Legendary Weekend

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Good morning folks.  Shocking to no one I spent pretty much the entire weekend playing Anthem.  We had some winter weather come in and I became the Oklahoma version of “snowed in”.  Aka we could easily get out if we really needed to but the yard was indistinguishable from the streets and figured it just was not worth the hassle.  As a result we drew upon our heavy stores of meals and just stayed snuggled inside with the cats.  This meant that I spent a significant amount of time on the couch in my blanket cocoon playing Anthem remoted into my gaming machine upstairs via Parsec.  I am still shocked at just how damned well that works… but I have found a hitch in the set up.  It appears to be blocking voice chat either on the microphone transmission side or the key press side.  I need to sort this out, but for the time being it means if I want to do proper group activities I have to go upstairs.  Which means 99.9% of the time I am just pugging everything…  including Grand Master 1 Legendary Contracts and Strongholds…  which in truth is what I spent most of the weekend doing.

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As of right now I have a Masterwork or better in every slot other than the support item.  I have no clue at all how one upgrades that and gets a Masterwork Muster Point, but I am hoping they add in a new type of activity that has a guaranteed drop for those.  For those that did not already know this…  if you do a Legendary Contract on Grand Master 1 or higher you get a guaranteed Masterwork Component at the end of the mission.  Similarly if you do a Stonghold on Grand Master 1 you get a guaranteed Masterwork Ability at the end, and in my experience you often get at least one additional masterwork somewhere along the course of the run.  The best run ever saw me getting 1 off each of the chests and two off the final boss.  As such once I burn through my Legendary Contracts, my jam right now tends to be running Hive Tyrant over and over because that appears to be the fastest of the strongholds, or at the very least the one everyone knows the best.  Regardless I have collected enough components to feel like I have some semblance of a build working there as well.

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I am still relying heavily on my Double Detonator build that I talked about on Friday, and have officially given up on using any weapons other than Ralner’s Blaze which is not necessarily a part that I think I covered.  When the perk states that it ignites the target after a hit-streak of 5… what that means in practice is after landing 5 hits on a target you apply the ignited status effect, which means that target is primed and ready to combo.  So even though I don’t technically have a primer in my build… I have two solid ways of priming targets either through this amazing weapon or through my melee primer.  As such I stopped using a second weapon and instead just run a second Ralner’s Blaze so I never run out of ammunition and can always swap to a backup version to continue priming targets.  So often people are running a frost AOE primer… which allows me to swoop in with a frag grenade and get to detonation city…  but even if I am alone I can prime single targets all day long. A B D…  Always Be Detonating.

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The highlight of the weekend was getting my very first Legendary drop…  and it was off some random mob in freeplay.  I am super thankful in that I got a good lego on my first attempt, and didn’t get something like a sniper rifle like my friend Shadoes did.  Even better…  I got the same assault launcher I had already been using in my current build allowing me to just swap everything over without changing much.  Now if I could get a Legendary Ralner’s Blaze the luck gods would really be smiling upon me.  One of my only complaints with Legendaries is that there appears to be no re-roll system in that you cannot learn the pattern in order to craft more of them.  That is the thing that I like the most about Masterworks is that you can just keep crafting more until you get the set of inscriptions you really wanted.  Legendaries…  appear to be entirely on random chance for you to get one to drop in the first place…  and even more so you are up a creek if you didn’t get a good role.  Like…  Sniper is a worthless inscription for me personally…  but everything else is pretty reasonable so I still consider myself extremely lucky.

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Since it was interesting last week, I figured I would throw this up again this week.  This is what my Alliance leader board looks like this week, and quite honestly I am not entirely certain why Wei and Maeka are giving me more gold than the others.  The closest I can figure out is that the bar continues to go up even after hitting rank 10… and once it fills one more time you start getting a message that you have reached your maximum alliance rank for the week.  I hit this and I am guessing that both of them have hit it as well…  meaning they are now worth 2345 instead of 2105…  which incidentally I should also be worth that 2345 if you get everyone else to rank 10 on your list as well.  That means the if that logic olds…  while I have 11,005 incoming for how the board is set up currently… a theoretical “maximum” contribution would be something like 11,725 gold if you could somehow get everyone to that full bar rank 10.

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That said I am not expecting the gold train to last that much longer.  I am playing a truly silly amount of this game, and I thought I would post my hours played just to prove it.  At this point I have put in 132 hours in effectively 16 days that the game has been out… which works out to be 8.25 hours a day.  Now there was some heavy skewing there because we have had a few weekends where we didn’t have much planned and also I was fighting some respiratory nonsense so that had me home sick during part of it as well.  Regardless of how you slice it though… I have been playing a significant amount of Anthem and really show no signs of letting up yet.  I spent some time working up Interceptor and Colossus last night but most of that time has been spent on the Ranger working on getting to the point I am at right now.  I still think the game needs a lot of tweaks, but for now I am enjoying the game that is… as well as being hopeful of the game that is to come.

Double Detonators

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This morning I am struggling more than I do on the average morning.  I did not sleep well last night and wound up not falling asleep until almost midnight.  Then that got compounded by the fact that I kept waking up every so often for unknown reasons.  It was one of those “the bed is not comfortable” sort of nights.  As such I feel like I can’t really get into any higher logic yet.  I didn’t even make coffee this morning until my wife noticed that she didn’t have a cup…  I knew something was off but could not quite put my finger on it.  That has since been remedied, but suffice to say I am not firing on all cylinders…  which is evidenced by the fact that I just backspaced the word cylinders several times until I got it right.

Last night I spent some time testing out the new loot system and it does in fact seem to be giving better options.  Gone are the days of getting a Light Machine Gun with weapon only (gear icon) Heavy Pistol effects on it…  but what has arrived instead are a lot of instances where you just get a suit wide weapon bonus in general rather than it being something specific.  I have not gotten anywhere near enough items to test this out more thoroughly but it seems like they might have dropped some of the nuance and landed on the side of “make this more universally useful”.  In fact those gear only inscriptions seem to be the exception rather than the rule now, with most things just simply giving Javelin wide effects.

