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If you thought the Anthem damage numbers were funky, it wasn’t just your imagination. After running some experiments, it appears as though those damage numbers that bounce off enemies aren’t quite telling the truth for at least some of the weapons. Players found that, despite the huge difference between numbers, a level 45 master rifle and a level 1 common rifle were doing the same amount of damage.
Reddit user YeetLordSupreme recently came across this on the game’s subreddit. After some goofing around, they decided to test the damage from the Level 1 common Defender rifle against the Level 45 masterwork Ralner’s Blaze rifle on a lone enemy just hanging out and found that the numbers weren’t quite adding up.
While YeetLordSupreme didn’t post footage of their exact dilemma, someone else did. As you can see in the demonstration below from user beatpeet42, the “weaker” rifle shoots off 238 damage while the “stronger” gun lops off 1442 damage. Yet, despite the huge difference in numbers, the actual damage looks to be about the same.
More people started looking into this and posted more evidence of this bizarre phenomenon. Redittor takeshikun posted a more elaborate test, showing comparable results with different weapons.
This probably wasn’t what BioWare intended and deserves some explanation. Thankfully, Brenon Holmes, technical design director at BioWare, responded in that same thread.
“We’ll need to investigate this, scaling systems are supposed to allow low level players to play with high level players to be effective against high level enemies,” he said. “This is not intended, something ain’t right there…”
No one knows exactly what is going on but it appears as though the damage numbers might not mean anything or that the starting gear is bugged and making these weak guns incredibly powerful. A user gave a rundown of the bug on EA support page and came to the conclusion that the default weapons were being “upscaled by highest item level, allowing a possible exploit in severe damage magnification where it is unintended.” This would explain the bug and how “level 1 weapons are outdoing well rolled Legendary weapons by an impressive and distressing margin.”
While Holmes said BioWare is looking into it, hopefully the studio identifies the problem and churns out a fix soon. While this isn’t as bad as PS4 systems shutting off, it’s still not a great look for a troubled game that keeps running into issues.