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The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

The student news site of Pleasant Valley High School

Spartan Shield

REVIEW: Season 13 of apex legends: new legend, updated guns, and a broken ranked system

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New tier and ranking point system for the recent ranked season.

Respawn’s Apex Legends, a free-to-play battle royale, has released their most recent season. With it came bug fixes, legend adjustments and ranked updates, all of which have seemed to surprisingly upset the community.

One of the most anticipated changes each season is the new legend drops. For this season, Newcastle was released as a defensive legend who deploys moveable shields to protect teammates. 

Like any new legend, users are often critical of them for the first couple weeks due to the varying play style required. For now, players seem to be content with him, but the following weeks could change that depending on his effectiveness with team combinations.

Senior Alec Hennings shared his thoughts on how Necastle will match the play style of other legends. “In the competitive setting, Gibraltar’s bubble is much more reliable for protecting teammates. Immunity from the bubble is much better than standing in front of a breakable shield. I won’t be using Newcastle this season, and I don’t think others will either,” he said.

Some of the more controversial changes have come with balance, though. Apex’s gun system works by classifying guns into various categories depending on their use: sniper for long range, heavy for mid range, light for high fire rate, shotgun for close range and energy for miscellaneous.

Many of these classes have had small tweaks throughout the seasons, but energy guns have primarily been at the bottom for pick rates. Their damage reliability further into matches as well as the need for rare attachments does not make them a feasible choice.

Even in their current state, Respawn has nerfed energy guns even further. Their pull out times are higher and their headshot damage reduced making even punching players more viable.

Senior Tyler Mousel explained what his ideal, balanced gun system would be. “Energy guns are the only guns which don’t have a unifying theme. Each gun is unique which adds variation to the gun loot pool, but those niches become outclassed by more reliable guns,” he said.

The most upsetting change this season though was with the ranked system. Many battle royales struggle with developing a balanced ranked mode, but Apex specifically has always had trouble on whether to prioritize kills or placement for ranked advancement.

In a team-based setting, individual players are already discouraged from branching out and aiming for kills. Apex’s current ranked implementation makes this worse by making kills and the points gained by them one to one. With Diamond-ranked players already starting at -60 points each match, players are forced to score with placement rather than kills, lowering player engagement during a 20-minute match.

With how rough this season has started, players will take a while to move up the ranked ladder. The community may be able to convince the development team online for patches to these issues, but many players will most definitely take a hiatus from the game to wait for the corrections

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Vishnu Challa
Vishnu Challa, Site Manager
Vishnu Challa is a senior at Pleasant Valley High School and is the Site Manager of the Spartan Shield. He plays clarinet in band and enjoys challenging himself in courses such as AP Physics 2. Outside of school, he applies his technical knowledge as the Programming Team Lead for the robotics team the Winter Soldiers. They have competed at the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) World Championship twice, and he uses his three years of experience to recruit new members to ensure the continuation of the team. Vishnu also tutors math and English at Best Brains Learning Center. His career goal is to become a Control Systems Engineer at NASA, and to achieve this, he hopes to study computer science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. With his diverse selection of activities and hard-working, independent personality, one can say that he is well on his way to realizing that dream.
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REVIEW: Season 13 of apex legends: new legend, updated guns, and a broken ranked system