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Balancing Apex Legends while keeping it interesting is harder than it sounds

Published: 15:39, 15 June 2020
Respawn Entertainment
Picture of the Legends from Apex Legends
Apex Legends

Apex Legends design director Jason McCord recently discussed balancing of Respawns's battle royale, insisting that balancing is not as easy as some fans think.

McCord was replying to a lengthy enquiry by an Apex Legends player and fan, who wanted to know how Respawn's team reacts to all the calls for nerfs. These traditionally follow a buff or just a lengthy session where you get killed by the most used gun, but the devs have it under control. 

"Weapons are not made to be balanced equally, but that doesn't mean some don't get overpowered when we try to push power around to change the meta. We appreciate people posting suggestions when they think something is unfair. It helps in our decisions", he said. 

Bear in mind that there's an amount of outrage that's acceptable, and then there's community meltdown level. In a recent interview, Respawn revealed they internally call the latter an SBMM-grade issue, as it usually means they've done something terribly wrong.

However, Apex Legends' arsenal rarely caused such outcry levels, even though live-service games are notorious for constant changes. 

"The way I see it, a live game needs to push power around to make each season feel different. Ideally, all Legends are balanced but that's very hard while still keeping them interesting. So we do our best to buff/nerf legends and that naturally shifts the meta and I think that's ok", he said. 

Respawn have undoubtedly proven that they've got the nerve to change absolute fan favourites, as Season 5: Fortune's Favour brought about the destruction of one of the most popular drop points on Kings Canyon, not to mention the mega-nerf of our beloved tin can. 

Apex Legends, Season 5: Fortune's Favor gallery of images

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A man with an axe running through a forest in SCUM
Apex Legends Season 05

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