Anthem is out in the wild and there’s one clear concern running through the subreddit: loot drops. It’s a serious enough problem that even Diablo III designer Travis Day, who helped rescue that game with the ‘loot 2.0’ philosophy, has weighed in. Developer BioWare has assured fans that it is listening and “will try to make considered adjustments”.
In case you missed the news over the weekend, an edit that went live with the game’s launch last Friday accidentally made loot drops more generous. BioWare then sneakily reversed this “about 11 hours later”, as lead producer Ben Irving admitted when players started asking.
Many players preferred the more generous rates, as you might expect, but it isn’t just unthinking greed. There are good reasons to hold this view, with fans pointing to lessons learned by other loot-fuelled games and publicly acknowledged by their developers – Diablo III’s loot 2.0 is well-summarised by u/fortus_gaming, for instance, though as one of the people responsible for that, Travis’s Day’s contribution focuses less on loot drop rates than on reward structure.
Day points out that the three Strongholds currently offer equal rewards, yet aren’t equally difficult or time-consuming; the gap between Grandmaster I and II difficulties is too big for a smooth step up; some items can roll perks that are literally useless for that item; and players don’t have enough agency over targeting their farming runs.
Such expert analysis goes a lot deeper than simply focusing on drop rates, which are the community’s biggest concern right now. Several different threads among the subreddit’s hottest all focusing on the loot drop rate or on BioWare’s response to it. A fan took to Twitter to seek assurances from game director Jonathan Warner, and got the following reply:
We are listening. We want to make sure we give you a great elder game experience and the live team will try to make considered adjustments https://t.co/rT9WMRb7ha
— Jonathan Warner (@Bio_Warner) February 26, 2019
Amusingly, Ben Irving retweeted YouTuber Rick Kackis’s praise for the bugged loot drops.
As we argue in our Anthem review, there are plenty of things to like in this game, but it would really benefit from more things to do (Day also acknowledges that the content is “somewhat limited”). Hopefully we’ll see BioWare make the necessary changes quickly.