuse not arming the nomad. Modifications such as adding gun turrets in the field happen all the time in combat conditions with FAR fewer resources (3D printers are mentioned repeatedly) than the initiative possess, even taking place while UNDER FIRE. There is no reason why the nomad's chassis and drivetrain could not handle a couple of stripped down M8 Avengers in a pindle mount with room for a pressure sealed hatch. The initiative has more than qualified personnel to make changes overnight and its not like Ryder takes a full squad on missions anyway. If comfortable seating is a concern, I'd take combat survival over extra leg room any day. Worst case the nomad losses a 1-2 kph and a bit of thrust.
    • Installing a usable pintle mount would be far more deleterious to the Nomad's operation than you state. The Nomad is NOT an infantry fighting vehicle, nor a military vehicle of any kind. Like the Tempest it's designed for an entirely different purpose. Slapping a gun mount on the thing that is fired by crew would require cutting away part of the hull and reinstalling it, which is a no-go since the Nomad is a fully pressurised, climate-controlled long-range vehicle designed to support a few crew for days at a time if need be. A remote-controlled turret might be workable, however it still involves running a workable line (only an idiot would rely on a remote link that could be hacked) through the pressure-sealed hull and into the crew compartment. It also assumes that there is space for a gunnery station - that may also need to be installed from scratch. There's also the problems of strapping guns not designed for that kind of operation onto the outside of a hull that is regularly exposed to temperatures ranging from -50 to +50 Celsius, potentially acidic environments, or conditions that make lightning strikes or exposure to water likely. ME weapons may be rated for vacuum, but that doesn't confer chemical, electrical or heat resistance. One slight roll could scrape off or twist the mount, something the vehicle is designed for but not a slapped-on weapon system.
Add to that why Ryder, primarily an explorer that also requires skills in combat because of circumstances, would even ASK for such mounts to be put on her vehicle or even deem them necessary. As stated, it isn't a fighting vehicle. It has more than enough shields to survive small-arms fire or even something bigger like fixed turrets. Why would the Pathfinder want an engineering crew breaking the Nomad's pressure seal just to tinker around trying to strap guns to it when personal weapons are all that's necessary anyway? The kett rely on infantry power, large Remnant bots are almost always encountered in areas the Nomad isn't taken anyway, and the biggest equipment the exiles or Roekaar can scrape together are a few Hydras created from stripped-down mechs that can be easily taken out by small arms.
  • The short answer is that the Initiative is oriented around exploration far more than military action and operations, and planned and geared themselves up accordingly. Yes, there are weapons available. But the Initiative's plans didn't account for finding themselves in the middle of a century-long war, where they would feel compelled to take sides and fight, upon arrival. It's also possible that there were some more military-minded contingency measures in the works, but that these had to be scrapped when the timetable got moved up, and that the Initiative had to leave with things "as-is" due to Shepard's warnings about the Reapers.

     Why didn't they wake Jien Garson and the other Initiative leaders first? 
  • Wouldn't it make more sense to release the high-ranking officers from cryo as soon as they arrive in Andromeda? A few minutes passed before Hyperion hit the scourge so if Garson was awake, she could have survived. I know it would make little difference but still.
    • The reason is explained. To put it simply, there's a traitor among the Initiative who murdered Jien Garson.
    • Jien wasn't on the Hyperion at all - she was on the Nexus itself which, as far as it seems, crashed into the Scourge while either no one was awake or the lower ranking members were prepping the Nexus before the higher ranking officers were woken.
    • The Expanded Universe book explains it. Jien and other leaders were awake and on bridge on approach when Nexus (she was not on Hyperion) rammed into a tendril of the Scourge, which killed most of the senior staff
     Kett Ideology 
  • The Kett are almost definitely a cult and evoke a considerable amount of religious imagery. However, religion is mostly and originally defined as "the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods." Other definitions such as "a pursuit or interest followed with great devotion." came later. The Kett philosophy seems to center on an Evilutionary Biologist tendency and their reproduction via Clone by Conversion. Since with the discovery of aliens with theistic religions as well, the original definition of religion would be "supernatural" rather than "superhuman. In light of that, are the Kett religious, a cult or is it just a philosophy centered around ritualized science?
    • Science could simply be their religion.
    • That could be the case using the second more recent definition of religion. By the first science cannot be a religion as the science used here is not supernatural nor is it a god. To me they seem more like a cult, as the current definition of cult does not match up with religion; a cult can be about something that is not superhuman or supernatural and does not have to center around a god; a science worshiping cult sounds more likely in my opinion. How does the idea of ritualized science sound?
    • They seem to have a bad case of Low Culture, High Tech going on, although that might just be because we mostly just see the warrior caste. Machine Worship, perhaps?
    • They worship themselves or at least the idea of themselves. That which is Kett is holy by definition so that which makes more Kett or spreads the Kett's influence or makes the Kett stronger is a holy cause. In human terms it's closer to extreme nationalism than religion but they have ritualised their very existence to the point merely being Kett is religion enough.
    • The kett are an alien race from another galaxy. Applying human (or even Miky Way-centric) notions of what does and does not, or can and cannot, constitute a religion seems a little narrowly focused. Kett behavior regarding exaltation is religious in nature and in its trappings, and the names the kett are given (Chosen, Anointed, Cardinal, etc.) all have strong religious overtones as we would understand it. The kett's practice of their "religion" and the human understanding of it may not overlap completely, but they should overlap enough that the word can apply relatively comfortably.
    Chain of Succession 
  • Why is Ryder in charge? They have the upgraded SAM implant sure, but that's it. They could just operate the machines for the real leader. Everyone else on the team has rank, seniority, and combat experience on them. Not to mention that early game Ryder is a scared kid who doesn't exactly inspire confidence; they're frankly not fit to lead a parade, much less the tip of the spear for the entire Initiative.
    • It's just your opinion on whether or not Ryder inspires confidence. Ryder seems to get Liam and Cora to follow. By then, getting through Habitat 7 seems to win over enough fans until Eos in completed.
    • Ryder is Pathfinder. Literally, the Pathfinder chooses their second and the only person that could possible gainsay a Pathfinder appointment formally is the Captain of their ARK, not anyone in the Nexus hierarchy. In essence...Ryder is Pathfinder because the previous Pathfinder designated her so, and SAM cannot just be ripped away without either of their consent.
    • Part of it is lack of available seconds. Cora is the designated backup, but, as we see later, isn't much of a leader. Neither is Liam (although his place in the "line of succession" is unclear, perhaps nonexistent). You, while not a designated leader, showed your grit and capability in the aftermath of the shuttle going down, so you're a clear forerunner. Secondly, it could be that Alec realized that the entirety of the op had gone to pot, and that the established leaders weren't going to be the best choices. He knew that Scott/Sara had the kind of personality and spirit that would be needed to be a Pathfinder for the times.
    • Cora even expresses after her loyalty mission that she finally understands why Ryder Sr. chose Ryder Jr over herself as his successor. She is constantly looking for guidance and help; there isn't one conversation where she doesn't mention something about being a Huntress, even emailing Ryder bits and pieces of Sarissa's 'wisdom' that apparently you need. She doesn't have the confidence in her own judgement and abilities that being a Pathfinder requires, and your dad knew it.
    • Restatement for clarification: Since the Nexus leaders in-universe have no confidence in Ryder's ability and explicitly state the Alec giving them the job was a violation of protocol, why was it allowed to stand? SAM is bounded, but the authority is not.
    • Nexus authority only goes so far. They can moan and whinge all they like, but Tann and Addison aren't exactly spectacular successes themselves and nearly got the Nexus taken over in a mutiny if it hadn't been for the Krogan. Some of your first conversations with Addison are the two of you reminding each other that you're not successful at your jobs yet. Though while at that point Ryder is 0 for 0...Addison has had two failed colonies already and is preparing to blame you if the third try doesn't pan out.
    • Addison might not like you, but Tann and Kesh are a lot more neutral. Tann pretty much states that failure in your first mission will see you replaced, but he's willing to place a bet on you.
    • They had such a tremendous respect for Alec Ryder that they decided to let his final decision stand, even if it seemed dubious.
    • SAM's considered a critical part of the Pathfinder toolkit and rebonding him to someone else would take apparently months of psychological therapy. Cora has probably already undergone that therapy but she doesn't protest the promotion in earshot of the higher-ups. Given how low supplies were running on the Nexus they were probably more concerned with just having someone get out there and kickstart what they flew 600 years to do.
    • Also for all Tann's bluster about his authority the Pathfinders are not appointed by the Nexus. The individual Arks choose their Pathfinders. The Nexus leadership can tell them what to do but can't hire and fire them. Technically the only person who can say Ryder Jr can't be Pathfinder is Captain Dunn, as seen on the Asari Ark where the Captain will, if told the truth, fire Sarissa and appoint Vedaria on the spot. Presumably Dunn thought Ryder Jr was a good choice and the Nexus leadership had to just live with it. Dunn is nothing but supportive of Ryder Jr throughout the game. As a side note about seniority while most of the Pathfinder team have it over Ryder most of them quit after Habitat 7, leaving only Liam and Cora and both Ryder twins actually have more experience than Liam (both were Alliance before following Dad to Andromeda, just not the vet Shepard started his/her first game as), so it's really only Cora who's stepping aside.
    • There also seems to be a recurring theme within the game of people inheriting positions of leadership, power, or authority for which they were unprepared and which they may not want. Most of the chains of command in Andromeda have been cut short by a link or two, or several. One of the themes of the whole game is whether the various characters, Ryder Jr. included, can successfully rise to the challenge of sudden and unexpected responsibility.
    Kett Threat? 
  • Just how much of a threat are the kett exactly? All the kett in this game are after Remnant technology as Archon directs them and their other goal seems to be reproducing via Clone by Conversion. Didn't the Andromeda bring warships on their intergalactic journey that could match the kett fleet? When non-kett are made into kett why don't they choose to not serve the archon? The kett seem less dangerous than the Collectors, and much of the threat the Collectors were came from attacking comparatively undefended targets and the tools and power they got from their masters the Reapers.
    • With regards to the fleet, The Andromeda Initiative is a civilian operation with zero official support from the Council or Systems Alliance. The only ships they have are a large cache of shuttles, the Arks & Nexus themselves, and the Tempest-class scouts (of which all but the Tempest herself were destroyed when the Nexus hit the scourge). All their military hardware was smuggled to the Initiative (this is how Vetra got involved, incidentally) and much of it is being manufactured in Andromeda.
    • Furthering that point, Ryder will explicitly mention that none of the Arks are armed when told that the Asari Ark came under direct attack from the Kett. Point being that while initiative forces are a match for kett on the ground, they're helpless against the kett in space.
    • Regarding recently converted kett choosing not to follow the Archon, Exaltation isn't an instantiations process; it takes time and a large part of that seems to be mentally breaking down and conditioning the "chosen" to embrace kett ideology to the point that they become willing servants.
    • The Initiative has 80000 personnel in arks (mostly still in cryo due to resource shortages) and similarly small numbers on the Nexus so any prolonged war would be extremely short unless a proxy can be found to do the fighting (and dying) for the Initiative.
    • It's mentioned in the Codex that Kett ships are actually less advanced that the Systems Alliance ships prior to the Reaper War, which in turn would mean they're significantly less advanced than asari, salarian, turian, and perhaps even volus & hanar ships back in the Milky Way. Certainly less advanced than anything that the Milky Way is producing in the aftermath of the Reaper War, assuming they survived. So the main issue is that the Initiative didn't bring any warships with them, and would be at a significant numbers disadvantage even if not for the massive casualties and defections they've suffered. The Kett do have significant advantages over the Milky Way races in terms of their genetic and medicinal knowledge, though.
    • Something to keep in mind is are we talking as in cluster wide threat? or Galaxy wide threat? Cluster wide they are about evenly matched, the initiative technically has more advanced technology, but they are also all civilian. So no dedicated war ships of any kind. This means they need to rely on hit and run, surprise attacks, and similar tactics. The kett on the other hand came to conquer wich means they have dedicated warships and soldiers, this means they can pick a target and just annihilate it if they really want to.
    • However galaxy wide it is a different story, The initiative has the same advantages but there are maybe 150,000 individuals total. Most of whom are civilians, and they can only draw on the resources of a single cluster. Meanwhile the Kett may have a lower level of tech, how ever potentially there are millions of them, and they can draw on the resources of multiple clusters.
    • The thing hampering the Kett from just overwhelming Heleus is a lack of a Relay network or similar, combined with a slower FTL speed than the Milky Way ships. They had to use sleeper ships to even get to Helius in the first place. Since the Archon has been blocking calls for reinforcements so he can pursue his obsession unhindered then likely none are coming at the moment. Even if the Primus calls for reinforcements immediately after taking over the time taken for the message to get there and the reinforcements to arrive will not be short. The inhabitants of Helius can only hope it's long enough to beat the Kett already there and fortify.

