Author Topic: Anthem -- The loot, our Destiny  (Read 1582 times)

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Offline The E

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Anthem -- The loot, our Destiny
So I've been playing this game for a few hours now. Time to have ~thoughts~.

Overall, I do like what I'm seeing here, but this game strikes me as being curiously indecisive and unfocused. On one hand, this wants to be a multiplayer experience: Whenever you go do the shooty bits, you are more or less forced to do so with a team of people, be they friends or randoms. Most of the gameplay seems balanced around things being tackled as a team; this isn't too much of an issue during missions (because everyone knows what to do in those and generally stays together), but in freeplay (Anthem's equivalent to Destiny's patrols), you're mostly alone on a pretty big map with no real points of interest or advertised events to draw people together.
On the other hand, the game's storytelling is that of a typical Bioware game in the Mass Effect/Dragon Age tradition. Between missions, you're dropped into Fort Tarsis, where you pretty much do the same things you would do in between missions in DAI: You talk to companions, vendors, all that stuff, then you head back out.
In Destiny, it's possible for a fireteam to stay together for a long play session; In this, if team members drop into Tarsis, the whole flow breaks apart a bit.
As a result, the MMO and SP aspects of the game are clashing in a not quite comfortable way; It's going to be interesting to see how this is going to change over time.

That said: Looking at each of those clashing aspects separately shows a game that has a good start, but could certainly be improved over time. The in-mission gameplay is tight and fun, Mass Effect Andromeda's combat but with more jetpacks and stronger class systems; The various Javelins have clearly defined roles and somewhat different gameplay each, and experimenting with loadouts and play styles is good.
The story is solid: the writers are pretty good at introducing characters and stakes, and the voice cast is stellar. There's an extensive in-game Codex similar to the Mass Effect and Dragon Age games; there even is an in-game mail system that people use to communicate with you.

On the technical side, this is pretty solid. The major bugs plaguing the demo weekends seem to have been fixed. It runs reasonably well on my (admittedly beefy) rig (An i5-6600k, 16 GB of RAM and an RTX 2070), but there's one massive issue: Load times. Whenever you move from Fort Tarsis to the open world or a mission, or from the open world into a dungeon, there's a lengthy load screen waiting for you. Where Destiny hides these things between pretty transitional animations, all you get here is a load screen with a bar filling up.

In terms of monetization, this game is certainly better about it than Destiny. While you are pointed towards the cosmetics shop pretty soon, the game isn't really insisting you interact with it, and even in the absence of bought cosmetics, the degree of customization on offer right from the start is pretty decent.
Given that you earn the MTX currency at a pretty decent rate just by playing the game, I don't see any particular need to keep spending money on this.

More words to come as I play more.
Let there be light
Let there be moon
Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
--Devin Townsend, Genesis

 

Offline The E

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Re: Anthem -- The loot, our Destiny
Pictures!



Let there be light
Let there be moon
Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
--Devin Townsend, Genesis

 

Offline MP-Ryan

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Re: Anthem -- The loot, our Destiny
I echo The E's thoughts.

PC controls, which were my main gripe from the demos, are fixed.  Combat is fun, satisfying, and has some depth - it's a little frenetic right now, but I think that's by design.  Javelins are powerful, responsive, and it feels like you really are a serious badass, made even more badass by a team.  This is also a distinct departure from the ME coop experience, as there you always feel a little underpowered until you hit the max level and loot tiers.

It's definitely a game to be played with friends, though.  While you can solo it, and the world-vs-between-missions balance is a little weird, you usually end up a squad and that's made quite a bit more fun by having other people to talk to.  That can also interfere a bit with in-hub dialogue, so striking a balance is still a bit up in the air.

It is nice to see that, as an $80 game (here in Canada), not only are microtransactions restricted solely to cosmetics, they are all reasonably attainable with in-game play.  This isn't another case of Andromeda or Battlefront II where they've built a full-priced paid game and then decided to screw the customer base into paying for digital items necessary to actually play the game.

