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What You Need to Know About Inscriptions in Anthem

Gameplay Designer Chris King and Lead Gameplay Producer Darrin McPherson walk you through the details of loot inscriptions in Anthem.

Hey everyone – Chris King (Gameplay Design Director) and Darrin McPherson (Lead Gameplay Producer) here.  First off, thanks to everyone for your continued support and feedback regarding Anthem.  We hope you are enjoying the recent updates to the loot system. 

With our first batch of loot updates wrapped up, we thought it a good opportunity to dig into some details and talk about what we are working on next. 

First off, let’s walk through how inscriptions work.  Inscriptions are random modifiers that are applied to each loot item upon creation.  Here is an example of some inscriptions on an Avenging Herald –a Masterwork Heavy Pistol (and a really good one at that)!

A couple things to note with inscriptions:

  • If there is a Gear icon () in front of the inscription, that means it applies only to the item itself.
  • If it has a Suit icon (), that means it applies to everything on the javelin.

So in the Avenging Herald example above, the following inscriptions were rolled:

  • +15% Weapon Damage. This increases the damage dealt from the Avenging Herald by an additional 15%. In this case, the inscription has a Gear icon so the damage boost *ONLY* applies to this weapon and wouldn’t apply to your secondary weapon.
  • +4% Repair Amount. All health drops that are picked up will replenish an additional 4% health.
  • +30% Ammo Drop Rate. Increases the chance of a defeated enemy dropping weapon ammo by 30%.
  • +15% Heavy Pistol Damage. Since this has a Suit icon, any Heavy Pistol the player is carrying (including this Avenging Herald) will do an additional 15% damage. So if you had two Heavy Pistols equipped, both weapons would get the 15% increase.

One other callout here is that the Damage Number shown (in this case 1044) doesn’t include the damage bonuses that came from the inscription rolls. This is an important consideration – inscriptions aren’t reflected in the stat block (currently at least) so make sure you are comparing apples to apples here. As an example, check out these two Avenging Heralds – they both show identical Power values of 45 and Damage as 1044. But the one on the right will do more damage because of the two Damage inscriptions it has.

How are inscriptions applied? We have the following buckets of inscriptions:

  • Minor Primary
  • Minor Secondary
  • Major Secondary
  • Major Primary
  • Epic Secondary
  • Epic Primary

The lower the tier, the less impact the inscription will have. The higher the tier, the higher the impact.

As an example, Minor Primary can modify weapon damage from +5-25%. But adding a Major Secondary inscription to weapon damage will modify it from +25%-175%.

Ultimately, the rarity of an item dictates which inscriptions it gets. Here is a table that visualizes how this works on weapons and gear:

General

Minor Primary

Minor Secondary

Major Secondary

Major Primary

Epic Secondary

Epic Primary

Common

Uncommon

X

Rare

X

X

Epic

X

X

X

Masterwork

X

X

X

X

Legendary

X

X

X

X

Here is a list of our inscriptions with descriptions of what they do:

Inscription

Description

LB/Q +{X}% Dmg

Increases the damage of the gear item in slot

LB/Q +{X}% Speed

Speeds up recharge time for the gear in slot

RB/E +{X}% Dmg

Increases the damage of the gear item in slot

RB/E +{X}% Speed

Speeds up recharge time for the gear in slot

+{X}% Dmg

Increases all damage done by the javelin

+{X}% Force

Increases the force applied to targets

+{X}% Harvest Bonus

Increases the amount of materials when harvesting

+{X}% Pickup Radius

Increases the distance that you will automatically pick up drops

+{X}% Thruster Life

Increases your maximum thruster time

Acid +{X}% Dmg

Increases acid damage

Acid +{X}% Effect

Increases the number of acid stacks that are applied

Acid +{X}% Resist

Increases your resistance to a specific element, lowering damage and decreasing the number of stacks being applied to you

Ammo +{X}% Drop Rate

Increases the chance that ammo drops appear from defeated enemies

Ammo +{X}% Pickup Amnt

Increases the amount of ammo that is gained by picking up an ammo drop

A-Rifle +{X}% Ammo

Increases the spare ammo of assault rifles

A-Rifle +{X}% Dmg

Increases all weapon damage done by assault rifles

Armor +{X}% Dmg Resist

Reduces all incoming damage

Armor +{X}% Max

Increases maximum Armor

Autocannon +{X}% Ammo

Increases the spare ammo of autocannons

Autocannon +{X}% Dmg

Increases all weapon damage done by autocannons

Blast +{X}% Dmg

Increases all explosive damage

Combo +{X}% Aura Eff

Increases the effect stacking rate of aura combos (Interceptor)

Combo +{X}% Damage

Increases the damage of Impact (single target) combo

Combo +{X}% Damage

Increases the damage of Explosive combo (Colossus)

Combo +{X}% Imp Dmg

Increases the damage of Impact (single target) combo (Ranger)

Combo +{X}% Targets

Increased the number of targets that are hit by a chain combo (Storm)

