Anthem, BioWare’s loot-shooter, has had a rough time since releasing in early 2019–so much so that the developer has promised an extensive overhaul. At the beginning of 2020, BioWare said that the update would be a long process, and now some new details about some of the changes being made have been released.
In an update on BioWare’s blog, we’ve been given some more details about the Anthem NEXT update that’s in the works. The post looks at how Javelin builds and skill trees will work after the update, and how they will change gameplay. There are some fundamental shifts here, like components being done away with and a greater emphasis on abilities.
BioWare has presented a series of bullet points explaining how gameplay and builds will change, which you can check out below.
Choice and Experimentation in your Loadout
- All items are categorized to one of the 11 available equipment slots
- Weapons are either Primary or Secondary, allowing distinctiveness in their role
- Mods and Artifact slots replace Components
- Manage Equipment and Abilities in your Loadout Screen
Reliably Create Builds
- Abilities are unlocks, not drops! Play with the Abilities you want, when you want
- Empower your Abilities by equipping them with Mods
- Builds are defined by the synergies of Specializations, Abilities, and Equipment
- Inscriptions improve build synergies, but are no longer the primary factor
Provide Choice and Progression through Skill Trees
- Each Javelin can level up, awarding Skill Points
- Skill points can be spent to unlock Abilities, Passives, and Stat Boosts
- Each Specialization has its own Advanced Skill Tree
Expand on the Fantasy and Playstyles of Each Javelin
- Javelins have access to multiple specializations that cater to different styles of gameplay
- Each Javelin now wields a powerful Artifact that can be customized
Skill trees are being implemented because BioWare has realized that a player’s “Pilot Level” isn’t necessarily a good marker of progress. Players can unlock abilities, passives, triggered abilities, and stat boosts for their Javelins through the skill tree, and can focus on how they want to play to customize their build through the tree. Specializations are being tested now, which would allow players to unlock more powers through an advanced skill tree.
Artefacts, which are extremely powerful, useful pieces of tech, are also being added to the game, replacing components. These will give players more scope for adapting their Javelin, and hopefully lead to more exciting builds.
The developer has previously talked about how the game would overhaul loot, and it all sounds like an improvement. Of course, whether this revitalizes the game’s player base remains to be seen.
Anthem has not officially announced PS5 or Xbox Series X versions or upgrades, but the game is playable on next-gen systems through backwards compatibility.
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