Regardless, I discovered that by buying Origin Access Basic for one month, getting access to 10 hrs gameplay, and then 10% discount, I actually paid less for the game that I would otherwise.  And yeah, E, I preordered today.  So when weekend timezones work out, you've got a transatlantic buddy.

And for everyone else... HLP_MP-Ryan on Origin.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2019, 09:24:14 pm by MP-Ryan »
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Offline The E

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Re: Anthem -- The loot, our Destiny
I really wanted to like this game. For a time, I even fooled myself into thinking that I did, that it wasn't so bad and that it could actually be good.

I was wrong about that.


One of the things that struck me was how unpolished the game was, how several of its design decisions actively were at odds with each other.

Turns out, there's a good reason for that.

I am so glad sometimes that Jason Schreier and Kotaku exist. Gaming needs good journalism like that.
Let there be light
Let there be moon
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Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
--Devin Townsend, Genesis

  

Offline Spoon

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Re: Anthem -- The loot, our Destiny
Quote
Perhaps most alarming, it’s a story about a studio in crisis. Dozens of developers, many of them decade-long veterans, have left BioWare over the past two years. Some who have worked at BioWare’s longest-running office in Edmonton talk about depression and anxiety. Many say they or their co-workers had to take “stress leave”—a doctor-mandated period of weeks or even months worth of vacation for their mental health. One former BioWare developer told me they would frequently find a private room in the office, shut the door, and just cry. “People were so angry and sad all the time,” they said. Said another: “Depression and anxiety are an epidemic within Bioware.”

“I actually cannot count the amount of ‘stress casualties’ we had on Mass Effect: Andromeda or Anthem,” said a third former BioWare developer in an email. “A ‘stress casualty’ at BioWare means someone had such a mental breakdown from the stress they’re just gone for one to three months. Some come back, some don’t.”
Working in the triple eeeeeyyyy industry always sounds so fun and uplifting!
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Anthem -- The loot, our Destiny
I can't believe the E3 demo was made in a couple weeks from a build they designed purely to impress a single EA executive. Flying wasn't even going to be in the game until he demanded a wow feature.

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Anthem -- The loot, our Destiny
Quote
One was that in 2016, the FIFA games had to move to Frostbite. The annual soccer franchise was EA’s most important series, bringing in a large chunk of the publisher’s revenue, and BioWare had programmers with Frostbite experience, so Electronic Arts shifted them to FIFA.

[...]

After all, role-playing games brought in a fraction of the revenue of a FIFA or a Battlefront. “The amount of support you’d get at EA on Frostbite is based on how much money your studio’s game is going to make,” said one developer.

Am I allowed a quick "I told you so"?
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

"For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The Lantern King, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

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Offline Rhymes

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Re: Anthem -- The loot, our Destiny
Bioware's knee-jerk response to that article is even better.

Quote
...We don’t see the value in tearing down one another, or one another’s work. We don’t believe articles that do that are making our industry and craft better.

Jesus ****ing Christ on a goddamn pogo stick, how far up your own ass do you have to be to think that response was ever going to be a good idea?
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Offline Luis Dias

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Re: Anthem -- The loot, our Destiny
I think it was clear from the get go that their vision was vague and opaque, if it even existed. My only doubts were how much of that was on purpose, or if it implied deep structural problems with the development. That doubt impeded me from being harsh on a game that didn't even appeal to me (so why bother), but I guess those doubts are erased now.

The worst part in that article for me was how a developer's dream of having Inquisition fail utterly so that the message that that kind of developing was just unsustainable, but alas, the game was a success, which in hindsight we can plainly conclude that was the most unfortunate thing to happen to Bioware, making them completely blind to the huge structural problems in their development practices.

Bioware is tired, morale is nowhere, their design practice is dead. I think the sooner everyone realises that Bioware is dead, the sooner the ashes may give rise to new glimmers of hope within the overall industry. But of course that won't happen. Its dead corpse will hummer along within the ranks of EA, just like every other company under its heel. Who in 2019 is really dying to work in that company? Who is pulling every string, everything they can do in order to work for a visionless, corrupt, stressful and directionless company like Bioware?