    Helium- 3 mining 
  • There's a sidequest on H-074c around preventing an outlaw group from mining Helium-3 from the planet/asteroid field. But - unless at super low temperatures or super high pressures - Helium-3 is a gas. In fact, in-universe, the galaxy map fluff for many gas giants contains bits about how their atmospheres are being mined for it. How are you going to mine it from an irradiated rock? Are there bubbles of the gas trapped beneath the surface? Does the radiation make the topsoil decay into Helium-3? Neither seems more efficient than just skimming the gas from a planet's atmosphere. Why not just make H-074c a source of one of the many minerals that seem to be in demand among the settlers, like Element Zero?
    • Helium 3, like many gases, can be bonded with minerals and have to be extracted from them. This is in fact the case in Real Life on the Moon, and the plans for mining helium 3 from there involve plenty of digging through rocks, as well. Presumably the outlaw group has mining equipment suited for Earth-like planets, but no means to skim gas giants for the stuff.

    Remnant tech vs Reaper tech. Some spoilers. 
  • Alright, just curious. How are we ranking Remnant/Jardaan tech against the Reapers/Leviathans? It's apparently mentioned somewhere in game that the Remnant tech is actually less advanced than the Protheans, but presumably that's said before the full scale of their teraforming network is known, and the person saying that presumably believes(as most people in the Milky Way do/did) that the Protheans were actually responsible for the Relay network which we know they aren't. The remnant built a moon-sized dyson sphere type device but the Geth were working on that and we know that the Reapers far outstretch the Geth in terms of technology. We don't have anyone in game that can directly compare the two to give us a sense over which is supposed to be more advanced. A lot of Remtech is more visually impressive in terms of the alien geometries of their vaults and how their machines are instantly 3-d printed, but one wonders how much of that is simple advancements in graphics engines.
    • Weapon systems and armor seem comparable, but the 3D printing and mass teraforming are beyond anything we've seen from the Protheans. As noted they're basing the idea that they're less advanced on assuming the mass relays and citadel are Prothean tech. Reaper/Leviathan tech is naturally still way beyond anyone else, though to be fair we see nothing from them without military application.
    • Remnant is superior in many aspects. When you turn the Vault on in Havarl, all native life on the planet slowly begins to recover their genetic degradation (with the more extreme mutations dying off). That basically means the Remnant tech can genetically alter living beings without direct contact with them, which which ages ahead to what we see Reaper Tech do (where direct exposure and contact is needed). Furthermore, going by they creation of The Angara, their genetic engineering capability are better (Compare to the Collectors who are heavily dependent on artificial implants to even stay alive).
    • The issue is that the Remnant are much more "human-like" then the Reapers. The Reapers don't terraform, or develop races, or really do anything not directly related to reaping. This makes the comparisons apples to oranges in many respects - its possible that the Reapers could do what the Remnant did but simply had no interest in doing so. The Collectors are made that way purposefully, its not that the Reapers couldn't make the Collectors independent of tech, they just wanted artificial slaves and mixing tech with flesh is kinda their thing. Even the Protheans were able to direct the creation of the Asari, so the tech ceiling for making your own races isn't that high.
    • There is no evidence the Protheans created the Asari. We know they visited their homeworld, placed technology there, and even masqueraded as gods while protecting them from being exploited by the more advanced races of the time, but that's all.
    • Actually Mordin makes it a point to theorize that the Collector's implementation was done over time to shore up subsequent consequences of long term indoctrination and failing. Collectors were NOT made that way, the Reapers keep having to patch them up so they can function.
    • The Reapers were gone from the Milky Way for tens of thousands of years. From Javik's flashbacks in ME3, we know Prothean husks looked like Collectors late in the reaping of the Protheans (since Javik mentions he is from a time much later in the Reaper invasion when the Citadel was lost and the Reapers were making more and more advanced 'husk' creatures). It's likely that not much development (other than the Collector's own) happened after the Reapers left. We know the Collectors created their own versions of husks using humans as that is how Praetorians and Scions are created.
    • No, his theory was that they lost functions over several "cloned generations". The Collectors that live now are not the Protheans that were originally captured (if that is what you are implying), and the loss of function appears to have been intentional on the Reaper's part.
    • Based on what I've seen the Reapers are still streaks ahead of the Jaardan. The Jaardan took hundreds of tries over a long period of time to create viable Angara whereas the Reapers worked out how to turn multiple species into at least functional foot soldiers in weeks, maybe days. Plus the Remnant ships and weapons are at best a little better than the Kett whereas Reapers can crush whole fleets on their own. The Vaults are very impressive but, as stated above, there's no reason to assume the Reapers couldn't do that if they wanted to (several tactics used in the Reaper War suggest they know how to terraform in a hurry) but they would never have any reason to do so. I'd also like to counter a point raised above, namely "the Remnant tech can genetically alter living beings without direct contact with them, which which ages ahead to what we see Reaper Tech do (where direct exposure and contact is needed)." We don't know how the Remnant Vault is doing that but chances are it is through direct contact/exposure, such as manufacturing a targeted virus. That would fit with the other approaches the Vaults use for terraforming, that is releasing stuff into the atmosphere. Meanwhile Reaper tech can alter your mind just by being around it, even if the Reaper in question is shut down. As for comparing the Jaardan to the Protheans, depends on the area. The Jaardan are ahead of the Protheans in terraforming and genetics but I'd say the Protheans have the edge in engineering. While the Milky Way species may be mistaken that the Relay network was the Protheans they did manage to build their own Mass Relay shortly before the Reapers showed up.
    • I find this statement very questionable. The Jaardan's tech far outstrips the level of the reapers on several new levels. The thing to realize is that the Jaardan and reapers are absolute opposites as creators and destroyers. The Jaardan innovate but the reapers are forever stagnant. The reapers themselves apply to what Mordin said about the Collectors. The Jaardan created new and unique lifeforms, even advanced intelligence sapiens, from absolute scratch. This is far greater than what the reapers do through huskification and tech modifications, which are derived from initial failed (or rather horrifyingly twisted) attempts at synthesis (as are the reapers). They have tech that can alter entire planets not on an enormous scale but EVERY scale in every manner, at a moments notice. The atmosphere processors that the reapers are capable of are childrens toys or the equivalent of smashing your head against a violin vs what the depth of change the vaults can achieve. Calling what the Jaardan do "terraforming" is a understatement. Same goes for the indoctrination process, it is a blunt force weapon that smashes against consciousness and biological brains. The Jaardan created sapient beings with active ancestral memory in their genetics. The Reapers are incapable of reaching the level of the Jaardans because they are about maintaining the status quo and ironically are can never escape the level of tech they preach about trapping milky way species within. The reapers BUTCHER existing species and end up with Collectors and husks using the exact same method they have every 50,000 years for millions and millions of years. The Jaardan created an independent civilization from nothing, with a level of subtlety and success akin to the natural process itself. The scale of the vaults, which plumb the depths of entire planets is far grander than anything the Reapers achieved or did. Keep in mind that planets are still MASSIVE in scope and size. Each planets vault must have energy usage and generation that far outstrips the entire reaper fleet. Their tech conjures combat machines from out of thin air. Not to mention the Jaardan created an entire vault network across an entire cluster, quite possibly across an entire galaxy (or who knows what they did elsewhere, since Jaardan notes on the Meridian control tower hint it was a local experiment). Lets consider the enemies they had (if it wasn't enemy Jaardan that is). The scourge alone is a horrifying weapon that bends reality and breaks fundamental laws of the universe, which surpasses the reapers in every way conceivable. They never had the ability to unmake a planet and reduce it to pebbles. The level of technological sophistication the Jaardan hold are to the reapers what the reapers are to milky way species without space flight.
    • While the statement that Reapers and Jaardan are destroyers and creators respectively is true, that seems to be more of their interest rather than their ability. As above, the Protheans were also capable of making sentient beings as the "Enkindlers" to the Hanar and Asarai. Its also established that the Reapers are higher tech than the Protheans, so we can safely assume the Reapers are capable of doing the same thing. The Rachni- a sentient species with an ancestral memory- were bred by the Protheans at one point (possibly making them sentient as well.). Again, there is no hint that the Reapers can't do it, but there are plenty showing that they simply arn't interested. Its possible that there are not sentient Reaper-made species or massive transforming projects because they don't want to, not because they can't. The fact that the Vaults are so large is, if anything, a weakness. A large Vault filled with nanomachines can interact with the surrounding planet in a very "blunt" way itself, a truly godlike tech would much smaller. And as with the "unmaking a planet" thing, again the Reapers had no reason to. They were meant to preserve things (in some sense), blowing up planets goes against that directive. The major problem is what you stated-the Reapers were destructive and pro-stagnation while the Jaardians were more creation oriented. It means we don't have any 1-1 comparisons to see who is unarguably "Better" at a given task.
    • There is absolutely no evidence the Protheans did anything but influence the CULTURE of the Hanar and Asari. They did not create those races. It's also not in line with what we see of the Protheans themselves - they were willing to conquer other races not strong enough to resist them, but also to protect less advanced races from exploitation. There is nothing in ME canon suggesting they could create sentient life.
    • We can make some direct comparisons when they are trying to do the same thing, such as combat. Reaper ships, even the small ones, can defeat entire fleets whereas Remnant ships are barely better than Kett. Similarly Reaper weapons (ground and space) pack a much bigger punch. It's true that the Reaper approach is brute force but it's supposed to be: the Reapers don't care about the damage they do to achieve their objectives. The Vaults, amazing as they are, are big structures built over a long time. The planet altering tech the Reapers use in the Reaper War is much smaller and ready to go in days. Also the Vaults are malfunctioning after a few centuries without input whereas Reaper tech has hardcore Ragnarök Proofing, still working as designed after billions of years in some cases. They are definately stagnant but the level they are stagnant at is, in all comparable ways, above the Jaardan who are closer to the Protheans. As a side note the Reapers certainly could destroy a planet, it would just take a while of sustained fire. We don't know how long the Scourge took to destroy H-047C. Indeed the Reapers could destroy entire solar systems if they wanted to. A destroyed Mass Relay took out the entire Behak system and if Reaper tech can do that as a side effect they certainly could do it on purpose. They just wouldn't, lacking any reason to do so.
    • The Vault network is only malfunctioning because it suffered the equivalent of a planetary-scale dark energy nuke which then propagated along the network connections to other worlds, as well as being drawn to anything of the same technology. Even then, they are only malfunctioning and are easily reset by Ryder, simply because they have an AI capable of deciphering the interfaces. The Jardaan built that network from scratch on biological timescales - the Reapers have been technologically stagnant for BILLIONS of years. They don't innovate past the point they perfected their form, indoctrination and relay network - much of which was very likely Leviathan technology anyway.
    • That the Jaardan were ADVANCING faster than the Reapers is not in doubt but that isn't the question. The question was who was more advanced at the level we saw them.
    • Also, Jardaan technology is way above that of the Protheans. All of the wondrous technology attributed to the Protheans turned out to have been built by the Reapers. The Protheans were simply the strongest, most militarily capable species of their cycle that conquered other races rather than coexisting with them; they were an advanced civilisation but most likely not massively more so than the Asari, who are also the most advanced of our cycle.
    • The Remnants main claim to fame is their terraforming technology, and while impressive and extensive, just how impressive can't be readily determined without knowing the amount of time and resources the Jaardan put into making them. It becomes less impressive when you remember that terraforming tech was available to the Milky Way only too expensive to be practical when they could simply find other habital worlds. It becomes even less impressive when you remember that the alliance had terraforming tech even before discovering the Charon relay, as they planned to terraform Mars into a settlement, only for it to become impractical upon discovering the relays. So yeah gonna go with the reapers on this.
    • This is nonsense. The Reapers have stagnated for billions (yes, billions) of years and in the end can still be destroyed by a single well-placed mass accelerator round, albeit a big one. Reaper tech is also essentially what they took from the Leviathans, with no innovation for those billions of years. Their tech is advanced, but so what? It can still be defeated, was largely built on what came before and has not been improved because the Reapers and their directive is what is important to them. Remnant technology was built by a culture on biological timescales and achieves a goal on those timescales similar in scope to the Reapers' Mass Relays. Terraforming (that's true terraforming involving planetary manipulation) has energy requirements far in excess of between-cluster FTL travel, which is simply a souped-up version of conventional FTL.
    • Yes, the Reapers can be destroyed but it takes a fleet to take down one. Judging by the end battle Jaardan ships are on a level with the Kett in a straight fight. Energy requirements are not the be-all and end-all of tech level, indeed the less energy used to achieve a task the better. Again, the question is not who is advancing their tech better, it's who has the better tech now. The Reapers stagnated, true, but the level they stagnated at is above the Jaardan in all comparable areas.
      • It took a fleet to destroy Sovereign in the first game because they had never fought a Reaper before and engaged it as they would any other ship. In ME3 the codex reveals that Reaper kinetic barriers are strong enough to withstand a massed barrage from three dreadnoughts, but not four. That's why you see Reapers taking critical damage and even being destroyed in the battle above Earth (if your EMS is high enough). Hit a Reaper with fire from 4+ big ships, and it will eventually take damage enough to knock it out or destroy it. The trick was having enough ships so the Reaper return fire didn't wipe everyone out beforehand and took the human AND turian AND asari AND quarian fleets. All of that, and Hackett says it still isn't enough to win conventionally - that was all to keep the Reapers held for long enough to get the Crucible into play.
    • Also the Reapers already have shown to be able to change the genetic code of lifeforms on a galactic scale in a matter of hours. Synthesis. After all it were the Citadel and the Mass Relays which spread the gene altering pulse. And as the Catalyst states: It has already been tried, but a fitting template was missing (essentially Shepard is the current cycles addition to the Crucible). And the Crucible after all is in no way more advanced then Reaper tech. Most likely it's based on Reaper tech. So they CAN do it if they want.
      • All Synthesis really can be is deployed nanotech, which the Reapers were already masters of. And remember, as you pointed out, they still couldn't make it work. It had to be worked on by multiple cycles and innovated upon, something the Reapers most certainly do not do.
      • " All Synthesis really can be is deployed nanotech, which the Reapers were already masters of." And what exactly do you think the Jaardan are using? The Reapers could do it at any time, they just lacked a reason to do so. The point was that Shepard and the Crucible gave the Catalyst both the reason to do so and the model to follow. The fact remains that we have one of the few activities attempted by both the Jaardan and the Reapers and Reaper tech is blowing the Jaardan out of the water.
  • Most of these responses, and the original question, seem to be operating on the (very common) science fiction adage that 'advanced' means 'better'. Something being more advanced does not necessarily make it better, stronger, tougher or more reliable than something less advanced. Just because the Jardaan ships aren't nuking things like Reapers, doesn't mean they are less advanced. It's actually quite the opposite when you look at it. But first...take cars. How many new car owners would take their old cars from the 1990s or before right now, because at least they weren't constantly taking them to have parts replaced like in modern cars? Many today run on internal computers which if they fail, mean the car simply does not work! Compare to a 1990s diesel car that rarely needed replacement parts and you see why more advanced does not mean better. This is also true of weaponry in the field. Just look up the background of American weapons in Vietnam and you will find some discarded their more advanced issued weapons for the AK-47s the enemy were using. The AK was less advanced, but far more reliable in those conditions. Now compare the Reapers and Jardaan technology. In terms of troops, both get taken down very effectively by conventional ME weapons, the same weapons created by much less 'advanced' Milky Way species. Reaper units are nanotechnologically augmented/mutated organic creatures with integrated technology enhancing them. The Jardaan bots are entirely synthetic robots running on core processes that are not only flash-created, but can also flash-create in turn (Assemblers). But neither really compare all that favourably to MW technology in battle. The bots have fearsome energy weapons, but only if you're caught out in the open, and Ryder (as Shepard could) can easily create weapons than can one-hit-kill them. The Reapers rely on shock and horde tactics, which can be easily countered, have little in terms of support weapons beyond 'bigger husks' and their weapons are clearly inferior. Shepard and most others in ME3 kill them in droves. In both cases the supposedly more advanced troops have trouble with less-advanced but more tactically aware enemies. The Reapers, from a tech standpoint, have largely mastered nanotech and have created a very specific, highly advanced FTL transport network for the Milky Way. They have reached a level of understanding of biology and nanotechnology that they can integrate both, converting biological material into the basis for a technological construct (a Reaper) capable of housing the gestalt consciousnesses (as programs) of millions of individuals. It is worth noting however that this is virtually identical to what the Geth achieved with their own construct before it was destroyed by the Quarians. The Protheans also had begun to touch the foundations of Mass Relay construction and had even managed to build one. This isn't god-like tech, it's just highly advanced and can be replicated. On the other hand, the Reapers cannot do what the Jardaan do. The sheer SCALE of what the Jardaan achieved in Heleus is mind-boggling. To be able to micro-manage the climate of a planet via technology in the way depicted is staggering, and Heleus is an entire NETWORK of these machines, all capable (if working) of running completely independently for centuries, maintained only by non-sentient robots. Then, moving beyond their gross tech, we should note that they engineered and created an entire species from scratch to live in the cluster. The sheer level of biological, genetic and technological knowledge needed to do the things the Jardaan achieved should be amazing to anyone with any background in those fields. In short, the Reapers are most likely masters only of their own field. Mainly, nanotechnology and FTL technologies ie those technologies focused on in order to make life follow the paths they desire. They do not innovate. They only conquer. They have very advanced construct bodies, but those bodies are only a few levels above what the Milky Way were capable of, because as stated in the ME3 codex, a Reaper's barriers can only withstand barrages from three dreadnoughts at once. Once four or more are involved, they get damaged and destroyed like anything else. Many of them DO get damaged or destroyed in the final battle above Earth, because the Milky Way species realised that concentrated firepower still killed Reapers. Reaper weapons are advanced, and likely more advanced than anything out there, but the turians/humans very easily copied the technology and deployed similar versions. Again, Reaper tech is not god-like. It's just more advanced than what we have and because our tech is based on theirs and we will never reach the pinnacle before being wiped out, the Reapers handily remain masters of their own experiment. In contrast, Peebee does not understand the Rem-Tech she's messing about with. It took her ages to work out how to even POWER a Remnant bot, and only because you found a 'brain' that she could put into an Observer shell. The Jardaan are also masters of their fields, namely biology and genetics (I can't stress enough how advanced you would have to be to even DESIGN a species from scratch, much less implement that design), engineering, climate control, wireless signal transfer (the Vaults connect at superluminal speeds to Meridian...they would have to for the network to be of any use), most likely nanotech (the ability to flash-create robots from scratch is also massively advanced engineering), power creation and supply (the power supplies needed to control even a single continent's weather and habitability is monumental)...oh and let's not forget the Scourge, the physics and spacetime-altering dark energy nuke that essentially was an area-denial weapon for an entire CLUSTER. I've also only touched on Meridian itself...a Dyson Sphere with a perfect habitat on the inside. Again, engineering knowledge like this is beyond anything we see the Reapers do. Seriously, a kilometre-high mecha-Cthulhu is child's play by comparison.
  • Conclusion: the Reapers have might. At what they do (blow things up, conquer, and build FTL engines) they are more effective than Jardaan ships and tech. But the Jardaan, put simply...don't play in that ballpark. They are on another level entirely. With the exception of nanotech, the Jardaan's technical knowledge is orders of magnitude greater. TLDR: The Reapers are Mecha-Cthulhu. The Jardaan are the engineers glancing over at the Mecha-Cthulhu and wondering why anyone would bother building something on such a small scale.
  • The problem with this entire argument is that it falls into the same issue as many of the previous ones; we don't know the Reapers can't, just that they don't. The Reapers are a sapient species entirely based around a single purpose. As such they aren't going to engineer species or terraform even if they have the tech to do so. I could just as easily point out that the Jaardan seem to lack Mass Relays and are limited to normal FTL and you could just as easily counter that just because they built none that we see doesn't mean they were incapable of doing so. As such we can only compare them on the technology that they both have done and in this even you admit the Reapers are superior in every area. A couple of side notes: First I find it interesting you mention reliability in an argument supporting the Jaardan over the Reapers since, as I noted a while ago, Jaardan tech is breaking down after centuries while Reaper tech lasts for billions of years. If reliability is a sign of greater scientific prowess the Reapers are utterly dominating the Jaardan. Second there's not much in the fact that Peebee struggles to fully understand Remnant tech while the Milky Way species reverse engineered Thanix Cannons. One scientist (albeit a very smart one) working alone over a few months is hardly a fair comparison to hundreds, maybe thousands of scientists and engineers in multiple government projects over two years.
    • I think this contributor may have misunderstood the reliability argument as employed by the previous contributor; the examples given all show greater reliability to be a hallmark of *less* advanced engineering, not more—a spear is more reliable than a gun is more reliable than a missile. Obviously this is a highly debatable metric, but you seem not to be arguing against it at all. But to address the main points: the lack of Mass Relays in Andromeda may actually be a point in favour of the Jardaan. We know that the Jardaan are not native to Heleus, that it was a laboratory to them, isolated from the rest of their society, and we know that the Kett, whose empire appears to stretch across much of Andromeda, had never encountered Jardaan relics before Heleus. This suggests that the Jardaan's core worlds are a considerable distance from Heleus—more distant that the Kett core worlds. It therefore seems plausible to me to suggest that the Jardaan constructed no Mass Relays because they possess a more efficient means of transit already. Even if this is not the case, they would still have a strong motive not to construct any, even if capable; it would be like leaving the lid off of a petri dish. Heleus is an experimental set-up that could be easily spoiled by offering greater access to and from the wider galaxy. With respect to reverse engineering the technology, I would offer three points: first, it clearly did not take the full two years for the Alliance and Hierarchy to reverse-engineer the Thanix cannons, as they are already standard on Alliance and Hierarchy frigates; Normandy SR 2 doesn't have them because Cerberus is out of the loop, having been cut off by the Alliance in ME1. Second, in some ways, reverse engineering the Thanix cannons was a much more difficult job than what Peebee was trying to accomplish, since all they had to work with was disintegrated wreckage(wreckage, moreover, which they could only directly examine for limited periods for fear of indoctrination). Peebee had many examples of both functional and non-functional Remnant devices which she could examine at her leisure. Third, and most important, is the distinction between, 'I can't replicate this device', and, 'I don't know what the purpose of this device is'. Peebee's inability to make *any* headway prior to SAM's translation of the Jardaan language suggests that their technology is a level beyond that of the Reapers, whose technology was readily understandable even when it couldn't be replicated.
    • Okay, looking back maybe I did miss the reliability point. But I would actually the contest the point actually being made. Yes, "a spear is more reliable than a gun is more reliable than a missile" fair enough. But that comparison breaks down at the level we're discussing. How complex is a planetary terraforming nanotech cloud vs. a miles long space station capable of bending the very laws of physics? I have no idea and neither do any of us. What we do know is that both were created with the intention of lasting without maintenance. The Jaardan tech failed in that intention, the Reaper tech did not. "It therefore seems plausible to me to suggest that the Jardaan constructed no Mass Relays because they possess a more efficient means of transit already." Plausible but not proven. This gets back to one of my main points; we can speculate as to what technology the Jaardan and Reapers may have possessed but we only have the evidence of what we know they did possess and compare those. And the Jaardan ships we encountered only had access to normal FTL. "Heleus is an experimental set-up that could be easily spoiled by offering greater access to and from the wider galaxy." That is not the impression left by what they did. The Angarans were not left in a vacuum to develop, they were given technology that worked only for them and the Jaardan's facilities on their worlds were not hidden or even subtle. The Jaardan clearly had no intention of avoiding contact with their creations. "it clearly did not take the full two years for the Alliance and Hierarchy" If it looked like that was what I was saying I apologise, I worded it badly. However it did take a while; they were not standard, merely being rolled out. And Cerberus had enough influence to copy the Normandy, a secret project, I doubt getting standard weaponry would have been difficult. "reverse engineering the Thanix cannons was a much more difficult job than what Peebee was trying to accomplish" Not really. I get what you're saying, Sovereign was wrecked, but at the same time guns generally are a lot simpler to figure out than interlinked autonomous systems. The Thanix Cannon is pretty straight forwarded really; project this stuff in this direction. The hard part would be working out how to control the reaction but again, the Milky Way species had the resources of multiple galactic governments and top of the line facilities not one woman working in a camp in the desert. "Peebee's inability to make *any* headway prior to SAM's translation of the Jardaan language suggests that their technology is a level beyond that of the Reapers, whose technology was readily understandable even when it couldn't be replicated." Two problems there. First, Peebee wasn't completely clueless. She knew it was a machine for manipulating the atmosphere and the robots were maintaining and guarding it, she just wasn't aware of the extent of it. Second, not all Reaper technology was readily understandable. The Mass Relays and a few other things were but they were designed to be understandable, to lead galactic civilisation down the same technological paths as part of the Reaper's cycles. But there were plenty of Reaper tech encountered in the original trilogy that nobody had any idea what it was for.
  • Something that's worth noting here; People keep bringing up the Scourge as an example of Jaardan technological superiority. There are two reasons why the Scourge shouldn't be considered as part of this debate. Firstly it's something else that we don't know the Reapers couldn't replicate, since it would serve no purpose for their goals. Secondly (and much more important) we don't know that the Scourge is Jaardan in origin. We know enemies of the Jaardan working in Helius released it on them and a couple of people speculate that they might have been another faction of Jaardan ideologically opposed to the first but that's just a guess. The records we hear from the Jaardan just refer to them as "enemies." As such it could easily be a completely different species. Indeed I would consider that more likely, since the Jaardan in Helius seemed totally unfamiliar with the Scourge and had no way to defend against it. As such the Scourge is useless for this comparison.
    • While it's true that we don't know who deployed the Scourge or their relative power/understanding compared to the Jardaan, I think we can draw some conclusions. For one thing, one doesn't deploy tactical nukes against neolithic tribesmen; the Jardaan must have posed at least some threat to the Scourge-makers for the Scourge-makers to be willing to deploy the Scourge against them; if nothing else, the Scourge, much like the aforementioned tactical nuke, is the sort of weapon that can inconvenience one's own forces long after its deployment, and therefore ought not be used unless its immediate value is enough to outweigh that risk. Indeed, given the sheer *amount* of collateral damage and ongoing area-denial, it seems to me plausible to suggest that those who deployed the Scourge were *afraid* of the Jardaan, as well as being opposed to their project in Heleus; it was a weapon they would only need to fire once.
    • "one doesn't deploy tactical nukes against neolithic tribesmen" You clearly never played Empire Earth. Jokes aside I don't quite accept your position. It's reasonable but not the only conclusion. For example Suvi notes that creating new life is a contentious issue from a moral and religious standpoint. It's also a perfectly reasonable conclusion that another group could consider the entire area corrupted by the Jaardan's work and want to permanently wreck it. Thus they were not afraid, they were outraged. It is also quite possible that the Scourge went wrong, that it was never meant to do what it did or that it was meant to be controlled and either couldn't be or was prevented from being for reasons unknown. I'm by no mean suggesting either of these as my personal theory, just that there's various viable options. My original point stands; we don't know who made the Scourge or why thus making it basically worthless to the discussion.
  • I think it's worth reiterating here what Heleus is to the Jardaan: a research outpost. I don't think it unreasonable to suppose that the Reapers could, theoretically, hollow out planets and fill them with terraforming equipment, but it would represent a monumental effort for them. To the Jardaan, it is clearly not. Heleus is far from their coreworlds, with only a limited number of individuals ever in residence, and they abandon it quite quickly when it is attacked. If it were more precious to them I would have expected at least some of them to make some token effort to save their research, but their attitude seems to suggest that starting anew, though undoubtedly a setback, would be relatively easy. It's unclear to me whether the Dyson Sphere was intended for themselves or the Angara (at first glance, it seems obviously intended for the Angara, just like the Golden Worlds, but the fact that the Sphere and the city-station were originally integrated into one-another makes me wonder), but if the former, that would be a massive construction effort undertaken for little reason beyond making your long-term researchers moderately more comfortable. While on the subject of the Dyson Sphere, it should also be noted the substantial difference between Meridian and the Geth construct that the Quarians destroyed in Mass Effect 3: Meridian has a fully-inhabitable inner surface. Not only would that be much trickier to construct from scratch than simply a set of enormous solar panels on top of enormous computational arrays; it must also be several orders of magnitude larger. These accomplishments must not be conflated; Meridian would be vastly more difficult to build, and the Jardaan built it as part of an experimental set-up—the Geth were building theirs to house their entire species. I would add onto all of this the fact that the examples of Jardaan technology seen in the game are clearly not standard Jardaan tech, but rather part of the experimental set-up. It is designed to interact with the Angara's ability to manipulate EM fields, an ability the Jardaan apparently do not themselves possess—otherwise it would seem incredible that the Angara had developed new and unanticipated applications for said ability, yet that is exactly what one of the Jardaan researchers reports in a file on the city-station. The Rem-tech encountered in game is apparently designed specifically to interact with and, ultimately, be understood by the Angara, which suggests that it is considerably different—and considerably simpler—than the technology used by the primary Jardaan society, strongly suggesting that we have seen nothing approaching the full capabilities of the Jardaan. (By contrast, the Reapers were involved in an existential struggle against the PC, so we can safely assume that we saw the full limits of their power during Priority: Earth II, if not before). And in a similar vein, a few contributors earlier in this thread have pointed out that the Remnant drone fleet seems roughly comparable in power to the Kett fleet against which it is deployed, but I must again point out that the Remnant presence in Heleus is a research station, and moreover a research station to investigate problems with negligible military value. It seems likely that they would have had few-if-any dedicated combat ships on hand, and any that they did have would have been immediately targeted for destruction by whomever deployed the Scourge. If a fleet of civilian ships is able to go toe-to-toe with a *larger* military expeditionary fleet, that suggests an *enormous* technology gap.
    • You're making a lot of assumptions. "I don't think it unreasonable to suppose that the Reapers could, theoretically, hollow out planets and fill them with terraforming equipment, but it would represent a monumental effort for them." The Jaardan didn't "hollow out" planets, they just ("just" is such a foolish term for this level of tech but it's all relative) created extensive cavern systems. That aside on what are you basing the idea that this would be a "monumental effort" for the Reapers? What in the all-but limitless resources of the Reapers makes you think digging would be a challenge? "Heleus is far from their coreworlds, with only a limited number of individuals ever in residence, and they abandon it quite quickly when it is attacked." We don't know where their coreworlds are or how many people were in residence and the abandoned it because they were helpless against the attack they had received. "their attitude seems to suggest that starting anew, though undoubtedly a setback, would be relatively easy" No idea where you got that idea, the message from the chief scientist was both distraught at the loss and vowing to return. I'm not going to comment on the Geth comparison; it's irrelevant, if anyone suggested the Geth were more advanced than the Jaardan then I missed it. "we saw the full limits of their power during Priority: Earth II, if not before" Hardly. During Priority: Earth the Reapers were still running a galactic war. The forces the combined might of the galaxy were facing was just the Earth defence forces. And they were winning. The Reapers were not defeated militarily (if they were defeated at all, that's kinda open to interpretation in two endings out of three) but by their own technology. In the records of the Jaardan the work being done in Heleus, far from being just a science experiment as you suggest, is spoken of reverently, treated as a great and important work. So the idea that this was just some casual thing they could pick up and do anywhere doesn't hold water. This was of vital importance to them, the sort of thing one would not defend with just civilian ships, particularly if one had enemies which we know they did. This may not have been the full capabilities of the Jaardan but it wasn't something easy for them either.

