The long-awaited Cataclysm update for BioWare's Anthem just launched, only you wouldn't really know it if you weren't playing when it happened. The update went live on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC with little fanfare this morning, marked by a blog post and a quick update.
An EA blog post outlines what's here for Cataclysm, including new story missions and the evolving Cataclysm leaderboard mode. There's also a new Inversions system, which puts modifiers on the Cataclysm mode intended to change up the way you play. Some are basic boons, like "Killing an enemy restores a small amount of shields," while others will encourage new approaches, like "At low armor, damage dealt increases."
Luck, a sticking point for Anthem, has also been removed from all items and replaced with bonus armor. This means drop rates from Easy through Grandmaster 1 will be as though you have maximum Luck, while Legendary and Masterwork drop rates in Grandmaster 2 and 3 have increased. There's also a number of new weapons and other changes sure to pique Anthem players' interests.
This update comes after a rough testing cycle for Cataclysm on Anthem's PC test server. Despite hopes that the update will revive the faltering sci-fi loot shooter, fans appear pessimistic on forums like the Anthem subreddit. It doesn't help that this update launched so quietly, to the point that players didn't know whether an update was coming or not. As best we can tell, the largest announcement came in a tweet from Anthem global community lead Andrew Johnson. Most people who downloaded the update at first weren't even sure it was Cataclysm until the patch notes popped up.
In a recent interview, EA CEO Andrew Wilson said Anthem is on a seven to ten-year cycle, implying support will keep rolling out for Anthem. Yet BioWare's multiplayer shooter was at first noticeably absent from the EA Play 2019 livestream lineup, instead hosting a stream in May. Cataclysm could be the turning point for Anthem, it's own Taken King moment. But the lack of major push behind this could also leave Anthem fans rightfully wary of being optimistic too soon.