Anthem unveils loot changes to improve gearing

    
43
I want noisemakers.

If you missed it earlier, our first impression of Anthem is that it’s a good game underneath serious issues and a lack of content; addressing those issues is a good thing. One of those issues is how the game’s loot works, and lo and behold, it turns out the game’s loot is being notably improved. The changes will make Masterwork gear easier to obtain and unwanted items far less common, with green and white items no longer among the level 30 drop tables and all modifications on a given item being useful with that item. (No more bonus to pistol damage that only affects an assault rifle, for example.)

Of course, this doesn’t address the aforementioned lack of content, which is highlighted by the fact that finishing the game’s current highest challenge awards the player with basically nothing. Players are understandably disappointed that the end of the journey just means there’s no more journeying to be done, although some are speculating that this is a current placeholder rather than a permanent state of affairs.

Source: Reddit (1, 2)

43
LEAVE A COMMENT

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
Rumm

I wish this game had Destiny’s gunplay. Or optimization. Or lack of load screens. Or extra dungeon. Or scaling progression. I don’t recall ever getting to the last boss of a Destiny story mission and it just not completing.

Destiny 2 wasn’t a great game at launch, but it was lightyears ahead of where Anthem currently is.

Reader
rafael12104

The patch dropped now. Servers are in the process of being updated. There is also a patch that needs to update something client side.

Reader
rafael12104

Well, just ran GM1 Tyrant Mines and got 2 Legendary drops. No, not Masterworks, but twho Legendary! So, I’m not sure if I’m just lucky or what, but those are some damn fine changes!!

Reader
Koshelkin

Bioware said they didn’t increase the loot chance. They might have increased it for a short time(a guess) to give players which are already at it a chance on an item with new rolls.

Reader
rafael12104

I just got lucky. But, wow. That was great! Lol!

Reader
kimowar101

have you played the game?

Reader
Jack Kerras

[gif of a person with a sign that reads ‘obviously fucking not’]

Reader
kimowar101

and that’s my point

Reader
Jack Kerras

(yeah I know <3)

Reader
Dug From The Earth

These are great changes, that will make a pretty big difference… as far as most loot is concerned. MOST.

However, despite this needed improvement, its not Anthems main hurdle right now.

The main hurdle, is getting all of these changes, and most importantly, content (Strongholds, more story, more things to do, more game features like mastery system, etc) into the players hands ASAP. Why asap? Because players are already leaving the game. Because other games will be out sooner than Bungi…er.. Bioware can get these needed things put into the game.

Gamers dont want to wait anymore, and Anthems player base is going to suffer because of it. That is the lesson these companies like EA need to learn about releasing early with the notion of “it will get better over time”.

Reader
Malcolm Swoboda

They have the schedule they have – but I can imagine Bioware reassessing some major things and deciding to include a very major content batch/’expansion’ later this year to try to break through the noise and improve the game’s reputation. Sure there’s content coming soon, but it won’t be enough but to just slow down playerbase decline.

Anthem, in my opinion, will suffer for now no matter what. They best they can do for a future that includes the game being alive, is committing to a comeback story that we’ve seen in a few similar-in-model games before.

Reader
Dug From The Earth

Its a downward spiral

Games not being good at release will cause gamers not to buy them for a couple of months.

Gamers not buying them for a couple of months will cause publishers like EA to say “The game didnt meet expectations” and then do one or more of the following:

— Cut most of the support for the game
— Lay off most of the developers
— Get rid of the dev studio all together.

Publishers doing that will reduce the amount of good dev studios and the games they make, meaning less good games over all.

Less good dev studios/games means that quick, money making games will dominate the market, like Fortnite and other BR games, or whatever the FOTM genre is (a couple years ago it was MOBAs.)

Publishers are realizing now, the same thing cable tv networks realize with TV shows. Go for the cheap to make, high interest games with a lot of potential for instant cash/profits (ie: reality TV shows).

