The Anthem 'VIP Demo' that took place over the weekend came off a lot more like a first-round beta test: Players couldn't get in, many of those who did experienced performance issues and crashes, and BioWare scrambled to address concerns about server capacity and PC-specific problems. For an event that was intended to strut Anthem's stuff for its most committed fans, it was far from a resounding success.
In a summary of the weekend posted today, BioWare's head of live service Chad Robertson described the demo as "eventful" and said that while it got off to a rocky start, "we stabilized [Saturday] afternoon and maintained it until we turned servers off Sunday evening." At the same time, he acknowledged that there's a lot of work to be done to ready the game for the open demo, including fixes for "entitlement bugs," server performance issues, and "infinite loads," as well as for the full release.
Robertson also said developers have already made "a long list" of fixes to the full release version of the game that, unfortunately, won't be seen in the upcoming public demo, including:
- Weapons with 0% infusions
- Weapons with bonus that applies to different Javelins
- Plot integrity / party gather issues
- Changes to Javelin unlock behavior
- Fixes for losing XP at end of some expeditions
- Performance Improvements
- Additional stability fixes
- A Social Hub: The Launch Bay
- And a few thousand more (literally)…
"Overall, we remain humbled by the response from players and appreciate the support from the community," Robertson wrote. "It’s incredible to think we had nearly 9M hours of play across the 2.5 days the demo was open. In that same time, over 1M strongholds were completed (go Freelancers!) and nearly 2M grabbits were slaughtered (seriously! – what is wrong with people? – they’re innocent grabbits!)"
We summarized our own experiences with the Anthem VIP demo that you can dig into here, and it's fair to say things didn't feel entirely stabilized to us. The short version: "With less than a month to go, those of us who've played it are worried." The Anthem public demo runs February 1-3, followed by the full release on February 22.