After a year to get its feet wet and establish its identity within the battle royale genre, Apex Legends went through a flurry of changes in Season 4: Assimilation and Season 5: Fortune’s Favor. In comparison, Season 6: Boosted seems to be a smaller step for Respawn’s battle royale game. There are still plenty of in-game changes and new pieces of content, but Respawn looks to be taking a break from radically altering Apex Legends and is instead taking stock of how to improve the game going forward.
When I spoke to Apex Legends lead game designer Carlos Pineda, he told me that players should expect Season 6 to be “a little bit bigger” than Season 2: Battle Charge and Season 3: Meltdown. However, the changes probably won’t be as drastic as Season 4 and Season 5–Season 6 falls somewhere in-between.
“We have some meta changes, not quite as big as Seasons 4 and 5, but Seasons 4 and 5 were targeted at these pain points that people had been complaining about for a while–a lot of our conversations since December have revolved around that,” Pineda said. “And Seasons 4 and 5 hit a lot of those so with Season 6 we believe we’re in a bit of a better spot so we should just take it easy for a little bit and see how all the changes settle out and begin to see where any new pain points might arise in order to patch them.”
In comparison to earlier seasons, Season 4 and Season 5 saw huge changes to Apex Legends. So far, Year 2 has implemented massive character overhauls, with substantial nerfs to characters like Wattson and Wraith and huge buffs to characters like Bloodhound and Revenant. Some characters saw their abilities get slightly altered, like Lifeline and Octane, with Mirage’s abilities being outright reworked.
The maps transformed too–Season 4 further split World’s Edge down the middle and Season 5 saw the most beloved landmark on Kings Canyon get blown up. Duos mode became permanent, a new story-based PvE Quest mode was added, and Evo Shields and Mobile Respawn Beacons were rotated into the loot pool. It’s been a whirlwind of changes since Year 2 started.
Season 6: Boosted, meanwhile, adds a new character (Rampart), weapon (the Volt), and makes some map changes to World’s Edge–they’re noticeable but not as substantial as a giant tower in the middle of the map further splitting the battleground into two distinctive halves. The changes seem akin to Kings Canyon’s transformation at the start of Season 2, which improved squad movement between landmarks with new means of getting around.
“I spoke to map designer Alex Graner and the thing he really wanted to push through with this map change was more rotation options for people,” Pineda said. “Because there were certain chokes that never got used–it basically felt like the chokes were too chokey and did too good a job of funneling people. In opening these new cut throughs and adding additional geysers here and there and taking the train out to put cover around the tracks, all of that space suddenly becomes usable for moving around the map. So hopefully, people don’t feel as trapped when they’re moving around.”
Apex Legends – Official Season 6 “Boosted” Cinematic Launch Trailer
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The new changes to World’s Edge seem to be the most substantial adjustments being made in Season 6–I’m intrigued to see how the addition of crafting materials may decrease the amount of time a squad needs to spend between looting and getting into the fight as well as how the new blast walls may change how squads view rotation lanes. Season 6’s new character and weapon don’t seem as substantial. Both look really cool but Rampart and the Volt don’t appear to be game changers. Rampart is a defender who fortifies her squad’s position by diverting other squads away from it. The Volt’s standout property is being the first energy SMG, so its bullets behave differently from the heavy ammo Prowler and light ammo Alternator and R-99.
“Specifically, I think [The Volt] is a little bit faster fire rate and it’s a little bit more manageable than the R-99,” Pineda said. “I would say it’s more comparable to the Alternator. It’s a little easier to control and because it’s an energy weapon, the bullets tend to go faster and farther so you can actually hit people at a higher distance. You get a little bit more versatility out of it in comparison to the other SMGs.”
All of Season 6’s new content is detailed in full in the patch notes for the update if you’re looking to see everything that’s changed. Apex Legends Season 6: Boosted is scheduled to begin later today at 10 PM PT, which is August 18 at 1 AM ET.
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