Meanwhile, companies like Bioware, are just old legends stuck in a screwed up new world. I dont think they, much like Blizzard, will ever climb back up to where they were before. Their best games have come and gone, and I dont think they can recover. The industry is just too different now.

The motto is no longer “I want to make a good game that i can make money off of”. Its now “I want to make good money off of whatever game can do it for me”

Reader
Rumm

Division 2 will take a huge chunk of the playerbase away. I’m one of the players who has already left, because the bugs, performance, and glaring lack of content are all issues that will take more than a patch to fix. Optimization takes months, load screens are here to stay, and adding a single new dungeon to the game a month from now will bring it up to Destiny 2 levels of content at launch, and Destiny 2 did t have content at launch

Dantos
Reader
Dantos

I really wish they also increased the drop rate of masterworks as well, but maybe removing commons and greens will have an effect.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

It’s pretty incredible that they let loot go live like this (how on earth wouldn’t you limit mods to prevent useless ones in a loot-centric game?), but glad they addressed it quickly. They’ve got a lot of work to do whipping the game into shape, good luck to them.

Reader
Dug From The Earth

I think the answer is pretty obvious.. to everyone.

The game was pushed out the door sooner than it was ready. The situation with the loot isnt the only sign of this either. Nearly every aspect of the game reflects this. Such as how the majority of the story missions are just copy pasted events from the open world freeplay mode.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

I don’t buy that. That’s the argument for EVERY game nowadays, and while some of them may have some truth behind them (Destiny 2, but there are caveats in that the development cycle was only 18 months because they scrapped over a years worth of work on it which was their own problem) I generally don’t buy it.

ME:A? 5+ years, with multiple years of full production. It had multiple delays and tons of time.
Anthem? Similar timelines with tons of additional support brought on to help them meet targets.

The situation with loot? I view that more as simple design mistakes from BW (again, I don’t have the highest opinion of them as a developer).
copy/pate missions? Similarly view it as bad design rather than anything else.

I’ve yet to see any evidence that EA pressured/forced them to meet a release date that was overly aggressive. Everything makes it look like, again, BW had the time, support, and resources needed to get their game on time (or close to) and budget (or close to), but internal decisions and missteps led to the issues we see.

Reader
Dug From The Earth

But Im not talking about every game nowdays. Im talking about anthem.

Other games, like ME:A, could have easily suffered from other things. In ME:A’s case, it was probably a budget issue. Having to cut costs on things, such as the facial animation tech. Im sure there were other aspects too. Im not going to speculate or delve into them. Why?

Because Im speaking of Anthem.

Here is how it very well COULD have gone down when “Time” is the issue… even if the dev time is large. (6 years)

First 2 years – Game pitched, and goes through its foundation build, creating the framework for the game. Enough is built here for it to be put into closed alpha. No real content yet, the story is on the sketch board.

Year 3 – Someone up top decides that Y is more popular than X, and that they want it to be a major element of the game, nullifying half of the work already done, and requiring another years worth of work just to get it back up to an Alpha stage. Voice actors have all recorded their lines.

Year 4 – Show off some CGI and some really generic gameplay at E3 to hype the game, but leave players 100% clueless as to what gameplay or the game as a whole is really like, because the studio doesnt know if the gameplay is going to change massively again before release. Work is being done to add content to the game, such as story, quests, etc.

Year 5 – The publisher sees how much hype there is for the game, and decides they want it to be their big cash cow. They give the dev studio a big list of “features” that must be added to the game, or changed in the game by the time the game goes live. These change a lot of the core part of the gameplay, to make it work with Microtransactions and the whole live services BS.

Year 6 – The devs struggle to fill in the holes after having to scrap a lot of the already designed elements of the game, in order to meet the publishers demands.dd This means no time for the last stage of development (optimization), and lots of generic filler systems and content to at least have no blatant missing tracks for the train to ride on.

Game gets released at the end of year 6.

