February 2020 - last edited February 2020
The Planet Harvester has split Capitol City apart -- and that’s just the start.
Learn what you can expect from the latest changes.
Hi! I’m Jason McCord, Design Director on Apex Legends. With Apex Legends Season 4 - Assimilation fast approaching, I wanted to share with you some of the design decisions that drove the Season 4 map updates to World's Edge.
Our main goal for a map update, on the design side, is to get players to make new decisions.
By the end of a season, you probably have your favorite spot, or spots, to land. You might prefer to rotate out of your drop location in a certain direction which in turns makes a lot of your games feel similar as the season progresses.
Our goal as Designers is to offer new ways for you to approach the game, and in this case the map, so that each drop, rotation, and gunfight feels as fresh as possible. Here are a few things we're doing in Season 4 to hopefully help achieve that.
The Planet Harvester
As you drop into World's Edge, you'll immediately see the Planet Harvester, which Hammond Robotics are using to gather precious metals from the core of the planet for reasons unknown. The red beam can be seen from the entire island, giving players a better sense of directionality and understanding of the center of the map.
Anyone who has played Season 3 of World’s Edge knows that Fuel Depot can be scary, especially in late-game. Because this POI (Point of Interest) is the center of the map, changing this location gives players more opportunity to experience the new content more often.
With its large, multi-level design the Planet Harvester is unlike anything else on World's Edge and brings exciting new gameplay options to the game. Fights are largely self-contained as squads will tend to enter the fight through the long hallways that lead to the center of the structure. This should make 3rd parties a little more predictable and hopefully easier to defend against.
Considering the unstable, volcanic nature of World’s Edge, it’s no surprise that the Planet Harvester has caused giant lava-filled faults to rupture, splitting Capital City in two.
Capitol City Splits in Two
Capitol City was the biggest POI in Season 3, getting the most action right out of the ship. By sending the fissure straight through Capitol City and creating some dead space in between (swallowing up one of the construction buildings as well), we essentially split this area into two separate zones for players to land in and loot: Fragment East and Fragment West.
The large fissure can only be crossed in two locations (a zipline, or a fallen skyscraper bridge). This allows teams some breathing room to control one side after the drop, reducing the risk of running into 3rd parties from the other side of the city. Is the construction site too hot for you? Land in Fragment East and use a Wattson or a Caustic to control the choke points for extra security. Of course, Pathfinder and Octane can both use their ultimates to get their teams across at any location.
The original design of the new fissure had players drop to their death if they had the misfortune of missing a jump. We wanted this gap to matter - for players to fight across and control the bridges as the only way across. This let certain Legends shine (Pathfinder / Octane for crossing, Caustic / Wattson for defending) and created some intense firefights when the ring was approaching. The problem was, a fatal fall felt too punishing. The last thing we wanted was players avoiding the new map changes because they had an unfair experience.
Now, if you jump into the fissure that cuts through Capitol City you’ll slowly be carried back up from the heated, pressurized air, and allowed to coast across and land on the other side. This is balanced by two things. First, you take 40 damage from the intense heat and embers floating inside. This is a consistent amount of damage every time you drop back down. Second, you travel very slowly, in third person, while moving in the updraft. You are essentially a flying loot piñata for any nearby enemy players.
Competitive integrity is always a big factor while designing new features, and our main concern with this feature was allowing players to escape fights they are losing by sliding into the fissure and sailing away. We think the damage and slow rise make players respect the gap while in a firefight, while, in calmer moments, allowing players to have fun and experiment with this new space without the risk of immediate death.
This is a new, small POI in the snowy fields between the Epicenter and Skyhook. This is another camp created to relieve the pressure of locations like Capitol City, Refinery and Epicenter. It also creates some potentially new rotations, like moving through the train tunnel to get to Skyhook.
Because this is a small POI, we wanted to give it a little more of a draw. For this reason, we created Weapon Racks.
These are guaranteed weapons placed on racks in the small buildings of Survey Camp. You’ll recognize them from Training or the Firing Range. This should give players who prioritize a good weapon over a premier drop location a new decision to make.
We’re always excited to try flipping Battle Royale rules on their heads, and we look forward to seeing how this feature influences where players drop.
With these updates, as well as a new Town Takeover coming later in Season 4, we hope you are as excited to play the new World’s Edge as we are!
Thank you for playing Apex Legends!
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