It's dead Jim.

 

Offline Ghostavo

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Re: Anthem -- The loot, our Destiny
Quote
From the article
Even when a project feels like a complete disaster, there’s a belief that with enough hard work—and enough difficult crunch—it’ll all come together.

The EA spouse story is everlasting.

Project manager's belief in crunch, opposed to a realistic (humane?) schedule is one of the things in the software industry that will never change.
"Closing the Box" - a campaign in the making :nervous:

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Offline MP-Ryan

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Re: Anthem -- The loot, our Destiny
There's a lot about the game that I enjoy - a lot - but for every single decision decision I hate and that is causing fury in the community, there's an explanation in that article.  I have enough of a backlog that I'm going to largely put the game down until they fix it or it completely dies.  The loot balance is probably the most infuriating issue that's front and center, but for a game that has so much promise just sparkling out of reach, it has fundamental issues that scream out for resolution and BioWare simply isn't either working fast enough or giving enough information to keep people playing.  And that's unfortunate, because - properly patched, updated, and expanded - Anthem has the potential to be something very different and good.

This doesn't, however, address the problem that BioWare as a studio has been flailing for some time with inadequate project management and being, at least by that account, downright abusive to its employees.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2019, 12:38:44 am by MP-Ryan »
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Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Anthem -- The loot, our Destiny
After an exchange on the Discord on Saturday, I though I am going to give you my two cents on the state of the game at present:

Areas most improved:

- You can go from one expedition into the next without having to load into the Fort first. At the end of each expedition you now get a choice to either go back to Launchbay (which is functionally a lobby), to the Fort (which is your story/singleplayer component) or go directly into the menu to launch another expedition. It is not an automated quene and you still have to slot you permanent buffs manually (which is kinda required once you graduate from Hard-difficulty; which is required to access the best loot). This essentially makes forming a squad much less of an inconvience during Freeplay, as you can just go out of a session, have your loot unpack and then form the squad before heading back out.

- You can access the Forge, aka the loadout menu, at any time. While you will still have to go back out of/finish an activity to unpack loot, and go back to the Fort or Launchbay to swap Javelins, you can now change your gear on the fly. I am personally not much a fan of this one, but I can see the convinence.

- The ammount of "broken at joing" Missions/Strongholds in Quickplay is down almost zero. Mission breaking because a player is dropped in by the matchmaking/disconnected or the matchmaking dropping you in an already broken mission was a plague at launch. This has gone down significantly.

Still missing:

- Functional map for the Freepay-area. The map in Freepay is bare-bones. It shows you where the other players are and gives you a handy "golden thread" of your last minutes of movements. But what it is still missing is an efficent way to find active world events, esspecially those other players are engaged in - the best point you can hope for that is when you either get close enought for game to provide you with nav markers, or player getting downed (as you can see that icon across the entire map).
Freeplay however now has a lot more navmakers to help you find mobs without having to be near ground level all the time. It also helps to keeps down the ammount of unwanted, aimless flying as you can basically go from one marker to next in any subdivision of the Freeplay area.

- Drop-in joing during any activity. This is the worst issue with higher difficulty Contracts and Strongholds. There is still now way to functionally invite players into an ongoing activity, as far as I can tell. Mostly that is because all activities are capped at 4 players and the matchmaking ensures there are no free spots.

- A system to warn you of priority threats nearby. There are number of enemies in Anthem that have very low time-to-kill against you, e.g. the Scar Hunter, and you frequently find yourself surrounded by enemies than can take you down with their numbers. So prioritizing which targets to tackle is key to survival, esspecially once you play on Hard or higher difficulty. In a team, having a functional composition will usually take care of that - having a Storm or a Ranger on your team means that you have a player that can hang back and coordinate - but if you are not that coordinated or just playing a pick-up game, you just out of luck and quickly find yourself downed by an enemy just outside your field of view.



Now, I also have access to the Cataclysm Test Server - like most players who bought more than the standard retail version.

The Cataclysm is not exactly a game changer gameplay-wise. It's essentially a mix of Freeplay and a Stronghold, as the objectives resemble more those of a Stronghold, both in difficulty and coordination with other players required, but there is no linear progression through it, you can theoretically tackle them in any order you like - you can technically even head straight for the Boss. I say "theoretically tackle them in any order" as the timer forces you to be economical about that - while completing an objective returns time onto the timer that ammount is fixed, which can leave you with a net loss.

In the Cataclysm activity you also have to content with a Stability meter, which constantly drains unless you are in safe zone (some objectives are in safe zones, some are not). You can refill Stability through drops found in the envoirment or dropped by enemies. If your Stability runs out, your shield shuts down and flight time goes down signifcantly. It's actually a nice mechanic to keep you moving outside of combat (in combat you are moving anyway), even if you just walk through the objectives.

There are also a few additions to regular Freeplay coming with the Cataclysm, which are, by my count less than a hand-full, new enemy variations, some new World Events and Crystals. Crystals are basically a new Harvet point, similar to Minerals, Vegitation and Scrap. However currently they exclusively provide Embers, which have been one of two limiting factors in Carfting so far (the other being Javeling-specific parts).

EDIT: Before I forget: I finally get the ability to change the attributes of your meele ability!



Vedict: The impression of playing an Early Access Game is not gone - neither on the normal build and esspecially not on the PTS build. But so far it has been moving in positive direction - and considering that is probabily still bottom of the barrel in terms of technical support at EA, huge leaps should not be expected.
I can't in good concience issue "buy"-recommendation, although I personally enjoy Anthem very much, but it much less worse than it used to be.



ps. The Cataclysm also comes with a little story campaign. While I won't comment too much on execution as what you see on the PTS is unpolished to say the least (a central story cutscene is even watermarked with "Unfinished Cinematic"), it is more supplement to the "Heart of Rage"-campaign than a continuation. Not just because almost all of the characters seem to be returning just for a cameo (including one of my favorites, fellow Freelancer Rythe) but because it mostly adds context to events of the "Heart of Rage"-campaign, e.g. why the Dominion was backing the Monitor.

There are some cringeworth moments in the writing, particularly one where writers forgot the cardinal rule regarding re-telling jokes, and like with the "Heart of Rage"-campaign some connective tissue appears to have been left on the cutting room floor, BUT it also very competent writing on average. I am actually curious to see if they can replicate the emotional ressonace I had with the presentation of the original campaign, once it all put together.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2019, 05:31:30 am by 0rph3u5 »
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

"For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The Lantern King, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline MP-Ryan

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Re: Anthem -- The loot, our Destiny
I quit playing months ago until they fix progression and loot; I see no sign of either on the horizon, and won't be returning until I do.  The state of the build and drop system is just atrocious in the endgame, and until they fix that the player mass exodus will remain in its current state.  It's really too bad, as Anthem has a lot of promise, but they have completely and totally botched the endgame play.  There is quite literally no point to playing this looter-shooter as it doesn't actually drop loot.

By contrast, I've ducked back into BL2 with the DLC drop, and its refreshing to play a game that actually has progression even at high/endgame states.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2019, 12:56:42 pm by MP-Ryan »
"In the beginning, the Universe was created.  This made a lot of people very angry and has widely been regarded as a bad move."  [Douglas Adams]

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Anthem -- The loot, our Destiny
I quit playing months ago until they fix progression and loot; I see no sign of either on the horizon, and won't be returning until I do.

What's your issue with Progression? - I am asking because I actually liked how XP progression and crafting unlocks are linked to your performance, and find it one of the game's strong suits. (e.g. because you will unlock higher tiers of your favorite build if you do the related challanges, you basically never need to switch to gear you don't like)

As far as gear progression is concerned: The patch including the Cataclysm will eliminate the "Luck"-stat streamlining the drop rates. And as far as drop rates are concerned, as so as you unlock Grandmaster I you get guaranteed drops from Legendary Contracts and so I far I have not walked out of a single Grandmaster I-Stronghold session without at least one masterwork - going so far that since my return to PTS I was able to complete my Interceptor's and Storm's build with about 1.5 houres average playtime a day across three weeks.

