Like many of you, we here at Anthem Enclave are (not so) patiently awaiting the NEXT big chapter in Anthem, and obsessing endlessly over every tiny scrap of info we can find.
This page contains every detail that is currently confirmed, or has very strong supporting evidence, about the Anthem NEXT/2.0 rework. We will constantly update and add new sections as more information becomes available leading up to the release date, so be sure to check back every so often if you think you may have missed something.
We will start off with the most asked questions that I see people asking:
When is the Anthem NEXT/2.0 release date?
Will I have to buy Anthem NEXT/2.0?
Will my gear and cosmetics transfer over to Anthem NEXT/2.0?
It is currently too early to know when we may be able to get our hands on the Anthem rework, all there is is speculation currently. Based on what we have seen and heard of where it is in development, the consensus of the community seems to be 2022, but obviously that is in no way official. It is hard to guess, considering they are not building an entire game and we really don't know how much is being reworked, reused, or rebuilt.
What we do know is roughly how long ago they started. I spent a lot of time digging through Discord looking for a post from one of the Anthem leads from last year, but was unable to find it unfortunately. Sometime in fall 2019, one of the devs working on Anthem told us on the Anthem subreddit Discord server that after they finished development of the Cataclysm, they sat down and decided to pull back and get to work on major "core gameplay" changes. They decided that rather than continuing to drop band-aids and new content on top of obviously flawed systems, it would be best to dig down to the base level of the game and fix the issues the right way.
This puts the start, at least in concept phases, of Anthem NEXT at no later than late July 2019, since we know the Cataclysm update released on August 6, 2019.
I want to steer clear of opinion or speculation on this page as much as possible, but we have nothing else on this topic as of writing this (November 2020). Personally I would say that second half of 2021 is the absolute earliest we could possibly see it released, though there could be a beta or testing phase before that.
TLDR: Most likely, not soon.
Obviously, we all hope it will be. So far there has been zero official word on cost or delivery method. We don't know if it will be a simple update to the game, or an entirely new client. Given the drastic changes that we've seen so far, and the fact that they have seemingly split off from the live version, it seems to be beyond a simple update of the game files.
This doesn't mean it won't be free, but the time and resources being dumped into this project are very significant, potentially 2-3 years of dev time. It could be free, but they may need to recoup their losses in order to justify the work that has been put in.
Should any real info on this subject come to light, we will update you all here.
Most people are nervous about losing hard earned gear, or cosmetics they have paid real money for. We do have a little bit of official info on this though! In a reply on Twitter to YourAnthem on the subject of cosmetic purchases carrying over, one of the Anthem/EA community managers gave us a little bit of information on their current plans.
While this is not a confirmation yet, we can at least safely assume that BioWare wants to transfer our cosmetics and, quite likely, believes that they can, but are not at a stage where they are absolutely 100% certain that they can. Obviously having to back track on something like that would be disastrous, so being careful on this topic is understandable.
On the subject of gear and weapons there has been no official word, but given the huge and complete rework of the item and stats system, it is extremely unlikely that any gear will carry over. We know that components have been completely removed and replaced with other items, so there doesn't seem to be a way that gear even could transfer.
We've been lucky to see quite a large number of pieces of concept art from the Anthem team throughout 2020 thanks to Christian Daily, who is the "Studio Director" at BioWare's Austin office, which is where the Anthem team is located. Obviously this is all concept, not guaranteed to make it to the final version or look the same, but it gives us a nice window into what they are designing and how the game may be moving into the future.
Currently the world of Anthem is contained to one single region of a country that belongs to a much larger world named Coda. "Bastion" is the country that Fort Tarsis and our Freelancers call home, but there is a whole planet out there with endless potential for the future. We've only seen Northern Bastion, we haven't even seen Antium, the capitol city, yet.
One of the first images shown by Christian Dailey on Twitter was of a mountain peak in the shape of a gigantic skull, with all sorts of structures and platforms built up on the rock spires around it. This appears to be a settlement of the "Pirates of Blood Wind" which we will talk about a little later.
Click the images for more and larger images. Full size (4K mostly) images can be found on Christian Dailey's Twitter feed
We can't be certain that the last image is inside the skull, but given the glow coming from the skull in the second image of the outside view, and the light in the final inside picture, it seems likely. Possibly the entrance to a Pirate stronghold? We can only hope!
Another very interesting concept is what appears to be a dock or trade hub built above the clouds on the top of a large mountain peak. We can see an Air Ship departing and several details around the platform lead us to believe this also belongs to the Pirates of Blood Wind.
