Anthem has plenty of issues and some of the problems are with the loot system and progression. The drop rate is low and some of the loot that you get as part of the endgame loot does not seem all that meaningful. Keeping in mind that loot is the major thing that is going to keep the game alive, Anthem is not doing all that well.
Diablo 3 senior game designer Travis Day talked about these issues and mentioned how they can be fixed. Day is currently working on Dauntless but from what he had to say about the fixes, it is clear that he is sharing his experiences with Diablo 3 development. The inscription system in Anthem does not work at all and the following is what Day had to say about the matter:
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,
Day also talked about the strongholds in Anthem. He mentioned that the three strongholds have different difficulties which need to be tuned and mentioned that players should be rewarded accordingly for tougher strongholds. The following is what he had to say in this regard:
If the intent is that dungeons are tiered, then this isn’t something that needs to be addressed, if the intent is that dungeons are comparable in difficulty then the lack of a bonus or incentive to diversify which dungeon I run is an issue. Players will generally follow the path of least resistance; at present, that means run Tyrant Mines repeatedly. This also increases the speed at which players will ‘burn out’ since the game feels shallow and lacks variety.
Running the same stronghold over and over is not all that fun. The same can be said about missions and raids. Finally, Day talked about the endgame difficulty of Anthem. Currently, there are three tiers of Grandmaster that players can select once they have reached level 30. The difference is the health and damage of enemies. Players also have a higher chance of getting Masterwork and Legendary gear.
The major issue is that the scaling at Grandmaster 2 and 3 is so high that encounters can take a significant amount of time. The loot, on the other hand, is not all that great. Most players might not find it worth it. At higher grandmaster levels, enemies can one-shot players and boss fights can take 20-30 minutes on average. That is a lot of grind. The following is what Day had to say in this regard:
As it stands the difficulty jump between [Grandmaster] and [Grandmaster 2] is big enough that once you reach the point where GM1 feels trivial and attempt to enter GM2 you find enemies feeling like bullet sponges who one-shot the frailer classes in the party. Going from hard to GM1 felt great, the early power jumps provided by the introduction of [Masterworks] felt good, GM1 went from being ‘holy shit’ hard to ‘this is trivial’ over the course of MW and legendary acquisition.
Let us know what you think about Anthem and what your experience has been like so far.