    Nexus Design 
  • Something that makes me scratch my head, they had 5 arks, the Turian, Asari, Salarian, Human and Quarian ark. As you play the game you have the chance to retrieve some of these arks, and as you do they are docked with the Nexus. However if you pay attention, there is only enough docking for 4 arks, and they built 5 of them. Why would you design and build the Nexus so that you can not dock all of the arks?
    • You're assuming all of the arks look the same. The quarian ark may not have been meant to be attached.
    • Or, since the Quarian Ark didn't have JUST Quarians but also Volus, Hanar, Drell, and Elcor, it might have a vastly different design and attach differently to the Nexus. Another suggestion is that, since their Ark left who knows how long after the rest, the design might not have been finalized in time for it to fit with the rest of the Nexus' layout. A Doylist explanation is that, if the Hyperion is crashed on a planet (admittedly, I haven't finished the game so I know it happens, but not if it returns to the Nexus post-game), then the Quarian Ark can fill its empty birth.
    • The central ring of the Nexus is described as a "docking ring". It's where Tempest lands. Perhaps it also has additional moorings there for Arks.
    • As of the end of the game, there are two empty docking births. The Turian Ark was deemed too damaged to bring back to the Nexus and the Human Ark Hyperion gets taken and crashed into Meridian and is too damaged to move. Presumably the Quarian Ark will use one of the now vacant ones. However, where they intended the Quarian Ark to say had all 4 arks survived, I have no idea.
    • It doesn't seem like the arks were ever intended to stay docked with the Nexus. The Initiative was hedging their bets and making sure their tech was all compatible across the board - notice how when you investigate the Turian ark it has the exact same layout on the habitation deck with the SAM Node that the Hyperion does - so if a golden world didn't pan out, they could dock with the Nexus until a new home could be found. They didn't anticipate the entire cluster being a bust, and it's entirely possible that with the Quarian & other species ark being added after the Initiative was already coming together, the Nexus may have already been well under construction to only accommodate the 4 arks. From what we've seen of the Hyperion, once the other species find suitable worlds, presumably the arks will depart the Nexus and unload the colonists directly. Makes a lot more sense than trying to shuttle tens of thousands of colonists and materiel from the Nexus to the new colony.
    • Why is this hard to figure out? The Arks are literally the only large ships they have, the only others were the scout frigates (all but one of which get destroyed) and a big complement of shuttles. The Arks wouldn't simply dock and then just sit there. In the original plan they were the only way to get around unless you wanted to make the trip via shuttle. It wouldn't be fun to shuttle across half of Heleus with all of your belongings, and I doubt they wanted to use their advanced Tempest frigates to ferry colonists (they were supposed to be Pathfinder ships). The Asari brought one of their own frigates (Cora's quest begins with you looking for it), but that wouldn't efficiently transport thousands of people. So the berths are there for when they do want the Arks to dock with the Nexus, but they never intended every single one of them to be docked at any one time. Immigration and basic operations would get flooded with people. In the game, it just so happens that one of the Arks is missing even at the end (Quarian one) and one was wrecked (Turian one), so only the Salarian/Asari/Human ones were actually there by game end.

