Right, so that Apex Legends game is apparently popular with a small community of fans that only numbers about 50 million players so far. Much like other battle royale games of its ilk, Apex Legends keeps its coffers filled with a few extras that you’ll need to pay extra cash money for, although it’s not entirely necessary to even do so.
Also double-much like its contemporaries, Apex Legends is also a game that’s constantly evolving, taking into account fan feedback and growing from constructive criticism to be the experience that keeps fans around for the long run. Over on reddit, developer Respawn Entertainment decided to give an update on what to expect in the near future, in terms of balance in gameplay and the arsenal available to players.
“Overall, we feel that the current weapons present solid options for a variety of gameplay styles,” Respawn Community Manager Jay ‘Jayfresh’ Frechette wrote.
We’ve found that the Skullpiercer Wingman has been on the stronger end, but it’s designed to be a weapon with a higher skill ceiling. Our adjustments are attempting to move it more into the hand cannon space and away from full auto Deagle. We’ve also adjusted the rate of fire of the Peacekeeper with Shotgun Bolt attachment, so players will have a larger window of vulnerability if they miss their shot.
Additionally, the scarcity of energy ammo and lower number of energy weapons overall has made those weapons difficult to main, so we’ve increased energy weapon and ammo availability.
Apex Legends already has plenty of memes, but the top joke within the meta-game is focused on the Mozambique and how that particular weapon leaves a lot to be desired. “Our goal is to have a power curve of weapons. “Power curve” just means that some weapons will be weaker and more common, while others will be stronger and rarer,” Frechette explained.
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.
The next big balance adjustment on the block? The legends themselves, as Respawn has a lot of work to do on fine-tuning the hitboxes of these characters in order to make for a fairer game overall:
For character balance, we look at a combination of things: pick rate, win rate, and character v. character matchup win rate among other metrics, and, of course, player feedback. The results between the 5 small and medium rig characters have been positive – they are all in a safe band of relatively equal power. Our large rig characters, however, are underpowered and their natural size appears to be a large contributor.
We’re planning on adjusting the size of the large character hitboxes to better fit the model. If these changes are insufficient to bring these characters in line, we’re also considering a range of other changes such as natural damage reduction as well as individual kit power tweaks. Because many of these changes are significant, we want to make sure they are heavily tested before they go live, in the event they are necessary. Below is a quick overview on the roadmap of how we’re thinking about bringing large characters back in line.
Overall, we want to try to increase the power level of the large rig characters, before we consider large nerfs to everyone else. While we’ve made small adjustments, we’re hopeful that increasing the power of large rigs is healthier than nerfing everyone else.
It’s a tricky tightrope to walk, as fans can be quite vocal when they see changes that have subtle but massive impacts on the meta-game. Just ask anyone at Blizzard or Epic Games, whose tweaks and alterations saw some fan feedback get a little bit…hostile.
Last Updated: March 7, 2019