In every image, BioWare always sneaks in a "Ranger for scale" model somewhere, to give you a sense of how large these things are. See if you can find them.
This next image is a similar circular sky platform, but it doesn't appear to be this same structure. Perhaps it is an earlier concept image of this town, or maybe there will be several of these scattered around. The design and basic structure appear to be the same style, though the banners and colours are not. If you look closely you can see a symbol on a wall on the last image, a symbol that matches the one used in concept images of the "Pirates of Blood Wind". That seems to suggest that this platform belongs to a pirate faction. Whatever the answer, I want to live here.
One thing seems to be clear about this new region, we wont be spending much, or any, time on solid ground. Every image so far has shown life above the clouds, with large distances between platforms and peaks. I think we can reasonably expect a significant upgrade to our Javelin's thruster life. What I'm seeing here would be near impossible to navigate while overheating every 20-30 seconds (and no waterfalls). Coincidentally, one of the biggest complaints from the community was the overheating mechanic. Maybe that will be a thing of the past.
We've seen a good number of images of structures built into spires of rock, some Human and others possibly Shaper. Some large, some small. This next image appears to be a very significant "Cloud City" which could be replacing Fort Tarsis, or again, could be a faction settlement or enemy stronghold. It also makes a phenomenal desktop wallpaper if you grab the full image from Christian's Tweet here. If you look closely at the second image, you can see a symbol on a gate that appears to be the same one used on the "Pirates of Blood Wind" image that we will talk about a little further on, which heavily suggests that this is a pirate settlement of some kind.
Following that will be smaller structures or Shaper relics and generic locations that you would expect to see scattered around an open world zone.
This section will be filled with images that do not seem to match up to any previous locations. Possibly additional new regions or areas, or just general concept art that won't necessarily ever end up in game. Many of these tend to be extreme in their scale or drama, which suggests they may just be designed to catch the eye and "wow", rather than realistically ever exist in a playable format. Whatever they are, they sure are pretty.
While I believe that "Skull Town", "Cloud City" or even the "Air Ship" could potentially be new Strongholds, there is not currently any hard evidence to support that beyond the fact that they are huge, and Skull Town has a large vault door that appears to open.
But, there is actual news on the Stronghold front that does have confirmation so let's get into that.
Shortly before American Thanksgiving, Christian Dailey tweeted out three images of a "New Stronghold concept" that he named "Longfall Ruins". This is the first location he has ever named, and the first time he has ever indicated what something specifically is.
He calls this a "Concept", but this does not look like any previous concept pieces.
This definitely is not concept art, like many previous images have been. This is built in engine. All the previous images, except maybe the close up shots of the Cloud Docks, have either been drawings, or simply way too incredible looking to be actual gameplay images. This looks real. There are Scar enemies in each area, there is an actual, fully rendered Ranger in two out of three images. Previous "Ranger for scale" models have been basically shadows or flat models, not actual Ranger Javelins like this.
This appears to be mostly, or completely, functional, at least in the sections that we see. With out a doubt, the most finished environment shown yet.
So, even without the fact that there are obviously Scar soldiers in each image, this is very clearly a Scar stronghold. Signature Scar builds everywhere. Rickety platforms and ramps, tattered cloth draped over everything and random scrap metal bolted down everywhere.
This very much looks like a cross between "Temple of Scar" and "Sunken Cell", which happen to be my two favourite Strongholds. It looks to be very vertical, much like Sunken Cell, which means using your Javelin's flight heavily which everyone loves. No real hint as to what the story behind it is, or what we will do or face. Would be great to see what the boss is, but I'm sure that will be a closely guarded secret for a while at least.
It looks dark, dirty and damp, and I absolutely love it.
Sam Safi on Twitter has a long memory it would seem. There was a reference to Longfall Ruins all the way back in 2017 in the E3 gameplay trailer.
This is not a surprise though. We've long known that BioWare has many (8 at last count) unseen Strongholds in some stage of development thanks to data mining turning up references or assets for places that don't exist. Finishing partially built content would be a logical first step, if you want to try and get a big chunk of new things into a huge rework.
It's not just landscapes that we have seen so far, we know there will also be new factions added with Anthem NEXT.
We know for sure that there will be at least two new factions. One is not a surprise to anyone who has finished the Anthem main story, but the other is quite unexpected. We have not seen much of them yet, other than a couple images that confirm their existence. Of course, we will add any additional information as BioWare shares more in the future.
