BioWare is still working towards a refreshed version of Anthem, dubbed Anthem Next. Today, BioWare Austin director Christian Dailey revealed some updates to loot and gear in his first blog post since announcing his involvement leading Anthem to its next stage.
The bulk of Dailey’s new blog post was dedicated to the changes BioWare Austin is trying out in regards to loot and weapons. This includes a more frequent and satisfying loot drop system, as well as a faster power ramp.
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Here are some of the changes Dailey outlined in the new Anthem blog post.
Respect Your Time
- 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
Create a Rewarding Loot Experience
- 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
Keep it Accessible and Immediate
- Reveal and equip loot right away
- Complete revamp of the equipment sheet – including a detailed stat sheet (not shown)
- The equipment sheet can be accessed from anywhere, allows you to easily see what you have equipped in each slot
Reliability of Equipment and Rewards
- 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
Scale for the Future
- 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
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The Anthem team in Austin is also exploring ways to make gunplay feel more responsive, and even the efficacy of introducing melee items and builds. New equipments and weapons are also on the way.
Dailey stresses that these aren’t easy fixes and that implementing changes will take time. The timeline has also no doubt been affected by the ongoing COVID pandemic.
Anthem was released in 2019 and was BioWare’s foray into the live-service space. Unfortunately, critical response to Anthem was mostly negative, which has led to BioWare Austin taking over the project and build an updated version. Other parts of BioWare are currently working on a new Dragon Age title.
Matt T.M. Kim is a reporter for IGN.