During the course of the night I ran three strongholds, still focused almost entirely on Hive Tyrant since it is fast and predictable.  The first first one lead me to believe that they maybe tweaked the drop rates at the same time as applying this patch.  That first stronghold rewarded me 1 weapon, 2 abilities and the every so sought after component.  However after tweeting that out and making a fool of myself…  the second stronghold rewarded only the guaranteed masterwork ability that you get for completing the mission.  On the third stronghold however, I did manage to get one additional masterwork to drop…  meaning I got a weapon and an ability.  This is still better than Wednesday night when I chain ran strongholds and got nothing but the same ability over and over.

As such I thought I would go over my build this morning and talk about my choices a bit.

Primary Weapon – Cycle of Pain – LMG

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This is one of the new acquisitions of the evening, and I am largely using it because the Sledgehammer with its slow rate of fire but decent punch with little recoil is my favorite archetype of the Light Machine Guns.  The perk called Marksman’s Swiftness makes it so that weak point hits increase weapon rate of fire by 10% for 10 seconds… and this stacks to 10.  In practice what this seems to mean is that if you can nail the weak point you get an improved rate of fire without added recoil making this thing just melt targets.  It reminds me a lot of how it felt to tear through things in Destiny 1 with Fabian Strategy, which is a weapon that only I seemed to like…  but I loved it.

Secondary Weapon – Ralner’s Blaze – Assault Rifle

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I’ve dropped Thunderbolt of Yvenia from my secondary slot for the time being only because this is also a brand new weapon and I am getting used to playing with it.  The perk is really vague, but what it means in practice is that you seem to constantly seem to be igniting targets given that it is fairly easy to hold this on target.  I like the feel of it quite a bit and it seems to do a reasonable job of just deleting lower tier trash mobs, which admittedly is nice that Grandmaster finally feels like that for me.

Assault Launcher – Recurring Vengeance – Seeking Missile

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This is a new acquisition from the night…  Recurring Vengeance which is an impact detonator and seems to pack a much harder base punch that the Argo’s Spite.  In my experience lots of people rock crowd control abilities, like frost or fire fields…  which means with double detonators I can just constantly sit back and be always blowing things up.  If I do need to prime my own targets, this allows me to use my melee way more liberally given that I get one of the primer melee options as a ranger.   So far the one two punch of melee to Seeking Missile can just delete a lot of targets, or at the very least make them hurt significantly.  If need be I can follow up with another melee and my next attack to finish it off.  While I don’t have any of my favorite combos in Masterwork form…  this works well enough for the time being.  I love the perk on this one that allows me to get back my charge if I can finish off an enemy with this attack.

Grenade Launcher – Last Argument – Frag Grenade

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I am super thankful that I managed to pull this ability, because Frag Grenade is sort of the most basic utilitarian detonation option for Rangers.  It doesn’t have the best package of inscriptions….  namely I wish it had something other than sniper seeing as I will probably NEVER use sniper in a serious way.  However the fact that it buffs my E ability by 31% speed is pretty phenomenal…  so even if I don’t manage to kill the target I am going to get it recycling pretty fast.  The perk of Last Argument which is hitting enemies causes you to gain 700% Ultimate Charge… which I assume is 700% of the amount you would normally gain for hitting someone with a grenade?  Whatever the case what this means in practice is that my ultimate charges really fast…  and I love this.  For those who have fought Hive Tyrant, you will know that it disappears every so often and you have a trash round to fight through.  I got enough ultimately during the trash out to predictably have my Ultimate or as I keep trying to call it… Super…  up for the next Hive Tyrant burn phase.  This is so damned amazing and makes me way more free with using my Ultimate knowing I can get it back pretty fast by lobbing grenades.

As far as the components go… right now I am just using the ones that fit this build the best for the moment.  However only having two Masterwork components so far greatly limits me.  As I said at the start of this… doing group content… having double detonators makes this work insanely well as someone is constantly applying a status effect that you can exploit.  In solo play however I find myself priming with melee a lot more often to get my own combos…  which still makes double detonators a very viable option.  I like to always be making things explode, even though the ranger explodey options are nowhere near as over the top as the other classes.  What I need to improve on is more efficient use of my DPS boost aura during burn phases.

What are your thoughts about a double detonator build?  What are you finding that is working really well for you… and more important if you are a Grandmaster Ranger…  what the hell build are you leaning on?  I am just happy that I feel like I have pushed out of that “high center” feeling phase to where I finally feel like I am a contributing member of the stronghold and not just being hopelessly carried.

 

Anthem Wishlist

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Yesterday’s post and the follow up reactions that continue to flow through the twitter thread that I started a few days ago have been interesting.  Firstly I have no problem if someone simply checks out of the game because it isn’t for them.  This emerging genre of “MMO Lite” games just isn’t for everyone.  If you didn’t like Destiny, Division, Warframe or even Monster Hunter World in the way its interaction worked…  then you are not likely going to like Anthem either.  Of those I am not a fan of Warframe at all really, and was luke warm towards Division…  but Destiny and Monster Hunter World were strongly in my wheelhouse.  My commentary in general has been about folks going out of their way to express their anger over the game.  The thing is… the game has flaws.  They are not big enough flaws to keep me from enjoying it, but there are definitely flaws there.

This morning I thought I would take a bit and go through some of the things that I wish the game did differently.  As such this post is more or less going to be my wish list for Anthem.  Be warned this is likely going to be a train of thought post with little organization.  As is often the case with unorganized content…  this is going to be in a bullet list form.  May god have mercy on your souls.

