14.11.2019

Apex Legends Update Looks To Balance Weapons

Respawn Entertainment’s Apex Legends has been in the news quite a lot since its surprise launch in early February. From rapidly surpassing more than 50 million players to shattering Fortnite‘s single-day Twitch viewership record, the game has certainly risen to the heights of the battle royale genre in record time.

Despite this initial flurry of success, it appears that Respawn is not afraid of change, and Apex Legend‘s first planned balance update is now live. This update is primarily focused on two weapons: the Wingman and Peacekeeper.

With respect to the Wingman, the weapon has had its rate of fire reduced, and the Skullpiercer Headshot damage multiplier has been reduced as well. Additionally, the base hip fire spread has been increased and the rate at which hip fire spread decays has been decreased.

For the Peacekeeper, the update means that the Shotgun Bolt rechamber rate has been reduced. Furthermore, the availability of these two weapons has been reduced in all zone tiers.

These details was shared by Respawn’s community manager, Jay Frechette, on Reddit, and they were offered alongside a discussion on the philosophy behind Respawn’s approach to balance updates. Specifically, it was noted that «the goal is to ship polished, closer to the mark updates» instead of releasing things «rapidly and iterated in the live environment.»

That guiding philosophy is one reason why this first patch arrives a full month after launch, and while fans can expect regular balance updates, they will arrive at less frequent intervals than they do with many live service games. This suggests that Respawn is committed to thoroughly processing the player feedback they receive and testing any changes thoroughly before implementing them.

Respawn also plans to ensure that changes are made as efficiently as possible when they are implemented. For example, rather than nerfing both small and medium rig units, the current plan is to alter large rigs in order to balance out the current discrepancy.

Apex Legends is set to receive another, much larger update sometime later this month. This will come along with the game’s highly anticipated first season, and the Reddit thread has already teased some changes to Legends that fans can look forward to while they wait for the patch to go live.

Full notes on the balance update can be found on Reddit and below.

Weapon Adjustments

  • Wingman
    • Rate of fire reduced from 3.1 -> 2.6
    • Skullpiercer Headshot damage multiplier reduced from 2.5 -> 2.25
    • Increased base hip fire spread and decreased the rate at which hip fire spread decays (shrinks back down).
  • Peacekeeper
    • Shotgun Bolt rechamber rate has been reduced for the Peacekeeper only.
      • Level 1 mitigation 10% -> 7.5%
      • Level 2 mitigation 20% -> 13%
      • Level 3 mitigation 25% -> 16%
  • Wingman and Peacekeeper availability has been reduced in all zone tiers.
  • Increased availability of energy weapons & ammo in all zone tiers.

Why no P2020 or Mozambique buffs?

  • We love y’all’s ‘Bique memes, so we’re hesitant to lose that 😛

  • In all seriousness, our goal is to have a power curve of weapons. «Power curve» just means that some weapons will be weaker and more common, while others will be stronger and rarer. Some weapons are intentionally less powerful until fully purp’d with hopups and attachments, while other weapons on the bottom of the power curve are your early game, better-than-melee, but-gotta-upgrade-out-of-ASAP weapons. We’ve seen some good feedback from players about how to make these pistols more exciting without losing out on the goal above that we’re listening to. We’ll be continuing to watch player data and feedback and trying things out internally but for now, they’ll remain the same.

Additional Patch Notes

Fixed some script errors that we identified were occasionally causing disconnects during matches.

  • Caustic occasionally causing disconnects while throwing is Ultimate.
  • Pathfinder occasionally causing disconnects when activating a Survey Beacon.
  • Players occasionally causing disconnects when removing an attachment.
  • Gibraltar occasionally causing disconnects when pulling up his Gun Shield.
  • Players occasionally causing disconnects when entering Spectate Mode.
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