« Last Edit: June 24, 2019, 02:02:26 pm by 0rph3u5 »
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

"For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The Lantern King, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline MP-Ryan

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Re: Anthem -- The loot, our Destiny
Unlike other looter shooters which balance loot at the same level by rarity, Anthem's power scaling ensures that each tier of loot completely outclasses the previous tiers.  This means that even a poor MW drop is significantly superior to an Epic, which becomes obsolete.  Similarly, Legendaries completely eradicate the utility of MWs.  As a result, when one has obtained MWs for their chosen build, there is no point in seeking out other MWs; the only actual upgrade is a legendary because even the worst legendary out-scales the MW.  This is particularly galling as, the last several times I played, I spent more time salvaging the epics that appear in my loot pack than I did ACTUALLY PLAYING THE GAME.

That wouldn't be such a problem if legendary drop rates were reasonable, or if it were possible to farm out specific drops.  Unfortunately, the randomized drops meant that after unlocking less than a third of the legendaries one of my Javs was capable of utilizing, I had received SIX legendary soothing touch rifles, and triples of several others.  Meanwhile, I had two legendary components... you know, the things that actually make a difference to javelin build.  It's functionally impossible to create a build and play with powers because you can't craft legendaries, several of the MW recipes are locked behind a ridiculous tedious fetch quest system, and all drops are randomized.  And there is of course the overwhelming community complaint:  it shouldn't take a four of hours of playing to get a single legendary drop, which in turn may be garbage, a duplicate, or something completely useless to your build.  Components are the main key to build diversity, and yet there is absolutely no way to get better ones of a chosen type.... it's plain randomized nonsense.  This makes absolutely no ****ing sense in an RPG-style looter shooter.  A P2P trade function would fix this... you know, stuff that BL2 had at launch SEVEN YEARS AGO?

Finally, we have the added issue that legendaries aren't actually legendary; they are power-scaled but their stats can be abysmally bad - in some cases, with rolls much lower than the MW variants.  But, as mentioned previously, you cripple yourself by not using them because power affects health, shields, weapon damage, and melee damage... in short, every game stat that dictates DPS and survivability.

I am convinced the Anthem developers have never played another looter shooter and haven't actually played much of Anthem.  Once you collect all the MWs, there is absolutely no reward for actually playing the game.  Legendaries should be it, but the combination of making them extremely hard to get and completely random just kills it.  This is especially puzzling as the progression up to level 30 is done exceptionally well (there is a constant feeling of excitement that the next upgrade is just around the bend, and the purple rain of epics in the upper 20s just enhances it); frankly, I think they just ran out of time and figured they'd fix the endgame later, but here we are 4 months after release and the progression problems that existed in the first week still render further play pointless.  Yeah, sure, flying is fun.  The combat is fantastic... but there's no motivation to actually play it any more (and keep in mind, I gave up at 160 hours, fully capable of battling through GM2 solo, after hitting level 30 at about 40 hours; it's not like I didn't give it a fair shake) if there's nothing contributing to the advancement and experimentation with particular builds.  Coupled with the still-ridiculous load times and the connection/matchmaking issues (and lack of players to matchmake with, ensuring I sit on a spinning load screen even longer) and I can go play other games that are actually fun throughout, rather than mostly frustrating with bits of brilliance that rarely peek through.

Until Anthem's developers fix endgame progression, I won't touch this again, and I strongly recommend against people buying it and rewarding a completely toxic example of game development.  I gave Anthem and BioWare a huge benefit of the doubt, and unfortunately the development team has squandered any goodwill the community had through a series of bizarre development decisions and total radio-silence on fixing the loot, which is the single biggest complaint among players.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2019, 11:10:40 pm by MP-Ryan »
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Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Anthem -- The loot, our Destiny
Unlike other looter shooters [...] This makes absolutely no ****ing sense in an RPG-style looter shooter.  [...] I am convinced the Anthem developers have never played another looter shooter and haven't actually played much of Anthem.

