Respawn Entertainment has released the first update for Apex Legends designed to balance out the Wingman and the Peacekeeper, two of the game’s most popular and powerful guns.
Players will now be treated to a relatively powered-down version of the Wingman that fires more slowly than it did before. The gun is also less accurate when used for hip firing at enemies. Developers said they wanted to nudge the Wingman more toward a hand-cannon type rather than a fully automatic Deagle (Desert Eagle).
Meanwhile, the Peacekeeper rechambers a lot slower depending on the type of shotgun bolt it was paired with.
The latest patch has also made both the Wingman and the Peacekeeper more difficult to acquire in the game since they spawn less frequently.
Other game adjustments packaged with the Apex Legends update include more powerful Caustic traps and more abundant energy ammos.
The hitbox sizes for characters Caustic, Gibraltar, and Pathfinder have all been tweaked at the beginning of Season 1.
No additional weapons, characters, or other content have been unveiled with the patch so far. However, Respawn has offered a glimpse into its game balancing philosophy, which could hint at what is in store with subsequent updates.
“Our goal is to make less frequent, better tested, higher impact changes, so it minimizes the effects on your time spent mastering a particular mechanic, weapon, character, etc.,” Respawn noted in the update.
“You shouldn’t have to read our patch notes every few days just to keep up with how characters and weapons now work … We know y’all are putting a ton of time into the game and mastering every nuance (like Wraith portalling people off cliffs for the final kill lolz).”
In a Reddit post, Respawn also explained why the patch didn’t include buffs for the P2020 pistol and the Mozambique shotgun. The game developer said that it wanted to introduce a “power curve” to player matches.
They explained the ‘power curve’ being some in-game weapons will be weaker than others but they are more commonly found in different areas. There are also weapons that will be more powerful but they are harder to come across.
The team added that some guns are purposely made less powerful until they’re “fully purp’d with hopups and attachments”. Other guns are meant to be early game weapons that are at the bottom of the power scale but are better than melee attacks.
Respawn added it has received good feedback from players on how to make the weapons more exciting to use without sacrificing game balance. The team will continue to look into player data and suggestions and try some things internally, but the game will remain the same for now.
Since its debut in February, Apex Legends has enjoyed widespread popularity among casual and hardcore gamers alike. Respawn and EA’s answer to Fortnite earned 2.5 million unique players in the first 24 hours after release and 25 million in its first full week. Player numbers ballooned to 50 million in the game’s first month.
The game’s sudden success has helped EA make its largest growth in stock value since 2014.