Apex Legends’ Olympus redesign is to expand the map
When the next season of Apex Legends kicks off, Olympus’ wear and tear will get even worse. Story-wise, Mad Maggie and Eduardo Silva let the floating continent run through the gallows after a melee that nearly dropped it to Earth. That narrative does go hand-in-hand with Respawn Entertainment’s decision to give Olympus some much-needed design tweaks, though.
Level designer Alex Garner explained in a recent panel discussion with the media that the circular design of the map sends too many players to the center of the battle. Now, the next time you land in Olympus, you’ll find that the southern part of the map has expanded to lure you away from the labs and estates, which the team hopes will reduce the frequency of spontaneous third-party encounters.
The south side of the map is now home to the Phase Drive you recognized from the recent trailer. More than just a towering structure, the new point of interest can lead to some nice loot if you venture out to open it. Doing so will guarantee a Gold level bonus, but you can only activate it once every 45 seconds. The phase driver is also pretty loud, so if you turn it on, make sure everyone will know where you are.
The team also explained that in order for the phase drive to attach to the runner, several locations had to be moved, so existing areas such as the solar array, Icarus, and bonsai platform have been pushed away from the center of the map to allow for a new piece that hosts the phase drive land.
You have another point of interest called the terminal. This is an opening in the phase runner tube – don’t worry, it still works – it has five inlets and various raised platforms. Garner explained that it aims to connect Labs with Bonsai, giving players better options for map rotation if they want to get out of combat.
There will be more to come next season. Game designer Mark Yampolsky explained that Control was designed to provide players with a casual product, as the team noticed that some people felt that even the non-ranked queues felt very tight. The team is keeping it as a limited-time mode for now, although this may change depending on its popularity.
Game designer David Swieczko adds that you’ll be able to swap your lore and loadouts between deaths, and you’ll be able to find new gear through timed events like drops. If you want to upgrade your weapons, you’ll want to improve your score, because through the fan rating system, you’ll take your gun to the next level. However, if you die, it will fall to the ground – so be careful.
We also got word about some balance changes in the works. Field balance designer John Larson explained that Caustic’s Nox Gas Traps will be destructible when triggered, and Crypto is improving the surveillance drone HUD and throwable drone to make him a more tempting option.
Going forward, the team realizes that the Evo-8 is a bit weak after the recent nerf, and Gibby is basically a must-have option, although there aren’t any changes to share yet.
Apex Legends: Defiance release date is February 8, 2022.
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