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Welcome to the Evolution Collection Event. Unlock event-limited cosmetics for Wraith, Octane, Pathfinder, Fuse, Bangalore, Rampart, and Lifeline that give a glimpse into what our Legends could become with time and technology on their side. Meanwhile, our resident modder is showing those plonkers who’s in charge with the Rampart Town Takeover, Big Maude. Check out her mobile shop, parked between Lava City and the Geyser. It’s sure to be a popular POI for the rest of Emergence.  

While the brick-and-mortar location might be in Battle Royale, Rampart’s bringing her entrepreneurship into the Arenas too in “Rampart’s Arenas Extravaganza,” with special discounts meant to inspire players to change up their usual loadouts. For all of her hard work, Rampart’s getting a “Problem Solver:” a brand-new Heirloom pipe wrench, complete with a gumball dispenser. Who could ask for anything more? Oh, well - how about an upgrade to Sheila? Check out the full blog below for all the details in the update.

After a few rough starts to her previous shops, Rampart is pulling out the big guns with the mod shop of her dreams. Finally, she'll be able to show the Outlands—and Big Sister—what she's always been capable of creating.

Enter Big Maude, Rampart’s custom shop (also a giant tank, what else would you expect?) located near Lava City in World’s Edge. This POI is big enough to accommodate a few teams fighting over the shop itself, and she’s also built a wonderful paintball course out front that acts as a spill off location if the drop just looks too spicy.

Inside the shop, you can use collected materials to purchase Rampart’s Custom Modded Paintball Weapons from the new Vend-it Machines. These guns cost a bit, but they come fully kitted at different tiers. This should give players a reason to rotate here mid-game if their weapons just aren’t as upgraded as they’d like.

As usual, be on the lookout for extra lore sprinkled around. Rampart’s shop is back open for business!

Rampart has slipped into the Arenas and is offering modded weapons at special discounts! These marked-down modded weapons replace their base version for the match, making lower tiers of that weapon unavailable. Her special deals update frequently, so be sure to check what’s available in your match and plan accordingly.

While the brick-and-mortar location might be in Battle Royale, Rampart’s bringing her entrepreneurship into the Arenas too in “Rampart’s Arenas Extravaganza,” with special discounts meant to inspire players to change up their usual loadouts. For all of her hard work, Rampart’s getting a “Problem Solver:” a brand-new Heirloom pipe wrench, complete with a gumball dispenser. Who could ask for anything more? Oh, well - how about an upgrade to Sheila?

Finally, unlock event-limited cosmetics for Wraith, Octane, Pathfinder, Fuse, Bangalore, Rampart, and Lifeline that give a glimpse into what our Legends could become with time and technology on their side.

Rampart

  • 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!

Revenant

  • VFX (similar to the pulse on Loba ult placement) added to increase visibility for when a totem is placed nearby.

Octane

  • Reduced jump pad horizontal distance by 10% - 15%.
  • Reduced the rate of Octane’s Stim regen from 1.5 to 1.0 hp/sec.

Bloodhound

  • When Bloodhound pings a clue from their passive, it will now show their teammates in quickchat how long ago the event took place

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

Hemlok

  • Reduced hipfire spread
  • Hipfire resets slightly faster

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

  • Damage per pellet increased across all draw strengths
    • Short draw damage: 4 to 6
    • Medium draw: 7 to 9
    • Full draw: 11 to 12

Shatter Caps - 30-30 Repeater

  • ADS Strafe speed increased to shotgun strafe speed while Shatter Caps are enabled
  • Charged pellet damage multiplier increased from 35% to 50%

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.

L-STAR

  • 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.

Shotguns

  • EVA-8 and Mozambique headshot damage multiplier reduced from 1.5 to 1.25 bringing it in line with the Peacekeeper and Mastiff.

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.

Triple Take

  • ADS charge time decreased from 1.0 to 0.8
  • Shortened the out-of-bounds timer from 30 seconds to 15.
    • Your timer should be reset after being respawned.
  • Swapping from Red to a Gold Shield with more health no longer requires a long press.
  • Evo Shields in deathboxes now show their health.
  • Early Leaver Warning has been improved to help people from accidentally leaving before their party is dead.
    • You now need to hold the confirm button down for a small amount of time
    • The highlighting is different colored than other prompts to catch your attention
    • Red text warning showing your leaving penalty added
  • Added character portraits to "detected" widget for recon characters.

UI

  • Fixed a bug where Streamer mode wouldn’t anonymize the names on the scoreboard in Arenas mode
  • Fixed issue for when players would randomly get un-readied while matchmaking in Ranked.
  • Fix for Ranked Arenas: longest win streak number was incorrect for some players when viewed in the Stats screen.
  • Fixed cases where players would still see Ranked icons when switching over to Arenas while inspecting personal stats. 
  • Fix for cases where the player would still see the Abandon Penalty countdown when getting other messages like RECEIVED PREMIUM CURRENCY.
  • Removed the red speaker icon that would show up on the upper right corner of the screen that served no purpose.
  • Fix for when the Playlist Selector would sometimes flicker.
  • Players should no longer encounter a string issue in the Timeline when they have a ";" in their username.
  • Fixed cases where the name of killed players was not always showing up when a player died.
  • Fixed a rare bug that can cause the Observer to get stuck on the Intro Screen at the start of a match.

Fuse

  • Motherload ultimate will no longer highlight enemies far below the ring. 

Seer

  • Increased the hitbox for Exhibit Ultimate to better match the model.

Loba

  • Loba can no longer glitch into Skyhook when using her tactical.
  • Fix cases for when Loba’s ultimate visualfx do not appear while aiming down sites.

Rampart

  • Fixed bug that could get players stuck under the map after dismounting from Ramparts Turret on a Trident.

Bangalore

  • Fix for the times when pinging a Prowler would trigger a voice line that mentions a removed hop-up.

Lifeline

  • Switch Only - Fix for cases where players couldn’t complete training due to her Ultimate malfunctioning,

Gibraltar

  • Fix for cases where it appeared that Gibraltar's Ultimate caused dropped audio.

Wattson

  • Fixed a bug where Wattson would start matches with 30 fences.

Valkyrie

  • Fixed an exploit where players could get continuous missiles after exploiting Valkyrie's passive/tactical as well as use the Vtol jets infinitely.

Sentinel

  • Fix for when players would still see "Amped" or "Revved up" from Sentinel or Rampage after swapping weapons.

Wingman

  • Fix for reactive skins, “Precision Calibur” and “Attention to Detail” where part of the skins appeared stuck in place when shooting.

World’s Edge

  • Various fixes on World’s Edge cleaning up some bad collisions, exploitable hiding spots, and areas where players could get stuck.

Firing Range

  • Fix for the mysterious fire show that could appear in Firing Range and cause a crash.

MISC

  • Fix for cases where players were able to reach farther than intended when punching an enemy player.
  • Private Match Fix - Observers should no longer get stuck on the intro screen for the duration of the match.
  • Fix for Audio fluttering that could happen when killing someone during self-revive.
  • Various fixes to improve overall game stability.

Written by John “JayBiebs” Larson 

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9/13/21 UPDATE: The planned changes to tap-strafing have been delayed to a later patch. See context here.

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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.

Hopefully this provided some context, and as always, we’re happy to hear your thoughts.


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