Apex Legends just dropped its fourth season and with every other seasonal update, there’s a lot to cover. Coming to the map first, World’s Edge has been redone in a big fashion. New areas have been introduced and many of them have been reworked.
Coming to weapons, a new sniper rifle has been introduced. The Sentinel is a bolt action rifle, similar in dynamic to the longbow but with higher damage and a slower firing rate. Weapon balance is also a big part of this update and there are many changes this season. The Devotion has switched places with the L-Star in being a crate weapon, with the latter receiving a buff in the form of more manageable recoil and not having the need to reload anymore. The G7-Scout has been moved to the “Assault Rifle” class and thus won’t be able to equip Sniper scopes anymore, the fire rate has also been reduced slightly. Base Havoc has seen a buff as Respawn removes the turbocharger this season, the gun now has a more manageable recoil pattern. Hemlock will also be more viable this season, the single-shot rate of fire has been increased from 5.6 to 6.4, this is actually a very noticeable change.
Legends have mostly been untouched with this new update and that’s a good thing, being an avid player I feel the meta is in a good place right now. Nevertheless, small buffs and nerfs in the way of finetuning are always welcome. Bloodhound mains will see an interesting addition to their “Beast of the Hunt” ability, now every time you down a player your timer is extended by 5 seconds.
The devs have also addressed the Skill Based Matchmaking issue, stating that this has existed in Apex Legends since launch. With this new update, they will make some changes to it which were being tested in some regions.
This should cover most of the important changes, however, you can read the patch notes below for all the new content this season.
NEW LEGEND: REVENANT Consumed by hate and obsessed with revenge, Revenant uses unnatural abilities to haunt his enemies and defy death. Check out his bio.
STALKER – You crouch walk faster and can climb higher up walls.
SILENCE – Throw a device that deals damage and disables enemy abilities for 10 seconds.
DEATH TOTEM – Drop a totem that protects users from death. Instead of getting killed or downed, you will return to the totem [with 1 health]
LOW PROFILE: Revenant takes +5% damage.
NEW WEAPON: SENTINEL SNIPER RIFLE
The Sentinel is a bolt action sniper rifle, effective at medium to long-range. If a player presses the “fire select” with a shield battery equipped, the Sentinel will consume the shield battery from your inventory and temporarily enters an energized state. While energized, the Sentinel fires projectiles that deal massive damage to shields. The projectiles use different VFX trails, and there is a unique energized firing sound, so all nearby players know that the Sentinel is firing these higher damage projectiles.
The Sentinel has a limited amount of energy that decays slowly over time, and loses a big chunk of juice for each shot. Once the energy runs out, the energized state ends.
Our main goal for a map update, on the design side, is to get players to make new decisions.
By the end of a season, you probably have your favorite spot, or spots, to land. You might prefer to rotate out of your drop location in a certain direction which in turns makes a lot of your games feel similar as the season progresses.
Our goal as Designers is to offer new ways for you to approach the game, and in this case the map, so that each drop, rotation, and gunfight feels as fresh as possible. Here are a few things we’re doing in Season 4 to hopefully help achieve that.
You can read the full details of the changes in our blog here and you can check out the highlights below:
THE PLANET HARVESTER With its large, multi-level design the Planet Harvester is unlike anything else on World’s Edge and brings exciting new gameplay options to the game.
CAPITOL CITY SPLIT IN TWO Capitol City was the biggest POI in Season 3, getting the most action right out of the ship. By sending the fissure straight through Capitol City and creating some dead space in between (swallowing up one of the construction buildings as well), we essentially split this area into two separate zones for players to land in and loot: Fragment East and Fragment West.
THE UPDRAFTS If you jump into the fissure that cuts through Capitol City you’ll slowly be carried back up from the heated, pressurized air, and allowed to coast across and land on the other side. This is balanced by two things. First, you take 25 damage from the intense heat and embers floating inside. This is a consistent amount of damage every time you drop back down. Second, you travel very slowly, in third person, while moving in the updraft.
SURVEY CAMP This is a new, small POI in the snowy fields between the Epicenter and Skyhook.
WEAPON RACKS These are guaranteed weapons placed on racks in the small buildings of Survey Camp. You’ll recognize them from Training or the Firing Range. This should give players who prioritize a good weapon over a premier drop location a new decision to make.
