Vantage, a young sniper from the planet Pagos, is Apex Legends’ first attempt at a truly long-range character. While she fills a unique space on the roster, the devs also believe her kit comes with some interesting design concerns.
For game designers, there is so much to be worried about with the implementation of each new character, particularly in a battle royale that is now a few years old in Apex Legends’ case. From the addition of new movement mechanics like Valkyrie’s jetpack to the ability to get a second chance at life with Revenant’s ultimate, there’s not a single thing that gets added without careful consideration.
In an interview with Dexerto, Lead Legend Designer Chris Winder said that Respawn’s worry ahead of Season 14 was largely focused on the long-range kit of Vantage and how to make it satisfying and accessible to players in a game where loot is both crucial and completely random.
Apex Legends Lead talks about Vantage’s biggest potential problem
When discussing what the design team learned from the addition of characters like Rampart and Mad Maggie, who are largely designed around their affinity for LMGs and shotguns respectively, Winder spoke a bit about how not using the appropriate weapon class on a character like Vantage could potentially be unsatisfying.
“Sometimes it can make a player feel like they’re not playing the character right if they don’t find a shotgun or an LMG,” he said. “For Vantage, we were thinking about some things like that…and that problem compounded a little bit because to really play long-range as a sniper in Apex you need a sniper rifle and an optic, so you really need to roll the dice twice.”
That’s part of why Vantage, like Rampart before her, was given a custom weapon as her ultimate ability. It was an easy way to help alleviate the fear of players spending an entire match looking for attachments in order to feel like they were getting the most out of her kit.
“We were worried about that. That was something we were sort of thinking about the whole time. I think having the ultimate as your sniper rifle with an optic on it definitely alleviates those fears, or potential fears, you might have and lets you sort of play into whatever loot game you feel like that game.”
Players will get a chance to find determine for themselves if the risk of adding a long-distance Legend to the game paid off or not when Vantage hits the ground at the start of S14 on August 9.