Original Post — Direct link

Hey Legends,

We couldn’t be more excited by the release of cross-play beta with the Aftermarket Collection Event. The event itself will feature an exciting new LTM called flashpoint, tons of rewards, a new Caustic Heirloom and more. Check out the blog for more details. Alongside that, we’re also making plenty of smaller buffs, tweaks, and fixes too. Read on and arm yourself with all the info you need to give yourself an edge when you drop into Aftermarket. 

See you in the Arena!

CROSS-PLAY BETA

Quite the epic skins

Since the launch of Apex Legends, cross-play has been one of the most requested features from our players who want the ability to play with their friends on other platforms. During the cross-play beta, players will have full access to cross-play functionality while we collect data, test the feature at scale, and most importantly, listen to you, the fans, for feedback.

LTM - FLASHPOINT

Flashpoint

Aftermarket delivers an all new limited time mode, Flashpoint. Played on Kings Canyon, all healing items are removed in favor of massive zones around the map that regen both your health and shields.

Read more on Crossplay Beta and Flashpoint on the Aftermarket blog here.

COLLECTION EVENT

Skins

Aftermarket brings in another 24 item collection event with skins like Wattson’s “Wired for Speed” skin or Wraith’s “Void Prowler” Skin.

EVENT PRIZE TRACK

Prizes!

With a new event, also means a new challenge track! This time around, get a chance to get free cosmetics like Bangalore’s “Blue Chipped” or the Hemlok’s “Performance Boost”.

NEW HEIRLOOM - CAUSTIC’S DEATH HAMMER

Caustic’s Death Hammer is the latest heirloom to be added to the heirloom pool. This nox filled hammer will smash anyone who comes in contact with it.

LEGEND META

Rampart

  • Increased the rate at which Sheila's bullet spread tightens

Bloodhound

  • Updated Bloodhound’s tactical cooldown while ultimate is active from 6 seconds to 8 seconds.Dev Note: The 6.0 changes have been extremely powerful for Bloodhound. Their ultimate is now truly a moment you should fear as the enemy. We think we might have gone a little far with 6s. Against a competent BH, there would only ever be 2s during which you're not scanned. Changing it to 8s means you've got 4s of being revealed and 4s to reposition in between pulses.

Pathfinder

  • Grapple cooldown is now based on the distance Pathfinder traveled. The shortest possible pull has a 10s cooldown; the maximum cooldown is still 35s, but you're going to have to swing a very long distance to get there. Have fun out there, friends!Dev note:Pathfinder mains rejoice, the Outlands happiest robot is getting some love. Instead of dropping grapple cooldown back to 15s where it was before, or moving it to 25s as a compromise, we considered a player suggestion (thanks Reddit) to have the Grapple drain energy as it goes, similar to Titanfall 2. The difference here is we're looking at your full distance traveled: from the moment you leave the ground to when you're on the ground again and not sliding at crazy high speeds. What this means is two things:
  1. Bad Pathfinder players, no longer need to fear the faceplant grapple quite as much. If you're not going anywhere, you're not incurring much of a cooldown.
  2. If you're really really good at Pathfinder and looking for the absolute max distance grapple, you'll still have a 35s cooldown, assuming you land it. This both buffs Path a little less for the scariest robot players out there and it also opens up room for extra skill expression: can you find useful short distance grapples that'll give you a shorter CD but still do something good for you? Looking forward to seeing what you all do with this one.

