Anthem received a major 1.1.0 update today that, in addition to adding a new Stronghold to play, lets you finally access your inventory during missions. But, as players had suspected for weeks, this update also brought news that Anthem's planned April roadmap (and potentially well beyond) is being delayed for an indeterminate amount of time as BioWare struggles to fix more of Anthem's fundamental problems.
"We have learned a lot since the game went live," a Reddit thread from BioWare reads. "We have heard a lot of feedback from all of you, and we have been working diligently to improve as many things as we can in the short term. We’ve fixed a lot of bugs and made changes which we believe begin to point us in the right direction for the future. That being said, we know there is a long way to go before Anthem becomes the game we all want it to be."
Because of that, many of the features promised to arrive in April won't be coming until sometime later. When Anthem's roadmap was unveiled during launch, BioWare promised features like guild support, leaderboards, a Mastery system, the still unknown endgame Cataclysm group activities, and many more. All of those and other features are now delayed as BioWare continues to work on "bug fixes, stability and game flow."
Anthem's original roadmap also included six "Freeplay Events" that were supposed to change the world and provide a weekly rotation of interesting things to do—but BioWare's Reddit post doesn't comment on why these events are still missing in action.
Of course, this isn't surprising to Anthem's dwindling fanbase, many of whom suspected that its April and May roadmap would be delayed as the fundamental flaws in BioWare's shooter became more apparent. Weeks earlier, Kotaku published a damning report of Anthem's disastrous development that contextualizes why Anthem was such a mess at launch.
What's frustrating players, though, is how little transparency BioWare is giving into these features and their delays. Since before launch, BioWare has teased Cataclysms as Anthem's hardcore endgame content (similar, perhaps, to Destiny 2's raids), but no one knows what the hell they actually are. Similarly, players have been complaining about Anthem's shallow loot system for nearly three months and BioWare still doesn't have anything to say beyond agreeing that "loot and progression systems need to be improved."
"It's super concerning seeing that after all this time there's not even sliver of 'We are moving in this direction' or anything," writes one redditor. "It's always 'Yup. We hear ya'. Just let the people know what your direction is, you obviously can't fix things right away but damn guys...make a plan already."
But it's not all bad. Like I said, today's 1.1.0 update fixes some of Anthem's biggest annoyances. Now, players can access their inventory and change their equipment anywhere in the world (yes, including during missions) without a loading screen.
You can also now load into a new mission directly from the summary screen at the end of a mission, negating the need to sit through multiple loading screens forcing you back into Anthem's singleplayer-only Fort Tarsis area.
It's baffling that Anthem didn't have such basic features at launch, but now that they're here I'm finding Anthem slightly more enjoyable to play. But now that it's been nearly three months and the only new activity is a Stronghold (which only takes 30 minutes to clear), being able to access my inventory anywhere feels kinda pointless without anywhere new to go.