Apex Legends

Apex Legends dev reveal plans to “break stalemate” with toxic players

Published: 9/Dec/2020 2:37

by Alan Bernal

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Respawn Entertainment developers are at an impasse with their Apex Legends community, and are planning on ways to “break the stalemate” with some of the more toxic people in their fanbase.

It’s tough to be a developer nowadays. Since Apex launched, Respawn has been constantly under fire for the state of their game, the monetization practices within it, and off-hand comments that then get picked up by reactionary sentiments from social media.

Negativity has reached a point to where Senior Game Designer Daniel Z. Klein has hit back against “the constant barrage of negativity and people telling you you suck at your job, asking for you to be fired, calling you names, etc.” by a portion of the Apex community.

To be clear, the Apex Legends community is filled with people who are respectful, patient, and generally a positive force for everyone else. But to take meaningful steps in preventing toxic back-and-forths from some Apex Legends players to devs in the future, Director of Communications Ryan Rigney wants to try out new things – some of which are already underway.

Respawn Entertainment
At times, Respawn devs can hardly interact with Apex Legends fans before having to leave the chat due to toxicity from some.

Rigney is going to open the pipeline of direct communication between the developers and Apex players even more. With everything from Ask Me Anything (AMA) forums to produced content in Respawn’s official channels, people can expect more pointed messages from the studio.

“We’re hoping to help break the stalemate with things like seasonal AMAs, more regular messaging on our owned channels (like new content types on Respawn.com), and with more direct support for brave soldiers like Daniel Z. Klein who likes to wade out amongst the people. That stuff matters, and it’ll be worth doing,” Rigney said.

The comms director recognizes how some topics, like monetization, need their own space to be talked about in Respawn’s more official channels. But it sounds like the exec is planning to tackle these issues head-on to mitigate player-speculation that can later escalate to hate and vitriol.

“It feels like there’s a stalemate between devs and the people that play their games,” he said. “I don’t just mean here (on Reddit), but everywhere. The same patterns play out in cycles, and it has all become very predictable… But man. I sure wish the overall relationship between devs and players online felt different.”

At the start of Season 7, Rigney, Klein, and nine other high ranking developers held an AMA to talk about all the changes in the game as well as the ever-controversial Battle Pass.

In that thread, Respawn directly responded with over 50 comments directly addressing concerns, questions, and speculation of all things Apex Legends.

According to Rigney, we can expect a lot more of these interactions and more content on their official YouTuber and Twitter accounts to satisfy players.

The studio is making this adaptation in hopes to smooth over relations with their Apex Legends community, and hopefully quell the more volatile members online.

Apex Legends

Apex Legends character buffs and nerfs coming in Season 8

Published: 19/Jan/2021 13:00 Updated: 19/Jan/2021 13:31

by James Busby

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Apex Legends developers are gearing up for the next season, and have provided some insight into which Legends will be getting nerfs and buffs in Season 8. Find out which of your favorite Legends could be impacted. 

Every Apex Legends season brings something new to the table. From new LTM’s, Legends, weapon adjustments, map changes, and ongoing performance fixes. Respawn also tend to reign in any Legends that have been overperforming, while also buffing those that have struggled to make their mark in the meta. 

With Apex Legends’ Season 8 update right around the corner, players are always curious about which Legends the developers have in their sights. Fortunately, Lead Game Designer Daniel Klein has given players insights into what we can expect in the upcoming season. 

Season 8 Legend nerfs and buffs

Wattson

Wattson fence

Wattson continues to be a tough cookie to crack. The Static Defender is barely seen in both casual and competitive play, but despite this, Wattson is still an incredibly strong pick. “The problem is that Wattson has a very high win rate, says Klein. “One that climbs aggressively with skill as well.”

As a result, this makes any nerfs or buffs incredibly difficult to implement as even the slightest changes could have a huge impact. “She’s fallen off from her near-100% pick rate peak, but it doesn’t take very much to push an already strong character from never seen to everywhere and a pain in the butt.”