Spoiler warning: This section contains a fairly major spoiler for the end of the Anthem main story. If you have not completed the game yet, you may want to skip this section. Click here to skip ahead.
Pirates, in Anthem? Yep. Not something that any of us expected, but it appears that in the world above the clouds, we will be battling pirates riding on air ships. We've only seen 2 images of them so far, and there was a roughly six week gap between the first and second being shown. They show a fairly significant change in design already.
This was the first image from Anthem NEXT that Christian posted. This is where it all started. It was met with some confusion as to how pirates made any sense, and also criticism of the "colonial European" pirate style. Now that we have seen the new region, it seems safe to assume that we've seen where these pirates roam. Air ships above the cloud line makes a lot more sense than having pirates running around the jungles of Bastion.
The second peak at the new pirate faction shows a fairly significant change in design. The tri-corner hat is gone, the pirate coat is gone. This is a "Gunner" class, where as the first was a "Grenadier", so it could just be a difference between enemy types, but it seems more likely that they took community feedback and stripped all the cliché pirate tropes. Even without the Jack Sparrow cosplay, I still get a definite pirate feeling from this guy, especially with the sword and dagger at his hip.
Also, if this model reminds you a little of a Scar Hunter, there is a reason for that.
Like I talked about in the opening of this page, they are reworking the game and adding to it, not building everything from scratch. Creating new models with entirely unique animations and movements is a ton of work, but if you can reuse and tweak existing assets you can get a lot more done a lot faster. We just have to hope they do it in a way where enemies still feel unique and varied, not just reskinned. Hopefully this leads to a ton of new variety in enemy types and enemy factions.
If you have finished Anthem's campaign, you should be expecting this. The final cut scene is a secretive meeting with Corvus agents to show you a dead Urgoth soldier that was found. It is implied that the Dominion had been holding the Urgoth back, but after their defeats at the Heart of Rage and in the Cataclysm, losing two major leaders in Vara and Armas Brom (The Monitor), they are now weakened to a point where they can no longer hold the line.
Confirmation of the Urgoth comes from another piece of concept art, one which we will go into in more depth later on this page. If you aren't really versed in the history of Anthem, Patamon has several articles and a great series on the history of the Legion of Dawn that talks about how humanity broke free from Urgoth enslavement.
Now this begs the question, are these only for the Urgoth, or can we steal them? No where near enough information here to even guess at that, but obviously that would be amazing.
This is all we have seen of the Urgoth as of now, hopefully we get a better look in the near future.
You may have been wondering about the ship that was shown up in the environments section at the "Sky Dock". Good news, we've got very detailed concept art of that! We don't know what the function of these ships is yet. We don't know if they belong to the pirates, if we will use them for travel, or maybe they replace striders? What we do know, is that they are big.
You can see the image is titled "BloodWind_Air-Ship", and the pirates are named "Pirates of Blood Wind", so it would seem that either this ship belongs to the pirates or the new zone is named "Blood Wind".
Click through the images below for a 7 image tear down of the ship and its four vertical levels.
Four floors, and absolutely massive.
If we measure the "Ranger for scale" models scattered around and assume them to be 7 feet (which is on the low end estimate of a Javelin's height, which is officially listed as 7-9 feet), This concept ship is over 900 feet long, at least. If the Ranger models are 9 feet, the ship is 1,150 feet long. If these estimations are accurate, that would mean this Air Ship is roughly similar in size to the biggest cruise ships on Earth.
Width is harder to estimate because of the angle, but it looks to be somewhere in the 200-300 foot range. Again, on par with the biggest class of cruise ships.
Height is even harder, but the Ranger on the bottom floor at the front of the ship gives us a bit of an idea. That ranger looks tiny next to the huge support post, and I think it's safe to say that the distance between the bottom and top deck is easily over 50 feet, possibly over 100.
If you look at the nose of the ship, there is a Wyvern statute. On the first image, which looks to be a more finished piece rather than a rough sketch for the tear down images, the wings are folded rather than extended. The ships fins are also in different positions. Possibly the difference between docked and in flight mode.
This ship is huge, probably big enough that it could be a full stronghold if you have to fight your way in and then around the interior of each level. Is it one big capitol ship, or do they have a fleet? I can not wait to find out more about this design.
We also have a detailed view of the mounted guns that are lining both sides of the air ship, like the cannons you would expect to see on a traditional pirate ship. If you look closely, you will also see them scattered around "Cloud City" as well. The Wyvern statue on the ship, plus the pirate symbol in Cloud City seems to indicate that these are pirate weapons. If I had to guess, I would say this is some type of harpoon turret.
At the end of July, 2020, Christian Dailey gave us our first in depth look at what they have been working on with a blog post titled "Anthem Update – Loot & Equipment Goals". This was the first indication of just how much is going to be changing, as basically everything shown is completely different than what we are used to. You can also check out our July Anthem blog update article if you want to read more specifics about that post.
In this section we will pore over every known detail about new items, gear, stats, loot systems and inscriptions that we have access to.
One of the main ideals that was discussed in the July blog post, was a focus on essentially limiting the frustrations of grinding for random drops and rolls. Giving us more focused grinds that will narrow the randomness down, or allow us to actively pursue specific items while still allowing for rarely acquiring very high quality gear.
One system shown was a new faction window for the Sentinels with Ryssa Brin. As with everything else on this page, keep in mind that many (or all) images and features are very early in concept and will change in both design and appearance before launch. These first UI images look very much like a certain other game, but its clear that they are basic placeholders that are only there to show a basic function and outline. More recent images of the user interface show a significant change only a few months apart.
From what is shown here (on a very early concept, so absolutely do not expect this to stay the same) it appears that you can pick up critical quests and daily contracts, but also purchase weapons from Brin directly. Possibly like the Crafting Store that we have now, but with faction specific items and perhaps a currency or reputation requirement gained from completing the quests and contracts that Brin hands out.
Any systems that help us narrow down our grind are extremely welcome, as long as the endless grind for perfection does not die. There needs to be a sense of regular progress, while also not letting hardcore players completely max out and have nothing at all left to do. Not an easy balance, by any means.
We've been given a few glimpses into the new user interface and loadout screen, along with some (concept/placeholder, of course) items shown. These things appear to be evolving and changing quite a lot between updates, so I will post the screenshots in chronological order so you can see the progress and reshaping of the menus and item systems.
This is the first look at the new work-in-progress user interface and loadout screen that BioWare released. Obviously very rough, but also very different from our current Forge screen. Several interesting things to note on this screen.
"Primary" "Specialty" "Defense" numbers listed on the side, possibly info on your current damage output and health. The blog said they had a full and detailed stats screen coming as well, but it was not shown on that post. This may be just the most important numbers pulled from a more detailed screen for quick access.
Below that we see "Rewards" and "Skills". No clues on what Rewards could be, but confirmation of a skill point system here is very exciting. You will also see a Skills tab at the top of the screen. This is something that was planned for the game pre-launch but had to be cut because of time restraints. It looks like they found the time to go back to the wish list and finish off much requested features.
In the background, very interestingly, we can see armor pieces. Helmet, chest, arms/hands and legs/feet. Given that this is the "Equipment" tab on the top of the window, and there is a separate "Appearance" tab, it's safe to assume that these are functional gear pieces rather than cosmetics. It should be noted that later images of this screen are very different, and do not show any armor pieces (though they could still exist, we don't know yet).
Finally, the inscriptions seem to have a bar that indicates the power of the roll, or how close you are to a max roll on that inscription. Additionally the blog mentions an "Inscription budget" on items, which seems to be intended to balance items a little better and prevent specific rolls being required in order for an item to be functional (like +250% damage). If you get a bad roll on one slot, it just means that other inscriptions will have rolled higher.
The second image of the loadout screen was shown in the October Anthem Update Blog. Clearly very different than the first image, and much more polished. This, to me at least, looks like the first serious pass at the user interface that serious time was put into. The first image is more of a mock-up, this is first-generation of their concept.
The basic stats are still on the left side, and now there is an "Advanced Stats" button as well. The top bar is mostly the same, but with an added "Social" tab. The armor pieces are gone. We currently have 12 item slots, so it's either been scaled back, or something isn't shown here.
What is an Artifact? The blog states that it is a piece of super powerful tech that caters towards each Javelin's specific power fantasy. This "Skyfell Launcher" is a pair of back mounted rocket pods, sounding like an even more powerful version of the current Ranger ultimate. It also seems that the three empty slots under the Artifact are for parts that can be added to modify or power up your artifact.
Now possibly the most interesting thing on this page: Mods.
Mods are how we will power up our abilities in Anthem NEXT. Abilities (Ranger grenades and Seeker Missiles for example) are no longer random drops, they are unlocked via the skill trees. Mods are items that can be slotted into your abilities which look to serve as inscriptions that can be moved between different abilities. This one is marked as a "Melee Mod", so they may be locked to specific slots but that's still a huge improvement in our current system. Now instead of getting a 400% damage roll on a frost grenade (that doesn't deal damage), it will be a 400% grenade damage mod that can be put on any grenade you want to use it on.
