BioWare Announces Some Fixes For Anthem’s Broken Loot System

BioWare Announces Some Fixes For Anthem’s Broken Loot System

In the midst of mounting frustration with Anthem’s end-game loot grind, BioWare has announced a handful of changes to make it less gruelling. They don’t address all of the complaints players have had, but it’s a start.

The update, which is due to go live in the next day or two, will do three main things. First, common and uncommon equipment will no longer drop from end-game activities, helping put an end to the all too frequent pain of seeing what looks like a golden masterwork item in a pile of loot turn out to be a white item distorted by lighting effects.

Second, the resources needed to craft masterwork items from blueprints will be reduced from 25 masterwork embers to 15. Finally, the random stat rolls on gear, which Anthem calls inscriptions, will now have benefits catered more specifically to the piece of gear they’re on.

“Many inscriptions are not useful to the item they are attached to,” Ben Irving, the game’s lead producer, wrote on the Anthem subreddit last night. “Due to this, players need to get many masterworks of the same item to find a ‘good one.’

Players want the frequency of masterwork drops to increase to help with the above OR … They want us to change how masterwork inscriptions work so that they are more ‘useful.’”


BioWare has decided to adopt the latter approach. Rather than boost the drop rates for masterwork and legendary items as some have requested, the studio has decided to make the stat rolls (inscriptions) on individual drops better so players don’t feel the need to keep grinding for additional ones.

This means better inscriptions on average for each masterwork item and no more useless inscriptions that don’t apply to the items they’re rolled on. The way inscriptions work is that they’re randomly generated and can belong to one of two categories: those whose effects apply to the entire Javelin and those whose effects apply only to the item they’re on.

Currently, it’s possible to grind for hours, get a new masterwork assault rifle, and then have one of the four inscriptions rolls on that assault rifle be something like “machine pistols do 9 per cent more damage” with a gear icon next to it showing that bonus only applies to the gun rather than the entire Javelin, making it completely useless (since it’s not a machine pistol).

Even when the stat bonuses aren’t item-specific, there can still be problems. The Colossus Javelin, for example, can’t even equip machine pistols, but the rest of its gear can still be full of machine pistol-related inscriptions.

Going forward, the inscriptions won’t be so random. If an inscription is item-specific, it will always directly benefit that item, e.g. an assault rifle with an inscription that grants 12 per cent more ammo on assault rifles. If the inscription applies to the entire Javelin, it will directly boost damage output or survivability in some way.

Since we still haven’t seen the new system in practice, it’s too early to say whether this will completely fix inscriptions. One of the other problems that currently exists is there’s no way to know what the best version of a particular inscription is, so when players re-roll their equipment for better ones, they have no idea what they’re aiming for. This particular update won’t address that.

It also won’t address one of the other problems with Anthem’s loot, namely that end-game rewards don’t feel in line with the difficulty of the missions they drop from. Tyrant Mine is the easiest of the three stronghold missions currently in the game so players keep running that one over and over, a recipe for boredom.

In addition, running missions on higher grandmaster difficulties doesn’t seem to significantly ratchet up drop rates, leaving some players feeling like they’re not worth the trouble. “Looking into this,” Irving responded when one commenter on the subreddit asked about this particular issue. “Understand the problem space for sure.”


  • The biggest problem we’re having with loot is that the game crashes after the mission ends but before the screen comes up that adds up all your XP, medals, what loot you got etc – which means you don’t actually get any of that. My partner has had this happen to him at least 50% of the time. It’s hard to level up in a loot grind game when you’re not getting any loot!

    • Any masterworks and legendary ones still there load up freeplay and selecting “end expedition” should take you to the final stat screen then to your loot that was sitting in limbo.

  • Honestly how the heck do you make a mistake like that? I was working on a game with random bonuses and spent ages making sure they all felt useful. How did this make it QA let alone past QA without someone realising how bad the system was?

    • Publishers forcing the devs to release before the game is even close to ready no doubt. The game is lacking 12 months of quality control/content

    • EA. And in addition, you can bet that EA is sitting there and vetting proposed changes so it doesn’t have too much of an impact on MTX.

      • And what does loot drops have to do with cosmetics… apart from causing players to leave and definitely not spend money on MTX?

        While I can understand the hate against some of EA’s business practices, you’re pushing the boundaries of logic there.

  • I like the game alot despite the issues , that being said after getting a pretty good masterwork lvl storm GM1 offers no real challenge and GM2/3 don’t seem to offer any better gear or rewards. It just the same stuff, it may have higher drop rates but its not worth the effort.

    They are adding cosmetic chests to strongholds and adding leader boards soon, which if done right should be pretty great but at the moment I’m losing the interest to play

  • Can anyone tell me why they are playing this game? Legitimately? I’m interested as to why you would do it at this point.

    • It’s free on Origin Access.
      That’s about the only reason at the moment. I’m down to 1 Tyrant Mine run a night if I can be bothered on GM1.
      Division2 beta will use up this weekend then it’ll be Apex or something else until they fix this crapfest of a game.

    • Haven’t hit the end-game and it’s legitimately fun to engage with the mechanics of it. Just like why people were still playing Destiny for the first month of its release. Jetpacks, abilities, and combos just feel fantastic, the way headshots in Destiny did.

      Of course, I fully expect that won’t be enough to sustain interest in what’s meant to be a live service, which is where they need to get this other shit sorted.

      • I honestly cannot fathom how you can support a manipulatively designed game like Anthem, but dump all over Metro: Exodus because it’s only available on the (trigger warning) Epic Store launcher.

        You’re supposed to be a voice of reason, TM!

