Anthem takes cues from Diablo to fix loot problem

BioWare looks back to old classics to fix Anthem's rather awful loot problems.

2 minutes & 42 seconds read time

Anthem is getting a much-needed loot system overhaul as BioWare listens closely to player feedback.

Anthem takes cues from Diablo to fix loot problem |

There's a right way to do randomized loot. Games like Diablo nearly perfected this model by assigning stats that actually make sense and match the gear they're attached to. Diablo 2 had prefixes and suffixes that determined the effects of weapons, armor, and jewelry, complete with unique items that had set stats with different values (or rolls, as they're called). But Anthem's launch is a pure example of how to completely ruin randomized loot, and showed the game needed more time in the oven.

Anthem basically tried to over-randomize the stats, or "inscriptions," that are applied to the weapons and components. Any inscription could be applied to any weapon, regardless if it didn't make sense. This resulted in Masterwork items that negated any real beneficial effect, like flamethrowers that added physical damage by 0% for 0 seconds. Now BioWare is changing things up and trying to limit which stats can appear on which items.

In a Reddit post, BioWare's Ben Irvo recently shared a big list of changes coming to Anthem's loot roll system:

This is our plan for changes to go live on February 28th or March 1st (central US time)

  • Inscriptions are now better for the items they are on
  • This applies to new items earned in Anthem (not existing ones in your Vault)

If an inscription applies only to the item it is on (gear icon), it will be useful to that item. Otherwise the inscription will provide a Javelin wide benefit

For example, an Assault Rifle will not have an item specific +pistol damage inscription. It may have a +electric damage suit wide inscription (cool for a lightning build)

Some more information below

  • Removed uncommon (white) and common (green) items from level 30 drop tables
  • This was a highly requested change and we agree, so that's that.
  • We have reduced the crafting materials needed to craft a masterwork from 25 masterwork embers to 15 masterwork embers
  • As you salvage or harvest, you should be able to craft more masterwork items to get the inscriptions you are looking for
  • Now that inscriptions are more relevant to their item, this should yield better results for players

Additional inscription change details

Current: There are a large pool of inscription options available to roll on items, the inscription pools are generic (e.g. Weapons)

Every masterwork item has 4 inscriptions - Major Primary, Minor Primary, Major Secondary, Minor Secondary

Change: Each item type now has a specific set of inscription options for each of their inscription pools. The pools are smaller and are targeted to the specific item type

E.g. there used to be a Weapon pool, now there is an Assault Rifle pool and the assault rifle pool has 4 pools for each of the inscription types listed above

  • Primary inscriptions are focused on damage or survivability
  • Any item specific inscriptions (gear icon) will always benefit the item they are on
  • Javelin wide inscriptions (suit icon) will benefit damage or survivability across the whole Javelin
  • Secondary inscriptions focus on utility and can be targeted to the item (gear icon) or the entire javelin (suit icon)

This is just one of the fires BioWare has to put out to keep Anthem a viable game. There's many connectivity/loading issues, fragmented story beats, and the absence of core RPG elements that all work against the online-only shooter.

Let's just hope BioWare adds a stats page at some point so Anthem feels like a real RPG and not some weird action-y hybrid built around live gaming.


Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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