This weekend was the weekend I entered the end game of Anthem or what currently exists as a placeholder for what is likely coming. On Thursday I finished the main story quest and because I spent time burning down side quests between steps in the main story quest… it meant that I more or less also finished the sidequests at the same time. I have a handful of contracts that I could be doing but instead Friday night I opted to level through QuickPlay, seeing as that appears to be a game mode tailored for my proclivities. I’ve talked before about my favorite way of playing Monster Hunter World is through what I refer to as “SOS Roulette” in which I just accept SOS flares from other players instead of starting my own missions. QuickPlay is sort of like that in that you are helping to fill the party of a mission already in progress.
When QuickPlay works, it works beautifully and it is a really fun way to hop in and revisit content you have already seen before and gives you a decent chance of earning rewards. At a minimum even if you join as the mission is finishing you see to get at least two on pilot level rewards… so for example while I was leveling those were blues and occasionally purples… but now they are purples and occasionally masterworks. I said “when it works” because there are key issues with the system in the form of a number of very bugged quests that you can get thrown into. Both of the two screenshots above are examples of endless missions that will never complete. At least in the case of “Defeat Dominion Troops” you end up with wave after wave of things to fight allowing you to build up a bunch of experience before eventually bailing out.
Holy shit… I just got two Masterworks from the same mission pic.twitter.com/LNlWzsKoIC
— Belghast 🆚 Sexy Danger! (@belghast) February 23, 2019
On the positive… I got my first two Masterworks from a Quickplay that dropped from the very same mission. The negative is that Masterworks are sorta like Legendaries in Diablo 3… and anytime you get one to drop before you hit the level cap of 30… it is a crying shame because there is no way of infusing it up to be a valid level. For reference… Purples cap out at 36 and Masterworks at 45… so seeing as these are 38 at the time they were are really awesome boost in level but quickly turned into vault trash. However one of the cool things about Masterworks is the ability to earn the blueprints, so at some point I need to spend time with Elemental Rage killing Legendary mobs so I can earn its blueprint and craft a proper level 45 version of it. Basically if you are joining quick play and see either “Defeat Dominion Troops” or “Hunt Down Beast” as the active step in the quest… you are likely going to be in a bugged instance because I have never seen either complete successfully.
I’ve come to realize that at its core… this game is “What if Destiny were more like Diablo 3”. Which completely explains why I have latched onto it so hard because I love both Destiny and Diablo 3 and apparently this amalgam of the two with a touch of Bioware characters thrown in? Moving my way from Normal to Hard and now to Grand Master 1 has felt a lot like progressing through the ranks in Diablo 3. I reached a point where Normal was too easy… and then I bumped it up to Hard. Now I have reached a point where Hard feels too easy… and I am dipping my toes into Grand Master rank 1 which seems like the equivalent of that jump up to Torment 1. As such I am mostly Quickplaying my way into groups that are already doing GM1 because I am in that uneasy boundary between the ranks… where I can kill things… but just not efficiently enough by myself to take on waves of them. It is that feeling of pushing too hard too fast into greater rifts and hitting a bit of a quagmire where you are not progressing fast enough to fill the bar in time… but you are progressing.
I figure a few more pieces of gear and I will ease that transition since at the moment other than weapons I only have a single masterwork item that was usable. Another thing “for reference” is this apparently is what the weekly maximum of the Alliance system looks like. I currently have five players on my friends list who have capped out at Rank 10 and as such that gives me a maximum contribution of 10,525 gold that I am understanding the system should be given to me at reset. It was relatively easy to hit the cap and if you are playing with friends… it seems EXTREMELY easy to cap out each week. We spent some time yesterday running around and killing the Titans for the current live event that ends in a few hours. We actually killed enough stuff that we started to the cap of what you can actually store in your inventory.
All in all… still having an excessive amount of fun playing Anthem. Sure the game has issues and we spent a good chunk of this weeks episode of AggroChat talking about those… but I don’t feel like ANY of it is beyond redemption. The only reason why we are concerned is because EA is notorious for making short sighted calls when it comes to games and studios. I hope they give the time to Anthem to become the game we all think it can be. If they can hit a cadence where there is almost always a live event up like the Titan hunt, and there is a steady release of more stuff into the world… this game is going to be really enjoyable. I can’t believe I am saying it… but I think for a live service game to succeed they are going to have to follow the model that something like Dragalia Lost does. Have a constant string of new things for the players to engage with so that the waits between major content drops feel shorter than they actually are as a result.
What are your thoughts, are you enjoying Anthem or did you check out?