Wraith

  • Updated Wraith’s sprint animation.Dev note:Wraith is a very challenging Legend to nerf. We look at Legend performance across a number of axes: how often trios with this Legend on them win games / place highly, how often this Legend gets knock downs vs is knocked down, how often this Legend is picked. Across each and every single one of these axes, Wraith dominates.And yet each time we hit her abilities (which we've done a lot) she bounces back within a few weeks without bleeding a lot of pick rate. Her kit is uniquely useful both in solo games and in highly coordinated games. Also she's just really cool. We get it.We don't want to hit her abilities anymore. We think both she and Pathfinder have been pushed to the edge in terms of cooldown and utility nerfs where pushing them any further would make them a lot less fun to play. We don't want that!So we started looking at other Legend specific things that could give her this power--and discovered that her sprinting animations are unique in how much they artificially shorten her (by hunching over), thus shrinking her shootable area from the perspective of the enemy. It doesn't sound like a lot, but taken together with her already small hitbox, it's a lot of power.This patch, we're introducing a new set of sprint animations for Wraith. These are much more upright and expose a larger area of her body to gunfire. Now we know her old sprint was iconic and we hate to see it go as well, but we believe this is the best way by far of bringing her in line without having to hit her abilities again. Depending on what we see after these animations go live, we may even be able to put some power back into her abilities (no promises though).As always, we will be listening to feedback and monitoring data on this change.

Crypto

  • Crypto’s Drone can now open loot vaults if Crypto has a key in his inventory. It consumes the key as usual.

Loba

  • Increased range of ultimate & passive from 3100 units to 4500 units.
  • Loba now starts the match with her ultimate half charged.

WEAPON META

Devotion

  • Increasing hipfire spread at a base level and also increasing the spread added while firing.

Spitfire

  • We try to keep hipfire numbers consistent with similar weapons of the same class. So, the hipfire spread increase on the Devotion is also being applied to the Spitfire. To compensate, we are reducing horizontal recoil on the Spitfire.

Triple Take

  • Reduced fire rate from 1.4 to 1.3.

QUALITY OF LIFE

  • Loot Prompts now show how much damage an evo shield has accumulated, so you can make a better decision when switching.

Armor!

  • You are now able to switch to same-level armor that has less health, if it is closer to evolving.
  • Loot Prompts will now have a small indicator that lets you know if your teammate needs this item, so you can ping it!

Ping!

  • Performance Display is a new option that activates a panel that appears in the top right corner of your screen during a match.The data displayed is as follows:
    • FPS - Frames Per Second, or how quickly your game is rendering frames
    • Latency - The time (in milliseconds) it takes for your game client to communicate to the server and back
    • Loss - Indicates the percentage of packet data lost per second on its way to or from the server
    • Choke - Indicates the percentage of packet data congestion on its way from the server
    • In/Out - The amount of data being sent from/to the server 
    • If you're noticing persistent issues while playing, this display may help you (and us!) identify what's going on. The Performance Display can be enabled or disabled at any time from your Gameplay Settings menu.

New hud

  • Anonymous Mode has been added to the options. Anonymize your name in the champion presentation, obituary, and other locations of living opponents. 
  • Level 0 Evo Armor will now appear as empty in the inventory, so you can ping to request for Armor
  • There are more banners placed around World's Edge to better support Cryptos ability to see nearby squads in his drone.
  • Out of Bounds - The out of bounds timer no longer refreshes each time you enter a new out of bounds area. The timer is now a fixed amount of time: 30 seconds. If you enter new out of bounds areas, the timer will steadily decrease. However, if you only have 5 seconds left, the timer will keep refreshing up to that 5 second mark. 
    • This should work against people exploiting the timer, while still allowing time for people to get down if they land up there.
  • Random Favorite selection added for Music and Loadscreen categories
  • Holo Sprays will now remember which players liked them, and will display a count to the owner. This also prevents other players from spamming “like” on the holo spray.
  • Legend Tokens have been minimized to a tool tip in the lobby. Hover over your currency to see your amount.

BUG FIXES

General

  • Added the ability to ping the satellite dish at Crypto’s Map Room from the dropship. 

Gibraltar

  • Fixed an issue with the bubble shield looking white in certain conditions. 

Lifeline

  • Fixed an issue with the “Guardian Angel” Skin having a stretched neck when using Sheila. 
  • Fixed an issue where care packages would not be allowed to be placed on certain parts of Capacitor, Rig, or Salvage in Kings Canyon.

Caustic

  • Fixed Caustic barrels from being placed at an angle on shipping crates. 

