Apex Legends, the surprise hit from EA and Respawn Entertainment, has enamored players since its launch last month.
The game is a battle-royale, and as a result has tons of players testing weapons and legends. As with all persistent multiplayer games, these findings lead to weapon and hero skill changes, balancing, and more. Apex Legends just received its first balance update. Let’s talk about the highlights.
Bringing In The Changes
In a post on the Apex Legends subreddit, the staff over at Respawn have detailed what to expect from this not only this patch, but future patches in general:
“A core philosophy of our development process for Apex Legends is to listen to player feedback, parse through all the data we get from the game, try things, and then playtest them a ton to get them just right. And… repeat. The goal is to ship polished, closer to the mark updates than if we got things out rapidly and iterated in the live environment.”
Essentially, they don’t want updates every week like Fortnite or other titles on this same level. Instead, the Respawn team wants to pay attention to player feedback and ensure that changes are significant and felt within the community. Of course, drastic complaints will be addressed right away, but these carefully considered updates should prevent that from happening in the first place. “The week one meta vs. the week two / three meta was meaningfully different from what we’ve seen, so want to make it sure it settles a bit before we act,” reads the post. “For example, Mirage’s power level has dropped a bit as players have adapted to getting Bamboozled.”
What follows are weapon changes that are live as of now on all platforms.
The Wingman has had its rate of fire reduced from 3.1 shots per second to 2.6. Additionally, the Skullpiercer hop-up no longer hits with 2.5 headshot damage, rather 2.25. The weapon also has an increased hip fire spread and a faster shrink rate. This gun is a favorite thanks to its power, and so it’s now a little harder to find, as well.
Everyone’s other favorite hard-hitter, the Peacekeeper, has also been nerfed a bit. The shotgun bolt upgrade, which decreases how fast the weapon is ready for another shot, is now less powerful. Instead of a 10% speed upgrade at level 1, that change is now 7.5%. This carries on at level 2 from 20% to 13%, and level 3 from 25% to 16%. Also, the Peacekeeper is harder to find just like the Wingman.
The Mozambique, unfortunately for some, will not raise in power. While the funny reason for this is the memes, the real reason is because Respawn wants there to be a curve in weapon power:
“Power curve just means that some weapons will be weaker and more common, while others will be stronger and rarer. Some weapons are intentionally less powerful until fully purp’d with hopups and attachments, while other weapons on the bottom of the power curve are your early game, better-than-melee, but-gotta-upgrade-out-of-ASAP weapons. We’ve seen some good feedback from players about how to make these pistols more exciting without losing out on the goal above that we’re listening to. We’ll be continuing to watch player data and feedback and trying things out internally but for now, they’ll remain the same.”
Finally, this patch also adjusted some weird disconnects that occur when using ultimates.
While all of these changes are live, the post did mention some legend updates coming to Season 1 whenever it launches. These are as follows:
Major Balance Changes:
- Hitbox size reductions and optimizations for Caustic, Pathfinder, and Gibraltar
- We’re better sizing hitboxes to character gear & model
- Since these adjustments have a MAJOR impact on the game, we want to make sure there aren’t any major bugs, so we didn’t want to rush them out
- If these adjustments prove to be insufficient, we’ll consider additional adjustments during Season 1
Minor Balance Changes:
- Traps – Reduced cooldown to 25 seconds from 30 seconds, increased radius and proximity radius by about 10%
- Traps – Removed a 1-second delay on the smoke dealing damage to players
- Insider Knowledge – Increased the number of beacons in the world to 12 from 10
- Care Package – Removed slight chance that level 4 armor and helmets will drop
- Into The Void – Cooldown increased from 20 -> 25 seconds
- Double Time – Reduced move speed bonus to 30% from 40%
Season 1 will also bring with the battle pass, which will include new skins and cosmetics for every object in the game.