  • Mini Map – The world of Anthem is very intricate with full usage of lots of different levels of verticality…  as such flying from point A to point B is never that clear and as such I find myself opening my map often trying to figure out where the hell I am going.  One of two things happens… either I overheat and go crashing down wherever I happen to be hovering because I could not be bothered to get to safety before doing so…  or I get sniped by a Scar.  I would love some form of a mini map that we can toggle on and use for navigation purposes.
  • Waypoints – In a similar vein…  the game does a good job of giving you waypoints on missions to reach the objective with icons that show where you should turn next to get there.  I want the ability to set my own waypoint in the world and have this same advisement system turned on to direct me there.
  • World Events Markers – I want to see all active world events at all times.  The world is too big for me to efficiently stumble across an event, and god forbid if you are doing it on harder difficulty modes with randomly matched people…  that you will get any help in doing said event you magically stumbled across.  Guidance towards events would be beneficial.
  • Strider Redeploy – There are many different Striders out in the wilds…  there should be the ability to redeploy at a Strider closer to the action.  I mean it happens if you die, but there should be a more formal system that allows you to pick a new strider and respawn closer to wherever a World Event is happening.
  • Corpse Waypoint – One of the most frustrating experiences I have had is you are working on a World Event…  and then you die…  and you have no clue where the World Event was happening in relation to the Strider that you just spawned in on.  Would be cool if you got a bonus of some sort for going back to the point of your death and taking down whatever mob killed you.
  • Larger Freeplay – I ultimately expected Freeplay to be more like Patrols in Destiny, where you are randomly matched with whoever else happens to be in that area and as you move between sub zones…  you get a different population of players.  The problem is right now when you go into Freeplay, you are matched with 3 other players…  who are often times on completely different ends of the map making the challenge of actually completing anything very difficult unless you bring your own four player team.  Essentially Freeplay needs two modes…  matched with 4 players and a subzone matching system like Destiny Patrols.
  • Better Hit Advisement – right now there are often times when I am being hit by something but I have no clue by what.  Last night there was a moment when I thought I was being hit by something in front of me… but in reality a shotgunner had snuck up behind me and was hitting me in the back.  I would like to see them implement a sort of “your damage came from this direction” system.
  • Better Quickplay Incentivization – Quickplay should be something that is incentivized better than it actually is.  Right now there are problems with about half of the Quickplay sessions being in some form of a bugged state, and that is something I am sure they are working on.  I’ve seen reddit commentary from Devs stating as much.  What concerns me more however is that after you have finished leveling… there really doesn’t seem to be much of a reason for playing Quickplay especially once you are completely decked out in level 36 purples.  At the end of a match for Quickplaying in… you are pretty much guaranteed two pieces of loot and I have NEVER seen these be a Masterwork.  Joining Quickplay should be considered a positive thing for the community given that you are filling a slot in a group that was otherwise empty…  more often than not because someone abandoned a mission.  There should be some reasonable reward for doing this thing that helps out the community as a whole.
  • Better Grandmaster+ Incentivization – Right now Grandmaster rank doesn’t necessarily feel like it is respectful of my time.  There is a big jump from Hard to Grandmaster and while I am struggling along…  I am also feeling like I don’t have an awful lot to show for my effort.  Other than weapons… which you can get in Hard mode and below I have 1 Component and 4 abilities that are all from the same slot…  none of which really help me to be more efficient in Grandmaster so that I have a hope in hell of moving at some point to Grandmaster 2.  I also feel like I have a better shot at loot in running World Events than doing QuickPlay or Strongholds, given that anything that drops other than orange gear is largely useless to a player once they have reached Grandmaster.  I hope that the Anthem team takes the post to heart that Travis Day from Diablo 3 loot 2.0 fame made on the Reddit.
  • Mass Dismantle System – This goes hand in hand with a comment I made above… that once you reach a certain point in the game any drops that are below purple are completely useless to the player… and honestly MOST purple drops are completely useless.  The current dismantling system is cumbersome and what we really need is a version of the Diablo 3 Smith system where you can say “dismantle all of a specific color” so I could grind all whites, greens, blues…  sift through the purples manually…  or once I am fully orange grind them as well.  This needs to exist in all three places where you can do this functionality…  on the post mission screen, the vault screen and the forge screen.  Similarly there needs to be a way to flag items as “Do Not Dismantle” and then let you grind everything else without that status.
  • General UI Tweaks – Anthem is a game without a great UI.  Many things are cumbersome or obtuse.  I think there just needs to be a general pass rethinking how the players interact with the UI and improving its responsiveness.  Additionally especially when Dismantling there are times when the UI just bugs out and you have to exit and get all the way back into the menu structure to get it responding again.  UI/UX needs a lot of love here,  because as a long time developer myself… I can look past it, but it will stop a lot of users straight in their tracks.
  • Ease Transition Between Hard and Grandmaster – This is mostly important because of the stinginess of the loot system right now…  means I feel like I am struggling transitioning between Hard and Grandmaster and that there is nothing much that I can do to ease that transition.  The feeling I get is like when you can first step into Torment 1 in a Diablo Season… and you can kill stuff…  but you aren’t doing it efficiently and nowhere near fast enough to push through a Greater Rift in time.  This gets eased a bit as you get better loot to drop, but in Diablo… you can always drop down a tier to make it more efficient while still getting the same loot.  There is a barrier between Hard and Grandmaster in that you simply cannot get the items you actually need to progress…  namely components and abilities to drop at a Masterwork level in anything below Grandmaster 1.  So I feel stuck, in that I have limited ways for me to actually better my situation.  I will grind through this barrier, but a lot of people will not and will get hung up here.  Essentially the only difference between the itemization of these tiers should be the frequency of drops.  So Hard…  Masterworks should be super infrequent but you do have the ability to get anything from the pool… just super rarely.  Grandmaster 1… Masterworks should be more plentiful, on a similar loot timer to Diablo 3… if one has not dropped in X minutes then drop one while Legendaries should be super rare.  Grandmaster 2…  timer to Masterwork lowers and the frequency of Legendaries increases as well.  Grandmaster 3…  hot and cold Masterworks running out of the Tap and again ratcheting up that chance of seeing a Legendary.  I don’t think you ever want Legendaries to feel common…  because I can see them like Diablo to continue adding tiers of difficulty on top of GM3.