Mirage

  • Fixed an issue that prevented Mirage decoys from being pinged. 
  • Fixed an issue that did not allow Crypto’s drone to highlight decoys.

Octane

  • Fixed a visual issue that removed Revenant’s shadow form from a player after jumping off an Octane Jump Pad. 
  • Fixed an issue with the Jump Pad clipping into the ground in certain areas

Crypto

  • Fixed an issue with his drone not detecting Wattson’s Security Fences.
  • Fixed an audio issue with survey beacon sometimes making very little sound when using it as Crypto’s drone.
  • Fixed an issue with his drone not taking damage from directly below. 

Revenant

  • Fixed an issue with the HUD of the Replicator staying on screen when the totem effect wears off.

Loba

  • Fixed inconsistencies with teleporting onto a supply ship. 
  • Fixed an issue allowing teleporting into drills around Lava Fissure.
  • Fixed an issue preventing teleporting on certain terrain in Staging. 

Rampart

  • Fixed an issue with doors closing when dismounting a placed Sheila in a doorway. 
  • Fixed Amped Cover from floating in the air when placed on a supply ship.
  • Fixed an issue with being able to place Sheila on loot bins.
  • Fixed an issue with Longbow DMR, Triple Take, Mastiff and Sentinel not always receiving the Amped Cover buff. 
  • Fixed an issue with Amped Cover being able to be placed at bad angles around the map. 
  • Fixed an issue with the Amped Cover not being destroyed by the initial blast of Charge Rifle. 
  • Fixed an issue with bullets getting amped before they cross the amped wall from certain angles. 

L-Star

  • Fixed an issue with overheating occurring when firing a single shot from the weapon multiple times.
External link →
17 days ago - /u/DanielZKlein - Direct link

Originally posted by FrozenFroh

I believe one of the devs talked about how buffing her tactical needed new animations, so it's possible this is a small buff until next season

It's possible! I don't know how that would be the case for LOBA; buffing Rampart's turret/wall will often require new anims (and that's one reason the buff for Rampart is so weak in 6.1; it's what I could make happen without anim work)

Originally posted by writing-nerdy

"We try to keep hipfire numbers consistent with similar weapons of the same class. So, the hipfire spread increase on the Devotion is also being applied to the Spitfire."

But not the L-Star? 0.o

The L-Star is sorta a weird gun. It's in the LMG category but it isn't really a full LMG in terms of the stats, it's kinda "LMG-lite". We have future plans for the LSTAR, just nothing this patch.

17 days ago - /u/DanielZKlein - Direct link

Originally posted by aure__entuluva

Yea I"m not entirely sure by their wording. I thought it would have to do with the distance covered while the grapple was actually engaged, but they make it sound like it's the distance covered in total. This actually sounds better as people will get more reduced cooldowns from it, but I have to wonder what they use for the max grapple distance. I'm not sure if that's been defined/discovered.

It's total distance traveled, from the moment your grapple engages until the moment you drop back into normal sprint speed and are on the ground.

17 days ago - /u/DanielZKlein - Direct link

Originally posted by cashewgremlin

If a short hop onto a nearby cliff or roof is considered "very short" by their algorithm, it will be a huge deal for getting him feeling good again. I don't even have an issue with him not being able to fling himself across the map as often, if he can maneuver much more in tactical ways.

Yeah going up on a roof / 2nd floor balcony is definitely a use case where I reliably get around 10s CDs.

17 days ago - /u/DanielZKlein - Direct link

Originally posted by Eat_Dem_Waffles

Papa bless for the evo armor pickup change, and the pathfinder buff.

Non-weeb wraith will be interesting, and I'm also wondering why red evo wasn't touched here since they've mentioned how strong/easy it is to get before.

Nothing about the crypto ultimate bug? Also Rampart's lobby animation is broken. Her gun isnt parented right and just kinda floats in midair as she revs up nothing.

We have a change planned for red evo for 7.0, but it required a little networking work (don't ask; game dev is dumb) so we couldn't ship it in 6.1. The plan is to increase the damage required to go to red.

