After an initial release that failed to meet fan expectations, Anthem saw a rapid drop-off in its player base, and failed to transform into the long-tail living game that its creators had clearly hoped to craft. But BioWare has also more recently articulated its goals to dramatically rework the game to better capture its potential.
The developer has remained pretty quiet on that work, but today offered a relatively robust examination of one of the game’s biggest trouble spots – loot and equipment. In a detailed blog post from BioWare, studio director Christian Dailey explained some of the changes that the team is exploring.
Amid several important adjustments, BioWare is increasing the frequency of loot and aiming to make those drops be more meaningful and viable when they arrive. More of the loot you collect will have deterministic routes to pick-up, rather than being entirely random. And loot will have much increased options for modification, including the rerolling of inscriptions and the leveling up of items you like.
Anthem also previously struggled with a loot system that oddly locked your gear during missions, and prevented easy switching. It sounds as if that is going away, with the ability to find new equipment and put it on right away. That change goes along with a total overhaul of the equipment sheet, which can now be accessed from anywhere.
Beyond those and other changes to loot, Dailey also explained that gunplay is being reworked to be more responsive, melee items and builds are getting a close inspection, and the use of skill points to unlock new equipment and synergies is also a major focus.
Anthem offered some fun flight and combat experiences in its initial incarnation, and featured a lovely world with a rewarding and interesting fiction. But most players found the experience shallow and lacking in long-term engagement opportunities. Here’s hoping the long rework cycle that BioWare is attempting bears fruit, and the game emerges as a worthwhile adventure to rediscover.
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