In response to a question about the costs associated with Mass Effect: Andromeda's multiplayer DLC, BioWare GM Aaryn Flynn stated DLC will be handled in the same way it was in Mass Effect 3. In other words, multiplayer DLC will be free.
For those unfamiliar with Mass Effect 3's multiplayer, it was structured like a bonus Free-to-Play game. Theoretically, you weren't required to spend an additional dime on it. New maps were given to all players for free. New playable characters and weapons could be earned simply by continuing to play multiplayer. If you wanted to accelerate the process, you could buy packs which contained a random selection of unlockables or upgrades.
As with all Free-to-Play games, there certainly were players who never spent a cent on the game mode beyond the initial cost of Mass Effect 3. But there were the whales, too -- the types of players who are willing to drop an extra $1,000 just to get a head start. Mass Effect's multiplayer isn't a competitive game mode, however. That head start will fill out a player's collection a little faster, but won't give them a competitive advantage in a cooperative game mode.
Andromeda's multiplayer has been stated to connect narratively to the single-player campaign, but we don't yet know the extent to which that's true. However, if you have no interest in the multiplayer, Andromeda has a built-in workaround.
Throughout other tweets on the subject, Melo explains you'll be given multiplayer missions over the course of the single player game. You can play through them yourself, securing experience and rewards for Ryder, or you can assign the mission to an AI-controlled Strike Team. The Strike Team has both a chance to succeed and a chance to fail. Upon success, you'll receive the reward as if you played it yourself. If they fail, you'll still receive experience, but no other rewards.
The Strike Team feature is likely a direct response to some of the outcry surrounding Mass Effect 3. Upon the game's launch, participating in the multiplayer had a direct impact on your game's ending. Players who had no interest in the multiplayer were effectively locked out of the best possible ending for the single-player campaign. Strike Teams are a direct workaround for those players.
Though Mass Effect: Andromeda had previously scheduled a semi-public testing period for the game's multiplayer component, that test has since been canceled. That news might make some players nervous about the state of the game, but it probably shouldn't: the multiplayer will be available to play at PAX East this weekend.
Mass Effect: Andromeda is out March 21, 2017 for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
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