So You Wanna Play Mass Effect: General Advice

Previous Posts: Introduction / Character Creation

Before we get too deep into the game itself, now is as good a time as any to let you in on some fandom nicknames. Shepard goes by a few. Lots of people will just call Shepard “Shep” for short, but there are other variations.


Some of my FemSheps: Jaime Shepard, Rani Shepard, Janice Shepard, and Breq Shepard

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So You Wanna Play Mass Effect: Character Creation

You decided to fight through the archive panic of starting a new RPG series and picked up a copy of Mass Effect. I’m so excited for you! If you haven’t picked one up yet, the whole trilogy pops up on sale every now and again on EA Origin, and the first two games can be super cheap during the Steam winter and summer sales. I’m sure the PSN and Xbox Gold have sales too, but my experience is mainly with PC.

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So, let’s go! You “started a new career,” now what? The character you create is (very minor series spoilers) going to be your protagonist for all three games (/end spoilers), so what you do with them now is worth some careful consideration. Continue reading

So You Wanna Play Mass Effect: Why You Should

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I don’t know how you heard about Mass Effect. Maybe you remember all the fuss people made over Mass Effect 3, first the hype for its release, then the controversy about its ending. Maybe you’re a BioWare fan, and in your Dragon Age: Inquisition hangover after completing the Trespasser DLC for the fifth time, you’re looking for a new story-and-choice driven series to tide you over until there’s new Dragon Age news. Maybe your two older sisters are huge fans of the series and you’ve decided it’s time to try out their obsession. Maybe your roommate did you a favour and you promised to play her favourite video game trilogy in return. Maybe this post is the first you’ve heard of it. Regardless, you find yourself a little intimidated by the thought of embarking on a journey that will take hundreds of hours to complete. This guide is not a walk through, but is intended to help you take on the first game in manageable chunks while also getting the most out of your Mass Effect experience. There will be four of these posts for the first game, including this introductory one. The other three will be a guide to character creation, general advice, and a recommended mission order, all as spoiler-free as possible (expectation spoilers are inevitable, but I’ve tried to limit them). Continue reading


In a fit of insomnia I wrote a really long, super personal and kind of self indulgent post in the wee hours of the morning that I may or may not post sometime in the future, depending on how much I decide I feel like sharing. Highlights include friendship, thoughts on my first and only past romantic relationship, and anxiety, but the relevant bit to this post was that I expressed some regret at the start about how long it’s been since I posted here. Part of the hold up is that I have an unfinished draft of the final November 8th post, the series about losing my grandma, and it seemed weird to split those up. Short version of why I wrote those and why I didn’t finish them: I used them as a sort of therapeutic way to vent while grieving, but I stopped doing it when it started feeling like picking at a scab instead of a healing ritual. I’ll finish it someday, when it feels therapeutic again, but in the meantime I’ve decided to keep blogging. Continue reading

[UPDATED] Social Media’s Coverage of the Texas Filibuster

It’s been almost a year since I’ve posted. Writing about upsetting personal stuff was interrupted by other upsetting personal stuff and so I needed a break from blogging, but I will finish the final part of November 8th at some point. In the meantime, there’s something else I wanted to talk about, in case you missed it.

Something beautiful and inspiring happened in the face of some disgusting backlash in Texas last night, and I can’t blame you if you heard nothing about it. The media didn’t have a clue until much too late. Thanks to modern live streaming technology and social media, however, hundreds of thousands of people were able to witness the Texas filibuster, including myself. And, boy howdy, was it something incredible to behold. I’d like to share what I saw with you now. Continue reading

November 8th, Part II: One of the

Part I

Grandma was a rock. I arrived to see Grandpa shortly after he died, having emotionally prepared to be a rock for Grandma, and, well, that didn’t work at all. I broke down pretty much as soon as I saw her, and she just smiled and hugged me. I was all, “Dammit, Grandma, I’m supposed to be comforting you” but she was having none of it. This is a prominent trait in my father as well, and I learned exactly where he got it from that day. Continue reading

November 8th, Part I: Isabel and Norman

This past week or so, I’ve been in a bit of a funk. Nothing some company and the excitement of the American election couldn’t distract me from, but it’s been persistent enough to make sleeping an issue and having the energy to drag my butt to school a little tricky. Sometimes these moods are unexplainable, but not so much in this case. There’s a pretty simple and obvious root to my feelings right now since, a year ago today, November 8th, I was at my parents’ house making preparations for my grandmother’s funeral. Continue reading