Respawn today answered several burning questions the Apex Legends fandom has had about Storm Point, including the IMC Armories and the removal of their PvE features in season 19.
MichaelAOS, a senior level designer at Respawn, responded to the hot topic in a Reddit-hosted AMA on Nov. 22, specifically replying to questions about why the IMC Armory smart loot and Spectre fights were deleted. The decision, he explained, was made because the POI’s popularity and loot potential had actually been encouraging players to stay in one spot and engage in the PvE mechanics rather than play the map. This, he continued, directly contributed to less team-on-team situations because it took one team out of the battle royale for minutes at a time.
IMC Armories were POIs exclusive to Storm Point. Upon entering an armory, a squad initiated a timed challenge where they must defeat IMC Spectres, earning smart-loot rewards based on how many waves were defeated in the 60-second limit. Effective teams could fight up to eight waves of enemies, earning gold-tier loot for their entire team without any risk of third parties.
The most controversial point of armories was the complete protection from enemy squads for the entire duration of the Spectre challenge. Although this feature brought many creative strategies in teams trying to escape or block off the armory, it also brought wide frustration from the casual community.
Many players felt the risk-reward factor was widely skewed towards the armory team, as they would always have a shield and loot advantage despite the enemy knowing their exact location, leading to widely unfair fights and wasted time from the camping team.
“When we add a new dynamic element to the game, we want to make sure that it brings genuine value to the sandbox of Apex Legends as opposed to pure novelty,” MichaelAOS said. “We tried to pay close attention to the types of POIs players were really excited to fight in across all of our maps… Responding to specific feedback from both our casual and competitive audiences was a huge inspiration for this update.”
By removing the PvE armories, Respawn could naturally push teams to roam around the map and organically find their loot in more exciting POIs made for engagements, like the multi-storied buildings found at The Pylon and ZEUS Station, instead of Apex squads wasting minutes having to wait for an armory to open up and expose the team inside.
However, not everything that changed in Storm Point for season 19 is set in stone, as additional answers in the Apex AMA revealed Respawn’s intentions for a mid-season patch to address several map launch issues.
Alongside the removal of IMC Armories came the removal of several Tridents, vehicles capable of transporting entire squads across the entire map in seconds. MichaelAOS confirmed that more Tridents will be included at certain POIs like Barometer in the mid-season patch.
Evac Towers also drew a large amount of community attention with the new version of Storm Point, as they were completely disabled from being placed at certain elevated POIs like Command Center.
This change drew large attention from pro players and the casual Apex battle royale community alike, as the ability to use Evac Towers at the highest point of the map granted squads unlimited creativity with rotations and the ability to sneakily drop on enemy teams from anywhere on the map. Teams who wanted to replicate the rotation would have to run a Valkyrie in their squad and potentially weaken their composition, as the Winged Avenged had steadily fallen out of the ALGS meta in 2023 due to heavy nerfs.
MichaelAOS also confirmed in the same AMA that while the Apex dev team was definitely aware of the power rotation advantage Evac Towers granted in Command Center, the changes were unintentional and an unfortunate side effect of bug fixing in the area, confirming that the issue would also be resolved in the mid-season patch.
There is no set release date on when the season 19 mid-season patch will drop, but players can leave the AMA with high hopes for Storm Point’s future, knowing Respawn has actively listened to the community and will change the map’s biggest issues.