Picking a Main in Anthem

I don’t know about you–but I always struggle with picking a main. It can become quite an ordeal. We now have a little less than a day to wait before the VIP Demo let’s us in for a peek. We’ll get the see first hand the Ranger and one other Javelin of our choice.

This is really good! Unless… Like me, all of them sound exciting to you for one reason or another.

What can hopefully help put your mind at ease a little then is the knowledge that in Anthem it’s a fair bit more difficult to go wrong. In fact, the Javelin exosuits are less ‘class’ and more ‘build’.

Huh?

Your in-game persona is a human. A freelancer. A pilot. You level up as a pilot, picking talents as you go that buff things such as your flight time before overheating.

After the tutorial mission (played in the Ranger), you will be able to pick any of the 4 Javelin’s to unlock first.

Javelin’s unlock at:

  • Level 2 – This is your first pick immediately following the tutorial.
  • Level 8
  • Level 16
  • Level 24 / 261

So in essence? Don’t worry about it. Well, I mean… Worry a little bit. You should have an idea of what to try first! But just know there is no wrong decision that is going to lead to you rerolling if you find you don’t like a given class as much as you thought you would. :)

While playing with a given Javelin equipped, Anthem will use a ‘Smart Loot’ system which weights drops toward things useful for that Javelin. But you still will get the odd thing for the other Javelins from time to time — so should you ultimately decide, ‘Oh no… I’ve made a terrible mistake’ or heck, simply decide new day–new you one morning, you can get a running start at another pick.

OK! But… What do the Javelins actually do?

I’ve posted a series of profiles on each Javelin for you to look at if you’d like some help deciding. (Note: At the time of writing this, I’m pending a review on the Colossus and Storm to update them to the new format I put the Interceptor and Ranger into.)

These will be updated with more detailed information (such as which skills Prime or Detonate) after we get our hands on the game. :)

For now, here’s a quick overview of each!

The Ranger is being toted as the versatile, jack-of-all-trades Javelin. You have a medium amount of health and shields and a medium degree of mobility. The Ranger is also capable of dealing all elemental damage types — giving it a good range of options when it comes to dealing with heavily shielded (lightning, frost) or armored (acid, fire) enemies.

Consider the Ranger akin to a Soldier in playstyle, with grenades, rockets, and a good range of weaponry.

The Colossus is big, bulky and extremely tough despite the total lack of an energy shield like all other javelin’s enjoy. Also though? Slow. Slower at least. The concept of ‘dodging’ is utterly alien to the the Colossus. Making up for this lack the Colossus gains two things:

  1. It packs an actual physical shield which they can use to deflect damage and more enjoyably shield charge and slam the puny enemies out of the way… even while flying.
  2. It is the only Javelin at launch capable of wielding the heavy weapon class, including the likes of Grenade Launchers and Autocannons.

The Storm fulfills the ‘space mage’ role. Elemental fury–fire and ice with a side of lightning–is how the Storm likes to get things done. A real AoE and status building powerhouse. Lightly armored this is not a Javelin you want in the thick of things up close and personal if you can avoid it. To aid with that, the Storm forgoes a standard dash move and when dodging performs a short-range teleport (or ‘blink’).

You can also hover for longer than the other Javelins in the storm, gaining a bonus to your energy shield while you do. Just watch out–there’s no real cover up there.

Last but not least The Interceptor. This is your super agile, super nimble rogue or ninja type. With it, you can rapidly move about the play field cutting ribbons off your enemies with you dual-wielded, dual-bladed daggers. If you like zipping around with triple-jumps, regaining shield while you do, and all at top speed? Then getting up close and personal with the Interceptor could be for you.

Decided now?

Yeah… No… Me neither.

I mean, I’m becoming fairly certain I’ll start out with the Ranger, focus on becoming the single-target boss-killer powerhouse of the team. So that the demo is giving everyone the Ranger to start with doesn’t bother me terribly.

But what next? Even the Interceptor representing the rogue playstyle — not something I typically go for! — looks fresh and exciting.

The tanky Colossus would more closely align with my typical play style, as I nearly always go Healer or Tank.