    Kett gender 
  • How can there be male and female kett? Going by their voices, different physiques and terms used by the fanbase, there are male and female kett and we encounter two female kett, the Cardinal and the Primus. However the kett reproduce via Clone by Conversion and an autopsy of kett corpses reveals they lack genitals. In conclusion, their reproduction is asexual and there is little to indicate a difference in ability or mindset between "male" and "female" kett, so how can they be said to have genders?
    • The kett retain their memories and a version of their personality from before their exaltation; to an extent they retain their identity though chemical and social conditioning has made them loyal to the kett empire. As such it's likely that they retain their gender identity from that state even if they lack the reproductive organs to match it. Which is at least as valid if not moreso than EDI being referred to by female pronouns despite being software.
    • There's no indication that the kett remember their past lives. Otherwise the Archon should have just Exalted the Moshae when she refused to give him the information he wanted. It's more likely that the ketts have vestigial remains of two sexes due to absorbing DNA from numerous species that possess this trait, even though it doesn't play a part in their own reproduction.
    • Except that The Moshae explicitly tells you that the kett remember their past lives; she personally interacted with kett who remembered being angara.
    • I don't recall this being mentioned, and it would be a Plot Hole. There's no point in torturing the angara for information, if you can just Exalt them and get them to tell everything they know willingly.
    • She mentions it on the Tempest before taking her back to Aya; I personally got the info when talking to her after stopping at the Nexus first and she'd moved from the Medbay and into the Crew Quarters. Discussed the Kett, and as I ended the conversation she volunteered the information as something extra she felt I needed to know. As for why they don't just exalt angara for information, there could be any number of reasons as to why they don't. First thing that comes to mind is that they take the whole worthiness thing very seriously and hold exaltation in such high regard that they only use it for people they feel deserve it and not for practical purposes. Could be that the process takes too long vs normal interrogation techniques. Could be that the process has some side effects and the subject doesn't retain full memory or otherwise they want the information through the lense of angaran sensibilities rather than kett sensibilities. All that's speculation off the top of my head; it could also be as simple as it being a plot hole.
    • Exaltation is pretty clearly described as something that takes months of brainwashing, any information taken from them will be seriously out of date. And the Archon wanted the Moshae brought to him, so it's likely he had something special in mind.
    • Sex and Gender are not the same thing. One is a biological thing, the other one is a societal and cultural one. It's possible that Kett retain gender as a construct (perhaps from prior to them using exaltation, or due to their church-like structure where certain roles might have been traditionally tied to a gender), without them having an actual sex. See for example the Qunari in Dragon Age, who identify all soldiers as "Male" and all teachers as "Female", no matter what their biological sex is.
    • Also IIRC, the Primus and Cardinal are only ever referred using female pronouns by Ryder and Co. It's possible they are simply going by the voices and their impression of the individual, than an actual sex.
    • I think you're right that it could be the case that gender is just part of the assigned role for kett, especially since kett don't seem to have individual names. They're all titles (most of them are titles from real-life religions... which in conjunction with their recurring religious imagery and role as Always Chaotic Evil villains makes me wonder, but that's another story). I wish that Bioware/EA fleshed out the kett more instead of just making them villains. The Collectors from Mass Effect 2 were mutated, brainwashed cyborg slaves and there was still a sympathetic portrayal of them.
    • They couldn't reveal everything of the kett to us at once, they clearly have plans for a sequel where they'll play some kind of part — and probably no longer as the main villains.
    • Kett get exalted from other races that have clear Sexual Dimorphism. Presumably, the exaltation process doesn't actually remove the sexual dimorphism to some extent. So Chosen are simply male Angara that were exalted. Its possible that female Angara look different when exalted. And, since some Kett seem to remember before exaltation, maybe their identified gender is simply something they remember (Also, an entire race of Always Evil Villains who just happen to not have any concept of gender and pronouns might hit some Unfortunate Implications at the moment). TLDR; The Kett themselves don't have gender/sex, but the races that they exalt DO which might explain the presence of genders and sexual dimorphism.
    • I always read it as being others reading into them. The Cardinal and the Primus sound female and are referred to as such by the good guys whereas the Archon, the Invictor and the Valiant sound male and are likewise referred to as such. The actual Kett probably don't use gender specific terms for themselves but (possibly as a relic of their pre-Exaltation life) they sound one gender or the other and the other species just run with it because (asari aside) their languages use gendered pronouns. As to Kett remembering their past lives various datapads suggest they remember bits of it but not the entire thing.
    Preparation is everything 
  • It strikes me that a whole lot of problems could have been avoided with just a little bit of better preparation of the expedition. Going to a new galaxy and all, where you have no guarantee of whether your long-range observations hold true, wouldn't it be prudent to include on each ark, as well as the nexus, the following:
    1. Hydroponic farms, that will turn the colonists' waste, ground-up minerals, and water into a steady supply of food.
    2. Automated factories that can create equipment, spare parts, ship parts, and eventually entire new ships, out of raw materials (Omni-gel anyone?)
    3. Mining vessels / automated mining drones, that can get those minerals and raw materials, as well as water, from asteroids, comets, gas giants and terrestial planets. Even if there are no garden worlds around, you should have no problem finding lifeless rocks that can be useful for this purpose.
    4. Solar panels for energy. That's just a no-brainer.
    • They have all those things. They are referenced both in the codex and in story. Hell, a sidequest takes place in the hydroponic gardens and you place mining drones at every turn on the planets that you explore. And where do you think your guns and equipment come from? Exactly: from those automatic fabricators. Solar power is widely used, too, but it's not enough to power the huge energy requirements of Nexus or the Arks.
    • It would also be nice to have infinite money, which they didn't. All that stuff cost money, and Garson ran out of cash even before the project reached its current state. It's easy to talk about all the stuff you'd get in a perfect world with unlimited money.
    • The quarians have shown that as long as you keep the necessary materials flowing in, with the right technologies you can turn them into everything you need, and survive pretty much indefinitely on spaceships. The ark ships, on the other hand, are running out of everything with no plans for resupply other than hoping to be lucky in finding a planet to settle on. Come to think of it, bringing a couple of frigates or cruisers along (unmanned for the journey) would probably have been a good idea as well.
    • They couldn't just 'bring along' some frigates and cruisers - they would've taken up considerable space. The main reason is that the Initiative ships were probably all redesigned since they were going to sit unused for 600+ years. You can't just grab a cruiser and stuff it into the hold, nor expect a military version that would require regular maintenance to be fully functional when you wake up.
    • The quarians don't recycle everything they own indefinitely. They are getting a constant influx of new raw materials and goods from the worlds that they pass through, either as payment for the labour they offer, or as a bribe to make them go away. The Flotilla is never totally self-sufficient.
    • And how do you pay for frigates and cruisers? Who would sell military ships to civilians?
    • That is a LOT of resource investment for something they (theoretically) wouldn't need. So long as they had one planet that was functioning, all that gear would be unnecessary. And they had a huge amount of planned planets-the fact that none of them pulled through wasn't something that could be predicted. In any case, they do have mining equipment (as evident from the multiple mines), solar panels wouldn't help much (their ships, by necessity, make a large amount of electricity during lightspeed jumps), they seemed to have some kind of hydroponics and factories going. Notice how you can drop mining drones, get minerals, and then construct equipment for yourself. Nothing is truly automated due to how the Mass Effect setting works (V Is are not really competent enough to do the job unsupervised, and not even Alec wants to hand AI access to factories and mining equipment). As for cruisers and frigates, they are military vessels. With guns capable of nuclear-bomb level damage. As well funded as the Andromeda Initiative is, its still a civilian organization that would have trouble getting such things legally, and getting them illegally would bring unwanted attention to the project that could get it shut down and get a lot of people arrested.
    • TLDR: They have most of the things listed, except the ones unavailable to them. They just didn't help much in the long run.
    • Heavily arming and armoring the Arks would have jacked up the cost massively, and made them much less efficient at what they are meant to do. Dedicated warships aren't built to survive that kind of journey, and again are very expensive. And ultimately, either would have sent the entirely wrong message should they encounter a alien civilization, and are unlikely to help against a serious military offensive.
    • Arming the Arks would also have classified them as Dreadnoughts, the biggest type of warship around, heavily regulated by the Citadel Council. It would have been extremely illegal, as such project would have looked like a private enterprise preparing for a shooting war with the major galactic powers of the Milky Way. "We're not going to use them in this galaxy" wouldn't have been much of a defense under those circumstances.
    • Probably not. As Carriers are explicitly as big as Dreadnoughts and not covered by the rules regulating them, it seems logical to assume Dreadnoughts require some sort of Dreadnought=grade main gun to count as a Dreadnought, and thus not every armed ship the size of a Dreadnought counts as one. Similarly it's mentioned that the Quarian ships fitted with Dreadnought-grade cannons are counted as Dreadnoughts themselves. Thus the Arks wouldn't count as Dreadnought if they lacked a main gun of sufficient power - which considering their purpose, they'd likely not have room to carry anyway.
    • It's explicitly stated in the ME codex and in ME3 that anything big enough with Dreadnought-scale weapons mounted counts as one. The Alliance bent the rules by building carriers with significant firepower in their frigates and fighters rather than massive guns.
    • It should be noted that the Citadel Council was paranoid enough about the Treaty of Farixen (the one that regulates dreadnought construction) that the Initiative was only given permission to operate their arks outside of the Milky Way; so build, launch, and get out. As always the Citadel Council was reasonable and helpful.
    • The issue was the Scourge and the Kett, rather than that they weren't prepared for the Garden Worlds to turn out to be crap when they got there. The Initiative had everything suggested and more, but the problem was the Initiative ran smack into the Scourge the second they got there, royally screwing up most if not all of the measures they had in place right out the gate and thus had to start basically from scratch, while they kept running into the Kett during any and all attempts to salvage the situation, on top of the utter failure of the Garden Worlds to provide. In other words, the Initiative was already as prepared as they possibly could've been, it's the fact that something they couldn't possibly have predicted destroyed those preparations right away and that they kept repeatedly getting kicked while they were down that was the issue.

    No Quarians aboard the Nexus 
  • So why are there humans, asari, salarians and turians on both the Nexus and their respective arks but non of the races that are arriving on the Quarian ark have any members already on the station. You'd think the quarians and volus would both be pretty useful to have on the giant space station that is going to be the center of the new government.
    • The Volus and Quarians would both require access to quarters that can meet their biological needs (So they can take off their suits once in a while and, ya know, live comfortably). Which is awkward for a space station who needs to finish being built upon arriving on the new galaxy. Filling the station with species that don't have such requirement makes logistics easier.
    • I can understand the Volus needing special quarters where ammonia is pressurized, but quarians are oxygen breathing dextro humanoids. All they need is dextro food and clean room facilities. The station has dextro food for its turian inhabitants, and I am pretty sure they have a few operating rooms for conducting surgeries. Those sterile rooms can be used by quarians whenever they aren't in use as surgery rooms. So why couldn't they have had at least a very small number of quarians? And drell have no such needs. Why weren't a few of them there on the nexus?
    • Oh yeah, lets have people squat in the surgery rooms when they aren't in use. It's not like those rooms will ever be used for medical emergency where we don't have time to wait for Quarians to slip back into their suit and pick up their stuff. Plus I am sure the Quarians would be happy to be treated like scum who only get to squat rooms built for other purposes while the other species get actual quarters. Especially when they get woken up in the middle of the night to be told to GTFO so someone can use the suit. Furthermore, the Quarians need a far more sterile environment. Surgery room don't typically have their own separate air circulation system. So it'd do nothing to protect them from airborn infections from the atmosphere of the station and its inhabitants.
    • Other reason: With the Quarian Ark delayed for an unknown amount of time, any Quarian that would've left with the Nexus would've have no idea how long they'd have to wait to see others of their kind.
    • You are confusing Emergency Rooms with Operating Rooms. Not every surgery is an emergency procedure, so its use can be scheduled well in advance. As for the quarian occupants, they don't need a dedicated clean room, they just need a clean room. Ever heard of hot bunking on naval ships? Three or more could "hot bunk" in one clean surgery room, and be in their suits for the remaining time. As for airborne infections, it may not be as big a problem, since they are a dextro species, so they can only catch something turians can get. And the turians don't appear to be short of medicines or medical personnel. The problems that these handful few quarians may have to go through is nothing that someone on pilgrimage didn't already deal with.
    • There clearly are pathogens that cross to Dextro line - see the quest in MEA where that lady has that virus which we are told is lethal to All Milky way species. Further more, as Tali herself point out, Quarian immune systems are so weak that even exposure to OTHER Quarians is a risk. It's why to them being suit-less is the greatest form of intimacy. Hot bunking would be a terrible idea that'd require decontamination between each uses. Here's a simpler idea: How about Quarians NOT travel on the station not at all equipped to their need, and instead use the one that's been specifically modified for their purpose? On top of that you need adapted support: You need doctors well trained on treating the specific issues Quarian physiology encounters with its immune system (Which are likely not numerous outside the Migrant Fleet), among other adapted needs. There's no reason for them to travel on a ship that, if the slightest thing goes wrong, might be a danger to their own survival, when they have a better adapted options. It's not like there's a shortage of people to build the space stations and only Quarians can help finish it.
    • Drell are rare as fuck? Drell are so rare that the Citadel itself in Mass Effect 2 has only seen 2 of them in a few weeks, allowing Thane to immediately find his son when you ask C-SEC. If Drell are so rare why would you expect to see some on the Nexus, and not traveling with their own people. Furthermore Drell do have specific needs. They need air that is both warmer and dryer than other species (Have you forgotten how Thane got his disease?).
    • Thane got his disease because he was on a water world with 90% ocean and cloud cover. A space station is more dry than that. Thane's syndrome had progressed to a terminal stage, which was why he needed the extreme dryness. Most other normal drell probably just need some dehumidifiers.
    • Only are around 375,000 Drell were rescued from Rakhana and brought to Kahje, that was 205 years before Mass Effect 2. Considering the majority of them live on and around Kahje, they may in fact have one of the smallest population bases in the Milky Way, Comparable to The Quarians who number around 17 million. As for those suffering from Kepral's Syndrome I imagine they'll be eager to settle Eos and Elaaden. As for the Quarians, consider the cultural reasons. They're an extremely social people and a tight knit community. Barring an intense personal connection, like Tali and Shepard, it's hard to imagine that they would want to travel on the Nexus apart from their people unless that Quarian had a position of significance.

    What's with the Initiative/Pathfinder helmet design? 
  • Something that struck me as odd is the design of the helmets worn by everyone except Cora on the human Pathfinder team. For a set of equipment that is meant to protect you from hazardous environments, both the Initiative and Pathfinder helmets have a massive weakpoint consisting of some sort of glass visor going from the top of the head to just above the nose. This seems counter intuitive since if the visor gets compromised by something larger than a crack then the wearer is basically dead... as demonstrated at the end of Habitat 7.
    • The design was probably the best possible compromise to fit the three roles a Pathfinder has - soldier, explorer and diplomat. The helmet offers some protection, but isn't as reinforced as the N7 combat helmet or the Maverick Deadeye helmet is. So, while it wouldn't be something a full time soldier uses, it has adequate protection to keep the Pathfinder alive long enough for reinforcements to arrive. The big plate probably offers a wider field of view than a combat helmet, which suits an exploration and survey mission. But the real advantage it offers is diplomatic - since the face isn't obscured, any new species the Pathfinder comes into contact with can clearly see the face and all facial expressions. With thus helmet, it makes it that much easier for an alien to ascertain peaceful intent via body language, as compared to a combat helmet which obscures everything. The helmet makes it possible to display this openness even to aliens who need an atmosphere unsuitable for Initiative species.
    • As noted elsewhere, its a civilian helmet built for exploration and wide viewing. Not falling off skyscrapers after being blasted by planet altering vaults or falling out of shuttles cut in half by lighting bolts. It's reflective of the fact that the Helius Cluster is VERY different from what they were expecting and also why Outcast, Angaran, Kett and even reengineered Remnant helmets are fully armored. Those are combat helmets with full protection and no glass visors.
    • The same reason conventional spacesuits have massive faceplates that don't impair the user's vision. They were designed for a specific purpose. The Pathfinder helmets were designed for PATHFINDERS, people going into potentially slightly difficult environments but not expecting firefights at every turn.

