Third Stronghold Revealed – and Other ‘This is Anthem: Part 2’ Info

Yesterday there was an early leak of the This is Anthem: Part 2 video via the Korean Playstation channel. When it became clear it was a breach of NDA (albeit not mine; I’m not under one) for it to be out already, out of respect for BioWare I took the content of this article down.

Welp, turns out the wait wasn’t all that long! This morning the video was officially released — I’m unsure whether this was the intended timeline or in response to the leak, but in either case — content of this post restored! :)

I shan’t hold it back from you — here you go:

The official release of the This is Anthem | Part 2 – Endgame, video!

I don’t normally do this, but I’m going to put in a break. Below the break is unavoidable spoiler territory, click only if you’re good with knowing what the third launch stronghold is, and the changes to Anthem’s difficulty!

Heart of Rage is the Third Stronghold

Difficulties Scaled Back

Ben Irving tweeted confirming more detail on this would be coming end of this week or perhaps early week.

But from the video the current figures (I say that, because I suspect they may change again given a few uneven percentages) it looks like:

  • Easy: Not shown in video
  • Normal:
    • Damage / Health: 0%
    • Max Rarity: +50%
  • Hard:
    • Damage / Health: +52%
    • Max Rarity: +100%
  • Grandmaster 1:
    • Damage / Health: +165%
    • Masterwork Chance: +150%
  • Grandmaster 2:
    • Damage / Health: +430%
    • Masterwork Chance: +200%
  • Grandmaster 3:
    • Damage / Health: +950%
    • Masterwork Chance: +250%

For some comparison, Grandmaster 3 was previously shown with 3100% damage and health scaling. That did seem a bit… excessive. It seemed out of line with what the Masterwork and Legendaries we were shown at the time would seemingly allow us to get up to, damage wise.

So I think the Grandmaster changes are possibly good. I’m less convinced on Hard, the demos had hard set to +100% life, and for the most part that felt good.

Possible exception there being legendary shielded enemies. But I think main part of the issue there was how fast they could regenerate the shield to full.

So it’s entirely possible that we’ll see some other difficulty tweaks apart from these simple number-levers when Ben spills the beans a bit later on.

Even if there isn’t though, I’m inclined to view this as a positive change. There were definitely some potential issues on the horizon with feelings of bullet-spongeyness, but guess we’ll see when we get a hands on in 9 days time!

Cataclysms and Post Launch

As mentioned in my Demo 2 impressions — the ‘event’ we saw at the end of the open demo was a tiny taster.

Cataclysms are still a thing, and intended to be the, “…most ambitious and challenging of events”.

It’s also worth noting that Shaper Storms as a concept have been wrapped up under the broader umbrella of Cataclysms, which Jonathan Warner says are a, “larger and more dynamic concept”.

The Demo also explicitly makes promises of new characters, new missions and social improvements (including guild capability), “…in the coming weeks and months…” of launch.

Now, “weeks” could still mean more than a month out, but I feel that if it was too much more than that there simply wouldn’t be a timeframe mentioned at all.

What do???

With the Anthem demos behind us, and still around 9 days to go before even the early access launch1 — I find myself in the position of not really having anything to play.


It’s possible I have a comically large backlog to clear.

Look, no-one ever accused me of being a completionist, OK?

My approach to gaming has certainly changed over the years. It used to be vitally important to extract every last cent of value out of a purchase. Now there are titles I was so excited about I bought day 1 and then… uh… never quite got around to even launching.

Much of the time when I get into a title, it isn’t even that I grew bored of it that makes me put it down. Simply that a new shiny comes along. Then another. And another. I can be a bit like a kid in a candy shop when it comes to these things. I know this about myself.

So this time? This time… I’m determined not to buy something just to fill in this wait. I’m going to attack my backlog, dammit.

I am absolutely spoiled for choice. I think that might even be part of the problem. But I figure I can stick to something from the backlog for 9 days, like, how hard could that be?2

Considering the Options

I went in for a year of the EA / Origin Premier Access thingo3 so that was a bit of an obvious place to start. I mean, I literally bought it instead of going in for Anthem directly so that I could try out the likes of Battlefield V, Star Wars: Battlefront 2 and Darksiders 3. Each a title I wasn’t likely to buy on its own — but when I can get access to them all for a year for only a little more than Anthem alone? … Well OK then, twist my arm why don’t you.

Battlefield V is a beautiful game — but I seem to spend a lot of my time in a position similar to this one. (This screen is from the tutorial-esque mini-campaign, but the point stands.)

But really, this would be cheating a little bit. Taking an Origin Access game now would be adding on something new, not something I already have.

So I thought about the likes of Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey which I was loving but haven’t finished. That’s fairly recent and exciting.

But I also picked up Dragon Quest XI. It was over fears that the art style would drive me away, but it’s a charming looking game in action. I’ve only given it- oh, 3 hours so far. In a similar vein, there is also Ni No Kuni II — but I think actually don’t like this one. There isn’t much substance to it, despite having a very broad set of systems.

Jumping way back in time, what about Dragon’s Dogma? I loved my time with that game, I don’t even remember what distracted me away from it.

But no, it shan’t be any of these, fantastic as they all are. As sensible a choice, as they all might be for such a challenge.

The winner is: Elder Scrolls Online

“Wait, you’re picking an MMO? Are you crazy?” you may ask, following on with the very true statement, “You only have 9 days!”

And you wouldn’t be wrong. Many of these 9 days are going to be work filled too.

But the game still fits the bill! It’s one I’d given the side-eye to during the beta (it was… not good, at this time) but had been a bit curious about as it seemed to really be coming along and making positive strides post-launch.

A screenshot I took last year when I played. I don’t recall where this is, or what I was doing.

When the Summer Set Isles expansion came out last year, including Morrowind and the base game in the package I was sold.

Steam tells me I was sold for 40 odd hours. But I believe some of this would be launcher open for further patching, not handled by the steam client itself. *shakes fist*

The Plan

This is where my character was when I logged in… Still don’t know where I am or what I was doing.

I still don’t know exactly what character archetype / class I’ll play. Possibly something Ranger-ish. The Warden appeals if I do go down this path. But I do know I am going to clear out my old characters and start fresh.

Yes, I know – I know! I don’t have to. I could jump in literally to any part of the story, in any area, and it would level appropriately.

I just prefer to start fresh when I step away from an RPG for too long. It’s possible this is yet another contributing factor to my neverending backlog actually. Pillars of Eternity, for example? Restarted a fresh playthrough of that. Got to essentially the exact same point and put it down again.

I might be beyond help, guys.

I also don’t truly expect to finish this game off my backlog over this period. I might be crazy, but if so – not that far gone yet. But over this period, I’ll certainly post on my progress and at the end whether I would be interested in going back or not in the future.

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