Season 14, dubbed ‘Hunted’ for Apex Legends, brings a score of changes to the game, focused on bringing creative solutions to improving player experience. At a special media preview session, we were able to see some of the changes coming up in Apex Legends: Hunted, which can largely be broken down into these categories:
Reforged Kings Canyon
The oldest map, Kings Canyon, is getting a fresh coat of paint as well as some substantial changes. Jeff Shaw, Lead Level Designer on Apex Legends: Hunted, says the primary goal with this update was to look at the map’s health, focus on the major pain points and tune across the board. The land mass has been increased, improving the map’s flow and pacing. The Cage has been opened up, replaced with a platform. With Hillside, they found that squads were really digging in, so it has been altered to allow encounters to be over more quickly.
Most significant is that what was once Skull Town has been replaced with a new POI called ‘Relic’. It was designed to bring back the ‘classic’ Kings Canyon gameplay, and takes place underneath a giant skull. It was also included to provide a solution to a problem they saw with its location, where people formerly were being funnelled into a single wide lane, forced into an encounter.
The map also has a new skybox, and the team has gone through to re-light the map to enhance its colours and give it a fresh look and feel.
Level Cap Increase
The Level Cap has been increased, taking players past the level 500 ceiling to 700. In addition, each player is guaranteed to get an heirloom if they reach max level.
Eric Canavese, Senior Game Designer, went through a range of balance updates included in this update in response to player feedback as well as their own monitoring of data and behaviours. These ‘spicy’ changes look at ammo economy, weapon economy and splits, and making sure each weapon has a use case. The newest attachment, laser sight, replaces barrel stabilisers on SMG’s and pistols, essentially designed to bring SMGs into close quarters combat. Laser sight colour is customisable, due to player preference or requirement due to colour blindness.
Wingman is now going to take sniper ammo, and will also take sniper magazines. Spitfire is moving to light shotgun. The Gold equipment Backpack perk will change to ‘deep pockets’, along with other perk changes.
Apex Legends: Hunted launches on 9 August.