So, I design a lot of game systems in my free time and I've played a lot of shooters and many other games, especially Apex
I love a lot about Respawn's style, and overcoming their being under EA and what comes from that, I can tell that they love what they make. Their games always involve so much character and inspiration that it's very difficult to believe that they want to wash over what they develop
However, I can't help but think that they're rushing or being too tentative or something when it comes to Apex and that's caused them to overlook very simple Balancing mechanics that would make the game better and overall Quality of Life tools that would make gameplay smoother and more intuitive
So I'm going to share them with you guys real quick hoping this post gets some notes and gets noticed, so help the cause if you agree with me! Hopefully Respawn will notice this and implement the fixes!
Equalizers and Additional Passives and their roles
Low Profile and Fortified were controversial when they were added, and I was in that mix, too, but I figured out what really upset me about them after all: Accessibility and Organization
I mean that: it's fine to me if one Legend takes more damage and another takes less — that's just the risk of a bloodsport — but what made me uncomfortable was that these Equalizers were called "Passives" and were just sort-of lumped under the Legends' other abilities like the developers didn't really know where else to put them and just wanted to get it done
That sort of effort is understandable to me, but I always think that being a perfectionist is what an inspired and appreciated work needs, and it was the way I couldn't easily inform myself about these new factors that would ultimately play into my fast-paced gun fights, and subject me to new obstacles, that made me want to re-evaluate how Respawn should implement the extra abilities/attributes — this also, as a note, included Gibraltar's fast revive and Lifeline's supply bin buff
Each character should have a Stats and Attributes Sheet
It would be aProfile on each Legend's functional details, such as their:- Height and Other Dimensions– Revive Times — Making revive times variable in-built stats for each character- Damage Modifiers — + or – a Percentage from a "Base Damage" that refers to all guns and weapons equally, or possibly even per source of damage since something like Revenant's Silence doesn't seem like it should harm Gibraltar any less since it's probably basically supernatural — or how Wattson's fences might not harm Pathfinder as much, or more, because he's not organic — this would also change Fortified and Low Profile into in-built stats per character rather than "Equalizers"- Ability Stats — just all useful information (like pretty-highly detailed ideally — even going as far as to explain particle effects that might effect gameplay) on each Legend's abilities officialized in their in-game Profile Sheets/Pages/Whatever- Interactive Hitbox and Animation Display — This one would be more programming-intensive and probably a later-added-on feature, but I think the payoff would be HUGE. Imagine being able to familiarize yourself to a T with each Legend's hitboxes during each animation — like, the Display would have an Interface in which you choose the Legend you want, choose its Animation or String of Animations and run them in a loop or just one time through, turn Hitbox Display ON, choose a Distance from the Legend, the Terrain parameters, such as wall height for climbs, terrain bumpiness, incline(s), etc. for the Animation Loop or whatever, and then use your Mouse or Joystick to control fire from any Gun you want, with Bloom or set to Hitscan/Controlled Fire Parameters for more specific studying, and then collect all useful data for review, such as damage done, damage changes due to distance, bullet drop, hit locations on subject's body, alterations to subject's animations due to hits, and whatever else. It would DEFINITELY be programming-intensive, but I think it would absolutely revolutionize the meta for really invested contestants and even for casual players since it would be pretty fun to just mess around with and learn what's happening statistically in gun fights
– Whatever else could be helpful or even just interesting
It's also important to note that each Legend is a Character and therefore is supposed to be Characterised and fit within a Set of Bounds that cooperate to define Their Character and Role simultaneously under a notably specific Theme, like someone named "Pathfinder" being a Forward Scout who makes New Routes and provides Zone information for Movement Planning, or a girl named "Wraith" being an Extra-Dimensional Super Soldier who Knows Things Before they Happen, can use High-Grade Military Technology to avoid Traditional Damage Sources, and Transcend Spacial Boundaries much like an actual ghost — Wraith's backstory and skillset do not make her as equipped as Lifeline to provide medical assistance. Gibraltar's background with a Coastguard-like organization does equip him like Lifeline to some extent, however definitely not on equal grounds due to Lifeline's experience dealing directly with Combat-Inflicted Injuries, where Gibraltar probably only provided Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation and Biometric Analysis to drowning victims, making him familiar with Resuscitation, yeah, but probably not as familiar as Lifeline who specializes in the field so much that she Heavily incorporates her practices into her Combat Technique — She's basically developed a Martial Art or a Warfare Style that focuses uses Medical Equipment. Gibraltar is obviously not that medically inclined and therefore is reflecting another aspect of his Character and should therefore be Substantial in that regard before any other
It just has to do with seeing a Game as a Whole rather than only a colored venue for combat exchange mechanics — in other words: when you make a game, you tell a story if you do, and Respawn did and so they should stick to that. I'm not saying Gibraltar's faster revive in his shield doesn't do that, but… it might a little bit haha… and it's good to keep that stuff in mind when you're making games, because it's what makes the immersion. Why record hours of voicelines if your story is expendable, you know?
The story adds to gameplay, just like I Believe that I'm shooting someone because there's a realistic image of a gun on the screen rather than a flower or a soda cup or something. Balancing extends past the functional game mechanics and into the aesthetic and other design elements, so… yeah
Just a note that's important to me that I wanted to throw out and one reason I think Gibby's tweaks need some review
Overall, I think this would organize useful information well, make it all accessible in an intuitive way, and allow users/players access to highly-developmental systems, as well as make the game more complex, immersive and generative.
Let me know what you think!
(Obviously don't just say that it's "too much" if that thought crosses your mind haha — programming usually is a LOT of stuff that users just end up not seeing, so what I've written might actually be kind of bare in terms of what a developer needs to consider/say about an idea)