Verification of hypothesis: https://imgur.com/gallery/UZkJtcf
Intent: To help these bugs get fixed and to help players be more aware of some potential workarounds and fixes.
This is still not fully proven. But with the information available to really does seem like the lvl bug is nerfing loot drops.
I got curious about the armor bug and in trying to pin it down I ran across the Lvl 1 Bug. For some time I thought the lvl 1 bug might be causing the armor/shield bug. I did some testing and pinned it down to Sigils and +armor%. Somehow the game is forgetting your component values. And somehow using both armor/shield sigils and +armor/shield% forces it to math it out properly, even if it does not display properly.
Now we also have this lvl 1 bug. Whenever it happens lots of other stuff gets weird. The game will forget progress, appearance settings, player progress, etc. The common pattern is that it seems like it's reverting to defaults and "forgetting" variables.
The lvl 1 bug can be cleared by entering the Forge. But only via Fort Tarsis and The Launch Bay. Menu entry of the Forge does not clear the bug. I think a lot of people stay in a bugged state and do not realize it.
Also I'm sure others have notice sometimes you'll start shooting an enemy and it teleports somewhere else on you? That's server sunchtony issues. The client side and server side enemy positions get mixed up and it eventually gets forced to use what the server says is valid. Resulting in your enemies teleporting. There are also some others effects from these desyncs I won't go into for what should obvious reasons.
Depending on how they set things up it would make sense that for minor desyncs it reverts to client side or placeholder values until it can resync to keep you from disconnecting completely.
I think this is the root cause of a lot of bugginess.
I also hesitantly propose this is causing a bug with loot. (Hear me out, I was a denier until it happened to me)
I have been doing luck testing to try and figure out stuff like where to farm, effective differences in drop rates, actual effectiveness of luck%, etc. With the intent to help people and dispels some myths that have cropped up.
I ran into an extreme anomaly and it gave me reason for pause.
I recorded 3 runs in a row with only blue and purple drops on GM 2. While plausible as simply a run of bad luck I was also having an unusual level of bugginess I could not clear with normal methods. It was forgetting my appearance in game, the armor bug would not clear(I can always get it to at least visual only), cpu usage/fps, and a bunch of other stuff. I had to reinstall Anthem and purge the local save & settings files to fully have it back to normal
If not for so many people reporting abysmal luck(which I had originally dismissed as trolls at first) and having those previous experiences I would have dismissed this as a run of bad luck.
I will continue my luck testing and continue to collect data. I will now also add some runs where I let myself stay in the bugged state of the lvl 1 bug.
For now I would suggest the following:
-always clear the lvl 1 bu by entering the Forge via Fort Tarsis or the Launch Bay; this is likely the primary cause of many bugged states
-always use +armor/shield% armor/shield sigils to clear the armor/shield bug(it's a very useful buff anyway, and makes those epic embers worth something)
-be aware of bugged states and minor desync issues in general; I suspect a lot of players continue with the lvl 1 bug and do not realize it.
Bonus tips for PC users having CPU usage and FPS issues:
-FPS: Turn off in game Vsync; something is bugged with Vsync and it's why you fps is less than optimal. Forcing vsync from the GPU control panel and disabling in game can fix it. ( use Fast Vsync if you are using Nvidia)
-CPU Usage: Turn off all unneeded background task. Especially any LED light services(lightingservice32.exe, etc) Easy Anti Cheat can conflict with these. I also turn off Discord And Steam. Also turn off Origin in game and their helper service. Finally leave the application setting window of Origin open in the background while playing. Origin has issues that cause CPU usage in all Origin games.