May - last edited May
Hey all! I’m Davis Standley, one of the level designers on Apex Legends. Kings Canyon is undergoing some pretty big changes for Season 5 - Fortune’s Favor, and I wanted to break down some of the decisions that shaped the map update into what it is.
Kings Canyon is a map with lots of history, and we wanted to make a bold change to how it would play in Season 5. In the end, we made way more than one. In Season 5, Kings Canyon is a new beast, forever changed by the actions of Loba and the Syndicate.
Our primary goal for Season 5 was to change the map flow. We wanted to create something to be mastered within a map that players knew very well. We’re trying to accomplish this in two ways. The first was sinking Skull Town and Thunderdome. It’s a big change, but we hope that by removing them, other parts of the map will shine. The Broken Coast now stretches from Octane’s Gauntlet all the way to the cliffs leading into Water Treatment.
A new point of interest named Salvage has been added to the Broken Coast. It’s a small industrial rig that sits across from Market, holding the old Leviathan skull above the water. A protected arena with high-tier loot, Salvage is well connected to the surrounding area. There’s also a new two-way zipline balloon, which offers powerful relocation opportunities from Salvage to Gauntlet, giving you the option to traverse the enormous bay.
Off to the side, along the Broken Coast, a remnant of the underground network Loba snuck through looks out over the bay. Forgotten for decades, this station is one of the many secrets hidden under the bloodsoaked topsoil of Kings Canyon...
Our second change was to rework the upper east corner of the map. Internally we felt this side of the map often didn’t get nearly as much attention as the desert. We took this chance to add more land mass to the upper corner and expand the playable space. Our goal was to bring more balance to how players flow through the map. From a bird’s eye view, by adding this new space, we’re trying to push the “center” of the map northeastward.
The Offshore Rig is a massive new zone attached to the former Relay and Wetlands areas. It connects to the now-broken Relay, Capacitor, and Swamps. While you may have a longer journey to the circle, you’ll be much better outfitted than a squad who chose a low or mid-tier central map drop zone. Aim for the hanging platform on the north end of the Rig for your chance at the high-tier loot waiting there!
Capacitor is a major hub just inland of the Offshore Rig. While it sits at a lower elevation, Capacitor offers plenty of loot and a ton of rotation opportunities. It adds direct paths from Rig to the central river, a new route into Singh Labs, and a path from the old Relay straight across to the new Reclaimed forest.
We also added a few new camps surrounding the Capacitor excavation site. These camps are a valuable place to catch your breath and re-stock before heading into high traffic areas. During playtesting, we realized that broad open spaces devoid of loot often encourage players to take the straightest path to the map center. Our goal with these is to create more viable routes through the new space. More rotation options means more choice, which we hope encourages deeper map strategy.
Transformed by the excavation, the Shattered Forest from the original Kings Canyon continues to regrow. New roads give Reclaimed Forest much more definition and verticality. We’ve also expanded the exterior of Singh labs to be a viable landing spot on its own. While the changes to Reclaimed Forest are more subtle, our goal is to add more defined routes in order to shape a more understandable flow through the zone.
First discovered during early exploration of the Capacitor, Charge Towers have been repurposed by the Syndicate for the Apex Games.
Charge Towers are a new addition to the Apex Legends sandbox. By interacting with the control panel, you can trigger a blast that restores the ultimate of every player on the Charge Tower platform. This is a powerful tool. Our hope is that they provide new focus points for players, and enable squads to pull off strategies that they couldn’t have attempted before.
Look for the glowing yellow towers spread out over Kings Canyon, and make sure you’re there when the charge goes out!
Aside from the big flashy changes, there have been a number of small updates to the map, as well as countless fixes. Some of these things will be easy to spot as you play. Others will take a little more digging, but that’s half the fun if you ask me. I’m looking forward to seeing you all out there on the ground.
Level Designer, Apex Legends