Anthem players are protesting recent loot drop changes with weeklong blackout

BioWare/Electronic Arts via Polygon

Anthem players are vowing to log out of the polarizing online game this week, as a stand against recent loot drop changes. Unless developer BioWare fixes the quality of loot drops, these players say, they won’t be playing — at least for a few days.

A patch issued just two days ago tweaked which types of loot higher-level players will encounter, removing the two lowest-ranked types from drops for players above level 30. But BioWare apparently did not increase the drop rates for much better loot in the process, meaning that players are still struggling to get the MW- and Legendary-class drops they crave. A nerf does not beget a buff, essentially, and the player base is not happy.

After a weekend of complaints, a user known as Afinda called for a boycott. It’s time that BioWare realizes that players want to “taste the Lootshower,” says Afinda — referencing a so-called “11-hour bug” that caused coveted loot to drop all over the place, just before BioWare patched the game.

“You’re Pissed? You want to make a point once and for all? Well, what could hurt a game that has Real Money transactions for cosmetics (lol, yeah there are nearly none i know) or is a live service more than anything?” Afinda wrote.

“Get your point across, simple as that. Stop Playing the game for a whole Week (Hopefully with the support of the entire Subreddit) to show BioWare that all it’d take for us to really enjoy the game, is to receive loot.”

The ask is that everyone stop playing from today, March 11, until March 15. It seems like plenty of people are on board: Afinda’s thread is currently sitting at more than 10,000 upvotes. Several commenters said they’d stopped playing the game weeks ago anyway, but others holding out hope that Anthem will improve insist they’re ready to participate. (Good timing, too, since big-deal online game Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is out this week; a number of folks said they’ll be jumping over to that in the meantime.)

And there’s been at least some success in staging an in-game blackout in the past. Ubisoft’s For Honor launched to widespread complaints from players, and when they threatened to leave the game to show the developer the old what-for, Ubisoft quickly announced a bevy of welcome changes.

We’ve reached out to Anthem publisher Electronic Arts to see if it’s aware of the protest and will update accordingly. For what it’s worth, BioWare head of live service Chad Robertson did acknowledge community feedback on Saturday.

“We appreciate all the feedback from the community on the game. We love the passion and share it,” he tweeted. “We’re not yet fully happy with the game’s loot behavior either.”

Comments

Oh, I have already been doing this I guess. I got kinda bored of the game after 4 hours.

amen….once you complete the main story line, which happens way too quickly, it’s nothing but boring grinding for crap you may never get

What effect will people, who already dropped their money for the game, abstaining from play really have? Maybe the rest of us will benefit from increased server stability with them gone

This game isn’t a one-and-done purchase like Call of Duty, etc.

Games like Anthem, Destiny, Division, etc. require a large sustained playerbase to maintain their long-term financial model.

A big enough drain on the game’s population is likely to result in fast-tracked, significant changes. That’s what happened with Destiny 2 and FFXIV.

If they stay away forever yes. But its kind of like a one day boycott of a grocery store, and then you go back and spend that money there the next day (you gotta eat).

EA won’t care. People should just play, but NOT pay. Stop buying anything. Then they stress the servers and all that, and they get no extra income.

This is a terrible analogy because it’s not at all like a grocery store and you don’t "gotta" play a video game.

If a significant proportion (30%+) of their playerbase drops out for 5 days like this boycott is proposing, then EA will absolutely notice. Continuing to play and "stress the servers" is the thing that’s a drop in the bucket that will go unnoticed.

Somehow I doubt 30% will drop out because of this boycott. And five days seems like a joke. It sounds like the usual hot air from a vocal minority. We’ll see I guess.

Do you really think that nobody at EA knows that you’re coming back in 5 days?

