MoonLiteWolf takes you through the basics of Anthem’s challenging new Cataclysm content. Discover how to boost your score, gain the most rewards, why teamwork is so vital to success, and more.
What is a Cataclysm? It’s a limited-time event requiring practice, exploration, teamwork, and communication. To enter the event just select the “Cataclysm” option on the Game Modes menu. Once you fly into the storm your javelin will be buffeted by intense winds, flying debris, and even lightning strikes. You’ll also notice a new bar at the top of your screen that quickly diminishes every second you remain out in the fierce weather. It’s your Stability Bar and as it depletes your health will soon follow.
To avoid damage within the Cataclysm, look for small shielded areas where you’ll be protected from the storm, or for glowing balls of light (rifts that generally appear in the center of an arena) which can be destroyed to stabilize the area.
You’ll also be able to encounter Cataclysm-related events while in Freeplay (the mode where you can freely roam through the world of Anthem). Look for a new icon that will appear on your map and select to track it. Look for a location nearby with the symbol of a purple beacon, these are anomalies, special events that spawn every 20 minutes throughout the map. Teleport to the closest strider to check out the anomaly before it closes. If you arrive early just look to the right side of your screen for an indicator reading “Storm Gate Opens in:”, that’s how much time you have before you can enter.
Once the gate opens, you’ll have less than a minute to dive inside and start the event, so don’t hesitate, Freelancer. Inside you’ll be given specific tasks that will have you battling enemies and completing objectives (like destroying crystals) before the anomaly destabilizes.
Each anomaly consists of three waves, and when you’ve successfully completed each one, you’ll unlock a chest brimming with loot.
The phrase “Strong alone, stronger together” definitely applies as you’ll be facing brutal new enemies, complex puzzles, and (of course) the fury of the Cataclysm itself. A strong squad of Freelancers with a good strategy will see their scores skyrocket – and survive long enough to face the Dominion’s tough leader, Vara.
Almost everything you do and every decision you make in the Cataclysm can affect your score. You’ll earn points for enemy kills, solving puzzles, completing bonus challenges and more. And there are ways to boost your scores even higher. For example, the longer you spend out in the storm, the more your score will be boosted. Of course, those points will come at the cost of damage to your javelin, so weigh your options carefully.
Now that you understand a little more about the scoring system and how to maximize yours, you may be wondering why it’s important. There’s an added in-game currency available for you to collect and spend during the Cataclysm season – Major Crystals and Minor Crystals. The higher your score, the more Crystals you’ll earn.
- Minor Crystals are a currency you earn through playing and are used to purchase Major Crystals, War Chests, and vanity items.
- Major Crystals are earned as mission and challenge rewards and used to purchase War Chests and vanity items.
War Chests contain all the non-vanity items you can unlock during the Cataclysm including exclusive, higher power-level gear and weapons.
You’ll be able to acquire nine exotic weapons at certain points throughout the Cataclysm event, ranging from savage Blade Slingers to charged-up Volt Casters:
- Bad Omen
- Grave Digger
- Jarra’s Wrath
- Lightning Rod
- Rain Maker
- Riza’s Ripper
- Shard Storm
Whether you’re calling down the heavens’ wrath with Lightning Rod or tearing enemies apart with Riza’s Ripper, these powerful weapons provide the firepower needed to take on almost anything the Cataclysm can throw at you.
In this video, William from YourAnthem takes you through advanced tips and tricks that will help you conquer the Cataclysm’s most challenging content.
Increasing Your Score
Why is increasing your score important? The more points you earn in the Cataclysm, the more Minor Crystals you’ll be awarded and the more you can purchase at the seasonal store (Herschel’s Hut in the Fort Tarsis market). Minor Crystals can be used 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.
So, now you understand the “why,” it’s time for some tips on how to do it!
Tip 1 – Bring your squad along. Not only will it help you when it comes to solving the puzzles, but you’ll be awarded more points for the additional Freelancers as well as for all the extra kills they’ll be making.
