Anthem Review Thread

ShadowAUS

Member
Feb 20, 2019
938
Australia
/snip
...

And here we are. Making the damn same mistakes Blizzard suffered through in 2012 and basically wrote the book on how to fix them in 2014. They did all the work for you already. How does this happen?
As I said a page back -
The game was obviously developed in a 1980's era Soviet ICBM silo guarded by T1000's, that's the only logical way I can see so little information having gotten to BioWare on the modern state of video games and their competitions advances. I've said it before but other than the gorgeous graphics this game FEELS like it was made in '12-'13, and even then there was Borderlands 2 to compete with.
It's sad that I was only 3/4th's joking. This game really feels developed in a pre-Diablo 3 vacuum. I honestly don't know how it happens, it has to either be complete incompetence or having literally no extra time to do more than build a Minimum Viable Product
 

Deleted member 5864

User requested account closure
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Oct 25, 2017
2,725
As I said a page back -

It's sad that I was only 3/4th's joking. This game really feels developed in a pre-Diablo 3 vacuum. I honestly don't know how it happens, it has to either be complete incompetence or having literally no extra time to do more than build a Minimum Viable Product
You really have to try hard to be this incompetent tho. We know they looked at Diablo 3. They've namedropped it several times and the whole difficulty tiers feels modeled on the torment system. It's almost inconveivable. If you don't have time to develop and test on your own shit, the least you can do is copy the homework of the kid in class who went through this already, then add your spin later. They couldn't even do that.

One of the ex Diablo 3 leads was on reddit earlier outlining exactly how to fix the loot and endgame. Will they finally listen when basically the Diablo 3 team is reaching out to you, telling you how to fix the things that you shouldn't have done in the first place...?
 

Dreams-Visions

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
15,261
Miami, FL
I doubt its style choice. Judging by the amount of loading screens and continual bugs around completing quests and going into cutscenes etc. I bet that it's a technical limitation just like everything else in this game.
I really do think it's style choice. I think they want your loadout choice to be consequential. A "choose wisely and deliberately" approach. We see it in other games too.
 

ShadowAUS

Member
Feb 20, 2019
938
Australia
You really have to try hard to be this incompetent tho. We know they looked at Diablo 3. They've namedropped it several times and the whole difficulty tiers feels modeled on the torment system. It's almost inconveivable. If you don't have time to develop and test on your own shit, the least you can do is copy the homework of the kid in class who went through this already, then add your spin later. They couldn't even do that.

One of the ex Diablo 3 leads was on reddit earlier outlining exactly how to fix the loot and endgame. Will they finally listen when basically the Diablo 3 team is reaching out to you, telling you how to fix the things that you shouldn't have done in the first place...?
Travis Day is a treasure, I posted his GDC talk much earlier in the thread, it's well worth a watch if you've never seen it before, discusses both WoW and D3.
Luke Stephens also made a video discussing Anthem and BioWare from a more business perspective.
 

Ploid 6.0

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,862
Well, when they said Diablo-style loot, I guess they really meant it. Launch Diablo 3, that is.

Here is how loot worked on launch Diablo 3: Very few (read none) legendary drops before cap, making gearing and leveling uninteresting. Very few legendaries were actually worth anything or had interesting, build affecting affixes. Stormshield, some Natalya's pieces, a couple of belts and very few rings were useful due to high native stats. Anthem doesn't really have the benefit of set pieces, which Diablo 3 at least included. High variance in random stats while top rolls had underwhelming, samey effects. Straight up useless or bugged affixes that didn't provide any benefits (weapon elemental damage was bugged and it did nothing on any weapon it rolled on. You could roll main stats -dex, str, int- on class specific items that didn't benefit from those rolls -sounds familiar, doesn't it?). Whole weapon classes like two handed swords were completely useless to every single build beause they didn't provide a single unique stat that distinguished them from the rest. The only advantage swords had at some point was Attack Speed. Guess which was the first, only affix Blizzard nerfed before doing any single instance of balancing? LOL. The best ilvl items were behind Acts 3 and 4 on Inferno difficulty. Except, clearing that barrier required some of those items due to the difficulty curve. Beating bosses wouldn't actually yield any significantly better loot than random elite monsters either.

Blizzard actually made this worse by implementing a few changes, the 2 most notable ones were: they increased the penalties for dying/repairing damaged equipment and they added enrage timers that made long, hard fought battles impossible after certain point. They assumed this would discourage people from even trying that content, but the ilvl fence meant that there was an effective cap on the stats that drops could roll in acts 1 and 2, so it was a requirement to leap ahead to make any kind of gearing progress. Due to the lack of endgame specific content (because Blizzard in all their wisdom wanted to push people to run entire acts again instead of doing boss runs) the efficiency of running bosses or particular areas was largely diminished (the whole loot genre is basically time vs reward commitment. Bullet sponges only significantly delay people rushing to the best gear when the best gear can be acquired at a significant rate that doesn't make you feel you wasted your time) and because everyone was undergeared, the most efficient alternative became farming goblins: high hp enemies that dropped considerably more treasure and do no damage. Fun it was not.

People will take the path of least resistance every time if your balance is out of wack and the difficulty peaks and valleys are working against them. I mean, the Diablo team admited they only doubled the damage numbers they've been testing on Inferno because their userbase would find ways to outsmart them, but that lack of testing (plus the presence of the AH which became the single most efficient way to get gear) meant they never really understood the experience their playerbase would have. They patched a few things during the following months, but even adding paragon levels, removing the auction house and reworking a lot of loot affixes and legendaries to have more unique effects was just a band-aid. It took them a whole two years to get the game to a place where people were enjoying the treadmill and loot was actually decent across the board. And this is Blizzard, basically the kings of the genre at that point. (Path of Exile is the new king btw, where they actually learned lessons from Diablo 2 and innovated in other aspects like barter economy).
...

And here we are. Making the damn same mistakes Blizzard suffered through in 2012 and basically wrote the book on how to fix them in 2014. They did all the work for you already. How does this happen?
Yep, farming act 1 inferno for gear ilevel below your level and always crappy was so demoralizing with the untested Act2+ of inferno destroying you. Act 2 with it's annoying enemies and bullet hell was such a hard wall, and the thing was that there was rumors of act 3 giving loot good enough for act 2+. Act 1 seemed good enough since it was usually zombies, but remember those impossible champion pack affixes? Ice, mortar, arcane? Man the hax affixes combos annoyed me so much.

And for visuals on further explanation on what was so wrong with D3 vanilla loot itemization.

 

Ploid 6.0

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,862
As I said a page back -

It's sad that I was only 3/4th's joking. This game really feels developed in a pre-Diablo 3 vacuum. I honestly don't know how it happens, it has to either be complete incompetence or having literally no extra time to do more than build a Minimum Viable Product
I don't know if it was posted here already but a Blizzard developer, Travis Day, who worked on D3 and the D3 rework actually gave feedback to EA/Bioware after playing a lot of Anthem.
https://www.reddit.com/r/AnthemTheGame/comments/ato54p/reward_structure_issues_and_ideas/

Long and insightful post. Short slice of the beginning.

"Reward structure issues and ideas
I've been playing Anthem for the last week and really enjoying myself. However the game seems to fall into a number of reward system related traps that I wanted to take a moment to point out and offer some possible solutions to in an effort to help make this game, which I'm enjoying, more compelling.​
"Dead" inscriptions -
By now I suspect many people have seen items roll with stats that they don't understand. TLDR Man icon means it effects everything you do, Cog icon means it only effects the item that it rolled on. Currently the game allows for items to roll inscriptions that literally can not effect the item they are on. Example, Venmous Blaze with item specific Physical damage, +% Weapon damage, or +% Cold damage.​
Having items roll affixes that are sub-optimal is standard practice for this kind of game but I think there should be a hard distinction made between "bad" and "literally doesn't work". Currently this causes a considerable amount of confusion for players learning the game as their initial assumption is to think anything an item rolled will work on the item it rolled on. Since that isn't true I assume the design intent was to create a larger spectrum of item power based on the rolls, I would argue it comes with too many drawbacks. Keeping the spectrum of item power large could easily be accomplished by simply changing the relative weighting of affixes while restricting them to things that actual work on the item. Alternatively items could have an affix range, MW could roll 2-4 or 3-4 properties on creation so that there is still the same amount of item variance but the affixes that show up continue to still "work" on whatever they rolled on."​
 

CG Amor

Member
Oct 30, 2017
1,385
I really do think it's style choice. I think they want your loadout choice to be consequential. A "choose wisely and deliberately" approach. We see it in other games too.
That's possible, the one thing I wish is that you didn't have to go back to the fort to start a new mission. The load out doesn't bother me, but maybe it would if I was able to do missions one after another since it meant going back anyways. As far as I'm concerned the biggest thing that makes all these things issues is all the loading screens.
 

