This may be a bit long so here is a TLDR;
The new mode is great, it adds a level of consistency that emphasizes the core aspects of what makes apex great; the guns, the movement, and the legends. It fixes the frustrations I had with SBMM because it levels the playing field to a point where the better player will win in most situations.
I want to preface this as someone who left around mid-late season 2 because of SBMM. I can definitively say that this new mode is why I have come back and started playing again. I have around 470 hours in the game, and 460 of those were season 1-2 and a small portion of s3.
Here is why, from a competitive and casual standpoint, this mode makes Apex a much more appealing game for a wider range of players.
I feel like the new mode they introduced plays soooo much better than classic apex. I feel like im actually in control of fights, partially because the playing ground is more level. The matches feel more intense because the combat puts emphesis more on your actual movement, gun, and game skill than it does your overall setup and loot luck. Granted loot luck isnt the sole factor in success in classic apex, but its a large enough factor that it can blur the line between player mistakes and situational luck.
This brings me to my next point, by removing arguably the largest factor of survivability from the loot table, aside from gun setups, your mistakes as a player are greatly amplified. Your decisions, game sense, aim, and positioning poise you on this tightrope between life and death. Every decision, bullet, hell even the phyical direction you move, becomes so much more meaningful. The game immediately becomes less forgiving, i couldnt just flee, heal, and come back whenever I felt like it. I had to consciously plan my heal times going into a fight because the lower TTK made simply running away too risky. It forced me to be creative with my movement and cover usage, as I fended off a persuing player on only a couple HP. It allowed me, a player with significantly less health, to outplay someone because the only differing factor was our skill level. Because my own mistakes were amplified, it made dying less frustrating because I was able to objectively break down what I did wrong and take my learnings into the next round.
Guns even became more balanced, I couldnt blame losing a fight on "not being able to find a good gun" because pretty much every weapon offered enough stopping power to deter an enemy long enough for you to escape. It also allows me to outplay another player that has a significantly better gun set up because I dont have to worry about my guns effectiveness, every gun is effective enough that someone with better FPS fundamentals will win that fight most of the time.
Lastly, if respawn makes this a permanent mode, (not replacing classic) but an option for players, SBMM begins to actually have purpose! The problem with SBMM as it is now in classic, is that when you match similarly skilled players together, RNG becomes a much greater factor. Heres an arbitrary/ exaggerated example: Who would win in a fight? Shroud with a blue armour and a peacekeeper or Shroud with an alternator and a white sheild? I would say 8/10 times Shroud with a blue armour and peacekeeper would win. By making RNG less of a factor with this new mode, SBMM becomes much less frustrating because the focus lies on your overall skill as a player. Which ultimately makes competitive play more meanful because it… i dunno showcases skill.
All in all this mode can greatly improve the competitive scene by adding more consistency to the random nature of battle royales. Not only that, but it also benefits the casual players too because it gives them an opportunity to focus more on the fun part of Apex… the fighting!!
Am I the only one who feels this way, do you agree, disagree?
Let me know, id be happy to talk about this!