     Artillery at your Outposts 
  • So you've raised viability high enough and set up an outpost, then sent people from the Nexus to it. Why can't we build a long range artillery battery there, so that you can paint targets from your Nomad and call in Death from Above or a precision strike on the numerous Kett bases or outlaw camps that keep springing up? After all, isn't being a forward observer something that actual military pathfinders train for?
    • Because you're not a military pathfinder. You're a scout for a civilian endeavour. The Initiative was smart enough to bring guns in case of hostile aliens but there's no reason to suggest they brought artillery with them. There were weight limits on an intergalactic voyage and heavy armaments were not high on the priority of a group of settlers. The only armed ships they have are a few fighters. Note that even the couple of outlaw plans that involve bombing outposts boil down to "shove a bunch of explosives on a shuttle and crash it into stuff." They're set up for colonisation, not warfare.
    • This explains why they didn't bring artillery, but doesn't explain why they can't fabricate a few cannons after setting up an outpost or two. Gather minerals and equipment, research a blueprint, then build your pieces. How difficult could it be?
      • Did you not see the gun emplacements set up at each outpost? You walk or drive past them several times. All the military equipment the Initiative really has is small arms plus a few emplacements that were likely fabricated for the purpose.
    • They'd need a design. Likely nobody thought to include one when planning for colonisation. Someone downloaded a few turret specs but you don't need artillery to deal with wildlife, which was more what they were expecting; a species waging an unrelenting undeclared war was not something they saw coming. So unless they've got an artillery engineer along who can recall the blueprints from memory it's going to take a while before they're going to be able to get something like that up and running. Eventually, probably, but not right away. It's also worth noting that artillery that's going to be worth a damn against the tech in this universe is going to need a fair amount of Element Zero, which is quite rare and has other uses that are more relevant to immediate survival.
    • Remember the most important part of the franchise's titles: Mass Effect. Virtually all technology is based on this mass-altering phenomenon, from shields to starship engines to interfaces and turret guns. Artillery strikes are simply not a thing in this setting and will never be...even back in ME2 it's stated that weaponry (such as the Cain) not based on mass accelerators is considered out of date, quaint and ultimately not worth huge investment since the Mass Effect can achieve many times the destructive energies conventional warheads can (even a single mass accelerator round from a dreadnought is many times the energy of an atomic warhead).
      • That's true of the original (pre-ME1) Council, but not necessarily of humanity; Systems Alliance combat doctrine is explicitly stated in the codex to involve extensive use of ballistic artillery, despite the disdain of the other species. Given that the Initiative was created by humans, heavily guided by an ex-Alliance commando, and largely bankrolled by Cerberus, I would expect it to give more credence to human praxis than the pre-existing consensus.

     Quarian Message 
  • At the end of the game the Initiative receives a badly degraded message from the Quarian arc refusing to say where they are and insisting everyone stay away. Away from where? What was anybody supposed to do with that information?
    • It may be that they're trying to keep anyone from looking for them or trying to track them down.
    • Well, if they said 'Please stay away from x, y, z coordinates. We are at that location. Stay away. Don't contact. Don't board. Stay away from x, y, z coordinates', that'd probably end up being a case of Nice Job Breaking It, Hero. Sending the exact coordinates would be just asking for someone to show up and try to solve the problem when the Quarians clearly don't want that. Best way to try and ensure that no one finds their Ark? Don't send its location.
    • This isn't a call for help, it is more like a quarantine warning. The teaser for Mass Effect: Annihilation reveals that they are afflicted with a cross species plague.

     In Retrospect... Where was the Sixth Pathfinder? 
  • You know, the one assigned to the Nexus. The one who would have simply gotten to work, sorted out Eos, made first contact with the angara, organized better defense against the kett, established supply lines — all of which would have gone a long way towards pacifying the Exile mutiny — and more? The Doylist answer is obviously, "Because Ryder is the player character and It's Up to You," but what's the Watsonian answer? Especially since, logistically speaking, a Pathfinder is hampered until their Ark actually reaches the Nexus where their scout ships is waiting. (Incidentally, all the others were destroyed, so the reason you always see Sarissa et al hanging out in Tann's office is because they literally cannot leave the station. Imagine what would've happened if the Tempest were lost as well.) If an Ark never reaches the Nexus, its Pathfinder is useless. So why not just... have one on the Nexus?
    • There was no Nexus Pathfinder because it wasn't supposed to need one. The Nexus was not intended to start colonisation efforts until the Arks arrived, they were supposed to just unfreeze enough people to build the station and that's it. They only started doing otherwise when the Arks all failed to arrive. Also the Pathfinders were specifically supposed to represent their species as much as their Ark and the Nexus wasn't just one species so any Pathfinder for them would have looked like putting that species above the others. As a side note while they may not have as cool a ship as Ryder the other Pathfinders most certainly do leave the station; the Nexus has other ships, hence all the shuttles you see, and the Pathfinders talk about the stuff they're doing out there.
    • The closest equivalent to a "pathfinder" was Sloane Kelly the security chief. However, she led a rebellion, stormed off the Nexus in a huff, actually found a somewhat liveable planet, established an "outpost" of sorts, then proceeded to make herself queen.
    • There were also likely some other experts among the leadership... who all died moments after arrival.
    • OP here. I figured why it was assumed that the Nexus would not need a Pathfinder. It's not because the Nexus was not intended to start colonization until the Arks arrived — it's because the Nexus was not supposed to be involved in colonization, period. The mission of the Arks is to 1) arrive in Heleus and 2) immediately found a colony. When Alec Ryder has Capt. Dunn and the Hyperion move on Habitat 7, it can seem like BioWare is just Railroading him into his Obi-Wan Moment, but in fact it's standard operating procedure. It's only after Steps 1 and 2 have failed that 3) anyone bothers talking to the Nexus or the other Arks, or even gives a skkut what happened to them. The Nexus is supposed to be irrelevant until supply lines and such have already been established. Too bad none of this was spelled out in cutscenes or anything...
    • That doesn't quite work. The Nexus had far too many people on board to just staff it. Logically the people there were meant to move to any colony that required more people t function or was doing well enough to make immediate expansion a good idea. As for steps one and two you outlined no, that was not the expected way forward. Notes on the Hyperion in the first mission show that the first thing the crew did was not set out to colonise but rather try to contact the others and Alec says in the cutscene on the bridge that they are heading directly for Habitat 7 only because they can't contact the other Arks or the Nexus. The Initiative was supposed to work together to establish a stable network from the get go, not ignore each other unless they had problems. If each Ark was meant to go it entirely alone they'd never have bothered with the Nexus at all.
    • Okay, but that just brings us back to the original problem. Either 1) the Nexus is self-sufficient, and needs its own Pathfinder as outlined above; or, 2) it doesn't, because it's irrelevant. What the game seems to be trying to say is, 3) "It's relevant enough to send, but not relevant enough to send with a non-zero chance of success. The Nexus will just be a huge gamble because we will not give it anything it needs, or the capacity to get those things. Once it reaches the Andromeda Galaxy, Jien Garson and her crew will have precisely one way to affect the success of the Initiative: pray. No other options will be available to them." This takes Idiot Ball to a whole new level. (The most logical answer is that Garson herself was outfitted to be a Pathfinder, but again, the game never establishes this.)
    • I'm not sure you're getting the point of the Nexus. It is not and was never intended to colonise worlds but rather to act as the hub for the Arks that were. The Pathfinder's job is to scout ahead for their Ark in advance of colonisation so having one on the Nexus would be pointless. It'd be like assigning a biologist to an aircraft carrier. Sure, a situation could conceivably come up where they might be useful but it's not really the first thing you'd think of and the space would probably be more useful if you gave it to a sailor or a pilot. And no, Jien Garson was not a Pathfinder. Read the Codex: she was planning to be an advisor to the Asari Matriarch she wanted to take over as Director (Tann only got the job because both Garson and said Matriarch died). Stop saying "the game never establishes this" about things the game does establish. The Nexus was not irrelevant, it was supposed to initially co-ordinate the Arks then later act as a centre of galactic government, at least for the Milky Way species. It did actually have enough resources to start colonisation if it absolutely had to, if, say every Ark failed to arrive, but that was not the focus of the place. Those attempts failed because of Kett and the Scourge but if conditions had been less relentlessly hostile Promise could have made a decent go of it. Not as good as when you've got an Ark but manageable. While the Nexus and the Arks were meant to work together they are equipped to manage on their own if it comes to it but obviously that's going to be harder and if you're starting from a weaker point and facing far more threats then you could ever expect then yeah, it's not going to end well. That's not an Idiot Ball, that's just failing to anticipate that Everything Is Trying to Kill You when there was no reason to think so.
    • It's like saying the arks would have been screwed without the Nexus manufacturing and administration facilities. The idea was that the Nexus or the Arks could pick up the slack if some of them failed to reach their destination, each designed to support the others and duplicate their tasks if say... the Nexus fell down a black hole or something. The thing that wasn't planned for is only the Nexus managing to arrive, because that is almost a total mission fail however you cut it. The same would have happened if only a single Ark managed to make it, a single one of the colonization vessels couldn't support the project on their own. With that said, five pathfinders is more than enough redundancy.

    Initiative satellite data 

  • Why does scanning Initiative satellites on the galaxy map give Milky Way research points? Those things have been collecting data on Heleus worlds and everything on them for upwards of a year, so wouldn't it make a lot more sense to get Heleus or Remnant research points instead? It's what these satellites were built for after all, and it's not like scanning their own tech will let the Tempest crew learn anything they couldn't learn from the satellites' schematics aboard the Nexus.
    • Scanning all other Milky Way tech gives you Milky Way research points, presumably because this is the first time SAM has scanned scanned them and thus is able to utilize their technology. In any case, its still research being done by MW scientists, which makes it MW tech.
    • This is actually answered by the scanner text when you scan a planetside Milky Way tech node; the point is not to scan the Milky Way technology itself (SAM and Suvi are already well aware how their own technology works), the point is to see how the Milky Way tech is responding to the alien environment of Helius.

    Asari naming kett 

  • Why do the asari on Ark Leusinia refer to the rock monsters as 'kett'? They never heard anyone else call them that, so did they come up with the same name for them on their own?
    • They tried diplomacy with the kett, its possible that they were able to translate enough of the language to find out the name of their assailants.
    • Conversely, since the kett have been studying the races of the Initiative including their languages, it's possible they introduced themselves as such to the asari at some point.
  • They're asari, so their speech is being translated by Translator Microbes anyway. The translator could just be using the term "kett" that's familiar to Ryder, instead of whatever name they came up with among themselves.

    kett titles 

  • Why do the major kett have names/titles such as Prefect, Archon, Cardinal and Primus? The first three are all titles from real-life religions (Gnosticism and Christianity) and the fourth is a real rank in several industries. The kett are not only aliens, but from another galaxy and have a completely different language. The only studies they've done of humanity is the Ryder family for their ability to use Remnant technology and human biology to test human suitability for the Exaltation process. While the kett have studied human languages, that is only to communicate with us to facilitate Exaltation, not to study human history, theology or cosmology; let alone appropriate titles from humanity and apply them to themselves. The only reference to anything like that is the audio logs of the Archon mentioning the asari have several metaphysical aspects they apply to their reproduction process (if I recall correctly, he mentions poetry)... which he then dismisses as nonsense. While this question can also be applied why to the turian military leader having the title of Primarch (though that could be a shout out to Warhammer 40k) and elite asari soldiers being called commandos, the difference is that terms/titles such as Cardinal are far more group-specific than ones such as commando.
    • They don't, its all translation. Naming them a bunch of kett nonsense words would kill the naming theme and make everything confusing.
    • That doesn't make sense. The Angara have titles that are words the writers made up for the game (such as the character Moshae; the game seems to go back and forth on whether that's her name or title), so why couldn't the same be done for the kett? The translation theory is plausible, but does this translation happen with any other characters or just those kett?
      • The game does NOT go 'back and forth' on the Moshae. Jaal and many other Angara call her THE Moshae. Her full title and name is Moshae Sjefa, you've just confused the two and didn't bother to check it. In one of the first conversations she's mentioned, it's used as a title that doesn't quite have an equivalent in human parlance.
    • The Angara titles are something that comes up every once in a while, while the Kett names are something that you are shooting at and thus need to keep straight as a player. Its kind of like how "Keelah se'lai" remains untranslated in all the other M Es, while the leaders of the fleet are called "Admirals". The Turians keep a similar thing, the leaders arn't actually called "Primarchs", and the Asari leaders arn't actually called "Matriarchs" in those exact words. Filling the setting with made up words would simply be confusing to the English speaking reader, especially if they insist on making them sufficiently alien. This is shown in how the early meetings with the Kett have them babbling incoherently, when you can later understand what they are saying enough to actually communicate due to translation. If you don't think that makes sense, then there is really no helping you.
    • All the Kett titles are appropriate to what we see them doing. The Prefect is the administrator of an area, the Archon is a ruler, the Cardinal holds an important semi-religious position and the Primus is first among the Kett who serve the Archon (Primus literally meaning "the first"). Even the most abstract of the names, Invictor, still makes sense; it's somewhat doggy Latin for "The Victorious" and he is leading a military campaign. It's Translation Convention at work for whatever the Kett title is. It's not just for the leaders either; the terms "Chosen," "Anointed," "Destined," "Ascendant," "Wraith" and particularly "Fiend" are all best fit translations by humans. As a side note with regards to the Moshae that's definitely a title, hence the "the." She even explains as much at one point. Her name is Sjefa.
    • Translation Convention makes a lot of sense, especially given how the Archon introduces himself at such despite only recently encountering humans and human languages. While I still say that more generic titles could've worked (for example using "Priest" instead of the more group-specific "Cardinal", thank God they didn't use "Bishop", "Vicar" or a title from another religion like "Sheik") I can understand how the translation would work.