This was shared on the first blog post, and it was our first indication that we are likely to be going back to war against humanity's greatest threat: The Urgoth.
Lots of interesting things here. First, none of those Freelancer guns look like any guns we currently have. The Dominion does not use many guns, only the Shocktroopers use them, yet here are 5 distinct guns. Ten different Scar weapons yet we only, currently, have 5 Scar enemy types.
This seems to clearly indicate two potential options: Dominion and Scar soldier types are going to greatly increase, or, these are all new weapons for us to loot. Personally, I doubt they would bother showing art like this for weapon models that were just going to be attached to enemies.
I really think they nailed the visual design of these. Freelancers using relatively basic post-modern style guns, with the Dominion being more sci-fi in feel, using Seals and probably ember to likely do more than just spit chunks of metal. The Scar weapons look more crude and slapped together from whatever scrap they can find, and the Urgoth are very alien and mysteriously advanced looking.
The second image shared by Christian Dailey on Twitter was a single sword, with no context. This looks too advanced to be Scar, too basic to be Dominion, so it seems likely to be a Freelancer weapon. None of our Javelins use a sword though. Not yet anyways. That probably means we are either getting more choice in the melee category, or something far more exciting that we will talk about a little later.
There is a button near the top of the handle, with a small switch next to it. Looks a lot like a safety system that many power tools use, where the small switch must be pressed to unlock the trigger. I'm not sure what a sword could do with a trigger, but the gear in the center makes me think that maybe it folds for easy storage, though how it would do that without slicing your fingers off I can't see. Maybe it has some hidden joints or something, or maybe it's a "don't ask questions" game mechanic.
Yes, we are finally getting a skill point system. This is a feature that has been planned and talked about since well before launch, but unfortunately was one of the things that had to be cut pre-launch. One of the things that they seem to be doing, now that they have much more time to work, is going back to the "wish list" of things they wanted to do, but just couldn't under the time constraints there had at the end of the development cycle.
We've only had one one brief look at the skill system so far, courtesy of the October Anthem Update Blog, but it was still enough to get a good idea of the current vision of this system. For a complete breakdown of that update blog, check out our article from Nutmeg.
Every Javelin has a "basic" skill tree to start off. This is where you will unlock all the basic abilities (that used to be drops, like the Seeker Missile shown in the second picture) and passives. Once you level up your pilot enough to reach the end of this tree, you unlock three specializations. Shown here are the Ranger specializations, currently named "Captain", "Longbow" and "Soldier". If we want to speculate a little here, that sounds like "Team leader/support", "Long range weaponry" and "Close/mid range" to me.
Presumably, specializations are where your builds will really come together. Looking through this tree, we can't see any specifics, but we can see a large number of passives (small nodes), some new abilities (large circles) and some with "up arrows" which seem to be upgrades to previous abilities. Also, there are three hexagonal nodes, which appear to be some kind of "sheild breaker" and "armor breaker" icon, with the third "</>" quite likely being a missing image or placeholder of some kind as that really doesn't fit in with anything else on the page.
We don't yet have any in depth confirmation on the exact way that skills and abilities will work, but given what we've seen here and in the previous items section, I think we can safely put some things together.
Basic abilities (white through purple gear in the current Anthem systems) are unlocked in the "Basic" skill tree. Inscriptions are applied via "Mods" which are your main gear grind, along with guns. Mods are (in the most currently shown design) locked to specific loadout slots, but can be applied to any ability that goes in that slot. Now this is more speculative, but it's the only thing that seems to make sense to me: Ability upgrades in the "specialization" skill trees are where you get the "masterwork perks" on your abilities. This would mean that the "Seeker Missile" shown in the basic skill tree could possibly have 3 different perks, drastically changing its use based on what kind of Ranger you are building.
Now this isn't all we know about skill trees, nor is it the most exciting (to me, anyways). At the top of the October update was a terribly low resolution image that Christian said was a skill tree inside of the Frostbite engine. Unlike everything else in that blog, however, it does not belong to a Ranger.
It doesn't belong to an Interceptor, Storm or Colossus either.
Click the image above to see the full quality image from the blog post. Can you read anything? I tried and quickly gave up, assuming it was just a bunch of dev language for the Ranger that I probably wouldn't understand anyways. Luckily, RubyJavelin has much better eyes than I do, and realized this was something huge.