For all the info on what’s changing for Series 3 check out our blog. Highlights below:
Moving to Splits per season, ~6 weeks of ranked play before a reset
Adding Master Tier, Apex Predator becomes top 500 players by platform.
Soft reset and scoring are the same, but soft reset is every split.
Dive trails will be moving to a seasonal reward model, but Series 1 & 2 players are grandfathered in.
The update to how assists are scored in Series 3 also applies to Revenant’s Silence ability.
For the first week of Season 4 – Assimilation (Feb 4, 2020 – Feb 11, 2020), anyone who logs in during that time will receive the Anniversary Gift, which includes:
Year 1 Origami Flyer charm (if you’ve got any ideas for cotton, please let us know)
Year 1 Loyalty badge
10k XP for your first match of the day (available each day)
The Loyalty badge comes in 3 different flavors depending on when you took your first leap from the drop ship, so feel free to flex on all your latecomer buddies.
NEW LOOT: SNIPER AMMO [10 shots per pickup]
Designer Notes: Our goal here is to create a deeper, more balanced long range meta. Since snipers shared ammo types with SMGs and LMGs, there wasn’t a great way to put ammo scarcity on sniper rifles without really penalizing the more ammo hungry weapons that used the same ammo type. So for Season 4 we’ve added a new class of ammo that only applies to Sniper Rifles that we hope will have players being careful about the shots they take and limit how long they can pressure targets at long range before having to reposition.
All snipers now take new ammo type:
Charge Rifle [now uses 1 sniper ammo per shot. Magazine holds 4 shots]
New attachment: extended magazine for Sniper ammo.
ENERGY AMMO: Now gives 30 ammo per pickup instead of 20. Most ammo players pick up comes from packs that spawn next to energy weapons on the ground. Now that there are only 2 energy ammo weapons in Apex, we needed to up the ammo per brick to keep energy ammo from being too scarce.
REMOVED LOOT: The following items have been removed from the game: Turbocharger hop-up Extended mags for energy ammo [this change went out earlier than intended in the last update and should make sense with other changes in this patch but we wanted to include it here as well for players returning for Season 4 that were not aware].
GOLD BACKPACK: UI update to better convey to the player when they are using or being revived with the perk.
Designer Notes: We want to shift up what weapons are the strongest. Also, we’re aiming to reduce the power of some weapons that seem too strong and give a little boost to some weapons that haven’t been performing as well as we’d like.
UPDATE TO IRONSIGHTS ACCURACY Apex guns move around subtly while ADS — they rotate and sway as you move your aim, they bob up and down and side to side while moving, etc.
We have special tech that makes sure the reticle on the optics stays centered even as the gun moves around a bit. However, until season 4, the ironsights on weapons didn’t have this tech. That meant that the ironsights reticles could move around with the weapon and actually be slightly inaccurate — they wouldn’t point at the screen center where the next shot would fire. With season 4, we have updated most of the weapons’ ironsights to properly stay centered now. Not all ironsights are upgraded yet, but we will be updating the remaining weapons as this season progresses. The weapons that will be updated for Season 4 are:
Sentinel Sniper Rifle
Moved from “Sniper” to the “Assault Rifle” class.
Now only accepts AR optics and attachments [including barrel stabilizers and stock].
Still accepts Double Tap hop-up.
Contributes to progress for stats/challenges for AR’s moving forward.
Reduced fire rate 4.5 -> 4.0
Increasing time between shots for double tap 0.425 -> 0.475
Fixed bug where G7 had 0 ADS air spread, making it the only gun that was perfectly accurate on ziplines, etc.
L-STAR The L-STAR is no longer a crate weapon and can now be found around the map.
Uses energy ammo.
Reloading has been removed and the L-STAR will overheat after sustained fire so best to fire in short bursts to manage overheating and recoil.
Damage reduced per shot 19 -> 18
Rate of Fire decreased 12 -> 10
Less horizontal viewkick when the weapon fires.
Designer Notes: The Devotion was chosen to go into the crate for a couple of reasons. Mainly 1) it is an energy ammo LMG, and so is the L-STAR and 2) data shows us that a fully kitted Devotion is actually one of the strongest weapons in the game, and could work at crate power level. Removed from normal loot pool and is now a crate weapon.
