From Self-precision to Skull City

“We’re never Skull Town again,” Respawn lead designer Jeff Shu Lee explains to me when I incorrectly called the new POI Relic “Skull Town 2.0.” “It’s very Skull Town inspired, but it’s not Skull Town, and we want to be clear about that.”

Season 14 of Apex Legends feels like a blast from the past. We’re back in Kings Canyon, a smaller version of Skull Town is back, and players who have reached the level cap 500 can start over to start grinding again with 2nd, 3rd and 4th place. Season 14 has a lot of new changes, so I caught up with Shaw and his co-workers to get information about third-party management, why Skull Town is gone, and whether self-precision will return in the future.

The Gamer video today

RELATED: ALGS Commissioner John Nelson ‘considered a lot of different options’ for COVID protocols for the tournament

Shaw explains that Skull Town was removed nine seasons ago because it was “unhealthy” for the game. Respawn’s data backed up what we’ve all seen – practically the entire lobby was landing on the famous drop point – which means it had to change something. “The decision was made by saying, ‘Okay, let’s just make the map a little bit smaller, eliminate this important point that is causing a lot of problems and start rebuilding parts of the map from there,'” he says. Landing people was healthier.” When asked if Respawn would remove Fragment in a similar way, Shaw replied, “No comment.”

It seems unlikely that Relic’s smaller size will fend off the majority of players, especially early in the season when the excitement is at its peak. Why bring it back at all? “Aside from bringing it back in for nostalgia, this is the kind of gameplay that people really like that they miss from the map,” says Shaw. “But another important point with that was to come up with an innovative solution to a problem that we saw. One of the issues we saw was how do you go from Octane, to Market, to caustic processing and rescue and that whole area. We felt it was really oppressive and you were directed to Posts, even if you want to avoid them.”

To combat the density of POIs in southern Kings Canyon, Broken Relay also had a flare, adding more buildings and better loot. The revitalized area, now called Basin, still hosts mid-level loot, but the loot balance has been adjusted across the map to encourage players to have more diverse landing spots.

Although Relic has expanded Kings Canyon to the south, and Crash Site previously did the same to the north, the original Apex map remains the smallest. With a smaller map comes more third parties, which are quite annoying to deal with after a heavy fight, probably why many choose to stick to the likes of Caustic and Wattson to reset in safety. Shaw acknowledges this issue, but cautions against excluding third parties from the game entirely.

“We look at third parties as a healthy part of the game, but when third parties happen a lot in certain areas, we look at that as a small problem,” he says. It states that removing buildings from the Hillside Outpost should prevent teams from ripping apart, and removing Redeploy Balloons from the center of the map will eliminate the fastest rotation method to charge an injured team after a fight. The “choke center,” as Shaw describes it, between Bunker, The Cage and Hillside Outpost, is partially filled, leaving teams with longer routes if they want to conduct a third-party fight they hear on the other side of the Kings Canyon central mountain range. Unless they have a Valkyrie, that is.

Hardcore gamers will know that the Apex level system is limited to 500, after which you can’t progress any further. I asked systems designer Aaron Routledge why it took so long to increase the level cap, especially since the first increase, from 100 to 500, came quickly after the game was launched.

“I think the percentage of the player base is close to that maximum,” he explains. “500 takes a while. And yes, there are people who play this as a career and they get to 500 very quickly, but that’s not true for the entire player base. We want to be kind of careful when we scale that up. And I think moving the 500 to 2000 basically [the prestige system sees players regress to a new level 1 after hitting 500] good now. That’s why we’re making this change now.


“Also, with the rate at which the Apex package is dropped, that has to match the amount of content we have. So in the first nine months we had a very limited set of skins that were available even to people — you don’t want everyone to run out of things. So with As the content pool grows, we can launch more Apex packages into the economy.”

Reaching level 2000 (or more accurately, 500 for the fourth time) will result in a total of 544 Apex Packs. This is crucially above the bottom line to get an ‘unfortunate heirloom’, an extremely rare cosmetic that has an outrageous drop rate, but is guaranteed in your 500th pack if you haven’t received one already. “At launch, legacies weren’t a real thing,” explains Routledge. “And now they are such a highly-watched item that we wanted to give everyone a chance to get that feeling of experience unlocking the red Apex pack.” It will take some time to get there.

Season 14’s biggest changes, as with every season, are the weapons. Rampage LMG and Bocek Bow went into the sponsorship package (despite my objections), instead of the G7 Scout and Volt SMG. Game designer Eric Canaves assured me that Bocek’s approach to the pack wasn’t a personal grudge, and that her buff would be “closer to the arc we fired in the first week and then urgently fixed.”

He also told me that Rampage won’t be fully charged when you find it in a care package, despite Respawn testing as an option. “We tried it early in our experiment,” he says. “We even tried to have the charging be free so you still have to go through the window to charge, but it wasn’t always the case, but we did find that it disrupts things a bit and then you get into this situation where you’ll just always charge it. In the end it was a bit unhealthy so what we ended up with was we just put it in the box with free Thermite.”

The other big news when it comes to weapons is that Wingman is taking the Sniper Ammo and switching the Spitfire from Heavy to Light. Both weapons are unchanged other than their ammo, so you’ll still be able to shred those headshots from a Wingman, and you won’t be able to carry a lot of ammo for them — says Cavanese, “It was very easy to run with heavy ammo and quite the like and be able to stretch with two stacks throughout the game.” “.

Devotion and RE-45 (complete with Hammerpoints) are in the Replicator for Season 14, the last being a “mini-experiment” to try and guide players into crafting an early toy weapon. The last big change when it comes to loot is the gold equipment. Gold Knockdown Shield now lets you stack three large medals instead of two, and its old mechanic that allows you to revive teammates in half health instead of a silver has been ported to the Gold Knockdown Shield. This means that the self-revival is over – something pro gamers have been complaining about for a long time – but is it over for good?


“We listen to our community, and it’s important to show that we’re listening, but we’re not going to do everything the community wants,” Cavanese says. And this isn’t just something to please the community, it’s something we feel will benefit the game’s health, rated integrity, and professional play across the board. When we see that there is a reasonable amount of negative feelings about something, we will look at it and come to our own conclusions about health and things like that.

“We did it with self-accuracy and came to the conclusion that we could come up with something else and try it. If it doesn’t work, maybe we’ll go back to self-precision, who knows? But we’re always willing to try new things and we don’t want to be afraid to respond to that and give new things. chance in the game.

Next up: Inside The Burger Brigade: Apex Legends Esports’ most vociferous fan base

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: