I was very excited for Anthem’s latest big patch to address some of the issues the game was facing. I had taken a “wait until next patch” break from the game. I will not recap the patch notes and fixes, but will reiterate what I have said here several times. The loot / reward system is inherently broken and needs fixing badly. Some things in the new patch is meant to address this. To also reiterate – I LOVE the moment to moment gameplay. The story aspect, levelling, getting to max level, the lore and the world. All really well done.
What is not well done, is the reward structure. Once you hit 30 there is a nice ramp up to improve the power of your pilot and various javelins. The story ends, the little odds and ends stop. The emails stop. All you are left with is the loot grind. Such is the life of a looter shooter.
And this is where Anthem fails. Once I had all of my Javelins to Masterwork level there is little incentive to play. You need legendaries to improve, and with the current drop rate of (estimated) less than 1%, and many stories of people getting their first after 100+ hours of gameplay many people opted to sit on the sidelines to see when they would have a path forward. There is no path forward through crafting, or questing, or any way except legendary drops. I breeze through GM2 difficulty but can’t complete GM3 without mostly legendary gear. I am stuck. There is something inherently wrong with a game where you dread the moments that you receive in game rewards.
Enter 1.04. This patch was supposed to increase drop rates for high end rewards, ensure end bosses and treasure boxes drop more, and better loot, and even added a cosmetic chest reward for end of Strongholds (that requires a key earned from daily quests). They also added a daily Legendary mission that can be replayed from the story quests as you levelled up.
OK. I am intrigued. Let’s try each of them and see what I get. First up, I needed two Legendary Contracts to get an Elysium key that opens a cosmetic chest. Let’s do those. Run #1 was instant disappointment.
To put purples into context for you – the entire community has made a side game out of NOT collecting them. How to sneak up to the loot chest and only grab orange or better. Every purple piece is instantly garbage the moment you move into GM2 territory. Not only that, but you have to spend 3 seconds to delete each of them with a mouse hold – so I lose a few minutes more of my gaming life by getting them. They need an auto-delete level desperately. If you look close enough, you will see I even received blues somehow (which aren’t supposed to drop at GM2…)
The second run wasn’t even better, with one less Masterwork, but two blues, and a whole host of purples I now had to delete one by one. GRR!. Upside here is that I did get an Elysium Chest key now that I did the daily, and those drop at the end of Strongholds. So let’s go do one of those!
Wow, really? More blues? Purples? At this point I am over two hours into the new patch (it’s around 30 – 45 minutes per event, but between cleaning up inventory (ie: deleting everything you have, because your inventory storage is limited so you must do this every 2-3 runs) and I am not seeing the improvement at all. BUT WAIT! I forgot I have a cosmetic key to unlock!
Crafting materials. I have hundreds and hundreds of each already. PLUS THE FACT THAT I CANT IMPROVE MY JAVELINS VIA CRAFTING AT MY LEVEL. Sorry, Caps. The sheer absurdity that that is some sort of happy reward is past the point of bonkers. Still, I only spent a few hours so far – let’s give it some more time, run a few more events.
A few Masterworks, some more blues, and lots of purple junk. Four and a half hours of gaming and did not move my Gearscore a single point. Did not get something to make me do more damage, fly faster, live longer, change the way I play, not a single emote, vinyl, nothing, nada. I would be at the exact same place if I didn’t bother to log in. I’m telling you, if any sort of progression is important to you don’t bother – yet.
Patch 1.04 still doesn’t address the core issue this game has. I will take loading screens and the odd crash all day over a broken reward system. Anthem still doesn’t have it. Not even close.
(Sorry if this sounds ranty, but not even sure why they did a patch if they weren’t willing to fix the most glaring issue.)
I will try another daily cache today and see if my luck is any better but I am expecting it not to be – and will most likely end up in other games until patch 1.05. It’s a waiting game now, between players with too many options and devs that are way too stingy.