I am certain the second I stop this list I will think of another dozen items that should have gone on it.  I may add those throughout the course of the day as I am off doing other things.  However like I said…  I am more than happy to admit that Anthem is not a game without flaws.  However I view it as a work in progress as ALL MMOs are…  since they have a live patching cycle that comes along and tweaks things.  I am sure all of the systems that are in the game now were put in with the best of intentions, but seeing how users interact with your creation often times makes you view it in a completely different light.  I learned this as a developer years ago, and you have to be willing to react to the situation post release and be willing to admit you were wrong about some of those cool features that you really liked in the development cycle.

Was there anything I should have put on this list?  Chime in with comments to let me know what I missed.

Anthem Hatred

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The last week or so have been really weird for me personally, because of the current climate surrounding Anthem.  It is making me realize how apparently vastly different my tastes in games are from that of the zeitgeist. I mean I have known for years that I am not even vaguely close to the norm for society as a whole.  However I didn’t realize that I was apparently so out of band for how the rest of my chosen community… gamers… felt about games.

See the problem at hand is I love Anthem.  It delivers on a player fantasy of controlling a mech suit and going through interesting combat with anime missiles while allowing me to roam around through this meticulously detailed and rich world with my friends while doing it.  That is a strong player fantasy for me… someone who grew up loving Robotech with all of my heart. Enough that I convinced my parents to take me to a Robotech convention as a kid.

However right now this game is reaping a heap of negative sentiments everywhere I turn.  The worst seem to be coming from YouTubers who are practically branding the game a serial killer and known toddler juggler.  I may be more on the defensive than I should be, because I do love this game… and I also loved another game that these so called “Influencers” completely destroyed.

Now we go back to the whole… my tastes seem to be out of band with the rest of society commentary.  I LOVED Mass Effect Andromeda. I thought it was a great game, and one that did not warrant the ton of bullshit memes that were dropped upon it.  Within a few days of the launch of the game a series of patches came through and fixed most of the issues that were so heavily meme’d on the internet.

However the influencer crew make their money by getting those early clicks within the first few days of the launch of a game.  If you listen to any major YouTuber that is willing to talk shop, they will tell you that they make the majority of their money in the two weeks surrounding the launch of a game.  This is so much the case that often times if a copyright flag happens after that two weeks… they don’t even bother contesting it because the potential money has already been made.

So in order to get those eyeballs they rely the human nature that we are way more likely to watch something that aligns to our hatred of something…  than we are to watch something that either goes against our feelings or aligns to the joy of a thing. This outrage economy has lead us to have people like Angry Joe…  that make a string of videos about them being angry about video games. That is the thing he does… he gets pissed off about things and dresses up in costumes while being pissed off about things.  If you want to be pissed off about something, then bam he has an entire channel full of it.

I’ve been engaging in this on Twitter over the last few days and I feel like…  this isn’t even about Anthem itself. There is a ball of rage about how things are working right now in the video game industry and it seems to have perched on top of this title.  People hate Electronic Arts with the deep burning hatred of a million suns. People are mad at Bioware and feeling wronged by Mass Effect 3’s ending, Mass Effect Andromeda and daring to make a game that is different from the traditional Bioware fare.  People are angry at the live services model and games being released in an incremental drip rather than one big single player epic for that $60… not to mention that the actual price of buying all of the content in most games tends to be something closer to $150 rather than that $60 price point we have stuck in our mind.

People are angry about the perceived lack of value in games right now, however… that $60 we paid in 2000 was worth just shy of 90 of our 2019 dollars.  Because we seem completely affixed with religious fervor to never paying more than 60 dollars for a product or preferably paying significantly less than that…  what we get as a result is missing features or in the case of Anthem a game that is being delivered incrementally as a live service throughout the course of the year.

Over the course of the last 10 days I have spent right at 80 hours playing Anthem and have loved the time spent.  The weekends skew those numbers… but I have legitimately put in almost 8 hours a day in this game. I loved the story and the characters I encountered.  I loved all of the little nuance and detail to the world and the moment to moment feel of the player fantasy of controlling a mech suit in a way that no other game has really delivered on.  So as a result it is hard to watch this thing that I have spent so much time enjoying being ripped asunder by the same people who did a similar hit job on Andromeda.

Which again leads me back to the original statement.  My tastes are apparently completely out of band for the tastes of gamers in general.  So not only am I not representative of the population as a whole, which I learned over and over growing up.  I am also not apparently representative of this adopted community of gamers. So basically.. Like often is the case I feel alone in a crowd of folks who feel massively different than I do.  So in the end… I am going to keep enjoying the game and hoping for the best… and putting on blinders to the people who are hating on it.

This week has been a weird one…  but I will move past it because I have a game that I am enjoying playing.  The folks that are bashing Anthem just have some hatred for something they are apparently not enjoying.  I will gladly take a game I am having fun with over being told I shouldn’t be enjoying it. Maybe at some point in the future my tastes will once again align to the Zeitgeist but for the time being I am going to latch onto Anthem with both arms and hold tight because this game takes me back to running around the living room with a Cyclone and an Invid Fighter having elaborate mech battles.

Normal Masterworks

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This morning I thought I would do something a little different and try some show and tell.  One of the data sets that I have been thus far unable to find is a list of all of the Masterworks that can drop in the sub Grandmaster 1 modes.  The devs talked about this during one of the streams but there is a partial loot pool available before you enter the Grandmaster difficulty levels.  There are a few Masterwork weapons that can drop in Easy, Normal and Hard difficulties as a sort of way to help ease your progression into the Grandmaster tiers.  However no one specifically calls out what these Masterworks actually are.  Seeing that GM1 drops you off the deep end into a pool that includes all of the the rest of the weapons, components and inscriptions…  if you are wanting a specific weapon that CAN drop at lower tiers…  it will be by virtue of a smaller loot pool much easier to get in a lower mode.

