Guide to reading this: If you want a TLDR, scroll to your favorite legend, read the bullet point for changes to the legend, if you think it looks pretty cool or sounds good, read my explanation, then if it all sounds good go to the next Legend, and repeat. Why is it so long? You have a lot of time to think+write in quarantine!
As we all know, and as especially observed in the professional meta via pro-scrims and tournaments, the Legends in Apex are very imbalanced. While some legends are played for fun or as a challenge, we know that in competitive environments they are largely unplayed, and in professional environments some legends would be downright stupid to play when money is on the line. This is why you see the same meta over and over, with the same legends always played. There have been some tiny changes that were just-not-enough in the right direction, and then we've seen some crazy adjustments that make legends OP (Gibby buff anyone?). Here are my suggestions on what could be done to help give every Legend a fighting chance, even in competitive play. I generally start with my thought process for the legend, and add some bullet points for their changes. You can assume that if I didn't mention something about an existing ability/passive/function of the character, then it can stay as-is. Without further ado, and in no particular order:
In general, Caustic's kit is actually really strong, however he has a couple points that make him unplayable in a team setting. His gas shouldn't effect his team's movement in any way. There's no legend who gets negatively effected by their teammate's abilities this badly, so he shouldn't either (afterall, Respawn claims they don't want to add solos because it's a TEAM game). The vision obscurity is fine (as long as it's not a stun/daze), but slows need to go entirely. Needs to go on a diet and return to normal damage mitigation as he'll be much stronger with the below. There's no world where he's as tanky as Gibraltar considering he has two shields and Caustic has none, so no reason to lump him in that category. Suggestions:
- Reduced model profile
- Return to normal damage mitigation
- Remove teammate slow in Caustic gas
- Remove teammate daze effect in Caustic's gas
There's no reason to play lifeline in a competitive environment, when Gibraltar does everything she does but better. A huge dome shield that protects for before + during + after a revive, plus a much faster revive time in bubble, quite literally makes Lifeline useless considering her lack of movement. Some movement buff, and also perhaps some kit buffs would be beneficial here to make her more viable.
- Add ability to cast/throw heal drone at a distance: If teammates are under cover, but not quite near you in a fight. You can throw the heal bot with line of sight that starts its heal ability when landed. This way, you don't need to move from your spot over to them or vice versa, risking your cover to get a heal. Hold "Q" by default to see a guide where bot will land when thrown, and release Q to throw (think of Bangalore smoke guide). Tapping Q twice quickly releases bot at hip as before. Throw distance is minimal, perhaps 15-20 meters.
- Heal drone heals 1.5x faster than current rate
- While a teammate is being healed by her drone, Lifeline is so happy that she gets an adrenaline rush which allows her to move 10% faster
- While reviving a teammate, revive shield is now 360 degrees, covering from all directions however still open from above to allow for vertical angles and nades/thermites to counter
- After successfully reviving a teammate, Lifeline's revive shield remains for 1 second to prevent instant spam deaths
- After successfully reviving a teammate, Lifeline and the revived teammate gain a 10% movement speed buff for 3 seconds.
The biggest drawback to Bloodhound is that their audio and visual queues essentially give their position away when cast, moreso than they help to find enemy players. In what world do you see a hunter make the loudest scan noise possible to find their prey? And we're suppose to believe that Bloodhound is a renowned hunter/tracker? The speed increases for their ultimate and the longer range scan were both good improvements, however this wasn't enough to make Bloodhound more viable in competitive play.
- Reduce sound effect volume by 90% on scan ability
- Reduce sound effect volume by 90% on ultimate ability
- Enemies can no longer see a visual of Bloodhound's scan ability (the visual scan remains for Bloodhound to see as a guide, and the only exception is that enemy Bloodhounds can also see this as well)
- Enemies can still get an audio queue when they have been hit by a scan, but if scanned from a distance, won't know which direction they were scanned from, and won't be able to hear where the scan was initiated unless within footstep audio range due to the above reduced audio on Bloodhound's abilities
- Bloodhound gains 8 second movement speed buff with a successful enemy scan that scales up when multiple enemies are successfully tagged in a single scan. 10% buff when one enemy is scanned, 20% for two, and 30% for three in one scan (equivalent to octane's speed boost). Caps at 3 enemies scanned.
- When following trail markers from an enemy with their passive, Bloodhound also gets a 5% passive speed buff each time they run over a marker
Crypto's recent buffs were actually a great step in the right direction. The debuffs against his own teammates was absolutely needed (and why Caustic needs that same treatment with his gas), as was the health increase of his drone, and the ability to damage shields regardless of whether they were dropped or not. I think he's more viable now than people give him credit for, however movement is king in this game, and standing completely still in his drone is a huge disadvantage.
