BioWare has repeatedly stated in the past that it intends to put out Anthem as more than just a traditional multiplayer game. The new offering does borrow from Destiny, perhaps in several ways, but the developer is keen on improving the same formula for a refreshing and value-centric experience.
One array that is getting the most attention from BioWare is the cooperative mode. The online progression system will allow players to join others before embarking on adventures. Since the developer has already promised to not incorporate any loot boxes or pay-to-win tactics, low-level players are likely to form groups with high-level players for quick leveling.
This sort of gameplay is known as boosting and is pretty common in the multiplayer sphere. The high-level player rampages through a particular difficult mission, while the low-level group members simply stay back out of danger to soak experience points and powerful drops.
It should be noted that boosting is never looked upon kindly in the community. However, BioWare is not worried about players making progress in such a way. The developer is in fact encouraging the gameplay aspect by making it easier for players to find boosters in their vicinity. This will be done through a sort of dungeon finder blended right into the map, allowing players to quickly jump in and out of groups at will without any hassle.
So why is BioWare showing no concerns about potential complaints surfacing post-release? It has all to do with certain improvements that the developer believes addresses the problem.
Speaking with Game Informer in a recent interview, lead producer Ben Irving stated that boosting will be present in Anthem but not in the traditional sense.
It is true that the cooperative mode will not restrict players to join forces, regardless of their levels, but every player in a group will “feel like” they are dishing out the same amount of damage. The disparity in power levels, even if too high, will not be that obvious during missions.
However, the high-level players will be more “efficient” since they have collected more gear in the game. This will allow them to do more on the battlefield.
As for the low-level players, they will still have to contribute in their own way. No one is going to simply sit back and have someone else do all the work.
The difference will be, if I have a greater variety of gear at my disposal, I’m going to be more efficient because I have more things to use than you. But the idea is that it will feel good – it will feel like we’re both contributing.
The absence of level restrictions also means that missions from further ahead in the storyline can be undertaken at any moment. The developer believes this to be perfectly fine as long as players do not mind spoilers.
To further accentuate on this design decision, executive producer Mark Darrah stated that the goal is to lay the entire shared world right into the palms of the player. There should be nothing that stops someone from exploring with others.
You are experiencing the multiplayer opportunities from your story and other people’s stories much more seamlessly, much more integrated together.
The cooperative improvements do seem like an interesting take on boosting. While the developer is being a bit vague on the changes, it appears that the system adjusts difficulty in accordance with the average player-level in a group.
Anthem is scheduled to release worldwide on February 22, 2019, for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.