Anthem can’t seem to catch a break. While BioWare says the game is “here to stay” and been regularly pushing out patches to address issues with loot drops and respawning, it’s no exaggeration to say the weeks since launch have been troubled. Now, a Redditor has used math to work out that the game’s entire loot grind is essentially pointless in its current form.
Eurogamer reports on a Reddit thread by user TemperHoof, which details their research into the way Anthem calculates your Javelin’s damage output. As a loot-shooter, Anthem’s long-term hook for players is the constant draw of better, rarer, and hopefully more effective gear. But what TemperHoof has discovered is that because of Anthem’s damage multiplier system, the highest-tier weapons in the game result in your overall damage capabilities being severely handicapped.
In their post, titled ‘Power-Scaling: Why Loot Doesn’t Matter Anymore (Math),’ TemperHoof explains that as of version 1.0.3, Anthem doesn’t use the stats of the gear you’re wearing to work out your damage multiplier – instead, it averages all of your non-level-one equipment and uses that figure to select what they call an ‘arbitrary multiplier.’
You can read TemperHoof’s full post for the details on how it all works out, but the upshot is that leaving as many gear slots empty as possible, and equipping a legendary weapon with a high Power Score results in a much more effective build than decking out your Javelin with as much epic gear as you can, because Anthem’s Power Level formula uses averages.
The damage multipliers at high Power Levels are so high, TemperHoof writes, that they’re better than practically any available inscription you can possibly have on any of Anthem’s highest-tier loot.
Read more: Our guide to the best weapons in Anthem
A BioWare community manager has responded to TemperHoof’s post, saying that this power scaling issue will be addressed in patch 1.0.4, and that rather than taking an average of equipped gear, the multiplier will be calculated based on the number of gear slots you have available.
However, this doesn’t fully address the problems TemperHoof has uncovered with Anthem’s equipment system – as commenters have observed, you’ll still be better off equipping legendaries with high power scores than the masterworks that are meant to be the game’s ultimate prizes.
The issue as outlined by TemperHoof seems bigger than a hotfix can address, and if the figures are correct, it may mean BioWare has to go back to the drawing board for a pretty serious overhaul of Anthem’s gear and damage systems.