- After pulling out his drone, Crypto becomes near-invisible. While you can still see a faint outline of him, it will be much harder to detect (especially at a distance as he won't be moving). Equivalent to the original opacity of Mirage's ult prior to it being fixed. Lore has it that he hacked Mirage's kit to learn this in the first place, but couldn't quite figure out the full opacity that Mirage now has.
- Drone audio effect reduced by 20%. Still loud, but not as loud as before
- When successfully ulting an enemy with his drone, Crypto hacks that legend's basic ability and can use it for himself. If multiple enemies are within attack range, Crypto will only hack a single Legend's ability (the closest enemy to the drone when the EMP blast goes off). A utility keybind can be added for this extra ability. The ability is only available for 10 seconds after hacking, and if it results in a permanent structure (Wattson fence, Caustic gas trap, etc), these despawn after 30 seconds if not triggered/shot manually. Numbers can be tweaked if a basic ability results in multiple items (e.g. just two wattson fences, just two gas traps, just one bang smoke, etc)
Wattson's kit is already strong. This is a great example of fair game design. Extremely strong and infinite ability length unless manually shot, but a modest player model that's not difficult to hit, and no movement buffs. Those are great trade offs for the legend. Now that all other legends are buffed, perhaps Wattson only needs a slight buff to match.
- Add a generator shielding ability: After Wattson's generator has been placed, and if within range, Wattson can manually trigger a shield to protect the generator from being destroyed. This comes at the cost of ultimate charge points. The duration of the protection depends on how much ult charge percentage she has available (this scales up to a maximum of 5 seconds), and the charge is consumed proportionally when used. If Wattson has barely placed her generator down, and if the player doesn't immediately use an ultimate accelerant, then she won't have any charge to protect it. This will most often amount to just once chance to save her ult from being destroyed after having placed it for a while, and another team comes from an unforeseen angle. At the least, it gives the other team's position away even if they wait out the shield to destroy it. At most, it prevents it from being destroyed in a crucial endgame fight just long enough to remain viable. No limit or cooldown as to how many times this can be used, so long as there are ult charge points available.
Gibraltar needs no buffs! In fact, I believe he needs a debuff. He's known as a defensive/tanky character, however he has the most offensive kit in the game. Used aggressively, his bubble can put you into a position to fight and take over a team's stronghold as you temporarily create your own for long enough to do so. Even with other Legends' buffs mentioned here, he's likely too strong. To balance out his kit, we will make just a slight change.
- Since he's known as a defensive support character instead of an offensive character, his ult will be switched with Bangalore's ult. Bangalore's ult is much more defensive, and is only ever really used as an unsuccessful way to create separation for a short period of time (since it's so easy to dodge and you have so much time to dodge it). This can still be combo'd with the bubble to work really well.
- While inside the bubble: grenades, thermites, and arc stars cannot be equipped. This means that outside enemies can't come in and throw them inside the bubble, but also means that they can't be primed from inside to throw out easily. The throwable equip and cook animations will need to be made in full when leaving the bubble. If you have a throwable equipped when crossing the bubble threshold, this will pull out the last non-throwable weapon you had equipped, taking the full equip animation to do so. If a nade or arc star already existed on the ground in the space where the bubble has been placed, this will be disarmed once the shield is in full effect (this also includes a rocket from his own ult).
Octane has the weakest kit in the game. His speed buff, while great, is the only ability in the game that inherently also damages himself. Even with infinite spamming of his sprint ability, he's still much slower than a Pathfinder. His ultimate is also fairly weak, and again especially compared to Pathfinder. To live up to his name, I feel like he could use a little more "juice" so to speak.
- Octane has been shooting up for so long, that he now has a permanent 5% movement speed buff passive. Not insanely fast, but enough fitting for a legend of such a name (keeps his slow heal passive)
- Octane no longer takes self damage when using his speed buff
- Octane's speed boost lasts .5 seconds longer each time when used
- Octane's speed boost has an additional 1.5 seconds added to cooldown timer
- Octane is so quick on his feet, that he no longer gets a speed debuff when strafing (this includes when weapons are equipped/ADS'd)
- Octane's speed boost audio effect is reduced by 25% for the player in control (allowing you to hear better than before outside of your ability when active)
- When slide + jumping off of Octane's jump pad, Octane does a barrel roll animation that makes him very difficult to hit, and takes 50% reduced damage while in the air. Friendly teammates also get the reduced damage while in the air, however their animations remain the same (and obviously don't get the extra distance that Octane gets when combo'd with his sprint). Enemies that use Octane's jump pad will still receive full damage if hit midair.
