If you’re going to make a looter-shooter, both your shooting and looting better be satisfying, and Anthem arguably missed the mark on both fronts. Shooting wasn’t as responsive as it could be, enemies were bullet-spongey, and most of the loot you collected wasn’t unique-feeling or useful. Earlier this year, BioWare announced a full “Anthem 2.0” redesign is in the work, with Star Wars: The Old Republic developer BioWare Austin taking the reins, and today we got some details about how they’re planning to fix the game’s core shooting and looting mechanics.
Most of the new Anthem development update focuses on loot, which BioWare is promising to make more plentiful, useful, and easy to find. Here are the key improvements they’re working on…
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
On the subject of shooting, BioWare has already managed to make gameplay more responsive, with enemies “reacting to hits near instantly.” They’re also looking into making melee attacks more useful. A number of new weapon concepts are also in the works, which you can check out above.
It definitely seems like BioWare Austin are heading in the right direction with Anthem 2.0, but they still have a lot to prove. Yes, it will be great to have competently-designed shooting and loot mechanics, but what are they doing to make Anthem truly stand out from similar games on the market? Hopefully we learn more about that in future updates.
Anthem is available now on PC, Xbox One, and PS4. Don’t expect Anthem 2.0 until at least next year…at the earliest.