But I’m quite hyped to try out the damage-dealing, status-spreading Storm, too. I think this will be the class I test out for our free choice during the demo.

So… What do I DO then?

If you really cannot decide–then nothing is going to beat first hand experience.

Even if you can’t make (or don’t want, for reasons of story spoilers, etc) to participate in the demos — know that in the live game, you’re going to have each of the 4 Javelin’s unlocked before the end game.

You’ll have had ample opportunity to test and learn and see what works best for you.

And if they’re all truly holding equal spot in your heart, then just blind pick one. If you’re disappointed with what you unlock at the time — at least you’ll have a clearer idea of what you really wanted. ;)


Anthem Javelin Profile: Interceptor

This series of posts is aimed mostly at those dipping their feet into the waters of Anthem for the first time. If that’s you – welcome! If that’s not you… well, also welcome! But more in-depth content to come once we get our hands on the game. :)

Bioware's Anthem: Line up of the four classes, left-to-right, Ranger, Colossus, Storm and Interceptor. The Interceptor is in colour as the focus of the image, with the other three in greyscale.

Play Style: In Anthem, the Interceptor is your super agile, super nimble rogue or ninja type. With it, you can rapidly move about the play field cutting ribbons out of your enemies dual-wielding dual-bladed daggers. If you like zipping around at top speed and getting up close and personal, the Interceptor is for you.

Movement/Dodge: The Interceptor can triple jump/dash, controlling the direction of each movement independently.

Special: When your shield is damaged, using your triple jump/dash will recharge your shield faster.

Combo Effect: Upon detonating a primed enemy, the Interceptor gains an aura matching the status used to prime the enemy. For example, should you detonate a combo on a frozen enemy–you will gain an aura that spreads the frost effect to nearby enemies.

Weapons CAN Equip: Heavy Pistols, Shotguns, Assault Rifles, Marksman Rifles, Machine Pistols, Light Machine Guns, Sniper Rifles.

Weapons CANNOT Equip: Autocannons, Grenade Launchers

Armor: Light

Melee Attack: Spin to win with your dual-bladed daggers. Each attack chains into the next and you can continue the chain indefinitely. Unlike every other javelin, it won’t be uncommon to use your melee attack more than your guns.

The Skills:

Assault Systems

  • Seeker Glaive: Throw a seeking projectile that will hit the nearest target.
  • Cryo Glaive: Similar to the Seeker Glaive but also applies the Frost status.
  • Acid Bomb: Throw a short range projectile that splashes all enemies in the proximity of the landing point with acid.
  • Cluster Mine: Throws out a cluster of mines in a very tight area, explode after a short delay on contact with an enemy.
  • Spark Dash: Dash forward in the targeted direction, dealing damage on impact with an enemy and leaving behind a trail of electricity.

Strike Systems

  • Star Strike: Infuse an enemy with energy which explodes after a delay. Can deal increased damage if you kill the enemy before the delay is up.
  • Plasma Star: One of the Interceptors few longer-range abilities, allows the Interceptor to throw a plasma charged shuriken.
  • Wraith Strike1: Shoot forth a projection of your Interceptor which attacks enemies it comes in contact with.
  • Tempest Strike: A single-target attack capable of applying a stun to lesser enemies.
  • Corrosive Spray: Shoot a jet of acid that damages every enemy hit.

Support Systems

  • Target Beacon: Mark an enemy, which then receives increased damage from all sources. If the marked target dies before the duration of Target Beacon expires, it will jump to another nearby enemy.
  • Rally Cry: Remove negative status effects from nearby allies.

Ultimate Ability: Assassin’s Blades

Put down your weapons and super-charge your dual-bladed daggers, becoming a whirling dervish of melee-flavoured death.

The interceptor cannot fly while under the affects of Assassin’s Blades, but can continue to use the triple-dash ability, plus the melee attacks themselves will provide a small rush movement when needed.

As with all ultimate abilities in Anthem–heal yourself to full upon activation and become invulnerable for the duration.

