Respawn’s nerfs for Caustic in the Chaos Theory update patch set the community off. While some think the balance changes are great for the game, Caustic mains are concerned for the state of the Legend – but Respawn are cautiously optimistic.
We already know that regardless of community sentiment, the Apex Legends devs are constantly monitoring how Caustic is performing in the wake of his latest round of updates.
But to give a bit more context on the move, Associate Live Balance Designer John ‘JayBiebs’ Larson explained why Respawn “specifically targeted a damage reduction” instead of the Toxic Trapper’s other strengths.
Calculations of Caustic’s gas damage by Redditor ‘DarthSatoris’ showed the nerfed version of Nox Gas leaves a lot to be desired: “Just to hammer home how ridiculous the Nox Gas nerf is, I’ve run the numbers and they are devastating.”
But JayBiebs sees it a different way. While the nerfs could be seen as significant, the extended damage output from the barrels isn’t “very applicable” since Caustic or his team have been punishing anyone that stays in them for that long, according to the dev.
“The goal of the change is to give the enemy team some power to close out fights against Caustics once they have a numbers advantage,” JayBiebs said.
“All in all, gas still does direct health damage and there are plenty of reasons to not fight in gas unless you’re a Caustic… In our balancing conversations, this seemed like the fairest way to remove some power and frustration without being pattern breaking from a Caustic play style perspective.”
In Respawn’s playtests, JayBiebs said that the nerfs didn’t really “affect how I approached gas fights (both as and against Caustic) in most scenarios,” so the goal was to give non-Caustic players more agency inside of the Nox fumes.
Caustic’s gas won’t be hitting as hard as before, but Respawn are hoping that the utility it provides in classic gas traps will still be valuable for teams given its vision obstruction and slowing effects.
From JayBiebs comments, Respawn aren’t looking to gut the Toxic Trapper’s power but they’re still trying to find the perfect balance to him.