I apparently have been extremely lucky, combined with the fact that I have been running content with friends nowhere near my level range…  which means we are choosing Normal difficulty instead of something more difficult.  I am still seeing a significant number of Masterworks dropping for me personally, and as such have pieces together most of the weapons available in this loot pool.  I have a sneaking feeling that there is an Auto Cannon and a Grenade Launcher available as well… but seeing as I do not main Colossus I have yet to see either of these.  I have however been spending a lot more time on the Colossus in an attempt to get one of them to drop so I can complete the list.  Additionally this will let you see what I mean by there is some Diablo DNA in the way this loot works.

Assault Rifle – Elemental Rage

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I got my first masterworks to drop sub level cap… and this combined with the next one that I will talk about dropped at the same time.  Unfortunately I have not earned a higher light version of this weapon, but I have been working on unlocking the pattern so I can craft one.  The perk of this weapon is Veteran’s Furor which cause a buff to stack anytime you hit an elite enemy.  When you gain a stack of 20 there is a audible sound queue to let you know that your buff is completely primed…  at which point your next elemental damage ability deals 5% bonus damage per stack so more than likely you are going to use this for 100% bonus damage when you hit a full stack.  Other than that it is based off the Defender Assault Rifle which is my favorite of the available options and full auto with manageable recoil.

Heavy Pistol – Avenging Herald

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This was the second weapon I got and ever since have gotten a lot more of them.  This is considered to be one of the stronger early Masterworks because of the fact that its perk can stack.  The perk Raptor’s Deadeye gives you 200% increased weapon damage while hovering, and this is a suit level ability and not specific to this weapon.  So that means you can throw this is your second slot and utilize it with whatever primary weapon you have equipped.  Additionally the buff stacks if you are dual wielding these, which could be extremely brutal for storm builds given that the weapon has a shockingly long effective range for a pistol.

Light Machine Gun -Artinia’s Gambit

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This was the third weapon that I got to drop, and honestly end up using it more than pretty much anything else because I tend to favor LMG/Assault Rifles greatly.  If I spent the time to earn the Elemental Rage pattern, this would probably get tossed in the vault because it is not necessarily particularly good.  The perk doesn’t have a name…  but it causes a detonation to occur when you reload the weapon.  However it specifically calls out “immediate area” which should instead be read as point blank range.  This is useful if I am feeling froggy and decide to melee something as a ranger which primes the target… and gives me a fast way of detonating said target while I am still up close and personal.  However for other uses it isn’t terribly effective.  If it would detonate the whatever I was targetting…  then it would be a really great option for detonatorless builds.

Machine Pistol – Unending Battle

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Prior to getting this weapon I had never really used a Machine Pistol in part because it didn’t seem like an archetype that I really was super interested in.  However this is effectively a submachinegun from any other game… up close melt machine that does nonsensical damage but you have to pretty much be at point blank range.  The perk is called Gladiator’s Wrath and feeds into this role for the weapon because hitting an enemy in point-blank range increases weapon and melee damage by 110% for 5 seconds.  It would have been better if it was some sort of a stacking buff, but I will take it and it really does make this weapon helpful for clearing anything that runs up on you.

Sniper Rifle – Wyvern Blitz

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This is the weapon I have used the absolute least, but pairs nicely with the whole hovering makes weapons awesome trope.  Snipers are just not my thing, but having used this a little bit it seems perfectly reasonable.  Pending you can hit a weak point…  doing so while hovering increases the damage by 40%…  and if you have an Avenging Herald in the second slot…  it gains another 200%.  I really can’t say much since I don’t use this style of weapon much… it seemed adequate for sniping things.

Shotgun – Papa Pump

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Papa Pump has probably the best name of any of the weapons I have encountered and is an upgraded version of the Scattershot…  which is a weapon that really wants to be fired in close range.  One of the interesting things about this weapon is that reloading gives it a 100% boost in damage… and this stacks to 2.  What this means in practice is if you are in a situation where you can pump this twice in a row as it were you can get a 200% boost for 15 seconds which is probably more than enough time to unload one entire round of shots.  I have not been able to use it much but this seems like it is going to be a boss melt weapon, or at the very least taking out elite and legendary mobs.  It helps that it looks as cool as it sounds.

Marskman Rifle – Thunderbolt of Yvenia

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While the “Scout” is not exactly my favorite of the Marksman Rifles it does a reasonable job of representing the closest thing we have to the Destiny Scout rifle in Anthem.  The unnamed perk is that the weapon has a 33% chance to strike the mob with electrical damage…  that does way more than the actual shot.  In practice this just nukes whatever you are targeting whenever the proc occurs, and it also has a side effect of completely wrecking mob shields.  This was the very last weapon that I saw drop in the list I am showing off today, but it has immediately become my secondary weapon because my preferred build out for Ranger is a LMG/Assault in slot one and a Marksman in slot two giving me a lot of flexibility of engagement range.  So far I am super happy with how this weapon feels.

Just to summarize what I said before.  All seven of these weapons can drop in any of the game modes, including Easy if you get lucky enough to see a Masterwork drop there.  I am not really sure if there is any rhyme or reason about how Masterworks drop, but I have tended to see them most off from boss encounters and treasure chests at the end of world events.  My first pair of Masterworks dropped from the encounter that asks you to fight three titans at the same time… and each one dropped from a different titan.  I’ve been fairly lucky in that I am getting a couple a night regardless of what I happen to be doing.  Where I am less lucky is in actually getting components and abilities to drop while doing Grandmaster 1 content.  Regardless I thought I would give the players who might be reading my blog and have yet to hit the level cap a preview of what they can get from the lower level modes of the game.

Hitting Level Cap

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

Anthem Credit Roll

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Last night I got the credits roll for Anthem.  It happened sooner than I would have liked but considering what sort of game Anthem was…  it honestly provided about as much content as I was expecting.  At the point of finishing the final mission I had logged about 37 hours worth of game play.  It took me roughly 20 hours to get to the point in Destiny 2 where I had beaten the main story arc for the first time.  It is hard to actually compare the two however since I didn’t really focus fire the Main Story Quest in either game.  There was a lot more distractions along the way in Anthem and I took them and latched onto them with both arms.