17 days ago - /u/DanielZKlein - Direct link

Originally posted by Tremori

I feel like lobas Ultimate keep getting buffed because the devs CANT fix her teleport. They do it Little by little but I still want to go through windows I love loba.

Edit : Really didn't expect this to make so much attention. Feels like my post may have been a tiny part of the reason as to why loba got readdressed again. After mulling over your responses (designers) it makes a ton of sense and I agree.

The teleport is very scary to me; if it ever becomes very powerful, it will immediately ruin the in-combat feel of Apex. Apex relies heavily on you having a good idea during combat where the enemy is relative to you and that they can't just suddenly disappear or worse, flank you with nothing you could have done about it. Between its slowness, the visible trail, and the loud sound Loba's tactical makes sure that doesn't happen, but take even one of those away and you're in danger town.

17 days ago - /u/DanielZKlein - Direct link

Originally posted by Gigoldz

I wonder if the pathfinder grapple distance cooldown would include height traveled.

Yes, but height counts less than horizontal movement.

17 days ago - /u/DanielZKlein - Direct link

Originally posted by GrimMagic0801

Swear to God. Rampart still getting no attention from the devs, even when her pick rate is 1.9%.

We got more buffs planned for her for 7.0, but they required animation changes so I couldn't put them into 6.1. Sorry!

17 days ago - /u/DanielZKlein - Direct link

Originally posted by HypeFyre

FIX THE f**kING CRYPTO ULT BUG PLEAAAASEEEEEEE.

Unless they actually did and didn’t mention it, in which case I love you respawns.

BUT YOU DIDNT MENTION SO FIX IT ITS A GAME CHANGING BUG

If you're talking about the delay after you use EMP while not in drone, I fixed that but the fix didn't make it into 6.1. We'll either hotfix after 6.1 or at the very latest it'll be in 7.0.

Originally posted by Gethixit

Buff Loba's tactical please! Her ultimate is NOT what is holding her back.

So I'm not a legend designer, but we definitely hear this feedback a lot and I wanted to touch on it from my personal perspective (I do pew pews). WALL OF TEXT CAUSE I LIKE THIS STUFF SORRYYYYYY!

I personally think, when people hear "this character has a teleport", they get super excited and their brain goes straight to all the crazy powerful fun teleport shenanigans they can imagine pulling off. Then there's a natural, "oh.. it's like this?" when you play it, because it's toned down a lot from the crazy fantasy a lot of people have in their head. However, there are really good reasons we don't want a crazy teleport tactical on a character. Sometimes these reasons can be pretty subtle, so it's worth pointing them out in more detail.

