Day wrote that he’s enjoying “Anthem,” but that the latest action RPG from Bioware “seems to fall into a number of reward system related traps.”
The initial problem Day pointed out is what he calls “dead” inscriptions on items.
“Currently the game allows for items to roll inscriptions that literally can not effect the item they are on,” Day wrote.” [For] example, Venomous Blaze with item specific Physical damage, +% Weapon damage, or +% Cold damage.”
Day suggests restricting rolls to offer only inscriptions that can work on the item in question, and then varying the weight of affixes rather than keeping dead inscriptions in the game.
Another problem that “Anthem” has s the balance between risk and reward, according to Day. He notes that the range in difficulty for strongholds is tiered, however, the rewards offered do not mirror the difficulty that went into finishing the dungeons/defeating the bosses. Day suggests either tiering the rewards so they match the risk/challenge involved, or scaling the difficulty of the dungeons so there’s less of a mismatch. He notes a similar issue for the random strongholds. Without diversity of offerings, players will tend to go to the easiest dungeon, which is the Tyrant mines in “Anthem.” Since players don’t have any incentive for better loot since it’s randomized anyway, they will return to the same dungeon which affects their perception of variety offered in the game, according to Day.
“Players will generally follow the path of least resistance, at present that means run Tyrant mines repeatedly,” Day wrote. “This also increases the speed at which players will “burn out” since the game feels shallow and lacks variety.”
This also relates to another point Day brings up, which is that players can’t effectively farm dungeons for some goals. He gives the example of a Colossus trying to farm dungeons to increase the damage of their guns— the action isn’t as satisfying because the player won’t feel they’re moving closer to their goal since it’s not a direct activity that will lead to that goal. Since certain tasks give certain rewards, and some of those tasks are limited in number— namely, the legendary contracts.
Day finally noted the overall issues with “Anthem’s” approach to challenging the player, noting the importance of varying the challenge of the game throughout. The extreme jumps in challenge were part of his concern.
“I love a good challenge,” Day wrote. “But going from ‘this is trivial’ to ‘this is hard and definitely not worth the time and energy’ causes players to continue farming content that is ‘easy’ without ever feeling they should put themselves in positions where they are reasonably challenged.”
For the full list of suggestions from Day, check out the original Reddit post here.
As for whether or not Bioware devs will take his advice to heart, that’s uncertain. But, Bioware mapped out the first 90 days post-launch of “Anthem” on Friday, so the game does have new updates and events in the near future that might inspire players to take another look.