Anthem has had a rough go of it to say the least. Before release there were many bugs and issues with the game that were apparent for anyone playing the […]
Anthem has had a rough go of it to say the least. Before release there were many bugs and issues with the game that were apparent for anyone playing the early access version. Many of the larger issues were fixed on release, but Anthem suffered, as many new looter-shooters do, with a lack of content. The current in game event, Cataclysm, helped to appease the fan-base, and even grow the player count, but the latest update from Bioware has me admittedly concerned.
The following is the Blog post from Head of Live Service, Chad Robertson;
We’re nearing the end of the Cataclysm, so I wanted to talk about what’s coming for Anthem.
First, I’m proud of our team for creating a fun new experience for our players. It represents the largest post-launch update that we’ve delivered so far. We were humbly excited by the increase in player engagement we’ve seen with the Cataclysm. The team and I appreciate the response and support — it is what keeps us motivated to continue to improve Anthem.
Those of you in our player community that played on our Public Test Server gave us valuable feedback from your play that we used to influence our changes to the game. PTS is an invaluable tool we will leverage for future updates with Anthem. Some of the changes made to the Cataclysm based on your input were:
Combat balancing improvements
Adjustments for minor-to-major crystal economy
Additional types of reward crates, providing more player choice
UX tips in load screens to better explain Cataclysm mechanics
Final Score Banners to show how much score was gained from playing on higher difficulties
So what’s next for Anthem?
We hear your concerns on core issues in Anthem and are acting on it. Those systems require a more thorough review and re-working versus quick fixes. We’ve got a team working on that now, and early results are promising.
In order to address these long-range plans, we are moving away from the Acts structure for updates. Instead, we have additional seasonal updates planned for this year that we think players will enjoy. These events will deliver challenges and chases similar to what you’ve seen, and are built around some fun themes we’re bringing to the game.
As I’ve said previously, we want to be transparent with you that we know more work needs to be done to make Anthem better. We also want to ensure we’re backing up our words with a great game you can play. So I don’t have any news today to share about the long-term changes we are bringing to Anthem. What I can say is that we will continue to engage with you, our community, through PTS when we can show you what is coming.
Head of Live Service
I have been a very vocal supporter on Twitter for this game, and still stand by my opinion that what is there is quite good. There just is not enough of it, and not enough updates to keep players playing. The above blog post is particularly concerning due to the shift from the Act based release schedule that had previously been promised. Bioware had laid out a somewhat detailed road map for the free content to come. The current Cataclysm was initially part of this, but was to have been released in March.
This planned release was subsequently delayed considerably, by three months, and released in August instead. It brought with it a lot of content and activities for players to take part in, but for many this was too little too late. Myself, I jumped in briefly to check out the content and enjoyed it. If it was released when it was scheduled though, I would have stuck with it. Instead I moved on to other new releases, like many others did.
Much of the blog post, which is quite short admittedly, surrounds around the use of the Public Test Server and the actionable fixes that Bioware was able to work on. None of that is truly new content, however, and is bandaging a somewhat broken infrastructure, and fixing the new content from the delayed Catalclysm itself. The mention of addressing long-range plans and offering seasonal events, chases and challenges instead of promising new permanent content to me demonstrates how far behind the team has fallen with fixing new and/or existing issues in the game.
I do have hope for the game still, as Chad advised they want to “ensure [they’re] backing up [their] words with a great game you can play.” Only those in the Public Test Server (PTS) will be able to comment on new content for quite some time, if we use Cataclysm as a benchmark. There was much chatter from various players in the PTS about what was coming to the game before August rolled around, but that chatter went on for literally three months.
If Bioware wants to salvage this game for the newly acquired players, or even the veterans, more permanent content in small chunks over a shorter release window will be needed. No more lofty promises of large free expansions. They need to focus on incremental content additions while they fix underlying issues. Once caught up, I am hopeful for what they may release for the game if it is still supported. I will remain a supporter of the game, but I have become far less vocal.