So its not “6 years wasnt enough time”. It was 6 years would have been plenty, if the work on the game hadnt gone through multiple reworks causing the progress made over those 6 years to be reset to some degree. Its the publisher insisting that elements be added to the game at the cost of other things like optimization and better content, so that they could continue to make $$$ even after people pay 60+ dollars for the base game.

If publishers are going to butt in and demand things are added and changed to a game, the the release date NEEDS to be extended. This rarely happens though, because publishers/investory/etc want their money sooner.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

In ME:A’s case, it was probably a budget issue. Having to cut costs on things, such as the facial animation tech.

This wasn’t the case at all. The game had proper budgets and we know that the issue behind the face animations wasn’t budgetary, it was because they simply didn’t staff up properly. They had an algorithm do a first pass at all the facial animations and were SUPPOSED to have animators go in and do touchup work (which is common, algorithms handle the bulk of the heavy lifting, animators make it look natural). The problem is they didn’t hire enough competent animators so the hands-on pass never happened. That wasn’t because they couldn’t afford to, but simply because they continually had issues in terms of hiring enough staff to do what they wanted (which was a studio decision, not an EA one).

As for your timeline, that’s PURE speculation that there is zero evidence to support. It seems to start from the premise that EA is meddling in development, which is something that BW have repeatedly said they don’t do in previous releases. I mean hell, they were staffing up on that game as early as 2017 IIRC, which would punch holes in your timeline alone, especially seeing as that’s not how game development for AAA games really works internally (studios aren’t that agile when you have hundreds and hundreds of folks working on a game across multiple regions).

Unless you have some evidence to support the assertion that EA forced BW into multiple redesigns throughout development that led to a whole lot of wasted time, which thus far I’ve yet to see.

Reader
Dug From The Earth

Dude.. what part of

“Im not going to speculate or delve into them.” did you misread?

My comment was a hypothetical possibility, which was noted when i said things like “…could have…” and “probably”. Meaning im just shooting from the hip here, because its not the focus of my comments.

I was talking about Anthem, but trying to not simply blow off your comment about ME:A.

And for the info… not hiring enough staff actually supports 2 things you are arguing against:

1. Not hiring enough staff is often a budget thing. The company is given X amount to hire resources. They could have very likely met their limit, which ended up being less staff than they wanted to have.

2. Not hiring enough staff means the amount of work you get done takes longer, which means a higher chance of that game getting released before everything is done. IE: released earlier than its ready to be released.

Without being part of Corporate bioware or EA, neither of us can accurately say if either of these things is true or not, and at the same time, we cant 100% rule them out.

Reader
Nathan Aldana

Its the argument for every game because its true of every game.

Publishers discovered they can get away with patching the game to fix it later, and now theyre doing it with every game

Reader
Jack Kerras

I don’t think this was a publisher discovery.

I think that the amount of time it takes to make decent content is so grievously overlong compared against the amount of play-hours each player gets that there’s just no budget to let it simmer for ever and ever.

Further, almost every game that’s been in the works for 5 years has rebooted somewhere, undergone a major engine change that required huge rewrites, etc. :/ Mostly, anything that comes out is the last 18 months’ worth, with lots thrown away, but all that throw-away is crucial to making the bones come out good and strong (like Anthem’s are).

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

It’s not an argument for every game. Games have timelines, and if developers aren’t meeting them then that’s usually largely on them rather than the publisher. At least unless we hear specific info that the publisher meddled and pushed aggressive dates. Which we have no evidence of in this instance.

Reader
Dug From The Earth

Thats not how successful business works though.

If the “agency” you have set up to do a project cant meet the deadline, the company that hired the “agency” will spend more money to make sure they do. IE: hire more devs, outsource, pay overtime to work additional hours, etc etc.

They dont just go “Oh hey Bioware, we gave you a timeline, you failed to stick to it, this games failure is on you.” They want the game to be a success, because it will cost them more money in the end if it fails, than if they have to fork out more money to get it done on time.