First, I'm gonna define some shared vocabulary for this. When you are in a fight, there's multiple "layers" of combat your brain is engaging in. One of these layers is the "micro" layer, the second-to-second or fraction of a second type of stuff. This is things like AD strafing to avoid shots, or aiming and controlling recoil. This stuff tends to be mechanical and lives in the sort of "lizard brain" type of brain usage. You don't really consciously think about it much, it's so fast it's just muscle memory and instinct. Then, you get to a "macro" layer of combat. This is the space of combat decisions that are more conscious. Things like deciding to reposition and to where, should you should disengage, should you push, grenade usage and weapon choice, that sort of thinking. It's more of a gradient and you go between both layers constantly, but just bear with me for this abstraction. In the "micro" level of combat, you don't want someone who can easily teleport without much detriment to themselves. All the enemy has to do is press one button and then they drastically move, and as a player I have to figure out where they are now and re-acquire the target in my sights. This costs me precious time, and when players can kill each other in <1s, that fraction of a second can be a huge disadvantage. It's viscerally frustrating to be shooting at someone who just teleports away and there's nothing you can do about it, and it feels like one player has a huge advantage without needing a ton of skill to do it, which hurts competitive integrity. Everyone thinks of how fun it would be to teleport around and fight people, but people often fail to consider how much it sucks to fight against someone who is teleporting around you. Imagine being on controller and having someone teleport behind you with 1 button press, we've playtested stuff like this and it sucks. In my opinion, this is part of why it's important that Loba is so vulnerable when throwing and coming out of the teleport. It's meant to make it so you don't want to use it in the middle of that "micro" engagement like that. Onto "macro" level stuff. One of the really important aspects of Apex's macro level of combat encounters is predictability and readability. Example: When someone runs behind a corner, if it's been 5-8 seconds I know they can only have done a set number of things. They could have continued running to position A, they could have climbed on the roof to position B, they could have stopped and healed shields or reloaded, etc. The important things here are that 1) I can understand what options they have available, 2) I can make a prediction and react to it, and 3) when I round the corner and start checking things off, I can understand what they did. This is where teleporting (and hypermobility in general) can become really problematic. If Loba's teleport is hard to read or difficult to notice, then when Loba goes behind a wall she could be anywhere. I really cant reasonably predict where she could be, and if I round the corner and don't see her, I have mostly lost where she is. One of our previous legend designers called this loss of predictability and readability "brownian motion", which I like. It's subtle, but we really want to avoid that -- it makes combat feel muddy and unclear. You stop being able to reliably understand how the encounter is progressing; it feels like you're just reacting to things. It feels like there's no real room to improve or outplay on a macro level, and a lot of the combat depth just sort of breaks down. So, I think that's why we really really want Loba's teleport to be very clear and obvious. Players should be able to quickly and decisively identify that a Loba has teleported, and roughly from where to where, even in the heat of combat (psychology side note, if you want people to notice something while they are in "lizard brain" mode, you gotta REALLY REALLY BEAT EM OVER THE HEAD WITH IT. Our brains are very good at focusing on specific things and losing everything else).

Anyway, none of this is perfect, and we don't nail these concepts every time, but there's some of the reasoning for why things are the way they are. Pls no "BUT WHAT ABOUT X OR Y!? CANT YOU JUST Z, YOU DINGUS!?". I'd love to have design conversations with folks but trying to debate/converse with the innumerable faceless void of the internet is just impossible. Thanks for reading!

Originally posted by DanielZKlein

The teleport is very scary to me; if it ever becomes very powerful, it will immediately ruin the in-combat feel of Apex. Apex relies heavily on you having a good idea during combat where the enemy is relative to you and that they can't just suddenly disappear or worse, flank you with nothing you could have done about it. Between its slowness, the visible trail, and the loud sound Loba's tactical makes sure that doesn't happen, but take even one of those away and you're in danger town.

Mannnnn, way to sneak this in while I was writing my reddit thesis over there!

17 days ago - /u/DanielZKlein - Direct link

Originally posted by yungdelpazir

Could you explain how this is different in your mind from a PF flying in and out of fights, which will now once again happen since the cooldown change being reverted?

You're not flying all the way out of a fight; at a 10s grapple you're generally still within sprint and fire range. The issue with the 15s grapple was you could swing two zip codes over, heal up real quick, and come back. This is all theoretical though and you could be right, in which case we'll adjust.

Originally posted by Yash_swaraj

I don't understand why they are afraid of making big legend changes most of the times. The game has been out for more than 1.5 years and the Legend tier ranking has been exactly the same(except for Gibraltar) and all new legends are consistently at the bottom tier. Most of the times, when there is big buff, there's always a nerf attached to it even though the legend is totally useless and will be even after the buff. They keep shifting the gun meta continuously but the legend changes are always so small(except for 1 or 2 rare cases).

I am once again about to talk about stuff that I'm not a designer for, because I feel like it you're not my mom. (u/DanielZKlein is a better source of truth).

This is complicated by a number of factors.

We are intentionally a gun game with characters, not the other way around. We try to avoid making legends with in combat "just press Q and do damage" abilities for a number of reasons. We want to use legends to explore other aspects of battle royale, so that they can be differentiated and have a unique playspace. Think about Loba, we want a loot focused character, that seems like an interesting axis to touch!