Ploid 6.0

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,862
That's possible, the one thing I wish is that you didn't have to go back to the fort to start a new mission. The load out doesn't bother me, but maybe it would if I was able to do missions one after another since it meant going back anyways. As far as I'm concerned the biggest thing that makes all these things issues is all the loading screens.
The Warframe found this out when they made their first open zone. For Fortuna, their second open zone they made it so you can easily get new missions in the world without having to go back to base. Now it seems like they are going to overhaul that first open zone graphically, design wise, and with updated lessons learned and implemented with Fortuna.
 

Lump

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,648
That's possible, the one thing I wish is that you didn't have to go back to the fort to start a new mission. The load out doesn't bother me, but maybe it would if I was able to do missions one after another since it meant going back anyways. As far as I'm concerned the biggest thing that makes all these things issues is all the loading screens.
That and loading a whole other scene to dish out end-of-exhibition rewards. If they just let me load into simple menus for that kind of thing, it would feel so much more streamlined.
 

SmartWaffles

Member
Nov 15, 2017
2,725
Sounds like the Escalation Protocol exploit in D2, where you'd kill the boss at the last second of the timer, get loot and then reset as the game registers a failure. Existed for weeks, no one was banned, shortly after fixing it Bungie patched in an official way to reset the boss.
Bungie actually did not fix that, they literally directly turned that into a feature. It existed for over 7 months.
 

Ruthless

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,037
Melbourne, Australia
Bungie actually did not fix that, they literally directly turned that into a feature. It existed for over 7 months.
They understand the difference between an actual exploit (infinite super glitch) vs efficient loot farming vs cheese (riven).

Exploits like pulling lan cable on crota, infinite tethers, slova bomb in mayhem etc take away from the experience of all players affected and get addressed or patched within a reasonable time. Worse case some stuff get temp disabled till a fix can be deployed.

Efficient loot farms, like sharing/resetting checkpoints - are not technically exploits, just players figuring out ways to minimize the time taken for loot drop.
Some, like the baron heroic story farm, get patched eventually. Others like EP boss farm get turned into a feature because they realize that it's a better way to reward players and keep them invested where loot is RNG.

Cheese (atheon solar nades, riven clusters) are harder to fix and can take weeks before they can be addressed without breaking encounters.

Bioware really has learned absolutely nothing in the past 6 years.
 

Gxgear

Member
Oct 25, 2017
963
Vancouver
Listened to the bombcast crew talk about the game. Oof. Returning my unopened copy for now.

I really do enjoy the design of the game but not biting at MSRP if everything else about it is subpar.
 

Ploid 6.0

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,862
Same with Warframe devs, people figured out how to move fast with momentum and tricks, and Digital Extremes helped them out by making it a feature while controlling it a bit.

Scott Mcgregor, "Players really loved coptering, which was the movement was tied to the slide of a weapon. So certain weapons were really good at this, because they had a really quick transition time. So they would fling you across the level, and some of these guys got insanely good, and could traverse some of the biggest tiles of the game in basically one swing. I was like, "wow, that's kind of game breaking," but we loved that they loved the flow of that. So instead of nerfing that, and just moving on, and going, "no you can't do that," we kind of embraced it, brought it into the core gameplay in a more controllable way.

I think that's kind of been the philosophy, is like the community latches onto things for a certain reason. Instead of smacking their hands and saying, "no! That's not my vision," it's like how can we embrace that, and how can we bring that into the game."
Timestamped 13:14 - 15:43
 

ShadowAUS

Member
Feb 20, 2019
938
Australia
Listened to the bombcast crew talk about the game. Oof. Returning my unopened copy for now.

I really do enjoy the design of the game but not biting at MSRP if everything else about it is subpar.
Hey, who knows, a lot of other people seem to be enjoying it. Hell if you look at a lot of Reddit posts us "haters" are a significant minority. But yeah, the game has it's fun and enjoyable moments but I would never recommend anyone biting at $60. MAYBE at $40 if you're really into this type of "game as a hobby" thing, but realistically $20-25 would be about my sweetspot. There is $20-25 worth of enjoyment here, if only to fly around and look at the gorgeous locations in the map they've built.
 

Josecitox

Member
Oct 25, 2017
377
Argentina
Streamerhouse got banned for farming in the most efficient way they knew how. Wow, looking for that reaction.
Please tell me there's a clip of what he was doing or the moment he was banned.

