Apex Legends Season 16 is known as Reverly and it kicks off on February 14. In a shocking twist, Revelry is the primary season of Respawn’s battle royale recreation to not add a brand new playable character to the roster. As a substitute, the brand new season makes enormous modifications to the flexibility kits of the complete present crop of 23 legends, making every of their talent units and specialties simpler to digest for first-time gamers. In that very same vein, Season 16 additionally introduces a brand new weapon (the Nemesis), a crew deathmatch recreation mode, and a extra in depth onboarding course of for brand new players–all of that are additionally geared toward making the expertise of enjoying Apex Legends extra approachable and simpler to know.
Following a preview of every part to return within the new season, I spoke with design director Evan Nikolich, lead weapon designer Eric Canavese, and lead legend designer Devan McGuire about this splendidly contemporary course. We mentioned why making a rival to the meta-dominating R-301 and Flatline is not as simple as buffing or altering one of many different present assault rifles, how the crew arrived on the 5 new character classes–Assault, Skirmisher, Assist, Controller, and Recon–and why the crew is sunsetting Apex Legends’ sweatiest recreation mode, Arenas, and including a brand-new Mixtape playlist and TDM mode as an alternative.
It looks like Season 16 is introducing lots of cool gameplay changes–both in how gamers make the most of particular person characters, the approachability of the sport as a complete for brand new gamers, and what modes can be found to play. How will the narrative and storytelling additionally evolve this season, if in any respect?
Evan Nikolich: So this season being our anniversary, the philosophy that we have now is “celebration,” a celebratory vibe. And yeah, it was a possibility for us to actually focus and revitalize the gameplay. That being mentioned, lore is tremendous necessary and rising the world of Apex can also be core to the expertise, the DNA of Apex Legends. And whereas this season goes to be story-light within the entrance, we positively are evolving the way in which we’re telling the story and you may begin getting some teases to that in direction of the again finish of the season and you may see our story reveal itself season over season for the remainder of the yr.
Throughout the Season 16 preview, y’all spoke about how a part of the explanation for the Nemesis is to partially dethrone the dominance of the R-301 and Flatline within the meta–thank you for that, by the way in which. I’m curious though–and if that is too difficult to clarify, be at liberty to say so–what’s the reasoning behind including a brand-new vitality assault rifle versus making drastic modifications to the Havoc, the vitality assault rifle already within the recreation?
Eric Canavese: Yeah, there are a few causes. One of many largest causes is we have wished so as to add a burst weapon for a very long time. Burst weapons are historically a much bigger hurdle for gamers to leap over. And so, considered one of our objectives was might we make a burst weapon that would attraction to a wider viewers than, say, the Hemlok or the Prowler. The individuals who love these weapons, love them, however it’s a fairly small portion of our gamers who will truly run them. So one of many objectives was to reply, “What does an entry-level burst weapon seem like?” And if we had been to do one thing like that to the Havoc or no matter, it simply would really feel very disingenuous to what that weapon is.
And relating to the Havoc particularly, we actually like how the Turbocharger [hop-up attachment] impacts the Havoc and the Devotion, and we at all times wish to have a number of weapons use our hop-ups so that there is extra validity for them on the bottom. So we would like [the Havoc] to proceed to make use of that Turbocharger in the way in which that it does. The hop-up works rather well for [the Havoc] as a result of it makes the Havoc form of this transitionary gun to attending to your full energy. We name them Exodia weapons–weapons that actually want all of their attachments to pop off. In any other case, they do not actually do a complete lot on their very own. And I do know you possibly can argue that the Havoc does, however it’s a way more cumbersome weapon to make use of with out all of its attachments. And so we did not wish to do away with that idea. It was necessary to us to discover a brand new expression of burst and discover a weapon that actually might seize its personal identification and stand subsequent to [other assault rifles].
