r/apexlegends – Product analysis of the Apex experience


I like to analyze products that I don’t work on for fun. I thought it would be interesting to do an assessment of Apex’s core gameplay mode and provide my thoughts. In this post I will not be going into what I think about LTMs and what they bring to the game. I will provide proposed solutions to the issues I see and how I would update the game to incentivize certain behaviors or play patterns.

To start things off, let’s take a look at how I see behaviors we want to incentivize in Apex:

Team play for people of all party sizes (in pubs and in ranked)

The feeling of skill progression and having a high skill cap

The ability for players of all skill ranges to enjoy playing the game

Enjoyment comes in the form of:



Novelty of experience (historically a product of new guns, new maps or map features (POIs, building types), new characters, new abilities)

Perception of balance and fairness

(Ranked only) – RP (this is separate from placement, kills even though it is a product of those things)

In addition to the incentives outlined above, we also want to reduce feel bad moments for players. These tend to reduce enjoyment at a greater rate than neutral or mildly positive experiences improve enjoyment. A few examples of feel bad moments or play experiences:

Finding only a p2020 off a drop and an enemy lands next to you and finds a purple shield and a pk

Teammate dies off drop and instaquits

Teammate veers off because you aren’t hot dropping or going where they want to go and goes and fights on their own

Every time you rez teammates you aggro 1-3 other squads

When you win a fight and then immediately get third partied

Notably third partying as the squad doing the third partying is generally enjoyable because it leads to damage/kills

Dropping and finding yourself surrounded by 3+ teams, unable to get a gear / weapon foothold or to seek reasonable fights on reasonably equal ground

Another version of this is landing and not finding any / enough gear of value where you land before you are forced into an engagement

Understanding the behaviors I believe are valuable to incentivize, and the types of moments I want to reduce in game, the top 10 things I want to specifically address are that:

Retrieving banners is a disruptive play pattern. It is very very hard to accomplish without dying and is accompanied by an obnoxious 2 second long animation of picking up the banner. Your teammate being dead in the middle of a fight near no other boxes also creates an annoying advantage for an opponent (they can shield swap the box but you can’t without taking a 2 second vacation from the game to get the banner). Of note, Respawn attempted to address this with the new support class buffs to craft banners which is helpful only in ranked (pubs it is still faster to quit and reload and there is generally no incentive to wait and respawn if it takes longer to accomplish) and less helpful than it seems at face value due to point #2.

Respawning teammates is an unenjoyable experience. The majority of the time it either causes you to be in a terrible zone position (which is especially punishing if it is after zone 1 with the changes) or you immediately get hunted by 1-3 other teams who are looking for kills. It also is an obnoxious play pattern for the person who is alive because they have to sidetrack playing the game for gathering your banners and trying to sneak to a place to respawn their teammates to either:

In ranked make a strategic mistake of even trying to spawn your teammates – you’re likely better off ratting

In unranked detract all enjoyment from playing the game (pursuing kills/damage) on a side quest to generally just die instantly

The death timer on downed teammates is an un-fun pattern (the base timer expiration and the accelerated expiration when being downed multiple times). Again, this pattern takes players out of potentially winning fights which would be extremely “fun” (1v2 scenarios) and forces them to make a suboptimal play to try and save a teammate. This is somewhat an artifact of point 2 (if you let them die your game is essentially ruined).

Guns are mostly balanced for situations where all players are “kitted” and finding certain guns off drop can be a death sentence or lead to a really frustrating experience.

A lot of movement tech is cool but somewhat inaccessible. The skill gradient in my opinion has a huge gap between basic movement tech (wall bounces, slide jumps, armor swaps) to really high skill gap things (180 jump pad tap strafes, mantle jumps, super glides, fatigue wall bounces, etc). The reason tap strafes are loved by so many is that they are a great mid tier movement tech with practical value.

Note: I think this is another reason removing punch boosting was viewed negatively by the community – it was a low skill gap movement tech that had mid skill gap applicability (punch boost into a jump that you couldn’t previously make was fun and accessible).

Third partying represents both an anti-fun pattern of ruining symmetrical fights and a fun pattern of finding fights and finding kills (perspective depending).

After teams finish looting if there is no obvious fight there is usually no obvious next place to go. To point 6 above this is why people generally head towards any gunshots they can find – there is no alternative to seeking fun. This is especially true in pubs where people care less about the circle (wins, RP) and more about kills and damage.

In ranked lobbies running out of ammo and meds in mid to late game situations is a problem.

Dying (especially in ranked) in perceivably unfair ways (e.g. due to low server tick rate, lag, cheaters) is an outsized negative experience.

Winning in unranked lobbies is generally less important than getting high kill / high damage games.

General Changes:

Banner changes:

All banners are now craftable regardless of class. Support class can craft for free. Non support class cost 100 materials.

Removed the animation for picking up banners out of the crafter and off boxes.

Moved the banner into the loot box as an item so you can choose when to pick it up.

Mobile respawn beacon changes:

All players start the game with a mobile respawn beacon.

Moved respawn beacon to a separate inventory slot from heat shields.

Mobile respawn beacons time to drop reduced by 1/2.

Respawn beacons are no longer single use. (Mobile beacons are still single use)

Respawn ships now deliver players in 1/3 the time they currently do.

