Forge confirmed for Apex Legends Season 4: leaked abilities and more - Dexerto
Apex Legends

Forge confirmed for Apex Legends Season 4: leaked abilities and more

Published: 23/Jan/2020 21:00

by Albert Petrosyan

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The first official reveal of Apex Legends Season 4: Assimilation confirmed that the new Legend will be none other than Forge, and we’ve got everything there is to know about the Augmented Brawler.

Respawn Entertainment sent the Apex Legends community into a frenzy of excitement on January 23, giving players their first look at the upcoming Season 4.

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As was the case with the first three seasons, this next chapter will introduce a new Legend into the game, Forge, which was one of two likely candidates along with Revenant.

Forge is a brawny humanoid character who received some cybernetic enhancements to his body, giving his already-menacing figure an extra layer of threat.

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In the announcement, Respawn had this to say about him: “confident yet humble, Forge uses his size, strength, and heavy-duty Shatter Gauntlets to batter his opponents into submission.”

Respawn EntertainmentForge is the new Legend that will be introduced in Apex Legends Season 4: Assimilation.

Forge’s abilities for Apex Legends Season 4

Unfortunately, in their announcement, Respawn stopped short of revealing what abilities Forge will feature. However, over the past couple of months, dataminers have found and leaked the abilities from back-end game files.

There are six leaked abilities in total, two each for Passive, Tactical, and Ultimate. However, it’s unlikely that the character will have all six, since every other Legend only has three. Instead, the developers probably just chose three out of the list.

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There’s also a good chance that his actual abilities have something to do with the “Shatter Gauntlets” Respawn mentioned in the announcement.

FORGE’S LEAKED TACTICAL ABILITIES

  • Pull Shot (Hook): Short-range grapple that pulls enemies into you or can be used to launch yourself into the air.
  • Ground Slam: Press crouch while airborne to slam into the ground below.

FORGE’S LEAKED ULTIMATE ABILITIES

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  • K.O. Punch (High Jump): Jump forward in a direction. Press crouch while airborne to slam into the ground below.
  • One-Two (One-Two Punch): Bullrush in a straight line. If you hit an enemy along the way, press again to do an upper-cut launching you into the air.

FORGE’S LEAKED PASSIVE ABILITIES

  • On The Ropes: Enhances your melee to do more damage the lower your health is. Dealing melee damage gives you temporary overshield.
  • Victory Rush: Killing a player with a melee attack restores your health and gives you a 30% speed boost for 10 seconds.
Respawn EntertainmentForge is sponsored by Hammond Robotics, a fictional company from Respawn’s Titanfall series.

Forge’s lore and backstory

As most know, Respawn puts a lot of emphasis on providing a thorough backstory and lore for each Legend, adding depth and complexity to the whole Apex Legends experience.

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While Forge’s lore hasn’t been fully unveiled yet, the devs did reveal that the new Legend is known to be a five-time Hyperfighting Federation champion who is now sponsored by Hammond Robotics, a fictional corporation that originated in Respawn’s Titanfall series.

(Forge segment begins at 11:05 mark for mobile users)

“Big personality, he’s conquered the MMA world and now he wants to conquer another world with the Apex Games,” said Tom Casiello, game writer. “Also, the first Legend we’re introducing that’s corporate-sponsored and his sponsor is Hammond Robotics. Are they good? Are they bad? You’ll have to play and find out.”

It looks like Hammond Robotics will play some sort of role in Season 4, so players should definitely keep an eye out for that as the story develops.

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.”