Anthem has released its latest patch, Update 1.03, which will make some major changes to the way players experience EA and BioWare's game. While there are a significant number of changes, the two most prominent ones are the removal of respawn restrictions and the updates made to the end-games loot tables, two major points of contention and feedback for players.
Anthem's first month of release has been a long, drawn out nightmare for its publisher. In the span of a month, EA and BioWare have had to address infinite loading screens, bugged weapons, impractical quest design, loot rate issues, various technical flaws, and an element within the game's code that was crashing people's PS4s without warning. For a AAA game that's been created by one of the more well-respected developers in the industry, Anthem has been a significant let down, although it still manages to attract a fair share of players thanks to some of the hidden gems buried underneath its current problems.
Anthem is slowly getting better, too, as evidenced by Update 1.03. The patch notes are long (if you're interested, they're at the bottom of this article in full), but they all point toward BioWare doing a quick and efficient job at addressing some of the game's biggest issues. First and foremost is the change to respawn restrictions, which were a frustrating experience for players. Since Anthem auto-groups players for some of its content, and that content typically involves many respawn restricted fights, players had to rely on teammates to resurrect them. Sometimes, that simply didn't happen, and Freelancers were forced to watch others enjoy the fight while they waited until it was over. Now, players will be on a respawn timer that will bring them back after a 10-30 second window depending on the content they're playing through.
Anthem is also making a major change to its loot drops at max level. Players will no longer experience the frustration of attempting to find rare drops during end-game content and instead being rewarded with commons and uncommons. As of Update 1.03, those two rarities can no longer drop for players that are level 30, addressing one of the most annoying elements of Anthem's loot system.
The newest update for Anthem also makes several quality of life fixes, including solutions for the PS4 crashing issues that had plagued console users and some latent audio bugs that needed a solution as well. We're almost a month into the game's launch cycle, though, and it feels like we're just starting to get something vaguely resembling a full game now. While that's good news for those who want Anthem to ultimately succeed, it raises questions about the way game's are being released now, especially since this one in particular charged players extra to give them early access to a game that clearly needed more time.
Update 1.03 Patch Notes and Changes
High level fixes and changes
- Respawn restrictions have been removed - Respawn timers are now based on the activity a player is in. Crit-Path, Agent Missions and other non-end game missions now have a respawn timer of 10 seconds. Strongholds, Legendary Contracts, and other end game missions now have a respawn timer of 30 seconds.
- The respawn timer Freeplay remains unchanged.Loot Changes - Common (white) and Uncommon (green) drops will no longer appear for players that are level 30.
- Improved stability for all platforms - this includes fixes for a number of issues that were causing crashes or connection problems
- Audio Improvements - Fixed a number of issues that could cause audio to drop out
General Fixes and Improvements
- Fixed a number of issues that were blocking players from accessing the Forge
- All missions should now properly end when all conditions have been met
- The inbox now properly displays information on PC (the inbox is found in the newsfeed)
- Fixed an issue that would cause players to be unable to interact with NPCs in Fort Tarsis
- The vault is no longer accessible from the Forge. This change was made to improve performance
- Fixed an issue that would cause the game to hang when entering menus while on an expedition
- Titans will no longer respawn on missions after they are defeated. Example: if players defeat 2 out of 3 titans and then wipe on the third, the first two will not reappear when players respawn during a mission
- Server shutdown messages should now appear less often
- The ability to Quickplay into a Stronghold has been added back to the game
- Mouse button 4 is no longer bound to the back button for PC players
- Crashes that occurred while selecting certain conversation options when interacting with an NPC have been fixed
- Players should no longer get stuck at the end of the “Tomb of General Tarsis” mission
- Players should now run into less issues during Quickplay missions. Additional improvements to Quickplay will be coming in future updates
- Players should no longer get stuck behind fogwalls on missions or in strongholds as often
- Players should now receive credit for the “There Be Giants” challenge when they are downed and when the event is active
- Improved the audio when defeating creatures to provide better feedback
- Changed wording for server shutdown messaging to better indicate that it is just the players server shutting down, not the entire game server
- Players may now launch an expedition from anywhere within the launch bay and Fort Tarsis.
- PS4 led lights will now change based on the javelin being used
- It should now be harder for players to get stun locked by certain enemy compositions
- The values on max flight time inscriptions have been increased
- The appearance of the N7 vinyl on Legion of Dawn armor has been improved
- Haluk will now properly face players during certain dialogue scenes
- The message “Open the Cortex to track the legionnaire Challenges” will no longer pop up after completing the appropriate challenges
- Fixed an issue that would cause players to get stuck at the entrance to the sewers in the Temple of the Scar Stronghold
- Titans: We have made several balance changes to all variations of Titans
- Reduced overall damage mitigation from 100% to between 70% and 75% depending on the damage type.
- Increased the time that weakpoints are exposed.
- Fixed an issue that prevented effects from applying and thus preventing combos.
