The launch of Anthem, BioWare’s new third-person loot shooter, has had its fair share of problems. Long load times, mission-breaking bugs, and quality of life issues plagued the game during its paid “early access” period on PC. Now, however, Anthem has received a “Day One” patch in preparation for its debut on consoles. And most of the changes it brings are quite positive!
The full patch notes are awfully long (over 2000 words). You can read them on reddit, if you like. But we thought we’d save you some of the trouble. We’ve broken down the biggest changes — and summarized the small ones — in one handy dandy article. So let’s take a look at the Anthem Day One patch notes!
Load Times and Crashes
If you’ve paid the least bit of attention to Anthem so far, you probably know about the game’s biggest problem. The load times were just godawful. Emphasis on “were.” I can happily report, firsthand, that the wait times are now a fraction of their former selves — at least on PC.
Playing on a normal hard drive (i.e. not an SSD), expeditions now take about the third the time they used to. I clocked a couple of basic missions at about 30 seconds. My longest post-patch load so far lasted just over 50 seconds. Meanwhile, getting back to Fort Tarsis and bringing up the Forge aren’t instantaneous, but they’re also much improved. Each took about 10-15 seconds. Although the Javelins themselves still take a couple extra seconds to appear on-screen.
It’s harder to test definitively, but the patch notes also mention fixing “many” infinite loading screens. Previously, Anthem loading screens would reach 95 percent and then just hang there. Permanently. I only ran into this issue once in the time it took me to beat the main campaign, so it’s hard to say if it’s gone completely. But the “many” modifier makes it sound like the freezes aren’t completely eliminated. Likewise, the notes mention fixing a few issues “that were causing players to disconnect or crash.”
Buffs and Changes
Every Javelin received at least a few changes. Although the Interceptor, which seemed like one of the weakest classes in Anthem at launch, gets the most overall positive changes. Its combo and melee abilities are stronger across the board, and some of its abilities have been tweaked to be more useful. The Spark Dash and Venom Spray skills, for instance, are now easier to aim.
The Colossus’ shield is also more useful. You can raise it much more quickly between other actions and keep it raised while reviving downed allies. By contrast, the Ranger and Storm only really received a couple statistical tweaks.
Balance and Quality of Life Improvements
As with any major update, the Anthem Day One patch is chock full of minor tweaks and fixes: increased damage for the Cloudburst, better compass information, etc. But a couple of things stand out above the rest.
Namely, Anthem now properly displays all of its combo icons. The combo system is a major part of combat in Anthem. Although it’s barely explained in the game itself. That’s why it’s vitally important for the combo icons — which tell you if a piece of gear is a Primer or a Detonator — to be clear and visible. They’re pretty much the only context clues you have to tell which items combo into which, without just trying everything on the fly.
Combos themselves also got one major change. Specifically, the bonus damage and effects they apply go through enemy resistances. Enemies that are usually resistant to one kind of damage or another will take the full blast from a combo detonation. That should make the feature more important than ever — especially on Grandmaster difficulties.
The Anthem Day One patch already seems like a huge improvement over the “launch” version. Shorter load times, fewer crashes and freezes, plus improvements to gear and Javelins all help the game “flow” better. You can get to the action quicker and move through it more smoothly than ever.
That said, this is still very much the same game we saw throughout its limited first week. Nothing about the third-person shooter’s overall features — like endgame goals and loot drops — is drastically different.
If you didn’t fundamentally enjoy the Origin Access version, or even the game’s several demos, there’s no reason to try Anthem again just yet. BioWare has promised plenty of new content and changes down the line, though. So consider checking back with the game as more Anthem Season 1 content develops.