     Missing biotic abilities 
  • Specifically, the anti-armor ones such as Warp, Reave and Dark Channel. Warp has been a staple of biotics in the entire trilogy, with even some enemies using it against you. Warp distortion biotic fields are even explicitly mentioned in the codex. Now why is it that suddenly, not only is Warp missing from Ryder's repertoire of abilities, but no one else in the entire initiative seems to know how to use it too. What gives?
    • One by one then. Dark Channel is an easy one; that ability showed up with Javik. Others picked it up later but presumably that was a Prothean trick others learned from his descriptions(an idea supported by the fact that the Awakened Collector multiplayer character has it too). As such no-one in the Initiative would have any way to learn it. Reave, judging by some lines by Kaiden in Mass Effect 3, is a rare talent and a very tough ability to learn so not surprising that it doesn't appear. Warp is more of a puzzler but ultimately it's a matter of personal talents. Ryder, Cora and Peebee happened to not have learned Warp and we don't see many other Initiative biotics do their thing. Pretty much the only biotics outside the squad that we see using their abilities are Sarissa, Vederia and the Pariah enemy type. The first two we only see using biotics briefly and in both circumstances the situation calls for a barrier. The Pariah's tactics likewise makes the use of barriers more effective. It's still strange to not see Warp with three biotics on the team but I don't think there's an issue with canon or anything. If you want an out-of-universe explanation I'd guess with the ability to switch between combat, tech and biotics they wanted more of an identity for each ability set so kept anti-armour to the tech abilities.

    Elaaden being tidally locked 
  • So the desert planet of Elaaden is so hot and arid because it's tidally locked to its sun, meaning one side of the planet always faces the sun. Except, this should be impossible, since Elaaden is a moon of a gas giant. If it's tidally locked to anything it would be the gas giant, not the system's star. Unless the Scourge is somehow actively warping it into a really weird orbital path, the whole tidally locked element doesn't make any sense. Second question: so the planet's tidally locked and super-hot as a result. Why does everyone live in the sun-baked regions rather than the twilight zone between the day and night sides of the planet? The temperatures there would be a lot more tolerable.
    • The flavor text mentions that Elaaden is tidally locked to its planet, but at the same time it is tidally locked to one of the other moons in what is essentially a more extreme version of the orbital resonance seen in three of the four Galilean Moons. This results in a bizarre orbital configuration that causes one side of Elaaden to always face the sun, save for the occasional eclipse.
    • As for why everyone lives on the hot side the scavengers are there because that's where the Remnant stuff is and the krogan are there because, well, they're krogan, they enjoy the challenge.
  • While I could theoretically buy that the settlements weren't built on the terminator in order to be closer to the Remnant sites (though it still seems a dubious enterprise at best), this raises a prior issue: why is there a Vault on Elaaden at all? Perhaps it would have been within the power of the Builders to shift Elaaden's orbit so that it would not be tidally locked (though I'm inclined to suspect that, even if possible, it would still be prohibitively expensive), but...they didn't do that. So why bother putting a Vault on a world that will only ever be marginally habitable?
    • Because there were unique resources on the world? Because it was religiously significant? Because they enjoy a challenge too? We don't know enough about their society to do more than guess.

    Fuctionality of angaran society 
  • The angaran have a habit of acting on their emotions and then dealing with the consequences... which is bad thing for a variety of reasons. For example, look at the concept of Crimes of passion; these would be occurring quite often among angarans. This could also lead to something as simple as two angaran nations going to war because one angaran leader humiliated another with a practical joke. How have they managed to get a functioning society without been war-ridden when emotions are given free-reign? On that note, this raises the issue of polyamory. If it doesn't happen, why would such an emotionally-free race not have polyamory or polygamy? If they do, what's keeping things such as actions caused by jealousy and violent crimes by vengeful exes in check (since we never hear about this in-universe)? This also means that their Easily Forgiven culture makes no sense, because given their emotional freedom some won't feel like forgiving and thus not do so, likely leading to a Cycle of Revenge based around deeds inspired by hurt feelings. These are only some of the problems, there are more but I'm trying to be concise, so how is this all dealt with in-universe?
    • As Mordin Solus would say "Assumes human reaction." The angara appear to have a comparable emotional range to humans but they are ultimately aliens and will not always behave as humans would under the same circumstances. It appears that angara may express their emotions more openly than humans but at the same time they are, by and large, faster to forgive offense. Where polyamory is concerned angaran romantic relationships appear to be much more fluid than human ones; some have monogamous couples, others don't but there is no culturally accepted norm for the structure of such. Aliens are bound to be different and it's not just the angara. Few humans would feel comfortable in a committed relationship with someone they know has a life expectancy a tenth of what theirs is but the Asari appear utterly unbothered by this and, since I did mention Mordin Solus, the good doctor was able emotionally process betrayal and a "The Reason You Suck" Speech from a former protégé in a couple of hours.
    • You make a good point about the angaran not being human and thus responding to things differently. That explains their polyamory and processing of emotions nicely. I think you're right, as there are ways that an emotionally extroverted race could be quick to forgive (such as better processing of their emotions). There are two points that I am still leery of in that regard. Even factoring in "Assumes human reaction", there isn't an explanation for how the Angara can culturally maintain their Easily Forgiven part of their nature; the wounded party would be feeling hurt and, given the angaran's openness to express their emotions, would be more likely express that negative emotion instead of choosing to forgive (and while expressing that emotion could do actions that cause further harm, thus leading to a Cycle of Revenge). While most angaran's know that forgiveness is the better option, this clashes out by their "act on their feelings first, assess things later" nature, leading to problems. Second, while there is a point about "Assumes human reaction", the closer they are to humans, the more likely they are to have similar reactions to similar situations. Correct me if I'm wrong but these issues, and the explanations for how angaran society haven't got more problems when they give their emotions free-reign, aren't addressed in-universe, making it look like a case of Fridge Logic and a lapse on the writers part.
    • The angara do act on their feelings but, since they all do, they understand that and resentment doesn't come up as much. As Jaal says they get everything in the open and then deal with it. An example; Jaal finds his two brothers and sister alive on his loyalty mission. He is happy to see them, relieved they're alive and angry that they joined the Roekaar all at once. So as his brother approaches he punches him twice then, as his brother raises a fist to punch back, he grabs him into a hug, defusing the previous hostility. For a human that wouldn't work but for Jaal's brother that tells him the previous action was just acting on emotions and not intended as an actual attack and he can easily accept that. The angaras emotions may be similar to ours but their reactions to those emotions are not.

    Learning the kett language 
  • How did the Andromeda Initiative learn the kett language? To elaborate, the kett language is called Tonaizhet and includes words such as "dhan" (peacebringer) and hesh (order). However, the kett don't share their language with non-kett, except maybe during the Exaltation process, due to their outlook that non-kett are lesser beings to the point that the kett refuse to refer to them with any personal terms. When the kett communicate, it's implied the kett have learned the languages of the Initiative for the reason of "know your foe" (especially given their tendency to take captives and experiment on them). The Andromeda Initiative's linguists would struggle to learn the kett language, especially if the kett aren't willing to share it, then program that into translators (since in human history when societies with two different languages meet for the first time, learning each other's new language takes years, even when willingly shared). I don't know if this is addressed in the game, so again, how do Ryder and the Andromeda Initiative decipher and learn any words of the kett language, let alone its name?
    • The Initiative has access to AIs, something that the rest of the Milky Way refuses to use, which would accelerate translation. From there, it's just a matter of getting language samples from computers and dialogue. So either the kett use local languages to communicate (in which case the Milky Way races didn't really need to learn much more than the basics of their writing), or the kett were speaking Tonaizhet the whole time and helped translate themselves in order to negotiate and prepare everyone for Exaltation.
    • Just because the kett won't share and teach Tonaizhet doesn't mean the Initiative hasn't got access to it - that's a rather simplistic assumption given that the Initiative and kett were shooting at each other before the Hyperion even arrived. Language is learned through context and knowledge. The kett language was likely quickly deciphered by Initiative linguists, the ones the Initiative wold have brought with them precisely for first-contact situations. Language doesn't actually take long to learn if you have enough context. This makes it slightly harder than average, but that's why you bring experts - and A.I.s. With enough language samples and context, SAM probably had it down in a matter of days or less.

    Jaal's Fidelity 
  • Jaal can enter into a relationship with male or female Ryder, but they don't discuss much about their plans for the future. However, given the angara's communal and polyamorous approach to relationships, will a romanced Jaal be exclusive to Ryder? Why or why not?
    • The angara are very varied with their relationships; some are monogamous, some aren't and neither choice has any taboos. Jaal and Ryder's relationship is very new, likely neither feels the need to dissect it at this point. Eventually they will, one assumes, and then they'll have to work it out on each of their personal preferences.

    Aren't AI taboo and their developement forbidden? 
  • So how comes the Ryders have one not only helping him in combat, but directly implanted into their brains? Wouldn't that be kind of illegal? And viewed by almost everyoen as a batshit crazy thing to do?
    • Thet's covered by the game. Alec did it illegally.
    • Indeed, Alec did develop SAM illegally, without the Council's knowledge. Apparently the leaders of the Initiative agreed with Alec regarding the usefulness of the AI and kept it secret from the greater galaxy.

    Nexus Supplies 
  • When the Hyperion docks, the Nexus is running out of food and water, but they still have hair dye and cosmetics. How does that happen?
    • Priorities. Not many people will be worrying about dying their hair and if their makeup is on point, when food and water are at a premium. Those products were probably just ignored for the most part until the situation stabilized. Likewise, a solid number of people were exiled from the Nexus due to the uprising, kicked out with next to nothing, meaning all their possessions were left on the Nexus and forfeit. So even more non-critical items were left there.

    Incorrect Standard Issue Equipment 
  • The X5 Ghost description says that it is the standard issue rifle for all exploration and security force members of the Initative, but in game all you see are people with the M-8 Avenger and M-8 Avengers just laying around.
    • Presumably lots of people just prefer the Avenger.
    • Perhaps the situation regarding the X5 Ghost is that the rifle hasn't been mass-produced to the point where there's enough copies lying around for anyone that needs one, and the policy is "Use the X5 Ghost if you have one, but if not, do whatever you want".