- Increased the damage the Titan takes from weakpoint hits.
- Lesser Titan’s weakpoint’s have been changed to always be active.
- Improved the collision on the ring and seeking projectile attacks. This should make them easier to dodge.
- Decreased the radius of the seeking projectile attack.
- Decreased the damage done by the self-destruct ability.
- Frozen Scar Enforcers and Scrappers can no longer move or attack while frozen.
- The Monitor’s health has been greatly reduced in the Heart of Rage Stronghold.
- Players will be less likely to be repeatedly staggered by heavy attacks.
- Adjusted the force applied by some creature attacks down which will lower the frequency of player’s being staggered.
Damage and Item Scaling Changes
- Adjusted the damage scaling of secondary damage sources. These now scale with Average Item Power. This will allow these damage sources to better scale in the Grandmaster Difficulties. This will increase the scaling of the following:Melee Damage, Combo Damage, Ultimate Damage, Status Effects, Item Procs (e.g. Proc from Yvenia’s Thunder)
- Item Power scaling has changed to better reflect the actual power of the item based on its rarity. This is applied to all items retroactively. Players will see the Power of their items go up.
Gameplay Bug Fixes
- The Ultimate ability bar will no longer appear full at the start of a mission when it isn’t actually full
- Weapon recoil will now stop once an exo is looking straight up
- Fixed a number of animation issues that could occur when the Colossus was using its shield
- It should no longer be possible for the Interceptor to become Frozen while starting up their ultimate
- Interceptor Aura damage will now deal the correct type of damage based on the active aura
- Players can no longer equip abilities from one javelin to another
- The Colossus can now use gear faster after being attacked by a heavy hit from enemies
- The Colossus can now shield charge through destructible objects such as explosive canisters or harvest nodes
- The Colossus now recovers faster after crashing into walls
Item Balance Updates
- Increased the base health of Wind Wall and Bulwark Point to provide better scaling in higher difficulties. The duration of these has been reduced to 20 seconds, down from 60 seconds
- Burst Mortar’s damage has been increased to 300, up from 145 and its cooldown has been reduced to 6 seconds, down from 10 seconds. Its description has also been fixed
- Flak Cannon’s damage has been increased to 42, up from 30
- Battle Cry’s description has been updated to explain that it also reduces the resistances of affected targets
- Wraith Strike’s damage has been increased to 250, up from 200 and it will now apply elemental effect to targets based on the active aura. Note: Description text for Wraith Strike will be updated in 1.0.4.
Item Bug Fixes
- Wind Wall should no longer block or interfere with other player abilities
- Ranger Grenadier Component will now correctly lower the cooldown of grenade abilities
- Fixed an issue where certain weapons were not firing where the crosshairs were aimed
- The Ice Blast ability for the Storm javelin now has the primer icon correctly displayed
Inscription Bug Fixes
- The Thruster Delay Recovery inscription is now correctly applying a bonus
- The Overheat Delay Recovery inscription is now correctly applying a bonus
- The Weapon Reload Bonus inscription is now correctly applying a bonus
- Note: These will have non-updated text values until the next patch (1.0.4)
Masterwork Item Balance Updates
- Increased the base damage of the following Masterwork Weapons: Ralner’s Blaze, Rolling Carnage, Cycle of Pain, The Last Stand, Glorious Result, Insult and Injury, Sentinel Vengeance, Gnosta’s Balm, Vassa’s Surprise, Soothing Touch, Renewed Courage, Artinia’s Gambit.
Masterwork Item Bug Fixes
- Ralner’s Blaze - Will no longer roll with incorrect inscriptions
- Ablative Shielding now provides the proper boost in shield and armor
- Badge of Devastation will now generate more ultimate charge when triggered
- It should no longer be possible to stack the effect from Gunslinger’s Mark more than once
In addition to the above updates, we wanted to let you know of some other known issues that the team is working on fixing:
- When loading into the game for the first time after a patch the Shields and Armor on a javelin will be incorrect. The first time a player enters and exits Freeplay or any other activity the issue will fix itself.
- Players are not receiving their level 20 Match Consumables. Players were granted item blueprints instead of the recipes when they hit this level previously.
- Some players may experience audio crackling while in Fort Tarsis.
- There may be some instances where players are unable to quit out of a Quickplay mission through the map UI.
- A number challenges may not be tracking properly, such as the objectives under the “Legendary Freelancer” challenge.
- Some players may encounter a bug where they are unable to interact with any objects or players.
- Visual effects on javelin thrusters are not functioning properly while stormy weather is present in game.
- Inactivity messages may not be able to be dismissed after a player returns from being away.
- There are a number of Origin error messages that some PC players may encounter, including Origin showing that it is offline when it actually online and that the friends list is accessible when in offline mode.
- The UI may not display events for some players when an event has spawned nearby in Freeplay.
- There is a bug where armor pips can change in between activities. This is both a display and gameplay issue.