Respawn ships’ audible range reduced by 1/2.

Rather than have a death timer on downed teammates, it now takes longer to pick them up based on the number of times they have been downed and otherwise they should only die when either killed by an opponent or when your entire team dies.

With this update:

Downed 1 time: picking a teammate up will take 5 seconds

2 times: picking a teammate up will take 10 seconds

3+ times: picking up takes 13 seconds

When a teammate is downed there is a visual indicator of how long picking them up will take (think green, yellow, red) to guide people in intense moments.

Add a secondary interact option/button to loot bins which when used causes them to only contain ammo and meds rather than “normal” drops. (Lobas ult can only see the normal drops to simplify this interaction).

Ranked games at (gold?) and above move to higher tick rate servers (60 min, ideally 128).

I admit I have no idea how much this increases cost for the Apex team so its tough to recommend this without a better understanding of the economics of the game.

Add a quick throw button on grenades which doesn’t require you to take it out and aim (currently operates as a weapon switch). Creates mid level skill gap opportunities to do cool things like throw grenades off walls as people are chasing you, throw death grenades, etc.

Reintroduce punch boosting.

Introduce a new keypress for superglides (or ideally simplify a 2-3 keypress combination to enable this at a medium skill tier)

Most people who do this use config edits so it is on a single keypress anyway. Unlock this new mid level movement tech for everyone.

Update the UX in the top right of the hud to show “Number of squads in your area”

This only shows during zone 1.

This is similar to what crypto sees when pinging the in-game giant banners.

Have it flash when it increments up.

This announces third parties in the early game where they are most frustrating but doesn’t “scan” rats for free in the mid to late game.

Every POI now includes survey beacons.

When non recon legends interact with survey beacons it points in a direction of the closest other full team (vague directions, just a mark on the compass that lasts 5 seconds and then fades)

Win progressions: Every 5 games you win in Apex earns you an Apex pack.

Peak performance rewards: 20 kill game badge and damage badges earn apex packs alongside the badge.

Let players preselect if they want to be jumpmaster

If one player in the party only has it selected, they get jump master

If multiple players have it selected, random player with the check box selected gets jump master

If no players have that option selected then a random player gets the jump master (current functionality)

Reduce time on character selection screen by 50% in unranked matches

Potentially improved aim assist on m&k

Admittedly this needs a lot of testing and there is part of me that hates this as an m&k player who wants the skill ceiling to be high.

I don’t see removing or reducing aim assist on controller as a solution – it is far too popular of a way to play and kills fun on console if it is too hard to play the game on controller. Too much lost potential revenue.

The reason I am including this here is to help “newer/lowerskill” mnk players have a more accessible experience in the game (grow top of funnel player base).

Each crafter “contains” 2 batteries and 200 ammunition of each type which are only accessible via a Loba ultimate.

Certain badges (20 kills, damage badges) now have separate ranked badges vs unranked badges.

Implemented a “quitting score” in pubs which tends to pair you with other players who follow your play pattern:

The more often you quit while other teammates are still alive the more likely you are to be paired with other players who follow that same play pattern.

The inverse is also true, the more likely you are to stick around the more likely you are to be paired with players who follow that same pattern.

This score would not be visible to players and should change relatively quickly as players change their behavioral patterns.

Character Changes:

Ash now is notified when a player she previously killed (or her team killed) is respawned and their location is revealed on her map. She is notified once the player is dropped from the ship, not when the respawn bacon is triggered.


Crypto time to quick deploy drone reduced by 100%

Crypto time to enter drone time reduced by 100%

Crypto drone can now be controlled like Newcastle shield

Crypto drone now detects employee shield and health levels in addition to their location

Lobas bracelet now always goes through window bars (it can not bounce off, no hit box detection for that type of material)

Gibraltar gun shield now scales with his knockdown shield

Support legends now can carry larger stacks of healing items (similar to assault carrying extra ammo)

Caustic movement speed in gas increased

Improved caustics barrel deploy animation by reducing it by 30%

Pathfinders zip line now deploys at a consistent speed beyond a certain distance (it will deploy faster on longer uses).

Quality of life change from a pathfinder main who got used to the timing on zip deploys 🙂

Gun Changes:

P2020 does improved damage against enemies with white shields or no shields

P2020 fire speed cap removed (reverted to what it was prior to the shooting speed cap)

P2020 iron sights improved drastically

P2020 hip fire spread improved

Scout hip fire spread improved

Scout iron sights improved

3030 repeater hip fire spread improved

Added a unique laser indication (similar to vantage’s ult, but distinct) to the charge rifle

Snipers with no attachments have improved holstering and unholstering time

Loot Changes:

Shields above blue are no longer ground loot (they remain upgradeable in crafters, available in lifeline packages, and upgradeable as evo shields)

Backpack upgrades are now craftable similar to armor upgrades and are permanent to the crafter (cheaper than armor)

Removed mobile respawn beacons from ground loot and crafters.

Added a button to “full swap inventory” with a loot box on the ground

Useful for dead players picking their box back up

Useful for mid skill cap plays where armor + a gun swap as a free reload is an interesting medium skill cap play pattern

Thank you for reading!

0 votes and 0 comments so far on Reddit

Source:r/apexlegends – Product analysis of the Apex experience

Discovered on: 2023-03-06 23:18:42

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *