Today’s Apex Legends update can be download right now across PS4, Xbox One and PC, and contain some interesting changes.
There’s a whole event included in this week’s patch and while that will be stealing most of the headlines today, fans will also want to know more about what developers Respawn have decided to rebalance.
Like with most major updates, there are some background details that are left wedged deep in the patch notes.
But they’re always relatively easy to find and will include all the big news that fans will want to know about.
Listed below are some of the most important Apex Legends Season 10 notes that fans will want to know about:
Sheila has gone mobile!
Rampart will now be able to run around with Sheila out, and shoot while walking. The spin up is longer, and she only gets 1 magazine in this mode.
Once Sheila is out, you can put it away and pull it back out until you run out of ammo (or hit the cooldown time).
At any point, you can still place Sheila down for your teammates to use. Once placed, it has infinite reloads and acts just like the previous version. You cannot pick it back up.
Dev Note: A legend based solely on a defensive position is hard to get right in Apex Legends. We think Rampart has a place as the ultimate defensive Legend, but we wanted to give her a little more ability to be reactive and push with her team. As usual, we’ll be watching to see how this plays out and will adjust accordingly!
Bocek Compound Bow
Draw speed slightly reduced from 0.56 to 0.54
Arrows per brick increased from 14 to 16
Arrows per inventory stack increased from 28 to 32
Dev Notes: The Hemlok’s hipfire effectiveness was reduced a few seasons ago and since then the weapon has seen a steady decline in use. Bringing back some of that hipfire strength (but not all) should help the weapon feel more consistent in close quarters without being dominant or affecting its medium-range excellence.
Shatter Caps – Bocek Compound Bow
Shatter Caps – 30-30 Repeater
Dev Notes: When Shatter Caps work they feel amazing, but currently it can still feel a little punishing to swap into the mode. Increasing the damage potential and improving the CQC flow of the 30-30 should help Shatters feel a little more accessible and rewarding.
Cool-off time slightly increased
Overheat lens replacement time slightly increased
Rounds before overheat reduced at base and all Energy Magazine tiers
Base: 22 to 20
White: 24 to 22
Blue: 26 to 24
Purple/Gold: 28 to 26
Arenas price adjustments:
Base: 500 to 600
Blue: 300 to 250
Purple: 400 to 350
Dev Notes: We’re nudging down the L-STAR’s core stats a bit to smooth out the power progression in what we think is a slightly more healthy top-end. We’ll keep a close eye on the L-STAR and it’s recoil as we enter the second half of Emergence. In Arenas, we’re well aware of it’s prevalence in high-level lobbies and are pricing it out of the first round. These changes essentially increase the blue cost by 50 and keep the purple price the same. If its pick rate remains unchanged, we will hotfix further adjustments.
Dev Notes: The EVA-8 holds a lot of power in its speed and leniency compared to its counterparts, the PK and Mastiff. It’s got the edge with fire rate and consistency so we’re shaving off some of its spike damage to even the playing field. We’re normalizing the Mozambique as well for consistency within the shotgun class and to give the P2020 some space as the more precise early game weapon.
QUALITY OF LIFE UPDATES
DEV NOTE: TAP-STRAFING AND MOBILITY TECH
Earlier this week, we announced our intention to “remove tap-strafing,” a decision that was met with surprise by many movement enthusiasts. Tap-strafing is a term associated with different sorts of movement, depending on who you ask. Internally, we generally use it to describe what many associate with scroll-wheel strafing.
To be more explicit, this change targets multiple rapid directional commands after jumping. Movement should feel unchanged for controllers and for M&K (mouse-and-keyboard) players who hadn’t heard of the term “tap-strafe” until this week. Thanks to the work of a couple of our engineers, this is now easily tunable on the fly, and we have the ability to iterate on or even revert it completely without a client update.
Our goal is to remove some of the sharpness in momentum conservation around 90°+ angles. That’s what I’m thinking of when I use the term “tap-strafe” throughout this post. Things like wall-bounce redirects back onto that same wall should feel unchanged, but movement afforded by scroll-wheel strafing will be removed.
Since tap-strafing is a unique M&K mechanic, many platforms have asked about our approach to controller-specific systems like aim assist. As Apex and its players evolve, it’s only prudent for us to continue to evaluate whether or not aim assist needs adjustment. When top-level controller players say they would be alright with nerfing aim assist, we definitely take note. Players should not feel forced to use a specific input type to stay competitive
When people say, “Gee dang it, Respawn’s balancing decisions cater to controller players,” the best answer I have is: “When it comes to accessibility, we often must consider controller players given the constraints compared to M&K. But, accessibility isn’t the same as balance design, and it’s a strawman argument to treat it as such.”
This is why we believe tap-strafing exists solely as a design problem. Even in a M&K-only Apex world, or a scenario where controller and M&K could tap-strafe just the same, we don’t believe it would be a healthy change with the freedom it currently allows, for three main reasons:
The first issue: it’s highly inaccessible. By “inaccessible,” we mean that it’s an opaque technique that’s practically impossible to learn organically (and the most egregious examples require a strange keybind).
Secondly, tap-strafes have terrible readability and limited counter play. Path grapples and Octane pads aside, I’ve seen clips of players breaking ankles with victims (including high-skill players) who are at a loss for what to do. While it’s not terribly prevalent, I’m concerned about how this could continue to evolve as more players adapt and further develop their tap-strafe mechanics.
The third point, and the most problematic, is how tap-strafing is exacerbated by movement abilities. I can buy that a tap-strafe at normal velocity in a gunfight occurs infrequently and is relatively mild enough to not immediately kill with fire. But Path grappling past and tap-strafing back into your face with a Mastiff, or Octane cranking 90s while maintaining ridiculous speed both bring up greater gameplay concerns.
Mobility creep is something to be very mindful of in this game. While many love the freedom that Apex’s movement system affords, constraints are just as important. It’s not surprising that mobility legends are highly popular. Why don’t we just do more of that? Well, over time (and I’d say we are already seeing it) mobility creep can open up a Pandora’s box of new problems to solve. How is third partying affected by mobility? Within a fight, how are frontlines defined? How quickly can I close the gap on an enemy? As a game, Apex is designed to work well with a finite number of movement possibilities.
I feel it’s important to note that limitations don’t always equate to lowering skill-gaps; there are skill-gaps in working within constraints. One could argue that bunny-hop healing lowered the skill-ceiling—players could make up for misplays with less constraints on their ability to safely heal. Different types of skill expression are changed when we touch something like perfect air control, for better or for worse.