One player suggested adding a toggle option to Wattson’s Perimeter Security, which would enable Wattson to launch deadly surprise attacks. “We really need to find non-power impacting ways to make Wattson more fun,” the developer said. “I think the toggle on fences has the potential to do that because you may also screw yourself by turning them off at the wrong time.”

The current top five highest win rate Legends are Horizon, Wraith, Gibraltar, Lifeline, and Wattson. Wattson may not be a top pick for most players, but that doesn’t mean her kit is useless. A lot of the current issues stem from Wattson’s abilities lacking the fun factor. 

Wraith nerf

Wraith may finally be a little more balance in Apex Legends after the Lost Treasures update.

Always a strong Legend, Wraith may have been knocked off her number one spot by Horizon (more on that later), but is still set to get a nerf in Season 8.

Back in November, Respawn said they want to get her “under control” in the new season, and it’s likely to come in the form of a hitbox change.

“With Wraith, our approach is going to be very similar to Pathfinder. We’re going to take a look at her hitboxes and see how much wiggle room we have there. With Pathfinder, it turned out that we had so much… that was a 20% increase in hitbox size.”

Horizon nerf

Wattson
Respawn Entertainment
Horizon currently has the highest win rate in the game.

The developers have noted that Horizon is still overperforming despite receiving nerfs to her Gravity Lift. 

“Our theory internally right now is that she’s too safe with the tactical,” Klein says. “She can use it in so many situations to get out of trouble, and most frustratingly, she can sit atop the tactical and use a battery while A/D strafing faster than she could on the ground.”

Many Horizon players have been wary about nerfs to her tactical as it may end up feeling eerily similar to the Pathfinder nerf: “We’re looking at [her] move speed while on her tactical and acceleration while on her tactical, to see if we can at least turn her into a bit more of a sitting duck if she chooses to sit on top of it.”

This decrease in mobility would certainly be a pretty big nerf, but the developer is also keen to explore other routes as well. “The Pathfinder changes have taught us that attacking the hitboxes to bring a character’s win rate under control, without making them less fun is a promising route to try. I’d like us to do this more often.”

Associate Live Balance Designer John ‘JayBiebs’ Larson said any nerf would have to strike the right balance of limiting her prowess while not feeling like its limiting the way player’s use Horizon.

“It’s safe to say (Horizon will) be getting nerfed,” JayBiebs said. “But how we do that is important… Looking at her tactical alone there are all sorts of dials we can turn including vertical lift speed, horizontal speed/acceleration, ejection speed/time, cool down, weapon accuracy, and the list goes on.”

Rampart buff

Respawn have confirmed that the undeniably underpowered Legend Rampart will be getting a buff to her Tactical in Season 8.

They are adding 45 health to her Amped Walls while they’re building, which should come in the 8.0 update. The developers explained more about their plans to buff Rampart here.

Revenant buff

Revenant Apex Legends
Respawn Entertainment
Revenant has one of the most unique kits in the game.

On the discussion of whether Respawn would be willing to reverse hitbox changes, Klein noted that Revenant would certainly be discussed. They previously said that Revenant wouldn’t be getting a buff in Season 8, but that could be changing.

“We’ve been struggling to find a good buff for Revenant,” says the Respawn developer. “I don’t think we’ve properly discussed just shrinking his hitboxes to give him power without making him more frustrating. I’ll bring it up in our balance round table.”

The Low Profile hitbox would certainly make Revenant harder to hit, enabling him to be much more aggressive in his playstyle. However, it could also end up making him a nightmare to play against. It looks like we’ll have to wait and see how Respawn handles this potential buff.


So, there you have, all the potential nerfs and buffs that could be coming in Apex Legends Season 8. Make sure you follow @TitanfallBlog for all the latest Apex Legends news and updates.