However, it has just turned out that almost all of these interesting axes of power are just not nearly as powerful as things like hitbox size, mobility, and combat utility. In my opinion, the game has sort of resisted new play patterns in a way that I wouldn't have personally predicted. Note that legends take a long time to make -- if I remember correctly we were playtesting Rampart before the game even shipped, or very close to it. We see how the game is playing out and are making adjustments, but reacting to it properly takes time.

That being said, I would actually personally contend that it's ok to have legends in these playspaces, even if those playspaces aren't super competitively viable. Sure, Loba probably isn't gonna be in ALGS anytime soon, but there is a very real and important group of players who really like Loba. They love doing the loot thing, it really helps them with the way they wanna play the game, etc. It's not like no one plays her in general, just not at the tip top of Pred lobbies. Now, of course you don't want to feel like you're making a bad decision and hurting yourself for choosing the legend you like the most, so we are always working to improve these areas. But, sometimes it's worth improving legends in the way that best benefits the people who actually connect with that character and really want to play them, instead of shoehorning them into the spaces we know are useful at the competitive level so they'll be picked cause they're strong. Imo, it's important to keep character identity, even if that identity is naturally weaker. (To a degree).

Originally posted by TendersFan

Can't wait. It just kinda feels right now that the L-STAR has been more like a submachine gun than a light machine gun. Would be cool to see some recoil buffs.

The issue with the L-STAR's recoil pattern is that it's this squiggly S shape. That means it has constant horizontal recoil one way or another. If you are close enough, that doesn't matter, but if you're farther away it feels like you can't hit anything. Just tuning the multipliers on the recoil won't solve this, so it probably needs a new pattern. The havoc was the same way and we got a new pattern in for it in 6.0 if I remember correctly.

17 days ago - /u/DanielZKlein - Direct link

Originally posted by DG_DOMINATOR

Wait so if you fling yourself at high speed but somehow don't go far and hit the ground, will the cooldown increase while you're sliding as well? Like if you do a small grapple that gets you to go at a high speed, but you hit the ground a couple feet from the grapple point, will the cooldown increase while you're still moving/sliding?

Yup, until you've slowed down to weapons lowered sprint speed

17 days ago - /u/DanielZKlein - Direct link

Originally posted by Crashtest777

Err I'm coming here to report a but with pathfinder... For some reason his arm is stuck on screen for no reason after grapling????

Yup, we're aware! No timeline for a fix but we're working on it. Wall climbing seems to clear it.

Originally posted by Kai2409

"Our brains are very good at focusing on specific things and losing everything else" haha when you said that the first thing I thought is SC2. I just had to mention it, considering if one play at high lvl like myself, you will understand how amazing it is to multitask or focusing so many things at the same time is. #MostCompetitive1v1game.

I used to play a lot more, but I still watch a lot of professional SC2!

15 days ago - /u/DanielZKlein - Direct link

Originally posted by AmusedApricot

So I'm not a legend designer, but we definitely hear this feedback a lot and I wanted to touch on it from my personal perspective (I do pew pews). WALL OF TEXT CAUSE I LIKE THIS STUFF SORRYYYYYY!

I personally think, when people hear "this character has a teleport", they get super excited and their brain goes straight to all the crazy powerful fun teleport shenanigans they can imagine pulling off. Then there's a natural, "oh.. it's like this?" when you play it, because it's toned down a lot from the crazy fantasy a lot of people have in their head. However, there are really good reasons we don't want a crazy teleport tactical on a character. Sometimes these reasons can be pretty subtle, so it's worth pointing them out in more detail.

