A couple of weapon balance tweaks went live in Apex Legends last night focused on the two best guns – Wingman and Peacekeeper. Let’s take a look at 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%
Wingman and Peacekeeper availability has been reduced in all zone tiers.
One night’s worth of matches isn’t enough to say if the nerf is enough or went too far, but my first impressions are positive. The games I did lose were more due to me being out of position than somebody using the equivalent of Halo’s magnum to kill me in a couple of seconds.
Both the rate of fire and increased hip fire spread are significant changes here. The slower rate of fire adds a second to how quick you can empty a magazine. Instead of two seconds for six shots, it’s now three seconds. For 12 shots, it goes up from four seconds to five. Not a massive change on paper, but combine that with any network issues, and it does help some against what felt like instant deaths before. Plus, fighting against hackers with a Wingman (another area Respawn mentions in their patch notes) ramps up the frustration even more.
Respawn is also making both the Wingman and Peacekeeper appear a little less across the map.
I like Respawn’s approach here. Take it slow and see what the data tells you. Don’t nerf guns until their useless. The devs also explain they want certain weapons to be stronger. They call it a “power curve.” Guns like the Mozambique and P2020 sit at the bottom of the curve, while the Wingman and Peacekeeper are near the top.
“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.”
Judging by that statement, it looks like a fully-geared up R99 is safe from any nerfs for now.
The last weapon tweak focused on energy weapons/ammo. Respawn is making them appear more often across the map. I’m all for seeing a Havoc show up at the end of matches. Keep the “power curve” intact, but make sure each type of weapon has a best-in-class that has a use at the end.
The rest of the patch notes gives us a sneak peek at what Respawn plans to do to tweak the hitboxes for larger Legends. The devs also said yesterday they plan to talk about other issues surrounding Apex Legends this week. I’m hoping one of those focuses on the game’s netcode.
We’ll see how much the weapon tweaks affect the game’s meta over the next few days. So far, I like it.