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Our massive round-table interview with the team at Respawn, going behind the scenes on the latest Apex update and finding out how the team keeps delivering the goods.
Apex Legends: Saviors - We Chat to the Team at Respawn
Apex Legends
Apex Legends

Genre: First Person Shooter
Developer: Respawn Entertainment
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date:
February 2019
Wednesday, 11 May 2022
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 03:31pm 11/05/22 | 0 Comments
Ahead of the launch of Apex Legends: Saviors we had the chance to sit down with the team at Respawn to discuss everything from Storm Point’s big monster to the creation of a new Legend to how the team collaborates and is structured to continue to deliver new updates well into the future.

A snippet.

With new Seasons and the regular cadence of updates, from map changes, to new Legends like Newcastle, balance changes, and everything else. How is the team structured to meet timelines and regular drops? Something like Storm Point changing or Newcastle, how does it all come together so to speak.



Devan McGuire: I can speak about the Legend production side because a lot of this stuff only culminates when we start to understand what we're going to target for a Season. A Season that's coming almost a year and a half down the line. For Newcastle and his kit, development and prototyping started almost two years ago. It was around 18 months ago that we started bringing narrative in to figure out who this character is and wrap something around the idea of what this gameplay prototype is going forward. And then that gets slotted into the Season that comes 18 months down the road.

From a Legend standpoint it's a year and a half of development, fleshing them out, churning on their abilities, developing the core concept of the character through the narrative, iterating and eventually rolling into production something that's ready to go. With a character being the anchor for a Season you need a lot of the time for that narrative component to weave everything together, to figure out what the theming of the Season's going to be, how that's going to work within the roadmap, a big map update, and whatever else is coming down the line. How it’ll work with the Battle Pass.

And because we have those kinds of cascading disciplines, there's a large section of people that are dedicated to those processes. We also have a marketing and narrative team leading the front on how to connect all the pieces and move them forward.


Jeff Shaw: On maps we start really early. This update actually started around the time we were finalising Storm Point. We like to start early, and let things germinate, so we were already thinking about what was next for the map.

Samantha Kalman: IMC Armories in particular have been in development for almost a year and a half. Throughout that time there was a prototyping phase, and then determining which map we were going to ship them on. We were actually testing them on different maps, we’ve tested them on Olympus as well as the base Storm Point. We tested them on the Season 12 update knowing that we were going to ship them with the Season 13 update. It was very much like doing passes, almost carving a sculpture where we think ‘this chunk is in place now let's fill in the details’. It’s more of an art than a science.

Our Full Apex Legends: Saviors Interview with Respawn
Tuesday, 10 May 2022
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 12:33pm 10/05/22 | 0 Comments
That is, the remains of a giant beast that showed up at Storm Point that saw the Legends unite to take it down. Apex Legends: Saviors is the latest season for the online shooter (Season 13), and it goes live this week. In addition to fighting in the belly of a beast, there's the introduction of IMC Armories and a new Legend in the form of Newcastle.

A defensive father figure and big brother to Bangalore, Newcastle arrives donning armour that looks like a nod to Robocop.



With "leave no one behind" defensive play-style, here's a breakdown of Newcastle's abilities.

Passive - Retrieve the Wounded



Using his wrist-mounted Revive Shield, Newcastle can protect himself and his companion from incoming fire while he revives and pulls his ally to safety. The Revive Shield is powered by Newcastle's own Knockdown Shield, so finding higher levels of this item increases the strength of this ability.

Tactical - Mobile Shield



Newcastle creates a hovering energy shield and can control its movement to adapt to the ever changing combat fronts of the battlefield. Advance the line, cover a retreat or turn the shield to guard against a sudden flank. The Mobile Shield's versatility and top/bottom shield projections give creative opportunities to the tactical defender.

Ultimate - Castle Wall



Drawing his signature shield from his back, Newcastle leaps into action and slams the shield to the ground activating the construction of a massive fortress to give him and his allies a strong defensive position. Enemies in its wake are knocked back and those who try to push through the energized wall are punished and slowed. While Newcastle can leap great distances in a single bound with his Ultimate, it is even stronger when used to regroup. When targeting an ally, Newcastle can leap higher and farther than normal allowing him to heroically reach his companion and turn the tide of a fight.


