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ANTHEM PTS Cataclysm gameplay & my thoughts/impressions of the new content

Bioware's latest ANTHEM news came in the form of the release of the PTS (public test server), which gives players the ability to try out the upcoming 8 weeks long Cataclysm event and offer their feedback directly to the developers.

I played on ANTHEM's PTS the last couple days and thoroughly tried and tested out all of its features. Several "pre-Cataclysm" story missions are included, with their own cinematics and character dialogue.

There's also a new NPC vendor, Herschel, who will be selling "Augur" items. What those are, is unknown atm, as the shop's dialogue ends there and the shop backend in not on the PTS yet.

Here's a small clip of it:

Moving on, I must warn you, most of the images/text and gameplay below contain major SPOILERS.

So if you mind about that sort of thing, you might want to stop reading.

If you don't, enjoy the rest of the article!

Let's start with the Conjunctions, something I posted about a few days ago, since it was datamined from the client after the 1.20 patch. Big thanks to the Anthem Archive guys for this information!

These Conjunctions seem to be what was originally shown during the E3 2017 ANTHEM trailer as "Shaper Storms". Bioware at some point revealed that the Cataclysm and the Shaper Storms had been merged into one event, during the game's development.

The Conjunctions "portals" exist as multiple anomalies in Freeplay and are events that periodically unlock. I believe the activation timer is 20-25mins right now, but that is always subject to change and Bioware will probably fine tune it according to the data they collect from the PTS players.

Once the anomaly goes volatile, it expands and creates a portal that leads into a small dungeon, where the actual event takes place. There's a secondary timer that causes the entrance to collapse and shut down, so once you're inside, there's no way for others to join in (AFAIK).

The event is something the community has asked for months and it's been suggested as early as 2017! A horde mode.

It's a timed event where enemies spawn in waves and you have to defeat them to unlock loot chests and rewards. There's currently 3 tiers, each increasing in difficulty.

So a pretty straight-forward event by all means. You head off to Freeplay, fly to (or fast travel near one) an anomaly and wait for it to unlock. Enter, kill as many things as you can, as fast as you can and reap the rewards.

It's a really fun event imo and it'll add some much needed replayability to ANTHEM.

This is what the Conjuction looks like in-game:

Up next, I got some new story missions, lore and a work in progress cinematic. (the entire PTS is work in progress, fyi)

The main characters for the "pre-Cataclysm" missions will be Grandmaster Adams, Dr. Harken and Vara Brom.

You'll remember Grandmaster Adams from the end of the main storyline, he's the guy standing in a room with Tassyn and the dead Urgoth scout behind them.

Dr. Harken is the bald guy we say during the cinematic of the Destruction of Freemark. He is the one who turned the shaper relic on and caused the cataclysmic event known as Heart of Rage that annihilated the city of Freemark.

Vara Brom is going to be the main villain (afaik). She's the Monitor's sister! She's a high rank member of the Spear, which is a regime within the Dominion forces. In the cinematic we see her performing some form of ritual, involving a huge shaper relic that causes the Cataclysm.

Needless to say, EVERYTHING currently on the ANTHEM PTS is subject to change. Values, missions, items, how things work, etc. Once enough data is collected and Bioware feels comfortable to release the new content, they will patch the live servers with it.

And finally we have the actual Cataclysm event itself. It's a vast new area, filled with puzzles and mini events. It's point based and also a timed event.

Completing objectives grants you both points and extra time to keep going. There's also where you'll encounter Vara Brom. She is not particularly hard to beat, but has some really annoying attacks up her sleeve. Keep an eye out for those!

When the time ends, you get moved out of the area. I assume the leaderboards statue I found (see images below) will have something to do with it! Hopefully Guilds too? We'll see.

I'm really liking the direction Bioware is taking with this, as it'll create a form of indirect "PvP", or rather competition, between players/groups/guilds and that can be a good thing for the game.

People will want to put their (guild) name up on the top positions of the leaderboard, moreso if there's a reward for it!

I will be putting together a full guide for the Cataclysm event soon, so keep an eye for that!

Until then, you can check out the vods over at https://www.twitch.tv/ai_baggs for some Cataclysm PTS gameplay.

Remember: Fly safe, Freelancers!

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To the AIClub members who have already pledged - Thank you! You're all awesome.

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