I can't believe someone got banned for this, even Bungie who has done really stupid shit knew that banning someone for this kind of this would have been stupid.
 
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Thoraxes

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,197
Gehenna
Finally listened to some podcasts where they talk about the game and I was surprised about the tomb thing. For me, since I played it on the actual "release day" I only had to raise 3 people, which a friend and I did. Other than that I had 100% of all the challenges complete, so it was just a lot of flying around really.

Hearing about what it was and even how it got "fixed" actually surprised me, because I wouldn't have known otherwise.
 

Bold One

Member
Oct 30, 2017
7,011
BL2 has amazing loot and probably does that better than any game since, but it was a slog to play and ran like ass.

The artstyle was hit or miss, the story was eh and the humour could be grating.

So, no its not the best shlooter, the genre has moved on.
 

Claven

Game Localization
Verified
Aug 22, 2018
2,799
How is ANY looter shooter better? This is what happens when you have years to observe other games mistakes and not learning from them.
I'd argue both Destiny 2 in its present state and The Division are miles better than Borderlands 2.
Can't speak for Warframe as I haven't played that to any significant degree.
 

shimon

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,738
I'd argue both Destiny 2 in its present state and The Division are miles better than Borderlands 2.
Can't speak for Warframe as I haven't played that to any significant degree.
Looking at my post I probably should've worded it better. I meant how is it possible that every looter shooter since BL2 is better than Anthem since Anthem had all those years to learn from their mistakes. And somehow they didn't do their homework. My bad :p
 

Claven

Game Localization
Verified
Aug 22, 2018
2,799
Looking at my post I probably should've worded it better. I meant how is it possible that every looter shooter since BL2 is better than Anthem since Anthem had all those years to learn from their mistakes. And somehow they didn't do their homework. My bad :p
The most mystifying thing about this is they said they had a number of avid Destiny, The Division and Diablo 3 players in the development team. How is possible to play those games and not take any lessons in GaaS design from them, I'll never know.
 

BassForever

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,448
CT
The most mystifying thing about this is they said they had a number of avid Destiny, The Division and Diablo 3 players in the development team. How is possible to play those games and not take any lessons in GaaS design from them, I'll never know.
For all we know these people could have raised concerns and upper management would have nothing to do with it. It could also be the classic case of being too in love with your design/in the weeds to be able to take a step back and realize the issues. Finally it could simply be that just because you’re a big fan of something doesn’t mean you have any idea of how to do it but better.
 

Tayaya

Member
Oct 31, 2017
272
I agree with everything, I’m really having a lot of fun. The only thing that I kinda maybe don’t agree is the Destiny comment - sure, it looks vibrant and nice but I like Anthem’s visual style more. I’ve been playing a lot of Forsaken and Tangled Shore gets a bit old too fast for me. There is something about Anthem’s nature that looks mighty, though it is a bit more generic. I also like the Javelins more than I like the Guardians.

Anyway, I am having fun. I had fun in Destiny 1/2. I expect to have fun in Division 2. I like games like this. A lot of things are frustrating in Anthem, but it’s been really fun so far and I look forward to playing it each night.
Agree on the Javelins being much better to look at than the Guardians. I LOVE the characters in Destiny. Anthem is a better looking game in terms of technical bits like lighting, foliage, water, etc - it feels more alive for sure (but not as much as the E3 demo reel, eh?). I just can't get over the look of Nessus, Mercury, and Io in Destiny 2 though. I think I just have a thing for the Vex, maybe....
 

Sodding_Gamer

Member
Oct 31, 2017
207
Lmao Amazon are pushing Anthem in the UK. Just had an email saying I can get £5 off Anthem due to being a customer who buys videogames....

Subject of email: "Attention - Important Information About Your Amazon.co.uk Order of Anthem"

I didnt' order Anthem at all....


lol
 

Lyng

Writer at Joypad.dk
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
1,527
So my review is online now: http://joypad.dk/index.php/anmeldelser/485-anmeldelse-anthem
We chose to postpone it to play the game after the day one patch.
To sum it up I think the game has a huge potential. I really liked the storytelling and the characters, apart from the main villain. I even somewhat liked Geeson.
The after credit scene actually hyped me up for future content, and the core combat is fantastic and in my opinion the most fun in the genre.

All that having been said the game simply has way to many issues right now. The loot is fundamentally broken, the story is too short and the endgame has zero variance. On top of all that we encountered numerous bugs even after day one and several more patches.
 

