The people of Bastion have much to fear – malevolent creatures roaming the wilds, fanatical Dominion forces testing their strength and fortitude – but nothing inspires as much terror and dread as a Cataclysm. They are one of the most destructive and chaotic manifestations of the Anthem – leaving devastation and death in their wake. And now, Freelancer, it’s your turn to face the chaos head on and do your best to end it.
Your Guide to the Cataclysm
A Cataclysm is a themed, season-long event that offers unique rewards and challenges for its duration, and leaves Bastion changed when it ends. What does that mean in terms of the specific changes it will bring to the game? This article will cover the most important ones, including:
Entering the Cataclysm, Arenas, and Freeplay
There are no level requirements in a Cataclysm, anyone at any level is welcome to enter. To begin your experience select the “Cataclysm” option on the Game Modes menu. Howling winds and a dangerously darkened sky will greet you once you’ve entered this new map area. You may be tempted to immediately start exploring, but be warned, the storm will damage your javelin as long as you’re out in it. Scattered throughout you’ll find arenas, when you close the rifts inside them you’ll be able to find temporary shelter from the storm, complete tasks, increase available mission time, and engage in combat for loot, in-game currency, and scoring opportunities.
In Freeplay (the mode where you can freely roam through the world of Anthem) you can also encounter Cataclysm-related events. Look for strange anomalies in the sky, these writhing balls of light and energy are called Storm Gates. Check the upper right corner of your screen to find out how long you’ll need to wait until the current one opens. Once it does, fly through and complete the objectives within before time runs out to earn rewards.
Currency and War Chests
New in-game currency is available for you to collect and spend during the Cataclysm season – Major Crystals and Minor Crystals. Major Crystals are mainly given out as mission and challenge rewards. Minor Crystals are a currency you earn through playing that you can then use to purchase Major Crystals and buy War Chests and vanity items. War Chests contain all the non-vanity items you can unlock during the Cataclysm; see the “New Enemies and Rewards” section below for examples.
Where can you do your shopping with this currency? Head to Herschel’s Hut in the Fort Tarsis market, near the doors to the courtyard. Herschel and his slimy pet Kit sell unique items (updated weekly) that you won’t want to miss.
New Enemies and Rewards
If you’re looking for a fight you won’t have any trouble finding one. Keep an eye out for Cataclysm-specific enemies like punishing Bristlebacks and Dominion Crystal Troopers. But your real challenge is Vara, a military leader in the Dominion who commands a group of powerful Valkyries. She’s taken up the mantle after the defeat of the Monitor and has her own plan for controlling the Anthem. She believes she can succeed where the Monitor failed. Defeating her and stopping her plan will be absolutely vital to silencing the Cataclysm.
What kinds of rewards will you be able to earn? During Anthem's Cataclysm, you will have access to new powerful Masterwork and Legendary melee items, support gear, weapons and more. You can also earn exclusive cosmetics including armor packs and vinyls. An additional melee slot will also give you more freedom to tweak your loadouts and open up added, up-close-and-personal attack possibilities.
Scoring, Inversions, and Leaderboards
During a run in the Cataclysm, you’ll earn points from taking out enemies, gathering items, and completing puzzles and objectives. You have a limited amount of time in the Cataclysm, so you’ll need to work together with your team and strategize about what to prioritize in order to get the highest score. Completing objectives in an arena will also increase your score multiplier, allowing you to score even more points. Spending time in the storm itself will also increase your score multiplier, but you’ll have to be prepared to take damage for those points. In a Cataclysm, you’ll always need to find a balance between safety and danger if you want to maximize your score.
Inversions are modifiers applied by the game that change how you play but don’t directly impact your score. They’ll shake up gameplay and, in some cases, make it more challenging. Inversions will also reward different kinds of play and will change from week to week throughout the duration of the Cataclysm.
The introduction of a global leaderboard will let you see the highest score you’ve earned during the Cataclysm and how you rank versus the entire player base. Understanding how to increase your score by planning out your arena strategies and keeping score multipliers in mind will be vital to climbing to the top of the leaderboard. Higher scores also mean more Crystals for you to spend in Herschel’s Hut.
New Story Missions
There are three unique story missions for you to take on with the Cataclysm update. The first is called “Tip of the Spear”, in it you’ll be introduced to Grandmaster Adams who’s arrived in Fort Tarsis with concerns about a Dominion connection to the growing Shaper storm and he’d like you to investigate. In the second mission, you’ll team up with fellow Freelancers to try and capture an old enemy who may have the answers you need. In the final story mission, you’ll need to get inside the Cataclysm itself if you hope to stop it.
Are You Ready?
The Cataclysm has arrived in all its fury, so gear up, reload, and prepare yourself to face the oncoming storm.
Anthem is available now in both Standard Edition and the Legion of Dawn Edition for Xbox One, PlayStation® 4, and PC. Play the full game with Origin Access Premier or try it first for 10 hours with EA Access or Origin Access Basic.*
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