Magazine size: 54
Total ammo stock: 162
Designer notes: With the removal of turbocharger, we wanted to buff the base havoc. Most notably, we are reducing horizontal recoil and making it easier to control.
No longer accepts the Turbocharger hop-up [turbocharger has been removed from the game] but can still equip Select Fire.
Decreased time between shots when using Select Fire hop-up .77 -> .56
Reduced damage per shot 12 -> 11
Increased magazine size for the first 3 tiers:
Base: 18 -> 20
Common: 20 -> 22
Rare: 23 -> 24
Epic: 27 -> 27
PROWLER Increased damage per shot 14 -> 15
HEMLOK Increased single-shot rate of fire 5.6 -> 6.4
Adjusted magazine sizes:
Base: 4 -> 5
Common: 6 -> 6
Rare: 8 -> 7
Epic: 10 -> 8
Double Tap hop-up: reduced the delay between bursts: 0.85 -> 0.80
Fixed an exploit that players discovered and reported where you could rapidly fire the Mastiff.
GOLD WEAPONS UPDATE The following will be the new set of Gold Weapons for Season 4:
BLOODHOUND Downing (not killing) players adds 5 seconds to Beast of the Hunt timer. It is possible to exceed starting time with successive kills.
EMP no longer destroys friendly Gibraltar Dome Shields.
Dome Shields no longer can stick to Crypto’s Drone.
Fixed bug that was causing players that reached account level 500 to crash or access their inventory or store.
Fixed bug where player level text would appear on the badges of level 100 badge when it wasn’t supposed to.
Fixed bug for some cases where players were unable to equip weapons from care packages when attempting to swap it with an existing weapon.
Fixes for a few bad spots in World’s Edge where players were getting stuck or getting to places they shouldn’t – thank you to everyone that’s been capturing and reporting these issues and keep them coming!
Fixed bug where sometimes when the Jumpmaster disconnects then the followers in their squad would float in mid-air and be unable to unfollow.
General stability fixes.
Fixes for cases where approaching the edge of the Circle would make the players screen turn almost all white.
Updated colorblind settings based on player feedback.
Community Request: added a Random Favorites option for unlocked skins that can be found in the Legend customization menu.
You’ll see an option to “favorite” skins you’ve unlocked [Y button on consoles].
Choosing Random Favorite option from the skins menu will randomly cycle your chosen favorite Legend skins in between matches.
Increased the timer for when you can still be credited for an assist after dealing damage: 5 seconds -> 7.5 seconds.
Nerfed the Roller that falls from the Loot Drone. Reduced damage. Decreased radius of splash damage. Updated the visual FX to the explosion for better visibility.
“Target Compensation” and “Melee Target Compensation” options have been moved to the “Advanced Look Controls” menu.
PENALTIES AND LOSS FORGIVENESS IN RANKED MODE
There are some changes coming to loss forgiveness to reduce abuse of the system. Loss forgiveness when a teammate leaves or fails to connect is unchanged, and is working as intended. We will be limiting the RP loss forgiveness when you leave once per day. If you exceed once per day more than three times per ranked series, you lose all forgiveness for the remainder of that series. Once these limits are reached players will no longer receive RP loss forgiveness when abandoning a match, regardless of the reason for quitting. We will continue to display prompts that alert you that leaving will count, and now will alert you when you are about to run out of loss forgiveness games.The scaling penalties are the same as last Series.
PLAYERS CRASHING WITH DXGI_ERROR_DEVICE_HUNG Some player are experiencing an issue where Apex is crashing with a “DXGI_ERROR_DEVICE_HUNG” error message. We are working closely with NVIDIA to help determine the cause of the issue and provide gamers with a solution (via updated driver or game patch) as soon as possible.
Helpful Information When Reporting: Graphics card vendor/model (ie: ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2080) Driver version: (ie: 441.66) Any pattern to repro? (specific location, certain duration of gameplay, etc.)
With this patch we’ll be pushing out changes globally to matchmaking that we’ve been testing in specific regions. We’re well aware that this has been a contentious topic among players and there’s been some misinformation out there so just to be clear: skill-based matchmaking has existed in Apex since launch and we’ll be continuing to improve it over time.