I spent a lot of time talking to the various NPCs as new conversations opened up and spent a significant amount of time running down side quest chains.   Pretty much anytime I felt like I was nearing a major jumping point in the story, I went through a sequence where I burned down every bit of side quest content that I had available to me…  which was a lot.  I read the dialog…  occasionally contemplated what was being said and it allowed me to piece together fine details about Fort Tarsis and the extremely rich setting that is Bastion…  which is only one such area of the Anthem world.

If you set out a laser focus on ONLY beating the story… you could probably do it in about 10 hours total whereas the Destiny 2 equivalent of that would probably take you about 5 hours.  Largely I am throwing the comparisons out just to prepare you for the expected scale of the initial content release.  To use another Bioware game as an example… I spent a little over 90 hours playing my way through Mass Effect Andromeda… and yes I am still bitter that we never got any DLC content for it.  Essentially Anthem is a game that provides a bit of story that is adequately scaled for the sort of Looter Shooter gameplay experience that it is.  However there is a richness to the world and characters that Destiny 2 failed to deliver…  without copious amounts of piecing things together outside of the game.

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If you are avoiding talking to the side characters or completing the secondary objectives…  then you are honestly missing a lot of the magic that is Anthem.  While the characters are fundamentally different than the ones you encounter in Mass Effect or Dragon Age…  they are somewhat serving a different purpose.  Each character interaction that you have builds upon the larger world that is Fort Tarsis and the territories beyond.  Each story acts as a vehicle for delivering a vignette that fills in another gap in the picture of what is happening… and quite regularly the arc that happens with character A will bleed into the arc that happens with character B and C later down the line.  There is a delightful interconnectedness that happens with Anthem that I greatly enjoyed.

In the above screenshot you can see a fountain in the courtyard of Fort Tarsis that evolves over time from being a completely abandoned moss clogged mess to being a thriving hub for social gatherings.  You can also see the two Lancer statues at the back end of the courtyard restored to glory…  both events happen as you play through the game and interact with other characters creating a subtle sense that your actions really did change the setting of the game.  I think of this as similar to the way that Rowena rebuilds an area in each Final Fantasy XIV expansion that slowly progresses and gets more intricate as additional patch content is released.

Sure there are no romances and you don’t get a cast of supporting characters that respond to your commands, but I don’t think either of these would have worked with the sort of story that Anthem is telling.  That is not to say that at some point down the road there is not room for both to happen, but I think that is not really their focus right now.  However nothing is set in stone because if you look at the sweeping changes that occurred to Elder Scrolls Online between the client that launched and the current juggernaut that exists today.  I have not doubt that tweaks will be applied as we move through the content cycle.  I am very curious to see what the content drops that are coming end up looking like, because I feel like they have equal opportunity to impress or disappoint.

All of the elements of Anthem built up to provide me a very enjoyable experience.  I maybe lucked out and did not encounter much in the way of bugs during the almost 40 hours I have played since last Friday.  Now that additional players are entering the fray, I am hoping that Bioware is capable of scaling the servers up smoothly to provide for a solid “official” launch.  For now however I feel like Anthem is well worth your time and attention in spite of all of the confusing drama that seems to be surrounding it.  I keep thinking that they are playing a vastly different game than the one I have been playing.  Sure there were things that could be smoother, but in the grand scheme of things I have loved the experience so far.

Some additional resources for those entering the game today…  I have been keeping a Roster of players Origin account information seeing as there is no way to import friends from other platforms.  If you want to add your own information to the list the Sign-Up form is here.  Adding friends had the side benefit of helping to progress the Alliance system that I do not fully understand… but it appears to be some sort of gold payout based on your “doing stuff in the game”, and how much your friends have also “done stuff in the game”.  Naithin has talked a little bit about the system over on the Time to Loot blog, but I still don’t feel like I have a firm grasp on it.   I look forward to more of you joining those of us who did the silly thing and paid for faster access to the game.

Big Patch Time

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I am still sick this morning, but I am hoping I will feel better throughout the day.  At this point I have taken off a day and a half and in my position that only worked because I had a couple of very light days meeting wise.  This is the worst part about being sick as an adult the feel that you need to keep working through it or else things will fall apart.  This is complicated by the fact that I have something silly like 400 hours of sick leave banked…  but if we take more than 40 hours in a six month period human resources seems to freak out about it.  That means in practice that I try and ration my usage just in case something goes horribly south like last January when I got the actual name brand flu.

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I am still playing a not insignificant amount of Anthem.  At this point the Origin client has me at 33 hours since the spreadsheet launch last Friday.  Were it not for a handful of circumstances that got in the way of my gameplay that number probably would have been much higher.  Still that is a fair amount of time to log into any game during its first week, and in part a good deal of why is that I have been sitting on the couch trying not to die from horrible feeling.  The last two days have allowed me to log more time than I normally would have into a game like this and as such I am further along in the storyline than I probably would be otherwise.  I am sorta sensing I am either near the end or near some sort of a bit confrontation…  and because of this my natural delaying tactics have kicked in and I seem to be doing anything other than playing the main story quest.  I’ve done this at several points now… where I completely farmed down everything else that was available to me other than the main story quest and I am going through that pattern once again.

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As far as my loadout of choice goes…  you can see what I have equipped at a high level in the above screenshot.  Firstly the combo I am leaning heavily on is Inferno Grenade to apply a status and Pulse Blast to detonate said status.  Both items deal a lot of damage on their own, but when combined they do a fair job of destroying the Scar bigbois.  If you can land the grenade and the pulse blast at medium to close range you can often times two shot them.  As far as weapons go my loadout of choice there tends to be either an Auto Rifle or a Light Machine Gun for slot 1 and a Marksman Rifle for slot 2.  This gives me a good combination of up close melting power with the ability to pick off targets at range if I so choose.  The reason why I go Marksman over Sniper is the fact that if I run out of primary ammo…  I can still kill things up close and personal with a Marksman Rifle whereas I really cannot with a Sniper.  I am currently suffering a drought of Inferno Grenades and since the Blue Pattern doesn’t seem to exist in the game right now I don’t have a crafting option to make up for it.

