Anthem update reveals some of the changes coming with the redesign

(Image credit: Electronic Arts)

It's been a couple of months since BioWare announced that it had started to look into what went wrong with Anthem and how it was going to fix it. Today, it's begun to share the results of that, giving us an idea of what to expect. Mostly more loot

Equipment and loot was what Anthem players wanted to hear about the most, according to BioWare, so here we are. Not as flashy as new factions, perhaps, but Anthem's biggest issues are fundamental things, not a lack of pirates. Given that this is the first detailed developer update since the redesign was announced, however, I was hoping for something a bit sexier than some bullet points about loot. 

Loot drops will be more frequent, all items are apparently better and more competitive, and all loot rarities have value. You can also sidestep RNG a bit through quests, specialised vendors, and unique loot tables. If you like a particular piece of gear, you can level it up so it remains effective, and you won't find items rendered useless because they were missing inscriptions—you'll also be able to roll inscriptions. These are largely good things, but nothing that makes me think I need to return to Anthem and give it another chance. 

Here's the full list what BioWare is working on, at least in regards to loot, though it's all subject to change:

  • Increase the frequency of Loot Drops
  • Loot is viable more often; All items are better and more competitive, but there’s still a chance of getting something exceptional
  • All loot rarities have strategic value throughout progression
  • You can pursue specific loot without relying on randomness alone; Quests; Specialized Vendors; Unique Loot Tables
  • Modify your loot, including rerolling inscriptions and leveling up items
  • Loot feels exciting and more noticeable when it drops, and is celebrated when collected
  • Rare enemies (aka "walking treasure chests") create exciting moments to get a burst of loot all at once
  • Reveal and equip loot right away
  • Complete revamp of the equipment sheet – including a detailed stat sheet
  • The equipment sheet can be accessed from anywhere, allows you to easily see what you have equipped in each slot
  • Each item has an inscription “budget”, based on its Power and Rarity 
  • No more useless items because they were missing must-have inscriptions (see "Increased weapon dmg by +225%")
  • Exceptional items are about getting the exact types of bonuses you want, instead of maxing values on every bonus
  • Your power cap can be easily increased, and the loot system scales accordingly
  • Advanced telemetry data allows us to identify trends and make meaningful balance changes

Loot is just part of the redesign, however, and BioWare says it's already made some improvements to gunplay and is currently exploring melee items and builds. There's no word on when the changes can be expected, but given the apparent scale of the redesign and the team having to work from home, it's going to take some time to finish. 

Fraser Brown
Online Editor

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.