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Speaking to press earlier this week, Respawn Entertainment explained its reasoning behind some of Apex Legends‘ biggest changes arriving with Defiance.
On the changes to Olympus – which include two more points of interest (POI) and a new glitchy terrain – level designer Alex Graner says the goal was to “offer players a new experience on Olympus” while addressing some “pain points” of the community.
This involved expanding the southern side of Olympus and moving some existing points of interest, in order to stop players from getting to the centre of the map too quickly regardless of where they landed. With these changes, Graner hopes players will be more spread out throughout Apex Legends matches.
One of these new POIs is Phase Driver, which was the teleporter that malfunctioned whilst trying to move Olympus. The second is a “large interior space” that connects Labs to Banzai. There’s also new terrain called shifted grounds, which is a “glitched” version of Olympus.
There are also lots of smaller quality of life changes including a new opening in the north turbine, more zip lines, and changes to certain survey beacons after ranked players were finding some of their locations a bit strong.
In general, loot will be much more spread out – however, the Phase Driver will be able to spawn up to gold tier loot if players interact with several panels at the location. This will make a loud noise that will alert nearby players, adding substantial risk versus reward for any squad looking to gear up at the new location.
On Apex Legends‘ upcoming game mode, Control, game designer David Swieczo said it will run for three weeks at the start of the season and can be played by two teams of nine, each made up of three squads. Control will allow players to respawn infinitely and change their Legend during respawns, and the bleedout stage has been removed so that players will die immediately.
There’s also more of a focus on “combat and playing the objective” in Control, and players will be given infinite ammo, shield regeneration, and fast heals.
On the design philosophy behind Control, game designer Mark Yampolsky said Respawn wanted to make a more casual version of Apex Legends, a “playground” that can be used to “practice and reinforce core skills.”
Elsewhere, game designer Eric Canavese shared more on what balance changes fans can expect. This involves the Kinetic Feeder, a new hop up that goes on the Peacekeeper and Triple Take that loads rounds and reduces choke time during slides. Defiance will also bring in Hammerpoint rounds, which increase unshielded damage for Mozambique, P2020, and RE-45 guns. Finally, the Bocek and 30-30 will be able to use Shatter Caps, which split up rounds into a blast pattern when firing from the hip.
On the overall update, Grander added that “this is the biggest update to Olympus by far, debatably one of the most ambitious we’ve had in Apex.”
Finally, narrative lead Ashley Reed teased that the mysterious Eduardo Silva will play a much greater role in the upcoming season of Apex Legends.
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