Anthem hit with Masterwork Ember bug shortly after players protest unpopular loot changes

Anthem is having a week. Last Friday, in an effort to improve Anthem's endgame grind and fix a few critical issues - for example, the one crashing PS4s - BioWare released update 1.0.3. Among other things, this update removed common and uncommon items from the reward pool for high-level activities - and by other things, I mean catalyzing the latest in a wearying line of controversies around Anthem's loot system. 

As players quickly noticed, update 1.0.3 also unintentionally buffed the drop rates of Masterwork and Legendary gear. Players were thrilled to see endgame activities regularly reward endgame gear: in a Reddit post with nearly 6,000 upvotes, user -Supp0rt- asked BioWare to keep the overbuffed drop rates. Sadly, the loot rain ended shortly after the update went live when BioWare returned the drop rates to normal. 

Intentional or not, many Anthem players preferred the bugged loot system. In response to this feedback, BioWare live services head Chad Robertson addressed the situation on Twitter, saying, "We appreciate all the feedback from the community on the game. We love the passion and share it. We’re not yet fully happy with the game’s loot behavior either … In the next few months, we’re expecting to make significant changes, but we’re starting with some incremental ones so we can better navigate that evolution." 

More recently, in a Reddit post which has over 10,000 upvotes at the time of this writing, user Afinda encouraged players to protest Anthem's loot system by boycotting the game for a week - this week, in fact. "Bring back the bug and let us taste the loot shower," it reads. "Stop playing from [March 11 - March 15] to make a point." Regardless of whether this movement has any real impact on Anthem's player count, the fact that it's even a thing is pretty telling. 

As if organized protest wasn't enough, another looting bug has come to Anthem, and players really don't like this one. Masterwork Embers, the raw crafting materials used to make Masterwork items, have all but vanished since update 1.0.3. Countless players have reported seeing dramatically lower drop rates on these Embers since the update, most notably in these posts from Reddit users lagrue and 123SpreadOnToast

BioWare community manager Jesse Anderson confirmed that Masterwork Embers are dropping less frequently than they should, and said an incoming fix will "get drop rates back up to what they were before the 1.0.3 update." Of course, that just brings us back to that update, and players clearly weren't happy with that either. The timing of the Ember bug and the rescinded Masterwork drop rates really couldn't have been worse, but they're both just symptoms of a bigger problem with Anthem's loot system. 

Relatedly, here are 11 key Anthem problems that really need to be fixed. 

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.