BioWare has been radio silent for a few weeks now over Anthem, leading to some players to believe the game is being abandoned by BioWare in the near future.
That seems not to be the case, as BioWare has launched patch 1.2 today, with a quick message from Global Community Manager Jesse Anderson explaining what the developers will be doing with the game going forward.
The full patch notes detail mostly quality of life changes, gear changes and added features for freeplay and legendary missions. Some major notable changes is the addition to in-game lore during the load screens, and the ability to fast travel to different striders while in freeplay mode.
As for the Cataclysm, Anderson noted that instead of releasing the Cataclysm out to the public as quickly as possible, they are instead opening up to the players first before officially releasing. "In order to do that we are releasing a Public Test Server (PTS) on PC, which will allow you to see the content as it is being developed and gives you the ability to provide feedback," stated Anderson. "While this won’t immediately solve all of the current issues, we want to continue to hear from you as we make improvements to Anthem – and the PTS is a great way to do that."
The PTC will lead into the Cataclysm, which will be a full on, an eight-week event which includes 2 weeks pre-events starting around July, leading up to the Cataclysm. Three new missions will be released with the Cataclysm, along with a new area and challenges for players to conquer.
Anderson and Producer Ben Irving detailed further details on a new Anthem Livestream, that goes over tons of details for the upcoming Cataclysm event and their plans for the PTC server.
Of note, some long-standing changes include the removal of the "luck" modifier on player weapons and gear, and instead pumping up the chances for high loot drop rates across all difficulty levels of the game. Those weapons with the luck modifier will be changed to "armor" modifiers in the future.
New weapons, masterwork gear and more will be added throughout the Cataclysm event, which will see a brand new in-game map with Arena-style challenges for players to accomplish on a time limit. According to Irving, players need to brave the Cataclysm's storm and defeat a major in-game boss, Vara, within that time limit to achieve a score. The scores are modified by adding time and multipliers from completing arena-style challenges. Adding time increases your score, which in turn increases your standing on a new multiplayer leaderboard. To add to the challenges, new "Inversion Events" such as extra points for using sniper rifles or 200% damage when using a shotgun, will be thrown into the mix weekly as well.
All of this also leads to new rewards becoming unlockable through a new in-game store, with currency given to the player through their score increases. These rewards are new weapons and vanity items, but also include a "melee equipable slot" that can customize your Javelin further by enhancing their melee attack with primer and detonator abilities. Finally, one major change to loot is the increased power levels of Legendary and Masterwork items, making them more powerful than the items found in-game.
Players who have access to Origin and EA Access on the PC will be able to join the PTS server automatically, and the PTS server will only be available for PC players at this time. BioWare is planning to take Help and feedback seriously from the community, setting up surveys for player feedback to help them narrow down what to focus on before releasing the Cataclysm to the public.
BioWare is also hoping to do this with future major updates to the game; reveal and discuss their plans when close to completion, let players test it out, then give feedback to the developers to improve it before the official release.
The current plan is to have the PTS servers launch sometime next week, though that is, of course, subject to change. BioWare will be at EA Play, despite rumors to the contrary and fear that their lack of presence in the EA, and will be focusing heavily on the PTS server and several working sessions with both invited players and folks walking around EA Play. Irving also noted that a short stream will be launched with the general plans for the Cataclysm while at EA Play, though they will not have a major showcase like other EA titles.
What are your thoughts on this? Will these changes be good for Anthem? Leave your comments below.