On Saturday, BioWare released Patch 1.0.3 for Anthem, with a number of general improvements. Common (white) and Uncommon (green) loot were removed from the drop table for level 30 players. Respawn restrictions were removed in several areas, and respawn timers were changed. General fixes related to the severe crashes on PlayStation 4 were added. Quickplay for Strongholds was added back in (though it's still broken most of the time).
For a brief period prior to the patch, it seemed like BioWare had listened to complaints about the loot drop rate, as players were getting far more loot for encounters. When Patch 1.0.3 went live though, the drop rate went back to its previous level. At it turned out, the enhanced loot rate was a bug, an unintended change that BioWare quickly corrected. It was actually the second time this had happened in Anthem; and as before, players overwhelmingly prefer the bugged drop rate.
The loot issue has become so big, in fact, that the Anthem subreddit has consolidated the multiple threads into a single megathread. "Last night with the increased drop rates I felt for the first time in my gaming life that my luck finally turned around. Please meet us in the middle (or close to it) with loot. We all had a blast during the bugged loot (not knowing it was bugged) but I understand you want to retain your players for years," said one Reddit user.
In response, part of the Anthem community is attempting a small protest. One Reddit thread asks that the community stop playing the game this entire week in order to show BioWare how they feel. "You're pissed? You want to make a point once and for all? Prove it. Drop the game completely dead for a week and we'll see," wrote the thread creator, Reddit user Afinda. A number of respondents to the thread have noted that they've already stopped playing.
The entire subreddit for Anthem is simply in revolt now: loot is the primary focus, but other bugs and issues remain as well. One community member highlighted the undocumented hot fixes that BioWare is doing, like the change in drop rate for high-level crafting Embers. Another noted that Legendary weapons should have vastly different models from standard weapons, as opposed to the slightly different name and skin that's currently in Anthem. Some have taken issue with the lack of interactivity of Anthem's open world.
"The world was pretty at first, but everywhere looks the same now. I can't make distinctions between different mines and caves. I literally have no desire to visit other places unless a mission or freeplay roaming take me there as part of the objective or loot chase. There are no significant places of interest. No characters to interact with that can give you an interesting backstory about the specific place you are in," wrote one Reddit user.
The bugs, crashes, and design problems were a growing pile of tinder and the loot drop reversion was the match. Now the Anthem community is a growing fire, one that BioWare needs to get under control quickly. Especially since the proposed Anthem boycott also lines up with the early launch period of Ubisoft's The Division 2, another looter shooter. It's unlikely that the boycott will actually amount to anything major, but players simply leaving Anthem for another game is a real problem. A small playerbase will put Anthem right next to Star Wars: The Old Republic, something BioWare should be working very hard to avoid.