copy pasting my culled recap of Sou Da's excellent reposting
of the reddit AMA
- Andromeda Initiative consists of a Nexus (Citadel-like hub structure) and four species specific arks heading to Andromeda from the Milky Way shortly after the events of Mass Effect 2.
- Four arks are council race specific; Humans (Hyperion), Asari, Turina, and Salarian.
- Nexus is sent first
, prior to the arks, and is staffed by an assortment of species. Among these include Krogan (who do not have their own personal ark), and Jen Garson (founder of the Andromeda Initiative). No other species (eg: Quarians, Vorcha, etc) confirmed yet.
- Each ark has a "pathfinder", a leader of sorts. You play as either male/female Ryder, a pathfinder for the humanity ark (Hyperion).
- Ryder siblings are the son/daughter of their father, who is an N7 soldier either on board the Hyperion or possibly the Nexus.
- As of writing, the Andromeda Initiative exists as a project simply to explore and colonise the Andromeda galaxy. The participants have no knowledge of or expectation for Reaper events.
- This was done to ensure character backstories are more diverse, such as their reasoning for embarking on the one way journey, instead of totally uniform "because Reapers".
- You may meet other Pathfinders (Salarian, Turian, Asari arks).
- More than one "hub" to visit. Size/number unknown.
- Single player open class structure means more branching, diverse character builds. Not limited to a single "class". But focusing on specific skills/powers/abilities will unlock traditional class titled profiles, eg "Adept".
- Multiplayer uses tailored class specific builds and ability distribution like Mass Effect 3 (eg: Asari Adept).
- Multiplayer still has random loot drop crates to purchase, but can also purchase specific in-stock items from a virtual store (like Destiny).
- More open questing structure given narrative context, less weird like Mass Effect 2 and 3 where you'd go on tangent missions despite pressure from the main narrative. More contextually encouraging to do a variety of things, as "discovery" is at the frontline.
- Dialogue choices can be best described as head, heart, professional, casual, reminiscent of Alpha Protocol.
- Choices are still made and have impact, but the measuring is blurrier. Less rooted in the old binary stat measuring systems derived from KOTOR.
- Interrupts now called "narrative interactions", aimed at clearly identifying the action. Example given: "shoot" interrupt in hostage situation, indicating shooting the hostage-taker. Less ambiguity if it's a renegade/paragon choice, it's just a choice.
- More complex, ambiguous romance arcs via game systems.