Today is in theory a big patch day for Anthem that should be clearing up a lot of the ills that the game has. However I am not exactly holding my breath. What I mean by that is I am certain that there will be in fact a patch today, Game Update 1.0.4. What I am doubting is if it will fundamentally improve the situation for those of us stuck in the limbo between Grandmaster 1 and being able to feel viable in Grandmaster 2 and beyond. What is needed to fix this is Legendaries, and not only that but viable Legendaries. Both patch 1.0.3 and the server side loot tweaks were supposed to give us some remedy, and while I have seen a greater frequency in Masterwork drops it has done nothing to help fill my screen with lime green. Ultimately knowing that today’s patch was on its way served to disincentive me from playing the game at all… because why should I invest any time at all in a largely broken loot system when if I just waited a week there would in theory be some fixes.
I think where I am with this game is that I really enjoy the moment to moment game play, but now that the progression train has slowed I am struggling to stay invested given that there is such a limited pool of content available to players. I think the Elysian Caches will help somewhat because it gives a long tailed chase mechanism… and quite frankly what better reward is there than things that make your Javelin look awesome. So that alone will make Strongholds worth running again. Additionally there are the Legendary missions that should produce some replayability of existing content and given how enjoyable some of those story missions were… I can see that helping as well. Quality of life changes like being able to see what World Events are active at any given time will also be a welcome change. The main problem I foresee is that the game really needs fresh content to add to the mix, because as it stands three Strongholds just isn’t enough… when a good deal of us have every line of dialog in them all memorized at this point. I would prefer never to hear again about not wanting that omelet.
I will of course be checking it out tonight and I am hoping that I am wrong, but I am sort of trying to tamp down my expectations so I don’t turn into one of the heaps of rage that inhabit the main reddit. Once again I highly recommend LowSodiumAnthem if you are hoping to stay a fan of this game rather than wading into the mire of hatred of the official Reddit. Bioware Devs post on both locations.
What I wound up spending most of my time last night doing however was playing some more Breath of the Wild via Cemu. The screenshots don’t exactly do it justice of showing off just how damned good this game looks running in 4K resolution. I am consistently impressed by just how good it works, but then again… the developers of Cemu have been tweaking and refining this for roughly two years now with a lot of community modding support that adds in compatibility fixes. I’ve surpassed where I was progress wise from the Switch and have put in around nine hours of gameplay so far, almost all of it stable. The instabilities thusfar have involved encountering something I have not seen yet and having the emulator pause to build shader cache. There are in theory downloadable shader caches that would fix this problem… but I have not really spent any time investigating how to get my hands of them.
Essentially everything about this process is sort of caveat emptor… but seeing as I have done this level of nonsense many times in the past it didn’t worry me too much. Suffice today however there has been copious amounts of virus scanning before I interacted with anything that I acquired in this process. This is probably the first time however that I have seen modern emulation give a game that is on a current platform a run for its money… or in this case greatly improving the visuals. I know there is similar magic you can do with a 3DS emulator, but thusfar I have not really had the horsepower to really make those games perform to their fullest at 4K resolutions. However if you are interested in that sort of nonsense then I would point you at the Simply Austin Youtube channel to see examples of what can be done. It is so bizarre to me how far emulation has come from the days of me trying to play Final Fantasy V on ZSNES and having to apply a frame skip to get some semblance of something playable, to being able to run modern games on high end PCs.
Please note… that while I totally support emulation, I don’t do so as a dodge to getting free games. I have a closet full of classic game systems, and in the case of both Cemu and Citra the Wii U and 3DS emulators respectively I have owned all of the games that I have tried playing. Especially in the era of struggling game studios… they need you buying the games instead of figuring out ways to get free copies. I didn’t exactly have clean hands throughout my high school and college years, but now I think in part I buy so many games as a way of making up for my former warez peddling past. If Nintendo for some reason started releasing these games on PC… I would likely lose all interest in emulating them in the first place. However I somehow doubt that is ever going to happen, and as a result… Nintendo consoles will always be the most widely supported emulation platforms.