This is a skill tree for a Javelin that we do not currently have in game, a Javelin that appears to be named a "Paladin". Why do we think this is a new Javelin and not, perhaps, the Colossus? There is not a single skill or name through this entire tree that matches anything in game. The only way that this could be a Colossus is if they threw away every single thing about the Colossus including every ability and the melee animations. That is absolutely not happening. Restarting a Javelin like that is an insane amount of work and completely unnecessary.
Further more, there have always been rumours and hints of other Javelins. Data mining showed assets for more than the four that we have at launch. They definitely had more in some stage of development, which is not at all surprising. Building a new Javelin would take a ton of work and time and if it's nearing a point where they are ready to show it, it has been in development for a long time now. It seems that it was dropped before launch, and picked back up more recently, likely as one of the key features to draw people back to Anthem NEXT.
Also, lets not forget about that sword concept as we read about "Heavy Slash", "Flaming Slash", "Bouncing Sword" and a lot of other sword-y type skills.
If you are having trouble getting the full size Paladin Javelin skill tree click here
RubyJavelin was able to decipher much of the skill tree, but there were some that just were not possible to read. Luckily, another friend of mine was somehow able to clean up the image just a tiny bit, but it was enough to confidently read every single box. We will tear each individual skill tree (Basic and three specializations) one at a time.
As we learned in the previous section on Skill Trees, the "basic" tree is where a Javelin will get all of its base abilities and passives. This should give some idea of how this Javelin fights or what it's role is.
The top of the tree starts with "Grand Slash", which we can assume is just the basic melee attack. The Ranger skill tree in the previous section also shows a basic "Axe" icon as it's first skill, so it seems reasonable that the first and default skill that all Javelins have is their melee attack.
Throughout the entire Basic tree, there is a ton of health and shield passive upgrades. Again, comparing to the Ranger skill tree, the Ranger seems to have many passives that appear to be damage focused, not only health and shields. The Paladin is likely similar to the Colossus in terms of survivability and overall health pool, as the main focus here seems to be that.
The rest of the skills will be purely speculation, as all we have to work with are the names. "Heavy Slash" and "Flaming Slash" are likely a separate ability from the basic melee attack, as there are a lot of "Slash" skills throughout the four skill trees. My guess is that one of the Paladin ability slots is a "Slash" or Melee focused slot, similar to how Rangers have a slot for just grenades. Many nodes in the skill trees specify "(xyz) Upgrade", which is why I believe these are not related to the "Grand Slash" basic melee attack.
Judgement I'm expecting to be called something else before launch, as that is the exact name of a very major Paladin skill in World of Warcraft. Seems like potential conflict. If it is anything like that skill, it's definitely a detonator of some kind.
"Symbol of Soothing" and "Taunt" can be seen near the bottom. Taunt is fairly clear, it will compel enemies to attack the Paladin for some length of time instead of other squad members. The Colossus technically does have this mechanic already, Berserker's Cry states that it will draw enemies to the Colossus, but honestly I've never been confident that it even works. Symbol of Soothing, we can only guess. Given that it is on the same level of the tree as Taunt, and "Soothing", my best guess would be that it functions as an opposite effect, possibly a status effect you can place on another Javelin that will prevent enemies from attacking them for some time.
The final node on the Basic skill tree is "Paladin Master" and the entire reason why we believe this Javelin is named "Paladin". The Ranger skill tree shows one final large node with the Ranger icon right before the specializations. It seems reasonable to assume that is "Ranger Master", matching this "Paladin Master". No clue what, if anything, it does besides unlocking specializations.
The final row on this image will be whatever you unlock when you select a specialization. There is no real hard evidence for this, but I strongly believe that these are the Paladin ultimate abilities. "Avatar of the Titan", "Avatar of Death", "Avatar of Life" suggest two potential mechanics. Either the Paladin transforms into a super charged and powerful "Avatar" of its specialization, or it summons an "Avatar" to fight or support your team. Each of them clearly matches the obvious theme of their tree, which seems to be the standard "Tank/Damage/Support" roles, though we don't know how heavily those roles will be leaned into.
The defined borders of the three lower trees are nearly impossible to make out. There seems to be several spots where links overlap, and it becomes hard to make out where things connect. It's possible that some of these, especially passives, are shared between multiple trees. I've tried to isolate the specializations as much as possible in a way that seems to make sense, but there are likely mistakes somewhere, I'm definitely not a Frostbite expert and this is the first time I've ever seen something like this.