At least… thats GOOD business. Clearly… EA isnt doing that. Maybe because they think they can get away with only doing a half assed job. Probably because they have been getting away (mostly) with doing that year after year.

And if the communication between Bioware and EA is so cryptic and absent that EA had no idea of the state of Anthem, then that is STILL bad business on their part. You dont spend tons of money on something and then happily sit back blind and deaf to what they are doing.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

If the “agency” you have set up to do a project cant meet the deadline, the company that hired the “agency” will spend more money to make sure they do. IE: hire more devs, outsource, pay overtime to work additional hours, etc etc.

Working at an agency, this isn’t how it works. If we fuck up and miss agreed upon deadlines we don’t get additional budget, we get our asses reprimanded and potentially dropped. Companies aren’t keen on paying more for less, or overpaying for what should have been paid for and done.

You’re right, they do want the games to be a success. But eventually you need to release the game, it can’t sit in development hell for a decade while the developer gets it “right”. At a certain point you have to let the product sink or swim, and if the developers aren’t capable of doing the work they’re tasked with then the studios get closed.

I’m not arguing EA isn’t making bad decisions here, because they are and the fact that they put BW up to a game like this that’s so far out of their normal area of expertise is not a great move. You can argue the positive angle – they gave BW a chance to try something new that they felt confident they could deliver on, just like they gave BW Montreal (I think?) the opportunity to step up to the plate and lead a project rather than be a support studio.

It’s shitty, but at some point if your studios aren’t able to meet obligations and quality standards without heavy control from EA (which EA is routinely accused of doing and which people attack them endlessly for) every step of the way, then it’s either time to rebuild the studios from scratch (which would lead to mass hate and the destruction of most of the strength of the BW brand) or simply cut them loose because they can’t hack it.

It’s shitty, but it’s reality. If BW simply isn’t capable of making AAA games in the current generation then maybe they shouldn’t be making AAA games in the current generation and EA needs to figure out other ways to use the studios strengths. At least if the strengths still remain, since apparently the narrative/writing that they’ve always excelled at has been pretty lackluster between both ME:A and apparently Anthem as well. So if BW aren’t good at the one thing they used to be good at, and they’re not excelling at anything else…why are they still around?

Reader
Dug From The Earth

I put “Agency” in quotes because i meant it to represent ANY group that you hire to do work. IE: Bioware is the “agency” EA is using to make Anthem. In some other cases, a company might outsource to another team, person, group, etc.

And here is the thing with outsourced 3rd parties or ACTUAL agencies. Like you said, you are given a set budget, and timeline. If you cant do it within those restrictions, do you think the company that hired you is just gonna sit back and say “oops, the project failed”??

Ive worked for companies that outsourced numerous times, and when we realized the “agencies” we hired to do something, werent going to follow through, we fired their asses (in some cases we were even able to take action against them for breach of contract).

In all cases where this happened, the company I worked for had to not only announce that the project was now going to take longer, but also spend MORE money to get it done by another “Agency”.

Technically, we could have just taken the half finished work, slapped some duct tape on it, and released it half assed… but that wouldnt have been good business.

But thats EXACTLY what EA is doing.

Reader
rosieposie

These live service ‘games’ are never ready. They sell you a shell of the game for premium price with the promise that it’ll be ‘fixed’ down the road.

Reader
rafael12104

Agree. That’s the model now.

Reader
Nathan Aldana

yep. and its why i dont buy live service games on release. shit. i only started playing destiny 2 in the last month and its much more fun as a feature complete expertience that also co0nveniently now doesnt give activision money, than i imagine it woulda been at launch

Reader
Koshelkin

I’ve been logging around 30hrs for Anthem by now, Lvl 16, still working on my first Javelin, only halfway through the story and I still have a lot of drive for the game. Not sure but maybe people expect too much nowadays? If this holds for another 20~30hrs I surely got my money’s worth out of the game and I’m not sure how it should be otherwise. If this game gets more content, great!, I didn’t even touch the first stronghold and I barely derped around in Freeplay. I’m satisfied.