- If Octane's sprint is active when slide + jumping into his jump pad, Octane can choose the direction in which he will be boosted off his pad. This is based on the point at which his crosshair is looking. This allows for a more "line drive" type path after hitting the jump pad if he wants, instead of always being a rainbow trajectory. This means he can dive straight forward at a far distance (a long jump), or quickly switch to a different direction looking one way or the other at the last second. If looking straight up, Octane can more easily reach places he wouldn't have been able to before, as his trajectory would always slow down when running into a wall/cliff/etc previously. A quick 180 timed correctly can result in a long jump in the opposite direction, confusing a chaser or escaping an attacker.
Revenant was great in theory, but has been a little underwhelming in play. His hype and lore was great, however he seems more squishy than most legends despite easily 1v20 dispatching the best body guards protecting the richest man. Lets make him equal to his lore videos and trailers.
- Revenant has increased damage mitigation when in Shadow form, equivalent to Gibraltar and future tank character mitigation. It's almost as if the bullets go right through that shadow state! (Teammates don't get this damage mitigation)
- Only Revenant and his teammates can use his ultimate to become Shadows (so enemies can no longer activate this)
- When Revenant or his teammates become Shadows, upon death they will return to the totem with 60% health and their existing shield prior to taking the ult (instead of returning at 1hp)
- Revenant's ultimate totem cannot be destroyed. This is purely timer based going forward
- Revenant's animations are reworked to feel less clunky, and more speedy/precise
- Revenant's height is lowered just a bit to put him in line with normal heights such as Bangalore.
Pathfinder already has a strong kit and has been given a ton of tweaks thus far, so he doesn't need much to help him out. Just a couple ideas to keep him viable:
- Pathfinder can now pick up his own zipline pylons. Can only do this in melee range, with a short animation when pulling them out of the ground. Only one end needs to be pulled for the zipline to break. Cannot be picked up by enemy pathfinders. This allows for the same access to hard to reach places as before, however with the ability to disable the zipline so it can't be re-used by an enemy team if desired.
- Picking up his own zipline pylons accelerates Pathfinder's ultimate charge by 25% per pylon. So he can't fully charge from his two previous pylons, but can get half way there, allowing for quicker repositioning if needed.
- Improved hitboxes (this somehow still feels off?)
Bangalore is supposed to be a master of explosives and weaponry, and an offensive juggernaut. But her kit is completely designed for running away and spacing when in a fight? It doesn't make much sense. Lets put her where her lore has brought her thus far, and make her a true force the be wreckoned with.
- Bangalore's ultimate has been switched with Gibraltar's ultimate, as mentioned above. Being as the ultimate begins its barrage near-immediately, it makes this much more of an offensive weapon than a defensive/supportive weapon as Gibraltar has been categorized. Rolling Thunder is much better suited as a defensive/support ultimate, and is perfect for Gibraltar's kit.
- Bangalore now creates a personalized forcefield during her ultimate that results in 50% damage reduction from her own ultimate rocket explosions, and mitigates all movement/vision debuffs when running through her own ultimate. The forcefield was designed to repel large blasts, however this is not effective against smaller ammunition. She can still die by her own ult (especially if being shot at simultaneously or after running into it with low HP), however she will receive the damage mitigation for the duration of her ult, or up until her death (whichever comes first). This allows her to offensively attack and close the gap to secure kills if needed, at the risk of taking on some damage from her ultimate.
- Bangalore now has the option to choose the explosive ordinance type for her basic ability: The existing smoke grenade option, as well as a new "flashbang" option. This can be chosen on a per-use basis, meaning that if she has both ordinances available, she can do two smokes, two flashbangs, or one smoke and one flashbang, or any combination she chooses. The cooldown time remains the same. This allows Bangalore to be more creative in how she chooses to be offensive or defensive. To choose, the visual guide will be the same when holding down the basic ability bind, however instead of firing the ordinance on release of the key, this will now be managed by mouse binds: Left click to fire smoke grenades at the guide trajectory, right click to throw the flashbang.
- Bangalore's passive is now triggered each time she has been targeted by an enemy's shot, and can stack in length if attacked in succession. There is no longer a cooldown for double-time passive if she's in a constant fight or escape. Enemies can choose to either take the shot at a distance at risk of triggering her passive, or close the gap before taking a shot to secure the kill before she's able to get away. Be careful though, as Bangalore might just like to close the gap on you instead of run away. (Note: this only triggers if a shot is taken, not simply when looking at a Bangalore)
Mirage is a fun character, but lets face it.. he's pretty weak in a fight. We know he likes to party, but you gotta make it in the arena during the day to be able to party on the ship at night. Lets see if we can add something to his kit to make him a bit more viable.
