Apex Legends dev explains why they removed Skulltown in Season 5 - Dexerto
Apex Legends

Apex Legends dev explains why they removed Skulltown in Season 5

Published: 23/May/2020 18:10

by Daniel Cleary


Respawn game director Chad Greiner has revealed why they removed Skulltown from Apex Legends, and even hinted at more iconic areas facing the chop in future seasons.

The arrival of Apex Legends’ fifth season saw some major changes made to Kings Canyon, including the infamous point of interest, Skulltown, which is now completely underwater following the end-of-season update.

As the removal of the popular location came as a shock to many fans, Respawn devs have now revealed why they chose to destroy such an iconic location and their thought process behind making other major map changes.

Respawn Entertainment
What remains of Skulltown is now completely underwater following the Season 5 update.

Greiner revealed that he was completely on board when the idea was first mentioned and explained why he was eager to get rid of one of the arena’s hot spots, during an interview with Gamespot.

“I just love the idea of shaking the game up and making meaningful changes,” he said, “we’ve been playing Kings Canyon for a while – players have had thousands of matches on it – so a significant change like that gets me excited.”

While many Apex Legends players used to prioritize Skulltown as their favorite place to land, Greiner continued on explaining why such major changes like this are necessary to keep the game more exciting for its fans.

Respawn Entertainment
Skulltown has been replaced by the Offshore Rig in Kings Canyon.

“I don’t worry too much about the players who love Skulltown,” he added, “I was one of them, I think what’s best for the game is to keep it fresh.”

More ‘iconic’ map changes coming?

Greiner revealed that surprising fans with such changes holds as much value to the dev team, as does getting positive feedback over new features in the battle royale “We find the value in changing things up and surprising people more than saying, ‘Oh we made a town that people really like.’”

The Respawn director later explained that any of the future POI’s that become popular in Apex Legends might also be a target for major changes, “I like to think [Skulltown] is iconic to early Apex, and if something becomes too iconic, it probably has our scopes zoomed in on it.”

While we don’t what major changes Respawn has planned for Kings Canyon past Season 5, recent events have proven that even the most popular spots on the map are not safe from the drop. Caustic mains will be hoping Bunker doesn’t face a similar fate.

Apex Legends

Apex Legends dev defends Wraith nerfs coming in Season 8

Published: 28/Nov/2020 15:32

by Joe Craven


John Larson, Live Balance Designer at Respawn Entertainment, has defended the changes Wraith is set to undergo in Apex Legends Season 8, following comments from Daniel Klein. 

Balancing legends has long been a contentious topic in the Apex Legends community, with mains of various characters keen to see buffs. The admission, for example, that Mirage will never be a top-tier character irked many of the legend’s biggest fans.

The focus of the community is currently on Wraith, the Interdimensional Skirmisher who has long been in the upper-echelons of Apex Legends. However, comments from developer Daniel Klein about Respawn’s efforts to get Wraith “under control” in Season 8 led many to believe that she is set for significant nerfs. Unsurprisingly, this caused considerable discussion among Wraith players – and those sick of coming up against her.

Wraith with a gun smiling in APex Legends
Wraith looks set for a nerf in Apex Legends Season 8.

His comments generally revolved around fixing Wraith’s hitbox – rather than nerfing her equipment to any greater degree. However, many believe she has been nerfed enough and further weakening is not the correct response.

Redditor ‘QuikScopeDash’ is one who took this stance, joking that they would main Crypto because Wraith has been nerfed so significantly.

This prompted a lengthy reply from John Larson, a Live Balance Designer at Respawn. He prefixed his comment by explaining that he is a Wraith main and wants her to remain viable.

“Wraith’s kit has been nerfed and tweaked more than any other legend’s, but her win rate and encounter win rate has remained an anomaly,” Larson said. “The common argument is that mechanically gifted players are drawn to her kit, but when we filter by skill brackets (rank, average damage, you name it) she’s still head and shoulders above everyone. So what does this mean?”

John Larson comment Wraith nerf Respawn
Larson’s reply on Reddit.

Issues with Reddit moderation resulted in large portions of Larson’s comment being removed, but his point remained clear. Despite the various nerfs Wraith and her kit have suffered, her stats suggest she is still performing incredibly well.

He went on to compare Wraith with Pathfinder, explaining that “we never want to nerf legends to the point where they lose their identity.”

Many fear Wraith is approaching that point, and want the Voidwalker to remain as powerful as she’s always been.