Reader
Jack Kerras

Agreed. We saw bits and bops of it in the preview weekends and such, but really, that was tantamount to a stress test; the difference in the first weekend, then the second, then early-access launch? Unbelievably big.

That said: we didn’t realize -how bad- this could be, since getting +LMGAmmo +LMGAmmo on a suit item was just a bit of bad luck; we didn’t really get any purple or orange items, so we couldn’t get an item and say ‘Oh, it’s patently ridiculous that someone can roll FOUR +250% Weapon Damage rolls’, because we just never saw that shit.

So: they didn’t test this part. They DID fix some issues (like ‘weapon damage only to this item’ on Components, which obviously do not deal weapon damage), but they didn’t get all of that ironed out before launch, which is a damn shame.

Reader
rafael12104

There we go. Yes, the loot changes have been talked about just a little bit on Reddit. Heh. Looking forward to these changes and the tweaking of the enhancements.

Meh, the end game is three strongholds. But what many are missing is that setting the difficulty to GrandMaster 1 and going into the freeplay area is an adventure worth taking. The loot drops are worth it, and you are literally in a life or death struggle in any encounter. Much more fun than farming. And exploring is much more suspenseful.

Reader
Nathan Aldana

ive seen people playing on grandmaster 2 in a stronghold, and my experien ce watching those streams is the loot is absoluterly not worth it at all compared to the challenge.

That said, these loot changes might actually make that a better situation

Reader
rafael12104

There is no reason to run GM2. GM3, maybe. But otherwise as Jack points out. All you need to do is run Tyrant Mines at GM1 to gear up and then at GM3 for Legendary. You don’t need to run the other Strongholds at all, at this point.

Reader
Jack Kerras

I really like Anthem, and have spent a hundred hours in it and a bunch of change.

The real issue isn’t that there’re only three Strongholds to do at endgame, it’s that there is one Stronghold to do.

The boss of the Tyrant Mine presents no issues, is totally beatable, and his adds are numerous but so easy to eliminate that I can solo the boss easily without much in the way of effort. It can be one-phased, it is a more or less completely solved encounter, and nothing about it is difficult in any significant way.

The boss of the Scar Temple is a Luminary who has HUGE immune phases, summons extremely high-health, shielded opponents with sniper rifles, flame throwers, etc., and 2/3rds of the boss room turns into a whirling murder engine the moment the immune phase starts, zero warning, hope you weren’t standing in the wrong spot. It is THE PUGSLAYER and even with a group of folks who know what they’re doing, it’s really easy for lower-health classes to get caught by the Luminary’s seeking missile volleys, which will one-two stun-and-kill anyone they catch.

The boss of the Heart of Rage is the final boss in the game, now with literally 20x the hit points. His weak points ‘expire’ for a period of time when you hit them too much, he has lots of things that overheat and ground you, his phases include a lengthy walk from place to place (which means a solid extra minute of -just boosting around- to get through the fight), and he either hurls out buckets of acid-shotgunning adds that ground you and make you extra-vulnerable, or he doesn’t drop enough ammo to deal with his massive, poopy sack of hit points.

So, y’know. You run Tyrant Mine. That’s just how it is.

Now, if the other things, for example, dropped three to five times as much loot? MAYBE that would be worth the investment. But risking watching all your PUGs fan-splatter in the Scar Mines just isn’t fucking worth it when the same loot’s available despite the -drastic- difference in mechanical complexity, one-shottiness, and hit-point ‘difficulty’.

Reader
Jack Kerras

All this being said: I actively like running around the open world and doing quests. I enjoy Anthem generally, its combat feels great, and when it’s working well it’s just amazing.

The endgame’s surely half-baked, although since the worldwide release, the little events they run out in the open world have been worthy of plumbing, they’re rewarding (with their own special icons and vinyls and whatnot rather than bigger numbers on your character), etc. The issue I have with endgame (and why I’ve taken a break right now) is the loot problem, which they’re looking to solve.