Official Skills Video

Anthem Javelin Profile: Storm

This series of posts is aimed mostly at those dipping their feet into the waters of Anthem for the first time. If that’s you – welcome! If that’s not you… well, also welcome! But more in-depth content to come once we get our hands on the game. :)

Bioware's Anthem: Line up of the four classes, left-to-right, Ranger, Colossus, Storm and Interceptor. The Storm is in colour as the focus of the image, with the other three in greyscale.

Elemental power–that’s the name of the Storm’s game. Harness the power of Lightning, Fire and Ice when you jump in. The Storm is Anthem’s answer to the glass-cannon mage archetype. Plenty of damage, very little armor health.

This lack is made up for through an increased ability to stay aloft above the battle hovering compared to the other Javelin suits. And while hovering, you have a buffed energy shield.

Being up high isn’t all sunshine and roses though–when your awe-inspiring elemental damage draws ire from the enemies below, you have very little in the way of cover options. Fortunately, the Storm’s aerial dodge move takes the form of a short range teleport allowing you to blink out of harms way.

Detonating a combo as the Storm will chain the effect applied by the primer to nearby enemies. e.g., Managed to freeze an enemy? Detonate to freeze all its buddies too.

The Skills

Blast Seals: Go for AoE with Lightning Strike, Ice Storm or Flame Burst depending on your mood to fry, freeze or flame your enemies. Or get in a little closer with the seeking projectiles of Rime Blast or Living Flame.

Focus Seals: In the ice department, choose from Hoarfrost Shards–a rapid firing status builder, eventually freezing targets to the spot–or Glacial Beam to fire a concentrated beam of cold. Fire comes with the classic Fireball–charge it up to make it explode or fire it rapidly as you see fit. Lightning? Arc Burst gives you an up-close-and-personal option, acting similar to a chain-lightning spell, but emanating from yourself to nearby enemies. Otherwise, you can take Arc Burst, a ball of lightning capable of bouncing off walls to get your enemies even from behind cover.

Support Seals: Stop enemy projectiles cold with the Wind Wall, giving yourself or your team a small reprieve from incoming damage or instead take out your Nexus ability and provide a buff to skill recharge times for any allies in the field.

Ultimate–Elemental Storm: Open a channel to the raw power of the Anthem for a short time to call down three separate strikes of elemental fury. Target domes of frost, electricity and fire individually while the window is open to deal damage and then if you get off all three, watch as elemental meteors fall on your chosen locations and anything unlucky enough to still be there at the time.

Anthem Javelin Profile: Colossus

This series of posts is aimed mostly at those dipping their feet into the waters of Anthem for the first time. If that’s you – welcome! If that’s not you… well, also welcome! But more in-depth content to come once we get our hands on the game. :)

Bioware's Anthem: Line up of the four classes, left-to-right, Ranger, Colossus, Storm and Interceptor. The Colossus is in colour as the focus of the image, with the other three in greyscale.

Big, bulky, extremely tough despite the total lack of an energy shield which all the other javelin’s enjoy. Making up for this lack the Colossus packs an actual physical shield which they can use to deflect damage and more enjoyably shield charge and slam the puny enemies out of the way… even while flying.

The Colossus can play the tank for your team with an actual taunt ability. But it’s no slouch in the damage department either, being the only javelin capable of equipping the heaviest of weapons–the likes of the grenade launcher or heavy machine gun.

Detonating a combo as the Colossus will set off an AoE blast, perfect for clearing out swarms of lesser enemies.

The Skills

Ordnance Launcher Gear: Shoulder mounted weapon abilities, offering options for close range (Lightning Coil, Shock Coil), long range (Mortar, Burst Mortar) or even a little bit of control in the form of the Firewall Mortar which will deny an area of ground to the enemy.

Heavy Assault Launcher Gear: Like the Ranger, the Colossus packs a set of wrist-mounted weaponry options. Just… with a much larger wrist, offering the likes of the long range Heavy Cannon or Railgun. Deal some up close damage with the Flame Thrower or Flak Cannon. Or increase the damage taken on enemies you spray with your Acid Spitter.

Support Gear: Taunt enemies in an area, forcing them to direct their attention at you for the duration of the effect, or use the Deflector Pulse to give all nearby allies a buff to their damage-resistance.