        • I don’t dump all over Metro (just the Epic store, for being shit), I loved the first two, but only got around to finishing them like… a year ago. So when it comes to making the consumer choice they’ve offered, I’m taking them up on waiting for Steam. Because I was likely to wait anyway, if history is any judge.

          As for Anthem… I’m seriously not seeing anywhere near the same levels of manipulation/anti-consumerism. Worst case, we’re looking at tiered early access, but that’s actually better than most launches being all at once because of y’know… launch day/week fuckery. And frankly, the origin access for fifteen bucks or whatever isn’t particularly onerous when it includes access to the game for as long as you’re subscribed. It’s more like PS+, which I also subscribe to.

          Nah… not even the microtransactions are a big deal. There are ZERO items that you can buy with cash-shop currency only, whereas there are several items you can only buy with in-game currency. There’s no loot boxes, you get to see exactly what you’re buying before you b buy it.

          Hell, Anthem hasn’t had even a fraction of the bugs and design flaws that FO76 did. Frankly, all I’m seeing is a really fun game that’s tuned poorly at endgame and may very well run out of longevity inside a month.
          …Much like what I got out of Destiny. Only in Anthem, there’s actually a story, and it’s not a cobbled-together frankenplot bullshit by committee, and is littered with wonderful side-characters and fucktonnes of in-game lore delivered in a variety of ways (overheard conversations, logs, in-game emails, radio plays, etc).

          It’s pretty much night and day. There’s a big difference between what Anthem gets wrong, why it gets it wrong, what the motivation was for getting it wrong, and what the impact of it getting it wrong is compared to “How much fuckery can we get away with?” douchebaggery that I’m seeing in exploitative cash-shops, bug-riddled messes that launched because marketing trumps QA, or anti-consumer exclusives.

          • And not only all that, but literally DAYS within hearing that endgame has a shitty turn-off grind, they’ve straight-up come out with an about-face.

            Let’s see all those other fuckers doing bullshit in the industry go anywhere near the same way in terms of either results OR time-frame.

      • The problem is that literally all of those things are done better in Warframe, and that game costs nothing to play.

    • for the same reason why I played the hell out of Andromeda, for the most part online gamer mass hysteria is a whole lot of obsolete (that was a typo but it also works), absolute bollocks. Yes there were issues, yes there were some silly and horrible issues… but it is a computer game, I am having fun, wrapped up in the story and the world. In spite of the issues.

      The raw gameplay of Anthem is so much fun, so are the characters. Sure they dropped the ball on so many fronts and sure I still have tech issues with it, but I am an adult. I am capable of enjoying and respecting the work of others, even if it fails to meet my standards and it misses the mark in others.

      Life is complicated, appreciating something in spite of it flaws is way more satisfying than jumping on a hate bandwagon. At least for all its flaws, it is entertaining, dealing with gamers hysteria over the latest punching bag, is not.

      • I’d actually have to say the combat in both Andromeda and Anthem, when they work, is pretty damn nice in my opinion.

        But it’s so few and far between having those issue-free experiences with Anthem so far. There are other factors that make the combat a chore at times, such as connection issues, syncing, etc… The netcode is far from stellar, and it would absolutely be what I’d say is the major cause of absurd load times.

        Meanwhile as much shit as people give Destiny when it first launched, the core run’n’gun gameplay was damn near rock solid and super satisfying from the word go.

        And unless Destiny was really laggy it rarely ever ripped the sense of control away from you completely, but Anthem does this ALL the time with it’s shitty melee hit detection and shot feedback, etc. It just really feels like far too much is tied to the server in Anthem’s case, and it simply does not handle it in a remotely efficient fashion.

        • Yeah I can’t handle that sort of fundamental failure in gaming anymore. It’s simply not OK to push out a product that misses the mark as hard as this seems to in 2019. It’s just basic stuff and I can’t take a game seriously if it can’t get those things right. A restaurant that can’t cook a steak properly is a shit restaurant by any reasonable person’s standards.

      • no way man….the game is garbage, even without all the bugs and loading screens; the gameplay is really boring. ill stick to wildlands and Div 2 for now. Unless i have missed something peoples expectations from AAA devs must be really fuckin low. you simply cant develop a game with EA’s dev cycle. EA is the cancer of the gaming world and i really hope more people wake up to it and put their $ elsewhere; i know its not biowares fault.

    • like destiny 2 and division 1, i bought and play it exclusively with friends, avoids most of the issues or at least it makes most of the issues tolerable

      wouldn’t recommend it if you’re a solo player but that’s just my opinion

      • If you’re interested in the story, it’s better off being done by yourself. It’s just bit disappointing that missions are gated behind 10-20 minutes of random conversations that don’t actually have any impact on anything.

        • I finished the story over the weekend… and while I agree with that… I probably wouldn’t recommend anyone pay full price for what amounts to 20 to 25 hrs of campaign

          the story is so wierd in my opinion since it has all the hallmarks of a decent BW story (including the teaser at the end) and there are actually interesting people in the Fort but none of that has any impact because the world has to be shared by everyone

    • The same reason anyone ever plays a game on release I’d imagine. I’m not, because I don’t play games on release, I wait at least 6 months for updates/patches and the last thing I want to do is return to a game for DLC so I wait for that too. I’m definitely excited to play this in 6 months with my husband, it’s going to be fantastic after it’s all fixed up.

  • Now if they could just fix the damn connection issues and in game crashes at the end of missions. I would, just for once, like to hit A and launch the game and for it to work first time. It hasnt, not a single time.

    When the game stops being its own worst enemy I am having a blast.

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