30 Endless Sieges. 30 useless autocannons. Not a single one with a +physical or +weapon or even +impact damage mod on them. All Elemental, or Lightning, and all only relevant to the weapon itself, which does no elemental damage. :/

The gear rolling system has been Extremely Poor and I have been on a monstrous cold streak where my chosen (see: the only legitimately good) autocannon is concerned.

Also, real talk: there are three Autocannons at endgame. One gives you a 20-second, 75% damage buff when you’re badly injured. One gives you a 5-second, 10% damage buff that stacks 10 times, a total of 100% damage. One just flat-out gives you 100% Damage and 100% Mag Size all the time, no procs required.

What fucking designer released those and figured ‘yeah, these are all in the same weight class!’

Answer: not a good one. :|

Reader
rafael12104

It sure does feel like they threw end-game together just to have something. And the weapon enhancements can get so bad that some weapons are unusable.

BUT supposedly that will change shortly with a big patch.

And I agree. The open world or free play area is good fun and could be great if they expanded it and made more world events spawn sooner. And the drops should be improved their too.

The game wasn’t ready. And now they are going to finish it as an online service. It is a horrible way to introduce a service.

But I’m sticking with it because it is fun.

Reader
Nathan Aldana

if I have one problem with the game overall tbh its the open world. I;ve watched more than a few stramers play it and the entire game uis one single biome. Its very pretty but I want winter biomes and desert biomes and abandoned city biomes. Not “one very big jungle”

Reader
rafael12104

Yes. I think more will be added later.

But one thing you don’t get a good look at in the streams is the weather changes and day and night cycles. It does not make a new biome but it is very impressive as storms blow in with wind that affects your flight. And easily navigated areas become a challenge at night.

Reader
Jack Kerras

Today!

That patch is serverside and it’s rolling up on us today. I am v. excited to go back to trying to find myself a Delicious Autocannon which will fill out my build.

Here’s the deal: the Colossus build I use (very well!) is super trash-combo-y and freezey, so it’s excellent for getting asshole-deep in alligators without getting murdered.

I have ALMOST NOTHING that I can do to single targets. In order to do single-target damage, what I have to do is ‘shoot someone with Ralner’s Blaze until they are on fire’, at which point I combo them. Then I use my lightning shit, which freezes, and put out the fire, which brings the combo back up. Fire combo ice combo fire combo ice combo until they die.

It is MUCH slower than having a well-rolled Endless Siege to plow into a frozen enemy, and fiddlier to boot. Single-target damage from any range which is ‘not melee’ is extremely hard to do… so I need a weapon.

I’ve rolled THIRTY Endless Sieges. Thirty. Not one of them has had a +Weapon Damage bonus on it, and that bonus rolls up to 250%. I spent ALL my resources – and they’re making it cost a third less, too, which means I’ve wasted hundreds and hundreds trying and getting +Elemental rolls or +Pistol stuff.

It -is- fun. But I took a break, because I really needed loot not to fuck me over this bad for this long. I’ll go back to it when I hear the patch is live later on this evening.

Reader
rafael12104

Well, the patch must be getting implemented right now because I can’t log into any servers.

Reader
Koshelkin

The little “dungeons” in the open world are also fun to do for a change. They proc several high-tier mobs per run and should be fun in a group. Needs prior coordination and group-building, though, as there’s no text-chat in any form.

Reader
rafael12104

The little dungeons are great fun and varied too. Some are fairly straight forward. But others are maze-like and huge. And if you turn the wrong corner you just might be facing a titan or two or four. Heh.

If you ever have trouble running one of those because you can’t find a group, let me know and we will square away some time to do a few.

That goes for all Anthem players here at MOP. I’ll be happy to group up and run whatever. Exploring those caverns and hidden areas is great fun and usually worth the loot IF they haven’t been cleared out recently.