Apex has an issue, it doesn't release new Legends NEARLY enough. And it needs map rotations.
This isn't just my opinion. Before I came on here I went through and searched for articles related to my particular complaint; and found MANY articles from many major gaming review sites and gaming pundits that also have found proof of the stagnation of Apex's player base, and the need for Respawn to do something about creating heroes faster.
According to twitchmetrics.net, Apex Legends enjoyed an average of around 200,000 concurrent viewers for its first couple of weeks, but since has dropped to an average of around 50k. A few select streamers, like Shroud, can drag the game back up toward the top spots, but for the most part, the streaming community has moved back to old staples llike League of Legends and Fortnite. -Polygon 2019
And that is from LAST YEAR.
Six months ago when I started playing this game, I was extremely hesitant. I have been a long time Hunt player, mostly because I enjoyed the slower pace. Apex felt more like a giant Unreal Tournament, and I never liked that much. I felt the speed gave advantages to players who were younger, and also unfair advantage to players who had specialized using assault weapons. Leaving sniper rifles and shotguns in the dust.
For the most part I was right. Apex DOES have this problem. Rate of fire is a huge issue. Since my beginning, hundreds of times, I have found myself waiting for a sniper rifle to charge the shot/reload, or a shotgun to finish its animation, and ...dead.
But that isn't what this is about.
Its about a bigger issue... the release of Legends to deepen the hero pool, and give the game a FIRM SENSE that it is actually progressing to keep up with its competition.
I have been playing the same heroes all year now.
Apex's Legends list still is compromised MAINLY of the original heroes it launched with. And the events we see taking place currently like the hunt... are utilizing those same heroes and promoting a hero that has been around since launch... so its doing nothing for making the game feel fresh; it simply gives the players a bit of origin story. And that is not enough to keep players playing consistently.
While I don't have the ability to get the metrics for what you are pushing currently on twitch, or on other social media; I do have this:
I have about five discord channels that I utilize for my gaming. According to my metrics over the past 8 weeks, I have seen a few trends. The two that I would think are the biggest notifications that Respawn is doing a bad job of keeping this game fresh is such:
I noted about 57 players a night on Apex at the start in February. In March, it dropped to 12.
Interestingly, when covid hit, and EVERYONE is sitting at home; a PRIME TIME for gaming to be taking advantage of things as there are almost no distractions... I only saw a rise to, at the most in one day, 33 players. On March 27.
This doesn't bode well. Though my sample population is very small comparatively, these are not casual gamers for the most part. These players are on SOMETHING every single night, and for the past year, it has been almost exclusively Apex, and Fortnite. Now, its just Fortnite and Modern Warfare.
This issue was exacerbated by the fact that your map situation is horribly stagnant. We had the new map at the beginning of the year. Some OCD player base needed the old map and complained.... without the ability to adapt and overcome, I don't see how any of these players can expect the game to grow, as the gaming in battle royal is somewhat of a service industry. Either you let the creativity flow, and the players learn to adapt and overcome, and the game grows.... or we get what we have now.... the old map.... for what? Another year?
No new places to hid, everyone knows where everything is... BORING BORING BORING.
This is not the way gaming development is handled when building a relationship with your players; especially when your numbers are dropping, and at BEST seeing only a small rise during a time when there is almost no other form of media that is competing with gaming; and not ability for the players to be distracted by day to day life.
My solution to this is such:
1. Begin a release schedule for new Legends. Aim for four a year. One per quarter. Put MUCH more effort into diversifying your cast of killers so that players feel like they are getting a proper amount of selection, and aren't bored with the what is constantly the same.
2. Utilize Map Rotations. Every time you release a map, don't put one on the back burner... put them into a rotation, so the players are forced to adapt and overcome, explore, and utilize unfamiliar terrain to create more interesting fights.
Fairly simple game plan.
So, to give readers a quick TL:DR of what is written:
As for the above mentioned problems, I agree and disagree.
Maps should be known to players, and having too much maps will cause frustration. Having 2 - 4 maps which are on a rotation is an optimal count. Too much will become a chore for both players to learn, but also for the devs to implement. Geometry design is one of the hardest chores in gaming and takes up a huge part of development.
New characters would be great, especially some which put a much more diverse playstyle into the game. I like Pathfinder and Crypto for what they are, but both are by far not optimized for my own playstyle of stealth. Nor do we have weapons for that such as bows, crossbows, throwing knives or whatever.
And yes, bows is a good keyword, because even today they're still considered an elite weapon. Silent, powerful, easy to handle actually because I can work with bows IRL.