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The latest article on Mass Effect: Andromeda from Game Informer offers a look at some of the changes to the multiplayer mode, which was introduced to the series by Mass Effect 3. The article mostly focuses on how the changes to combat will affect multiplayer, and how there will be a chance to buy items separate by random loot packs, but there's bad news too. Apparently, in spite of the bad reception of Mass Effect 3's Galactic Readiness meter, multiplayer will have an influence on single-player yet again:
4. Going Shopping
The blind card packs are returning for Andromeda, so the new weapons, character kits, and items you obtain are determined by luck. You buy the packs with in-game currency you earn from playing. You can also purchase them with real money, which doesn’t give you access to anything that you can’t buy with the in-game alternative. Even so, if there’s a particular weapon you want, or a race/class combination, it can be frustrating to burn through pack after pack and never have the cards come up in your favor.
Andromeda provides players a way to bypass the grind. You now have access to a store that sells a limited assortment of loot on a rotating basis. Yes, there’s still an element of chance involved in what items the store sells, but at least you know what you’re getting.
“If you don’t want to be at the mercy of the random number generator for the cards, you’re still at the mercy of what’s in the store right now, but it’s like, ‘Oh, that’s the Black Widow and I really want it!’” Frazier says. “You can buy them with real-world money if you want to, but again, nothing requires that.” If you want to shop at the store, you need to spend “mission funds,” a new currency different from the credits you use to purchase blind packs (but which are still acquired by playing the game).
The most conspicuous mystery surrounding multiplayer right now is its connection to the single-player adventure. The team has confirmed that such a connection exists – this isn’t like Dragon Age Inquisition, where the multiplayer mode has no effect on your campaign. However, BioWare also knows that many fans didn’t like how Mass Effect 3 effectively twisted your arm to engage with multiplayer by tying it to your galactic readiness – and thereby impacting your ending. The degree to which single-player and multiplayer are linked falls somewhere between those two extremes.