Today Respawn announced their planned balance changes, which won't take effect until season 1....
TL;DR - big hitbox characters will remain unviable, and the stale wraith, bang, lifeline meta will persist through most or all of season 1.
I don't want a solo mode for this game, but I wish there was one, just so that games with 59 wraiths and 1 bangalore would show Respawn just how broken legend balance is. The only reason there is pick diversity among more skilled players, is that you can only pick one wraith per team.
Caustic, Pathfinder, Gibraltar - "We’re better sizing hitboxes to character gear & model" (aka not notably rebalancing their hitboxes) "If these changes are insufficient to bring these characters in line, we’re also considering a range of other changes such as natural damage reduction as well as individual kit power tweaks."
The problem with this, is that 95+% of the damage done in the game is done by bullets. So what "power level changes" even matter compared to being harder to hit with wraith's naruto run?
Also keep in mind that a "natural damage reduction" would have to be pretty huge to matter, because of quantization. Their models are so huge, it's easy to land full damage peacekeeper shots on them. With a 110 damage Peacekeeper body shot, you're dead in two shots with up to 10% damage mitigation. After that, you're dead in 3 shots up to >> 60 <<% damage mitigation. So sure, give them 15-25% damage mitigation, so they go down in three peacekeeper shots instead of two. They still won't be viable....better to play wraith or bang where you can get them to miss 3-4 shots, effectively getting 6 peacekeeper shots of "effective survival". Even if you gave the big-oafs 60% damage reduction, wraith and bang would still be more viable.
They either need dramatically equalized hit boxes, or they need to both have slightly smaller hitboxes and a dramatic (40-50%) damage reduction. (or perhaps a dramatic head shot bonus mitigation)
Traps - Reduced cooldown to 25 seconds from 30 seconds
Traps - Increased radius and proximity radius by about 10%
Traps - Removed a 1 second delay on the smoke dealing damage to players
Fine, but the problem with caustic isn't his cooldowns. It's the fact that his traps troll his own teammates by blurring and slowing them. You can set those numbers at anything you want, and we won't want a caustic on our team. This has nothing to do with "balance" or "lore", it's just not fun to be blurred and screwed over by your own teammate. When I have a Caustic on my team, I don't go in any building he's in.
Insider Knowledge - Increased the number of beacons in the world to 12 from 10
There are already many threads pointing out how lackluster Pathfinder's passive is... not because he can't use it enough, but because knowing where the circle is going just doesn't matter that much in APEX. Maybe it would matter if this was slow camping PUBG, but it's not. He can keep the silly circle finding mechanic, but he needs another passive ontop of it. Something that actually matters in combat. I think giving him damage reduction on ziplines would be appropriate to his kit, but i'm sure there are other things that could be equally interesting.
Care Package - Removed slight chance that level 4 armor and helmets will drop
So her RNG ult, which already becomes less viable the more gear you have, and is useless in the endgame, is getting nerfed? Just accept that the number one reason people play lifeline is that she has the second smallest hitbox, so you can admit you have to actually rebalance all hitboxes.
Into The Void - Cooldown increased from 20 -> 25 seconds
This does not matter even a little bit. The reason wraith tops the meta is not her tactical cooldown, or even her tactical at all. It's her naruto run tiny hitbox. I'm pretty sure if you took away her abilities entirely she would still top the pick priority list.
Double Time - Reduced move speed bonus to 30% from 40%
This is a good change. I don't think it's enough, but it's a good change. I'd prefer to see doubletime have an activation cooldown, because I don't think it's possible to make it an effective skill, and also have it not overpowered if she can have it up as much as she can.
My problem with caustic is that he can be quite fun, but with all legends in mind he is the most 1 ability Legend in the game. He throws gas canisters, he throws gas, he can see through his gas. It's quite lame. If his super was a little different it would be more entertaining. His canisters, I'll admit they do play a fun part in making it difficult for enemies to reobtain mobility and block doors.
Pathfinders passive shoukd be able to heal and basically do almost everything while riding a regualry zip line, not his primary ability.
I think they should add a type of named ability that's better then being called map interactivity.
For example a wrath can activate some shut down teleporters, mirage can make himself more annoying with some developer specific placed mirrors, Gibraltar can activate barriers in certain buildings, lifeline can activate healing stations around the map, caustic could pull off some Auschwitz gas rooms.
I can keep going on, it can be another element to the game. It is unique and to my knowledge un heard of in another game.
Why I dont work at Respawn, I have no idea?
Respawn know more about balance than we do. It's easy for us to sit there and say "This and that should happen" But they have the data, they have the knowhow and skill to process and read that data. They focus on tangible statistics and lines of code rather than "Got shot buy that dude with that gun, please nerf"
With that data they are kindly (unlike other devs who would simply nerf everything in to the ground) trying NOT to nerf things too harshly and instead bring other things upwards as to make the weaker things more fun without nerfing what other people are having fun with in an attempt to make things more fun for everybody. They don't want to sacrifice one fun mode of play for another and instead want to make more fun playstles accessable.
This in my opinion is a good move. Sure somethings will have to be nerfed no matter what. Such as what they are doing to both the Wingman and the Peacekeeper (The current meta weapons) but they are trying to bring other things up along with those nerfs. That's proper balance right there. Other devs straight up nerf everything in to the ground and when a new meta arises they nerf it even further. Respawn are doing things right in my opinion
March - last edited March
I'm not asking for nerfs...
