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Anthem (A)
BioWare | Official Site
CORPG | Setting:Sci-Fi | Status:Final  (rel 02/22/19)  | Pub:Electronic Arts
PVP:Yes | Distribution:Download,Retail | Retail Price:$59.99 | Pay Type:Buy to Play | Monthly Fee:n/a
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Anthem Livestream Recap: Buffs, Loot and Quality of Life Updates

By Michael Bitton on March 21, 2019 | Columns | Comments

Anthem Livestream Recap: Buffs, Loot and Quality of Life Updates

Anthem’s unfortunately necessary redemption arc begun recently with some critical buffs to the game’s loot (summon the loot!) and if yesterday’s livestream indicates anything, next week’s patch will continue the important work needed to turn the game around. Let’s recap.

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Loot

Anthem’s last update buffed loot for “apex” enemies such as the Ursix, Luminary, Fury, and Titan and buffed loot across the board especially for the GM2 and GM3 difficulties, but there was still some more work to do. Next week’s patch will also allow Stronghold bosses to roll loot (so you can actually have a Legendary or even two drop off of a Stronghold boss) along with some additional buffs to chest loot in both Stronghold and event chests in Freeplay.

BioWare will be adding a number of new universal components with the update, mostly focused on weapon usage, with a new Masterwork component for each weapon type. One example given was for a shotgun component that would allow you to apply Acid to a target hit with seven or more pellets in a single shot.

Beyond that, there’s been a huge pass on existing components for all javelins and the result should be an across the board buff. Not a whole lot of details here, but one promising example was a mention of the Colossus’ Flamethrower MW component, changing its on-kill effect to an on-hit effect. On-kill effects are problematic when facing spongier opponents in the harder difficulties, so I’m hoping to see most of these switched to on-hit effects instead.

No changes to Luck in next week’s patch, but the team is actively looking into it. Same for Support Masterworks. This is something they’re actively working on, but won’t be available in the next patch.

New Content

Not a whole lot in the way of new content next week, but there are a couple of additions of note. The update will add the first batch of Legendary Missions, which are basically slightly retooled missions from the main story. There will be six available next week and you’ll be able to play one at a time in a daily rotation. These missions will be tuned in difficulty somewhere between Legendary Contracts and Strongholds. Encounters will be tougher and they’ll be tossing in an apex enemy boss at the end of each mission (another chance at loot!) and even a chest at the end for your trouble. Not too bad.

For those of you who love to play Fashionlancer, Elysian Caches will roll out with next week’s update, too. These are chests you’ll be able to unlock at the end of a Stronghold for cosmetic items. Four chests will be available at the end of your Stronghold run and each will require a Elysian Cache key to unlock. Keys are earned through daily activities and all party members get the loot from each cache, so if your entire team has keys, you’ll be able to unlock all four. As a bonus, these chests can also drop crafting materials, such as Masterwork Embers. There should be roughly 100 vanity items available through these chests at launch and you won’t ever get a duplicate, so collecting all of the unlocks will be a manageable goal you can work towards.

The Forge

I’d normally file this sort of thing under the broader Quality of Life category, but as simple as this change is, it’s hugely significant to Anthem’s gameplay flow. The Forge can now be accessed from anywhere in Fort Tarsis and it doesn’t appear to force a loading screen going in or out. You’ll also see a full list of your components on the side instead, so you won’t need to dig deeper into the UI to find out what you’ve got equipped.

Quickplay

BioWare’s already made some improvements to the Quickplay experience, but players are still being placed in broken missions in the live game. Starting next week, Quickplay will not match players into missions that have run longer than 15 minutes, which should go a long way towards addressing this issue.

Performance

It’s hard to say how much performance will be improved in next week’s patch, but BioWare did want to call out that they’ve got some improvements on deck. Also, DLSS is coming with next week’s update, so if your hardware can take advantage of that feature, you should definitely see some performance uplift enabling DLSS.

SLI support is still being worked on.

HP Bug

Fixed! I think. This was both an actual bug and a UI display issue and it ended up being a bit more complicated, but they think they’ve got it, mostly? Let’s hope so!

Quality of Life

  • The rest of these fall under basic quality of life changes, so we’ll just list some of the quick hits.
  • Fog Walls removed from almost everywhere in the game
  • Field of View (with granular options for different cameras) added
  • Salvaging in the Vault is snappier
  • Hold Melee on Interceptor (standard melee only, non-Ultimate for now)
  • Consumable sorting by name and rarity. Auto sorted. BioWare wants to do more here.
  • New Interceptor and Colossus armor packs similar to the ones recently added for the Storm and Ranger
  • Base javelin thruster capacity increased by 20% for all suits and overheat times reduced across the board
  • More crash fixes
  • All in all, next week’s update isn’t super sexy, but it’s looking to be quite meaningful for the game and I’m actually looking forward to dive back in for a bit to see how it all plays out.

What’s your take? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined MMORPG.com as the site's Community Manager.
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