Also coming in Season 13 as part of the evolution of Storm Point is the arrival of IMC Armories, which present a mini PVE game within the game as players are closed off to fight robotic Spectres for access to loot caches. IMC Armories present a new twist to the Apex formula, and have been unearthed by the battle with the giant monster. On that front the remains of the beast will no doubt be a hot spot this season as Respawn has noted that "vast treasure" will be found inside.

It's a fairly major update overall, and it will also introduce a major rework of the Ranked system.
Apex Legends: Saviors’ upgraded Ranked system adds tier demotions, entry cost adjustments,, and a rework of Ranked Points to promote teamplay. The current Ranked goals revolve around Teamplay for Victory, and Accurate Skill & Better Competition. We are making a large number of changes that focus on these two core pillars, with the outcome that players will focus on playing as a team and playing for the win, and RP will be a more accurate representation of your overall game skill.

Plus, several balance changes. Head here for the full Patch Notes.
Tuesday, 1 February 2022
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 03:32pm 01/02/22 | 0 Comments
With the latest Legend to join the Apex Legends line-up being the violent war criminal, and Kiwi, Mad Maggie. With Season 12: Defiance set to kick off on February 8, Respawn has lifted the lid on the latest playable character in addition to the brand-new limited time mode called Control.

Which, as per the trailer breakdown below, is a spin on classic FPS control point capture action - albeit with two teams of nine fighting over three points. With that it looks like we're getting decently sized arenas too, and with teams of nine, plenty room for pure chaos.



With respawns this will no doubt add a new spin to Apex. As a limited time mode it will be playable for three weeks - and it looks like a lot of fun.

As for Mad Maggie, her abilities are fitting for a Warlord. First up she has two passive abilities, the first will highlight enemies temporarily after hitting them. The second is a speed buff when equipping a shotgun. Very cool. Maggie's tactical ability is Riot Drill, and it shoots out a super-hot drill that can melt through obstacles like shields. And then burn up anyone on the other side. Maggie's Ultimate ability Wrecking Ball sounds cool too - as it lives up to its namesake but also drops speed pads as it makes its way to its target before exploding.

All in all it looks like Maggie is going to be a pretty aggressive Legend. Which also comes through in the awesome new Apex Legends cinematic short - Judgement.



Season 12 is right around the corner, stay tuned to AusGamers as we'll be bringing you a deep dive into the latest Legend in the coming days.
Tuesday, 27 April 2021
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 11:43am 27/04/21 | 0 Comments
Apex Legends is getting a brand new mode, offering up a spin on 3v3 elimination. Building on the foundation found in the Battle Royale, the team at Respawn has spent two years crafting this new take on Apex action. We go hands-on to check it out.

A snippet from our preview.
The word arena, in the shooter space at least, carries with it some weight. A legacy that includes names like Quake and other titles where fast movement across small maps is paired with scores and trying to rack up as many kills as you can as quickly as you can. As for Arenas, the connection to the name is merely coincidental even though the result -- in the broadest terms -- is 3v3 elimination played on smaller maps with teams looking to win the most rounds. Bread-and-butter Team DM stuff.

Prototyping for Arenas in Apex Legends goes back as far as September of 2019, where within King’s Canyon the team at Respawn experimented with a 24-player tournament that saw squads of three face off against each other in different locations -- eight squads in total, with four 3v3 battles happening simultaneously. In this, the earliest form of what would become Arenas, Respawn kept many of the elements that make-up the core BR side of Apex -- players spawning in without loot, having to find weapons and gear in the early moments of each round, scouting and planning on-the-fly based on exactly what you found.

Click Here For Apex Legends - Inside the New Arenas Mode
Tuesday, 7 January 2020
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 11:17am 07/01/20 | 0 Comments
When looking into a new display for PC one kind of has to factor in gaming, because it’s hard to fathom a PC being used for just emails and YouTube. I’d throw in Twitch but that would ruin the joke. Not that there really was one. Anyway the point being, Lenovo has announced a new range of Gaming Displays at CES this year - including one tailor made for competitive esports, one for day-to-day gaming, and one for those looking for a more immersive cinematic experience.