Tip 2 – Stay within the effect of the Cataclysm as long as possible to increase your score multiplier. Taking shelter from the Cataclysm, or shooting the rift hanging over each of the arenas cuts your score multiplier in half. Just be aware of your Stability Bar – the ferocity of the storm will deplete it quickly, and once it’s gone your javelin begins to take damage.
Tip 3 – Complete each arena to receive a baseline score multiplier plus a 30-second increase to your Stability Bar, which helps you survive longer in the storm and earn more points. Completing arena challenges also adds three additional minutes to your Cataclysm timer – allowing you to complete more arenas, kill more enemies, and score even more points. Note: there are also time rooms scattered throughout the map that add even more time and a small number of points; spending a little time discovering their locations will help you increase your overall Cataclysm score.
Tip 4 – Collect glowing, orb-shaped notes that can be found by defeating enemies throughout the map, searching under the water, or at different points on the surface. Picking up notes has the added benefit of increasing your Stability Bar. Notes come in green, blue, purple, and yellow – with the higher rarities giving you more time and points.
Each arena within the Cataclysm contains a secret mini-boss battle with their own unique way of spawning them. Defeating these powerful enemies is definitely worth your time.
Tip – The way to summon a Valkyrie always has something to do with the interactable components of a given arena.
Keep an eye open for strange objects and symbols throughout the Cataclysm map. Most will have “?” above them, making them relatively easy to recognize. If you can uncover their secrets, you’ll be awarded a variety of notes.
Tip 1 – Look for statues of female cyphers similar to the one you’ve seen in the Freelancer enclave in Fort Tarsis. On discovering one, explore the area for a small, square pressure plate. Once the plate’s been depressed, a yellow note will appear in the bowl at the statue’s feet.
Tip 2 – While exploring the map be sure to locate crystallized rock formations with the telltale “?” above them. To unlock the note within them, find and pick up a nearby bomb, return to the crystallized rock, open your communication wheel, and select “Drop Item.” After the bomb detonates you’ll be able to collect your yellow note.
Tip 3 – Shaper battery balls require three echoes in order to open them. You’ll find those echoes relatively nearby, however, don’t expect to find them in exactly the same place each time. You can carry all three echoes yourself but splitting up your squad to search for them saves time. Inside is a motherload of notes, so don’t overlook these puzzles.
It’s vitally important to leave yourself (and your squad) sufficient time to take on and beat Vara, as not only will fighting her rack up a high number of points but defeating her will actually double your score. Here are a few tips to help you survive the fight and take her down.
Tip 1 – When you enter her arena destroy the rift above her, otherwise you won’t be able to damage her. Note: the rift reappears after a period of time and you’ll need to destroy it each time it does.
Tip 2 – Hold off on using an ultimate ability until after you’ve just destroyed the rift, so you don’t waste it. If you try to use an ultimate while the rift is re-forming it won’t do any damage.
Tip 3 – Vara has command of all of the elements and can do a great deal of damage if you get too close. She can also teleport and each time she does her attack pattern will change.
Tip 4 – The one time you do want to get up close and personal with her is when she uses one of her most deadly attacks – World on Fire. To avoid the flames (and certain death), fly directly towards her and remain in the glowing blue ring beneath her feet.
Tip 5 – Once you’ve taken Vara down to her second health bar her attacks change. Her lava attack will immediately overheat your javelin, meaning you won’t be able to hover. Move to the top of one of the surrounding pillar platforms to survive. Even after the attack disperses your javelin will remain overheated so sprint for a bit to cool down.
Tip 6 – Just before Vara summons her minions, she’ll imbue her hands with acid elemental energy and declare, “This world belongs to the Dominion.”
Tip 7 – Avoid her frost shard attacks; if you’re hit by enough of them your javelin will be frozen and she’ll follow up with a deadly acid beam that will very likely take you out with one shot. Note: the shards will not affect Storm javelins while they are hovering with their shields up.
Tip 8 – When Vara has been dealt significant damage, she will collapse to the ground, and that’s your signal to hit her with everything you and your team have. Note: remember to keep an eye out for the rift reforming and destroy it as soon as it does.