Anthem gets an 'under the hood' update, Cataclysm PTS is coming

"It's been a little while" since we last heard anything about Anthem, and those aren't my words—that's from Anthem global community manager Jesse Anderson, who opened the announcement of today's 1.2.0 update with an acknowledgment that the wheels of progress sometimes turn very slowly. 

And also in ways that are hard to see, as this update is primarily "under the hood" stuff that sets the table for bigger and better things in the future. Highlights include upgrades to the compass and map in Freeplay mode, a trio of new Emerald Abyss Legendary Missions, the addition of location-based lore to loading screens, and a new UI, accessible via the B key, to enables players to "communicate non-verbally with each other and express themselves via emotes." 

On the bugfix side, a problem with the ALT key not binding correctly has been fixed, looking away from interactions while in a Javelin will no longer cancel the interaction, and a bug that prevented stacked status effects applied to enemies being detonated for combos has been cleared up. 

Javelin abilities have also been buffed:


  • Base damage of Cluster Mine has been increased from 110 to 135
  • Base damage of Searching Glaive has been increased from 550 to 605
  • Base damage of Plasma Star has been increased from 110 to 210
  • Base damage of Wraith Strike has been increased from 250 to 315


  • Base damage of Burst Mortar has been increased from 300 to 400
  • Base damage of Flak Cannon has been increased from 42 to 60
  • Base damage of Black Powder (Masterwork Flak Cannon) has been increased from 52.5 to 75


  • Base damage of Blast Missile has been increased from 220 to 310
  • Base damage of Argo’s Mace (Masterwork Blast Missile) has been increased from 275 to 387.5


  • Base damage of Flame Burst has been increased from 150 to 260
  • Base damage of Venomous Blaze (Masterwork Flame Burst) has been increased from 225 to 390 
  • Base damage of Arc Burst has been increased from 300/150 to 375/185

There are far more changes than just those but on the whole, it's very much a fixer-upper—the full patch notes are available here

More interesting than the update itself is what comes next. There's still no word about when we can expect the arrival of the Cataclysm, the time-limited, world-changing event meant to transition Anthem from Act 1 to Act 2, but there's been a change in how it's going to be rolled out. Instead of, "Oh no, the Cataclysm is upon us!" as it should be with proper world-enders, BioWare will unroll it first on a public test server, "which will allow you to see the content as it is being developed and gives you the ability to provide feedback," Anderson wrote. 

"While this won’t immediately solve all of the current issues, we want to continue to hear from you as we make improvements to Anthem—and the PTS is a great way to do that." 

More information on all of this, as well as a first look at the upcoming Cataclysm, will be revealed tomorrow during a livestream on Twitch and Mixer that will begin at 1 pm PT/4 pm ET. 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.