And along with all of that, we have now been feeling slightly little bit of pressure on the vitality ammo economic system. It is considered one of our computerized weapon teams that has the least quantity of ammo accessible for it, so that you usually discover that you simply’re starved for vitality ammo. Introducing one other vitality ammo weapon will enhance your means to run all the opposite vitality ammo weapons. For those who wished to run a Volt, should you wished to run Havoc or Devotion, now you may have the additional ammo on the bottom [thanks to the Nemesis]. Simply transforming one thing would not have achieved the entire objectives that we have now for a brand new vitality weapon on entire. In order that’s form of slightly little bit of perception on the rationale on why we wished to deliver a brand-new weapon to the sport. And anytime we deliver a weapon to the sport, it is by no means only one small aim that we’re attempting to hit. It is simple to say, “Oh, simply put an vitality weapon in as a result of we want extra ammo.” However there are such a lot of totally different, nuanced explanation why we might desire a new weapon, and that is the razor that we will minimize all new weapons in opposition to.
With Arenas being sunsetted, will Mixtape achieve a Ranked playlist or will Ranked play now be solely tied to the battle royale facet of the sport?
Nikolich: The BR is our aggressive mode. It’s the mode that we wish to be the ranked, high-end, high-octane aggressive expertise [in Apex Legends], after which Mixtape goes to service our aim of the mode the place you get extra reps, discover decrease stakes, and the place you possibly can follow with out the specter of feeling like, “I’ll price my crew one thing.” And so we wish to hold any ranked play out of that for now.
Within the Season 16 preview, y’all talked about changes to Seer, Wraith, Lifeline, and 4 different characters. Are these seven the main focus of S16’s replace or can we anticipate some minor changes to be made to different legends too?
Devan McGuire: There are bug fixes that may enhance a few of the points with a couple of of the characters–there’s some Crypto and Newcastle stuff in there that clearly you may see within the patch notes. However no, these seven are type of the core focus. There are not any additional ones that had been sitting on the sidelines with minor changes, these [seven] are those we dove into. After which everyone simply will get a serious adjustment by getting the category perks added to their kits. So there will be a wholly new layer of the way you play every character throughout the desk going into Season 16.
And talking of these new character courses, how did they arrive about? How did the crew decide to broaden from 4 courses to 5 and what sort of perks to offer every legend? Was it simply playtesting and going, “You recognize, 4 is simply too little however six is means an excessive amount of,” or one thing like that?
McGuire: That may be humorous if that was it. However no, we took a really deep analytical method to what the legends all dropped at the desk and the way they performed, and we discovered widespread patterns between them, similar to, “These are the characters who’re going to make use of their talents and attempt to poke you from a distance. They’ll attempt to open you up, after which they’ll wish to push on that as a result of they created a gap.” [The legends have] constant playstyles that match into pure buckets all by themselves. The exception is Mirage–he’s type of just like the jack of all trades that may transfer round in a couple of totally different ones, however we lodged him into the category that he is in now out of what our evaluation resulted in.
However yeah, simply going by means of that course of and going, “These characters play like this, whereas these characters play like this. These characters are all about motion and escape and getting out and in of fights, whereas these characters are very targeted on the crew.” There are characters who deal with crew play and we had these characters simply dwelling in numerous spots [with the old classes]. In order we began to arrange them into totally different classes, the 5 [new classes] naturally emerged. These are the 5 playstyles that exist within the recreation. These are the ways in which you method Apex with the totally different legends and what their talents encourage you to do inside the recreation.
That will develop and alter as we add new legends. And we discover that there are literally smaller niches that we will compartmentalize issues in, however for the time being, these 5 are those that exist and people are those that we wished to have a good time and inform new gamers of, moderately than [having them log on for the first time,] have a look at a large listing of legends grouped within the order they appeared within the recreation in, and going, “I do not know who’s going to suit the way in which I wish to play.” We wished to actually guarantee that that was one thing you would simply establish and should you discovered a personality that you simply favored, you would possibly wish to strive one other character in that spot as a result of they play in an analogous vein.
To that point–I do not suppose we noticed it within the presentation and you have not performed the construct but, so you may see it once you get in there–but we have truly overhauled all the entrance finish of the legend choice display screen in addition to the character choose going into the sport. It is a reasonably large effort, which [Apex Legends experience design director] Aaron [Rutledge] can attest to. So the courses are effectively outlined. You possibly can clearly see each character laid out inside their class. So it is a large reshuffle and reorganization that makes it very, very simple to see and it appears to be like a lot prettier.
This dialog has been edited for each brevity and readability. To maintain on high of all the brand new modifications which are coming in Revelry, try our roundup of every part we learn about Apex Legends Season 16.
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