Respawn hass dropped the first balance patch into Apex Legends and, in a post on the official Apex Legends Reddit page, also outlined a few things in regards to their philosophy when looking at the game and what changes to make.
The TL;DR quote direct from the community manager is that they’re looking to make “less frequent, better tested, higher impact balance changes in order to minimize the impacts on your time spent mastering the game.” The developer plans to listen to player feedback, implement ideas into their own private test sessions and then roll them out to the public when they’re ironed out, rather than delivering incremental changes every time the community screams “OP!!!” and constantly fighting an uphill struggle.
Wingman and Peacekeeper adjustments
Live now on all platforms (PS4, Xbox One and PC) is a patch that tweaks the two guns that currently sit at the top of the meta - the Peacekeeper shotgun and the Wingman pistol. Now, when using the Peacekeeper shotgun only (not the EVA-8 Auto, crucially), any shotgun bolt attachment, which increases the fire rate, has had its fire rate decreased so it doesn’t encroach on the auto shotgun’s territory as much. With a purple shotgun bolt attached, you could fire 25 percent faster. Now, that has been reduced to 16 percent.
The Wingman is a deadly handgun that, in the right hands, is basically a mini sniper rifle and pretty much the essential sidearm in the game right now. With the ‘Skullpiercer’ mod it would do a wild 2.5x more headshot damage, which has now been reduced to 2.25x. For some perspective, after this nerf it is still going to do 202 damage per headshot with the mod, which is going to kill anyone who hasn’t got full health and armour and at least some kind of helmet equipped. If you’re fully kitted up, however, you’ll just barely survive it now.
It has also had its rate of fire reduced from 3.1 rounds per second to 2.6, and had its hip fire spread widened and slowed down the speed of which the spread shrinks back to pinpoint accurate.
Perhaps most interestingly, however, is that the actual appearance of these two weapons across all loot tier areas has been reduced, with the appearance of energy weapons and ammo being increased. Fans of the Triple Take sniper rifle are no doubt loving this information!
Weak weapons like the P2020 and the current ‘so bad it is a meme’ gun the Mozambique have received no buffs, because Respawn are keen to maintain a quality curve within the weapons, so there will always be a tier list and a reason to seek out something better. They are, however, continuing to monitor this situation.
Despite no information on the Battle Pass and Season 1, Respawn did confirm that some major character balance tweaks would be made when that finally lands this month. The big one is that the big body characters - Pathfinder, Gibraltar and Caustic - are having their larger hitboxes restructured to better fit their character model. Interestingly, Respawn stated that if this doesn’t bring them back into the meta in a meaningful way, they’ll consider giving them natural damage reduction perks before they look at nerfing the rest of the cast.
Caustic is also getting a few buffs. His gas traps are going to have less cooldown, a better activation range and they’re removing the one second grace period you have when you trigger one before the gas affects you. They’re going to hurt immediately from Season 1 onwards.
Pathfinder is getting a minor buff, as they’re upping the number of beacons he can hack to discover where the circle is going to go from 10 to 12, while Lifeline, Bangalore and Wraith are getting slight nerfs. Lifeline’s care package will no longer drop gold gear, Bangalore’s ability to run when under fire will decrease from a 40% speed boost to 30% and Wraith’s void jumping ability cooldown will increase by five seconds, from 20 to 25.
It’s going to be an exciting few weeks for Apex Legends fans as we approach the Season 1 launch. Now that Respawn appear to have gotten all of the buffs and nerfs out of the way, all the news in the final run up should be about new weapons, new items and, of course, this rumoured new legend.