The latest bug to plague an already glitch-laden Anthem is one that renders its weapon damage number output completely meaningless. The game's weapons have come under scrutiny before in the form of punishing loot drops, but gunplay had been one of the more consistent elements of BioWare's newest title up until this point.
Anthem's release has been a disaster for EA and BioWare, with the latter scrambling to put out fires as the game world threatens to buckle under a number of different issues. To its credit, BioWare has been swift in addressing the myriad number of problems currently afflicting the game, but it has soured the experiences of millions of excited players already. That was before Anthem began bricking PS4 consoles as well, possibly in an effort to save people from playing what amounts to an incomplete game at this time.
Now, an in-depth study conducted by Reddit user YeetLordSupreme has uncovered another troubling element of Anthem's gameplay: its weapon damage system is completely broken. The issue seems to be related to the way that Anthem scales its weapon damage based on group matchmaking. The game changes the way players deal damage so that level discrepancies don't make groups less fun to play in, but that scale doesn't seem to be functioning. According to the evidence, a level 1 common rifle currently does more damage than a level 45 masterwork rifle when applied to the same enemy. The masterwork rifle takes 6 bullets to kill a scar trooper, while the level 1 rifle takes 4.
A Reddit user found out that the damage numbers in Anthem don't seem to mean anything:— Nibel (@Nibellion) March 6, 2019
a level 1 Defender Rifle does more damage than a level 45 masterwork weapon
GIF evidence: https://t.co/pXIhIs4qyH
BioWare technical design director Brenon Holmes has already checked in on the Reddit thread, too, so the studio is aware of the issue now if it wasn't before. Holmes appeared to be surprised by the news, indicating that it's likely a bug affecting weapon damage:
"We'll need to investigate this, scaling systems are supposed to allow low level players to play with high level players to be effective against high level enemies.
This is not intended, something ain't right there..."
Obviously, this kind of incident is going to add more fuel to the fire that EA rushed Anthem out, leaving out critical features that were previously advertised during the game's E3 2017 trailer. While it's yet another issue that BioWare can likely fix with a short turnaround time, the real question is how many more problems fans can stomach before Anthem drives away all the people interested in the solid foundation its combat mechanics provide.
There's a lot to like about Anthem. In Screen Rant's Anthem review, we suggested that underneath the surface of all the bugs and missing features, there's a good game waiting to emerge. That still remains true, as many players find themselves inexplicably enamored with the game even as it fails to function on a basic level. EA and BioWare might still be able to salvage Anthem, but as things continue to spiral, the damage to both companies' reputations might not be so easy to repair.