First, I'm gonna define some shared vocabulary for this. When you are in a fight, there's multiple "layers" of combat your brain is engaging in. One of these layers is the "micro" layer, the second-to-second or fraction of a second type of stuff. This is things like AD strafing to avoid shots, or aiming and controlling recoil. This stuff tends to be mechanical and lives in the sort of "lizard brain" type of brain usage. You don't really consciously think about it much, it's so fast it's just muscle memory and instinct. Then, you get to a "macro" layer of combat. This is the space of combat decisions that are more conscious. Things like deciding to reposition and to where, should you should disengage, should you push, grenade usage and weapon choice, that sort of thinking. It's more of a gradient and you go between both layers constantly, but just bear with me for this abstraction. In the "micro" level of combat, you don't want someone who can easily teleport without much detriment to themselves. All the enemy has to do is press one button and then they drastically move, and as a player I have to figure out where they are now and re-acquire the target in my sights. This costs me precious time, and when players can kill each other in <1s, that fraction of a second can be a huge disadvantage. It's viscerally frustrating to be shooting at someone who just teleports away and there's nothing you can do about it, and it feels like one player has a huge advantage without needing a ton of skill to do it, which hurts competitive integrity. Everyone thinks of how fun it would be to teleport around and fight people, but people often fail to consider how much it sucks to fight against someone who is teleporting around you. Imagine being on controller and having someone teleport behind you with 1 button press, we've playtested stuff like this and it sucks. In my opinion, this is part of why it's important that Loba is so vulnerable when throwing and coming out of the teleport. It's meant to make it so you don't want to use it in the middle of that "micro" engagement like that. Onto "macro" level stuff. One of the really important aspects of Apex's macro level of combat encounters is predictability and readability. Example: When someone runs behind a corner, if it's been 5-8 seconds I know they can only have done a set number of things. They could have continued running to position A, they could have climbed on the roof to position B, they could have stopped and healed shields or reloaded, etc. The important things here are that 1) I can understand what options they have available, 2) I can make a prediction and react to it, and 3) when I round the corner and start checking things off, I can understand what they did. This is where teleporting (and hypermobility in general) can become really problematic. If Loba's teleport is hard to read or difficult to notice, then when Loba goes behind a wall she could be anywhere. I really cant reasonably predict where she could be, and if I round the corner and don't see her, I have mostly lost where she is. One of our previous legend designers called this loss of predictability and readability "brownian motion", which I like. It's subtle, but we really want to avoid that -- it makes combat feel muddy and unclear. You stop being able to reliably understand how the encounter is progressing; it feels like you're just reacting to things. It feels like there's no real room to improve or outplay on a macro level, and a lot of the combat depth just sort of breaks down. So, I think that's why we really really want Loba's teleport to be very clear and obvious. Players should be able to quickly and decisively identify that a Loba has teleported, and roughly from where to where, even in the heat of combat (psychology side note, if you want people to notice something while they are in "lizard brain" mode, you gotta REALLY REALLY BEAT EM OVER THE HEAD WITH IT. Our brains are very good at focusing on specific things and losing everything else).

Anyway, none of this is perfect, and we don't nail these concepts every time, but there's some of the reasoning for why things are the way they are. Pls no "BUT WHAT ABOUT X OR Y!? CANT YOU JUST Z, YOU DINGUS!?". I'd love to have design conversations with folks but trying to debate/converse with the innumerable faceless void of the internet is just impossible. Thanks for reading!

You can't just give people free game design courses, Bocek. Whatever will Full Sail do?

15 days ago - /u/DanielZKlein - Direct link

Originally posted by AmusedApricot

I am once again about to talk about stuff that I'm not a designer for, because I feel like it you're not my mom. (u/DanielZKlein is a better source of truth).

This is complicated by a number of factors.

We are intentionally a gun game with characters, not the other way around. We try to avoid making legends with in combat "just press Q and do damage" abilities for a number of reasons. We want to use legends to explore other aspects of battle royale, so that they can be differentiated and have a unique playspace. Think about Loba, we want a loot focused character, that seems like an interesting axis to touch!

However, it has just turned out that almost all of these interesting axes of power are just not nearly as powerful as things like hitbox size, mobility, and combat utility. In my opinion, the game has sort of resisted new play patterns in a way that I wouldn't have personally predicted. Note that legends take a long time to make -- if I remember correctly we were playtesting Rampart before the game even shipped, or very close to it. We see how the game is playing out and are making adjustments, but reacting to it properly takes time.

