Respawn Entertainment released a blog post earlier this Monday, introducing changes that are making their way into the Apex Legends in Season 4 Assimilation, which will offer the players new ways to interact with the battle royale game.
In the blog post made on EA’s official website, the game's Design Director Jason McCord talked about the changes and the direction he and his team are looking to take Apex Legends in its fourth season, which is set to go live on Tuesday, February 4.
Mr. McCord stated his goal for map update and its new design is to make players rethink their strategy and force them to make new decisions, which should add a breath of fresh air into one of the most popular battle royale games on the market.
"By the end of a season, you probably have your favourite 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," said Mc Cord.
"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."
The Planet Harvester
The Planet Harvester will replace Fuel Depot and will be used by Hammond to harvest metals from the core of the planet for the "reasons unknown".
McCord talks about the Planet Harvester, claiming any player who will drop into World's Edge will instantly notice the new addition to the map, due to its red beam which is shooting into the sky and can be seen from all over the map. That is to give the players a better sense of direction and understanding of the map.
The Planet Harvester will, however, not be in the same place as Fuel Depot. McCord explained that Fuel Depot was a very scary place in Season 3, especially in the late game, as it was in the centre of the map. The Apex Legend's team decision to move the Planet Harvester elsewhere will give the players an opportunity to explore and experience the entire map more often. The new addition will also have a large multi-level design, which should inspire an exciting, new gameplay option to the game.
"Fights are largely self-contained as squads will tend to enter the fight through the long hallways that lead to the center of the structure. This should make 3rd parties a little more predictable and hopefully easier to defend against."
Capitol City will split in two
Due to the unstable and volcanic nature of World's Edge, Planet Harvester caused the ground to move, which will introduce some massive changes in the landscape, namely in the Capitol City, which was split in two due to the lava-filled faults which ruptured, creating large lava-filled pits and destruction all over the place.
Besides the Fuel Depot, Capitol City was the biggest Point-Of-Interest in Season 3, and consequently saw the most action with players and teams fighting for the control of the region. Apex Legends team decided to send a fissure straight through the Capitol City, which created a so-called dead space in between, which has essentially split the area into two separate zones. The two zones will be called Fragment East and Fragment West. The players, however, will be able to pass the newly created fissure in two locations; via a zip line or a fallen skyscraper bridge.
With this move, Respawn added some breathing room to control one side after the drop and reducing the risk of running into third parties from the other side of the city.
Mr McCord also addressed the issue that could arise due to the new holes in the map, which could prove deadly for some players who find themselves in a moment of weakness and fall into the pit. Apex Legends team realised such occurrences could discourage players from exploring the new zones in a bid to avoid falling to their deaths. For that reason, Respawn decided to add the "Updraft", which will essentially prevent players from falling into lava and instantly dying.
If a player jumps/falls into the fissure that cuts through Capitol City he/she will be slowly carried back up from the heated, pressurised air. This, however, will be balanced with two things:
-the player who falls into the pit will take 25 damage from "the intense heat and embers floating inside". This will be a consistent damage for every time a player drops back down
-the travel back up to the surface will be very slow and in third person. McCord explained this as: "You are essentially a flying loot piñata for any nearby enemy players."
"Competitive integrity is always a big factor while designing new features, and our main concern with this feature was allowing players to escape fights they are losing by sliding into the fissure and sailing away. We think the damage and slow rise make players respect the gap while in a firefight, while, in calmer moments, allowing players to have fun and experiment with this new space without the risk of immediate death."
The Survey Camp
The small Point-Of-Interest in the snowy fields between Skyhook and Epicenter is a camp created to relieve the pressure of locations such as Refinery, Epicenter and Capitol City. The introduction of Survey Camp will also create a potential for players to explore new rotations, such as moving through the train tunnel to get to the Skyhook.
Because Survey Camp is a small POI, Apex Legends team decided to give it a little more of a draw by introducing the weapon racks.
Weapon Racks will be placed in small buildings of Survey Camp, with guaranteed weapons placed on the said racks. The players will recognise the said weapon racks as they can be found at the Firing Range or in Training mode. This addition will make players decide whether they will land at Survey Camp for a guaranteed weapon or rather focus on a premier drop location.
"We’re always excited to try flipping Battle Royale rules on their heads, and we look forward to seeing how this feature influences where players drop," said McCord.
With a plethora of great new additions to the World's End, Apex Legends players will surely be excited to jump into the game and test the new features. Season 4, Assimilation, will kick off this Tuesday, February 4. The exact time of Season 4 start is still unknown.
Respawn also released a short video, showcasing the Apex Legends: Season 4 Assimilation gameplay, giving the players a first glimpse into what awaits them once the season goes live.