Without any fanfare, today BioWare dropped Anthem’s biggest update since the game was released in February. Update 1.3 adds a bunch of new loot, a guild system, and the game’s long-awaited Cataclysm event, which was originally due out in May.
After a rough launch, BioWare announced a series of updates that would be coming to Anthem in March, April, and May as part of the game’s ongoing live service. That never came to pass as a bunch of features, including a guild system and a limited-time event called Cataclysm, were delayed. In June, BioWare invited players on PC to demo Cataclysm on test servers, but console players spent most of the early part of the summer with nothing new to do. Now the wait is finally over.
The event itself revolves around a series of new story missions and a new time trial-based activity, complete with a new seasonal currency players will need to earn in order to collect new gear. The activity doesn’t have a level requirement, so new and old players will be able to try it out with the difficulty adjusted accordingly. There’s also a new guild system, bolstered by a mobile app, which will let players matchmake and pool their weekly experience points in order to earn currency for the game’s cosmetic store more efficiently. The game’s luck stat, which previously affected the likelihood of rare loot dropping, is officially gone, and Legendary Contract missions will now guarantee a Stronghold-level chest upon completion. There’s also a new, melee-specific gear slot for players to customise the stats associated with their melee attack.
While players have been desperate for any bit of new content in the game, Cataclysm’s score-based dungeon runs weren’t necessarily what people had in mind. The game’s loot system, whose problems have been detailed at length, also remains largely the same as it was at launch, and armour customisation is still largely hampered by the lack of options in the game’s cosmetic shop. It remains to be seen if the update is enough to help right the Anthem ship or if it’s too little, too late.