First in-game look at Loba and her animations leaked in Apex Legends - Dexerto
Apex Legends

First in-game look at Loba and her animations leaked in Apex Legends

Published: 7/Apr/2020 21:57

by Albert Petrosyan

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Prominent Apex Legends dataminer ‘iLootGames’ has found and leaked an unreleased character who he claims is Loba, giving fans their first-ever look at the expected next new Legend.

As with every major update in Apex Legends, the launch of Bloodhound’s Old Ways event on April 7 added some new files to the game’s back end that were not meant to be released, at least not yet.

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Shortly after the patch went live, visuals were leaked online showing a female character that has never been seen before in the game.

According to iLootGames, the dataminer who discovered the files, the character is actually Loba, who many expect to be the next new Legend once Season 5 rolls around.

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Not only was he able to leak an image of the Legend, but he also managed to get his hands on a video showing Loba doing some walking animations as well as what could be some sort of attack at the very end.

The leaks don’t end there; iLootGames also shared some details about how Loba will first be revealed in Apex Legends. According to some lines of code he pulled, the character will first appear in “phase 4” of teasers and will be shown on the in-game banners.

Who is Loba?

Everything we know so far about Loba has been the result of leaks and speculation since developers Respawn Entertainment haven’t even formally acknowledged her existence.

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Many believe she is the little girl shown in the Revenant reveal trailer, the one whose parents the Synthetic Nightmare murdered. There is a brief moment when she can be seen holding a small figure of a wolf, which is “loba” in Portuguese, the language that she and her family spoke in the video.

The theory is that she’ll be back in Season 5 to exact her revenge against Revenant, and now that we have our first look at her adult form, that speculation is looking more and more legitimate.

Respawn EntertainmentLoba, which means wolf in Portuguese, is expected to be the next new Legend in Apex Legends.

As for her abilities, again, we have nothing to go off of except leaks, but former dataminer That1MiningGuy described her kit as being focused around looting and finding high-tier items and weapons, which can be crucial in the early phases of matches.

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  • Burglar’s Best Friend – Throw a disc and teleport to that location
  • Supply for Demand – Choose a type of loot and reveal all matching gear through walls
  • Eye for Quality – Activate hidden compartment in bins for extra loot

All that said, however, there’s no guarantee that Loba will even be added to the game, despite all of the information and now images that have been found. Respawn proved how far they’re willing to go to ensure that their future content remains a surprise when they added fake info about Forge and even falsely announced him as the new Legend for Season 4.

A developer later revealed that it was part of a ploy to trick leakers and their followers and hide the fact that Revenant was actually the new character, while Forge ended up getting killed off before even appearing in-game.

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As always, we will continue to bring you the latest news, leaks, and updates about Loba as soon as more information becomes available.

Apex Legends

Apex Legends SBMM controversy: Is EA rigging your matches?

Published: 8/Oct/2020 14:06

by Calum Patterson

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In the midst of Season 6 in Apex Legends, the controversy about SBMM (skill-based matchmaking) has reared its head again. A 2017 paper from EA researches appears to show a nefarious matchmaking algorithm, leaving players both concerned and angry.

But, before you grab your pitchforks, there are a few key facts that have been lost among the debate on social media.

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In an attempt to better explain what we know about matchmaking in Apex, the research from EA, and what it all actually means for you – the player – here is everything you need to know.

First, though, if you don’t know what SBMM even is, here is a quick recap.

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What is SBMM?

Skill-based matchmaking is the name for the predominant system used (or allegedly used) in the majority of online, PvP, multiplayer games. Respawn, the developers of Apex Legends, have confirmed that their system uses skill level as a factor in matchmaking.

They’ve said that this system has always been there, will stay, and that they are constantly trying to improve it. The say SBMM is better for the long-term health of the game, and for keeping players playing and having fun.

However, this 2017 paper, written by a handful of researchers from EA, appears to argue the opposite; that fairer matches are not actually best for ‘engagement’ (i.e. keeping you playing or spending). Instead, another system called EOMM is apparently better. So, is SBMM not actually a thing at all?