Ultimate–Siege Cannon: Essentially a mini-nuke launcher. You have a limited time to fire off a salvo of three rounds of… well, ultimate destruction.

I can see every team wanting one of these along for the ride. Whether they choose to taunt and get up close and personal, or still keep a bit of range while applying a damage mitigation buff to the team–they’re going to be worth their weight in gold… and that’s a lot of weight! ;)

Anthem Javelin Profile: Ranger

This series of posts is aimed mostly at those dipping their feet into the waters of Anthem for the first time. If that’s you – welcome! If that’s not you… well, also welcome! But more in-depth content to come once we get our hands on the game. :)

Bioware's Anthem: Line up of the four classes, left-to-right, Ranger, Colossus, Storm and Interceptor. The Ranger is in colour as the focus of the image, with the other three in greyscale.

Play Style: The Ranger is being toted as the versatile, jack-of-all-trades Javelin. You have a medium amount of health and shields and a medium degree of mobility. The Ranger is also capable of dealing all elemental damage types — giving it a good range of options when it comes to dealing with heavily shielded (lightning, frost) or armored (acid, fire) enemies. Consider the Ranger akin to a Soldier in playstyle, with grenades, rockets, and a good range of weaponry.

Movement / Dodge: The Ranger is capable of double-jumping, and can dash quickly in any direction to avoid danger.

Special: The only Javelin capable of priming enemies with a melee attack. The Ranger’s Shock Mace is capable of priming with the Lightning effect. Also the only Javelin capable of activating and firing their Ultimate while flying (not just hovering like the Storm, but proper travel-mode flight).

Combo Effect: Detonating a combo as the Ranger deals a good portion of bonus single target damage, making them ideal for taking out the heavy hitters of the game.

Weapons CAN Equip: Heavy Pistols, Shotguns, Assault Rifles, Marksman Rifles, Machine Pistols, Light Machine Guns, Sniper Rifles.

Weapons CANNOT Equip: Autocannons, Grenade Launchers.

Armor: Heavy

Melee Attack: Shock Mace — Thunderbolt and lightning, very very frightening…Er, yes. As noted above, the Ranger’s Shock Mace can prime enemies with the Lightning status effect.

The Skills

Grenade Gear

  • Frag Grenade: Throw and trigger an explosion on impact with a moderate radius.
  • Inferno Grenade: Throw and trigger fire damage both immediately and over time.
  • Frost Grenade: Throw and apply frost status, freezing enemies in place.
  • Seeker Grenades: Throw a single grenade which then splits into multiple grenades that will seek out nearby enemies.
  • Sticky Grenade: Latches to the first surface hit, be that the ground, a rock your enemy is about to pop around, or heck, the enemy’s face. Then it explodes. Ouch.

Assault Gear

  • Seeking Missile: Launch a missile that will home in on a single nearby enemy, exploding on impact and dealing damage in a small radius.
  • Pulse Blast: Fire an energy burst at a single target.
  • Spark Beam: Deals continuous damage to your target, you can sweep it around to touch multiple targets while your charge holds.
  • Venom Darts: Fire a volley of three acid darts, dealing damage and applying the acid status effect.
  • Blast Missile: Dumb fire missile, but with a large area of effect compared to other Ranger abilities.

Support Gear

  • Bulwark Point: Places a dome of energy around you which deflects enemy projectiles. Allies can enter the radius for protection also.
  • Muster Point: Places a dome of energy around you which buffs your weapon damage. Allies may also enter the dome to have their weapon damage buffed.

Ultimate Ability: Multi-Target Missile Battery

A swarm of missiles erupt from your shoulder launcher after a period of locking on to anything around.

As the name suggests, it will target multiple targets if they’re available–but if you’re against say a boss without any trash about, all missiles are also capable of hitting the same target for some pretty, pretty, hefty damage.

As with all ultimate abilities in Anthem–heal yourself to full upon activation and become invulnerable for the duration. As the Ranger though, you can also be in full flight-mode with your Ultimate firing off. No other Javelin can do this, although the Storm can hover.

Official Skills Video