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Last night a little over 4 gb patch landed and it took forever to download…  which at first I thought was Origin being Origin…  but in the end I realized that it was my gigabit ethernet card being dumb again.  I have this bug that if I ever need to cycle the router…  my network card for some reason drops down to 10 meg mode.  The only way to get it back to its full speed is to disable the NIC and re-enable it again.  Once I went upstairs and took care of that the patch finished in seconds.  You can see the full patch notes here, but there are a large round of major tweaks.  The first big noticeable one for me personally is the above screen that you now see whenever you hop in your Javelin.  It simplifies your gameplay options rather than the weird pick an icon on the map method that previously was employed.  It greatly streamlines the process which I appreciate, and definitely makes it easier to get into QuickPlay or Freeplay faster.

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As one of the folks loving the game… it feels real bad to see a lot of the free floating sodium that seems to be surrounding this game in the content creator community.  I am not entirely certain what they were expecting, but the camp seems to fall along two lines…  either the game isn’t as good in the moment to moment gameplay as other titles on the market or that the game doesn’t have the rich storytelling that Bioware is known for.  There is a third camp of trolls that just like pointing out bugs in games and being an asshole about it, but I don’t really consider them to have any merit since we live in a magical time where one massive patch like  the one that rolled out yesterday can fix a ton of them in a single pass.  I feel like the first two however have merit, but I think it is more likely a case of misplaced expectations rather than problems with the actual game itself.  What I went into Anthem expecting was something that felt like Mass Effect Multiplayer combined with some story building and a bunch of characters on the same tier as Doctor Chakwas, and that is more or less what I received.

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In truth what I got was a game that felt way better than Mass Effect multiplayer, and a cast of characters that I feel are way more engaging than Doctor Chakwas was…  that ultimately weave a story about this new world that I am interested in exploring.  I never expected the gunplay perfection that is Destiny, but what I gained instead was the ability to move freely and think in all three axis to solve combat problems.  I think there is a lot of depth here in what we can do and the builds that we can create, and it also gives them a ton of room to grow the experience over the coming year.  They have already stated that they intend on adding new gear and new Javelins, which will keep remixing the experience.  The only glaring problem I see right now is the fact that there are only two strongholds at launch, which based on my experiences with FFXIV patch cycles…  two is never enough dungeons to keep players from getting bored out of their skulls.  With QuickPlay being the equivalent to the FFXIV Roulette system…  players are going to have the dungeon they like to play and the dungeon they really hope they don’t get which is always the case.

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Tam however was completely right about me and QuickPlay.  Right now when I don’t necessarily want to engage in something seriously…  I hop into QuikPlay because in general in my experience it tends to put you in towards the end of a mission.  I’ve joined literally moments from getting awarded treasure which also feels odd…  but more often than not is an easy two blue items and a small bit of experience.  Last night I experienced my first time that it dropped me in from the very start of the mission, but even then it felt pretty chill because it wasn’t MY quest completion riding on the line.  I knew that if I needed to bail I could exit out at any point, but in practice worked my butt off to make sure that the other player got through the mission.  It is so weird how when I join other players I tend to do way better than I do when I am completely solo.  I think it might simply be a case of having already experienced the mission and intrinsically knowing where I should and should not go in order to complete it.

Ultimately I am still having a blast playing the game.  I suggest you push past the criticism and give the game a shot for yourself on Friday.  Right now some of the biggest critics also seem to be some of the biggest supporters of Anthems competitor The Division 2, so I question their motives.  Seeing as Division 2 releases almost exactly one month after Anthem…  I am wondering if they are concerned that a success for Anthem would pull away players from The Division.  In my case at least after playing both Demos… I was way more engaged with the story and interactions in Anthem than Division 2.  I personally hope both launches are successful and that they both find their communities.  I realize there are a limited number gamers and due to the unrealistic expectations of investors… it turns a game launch into a zero sum experience, but I just wish it didn’t cause so much salt and hyperbole.

The First Loop

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At this point I am trying to keep my blog fairly spoiler free given that the game is not out yet for a ton of people.  I still find that concept really odd, but I am pushing past it because I see that as an EA thing and not necessarily a Bioware thing.  When I have a major fork in the road coming up in a game I tend to spend a significant amount of time avoiding it.  I am not sure why I do this thing but it happens constantly.  I am in the final stretch to the “end” of Assassin’s Creed Origins…  but have not played the game since I realized that.  In Anthem I knew something major was about to happen, but I was not exactly sure what… and as a result I spent most of my evening avoiding playing through the only quest that I happened to have in my journal.  As a result I spent a lot of time roaming around last night in Freeplay mode while watching Umbrella Academy, which seems pretty great so far.  However given the events of the quest that I had been seemingly avoiding…  I wish I had done this at the beginning of the night rather than the end of the night so I could see more of the story.

Anthem threw me its first loop, because up until now most everything had largely been predictable.  I was not expecting what happened last night to change the entire tempo of the game from this point forward…  and I like that a lot.  So often my wife and I will be watching something on television…  and I throw out a random statement as soon as I get the idea a thing is going to happen.  The other night it happened during one of the medical procedural that she likes to watch, and they were setting something up…  and I blurted out what I thought they were setting up.  In the end it turned out to be exactly what I was thinking because earlier in the show they had set up a character only to kill it off, and talked about a specific medical procedure as an offhand reference.  This happens with games as well that often times I can see the train coming before it arrives at the station…  recent example when FFXIV introduced the “Shadowhunter” character I pinged Tam who was further along in the story than I was at that point and made my guess that turned out to be completely on the nose.

As such I really appreciate it when a game can throw me for a loop and in hindsight all of the clues were there waiting for me…  but I didn’t piece them together because I was too engaged with the content to notice the signs.  I love it when a game shocks me…  and even though this is probably on the lower tier scale of shocks it was still an extremely good experience to go through.  If you have played through the content to this point you will know what I am talking about.  However please keep the comment section spoiler free in respect for the people who have yet to get their hands on the game.  Some folks are stuck behind having played their 10 hours already, and another batch simply purchased the game and cannot play because they can’t or won’t pay the $15 tax to get immediate access.  However I find it refreshing that the game can shift gears and change what sort of a story that is playing out in front of us.  The fact that I am wearing my N7 decal (which I spent my accumulated coins on purchasing from the Forge) makes the above screenshot feel like a Mass Effect game seeing as I go with the green, red, black and white color scheme in that game as well.