- Mirage's bamboozle ability now also includes decoy shots. The decoy will shoot straight forward in randomized bursts/shots with the same weapon that was equpped by the Mirage that deployed the decoy. This decoy has an "auto-aim" of sorts. If it sees a player, it will turn and shoot in that player's direction, however as these are just decoy shots, there won't actually be any damage. Just the visual muzzle flash, visual projected bullet tracers (slightly more opaque than normal tracers, but barely distinguishable), and the audible shot.
- Mirage's decoys now also have 25hp. Similar to Crypto's drone, it will take a couple more shots to know that you've been bamboozled. This allows for a much higher chance of actually being bamboozled, but also for Mirage to take advantage of a bamboozle and be more aggresive with peeking a person that was tricked.
- The mirage decoy features mentioned above also apply to the decoys that are spawned for his ultimate. This means the randomized decoy shots with auto-aim feature, as well as the health increase.
- While invisible during his ultimate, Mirage has also finally figured out how to muffle his footsteps. Mirage footsteps are now reduced in volume by 75%. You never know if Mirage is coming to get ya, or fleeing to safety.
- While invisible during his ultimate, traps such as Caustic gas traps and Wattson fences have difficulty detecting him. Therefore allowing him to sneak through without triggering them. If the ultimate wears off however, he may have gotten himself stuck in a tricky situation.
Wraith has a strong kit already, as everyone knows. I imagine she's the most played character in the game both in competitive and non-competitive queues. That said, she might need a little more now to compete with the more even playing field.
- Wraith's speed boost during her phase ability has returned. This does not stack with the speed boost during her ultimate ability. She can still phase while creating a portal, however it'll be at the normal ultimate movement speed.
- If wraith initiate's a phase towards the end of her portal max, instead of cancelling her phase, the ultimate duration will be extended for the distance travelled while phasing, and pop at the end of the phase.
- Enemies that travel through Wraith's portal will receive up to 1 shield bar of damage. If the enemy has less than one full shield bar, then they will only have the remainder of their shield removed. If the enemy has no shields left, then there is no effect to regular health. Enemy wraiths are immune to this debuff. (and again, this only effects enemies, not teammates).
- Wraith's phase animation now initiates .25 seconds faster. While not a lot, it'll just make it feel a bit better.
- Wraith's portal creation animation now initiates .25 seconds faster. Again, same as above.
Here's some random stuff I thought would make the game much better.
- The circle round timers are now dynamic based on number of teams left alive. This means that if there are fewer than the expected teams alive at the time the round starts, there's no need to give the full duration to initiate circle closing. You will have less time to make it into the next circle, and endgame fights will come much quicker. Each round has an expected player target, tbd at later date.
- Permanent Solo mode added. Solo mode now allows 100 players per game.
- In-game Voice Audio drastically improved and integrated with Discord. (quick invites/joins) – You can't force a team based game and have quite literally the worst in-game voice system of any game in the past decade.
- Remove Ranked Game queue in favor of a 4 tier loose ranking system over a single queue (Silver, Bronze, Gold, Predator). The less tiers there are, the more people in each tier, which means the better chance your server isn't full of a bunch of sweats within your tier all the time. This also reduces the amount of time in queues as you're no longer splitting the community. Prioritizing queue speed, the games can still have a mix of players from all tiers in the same server. This also adds an element of Battle Royale fun where you never know when you're going up against a tryhard team or a team playing just for fun, or a mix.
- More stats are taken into account for the overall ranking system (knockdowns, headshot percentage, accuracy percentage, games won, win percentage, top 5s, top 10s, etc)
- In-game Leaderboards and ranking visible for all players (not just predator)
- Add custom game option for all players.
Now, you may be thinking some of the above is OP, especially for that Legend you absolutely hate playing against. But the idea here is to imagine replacing Wraith or Wattson in a professional environment, and actually being able to win. Yes currently Pathfinder/Gibby are interchangeable depending on team playstyles, but that's only recently because Gibby got the huge buffs that I'm now matching with every other legend. Obviously, there are some specifics left out that could be tweaked here and there, but the post was already too long so 😛
I tried to keep most of the changes within the legend's lore/boundaries, with any changes being easily explainable. Do you have some ideas too? Feel free to discuss! What would you tweak for your favorite legend from the above? Would love to hear everyone's thoughts, and hey maybe we might give Respawn some ideas to work with, if not for the existing legends, then with some new ones!
P.S. This is actually my first Reddit post.. long time lurker, first time poster type thing. Unsure why it had to be book length to get me to write my first. Go easy on me.