Is ANTHEM ever going to catch a break at this point? Honestly, probably not, and this latest controversy has certainly had an impact on the game's hardcore community. You may recall that around the title's launch last month, there was a "bug" that increased the frequency of rare loot drops. Players were completing endgame activities like the co-op based stongholds and they were getting multiple masterwork items instead of just one or two here and there.
As you'd expect, a lot of people thought this was great -- maybe developer BioWare had increased the drop rate on purpose, based on feedback? But no, the studio quickly pinned this down as a "bug" and applied a hotfix that returned the drop rates to their intended level. The original grind was back on.
Now, many players didn't have a problem with this. They were simply enjoying the grind and they'd continue to do so. However, just recently, the drop rate "bug" came back. Once again, players were being frequently rewarded with powerful weapons and abilities, but of course, BioWare was quick to swoop in and "fix" the recurring issue.
For a number of users, this was something of a final straw. Over on Reddit in particular, players rallied to boycott ANTHEM, demanding answers from BioWare. People who had been grinding the game since launch and were beginning to grow weary of the title's often stingy loot system felt as though they'd been sucker punched. Suddenly, ANTHEM's loot system was fun... And then it wasn't. Again.
The boycott movement gained a huge wave of momentum in quite a short space of time, so BioWare had to respond in some way. The responsibility seemingly fell to head of live service Chad Robertson, who wrote on Twitter: "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."
Robertson continued: "One of the downsides of moving so fast to improve is that we’re making changes to complex loot systems in several areas and it’s then harder to know how it’s performing."
"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. Our goal is to ensure the best possible player experience."
In the next few months? Yes, Robertson really did write that as the community disaster unfolded, and as you can imagine, the reaction wasn't good. For ANTHEM, things just seem to keep going from bad to worse right now.
Look, we hope that one day, ANTHEM can be the game that it needs to be, but it feels like we're getting dangerously close to a point of no return.