I just wanted to put this somewhere... Both the good and bad sides of my and my mates' experience of the Anthem Demo.
So, me and my mates pre-ordered Anthem a while ago and we were in total 5 people playing. The first night, release night, the servers first got full - right on the 18:00 mark. We couldn't get to a point that night where 3 of us were online at the same time without loading screen crashes / stuck in lobby etc. so we gave up after about 3-4 hours thinking that we'll sleep early so we can try this morning.
As expected, the Server-Is-Full message was long gone this morning, and for the first time we could actually play together. The loading screen issue was still there - stopping at 90-93% ~ and from there not going anywhere until you restart the entire game through task manager - but even if we spent about 40% our total gametime this morning in loading screen, we could actually play.
... Almost. The servers were EXTREMELY laggy and at one point we just had to abandon it because neither of us could play - it was awful. A few attempts later I was the only one having issues - but not just rubberbanding... The input delay from me was EXTREME - even though am sitting right next to one of the 2 others am playing with. Almost EVERYTHING happened with a 3 second delay - I could let go of my keyboard only to watch my character strafe of a cliff all by herself - and it just didn't stop. Needless to say, I was on the edge of FURIOUS regarding this - the game was COMPLETELY unplayable from my side. We ended the demo story and wanted to go roaming just to discover that our party would be FORCED public if we wanted to roam - ... But why? Why do we HAVE to bring a random person for roaming? That, along with the lag I had just endured, made it for me - I closed the game and said I'd try the roaming later when we could actually be 4 premades since I absolutely refuse to roam with randoms (at least when I am forced to do it with randoms).
So, what do I have to say about the game?
Positive stuff -
* Beautiful game, the graphics are great despite some stutter here and there
* Very nice variation among the javelins - I absolutely love the different roles and the possibility to swap abilities around as you please.
* The combat, when actually working as intended, feels great. We played on Hard Difficulty only and we enjoyed the first "boss" you encounter... When the entire team consist of "meh"-geared Rangers, the boss actually felt challenging... The rock bosses? Not so much, they didn't pose much of a threat but had a lot of HP.
* Great customization - I enjoy being able to swap the gear feeling with both fabrics and colors... Well done!
Negative stuff -
* Very, very, very laggy. EA was not even close to prepared - this felt more like a stress-test than a demo.
* Jetpack managing is... Annoying - but that might just take some getting used to.
* Too easy - yeah, I know the demo was supposed to be much easier than the real thing... But when mobs on hard get pretty much oneshot by everything - then it is the opposite of "hard".
* Why on EARTH would you force people to play in public groups when they want to roam? That LITERALLY makes no sense! Get rid of that feature!
* Loading screens...........
*Imma say it again because it is important: EA WAS NOT READY FOR THIS - AND THAT IS A VERY BAD THING. You KNEW how many players you could expect - with EXACT numbers - yet you couldn't prepare the servers. That is seriously discouraging.
* Microtransactions - honestly? I don't mind them as much as many other players do - AS LONG AS THEY ARE COSMETIC ONLY!!! Obviously EA said that there would be no "Pay to win" - but EA has a bad track record when it comes to stuff like that (as most of you know).
* The social features is buggy af. Sometimes your friends appear and sometimes they don't - that is making it really difficult to invite your friends... Which obviously is a bad thing since EA put this entire game on the market with the tag "Should be enjoyed with friends"...
Just a heads up RE playing with randoms, you can set the session to Private in the lobby screen when you first climb into your Jav. If I remember you click one of the analogue sticks (on console) and you can choose between Public and Private
Ah that's a nightmare, I suppose that's only for the demo or just a temporary issue? Not sure why else the Private function is there otherwise
To be honest though, it may have seemed like I was in a Private session because most people were getting kicked or couldn't play the game at all on Xbox One which is probably why I was always Solo or only with mates who invited me.