In a bit of a surprising move, Respawn have removed the controversial Caustic buff from the new Apex Legends Fight Night update at the very last minute. The update went live today, and has replaced it with a Horizon nerf.
If you were one of the people concerned about Caustic’s buff in the upcoming Fight Night update, then you can rest assured that it won’t be happening.
According to the patch notes for the update, which were changed right before the update went live, the Caustic buff will not be implemented as planned. The original buff decreased the Legend’s Nox Gas Trap’s cooldown time from 25 to 20 seconds, which many players weren’t a fan of, with some people taking to Twitter to voice their concerns after learning about it.
Despite being removed from the actual update, that doesn’t mean that nothing else will replace it. What will be implemented instead, is a nerf to the newest Legend: Horizon. According to the new notes, the effective cooldown on her Gravity Lift ability has been increased from 16 seconds to 21 seconds.
In addition to the removal of the Caustic buff, an update to the in-game rings has also been implemented. Now, Ring 5 will be bigger than before, while keeping the same time to close, and Ring 6 will be the final circle, which will close over 100 seconds somewhere near the center of Ring 5.
Despite this change to the Rings, however, the biggest change was by far the replacement of the Caustic buff. Surprisingly, the devs have already offered up an explanation behind the change.
Apex devs explain axed Caustic buff
According to Respawn Lead Game Designer Daniel Klein, the decision to not buff Caustic came after the developers obtained some new data on the subject, determining that the Legend didn’t need the buff that they thought he did before.
For anyone wondering: we reverted the Caustic buff after looking at data. He's been climbing like crazy the last three weeks; most concerningly, both his win and his pick rate have been climbing in unison. Looks like he doesn't need the buff!
— Daniel Zenon Klein (@danielzklein) January 5, 2021
Apparently, the buff itself was created before the team went on its winter break and was made using data available back then. With this new data, the team decided it was no longer necessary.
In addition, Respawn’s Associate Live Balance Designer took to Twitter to explain the team’s thought process behind the original buff.
The minor cooldown adjustment we were going to implement was made over a month ago. I had my eye on his usage in EU comp, and knew there was no way we could buff his ult given the chaotic Caustic end circles (curious to see how these ring changes spice things up).(5/14)
— John Larson | JayBiebs (@RSPN_JayBiebs) January 5, 2021
At the end of the day, however, Caustic won’t be getting this buff for the foreseable future. It’s unknown if it will some day make a comeback, but right now, his Nox Gas Trap cooldown will remain at 25 seconds.