"Bulwark" is what we believe the specialization linked to "Avatar of the Titan" is named. This is due to the naming structure on the lower section of the skill trees. Each section seems to have upgrades to some basic skills, like Heavy Slash for example, which have a unique name in each tree. Here, it is "Bulwark" everywhere.
An absolute ton of Health and Shield passives here, no obvious damage upgrades. It's possible that it dips into some shared damage buffs with other trees, but I really can't be sure at all. This seems to clearly be something of a "Tank" specialization. Tons of health, taunts and many skills that sound like increased survivability.
Aura of Speed is the first skill in this tree. We don't know what that is, but we can at least assume that an "Aura" will apply to squad members as well, not only the paladin. movement speed, attack speed, recharge speed? All three? who knows. Each Paladin tree has a different Aura on this line though.
Next up is Combo - Restore Shields. Sounds pretty straightforward. Most likely, your combos will restore some shields when detonated. Similar to how the Ranger component Tip of the Spear restores armor on combo currently.
Below that is Stay Down, which sounds like some kind of crowd control ability. A knockdown or stun effect, or maybe a "root" that prevents enemies from moving or chasing allies who may be in trouble. Just below is another skill named Stay, which is more likely to be a root effect in my opinion.
Strength of Steel could be a lot of things, either a damage reduction skill, or a power boost for your attacks. There isn't much in this tree that sounds damage focused, so I would lean towards this one being on the offensive end.
Bulwark Heavy Slash and Bulwark Flaming Slash will be the upgraded specialized version of the basic abilities. Again, they could do pretty much anything and we don't have anywhere near enough info to guess.
Kinetic Transference can be taken literally as transfering kinetic force to another. Non elemental damage is bounced back on enemies probably.
On the same line is "Thunderdome Circle Upgrade", but it should say "unlock". My eyes were probably glazing over when I got to this point, the upgrade is a few lines down. No idea what it does, but it sounds like fun. Most certainly an offensive skill.
Taunting Strikes is obvious. A clear Tank skill that allows you to pull focus to yourself and protect your team.
Overcharged Shields could either be a temporary large shield boost, or maybe your shields "overcharge" and damage nearby enemies.
Aegis Slash would typically be some kind of physical shield attack, like the Colossus currently has, but there is nothing else in this entire skill tree that leads me to believe that the Paladin has a physical shield. All mentions of "Shields" in plural suggest a shield system like the Storm, Ranger and Interceptor. Probably just another Slash attack with some type of defensive or restorative properties. Possibly even an upgrade to the base melee "Grand Slash" attack.
Finally we have Cleanse, which typically in other games would be a skill that clears negative effects off of you or allies, like burning or acid for example.
The clear aim of this specialization is staying alive, and protecting your squad. It appears to have tons of health, lots of crowd control and several support or buff abilities to help everyone.
The Avenger Paladin will be your typical "damage" specialization. "Avatar of Death" seems pretty clear on that point, along with a huge focus on damage bonuses through the passives.
Aura of Fire is the jumping off point. Like with Bulwark, I would assume that this is a squad buff, or at least a limited range around the Paladin. There is a lot of focus on fire damage in this tree, so this could be just a fire damage buff, or it could be some kind of burn effect on targets around you. That would be fun for friendly Interceptors, I bet.
Another Flaming Slash upgrade in this tree. Some Avenger focused bonus, I'm sure.
Make It Grander sounds interesting, but I couldn't even begin to guess what that does. I'm sure it kills things though.
Bouncing Sword is rather confusing. From what I could read, there are two upgrades for it at the top of the Avenger tree (though its possible that one belongs to the Divine tree), but the unlock appears to be at the bottom. There are some letters or something after "Sword" that are not possible to read though, so it's a bit of a mystery. Either way, some type of offensive sword attack, possibly an AoE skill.
Beside that is Big Hurt. No more info to go off of, but it probably hurts people.
Next line starts with Call of Justice with another skill all the way at the bottom named Spreading Justice, that I believe is an upgrade to Call of Justice. Whatever it does, it sounds like it spreads around. Possibly a damage boost, like Interceptor's Slayers Furor that jumps to new targets when they die.
Heavy Cut is probably a Heavy Slash upgrade, because the other trees have their own versions but there is no "Avenger Heavy Slash" listed. This is probably it.
Like the other trees, Avenger seems to have it's own flavour of Combo perks with Avenger Combo. We have no idea how the Paladin combo even functions, so there is no way to speculate how a new perk would work at all.
Leeching Detonations sounds interesting, possibly a heal effect on combo, or maybe just on explosive attacks?
Retributive Shields doesn't tell us much, but the definition of Retributive suggests that possibly the Paladin's shields will return damage to the attacker.
Finally there is a Symbol of Soothing upgrade, which makes sense if it does what we theorized in the basic tree. A less tanky, damage focused Paladin would want to have a way of making enemies forget about them for a while when things get too hot.
The Avenger seems to be singularly focused on damage and death, bringing pain and fire to it's enemies, with a few skills that sound likely to help you survive in the thick of battle.
The Divine Paladin leans into a support role, but with (seemingly) plenty of focus on damage as well.
The Divine Aura is "Aura of Health", which is probably either a passive health increase for all, or a constant stream of healing.
This tree has a "Divine Combo", though we don't know exactly what Divine means here.
Grand Slash Divine Upgrade is next, which is interesting, because there are no other upgrades for "Grand Slash" in any other tree, which we believe is the basic melee attack. There also isn't a "Flaming Slash" upgrade in this tree, unlike the other two.
Illumination doesn't give us much of a hint as to mechanics. I don't even want to speculate on it because it could be anything at all.
Taunt Divine Upgrade is likely some form of crowd control for the Divine Paladin, but I wouldn't necessarily assume it is still a taunt, the upgrade could turn it into something completely different. Unless the Divine tree is able to access some of the Bulwark health passives, there is no way you're going to want to draw more attention to yourself, since the Divine tree has nothing but damage passives (as far as I can tell).
Crescent Wave is another confusing one, like Bouncing Sword from the Avenger tree, the upgrade is near the top, but the unlock is at the bottom, and right beside Bouncing Sword. It makes me think that this skill tree doesn't flow exactly in the order that it seems it does. Regardless, it's another name that doesn't give us much of a hint.
Heavy Slash Divine Upgrade, just like the other trees, the Divine Paladin will have its own flavour of slash.
Beside that is Verdict, which sounds like it could potentially be an upgrade to Judgement. No real evidence for that, just that they sound connected.
Holy Fire seems likely to be an offensive ability, considering that the Divine tree looks to have several fire damage passives.
Inspiring Leader will almost certainly be some type of group buff, increasing allies damage or health, or maybe a heal of some kind.
Like the other specializations, there is a shield upgrade near the bottom. Protective Shields could be a lot of things, but it's definitely a defensive skill.
The final line is very interesting. Support master and Verdict Upgrade, but they are contained inside the same box. Maybe someone reading this knows enough about Frostbite to know the answer, but I don't. My thought is that it is either a skill node where you must choose one or the other, or a node that gives two different upgrades. It's just odd that this is the only time there is a double box like this, and it seems that it would be unnecessary to put two in one, when you could just add whatever the Verdict upgrade is into Support Master.
The Divine Paladin is definitely a more support oriented playstyle, but there does seem to still be plenty of focus on damage. I doubt there is a serious focus on healing or full time support of your team, like a typical MMO support character. It seems to be more about increasing the effectiveness of your team while still smashing Dominion skulls.
Anyone who has played an MMO will be familiar with the three roles that the Paladin specializations fit into. In fact, it is a text book MMO Paladin class that can fill any role. The Ranger "Captain" Specialization is likely a Support class, with the Longbow and Soldier likely being different damage specializations. I think it's safe to assume that the Colossus will have a Tank specialization and the Storm will have at least one Support.
It appears that BioWare is moving into a more structured "Class role" build set up, but it really only matters how hard they lean into that. I definitely do not think that Anthem should ever get to a point where you absolutely have to have a Tank and Support class in order to clear content. Colossus or Paladin should not have keep every enemy taunted at all times to keep the group alive, and no one should need to play full time healer or support.
I don't believe that is what we are looking at here though. From what we see in the Paladin skill tree, I believe the "Holy Trinity" of Tank/Damage/Support is going to be relatively loose and definitely not a requirement. It seems that it is more about allowing many, many different playstyles to be valid. Taunts are most likely short forms of crowd control, where you can pull some enemies off of an interceptor who may be in trouble, or grab attention and gather a few enemies into a group for your team to blow up with AoE. The Bulwark Paladin likely trades damage for a significant boost in survivability and several forms of crowd control, where as the Divine holds on to a lot more of the damage potential while gaining support abilities focused on increasing the effectiveness of the group through buffs and debuffs.
Obviously, this is still very early and very limited in details. Absolutely everything we've seen could change totally and completely. All we know is that, right now, the design team is working with group roles in mind when building these skill trees.