Your point of comparison is off. Anthem's Endgame has more similarities to Diablo III than any loot-shooters - and IMO quite frankly is all the better for it (e.g. because you have crafting as a substitute for drops) with its own spins (e.g. unlocking crafting options through use rather than being seperate drops).

(Case in point, the Catacylsm has striking similiarities to Diablo III's Nephalem Rifts.)

Now that doesn't excuse that it has the same mechanical problems Diablo III's Endgame had pre- and near-post launch Reaper of Souls, but they also didn't just scale up the number "loot pinatas" and call it a day as Blizzard did. Anthem also has the very loaded problem that there isn't enough content to sustain Diablo III's "let's re-use EVERYTHING"-approach.

Unlike other looter shooters which balance loot at the same level by rarity, Anthem's power scaling ensures that each tier of loot completely outclasses the previous tiers.  This means that even a poor MW drop is significantly superior to an Epic, which becomes obsolete.  Similarly, Legendaries completely eradicate the utility of MWs.  As a result, when one has obtained MWs for their chosen build, there is no point in seeking out other MWs; the only actual upgrade is a legendary because even the worst legendary out-scales the MW. 
[...]
Finally, we have the added issue that legendaries aren't actually legendary; they are power-scaled but their stats can be abysmally bad

I fail to see your point ...

That kind of Planned Obsolescene was been part of RNG-driven loot systems since ... uhm, Diablo I I guess. So has the problem of "unique"-tier gear loosing out in utility to good drops of lower tiers, because the range of variations on them is low by design.

Anthem higher tear loot is actually designed by the same lines as Diablo III's non-set uniques (I guess they called Legendaries now too), as to give them an additional power that by itself outclasses a lower tier item.
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

"For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The Lantern King, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline MP-Ryan

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Re: Anthem -- The loot, our Destiny
I think perhaps you don't fully understand the way power-scaling works in Anthem.  The big number at the top on each item - the 75 on legendaries - affects the following statistics:
-Max health.
-Max shields.
-Melee damage.
-Base weapon damage.

In short, your overall power number is what determines damage output and survivability.  The secondary stat rolls on the items themselves affect the way the items work, but their impact is actually somewhat minimal compared to these primary statistics.

Your post implies crafting has utility; again, the power-scaling problem means crafting a MW is always inferior to carrying a Legendary with abysmal stats in the same slot, no matter how good the secondary stats.  The power level scaling feature is where the problem lies - it ensures that the key difference between Epics, MWs, and Legendaries is NOT rolls, but simply the power stat which is always fixed.  It makes Epics and MWs entirely pointless if you have any Legendary - not matter how terrible - that fits the same slot.  This renders crafting or seeking out MWs pointless when literally any Legendary is better, and the only way to get the totally-random legendary drops that cannot be sourced for particular build types is by grind.  The other issue is that nothing makes Legendaries actually unique; they are just a higher-power MW, often with worse secondary statistics.

Compare to Borderlands games, which has the same type of combat style generally:  the highest tiers of loot do not affect over power scale.  In many cases, carrying a high-stat purple is much better than some of the oranges and above.  The oranges and above introduce better rolls and unique mechanics not available in the base tiers, but you don't cripple yourself by using a purple that helps your build instead of an orange (or pearlescent, seraphim, effervescent) that doesn't.  Anthem is the complete opposite - if you use anything less than the highest power number available, your base weapon damage, melee damage, health, and shields are all reduced dramatically.  I primarily played Interceptor, and it's frenetic glass-cannon style is particularly vulnerable to this problem.  Colossus too.  Ranger and Storm have other issues that crop up as a result as well.