ShadowAUS

Member
Feb 20, 2019
938
Australia
So my review is online now: http://joypad.dk/index.php/anmeldelser/485-anmeldelse-anthem
We chose to postpone it to play the game after the day one patch.
To sum it up I think the game has a huge potential. I really liked the storytelling and the characters, apart from the main villain. I even somewhat liked Geeson.
The after credit scene actually hyped me up for future content, and the core combat is fantastic and in my opinion the most fun in the genre.

All that having been said the game simply has way to many issues right now. The loot is fundamentally broken, the story is too short and the endgame has zero variance. On top of all that we encountered numerous bugs even after day one and several more patches.
My Danish is very rough but Google Translate thankfully does a pretty good job with Danish. Good review, whilst I don't personally agree with everything I think it was incredibly fair and well reasoned. Also, I haven't seen enough reviews praise Sarah Schachner's amazing work in Anthem, I've been following her since I heard Infinite Warfares underrated OST.
 

Lyng

Writer at Joypad.dk
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
1,527
My Danish is very rough but Google Translate thankfully does a pretty good job with Danish. Good review, whilst I don't personally agree with everything I think it was incredibly fair and well reasoned. Also, I haven't seen enough reviews praise Sarah Schachner's amazing work in Anthem, I've been following her since I heard Infinite Warfares underrated OST.
Yeah the soundtrack is fantastic. She is very talented, and like you said very underrated.
 

Joeku

Member
Oct 26, 2017
14,891
Giant Bomb - 2/5

Also included is a video podcast discussion about the game that's about an hour long. Brad really liked the flying and customization and was iffy about or disliked pretty much everything else.
 

Dreams-Visions

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
15,261
Miami, FL
Giant Bomb - 2/5

Also included is a video podcast discussion about the game that's about an hour long. Brad really liked the flying and customization and was iffy about or disliked pretty much everything else.
Frequently, it was the meter for my ultimate ability appearing to be ready to go even though the ability was actually unusable. Once, the game loaded me into a mission with one of my two guns unequipped (note that the game doesn't actually let you unequip a gun manually). And twice on PS4, the game crashed so hard that it literally powered down my console, forcing me to repair all my storage devices before I could boot it back up. A game making you worry about damaging your hardware is just inexcusable. I don't remember seeing this many big and small technical issues in a major release since, well, Mass Effect: Andromeda. How that reflects on BioWare's recent track record doesn't really need to be said.

Yup. Hopefully stability gets better soon. As others have said, it's really cool to know they are able to make quick adjustments to various loot mechanics. It means the backend for making tweaks is solid and easy to update. But these bugs are simply unacceptable. No if's and's or but's.
 

Warnen

Member
Giant Bomb - 2/5

Also included is a video podcast discussion about the game that's about an hour long. Brad really liked the flying and customization and was iffy about or disliked pretty much everything else.
Cools I’ll watch later, I’m loving the flying, combat(especial with mw gear, adds a new layer with all the extra buffs), and painting my javelin. Game needs work, prob should have been held back another few months. The broken missions in quick play, lack of armor drops and few other things need to be fixed ASAP. That’s said nothing beats flying into a bullet hell, freezing some trash mobs, get a head shot with a sniper then unload a massive lighting strike on a shielded dude that cascades that freeze effect to everyone around it. It’s good enough for me to put up with the bugs for now but if it was killing my Xbox like it was doing his ps4 yeah that’s a hard pill to swallow.
 

klauskorp

Member
Oct 27, 2017
317
Minnesota
That problem with the game crashing PS4s and causing them to do the rebuilding thing is bananas. Some friends of mine have started playing this, but I really think I should give it six months or so, if then.
 

BizzyBum

Member
Oct 26, 2017
3,595
New York
I'm just astounded at how dead and lifeless Fort Tarsis is. I know the city is meant to be in a rebuilding phase but still. I think having some audio track lightly play in the background and light chatter from NPC's as you walk around could have went a long way. It's just so dead silent it's creepy with the only interactions you get are awful conversations between idle NPC's that just stand there like morons the entire time.

It certainly looks great, but like the rest of the game the area is so unfinished it's nuts.
 

Dreams-Visions

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
15,261
Miami, FL
Cert can't find every crash. What you want isn't feasible. Crashes like this are shit, but this is the reality.
I mean to be fair, how many games have you played that have a known history of shutting down consoles and forcing repairs?

There are glitches and there are GLITCHES, knaamean? Some things should never happen. Especially when some of the worst ones are detected and reported by the community more than a month ago now.