Anthem's latest update delivers a minor refresh and some bug fixes, but the true purpose of the update is much bigger: establishing a schedule for the months ahead, as BioWare works on a fundamental overhaul of the sci-fi looter-shooter.
"With Patch 1.7.0, we are kicking off our recurring schedule," BioWare explains. "The primary focus of this schedule is to deliver a regular rotation of challenges, store offerings, content and game modes, coin and currency awards, gameplay inversions, and mini-holiday seasons throughout the year."
BioWare previously said that, while it diverts most of its resources to overhauling Anthem, new content for the game would come to a crawl, if not a standstill. The plan, as the latest update demonstrates, is to cycle events and store items while leaning on past seasonal and Cataclysm content.
The framework of Anthem's new content schedule is subject to change, and it's unclear exactly how long this schedule will be in place - though "throughout the year" seems a reasonable estimate - but the gist seems to be:
- Rotating daily, weekly, and monthly challenges with Coin and Crystal rewards
- Seasonal modes including Cataclysm, Season of Skulls, and Icetide
- Gameplay Inversions "scheduled separately to create more combinations and support diversity in week-to-week content throughout the year"
- Small holiday events lasting one to four weeks with unique challenges
This isn't the road map that anyone wanted for Anthem, but this reduced schedule will hopefully benefit the game in the long run. General manager Casey Hudson stressed that with this new overhaul, BioWare is prioritizing "giving a focused team the time to test and iterate" in order to prevent the issues that plagued Anthem's launch, and if the live game needs to take a sabbatical to allow that, well, that's more than a fair trade.