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Last updated at 18:12, 16 Jan 2017 Uploaded at 21:26, 5 Feb 2016
BackOff puts a little ME1 and ME2 back into your ME3. --Giftfish, author of BackOff
BackOff ("BO"; pronounced "beau") is a dialogue and story overhaul for Mass Effect 3 that focuses on relationship mechanics between Shepard and potential Love Interests (LIs). With this goal in mind it seeks to improve:
- Dialogue Wheels. BO returns flexibility to the dialogue wheel, similar to ME1 and ME2. "Agree" should not mean: "I want to date you", when "Disagree" is the only other option. Removal of the center-right, neutral wheel option in ME3 resulted in paragon players often getting "ninjamanced" by LIs. BO implements many new dialogue wheel options and alters the text and choice locations so implications are clearer prior to the choice.
- Conversations. BO adds variation to paths when possible, creating a greater difference between friend and romanced Shepard. It also improves conversation and scene flow, and restores cut content when possible.
- Characterization. In certain cases, BO removes content that feels out of character or detracts from a scene. It also tweaks email tone, and implements new romance-specific email variants for certain LIs, when warranted.
- Autoflirting. BO puts flirting for FemShep back into the player's control, by allowing them to initiate the behavior.
- Imported ME2 LIs. When both ME1 and ME2 LIs are present, ME3 gives priority — especially on Mars — to the ME1 LI. This mechanic has been tempered, and the player given a bit more control as to how the story plays out. ME2 LIs are no longer demoted to "cheatees".
- Bug Fixes. BO fixes hundreds of bugs with subtitles, conversation pathing, camera work, animations, lighting, and much more.
To implement these mechanics, BackOff:
- Edits almost 90 files for the base game, Citadel DLC, and intermod compatibility
- Adds about 40 new state transitions and 35 new plot bools
- Adds about 100 new plot conditionals, and edits another 45
- Adds over 20 new emails, and edits almost a dozen more
Below is a very brief summary of character changes; for more details see the BackOff v1.0 Release Notes in your download or on Google Docs.
A limited number of screenshots have been placed on the Nexus. Visit the BackOff Gallery to see more.
- AETHYTA, more accurately perceives Shepard's relationship with Liara.
- ASHLEY, remembers ME2 romances. BroShep has two new opportunities to "rekindle", which affects their interactions pre-coup. Her hospital convos have been significantly improved in flow and appearance.
- JACOB, has had a total relationship overhaul. His characterization has been altered to be more in line with his ME2 self. The relationship hasn't been restored, but FemShep now has agency. Bad breakups have consequences, faithful rekindlers may see a light at the end of the tunnel. Includes Citadel DLC.
- JAMES, clamps down on flirting, unless FemShep says otherwise; he's also bit more modest.
- JAVIK, will remember Kelly, Jacob, and Samara, when trying to seduce FemShep.
- JOKER, has been informed of Jacob's reaffirmation of character. FemShep will remember a romance with Thane prevents her from hooking up with Joker.
- KAIDAN, has had an attitude adjustment on Mars, in Huerta, and on the Presidium. FemShep has more agency and has rediscovered her backbone. Gay romances now have more relationship-building opportunities prior to the date.
- KELLY, discovers she should always be in ME3! She can now be professional, flirty, or committed. When committed, she expects the same of Shepard; she's now a real love interest. She also has less "appearance amnesia", and a slightly more adept stylist.
- LIARA, is much less aggressive, and only gets one "date" unless romanced. She respects ME2 romances, unless fully rekindled on the Normandy in LotSB. Once rekindled/romanced, she no longer has relationship amnesia.
- SAM, remembers she's a subordinate like James, and lets FemShep flirt first. She shares more details of herself the closer they get. No Citadel DLC content.
- SAMARA, behaves slightly differently depending on ME2 history. She will also consider Shepard's recent rekindles with Jacob and Kelly.
- STEVE, is less ambiguous about his interactions with Shepard. Like other LIs, he will now respect Shepard's existing romantic relationship.
- THANE, is not edited directly by BackOff, but BO and ThaneMOD will work together to influence FemShep's relationship mechanics.
Note: LIs not edited directly will still be affected by plot changes to some of the above characters. For example, a Shepard with an ME2 Garrus romance will no longer experience certain dialogue with Aethyta regarding Liara. These edits are to Aethyta, but they affect Garrus's relationship content by way of Liara's.
BackOff is a DLC mod, which makes installation and use very, very simple.