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Another thing I thought I would mention this morning is something that had been bugging me up until this point.  In my friends list I would see players with backgrounds behind their name and could not for the life of me figure out how to set this.  Copious amounts of googling yielded no results either with me calling it a Nameplate or even after getting the correct term a Banner.  I realized in yesterdays post that my friend Naithin had one of these nameplates so I figured I would ask them about it.  So in order to get to the above screen… you have to hop in your javelin and then click over to the squad tab that is shown on that screen.  You will see a number of options and one of them is hold right mouse to change banner image, or I assume something equivalent will show up if you are on a console or using a controller.  This will pop up this screen and give you a bunch of different pictures and backgrounds to choose from…  I have no clue where the larger image is used but the textured background shows up pretty much everywhere in the game.

I think now is the time for us to talk about one of the glaring issues that Anthem has…  it has a horrible UI.  I am certainly hoping that none of my friends at Bioware were responsible for said UI, because I would feel bad in saying this.  However it just does not behave in the manner that I would expect it to… and everything seems to be more cumbersome than it should be to interact with.  The fact that I could not for the life of me figure out how to change my nameplate is a prime example of this.  It required me to be on a very specific screen that I never actually clicked over to in order to find it.  When I have set up a squad I have done so before actually getting in my Javelin, so it seems like an odd design decision to bury that option on a screen you can bypass ever going to.  However I thought I would post it on the blog in case like me you were curious and clueless.

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I spent a little time trying to play the Storm again last night… and nope…  I am absolutely a Ranger through and through.  I just feel squishy as a Storm as compared to how I feel in the Ranger.  I know it is largely a play style thing… and my default play style is to get up and personal in the heat of the action and run around dodging incoming attacks.  What the storm wants you to be is a hovering long ranged damage platform, that casts spells tactically on the battlefield below them.  I should probably give Colossus another try and play with the slam all the shields nonsense it offers.  When I hit my next unlock I will likely be spending it on that Javelin.  However my true love will probably always be the Ranger.  I hope you all find that Javelin that is the perfect fit for you as the game officially launches this coming Friday.  Strong Alone, Stronger Together!

 

Anthem Friend Exchange

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Well here we are… it is officially the day that Anthem launches…  and by launches I mean if you paid a bunch of money you can get access to the game today.  I know several of us did this thing ahead of purchasing the PC version, because in doing so it gives you a discount off the game purchase price in the first place.  The only problem is things are way murkier than they have been in the past.  There are now two tiers of Origin Access…  the $5 a month basic customers and the $15 a month customers.  We are now in an era when you need a spreadsheet to explain when exactly you get to play the damned game.  EA support of course did this thing…  and while I am grousing about it I do not necessarily blame Bioware for this apart from the fact that they allowed themselves to get bought years ago.

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So if you are dumb like me and went ahead and ponied up for a month or two of Premier…  then you can start playing Anthem legitimately today at 9 am Central Standard Time.  I will unfortunately be at work and given that we have freezing rain going on outside I have no clue what my commute is going to look like.  As such I will probably get a super late start tonight and am hoping the servers are stable by the time I actually get home.  If you have Origin Access basic… aka the $5 a month that used to be the only thing that was available…  you get to play a 10 hour head start.  Something of note…  if you are in this camp Origin loves to not fully close games.  I had this happen to me with Andromeda and saw all of my hours tick away while I slept.  Make sure the executable for Anthem is good and dead in Task Manager to prevent this from happening to you.

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For everyone else…  you get to start playing next Friday, which is kinda screwed up that the folks who are paying the $15 premium are going to get one full weeks worth of game before the folks who simply ordered the game.  This is a frustrating situation and I am weak as fuck for playing into the “buying early access” game model.  The real question is… I have no clue what this is going to do to the grouping dynamic and how far of a gap between characters is completely reasonable.  We didn’t really pay attention to levels during the demo but wound up largely within a level or two of each other given the very limited range that was possible.  We all mostly capped out at 15 by the end, and while I think we pulled in someone who was around 10…  it wasn’t really a noticeable issue.

I am hoping it will be simple to help pull players up and do group content together regardless of the level gap.  This gets into the other major problem with Anthem…  there is no guild/clan system going in at launch.  This combined with how dodgy the Origin client is in general has made me contemplate some sort of alternate way of collecting people who are going to be playing and also occasionally available for grouping.  As such I set up a google sheet this morning to start collecting Origin account information.  Because I didn’t think of a better way to handle this…  there are two parts to the system…  the Sign Up Form and The Roster sheet.  I will be manually copying entries from the Form over to the Sheet… which is honestly the only way I could think to do this without either manually sharing out the Roster or giving everyone Edit access which would go horribly wrong.

Why would I do this thing you ask?  Well it is simple…  Origin is this walled garden disconnected from the other various gaming networks.  It for whatever reason does not seem to understand that we want to group up with people we might know from other platforms and as such has no way of importing users or getting suggestions from other platforms.  There is no twitter or facebook integration, and most certainly nothing like the Steam integration that Epic Games Store has.  So you are stuck trading ids with people on a one by one basis and I figured something like this… would allow a large number of us to catch up in one pass and turn the friends list in Origin into something that is actually useful.  Right now at the time of posting the sheet only has my information but I will be updating it throughout the day and keep posting new names at least once daily after that.

So to summarize:

Hopefully this smooths out the bumps given that this is a bit of a new venture into MMO territory for the Origin client given there was no integration between Origin and SWTOR.  If you think this is a really dumb idea, then I am more than willing to accept those comments.  If you think it is a good idea however…  fill out your info and lets get ready to fly some mech suits!