ANTHEM has had a rocky launch.
What should have been EA’s biggest release of the year outside of FIFA has struggled to sell, in part because of a huge number of frustrating issues getting in the way of people enjoying the fun combat at the game’s heart.
BioWare / EA There is no denying that Anthems karst landscapes are stunning, with varying lighting really showing it off
Thankfully a couple of those frustrations have now gone away as the game starts off on the path to redemption.
The most obvious change for many is the change to the game’s ‘rubber-banding’, the system it uses to keep your squad together on missions.
Previously this was overly aggressive, and you’d find yourself dumped into a loading screen if you fell a little way behind your team as the game tried to teleport you back to them.
This didn’t save much, if any, time, and increased the already ridiculous amount of time players end up staring at loading screens.
The distance at which it triggers has been increased, so players have more time to manually catch up with their squads before being pulled in automatically.
BioWare / EA It’s easy to be blinded to Anthem’s flaws in the moment-to-moment beauty of the game
There are also two changes to the game’s loot system for players who have finished the game’s main story and are playing the ‘end-game’ content to try to improve their gear.
The most common items — which are of almost no use to higher-level players — can no longer be dropped by enemies when you dispatch them, nor can they be given as rewards.
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As the amount of loot dropping isn’t changing, this should mean players will see many more of the rarer items that they want.
That loot is also changing, so that the bonuses on it to make your in-game Iron Man suit more powerful are all more useful.
The game is not without redeeming features, and we hope these are the first steps towards making it genuinely good.
FULL DETAILS ON WHAT’S CHANGINGFull patch notes from EA:
The tethering timer for missions has been increased. Players should now have more time to catch up to their Squad before seeing a countdown timer.
The Swarm Tyrant encounter in the Tyrant Mine Stronghold can no longer be reset by the entire Squad exiting to the main menu and rejoining the session in progress.
Players are no longer able to reopen chests that had already been looted in Strongholds.In addition to the above updates we have deployed the following hot fixes:
Items will no longer have inscriptions on them that are not appropriate for that specific item. NOTE: This only applies to items obtained after the patch. Items obtained prior to the patch will still have the same inscriptions they had before.
Masterwork crafting costs have been reduced from 25 -> 15 Masterwork Embers. The amount of plants, metal and parts required for crafting a Masterwork item have also been reduced.
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