Right now there is very little to buy in the game that you can’t buy with earned coins (which are earned at a fairly high rate). And as B.O. points out, a temporary boycott will have little effect. It won’t drastically change the amount being spent in game on cosmetics (which is probably very little until more content is rolled out). The current players have all paid for the game, save for some subscribers, but even the latter would have to unsubscribe for more than a week to have an impact. Meanwhile people like me, who don’t really care about min-maxing, will continue to enjoy the game, while Bioware rolls out fixes and updates that they no doubt already have in the pipeline. When they do release those fixes the redditors will return, claiming victory over the devs and publisher and take credit for fixes that were likely already underway before they decided to start their tantrum.

Complaining results in fast tracked changes. Honestly, I’m not sure why you think people give a crap how populated the world is in a game where you only see a handful of other players virtually ever.

A less active player base means it is harder for other people to find team members, the end game was never meant to be played solo.

I’m really not to worried about that due to a boycott threat. That’s something to worry about if BioWare’s road map doesn’t unfold as planned and the game loses it’s full base due to lack of enjoyment over the next few months. IT seems most games of service need time to bake after release. But a temporary boycott threat isn’t particularly worrisome. Bioware will probably fix issues with time and the five day boycott these redditors have planned really won’t have an impact on that.

Constant engagement is important to keep a player base, as competition is out there. Other mmos and games are getting content patches this week, and division 2 is out as well.

People will find less reason to return once the game is out of their mind.

Personally looking forward to Division 2, and my "worry" that I wouldn’t have enough time to play both that and Anthem are gone because I have no urge to play anthem any time soon

Sure, but there are no doubt people are interested in Anthem, and not games like the Division 2. I know I’m one, and I doubt I am alone. While there may be overlap between online multiplayer games, it doesn’t mean that each game appeals to every player and that they all compete for our attention. As far as my interested stand, The Division 2 doesn’t even register.

There’s possibly a lot of people like me who cancelled their Origin sub in the meantime, so even a month dip in those numbers would be a big impact. I agree that a week isn’t really doing anything, though.
I personally loved the game on release but each patch has made the game significantly less stable for me to the point where I lose a fair bit of progress each time I play. With my limited free time, I am just putting it aside until they get it in a better state.

You lose progress as you play? How’s that?

I don’t mean I regress back in progress to what I already have but rather the progress I am actively making gets lost.
The game has started to crash or drop me to the login/start screen. When it first launched, if I got dropped, it would take me back into the mission or even the reward screen, but the last few times that did not happen and so I lost any progress from the missions.
There were also mission bugs that simply kept us from completing them. The last time I played, of the 7 missions/strongholds I tried, 5 of them either crashed or were stuck and couldn’t be completed. So I just gave up on it for the time being. I’m hoping they get it all worked out.

Exactly, abstaining from something you already paid for only helps the devs. ESPECIALLY if you are the type of person who returns when more paid content is released.

Gamer boycotts are notoriously half assed

Report on this if and when the numbers actually drop significantly, up-votes are meaningless in this context.

This is definitely true. I highly doubt this will make a notable impact on the game myself. I could be wrong though history with these types of things show otherwise. Any changes that come after this boycott are probably already in the works in spite of this, not because of this. Unfortunately gamers will just have to be patient.

They really are, but if they generate enough media buzz they tend to have a snowball effect – particularly on potential new players or anyone else on the fence.

Well really you want the buzz to get to investors. They’re the only upset ones that will cause change.

I agree but I mean, it should not be hard for the five people still playing Anthem to co-ordinate so this could actually be the first of it’s kind to work. Which will be awesome since at least then there will actually be something historically notable and "timeless" about the "Bob Dylan of video games"!

I still remember that infamous CoD Modern Warfare 2 (3?) "boycott" because it wasn’t going to have dedicated servers, where someone took a screenshot of the boycott’s Steam Group membership page on the game’s launch day, and nearly all of them were playing the game, haha.

Anyone can make empty noise.

Especially when you consider that the users posting on a Reddit forum are a subset of a percentage of the game’s actual player base/purchasers.

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