Caustic was the target of a couple of changes in the Apex Legends Season 7: Ascension update patch that essentially took away probably the strongest part of his kit – but Respawn game designer Daniel Z. Klein defended the removal of the “awful” effect.
In the patch notes for the new season update, Respawn made it so that “Legends no longer get a blurred vision effect while in” Caustic’s Nox Gas. Though they also upticked the damage inflicted by the haze, people were more concerned with the nerf.
Players immediately expressed their concerns with the change, noting that the ability to partially blind opponents could arguably be seen as one of Caustic’s greatest tools.
“This is overall a nerf,” user ‘BarrothObama’ said to the patch. “Most Caustic mains understand that gas damage is not the most useful part of his kit. It was always the slow and the blinding that was important.”
To be clear, the Ascension update didn’t remove the Nox Gas’ ability to slow down opponents, but the main concern revolves around the blind.
With the Legend’s tall stature as well as his lack of mobility or meaningful gap-closing capabilities, the blind was the most unique and welcomed part of his kit.
But the developer was more wary of what the Nox Gas’ ability was doing to the playability of the overall game.
“I do agree this is probably a nerf,” Klein said. “The vision blur was a huge part of the power of this skill, but it was also reliably one of the most frustrating experiences in Apex.”
The Respawn designer was also cautious with how overbearing the blur effect was becoming for people to deal with: “It made fighting back feel like not even an option, and even if you could fight back, the experience of having everything, including your sights when you ADS, blurred just felt really awful.”
While the reasoning is sound, Caustic players now feel like a generally weak character was made even worse after the latest updates.
For grieving fans of the Toxic Trapper, Klein was enthusiastic about getting more community feedback on how to properly buff Caustic in the future, but for now he’s going to be in a strange spot.