Anthem got its first significant update in some time this week with game update 1.3. The update adds a number of new things and significantly improves some others, but it’s not the “miracle patch” fans may be hoping for.
We’re probably a long way off from something like that, but 1.3 a decent patch nonetheless. Frankly, the much anticipated Cataclysm feature is the least exciting aspect of the update to me. Let’s break down some of the highlights.
It’s kind of sad that in 2019 I need to be celebrating the removal of Luck (aka Magic Find) from an ARPG, but here we are. What happens when you let players gear for Magic Find? Oh right, they’ll sacrifice everything to get the most out of it. This is lame and is doubly worse in a multiplayer game where you’re playing with other players who are lacking in important stats and making content harder as a result. All Luck inscriptions have been converted to bonus armor and drop rates from Easy to GM1 are tuned as if the player had equipped maxed out Luck gear. Drop rates in GM2 and GM3 have been increased across the board. Good stuff all around here.
New Weapon Types
Jarra’s Wrath is real, guys! That’s right, the first Legendary weapon BioWare ever showed off for Anthem is now actually in the game. It comes to Anthem as part of a trio of new weapon types added to the game with the update: Pulse Accelerators, Volt Casters, and Blade Slingers. Each weapon type comes with three Masterwork/Legendary variants. These unique weapons are the sort of gear we should have had in the game at launch, but better late than never.
The Nerf of the Bullet Sponge
Playing in GM2 and GM3 was a chore due to how bullet sponge-y the enemies (especially the bosses) are in those difficulties. In update 1.3, BioWare took an axe to enemy health and shields in GM2 and GM3, making things a lot more bearable.
Melee & Support Gear
You’ll no longer have to stare at that purple eyesore ruining your character sheet now that BioWare has finally added Masterwork and Legendary support gear to the game. The effects aren’t too exciting, but it’s a start.
Melee weapons were also added with the update. This solves the game’s wonky melee damage scaling and allows players to choose different types of weapons to suit certain playstyles. Want to be a bit more hardy in melee as an Interceptor? Equip the Blades of Warding, offering you a stacking 10% damage resist buff (up to 5 stacks or 50%) for 10 seconds on hit. Prefer being a glass cannon? Deathstalker Blades deal bonus damage to targets below 50% health.
I’d like to see entirely new melee weapon types for each javelin, but this is a great start.
BioWare has a long way to go to turn Anthem around and the current update cadence leaves a lot to be desired, but if you did enjoy the game despite its issues, I’d say update 1.3 is worth coming back to, if just to mess around with the new content and weapon types.