If you’re playing Mass Effect: Andromeda, and, like me, you like squeezing all of the juice out of that character interaction orange, you’re going to want to take a second look at the dialogue wheel when talking to your companion characters.
Habitual BioWare players will be long familiar with the dialogue wheel as the bit of graphical interface that guides you through the forest of dialogue trees. In the case of your companion characters, who are always available for a chat at your home base — in the case of Mass Effect: Andromeda, the Tempest — a set of basic dialogue choices tend to remain on the wheel throughout the game. New options are displayed in a brighter text color, while questions you’ve asked before are greyed-out. You can still choose a greyed-out option, but usually you’ll get the same answer. Usually.
In Mass Effect: Andromeda, some of those greyed-out answers offer a wealth of responses.
Don’t worry, it’s not particularly hard to figure out which. For example, Cora and Drack both have a consistent dialogue option to ask them if they have any good war stories from their past working with asari commandos and from their past of being a 1,400-year-old krogan warrior, respectively. If asked, Kallo will give you multiple anecdotes about his old friends in the crew that built your ship. SAM, your artificial intelligence companion, is always willing to make another attempt to evolve his sense of humor, when asked.
Basically, he’ll tell you another bad Mass Effect pun.
Just last night, Drack gave me a tip on killing kett, and SAM told me that the reason why thresher maws don’t eat comedians is because they “taste funny.” According to Redditors, other NPCs, like Director Addison or Kesh, will have more to say from a greyed-out option after you accomplish certain things in the plot or mechanics of the game that are relevant to that option — and the Tempest crew will have differing opinions of their coworkers as the game’s story progresses.
The bad news is, the greyed-out dialogue option is more an indicator of whether you’ve asked a question before, not whether you’ve heard all the answers. If character interaction is one of the primary reasons you play Mass Effect games, that’s something you’ll definitely want to be aware of.
The good news is that figuring out what you should choose for updates is relatively intuitive. You just have to think of the conversations you have with recurring NPCs as, well, conversations. Did you make a big advance in the plot that’s relevant to their job or personal interests? Do you want to hear more stories about their past? Their evolving opinions on their coworkers?
You’ll have to ask.