Patch 1.04 hit last night. Lots of tweaks. An astounding level of dumb included.
I ran a Legendary mission, 3 Legendary contracts, and Tyrant Mines. All at GM2. At the end, I had a total of 3 MW drops – all mandatory drops from the contracts. Nothing else.
Concept = unique rewards from killing a dungeon boss. Need a key to open. You can get 1 key per day.
Reality = There are 161 items to acquire. There are 40 days total to acquire them all. Drops are not guaranteed, so you can get baseline crafting materials instead (which equate to 2 minutes of Freeplay). Oh, also the cosmetic rewards are not actually awarded.
It is hard to articulate how over promised and under delivered this is, in a loot-based game. I’ll compare to WoW for a sec. Imagine killing the last boss in a dungeon, and getting 20 basic herbs instead of a transmog item.
Concept = More & better items can drop from chests and bosses
Reality = Guaranteed MW items no longer drop from bosses, the quality of items has not improved, and teammates can pick up loot for you. End result is that your inventory gets more loot you don’t want (since most people avoid picking up blue/purple items).
This is just insane. Quite literally a single run of any stronghold would have identified 100% reproducible bugs.
Concept = Replay a main line quest, with a chest at the end, and a super boss. Key an Elysian chest key.
Reality = Exactly this, including an unskippable cutscene. I did this on GM2, didn’t see any MW drops. My key took 2 more missions to finally show up.
Lots of quick fixes and balance items.
- Health bug still exists (more accurately, inscriptions don’t always seem to be applying)
- Storm changes need more testing. I tried some freeplay and my overall damage decreased due to lack of itemization.
- Colossus seems beefier
- The Bloodlust component is indeed OP
- Some item wording is still buggy… I see 0% and 0 seconds on some items.
- Flying duration seems marginally better.
I have seen my share of dumpster fires. I have been involved in them. When you are in them, it sucks the very life out of you, and there’s no joy to be had anywhere. I feel more than bad for the actual development team. I 100% refuse to believe that these issues were not flagged in testing – that’s a level of incompetence that cannot exist in a company that size.
Travis Day (the guy who helped implement Loot 2.0 for Diablo 3) gave clear instructions on how to fix these problems. BW has chosen to ignore it.
Each patch somehow manages to make the loot part of the game less rewarding. I firmly believe that everyone has the best of intentions, but at this point it’s abundantly clear that the leadership of Anthem has to go. I know that in 6 months, the game can find a footing – but the culture and direction up top needs to change so that fun & quality are achieved before change for the sake of change.
Either that, or this is simply the end of BioWare.