Respawn reveal details on Apex Legends Season 2 Battle Pass and new limited-time event - Dexerto
Apex Legends

Respawn reveal details on Apex Legends Season 2 Battle Pass and new limited-time event

Published: 30/May/2019 17:23 Updated: 30/May/2019 23:42

by Albert Petrosyan

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Respawn Entertainment and EA have given Apex Legends players their first glimpse at the Season 2 Battle Pass and an upcoming limited-time event, and we’re here to make sure you’re caught up on everything there is to know.

On May 30, after a long wait, Respawn finally fed its craving fans with an announcement about new content coming soon to Apex Legends.

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The announcement post includes details about the upcoming Season 2 Battle Pass, as well as a new limited-time event called ‘The Hunt.”

First details on Season 2 Battle Pass

After what many consider to be a lackluster Season 1 Battle Pass, it appears that Respawn have taken careful note of community feedback and made some major improvements for Season 2.

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The next Battle Pass will include daily and weekly challenges, a reduced time to reach level 100, three additional Legendary skins, and three new content categories that will replace badge and stat tracker rewards.

In addition, players will now receive enough Crafting Metal from the entirety of the pass to craft any Legendary Item they choose. 

Respawn EntertainmentPlayers will be able to unlock the Epic Master of the Hunt Bloodhound skin by competing in Legendary Hunt challenges.

‘The Legendary Hunt’ limited-time event

In addition to the Season 2 Battle Pass, Respawn also discussed a ‘The Legendary Hunt’ – the first ever limited-time event in Apex Legends.

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The mode, which will last for two weeks, will include an Apex Elite Queue, Legendary Hunt Challenges, Double XP, Battle Pass Bonus XP, and more content.

The Legendary Hunt is expected to go live sometime “next week,” likely to be on Tuesday, June 4, which is when more details about the mode are set to be announced. 

Respawn EntertainmentThe Legendary Honored Prey R-301 skin and Legendary Night Terror Wraith skin will be part The Hunt mode.

Hey Legends,

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As we approach June, we want to give you a heads-up on a fun in-game event coming next week, as well as just some of the first details on Season 2 Battle Pass.

The Hunt Begins . . .

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Starting next Tuesday, we’ll be kicking off a new event called The Legendary Hunt. This limited-time event will last two weeks, and with it brings all this to Kings Canyon:

  • Apex Elite Queue
    • Test yourself against the best with the Apex Elite queue. Make it to the Top 5 in any match to earn your way into a select queue full of other Top 5 winners.
    • Here’s the catch: in order to continue playing in the queue you will have to keep placing in the Top 5.
  • Legendary Hunt Challenge Rewards
    • Complete a set of limited-time challenges and earn new Rare, Epic, and Legendary skins.
  • Double XP Weekend
    • From Friday, June 7 at 10 a.m. PST through Monday, June 10 at 10 a.m. PST, earn double XP on base progression and Battle Pass progression.
  • Battle Pass Bonus XP
    • Finish Top 5 in any match and earn an entire Battle Pass level (once per day).
  • Legendary Hunt Store Skins
    • Every three to four days during the event, we’ll have new Legendary Hunt themed skins rotating through the in-game store for direct purchase.
  • Two Additional Legendary Skins for all Battle Pass Owners
    • Players who have the Wild Frontier Battle Pass will automatically get the Legendary Honored Prey R-301 skin.
    • Players who reach Battle Pass level 15 before the end of the event will get the Wraith Night Terror Legendary skin.  

We’ll have more details to share with you next week Tuesday, but for now, get ready for the hunt!

First Details on Season 2 Battle Pass

At 10:00 a.m. PST on Saturday, June 8, we’ll be sharing some of the first details on Apex Legends Season 2 as part of our EA PLAY livestream. Today, we want to tell you about just a few of the high-level improvements you can expect from our second Battle Pass. So, without further ado, we’ll let our Lead Product Manager, Lee Horn, tell you more. Take it away, Lee!

Leeeeeee-RSPN here, with an update on Battle Pass Season 2. We’ve been listening to the community discussion regarding the Season 1 Battle Pass and have gotten a ton of great feedback from players. Today, we’re excited to share just some of the changes and improvements you can expect with the Season 2 Battle Pass, so y’all can know that we’re headed in the right direction.

TL;DR on Just Some of the Coming Improvements

  • Level up via Daily and Weekly Challenges.
  • Time to Battle Pass level 100 should be significantly reduced.
  • Three additional Legendary skins added to the rewards track.
  • Three entirely new content categories replace badge and stat tracker rewards.
  • You’ll earn enough Crafting Metal rewards from the full reward track to craft a Legendary item, or whatever your heart desires.

Daily/Weekly Challenges and Improving the Grind

Starting in Season 2, you’ll be able to complete a mix of Daily and Weekly Challenges to level up your Battle Pass. If you miss a few weeks or start late, your Weekly Challenges will still be around for you when you return, and you can complete them all at once.

While we don’t want to introduce wacky challenges that drastically warp the way you play the game, these challenges should provide some interesting variation from game-to-game. This means all players should feel more rapid Battle Pass progression and the journey will hopefully be more fun and interesting. Also, this addition should allow players who can only dedicate a few hours a week to the game to make a very deep cut into their Battle Pass progression.

Moar Legendaries!

We’re adding three Legendary items to the Battle Pass and there will now be a Legendary item every 25 Battle Pass levels in the premium track, including at purchase (that’s level 1, level 25, level 50, level 75, and level 100). Our goal is to have a nice balance of cool character exclusives and cosmetics for everyone (like weapon skins). The level 100 reward will be an evolving weapon skin with a special recolor version for those players who make it to level 110.

New Cosmetic Types and No Badge or Stat Tracker Rewards on Premium Path

We removed badges and basic stat trackers completely from the premium Battle Pass rewards track for Season 2. You’ll still get a seasonal badge, but it’ll be a single, evolving badge that won’t take up any additional reward slots! We’ve kept seasonal win trackers in the free path, and they will all be earnable in the first 10 levels.

You’ll also be able to earn items from three new content categories in place of badges/trackers. We’ll be revealing details about these categories closer to the launch of Season 2.

Earn Enough Crafting Metals for a Legendary Item

We’re replacing the Voice Lines with Crafting Metal rewards. You’ll now be able to earn enough Crafting Metals (1,200) to craft the Legendary item of your choosing. So, if there’s an existing item you’ve been coveting, you’ll be able to get it in Season 2. You can still get additional Crafting Metals from the various Apex Pack rewards in the Battle Pass as well.

We have a lot more to tell you about what you can expect in Season 2, so make sure you tune into our livestream on Saturday, June 8 to hear what else we have in store.

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.”