Studio director Chris Dailey, who recently teased a new pirate faction coming to Anthem 2.0, discussed BioWare's goals for its updated loot system. "A good player experience depends on the loot system being extensible and robust, and a lot can go wrong," he said. "A lot did go wrong. We fell short here and we realized that building something new from the ground up was going to be required – starting with taking a long look and understanding the best in class of the many great games that inspire us."
Dailey outlined a few key pillars for the game's new loot system: respecting every player's time investment, offering more agency when acquiring or customizing loot, building an exciting and rewarding loot system that's also accessible, raising the average loot quality to make drops more reliable, and future-proofing loot by allowing for power increases.
These pillars represent a number of individual changes and ideas – all of which, Daily stressed, represent a work in progress that's subject to change – ranging from increased global drop rates to improved item quality across the board. Here are some of the most important points that Dailey highlighted:
- "You can pursue specific loot without relying on randomness alone" through specialized loot pools tied to vendors, quests, and other activities
- Loot can be modified through inscriptions, and by leveling it up or rerolling it outright
- Inscriptions have a "budget" based on an item's power and rarity
- You'll find rare enemies, described as "walking treasure chests," which give a burst of loot
- Drops are revealed when you get them and can be equipped immediately
- A new equipment sheet that can be accessed anywhere
- "Must-have" inscriptions like Increased Weapon Damage are gone, and exceptional items are instead "about getting the exact types of bonuses you want"
Loot aside, Dailey explained how BioWare has worked to improve Anthem's occasionally lifeless gunplay. "Gunplay is overall more responsive with enemies reacting to hits near instantly with improved client-side prediction, we are looking into the role of melee items and builds, and of course, being able to spend skill points to unlock new types of equipment and synergies," he says.
To close things out, he shared a shot of some new gear based on various enemy factions:
In his previous update, Dailey made it clear that Anthem 2.0 is still a long way out.