Anthem Update 1.0.4 has once again changed the way loot behaves in EA and BioWare's looter shooter, and unfortunately, the developers have somehow made things even worse than they were previously. Players are reporting significant, detrimental changes to loot, alongside some major bugs that are negatively affecting other gameplay areas as well.
Anthem actually enjoyed a successful launch month despite near-universal criticism of the game, which has quickly become the worst-reviewed BioWare title in the studio's history. That history includes Mass Effect: Andromeda, a game that marked a massive failure for a beloved franchise and began a debate over whether or not publishers should distribute early review copies to critics in an effort to preserve their sales should scores be underwhelming. Anthem has been even worse, a game that appears to be held together by the seams and the sheer willpower of the players who still participate in it, and Anthem Update 1.0.4 has done little to alleviate long-term concerns.
Under Anthem Update 1.0.4, there were supposed to be three changes to the game's loot. Chest were supposed to drop additional items and crafting materials, Apex creatures were supposed to have similarly buffed loot capabilities, and GM1 difficulty or higher Stronghold bosses were meant to drop more loot with additional chances at masterwork and legendary items, according to the official notes on Reddit. The issue, however, is that the update is actually the opposite of a buff to loot, functioning as a huge regression in drop quality and frequency. Here's a quote from Reddit user Dredgen1994, who encountered several bugs which have since been corroborated by other Anthem players:
The post has already been upvoted 1000 times since its appearance roughly three hours ago at the time of this writing, with over 500 comments that are confirming the veracity of the report. Apparently, in Anthem update 1.0.4 players are now less likely to receive actual loot from freeplay and stronghold chest, instead getting a massive increase in embers, crafting materials that many endgame players have little use for at this point in the game's lifecycle. Furthermore, and more significantly, Stronghold bosses are not dropping masterworks at a guaranteed rate anymore.
As of right now, there's now confirmation on the game's subreddit that a hotfix is in the works, so it appears Anthem's few dedicated players will be forced to endure yet another setback as BioWare sorts out what has broken in game's loot system now. Anthem is beginning to become something of a joke in the gaming community for its inability to take one step forward without breaking several things in the process. After several chances to simply get loot right, it appears BioWare has struck out once again, leaving many to wonder when Anthem will finally run out of chances with the fans who have been so patient with it.