I'm asking for the most dominant thing in the game (shooting and hitting), to be relatively fair among characters, so that we can pick and choose and balance characters based on their actual abilities.. isntead of the boring flat system that exists now, where pick priority is dominated by ability to dodge shots..... (Wraith, bang, lifeline) and abilities take the back seat
I understand that Respawn believes (and have stated) there is a place for overall balance where hitboxes are still dramatically different sizes. I just think this experiment has failed, as evidenced by pick priorities. If they think this is wrong, they should publish some legend stats, including winrates, performance, pick rates, and pick orders.. instead of just saying "they are looking at the stats".
Again, if they made a solo mode right now (which many players want), the broken-ness would be so obvious.. when we had videos and screenshots of 10-12 wraiths running around and fighting each other. Though I don't think this game will get a solo mode anytime soon, if ever.
I genuinely *want* to play gibraltar's abilities, I *want* to play pathfinder's abilities. But just try a head-to-head fight with a wraith or bangalore. It's stupid. Those small models can jump around and make it super hard to hit and track them, while they nail every shot on your fat 3d character model *. No thanks. I'd rather have a semi-fair fight... or be the one who'se impossible to hit against the fool who thinks Gibraltar is viable.
Right now there is no public data to prove what I'm saying here, the same thing most every skilled player says to me in discord lobbies... but when apex.tracker.gg gets enough data to publish aggregate stats about champions, you'll see.
The most uninspiring update in the history of gaming..... wraith nerf of 5 sec lol peacekeeper nerf when it needs fixing, shots go straight through wraith..
with the massive infux of cheaters the uninspiring update and the lack of preventative measures to stop cheaters... after 150hrs of pain im done with this game...
March - last edited March
Hit Boxes: I don't think you can decrease the hitbox on the big characters very much without ending up with shots that did his their model not counting. I think the Damage reduction is the way to go but 40-50% would be insane. Then it would just be a Gibraltar/Caustic meta. The number should be more like 10-15%
One thing I wouldn't mind seeing on say Gibraltar since he's supposed to be a tank is getting rid of the bubble shield in favor of a Q ability that recharges his personal shields on a 1 min cooldown.
Caustic: while I can sympathize with the frustration of caustic gas affecting teammates, ALL hero ability harm/benefit enemies and teammates. I think a more viable change would be to drop from 6 traps to 3 nox grenades
Pathfinder: yes he needs a new passive or a passive rework. Perhaps if his passive revealed nearby crates that have not been looted or nearby death boxes
Lifeline: I don't actually care about that nerf because by the point in the game where her care packages have a low return the last thing I want to do is call one down
Wraith: wraith is fine, and I say that as someone who doesn't play wraith much
Bangalore: I would be hesitant to reduce her passive anymore due to the fact that her ult is kind of lack luster
Mirage: his Q is great, even if easily recognized by skilled players
His passive is useless
His ult is useless. maybe if it were true invisibility or he could shoot while stealthed I could see a use for it, but as it is your enemies just get to gun down a clear version of you that can't defend itself
March - last edited March
"Overall, we feel that the current weapons present solid options for a variety of gameplay styles. We've found that the Skullpiercer Wingman has been on the stronger end, but it’s designed to be a weapon with a higher skill ceiling"
"Skullpiercer Headshot damage multiplier reduced from 2.5 -> 2.25"
That defines the patch note. They say that the weapon is designed to have a higher skill ceiling, yet they nerf the damage of headshots. I mean... shooting at the body is easy... if you want a higher ceiling nerf body shots and BUFF head shots.
That explains why there was so many balance problems in the game...
This is the least broken multiplayer game I've played in a while. I'm glad they are adjusting things in small increments over adjusting is why I couldn't play overwatch anymore
Exactly. I am very pleasantly surprised by their approach. They are addressing hot topics and they are addressing them as they should. None of that Blizzard 50% nerf/buff retardation with atrocious butterfly effects and no way of normalizing anything in the long run.
The only thing that remains is for them to basically not "lose it" and start kneejerking, which I've seen quite a bit of times happening, due to pressure from people like the OP, who don't really know how these things work and often push developers into instant issue addressing through overbearing balance changes, which always - and I do mean always, 100% of the time - result in catastrophes.
The OP literally doesn't realize that he's conflating several things (for example, the notion that after this patch legends SHOULDN'T be balanced, but merely tweaked for FURTHER PUBLIC TESTING, they mix that with changes that should cement the balance - which is always the bad approach). These changes aren't meant to solve things, but to test them further and get them nearer to better balance - which was in the god damn dev address in the first place.
So, Respawn, please, don't go full Blizzard, you never go full Blizzard with balancing games. If that means changing someone's hitbox literally 2% at a time, so be it. If that means tweaking a gun's damage in increments of 1 at a time, so be it. NEVER go for immediate full results and NEVER go OW/hearthstone/wow way. It by its nature can't serve balancing the game, but just artificial meta shifts which result in extreme pendulum swings from one extreme meta to another and makes those games the most frustrating to play on the whole market.
March - last edited March
@LodewijkVerhaOf course they can make the hitboxes much smaller, when they make the ultra-huge character models much smaller!
I respect making balance changes in small increments.
However, we're not talking about just balance here. We're talking about Respawns grand experiment to make FPS classes with dramatically different hit box sizes. I wish they had done *this* experiment in small steps... by making most legends have similar hitboxes, and just one dramatically bigger or smaller. Instead they made them all radically different, which makes hitbox size trump everything.
If it was merely a matter of small balance changes, i wouldn't really care. But right now, I find it impossible to random-queue for this game, because when someone first-pick's wraith (which happens nearly every time), I end up dropping with only one or two people in the squad. Because of how frequently it happens, and how brokenly strong wraith's small hitbox is, I assume this is because the other people also wanted wraith.
Maybe there are other ways out of this mess.... If they can quickly implement a system where people can pick their legend before matchmaking, then wraith mains will just have long queuetimes, instead of ruining games by leaving squads before the drop.