Here's the highlights:
- BO is available for English localization, only. Sorry, but there will not be other localizations.
- Installation instructions are located in the download. They are also located on Google Docs.
- More details about the changes BackOff makes are located in the Release Notes inside the download. They also are located on Google Docs.
- Players with Citadel/Leviathan/Omega DLC, or using CEM/JAM/ThaneMOD will need to download BackOff's compatibility module, BOPatches.
- CEM/GMM/ThaneMOD users will need to download new patches for BackOff, available on their Nexus pages.
- BO has undergone significant testing and is extremely stable, but it's possible bugs exist. Before reporting a bug here on Nexus, please consult the Release Notes to help clarify whether the issue is indeed a bug, or a misunderstanding about mechanics. Feel free to make a post to get clarification.
- There may or may not be a BO v2.0. If there is, it won't be for a long while. However, if a sufficient amount of bugs are found, I'll periodically release patches to fix them.
- I will not take personal feature requests. I've implemented changes that feel appropriate, are lore-friendly, and that I think a majority of players will appreciate. That said, I am open to suggestions for the mod, in the case that I move forward with BOv2.0. Feedback can be left here on Nexus or in the BO development discussions on the ThaneMOD forum.
- Help with ME3Explorer can be found on its new wiki. Assuming you are only installing BackOff, using the current stable (r653) is fine as it has AutoTOC functionality. However, if you plan on installing any of the optional cabin photo textures, doing a fresh install of ThaneMOD v2.0, or installing other non-BO textures, then I suggest trying the newest Beta on GitHub.
- If you're a mod creator and want more information about BackOff, check the BackOff Public Folder on Google Docs.
BackOff has its roots in the "anti-flirt" module of ThaneMOD, and is the result of seventeen months of development by giftfish/n7Siha (known as "moho25" on Nexus). As I worked on this mod, I had a large amount of help along the way.
An enormous "thank you" to everyone listed below:
- AVPen. For continued ideas, insights, and discussion -- even though we often disagree :)
- BackOff Testers. Deager, Dineboo, Elvie, JohnP, Kinkojiro, and Nephtysmoon for tracking down bugs and providing helpful feedback.
- Barddoc1992. For ideas, feedback, intelligent discussions, editing, and general moral support. And, of course, for being a fellow Thanemancer and nerding out about our favorite drell :)
- Deager. For help with testing, providing feedback, and CEM/LIME compatibility.
- Heff. For making the incredibly useful ME3Logger, providing troubleshooting support, and for fixing the Paramour script for Thane.
- HJF4/Inquiring. For allowing use of the initial version of "James Antiflirt" in ThaneMOD, which helped give rise to BackOff.
- JohnP. For contributing the fixes for Steve's shuttle scene and more. Thanks for everything, JohnP. Without your help, much of this would never have happened; my modding career would have come to a stand-still long ago. Thank you for helping me learn hex (omfg) and how to mod this crazy game. Thank you for over two and a half years of consistent feedback, discussion, time, technical help, moral support and so much more. Thank you for your continued patience on that stupid romance scene as I have dumped boatloads of time into creating BackOff. Thanks for continuing to be there <3
- Kinkojiro. For contributing Ashley POI in Liara's office, creating separate cabin photos(!!), setting up Liara's new romance-specific Time Capsule convo, and tireless efforts to maintain GMM compatibility. I can't ever thank you enough for all your time, technical help, discussions, troubleshooting, moral support, and more. Nor can I thank you enough for patiently waiting for BackOff as our work on ThaneMOD has taken a backseat. Modding is so much fun with you around <3
- ME3Explorer Team. For making ME3Explorer, the best modding tool for ME3.
- MrFob. For helping with ThaneMOD, which basically started my modding career, and continuing to help me with all those pesky audio issues, lol.
- Nephthysmoon. The best tester ever. Thanks for your countless hours testing, frapsing, and uploading footage to help me test Citadel DLC edits for Jacob (I don't have the DLC). You deserve a huge thanks from Jacobmancers. Many thanks for all your helpful input on Kaidan.
- TankMaster. For creating your awesome Natives Editor. This mod would not have been possible without it; it makes story changes possible.
- ThaneMOD Fans. For your patience over the last year and a half as I've worked on BackOff. Thanemancers know that a large part of the reason I started BackOff was to grow my skill with dialogue and scene editing for Thane. I'll be getting back to our favorite drell soon. Promise.
- Starfield background by moepforfreedom on dA.