Apex Legends players devise epic way to bring Skulltown back as new mode - Dexerto
Apex Legends

Apex Legends players devise epic way to bring Skulltown back as new mode

Published: 21/May/2020 22:23 Updated: 23/May/2020 8:50

by Theo Salaun

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Apex Legends Season 5: Fortune’s Favor got rid of everyone’s favorite hot drop, Skulltown, but fans have come up with a new way to bring the location back for a much-needed mode.

The early days of Apex Legends were marked by incessant fire fights throughout Skulltown, a concentrated pack of buildings with loot, corridors and, most importantly, what seemed like half of the lobby itching for action.

But Skulltown and the nearby Thunderdome are both gone now, as the original Kings Canyon map has found its battleground centered elsewhere toward the northeastern section of the map—where the Offshore Rig and Capacitor locations have been added.

 

Respawn Entertainment
The revamped Kings Canyon has added new elements to the map, including Charge Towers.

This has led fans of the game to speculate over how a closed-off Skulltown could feature as a smaller map fit for different modes than the game’s traditional three-person squad battle royale.

In particular, Redditor ‘cow_durr’ noted that Skulltown could be parceled off, enclosed by rocky cliffs so that players could compete in smaller competitions.

 

Surround Skull town in cliffs and give it to us as custom map to play against our friends. from apexlegends

 

While they suggested this move as a means of supplementing the Firing Range, granting players a more realistic opportunity to compete amongst their friends in a game-like environment rather than the location’s obvious lean toward an aim-training terrain.

This idea is reasonable, as buddies could hop into a limited training mode and engage in custom deathmatches to warm up aim, and generally have a silly old blast in a part of the map that many already miss dearly.

But there are other applications that could fit a smaller map type. With a closed-off map in a dense area like Skulltown, Respawn Entertainment would be able to test out a few experimental modes that many in the community have been curious to try out.

 

Respawn Entertainment
The features of Apex Legends’ Firing Range have improved and been experimented with, but there is still room for improvement.

Among such modes, the most interesting are a public solos battle royale, a kill-based deathmatch, and a solos gun game. The possibility of a smaller squad-based BR with something like just five squads and loadouts upon deployment would also be intriguing.

In the past, Respawn has tried out solo modes and modes where you deploy with shields already equipped, but neither received enough positive feedback to fit into the game permanently.

A smaller map could solve this, as the problems of inaction in solos-based modes are solved by forcing players into a more concentrated area. With the versatility of Skulltown’s environment allowing for tremendous mobility and positioning potential, utilizing everything from rooftops and stairways to small fences, the area suits itself well to the type of action players would love to warm up with.

 

The RNG of looting is essential to a battle royale but, as proved by Call of Duty’s Warzone, it’s fun when players are able to deploy with weapons and pick out the specific weapons they’d like to play with (as seen in the game’s Plunder mode and purchasable loadouts). 

While players will always want to drop into full-fledged Apex Legends matches on the larger map, a smaller, fan-favorite map would allow players to drop in and practice their gunplay and movement techs.

Ultimately, the game’s guns, legends and mobility are the game’s selling point and experimenting with a smaller map would allow developers to let fans embrace those differentiating factors more immediately and in unique ways.

Apex Legends

Respawn hope to bring Wraith “under control” in Apex Legends Season 8

Published: 27/Nov/2020 2:41

by Andrew Amos

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The debate around Wraith is still raging on in Apex Legends. Despite change after change, she’s still a power pick in a lot of situations. However, in Season 8, Respawn are pulling out the final straw to try and bring Wraith “under control” once and for all.

Wraith has been slowly tuned down over the 20-month history of Apex Legends from outrageously broken, to somewhat manageable. Despite being hit with a big set of nerfs in June’s Lost Treasures update though, she still reigns supreme in the Outlands.

However, Respawn aren’t giving up hope on finally bringing the voidwalker “under control.” In an interview on the Third Party podcast, developer Daniel Klein said that more changes are on the way in Season 8.

wraith apex legends
Respawn Entertainment
Wraith could be getting a bit bigger if Respawn end up shipping their intended changes for Apex Legends Season 8.

While he joked about just straight up removing Wraith from the game, Respawn actually have a direction they want to take. They don’t want to hit Wraith’s kit any harder. They want to see if they can “fix” her hitboxes.

“I don’t want to hit her kit any more. We’ve pushed that to the breaking point where it’s barely still fun, but the extremely wind-up on her tactical ⁠— as much as it was necessary ⁠— it puts the ability more into the camp of cerebral power rather than satisfying in the moment power,” he said.

“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.”

The Pathfinder changes were shipped in the Season 7 update earlier in November, and have made the grappling robot a bit easier to hit while dashing across Olympus and the other maps.

Despite Respawn’s hopes though, nothing is locked in. They’ve only just started scouting out the work to change Wraith’s hitboxes. Klein stated he hopes the changes will be enough that Respawn could even look at buffing Wraith down the line, but the solution could be a dead end.

Pathfinder flying across screen with grapple hook.
Respawn Entertainment
Pathfinder was hit with a similar hitbox nerf in Season 7.

“Nothing is guaranteed yet, we haven’t started work yet. I’ve asked one of our technical artists to take a look at it. Whenever he gets around to it, we will know more.

“My earnest hope is that we can bring her under control with just hitbox changes, and then maybe even look at ways at making her more in-the-moment fun again, and find a balance point between her tactical now and what it used to be.”

They’re not willing to risk “giving Wraith more power” by shipping some changes early before they tackle her hitboxes, so don’t expect ability buffs soon. However, in Apex Legends Season 8, expect Wraith to feel a little bit different.