Anthem update 1.0.4 due out next week, changes previewed

Credit: BioWare
Credit: BioWare /

In this week’s Anthem livestream, BioWare outlined some major Quality of Life improvements coming with next week’s update 1.0.4.

Anthem has been out for almost a month now and to call its launch rocky would probably be an understatement. While the combat is entertaining, there’s no denying the game has issues.

To BioWare’s credit, the developer has been rolling out updates addressing many of the games bugs as well as player feedback where they can. And they’ve done a pretty good job thus far, but there’s still plenty of work to be done.

Now that a lot of the critical bugs have been fixed, BioWare is focusing on quality of life improvements. As revealed in this week’s livestream, the next major update (1.0.4) is slated to arrive next week. BioWare spent much of this week’s stream highlighting some major improvements that should fix some of the game’s biggest annoyances.

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While we’ll have to wait until the update drops for full patch notes, here are some of the changes you can look forward to.

Most notably, update 1.0.4 will do away with that dreaded loading screen to get into the Forge. Even better, you’ll be able to access the Forge from anywhere within Fort Tarsis. This is an incredibly welcomed change that will cut down on the number of loading screens, saving you time and allowing you to get back into the action quicker. Additionally, all equipped components will now be listed under weapons and gear.

BioWare says these improvements are an “incremental step” towards more Forge improvements. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait a bit longer for a proper stat screen. Another highly requested feature, I honestly can’t believe Anthem launched without one. However, given the issues discovered with Anthem‘s scaling issues (damage output, health bug, etc.), it leads one to question whether there are some underlying problems with the game’s systems and perhaps that’s why there is no stat screen.

At the same time, game development is hard, so maybe this implementation isn’t as simple as we all thing. In any case, hopefully, a stat screen is on BioWare’s roadmap.

Another noteworthy feature coming in update 1.0.4 is Stronghold Vanity Chests. Elysian caches will become available at the end of a Stronghold after a group has defeated the final boss. Four chests will spawn containing exclusive vanity items and crafting embers. To open a chest, you’ll need a special key which is rewarded once a day by completing a select Daily Challenge, delineated in the Cortex.

What’s more, everyone in the group will receive the Elysian cache reward for the chest that is opened; so if all four players have a key, you can open all four chests and receive all of the rewards for that run. Elysian cache rewards are unique and no duplicates can be found, meaning once you have one item in your collection it will not show up again in one of these chests.

BioWare is still tinkering with the loot system. Update 1.0.4 adjusts Stronghold boss loot on GM difficulty. While they still guarantee one Masterwork, the update is upping your chances are better gear by having the remaining loot rolled for Masterworks and Legendaries. The update will also improve the drop rates for rare gear for Strongholds and freeplay chests.

When I first wrote about Anthem‘s frustrating loot system, my suggestion was to just open the faucet and let it rain Legendaries and Masterworks. This is a step in the right direction.

One final noteworthy addition in update 1.0.4 is the arrival of Legendary missions. A total of 6 Legendary missions will be available with the update, on a rotating schedule of one playable each day.  Legendary missions are selectable directly from your map, with no NPC interaction or conversation required to obtain it – once again getting you into the action faster. Like Contracts, they are replayable; after you complete your mission, you can join a friend and help them complete it, earning yourself additional rewards.

Legendary missions, like the name suggests, are more difficult variations of Anthem’s main storyline (or as BioWare calls it, Crit Path). These missions conclude with a fight against an apex creature (Ursix, Titan, Luminary, or Fury) that rewards a loot chest.

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These are just what I consider to be the biggest improvements in Anthem update 1.0.4. According to BioWare, the full patch notes are more than 13 pages long in a Word file. Because these updates are fluid up until they release, BioWare is waiting until launch before releasing the full patch notes.