Apex Legends’ first major patch brings updates to the Wingman and Peacekeeper as well as a few other small gameplay adjustments.
Developer Respawn has also detailed its plans for the start of Season 1 and addresses how it’ll go about tuning the meta in future updates.
The most impactful changes have been made to two of Apex Legends’ most prolific weapons of the moment.
The Wingman has been nerfed the hardest overall, with a reduction in its firing rate, increased base hip fire spread, and reduced Skullpiercer Headshot damage multiplier. This is an attempt to apparently “move it more into the hand cannon space and away from full auto Deagle”.
The Peacekeeper’s Shotgun Bolt attachment has been nerfed, which means players will have a “larger window of vulnerability if they miss their shot”.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the changes:
- Rate of fire reduced from 3.1 -> 2.6 shots per second.
- Skullpiercer Headshot damage multiplier reduced from 2.5 -> 2.25
- Increased base hip fire spread and decreased the rate at which hip fire spread decays (shrinks back down).
- Shotgun Bolt rechamber rate has been reduced for the Peacekeeper only.
- Level 1 mitigation 10% -> 7.5%
- Level 2 mitigation 20% -> 13%
- Level 3 mitigation 25% -> 16%
On top of all this, the Wingman and Peacekeeper weapons will be less readily available across all zone tiers, meaning you’ll need to get a little luckier if you want to get your hands on one of these weapons.
In contrast, Respawn has increased the availability of energy weapons and ammo in all zone tiers. A nice touch which should bolster the viability of less attractive options (Triple Take and Devotion, we’re looking at you).
Players have been calling for Mozambique buffs since the game’s inception, and coming from personal experience we agree it’s criminally underpowered. For a shotgun-pistol, it really lacks a necessary punch.
Unfortunately it looks as though we won’t be getting any Mozambique buffs anytime soon, though. Respawn explained why the team has decided to leave it be for now:
”Our goal is to have a power curve of weapons. "Power curve" just means that some weapons will be weaker and more common, while others will be stronger and rarer. Some weapons are intentionally less powerful until fully purp’d with hopups and attachments, while other weapons on the bottom of the power curve are your early game, better-than-melee, but-gotta-upgrade-out-of-ASAP weapons.
"We’ve seen some good feedback from players about how to make these pistols more exciting without losing out on the goal above that we’re listening to. We’ll be continuing to watch player data and feedback and trying things out internally but for now, they’ll remain the same.”
Alongside the patch notes, Respawn also shared its philosophy moving forwards with future updates.
"Our goal is to make less frequent, better tested, higher impact changes, so it minimizes the effects on your time spent mastering a particular mechanic, weapon, character, etc.
"The exception here is that we will be very quick to adjust things that are way out of balance (for example, if we released a new character that completely dominates the meta from Day 1, we'd address it ASAP).
"We didn’t want to make any hasty changes around launch, because we know a ton of players are still learning the game with lots of new Legends dropping in everyday. The week one meta vs. the week two / three meta was meaningfully different from what we've seen, so want to make it sure it settles a bit before we act."
Respawn also gave an insight into how it’ll address character balance moving forwards, especially when it comes to bulkier Legends like Gibraltar and Caustic. The other "small and medium rig characters" are in a good place, but it considers the "large rig characters" underpowered due to their bigger hitboxes.
It's planning on adjusting these hitboxes and may make some further changes if they're deemed insufficient. "Natural damage reduction" and "individual kit power tweaks" could be on the cards if hitbox changes don't have much impact.
To round things off, the studio also revealed a host of Legend adjustments which will go live at the start of Season 1.
Below we’ve listed all the upcoming tweaks:
Major balance changes:
- Hit box size reductions and optimizations for Caustic, Pathfinder and Gibraltar
- We’re better sizing hitboxes to character gear & model
- Since these adjustments have a MAJOR impact on the game, we want to make sure there aren't any major bugs, so we didn’t want to rush them out
- If these adjustments prove to be insufficient, we’ll consider additional adjustments during Season 1
Minor balance changes:
- 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
- Insider Knowledge - Increased the number of beacons in the world to 12 from 10
- Care Package - Removed slight chance that level 4 armor and helmets will drop
- Into The Void - Cooldown increased from 20 -> 25 seconds
- Double Time - Reduced move speed bonus to 30% from 40%