    Still using heat sinks? 
  • Why isn't the M-7 Lancer available for development? Heading to a new universe, you wouldn't know if you could even make more heatsinks to use as "ammo' so a weapon that never needs to be reloaded would be invaluable.
    • Likely because the Initiative couldn't get any. Most self-cooling guns would have been broken down when the heat sinks came in.
    • Well you don't need any, you just need the blueprints. Since the M-7 Lancer is just an M-8 Avenger with an integral heatsink, they already had the plans needed to make them. They had the capability to manufacture tools, yes they had some premade to get started, but you'd have had fabrication facilities too. You can even produce weapons from the Tempest. They even made the X5 Ghost as a more easily field maintained M-8. Adding unlimited ammo should have been 1 of the first changes (or in this case, reversion) in the design.
    • Well that's based on the "which is better" argument. While you may believe that the in gun cooling system is better the inhabitants of the Mass Effect Milky Way have firmly come down on the opposite side. Since as it turns out they can make plenty of heat sinks there's no reason to revert to the Lancer when they believe heat sinks are better than firing around cooldowns.
      • Integral heatsinks, conceptually, are better. A self-cooling weapon that never needs reloading and never has any ammunition concerns would be a soldier's dream. However the stated (in-universe) reason for switching was because of the Geth problem. They were using self-cooling weapons originally but switched to disposable rather than integral heatsinks because they increase the amount of fire you can put downrange. All you have to do is click a release and your weapon is good to go again, takes a split second. But if you fire your Avenger with integrated sinks too much, you have to wait several seconds, which could mean death if you're out in the open. Once the thermal clip juggernaut got going everyone had to follow or be producing guns considered obsolete. This still doesn't detract that out-universe, thermal clips are utterly stupid. The entire known galaxy switches completely from one to the other in just two years? Nonsense. Two years isn't enough for everyone to switch cars or have new phones, much less design, test and integrate a new line of weapons to the point where the old ones aren't just considered old, they are so obsolete to have been COMPLETELY REMOVED from sale! Nobody, anywhere, sells non-heatsink weapons in ME2 or 3. It even says 'all weapons were converted' in the Codex and the Lancer is considered some kind of ancient two years ago. No, thermal clips came in because EA/Bioware really, really wanted there to be 'ammo' in Mass Effect to make it more like Gears of War.
      • If that's what you believe then that's what you believe. It doesn't change the fact that in-universe people decided the benefits of heat sinks outweighed those of in-gun cooling. And I have no problem with the majority of people switching to a new, better regarded design in a world with easily available fabricators.

    How did they establish the quarian ark? 
  • The logistics and nature of the quarian ark raises several questions;
    1) Why do the turians, asari, salarians and humanity get their own arks but the quarians, elcor, hanar and volus all have to be crammed together on one ark? The game even states this caused a lot of technological and logistical problems.
    2) How was the quarian ark built? The quarians do not have the resources to build a ship like that. The ships in the Migrant Fleet are either ships maintained from the end of the Morning War against the geth, abandoned ships found adrift in space that are retrofitted, brought back by quarians returning from their Pilgrimage or second-rate ships purchased at low prices. The Flotilla does not have the resources to make a new ship.
    3) How was it decided that it would be primarily a quarian ark? While that's not a problem, the question is what made them choose a quarian ark rather than a volus, hanar, drell or elcor ark.
    4) How did the Initiative convince quarians to come along? The quarians have suffereed a considerable amount of poor treatment from the galaxy, being seen as thieves and beggars/galactic panhandlers/space gypsies. In conjunction with how communal the quarians are, it's unlikely they would accept the offer, especially a large group of quarians. This is before you factor in the social upheaval such a large number of quarians leaving the Migrant Fleet would cause; there would likely be a screening process as the Initiative would want the more skilled quarians - quarians the Conclave and the Admiralty Board would likely rather keep on the fleet, thousands of families would be split and they would be giving up any chance of reclaiming their homeworld, which the quarians need for many reasons including biological adaptability on account of their weaker immune systems and personal reasons.
    • 1. Those races were minorities, with quarians being the most populous. They either didn't have the same level of interest, or people to offer for the migration. Think of the quarians, they were on the ropes to begin with. 2. It was probably a joint effort among the afformentioned races aboard that ark, as well as what funding the Initiative had, they couldn't afford individual arks, so they pooled their resources and built a joint one. 3.They probably called it the quarian ark because the largest population aboard were quarians, and since quarians were a migrant species looking for a new home planet to begin with, it makes sense they would be the primary operators of that ark. 4. As for convincing them, its simple: a chance to leave the politics of the citadel AND find a new planet to live on. Finally, a planet they could call home. Quarians would have probably been the easiest sell among all the species.

     Advanced Initiative armor on freshly awakened persons 
  • Geers and Sarissa (at the least) have the later developed Initiative style armor, the description states that the armor was developed AFTER entering Andromeda, as its made off of information gained in the field and developed to counter Andromeda specific threats. So how did these two get the armor when they had just entered the system?
    • Just because it looks the same doesn't mean it is the same. The basic form of the Initiative armours were certainly developed before setting off as Alec Ryder's Pathfinder teams are wearing it in the first mission. The tech inside can be wildly different. Observe the N7 armour in the game; same design as Shepard's default armour but different effects.

     Need for a Pathfinder after Eos Vault activation 
  • So, Ryder heads down to Eos. S/he finds some Remnant monoliths and with some help from Peebee, activates them, and then again with Peebee’s assistance, restarts the vault, which starts clearing out the radiation. With Drack’s help, Ryder establishes an outpost. Then with Bain Massani, Ryder annihilates a Kett HQ and kills their Invictor. Ryder also taps either an underground water source, or a natural gas source, and defeats an Architect in the process. So, we now have a fully viable planet with comfortable temperatures, water sources everywhere, quite a bit of fauna to hunt, enough soil for agriculture and an enemy presence removed. Why is a Pathfinder even needed after this? Isn’t the pathfinder’s job done? Why not thaw everybody out and send them all to Eos to colonize? And then reassign Ryder to Apex spec ops or something like that?
    • That would rather be putting all their eggs in one basket. If something goes wrong on Eos and there isn't time to evacuate then everyone dies. Hell, even if they do have time to evacuate if they've plonked the entire population on Eos then there's nowhere to evacuate to. Finding new colony sites makes very good sense. Further there is a whole cluster to explore, Kett to track down, other potential alien races to contact, Arks to find; the Pathfinder's job is far from done.
    • There's also infrastructure to consider. Yes, in theory you could wake everyone up and dump them on Eos, but without shelter and industry, they'd quickly suffer horrific casualties. With advanced technology the infrastructure should be properly set up within a year or two, but that's longer than the events of the game.
      • Simple: the Pathfinder's job is to scout and establish safe colony sites. Sites plural. Even on one planet, you need one hell of a lot of room just to house a few thousand colonists, much less plan and establish infrastructure for future generations. The Pathfinder doesn't need to worry about city expansion, but Ryder does need to consider site placement, location, wildlife, atmospheric conditions, water sources and clearing out any hostile enemy presences that make it down to the planet. The sites also need to be far enough apart to allow expansion and road construction, but not so far distant that it's like driving in bigger real-world countries where settlements are hours apart. I don't know why people seem to assume the Initiative Pathfinders were glorified town planners that clear a little wildlife, plonk down a 'build here' beacon and then go home. It's a constant process and there is literally only one per Initiative race plus a few staff.

     Jill as first wave 
  • Gil explicitly says that Jill had been thawed out from the start. So, a fertility expert was unthawed from cryosleep at a point where no colonies were established, no arks had arrived, and the Nexus couldn't even manage to keep all the lights on? The Initiative couldn't even manage to feed every mouth they had already, why was a fertility technician considered first wave and not second wave (since, as described on Meridian by the second wave techs, first wave sleepers were the generalists, second wave were the specialists)?
    • Recall that the first wave were thawed out before everything went completely to hell. They hit the Scourge but didn't know the Arks were all going to fail to appear and everywhere was going to be a Death World at that point. As to why she was first wave at all plans for fertility is like agriculture; you want to have the plan firmly in place before you need to implement it. Otherwise it may be too late. Granted her primary skillset was not massively useful to the situation they found themselves in but she can't be forced back into cryo.
      • But she could still go back in - during the First Murder quest, if Nilken Rensus gets cleared and tells his wife what happened, she'll leave him and he decides to go back into cryo, let his notority die down. And several survivors from the first two failed Eos outposts returned to cryo as well, to wait for the planet to being genuinely viable and a real outpost established. So returning to cryo is considered entirely viable. With nothing to do, anyone who was meant to be second wave who got jolted out could easily have been encouraged to return to cryo in the name of resource management, in prioritizing resources to those who needed to keep the lights on, rather than just sit around doing nothing that they had trained for.
      • As noted Jill likely was first wave, not second. Beyond that notice the terms "decides" and "encouraged." At no point in any of the game did anyone suggest that someone could be forced back to cryo, not even criminals. If Jill doesn't want to be frozen again she doesn't have to be and I can certainly see why, given how bad things were, she might prefer to stay awake. At least then she can be proactive rather than risk ending up in a pod on an abandoneded Nexus, unaware until the power fails... And she can still pitch in, even if it's not her primary skillset; the Initiative would have been only sensible to give every applicant some basic training in maintenance etc.
      • No, that's still inherently selfish - "encourage" and "decide" might be the terms used in the moment, but it's still something that, based on Tann's behavior, would certainly have been increasingly pressured for people not part of the immediately necessary skillsets to "choose" to do, because it's using up valuable and limited resources while contributing little to the situation, to the business of keeping the lights on and taming the prospective colonies. Her entire job is one that is not needed or even desireable in the short-term - the whole reason for the fertility blockers is that the Initiative didn't want or need a population boom when they didn't even have a place for everyone in cryo, let alone additions. There is no reason that Jill had any business being part of first wave, and it just frames her as selfish to choose to stay out of cryo in a crisis that she has no way to contribute to the current needs of the Initiative.
      • I already stated the reasons why she would be first wave; you want to plan out a fertility program before you put it into practice, not right when you already need it. Tann may very well have pressured but (despite what he sometimes seems to think) Tann is not the all-powerful dictator of Andromeda. She is also able to help now. She may be using up resources but conversely she's also another trained (albeit not expert) hand on deck keeping everything running, something required after the Exiles left. As to selfish, maybe but also very human. Maybe for you not wanting to be left helpless and doomed in the face of a potential disaster on the off-chance that your food and oxygen will be the deciding factor is unforgivably selfish but for me it's quite reasonable behaviour.

     Military base upsets Angarans 
  • This is something that always confused me, why is it making your first settlement military something that would cause Angarans to distrust you and compare you to the Kett? Originally the Andromeda initiative is a scientific mission but upon arriving in Andromeda they are attacked unprovoked by an empire of aliens who assimilate other races and have driven the local sentient race to near extinction. It makes complete sense for the settlement to be military as to protect themselves considering the previous settlement attempt was wiped out. Upon arrival in the galaxy the Kett declared war on the Andromeda initiative, any response less than militaristic would be foolish.
    • The placing of a military base may make sense from a purely logical standpoint but people aren't purely logical, the Angarans less so than most. In addition, unlike the Milky Way races, the Angarans are not used to interacting peacefully with aliens and judging their actions on a astropolitical level. To the Angarans another bunch of aliens showed up and started setting up military occupations of planets in their space and that after the Exiles basically annexed Kadara. This is bound to rile them up.

    What exactly is a ‘Roffjin’? 
  • When Liam infers about Jaal’s cloak, asking if he can wear it, Jaal says he cannot to which Liam asks if the reasons are either personal or cultural. To which, Jaal says it’s both. Then later, when Jaal is making gifts for the rest of the crew, he considers sewing Liam his own Roffjin. So... What exactly is a Roffjin that Jaal cannot let Liam wear his for cultural reasons but is perfectly capable of making Liam his own Roffjin? Is it some kind of spiritual accoutrement? Or some kind of display of ranking in some way? What exactly are the cultural reasons why Liam can’t wear Jaal’s Roffjin that don’t stop Liam from having his own Roffjin tailor-made for him?
    • It could be that a Rofjin is a deeply personal item to the Angaraa. Something that, for example, could be comparable to a family signet or crest. Letting Liam wear Jaal's Rofjin could be something immensely significant, something not done casually, but only between something like family. But making one FOR Liam might be more akin to simply acknowledging Liam as Liam

    Garrus' father 
  • Does the conversation seen between Alec and Garrus' father Castis confirm Garrus' survival in ME2 as canon? He mentions in ME3that he went to his father and informed him about the Reapers, and this occurred after the suicide mission in ME2. Otherwise, if Garrus died, Castis never would have known and the turians would not be near as prepared for when the Reapers arrive. So does the conversation, which happens no matter what in Andromeda, confirm that Garrus' survival is canon?
    • Basically. I mean one could work around it, there are other people who know about the Reapers and could have told Castis or Garrus could have mentioned it to Castis before ME2 and been ignored but now Castis is seeing signs by himself, Garrus could have had an in-the-event-of-my-death bequest including information set up to go to his father etc but it's probably not worth it. Given that Garrus is a popular character most players are gonna work hard to keep alive I suspect the writers didn't consider his death was something they had to think about.
    • Alec and Castis' banter was between ME1 and ME2. The mention of the Reapers is about Sovereign's attack. The Arks left the Milky Way before ME3, meaning that the conversation between Castis and Garrus the latter mention in ME3 doesn't happened yet. In fact, Garrus mentioned that his father already suspect something is not right about the Council's official story before they talk.