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SBMM in Apex Legends
Respawn Entertainment
SBMM has been a hot topic in Apex for ever since launch.

Is Apex Legends rigging you to lose?

The short answer: No.

Respawn’s Principal Coder Michael Kalas has confirmed that Apex Legends does not use EOMM, and said “no one working on Apex matchmaking has read the patent.”

“Apex matchmaking is designed off skill. It’s not literally designed to make you lose, spend, nor play longer,” Kalas confirms. “Apex features are designed and measured to result in fun, entertainment, accomplishment, playing longer, etc.”

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Some players, even professional players, have said based on their own feeling and experience, that there is some kind of system working against them in matchmaking.

Perhaps players are right to feel this way, perhaps not. We will probably never know for certain, as publishers like EA and Activision will never reveal the inner-workings of their matchmaking algorithms. This is because, once known, players could deliberately attempt to game the system. 

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What is the EA research paper?

First, remember that this 2017 research paper is not linked to Apex Legends. After all, Apex was released two years after this paper was published.

It is simply a study, testing if such a system is successful at increasing player retention, and in turn, spending. This system is not SBMM. In fact, it argues that SBMM is actually worse for increasing player retention.

The system is called EOMM = engagement optimized matchmaking. Rather than matching players randomly, or based on their skill level, it combines a number of different factors, to try to increase ‘engagement.’

The paper concludes that “EOMM significantly outperforms all other methods in the number of retained players.”

What is EOMM?

Engagement Optimized matchmaking (EOMM) “aims to match players in an optimal way that maximizes overall player engagement.”

Based on a player’s last 3 outcomes (W)in, (L)ose, or (D)raw, the risk of them quitting changes. The paper presents this table, showing that three losses in a row, or two wins and a loss, will result in the highest risk of quitting (4.9% – 5.1%).

However, if a player has DLW, LLW, LDW, or DDD, their risk of quitting is almost half (2.6% – 2.7%).

A simplistic appraisal of this system then, would be, if you get a win, you might get a harder opponent the next match. If you lose, you get an easier opponent. Keeping the balance of wins, losses, and draws, is core to the EOMM system.

The fear is that the game could be “rigging” your matchmaking, to make you win or lose in a certain pattern. The goal of this system is to increase player engagement; things “such as time or money spent in the game, the number of matches played within a time window, or churn risk.”

But, the research paper was based on 1v1 matches, which might apply to a game like FIFA, but not Apex Legends. However, it concludes that EOMM could easily be applied to other, more complex matchmaking.

AC Milan FIFA 21
EA SPORTS
Games like FIFA could use EOMM, because it’s based on 1v1 matches.

Of course, EA and Respawn want players to be engaged with their game. They want players playing, staying to play more, and hopefully, spending money. So, it stands to reason that they would employ some matchmaking algorithms to optimize this.

But, this study was based on 500 players. Not the tens of millions who play Apex Legends. In the real world, there are countless other factors to consider, including ping, server location, partying up with friends, and much more.

What about SBMM?

The paper on EOMM argues that SBMM doesn’t work because of one key reason:

“Consider a cautious player who cares about protecting his rank among friends, and a risk taker who enjoys difficult matches. Pairing them with similarly skilled opponents will affect these players very differently. Even for the same player, their expectation on the coming match when they just lost three games in a row can be very different from that when they recently performed well.”

In their testing, EOMM retained 0.7% more players compared to SBMM, after one round of matchmaking. This might not seem like much, but over more matches, this number will increase: “For players who play 20 rounds of matchmaking games within eight hours, there will be 15% more players retained by EOMM” than SBMM.

But, the dislike of any system that is not purely random and based totally on connection, cannot be denied. It became a massive issue during Call of Duty’s Black Ops Cold War Alpha recently, where even pro player Scump pleaded with developers to make changes.

We can only hope that the developers take into consideration players’ concerns, and promote having fun in the game, and not just “engagement.”