Apex Legends ‘Live Balance Update’ detailed as Octane character leaks intensify

A little over a month after the game’s initial release and players are getting antsy waiting for the start of the game’s first season of content and Battle Pass of cosmetics and unlocks to work through. That isn’t here yet, but Respawn have detailed their processes for making balance changes and what we’ll see in an update out today and at the start of Season 1, whenever that might be.

You can read the full post on Reddit but, here’s the TL;DR:


TL;DR – We make less frequent, better tested, higher impact balance changes in order to minimize the impacts on your time spent mastering the game.

That means that they’re still working on their balance changes for large hitbox characters Caustic, Pathfinder and Gibraltar, having identified that it’s a problem and that their larger frames in general mean they need buffs to their abilities. Those changes will come at the start of Season 1.

In the here and now, they’ve balanced Wingman and Peacekeeper downward, both in terms of power and availability, and explained that the maligned P2020 and Mozambique will not currently be getting buffed, as they are intended for early game play.

Here’s the patch notes for the Live Balance Update that’s live today:

Apex Legends – Live Balance Update 7th March

Weapon Adjustments

  • Wingman
    • 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).
  • Peacekeeper
    • 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%
  • Wingman and Peacekeeper availability has been reduced in all zone tiers.
  • Increased availability of energy weapons & ammo in all zone tiers.

Why no P2020 or Mozambique buffs?

  • We love y’all’s ‘Bique memes, so we’re hesitant to lose that :P
  • In all seriousness, 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.

Additional Patch Notes:

  • Fixed some script errors that we identified were occasionally causing disconnects during matches.
    • Caustic occasionally causing disconnects while throwing is Ultimate.
    • Pathfinder occasionally causing disconnects when activating a Survey Beacon.
    • Players occasionally causing disconnects when removing an attachment.
    • Gibraltar occasionally causing disconnects when pulling up his Gun Shield.
    • Players occasionally causing disconnects when entering Spectate Mode.

And here’s the balance tweaks coming to characters at the start of Season 1:

Apex Legends – Season 1 Character Updates

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:

  • Caustic
    • 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
  • Pathfinder
    • Insider Knowledge – Increased the number of beacons in the world to 12 from 10
  • Lifeline
    • Care Package – Removed slight chance that level 4 armor and helmets will drop
  • Wraith
    • Into The Void – Cooldown increased from 20 -> 25 seconds
  • Bangalore
    • Double Time – Reduced move speed bonus to 30% from 40%

We still don’t know when Season 1 will start, but it sounds like it isn’t far off.

This comes amidst increasingly credible leaks and speculation around a character named Octane. The character name and design have been confirmed to Daily Esports by an anonymous source, but the rumours of his abilities are unconfirmed – those would be passive healing, a 30% speed boost at the cost of 10% health active ability, and a player catapulting launch pad for his ultimate.

Source: Reddit, DailyEsports

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