The problem is not planned obsolescence of items, the problem is that Anthem's developers ensured that, at endgame, everything the game drops with the occasional except of 1 item every 3-4 hours is absolutely pointless except as salvage - always, without fail.  On top of that, there's no quick-salvage system, and there's no use for embers whatsoever because all they can craft is masterworks that suffer from the power-scale problem.

Anthem's core loot design and drop rate are by far the game's biggest problem, and make time spent playing absolutely unrewarding as there is no progression to speak of.  Build diversity is impossible, because drop rates are insanely low and diversity of drops is minimal.  The loot system - and Anthem is a looter-shooter, so loot is a core design feature - needs a complete and total overhaul to make the game have any point at endgame.  Otherwise, it's just a grind of the same things over and over with no reward or challenge whatsoever.  As drop rates stand, GM2 and GM3 are pointless endeavours - they don't drop the gear you need at higher rates, they don't have guaranteed drops of any kind, and the enemies are simply bullet-sponges with no new challenge other than they take *far* longer to down.

TL;DR:  Anthem is great fun, adventure, and motivating to level 30.  Roughly 5-10 gameplay hours after you hit 30, it becomes a pointless infuriating grind for no meaningful objective, and I can't in good faith recommend it to anyone at this point.  (And to your comparison about Diablo, one of the guys who fixed Diablo 3's loot system told the Anthem developers within a month of launch exactly what was needed to repair its system, and they flat-out ignored him entirely).
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Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Anthem -- The loot, our Destiny
I still don't see you making sense.

For one, at least two dimensions of "power levels" have been in every post-gygaxian RPG. Granted usually you don't have more than one direction of progression in most impactful ones but it is hardly a unique, or obscure quality for that matter.
In Anthem you have your Power Level as vertical dimension and your individual item stats as a horizontal dimension.

I fail to see the logic you are trying to employ forcing it into a single dimension system. Or at the very least change which dimension is dominant.

Compare to Borderlands games,

.... except I reject that as point of comparison, because while it has two dimensions of "power levels" in its design but that's where the comparison ends. As you have pointed out horizontal gear progression is dominant here.

I highly recommend you seek out comparison to its cloest peer for the mechanics you want to analyse, which I hold would be Diablo III for everything related to the gear progression, rather than straining for the most points of difference.

Build diversity is impossible, because drop rates are insanely low and diversity of drops is minimal. 

This is where you loose me completely.  Build diversity in Anthem is not achieved through either horizontal or vertical balance - it doesn't relate to your previous argument at all.

While it is true that you need to make the lateral move to progress your Power Level, you can always move laterally to an item of the same base function - My Elemental Rage is fundamentally the same as the Auto Rifle-subtype it comes from. My Raneri's Charge is not different any other Spark Dash, except in it horizontal qualities.

Build diversity is achieved through the interactions of gear with another and the gear of your team - Do you have Primers, do you have Detonators? Have your abilites complemenatry functions, e.g. Spark Dash and Detonation Strike? If you have componenets buffing a single damage type are your abilites of the same type?

As for the argument that it an issue of low drop rates - that is true. But as I pointed out in my pervious post, by now guaranteed drops of MW/PL61 exist.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2019, 02:11:07 pm by 0rph3u5 »
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

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Offline Rhymes

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Re: Anthem -- The loot, our Destiny
Something something river in Egypt something something sunk cost fallacy.
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Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Anthem -- The loot, our Destiny
Something something river in Egypt something something sunk cost fallacy.

This has neither to do with denial nor with sunk cost.

I find Anthem to be a fascinating object lesson - you know, something you study to help develop your own ideas, both in terms of what to do and what not to do. For that it is important to treat the game on its own terms, not as the game "I want to be" or "I deserve to be".

And of course there is much I like about it and I got a kick out of finalizing my builds, but none of it will keep me from going away. I recently only got back because of the PTS and having a look at the Catacylsm-event and I will stay for it implementation (to compare it to the PTS).
« Last Edit: June 25, 2019, 05:30:26 pm by 0rph3u5 »
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

"For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The Lantern King, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

"...because they are not Dragons."