Season 12 of Apex Legends, appropriately titled “Defiance,” is just around the corner. And you know what that means: it’s patch notes season.
The patch notes are headlined by the big additions and changes to the game. Olympus is seeing some major changes, with multiple new points of interest, a map enlargement, and several other tweaks and changes to help improve players’ experience. Mad Maggie is entering the fray, complete with a kit focused on cutting down the distance between her and her enemies, and flushing out characters that rely on holding down defensive positions. Crypto has received several buffs to his drone, while Caustic’s barrels are now destroyable after they’re activated. The standard rotation of weapons into and out of the care package happens again with the Volt and Alternator changing places, and the Hammerpoint hop-up returns as well.
But there are several more changes coming to the game in season 12, as well. A fairly significant change will be coming to the ranked system yet again, as the maximum kill KP is changed from 175 to 125. This dials back the changes made at the beginning of season 11. As the devs say in the patch notes, “this tuning is more punishing to teams that undervalue placements.” It’s clear that shooting and fighting are hugely important elements to Apex’s battle royale format, but the devs don’t want the game to simply turn into a giant kill race.
Changes are also coming to Storm Point. None of these changes seem massive individually, but the amount of tweaks being made to the map are big in scope. First of all, the map’s wild prowlers are getting several small changes. These changes include a nerf to the damage the prowlers can do, the amount they knock back legends, their behavior when outside the ring, the amount of wandering prowlers in nests, the amount of crafting materials granted to teams for clearing prowler nests, and more. The devs clearly heard feedback from the community that the prowlers often felt disruptive to teamfights, seemed to go out of their way to attack players, and didn’t feel very rewarding to fight against. Broadly, all of these changes should make prowler nests a bit easier to clear, make the prowlers less intrusive, and grant teams a bit more compensation for fighting them in the first place.
Another small change that will have a large impact is the drop ship logic shifting slightly northeast, instead of having the majority of the available drop ship paths for the game intersecting in the geographic middle of the map. That’s due to the high elevation of the map’s northeast corner making it difficult to land there for most paths the drop ship takes. Landing in places like Highpoint and Lightning Rod should be much easier, while the comparatively low elevation of the southern and western portions of the map make those landing spots still accessible to players even with the change.
Other smaller weapon changes include the season’s gold weapon rotation. You will be able to find fully-kitted RE-45s, Triple Takes, Peacekeepers, Prowlers, and Havocs, while the Mastiff, 30-30, R-301, CAR, and Longbow were removed from the gold loot pool. The Longbow and Flatline are also now exclusively weapons found in crafting stations and will not be part of the regular ground loot. Both weapons will cost 30 materials to craft. Part of this change is to help with how saturated the loot pool is with weapons, and it stands to reason the devs can rotate weapons into and out of the crafter in future updates, as well as add more weapons to the crafting-only pool when more new weapons are added to the game.
Finally, there’s a host of bug and quality-of-life fixes. The one players will most likely pay attention to is the removal of punch-boosting, the movement tech that allowed players to melee behind them on inclines to generate more and more speed. While players also expected a nerf to tap-strafing in this patch, there is a conspicuous absence of such a nerf mentioned in these patch notes.
It remains to be seen if the movement tech was changed, but for those players that want nothing more than to crank full 180s in mid-air, there’s a sliver of hope that tap-strafing might be unchanged.
Defiance drops tomorrow, Feb. 8. Until that time, read up on the patch notes to get yourself acquainted with all the ways the game is changing.