Apex Legends is getting some shake ups to what you can consider the core of the game, making adjustments to the map, battle pass and account progression. There’s a lot to get into, so let’s not dally. We also have comments from the dev team to provide insight to the various changes. You can catch the gameplay trailer here.
Kings Canyon is getting an overhaul, with the goals of looking into the map’s health, its balancing issues and tuning it as needed. After Loba blew up Skulltown and Thunderdome in Season 5, the Syndicate has since rebuilt the area following a salvage operation.
“Map health” refers to the pacing and timing of when squads clash, the mid-game situation, balance landing so avoid hotspots and dead towns, and the quality and quantity of loot dispersion so that the power curve can steadily go up over the course of a match. For Kings Canyon, the Cage was considered to be overly dominating the area, as the walls allowed a squad to camp comfortably. The walls have been removed and the floor count reduced, to make campers more vulnerable.
Hillside became the next point of interest when they noticed players also tended to congregate here. The structure has been redesigned to make fights end quicker and force faster rotations. Broken Relay was underperforming, so the area has gotten more fixtures, and renamed.
As a whole, the changes are meant to encourage more active fights rather than simply reacting to the closing circle.
“We changed a bunch of rotations across the map, like the cave near Marketplace to make it flow better, an additional zipline to Swamp, cleaned up foliage, made landings better… I think players familiar with Kings Canyon will notice that we’ve changed a lot.”
The mid area sees combat that takes place under a giant skull. On its own, it sounds fine, but once you rotate around Octane’s Gauntlet, Marketplace and Caustic, it ends up funneling players into this one area. It would allow squads to simply set up here to wait for kills as everyone else came in. It was also felt to be lacking in other routing options, so adding more landmasses became their solution of choice. There’s now what they call a nice “honey pot” in the middle, with plenty of hidden paths and ninja jumps all around the map.
My tip would be to get on the rooftop early and get your shots on those stuck in the middle trying to look up.
As a whole, a new skybox and redone lighting has transformed the colour palette.
With Season 14, the level cap will finally be raised. While in our presentation they showed a level cap of 750, we’re told it’s a placeholder and will be different from the live implementation. Once you hit level 500, you will be looping to level 1, gaining a shinier badge in turn. The loop can be done an additional 3 times to hit a total of 2,000 levels, giving players up to 345 Apex Packs and guaranteeing a completely free-to-play player an Heirloom.
“We’ve been keeping an eye on the percentage of the player base moving towards the level cap where they start losing the sense of progression, where they hit a wall. Now felt like a good time where enough people will get to experience that extension.”
THE BALANCING GAME
This new attachment will be replacing the Barrel Stabilizer for SMGs and pistols, meant to reduce vertical recoil and, well, stabilize your guns. In its place, the Laser Sight will be reducing bullet spread when hipfiring, so close-quarter combat for SMGs and pistols has gotten better. You’ll also be able to customize the colour of your laser through the Settings for extra pizzazz.
“The lasers are visible but they’re extremely short beams. They’re not designed to give your position away, to disrupt target acquisition, or ‘ratting’ nature. They really are for improving your hipfire and your personal aim. Competitive integrity is at the forefront of any decisions we make.”
The Wingman will now be utilizing Sniper Ammo over Heavy Ammo. As a stack of Sniper Ammo is only 28 to the Heavy’s 60, there’s an additional wrinkle for players to consider with regards to ammo distribution. They reason the Wingman is already a really good weapon if you know how to use it, with players more than ready to run off with just two Heavy Ammo stacks and be done with it to the end game.
The Spitfire has also moved away from Heavy to Light. In this case, the Heavy Weapon category has plenty of mid to late game weapons without many options for Light, so they wanted to balance the weapon distribution to better manage the meta season by season.
The shotgun hasn’t been doing too well. Changes would basically be increasing the rate of fire to start, and they plan to do more.
Speaking of changes, the EVA-8 Auto and the G7 Scout will be getting the Double Tap Trigger Hop-Up once again, after it was removed when Season 8 came around.
The Skullpiercer Rifling is also making a come back after getting removed in Season 9, which you can equip on the Longbow DMR, the Wingman, and the 30-30 Repeater.
The devs acknowledge how frustrating the self-revive is, more so in the final round, so it’s been completely removed.
The Gold Backpack will no longer be reviving teammates with more HP and shield, instead allowing you to carry more higher tier supplies. For example, you will be able to carry 3 blue batteries, 3 blue med-kits and 2 Phoenix Kits.
The Gold Knockdown Shield will no longer revive yourself, instead getting the Gold Backpack’s old effect where you can revive teammates with more HP and shield.
“We’ve been getting a lot of feedback about the self-revive. It’s caused frustration in the last circle, the validity of wins, that kind of stuff. With the season being over, we thought, it’s time, it’s a good season to do it, so let’s think of new perks.”
“The Backpack was an old style perk we had in very early Apex Legends, so we thought it would be cool to have a love letter to that time but in a more finely tuned way.”
CRATE WEAPON CHANGES
The Bocek and Rampage LMG replace the G7 Scout and Volt SMG in the crate.
“There’s always a lot of discussion about deciding which guns go into the crate. What we put and the reasons we put them in there is always evolving and shifting with the game’s meta.”
Exact changes to Ranked were not ready to be discussed yet, but we can see the start of it, so look forward to that!