Critical +{X}% Dmg

Increases the damage done when hitting weakpoints

Effect +{X}% Resist

Increases your resistance to all elements, lowering damage and decreasing the number of stacks being applied to you

Effects {X}% Duration

Reduces the duration of elemental effects on you

Elec +{X}% Dmg

Increases electric damage

Elec +{X}% Effect

Increases the number of electric stacks that are applied

Elec +{X}% Resist

Increases your resistance to a specific element, lowering damage and decreasing the number of stacks being applied to you

Elemental +{X}% Dmg

Increases elemental (category) damage ie: Ice, fire, and electric damage

Elemental +{X}% Resist

Increases your resistance to elemental (category) damage ie: Ice, fire, and electric damage

Fire +{X}% Dmg

Increases fire damage

Fire +{X}% Effect

Increases the number of fire stacks that are applied

Fire +{X}% Resist

Increases your resistance to a specific element, lowering damage and decreasing the number of stacks being applied to you

Gear +{X}% Charges

Increases the number of gear charges

Gear +{X}% Dmg

Increases gear damage

Gear +{X}% Speed

Speeds up recharge time for gear

GrenLaun +{X}% Ammo

Increases the spare ammo of grenade launchers

GrenLaun +{X}% Dmg

Increases all weapon damage done by grenade launchers

Hvy Pistol +{X}% Dmg

Increases all weapon damage done by heavy pistols

Ice +{X}% Dmg

Increases cold damage

Ice +{X}% Effect

Increases the number of ice stacks that are applied

Ice +{X}% Resist

Increases your resistance to a specific element, lowering damage and decreasing the number of stacks being applied to you

Impact +{X}% Dmg

Increases untyped damage to target

Impact +{X}% Resist

Increases resistance to untyped damage

LMG +{X}% Ammo

Increases the spare ammo of light machine guns

LMG +{X}% Dmg

Increases all weapon damage done by light machine guns

Mch Pistol +{X}% Ammo

Increases the spare ammo of machine pistols

Mch Pistol +{X}% Dmg

Increases all weapon damage done by machine pistols

Melee +{X}% Dmg

Increases the damage of melee attacks

Mks Rifle +{X}% Ammo

Increases the spare ammo of marksman rifles

Mks Rifle +{X}% Dmg

Increases all weapon damage done by marksman rifles

Overheat {X}% Delay

Decreases the time between overheating and when your stamina begins to cool

Physical +{X}% Dmg

Increases physical (category) damage ie: Acid, physical

Physical +{X}% Resist

Increases your resistance to physical (category) damage ie: Acid, kinetic / impact

Pistol +{X}% Ammo

Increases the spare ammo of heavy pistols

Repair +{X}% Amnt

Increases the amount of health that is gained by picking up a health drop

Repair +{X}% Drop Rate

Increases the chance that health drops appear from defeated enemies

Shield {X}% Delay

Increases the speed at which your shield recharges

Shield {X}% Refresh

Reduces the time between when your shield breaks and when it starts regenerating

Shield +{X}% Max

Increases maximum shields

Shotgun +{X}% Ammo

Increases the spare ammo of shotguns

Shotgun +{X}% Dmg

Increases all weapon damage done by shotguns

Sniper +{X}% Ammo

Increases the spare ammo of sniper rifles

Sniper +{X}% Dmg

Increases all weapon damage done by sniper rifles

Supply +{X}% Drop Rate

Increases the chance that ammo or health drops appear from defeated enemies

Support +{X}% Luck

Increases the chances that you will get better loot

Support +{X}% Speed

Speeds up recharge time for gear in your support slot

Thruster +{X}% Speed

Increases the speed at which your thrusters cool

Ultimate +{X}% Dmg

Increases the damage of your ultimate

Ultimate +{X}% Speed

Increases the rate at which your ultimate regenerates

Weap {X}% Recoil Aim

Decreases recoil while tight-aiming of the weapon

Weap {X}% Recoil Hip

Decreases recoil while hip-firing of the weapon

Weap {X}% Reload Time

Decreases reload time for a weapon

Weap +{X}% Aim

Increases the aim assist on a weapon

Weap +{X}% Ammo

Increases the spare ammo of the weapon

Weap +{X}% Blast Dmg

Increases the damage of explosive blasts (not impacts). Mislabeled as weapon specific, actually affect gear or weapon.

Weap +{X}% Clip

Increases the magazine size of the weapon

Weap +{X}% Dmg

Increases overall weapon damage

Weap +{X}% Fire Rate

Increases the firing rate of the weapon

Weap +{X}% Mag Size

Increases the magazine size of the weapon

There is a lot to digest here so we will leave it at that for now.  In the next week or so, we will follow-up with another post that digs into some of the details even further but hopefully this post has been a good start.

As for what is next up for in-game updates, we are planning on the following:

  • Bumping the ranges of some inscription rolls so that players don’t get things like “+1% Dmg”.
  • Increasing the inscription pools on a per item basis. Right now we have large pools that are shared, but that means they need to be a tad more generic than we would like.

Not sure yet when we will get these out, but we will follow-up when they are ready.

Thanks for reading!

Chris & Darrin

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