Current State of Apex Legends
Apex Legends is arguably one of the best battle royales on the market. That’s not to say that the game doesn’t have its problems. One would expect some issues from a new release, but the developers are hard at work improving balance issues currently in the game.
Players learned early on why the Wingman and Peacekeeper combo is the best loadout. With these guns, a player does a substantial amount of close range damage. The Wingman also offers a mid-range substitute for those with good aim. Because of the damage output and viability, the weapons quickly became the standard loadout. As people became better at the game, it was clear that these weapons were overpowered compared to other options.
In response to public outcry, developers decided to nerf both the Wingman and the Peacekeeper. It’s important to note that the Wingman is designed to have a higher skill ceiling, so it will be stronger than other weapons. With these changes, developers are moving the Wingman away from a full auto Deagle and more towards a hand cannon. The Peacekeeper’s changes are supposedly going to open a larger window of vulnerability if a player misses their shot.
- Rate of fire reduced from 3.1 -> 2.6 shots per second.
- Skullpiercer Headshot damage multiplier reduced from 2.5 -> 2.25
- Increased base hip fire spread and decreased the rate at which hip fire spread decays (shrinks back down).
- Shotgun Bolt rechamber rate has been reduced for the Peacekeeper.
- Wingman and Peacekeeper availability reduced in all zone tiers.
- Increased the availability of energy weapons & ammo in all zone tiers.
The increase in energy weapons and ammo will hopefully bring about higher use of the Havoc, Devotion, and Triple Take. As it was, running two energy weapons in a squad was risky because of the ammo shortage. With this change, player’s will be taking less of a risk when selecting an energy weapon over any other type of weapon.
The biggest complaint when it comes to Legends is the hitbox sizes. It makes sense that characters like Wraith or Lifeline have smaller hitboxes than larger characters like Gibraltar or Caustic. As it is now, the hitboxes for larger characters are too big. As a result of this, developers are reducing the hitbox size for Gibraltar, Caustic, and Pathfinder while also adjusting them to better fit the character model. Of course, the hitboxes are still going to be bigger, but this should make these Legends more balanced. These changes will be implemented on live servers at the start of Season 1 to prevent any major bugs. Other Legends balance adjustments include:
- Reduced cooldown to 25 seconds from 30 seconds
- Increased radius and proximity radius by about 10%
- 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 the 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%
The Benefit of Change
With these changes, players will ideally be able to run different loadouts without sacrificing damage. People who still decide to use the Wingman and Peacekeeper will run the risk of missing crucial shots and being taken advantage of during a longer timeframe of vulnerability.
Players who decide to run larger Legends can sacrifice a smaller hitbox to play a more powerful character. The goal is to buff weaker Legends instead of nerfing everyone else. Due to these changes, we might see more Caustic or Gibraltar mains running around the map creating chaos. As someone who enjoys playing Gibraltar, I am looking forward to the beneficial changes.
All in all, it looks like the developers are taking player ideas into account. Being aware of weak characters and powerful weapons and then making changes to benefit gameplay is a step in the right direction. I’m excited to see how Respawn balances Apex while listening to player input as the game attracts a larger community.