That being said, I would actually personally contend that it's ok to have legends in these playspaces, even if those playspaces aren't super competitively viable. Sure, Loba probably isn't gonna be in ALGS anytime soon, but there is a very real and important group of players who really like Loba. They love doing the loot thing, it really helps them with the way they wanna play the game, etc. It's not like no one plays her in general, just not at the tip top of Pred lobbies. Now, of course you don't want to feel like you're making a bad decision and hurting yourself for choosing the legend you like the most, so we are always working to improve these areas. But, sometimes it's worth improving legends in the way that best benefits the people who actually connect with that character and really want to play them, instead of shoehorning them into the spaces we know are useful at the competitive level so they'll be picked cause they're strong. Imo, it's important to keep character identity, even if that identity is naturally weaker. (To a degree).

Well said!

I am gonna push Loba's loot power some more next patch, I hope, but there's only so much you can do short of "press button to get full gold equip and a Kraber/R-99" to punch that power up.

But yes, the main reason we can't just bring everyone up to Lifeline/Wraith/Pathfinder's level (Gibby isn't anywhere near their level of power) is that we're then stepping away from making a gun game and approaching making a character game. Not that that's a bad thing by itself! I personally think Overwatch is a super fun game, and it's an FPS I've been returning to since it released (Moira main here btw if you needed another reason to dislike me ;P), but it's not the game we're making here with Apex.

You can do serious damage to the fun of a game by making changes that individually don't seem broken. Like say we made it so Caustic could shoot his own barrels while they're still in the air for an instant airburst that leaves a cloud of gas where they exploded. Cool! Only now he's pushing you with essentially three gas grenades, and his ability to use his tactical well trumps your ability to position and aim well. Say we give Loba the ability to teleport quickly and silently and suddenly you're losing fights not because the other team planned an ambush or executed better, but because they saw you and reacted to you by putting one of their members behind you. And of course you'll say cool we can counter that with OTHER abilities, but now we're talking about a game of ability vs ability rather than gun vs gun.

There's still a lot of cool sh*t we can do that only reinforces the supplemental role of abilities in the game, and yes, there's some power we can give to the worst performing legends without breaking the nature of Apex, but it's not enough power to bring them up to the likes of Wraith.

Wraith is uniquely useful in our game: all three of her abilities have clear in-combat uses ACROSS ALL SKILL BANDS. They're also all uniquely useful both for selfish and selfless use cases. It's so rare to have abilities like her passive that are useful to people who are entirely new at the game as well as pros in the ALGS. We can't change that without breaking the pattern of Wraith's abilities, and we really don't want to do that. I personally think Wraith deserves to be one of the strongest Legends in the game because she IS uniquely well designed and cool. My issue is more with "should she live at +8% avg win rate or +4%". (She's at the former; I'm trying to bring her closer to the latter)

15 days ago - /u/DanielZKlein - Direct link

Originally posted by CatfreshWilly

Curious how that made it through QA its very apparent.

That's a fun story, and one I don't have all the parts of yet (I'm not involved in the effort to fix the bug, and I don't wanna, heh, bug the people who are right now), but I'll give you what I know.

The first thing you need to realize is this never happened in our internal playtests. Not once.

My understanding is QA was aware of it, but only became aware of it at the last second and there wasn't time to fix it. Plus we didn't fully understand the frequency of the bug.

So my understanding of the bug right now is that it happens because we put a new animation in for an upcoming thingie that wasn't shipping in 7.0. So we have a process that allows us to keep testing the new thing and then strip it out for the patch that won't contain it. The system is called DFS, which I'm sure stands for something technical and professional, but we just call it "don't f*cking ship".

It turns out that in this one type of case, stripping an asset (the animation) out via DFS did NOT do the same thing as stripping it out manually. Somehow (and smarter people than me are figuring out how and making it so this won't happen again) stripping it out via DFS broke an animation transition, causing the bug.

This is not an excuse! We clearly should have been testing on a build that's identical to 6.1 sooner and caught this. It's just an attempt to explain "how could this make it through QA". They can only report what they see, so this is very much not their fault.






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