When translated to screen size that would be 25, 27, and 32-inches. The first of these is the Lenovo Legion Y25-25, which gets its name from the 24.5 inch screen and the impressive 240 Hz competitive esports refresh rate with FreeSync. This display, which also includes an IPS panel with 99% sRGB is also available in the Y25 version which supports a 144 Hz refresh rate.


And that’s the model set to be used by players in the upcoming Apex Legends Global Series - the official tournament spanning multiple countries for the breakout multiplayer hit of 2019 from Respawn Entertainment and EA. Players will also be using Lenovo Legion T730 towers powered by NVIDIA Geforce RTX 2070 graphics. In either revision, thanks to this partnership, the Y25 display should be enough for those looking for a high-refresh rate screen for FPS action.

The next two displays are more for enthusiasts, and those of us who do most of our gaming on a PC without the added tension of pressing TAB every thirty seconds to check leaderboards. Both the Lenovo G27c and G32qc (pictured above) offer 1500r curvature for that extra bit of immersion, with the 27-inch model offering a vibrant 1080p display and the 32-inch a 1440p display. Both utilising VA panels it’s expected that they’ll also be very affordable - as has been the case with the Legion range.


The first Apex Legends Global Series Major is set to take place on March 13-15, 2020 in Arlington, Texas - with $3 million USD in prize money up for grabs.

AusGamers travelled to CES 2020 as a guest of Lenovo.
Monday, 19 August 2019
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 03:57pm 19/08/19 | 0 Comments
Where most of the Iron Crown Collection cosmetics as part of the new event were locked away behind loot boxes - and a special Bloodhound set containing an axe and other tid-bits locked behind the act of spending hundreds of dollars on said loot boxes. And then having to spend more money on top of that. Naturally, the collective response by the Apex Legends community was one of anger. Forcing developer Respawn to apologise for its overly Golden Fleece-y behaviour. And to make changes.

With Respawn's Drew McCoy going so far as to publish a full response on the Apex site, which states.
With the Iron Crown event we missed the mark when we broke our promise by making Apex Packs the only way to get what many consider to be the coolest skins we’ve released.

We’ve heard you and have spent a lot of time this week discussing the feedback and how we structure events in the future, as well as changes that we will make to Iron Crown.

Which then leads to the revelation that each of the new cosmetics will rotate into the store over the course of the event, with each of the new ones being sold at the current Legendary skin price of 1,800 Apex Coins. A fairly straight-forwards fix, and really, one that should have been implemented in the first place. Here's the schedule for the cosmetic rollout.


The post also confirms that the limited edition loot boxes, Iron Crown Apex Packs, will also still purchasable. The post concludes with the following statement.
With Apex Legends it is very important to us that we don’t sell a competitive advantage. Our goal has not been to squeeze every last dime out of our players, and we have structured the game so that all players benefit from those who choose to spend money - events like Legendary Hunt or Iron Crown exist so that we can continue to invest in creating more free content for all players. This week has been a huge learning experience for us and we’re taking the lessons forward to continue bringing the best possible experience to all of you.

It didn't there though as a the backlash continued on Reddit, with Respawn's Drew McCoy commenting and calling certain members of the community "ass-hats".

"I've been in the industry long enough to remember when players weren't complete ass-hats to developers and it was pretty neat. I forged a bunch of long lasting relationships from back then. Would be awesome to get back there, and not engaging with toxic people or asking "how high" when a mob screams "jump" is hopefully a start."

This then sparked a fairly heated exchange, with community manager Jay Frechette chiming in to defend his colleague, "So it's fine for you all to call us liars, full of shit, and other personal attacks when we communicate an apology and update to the event but we're 'immature' when we call people out on it. Got it."
Wednesday, 14 August 2019
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 02:03pm 14/08/19 | 0 Comments
In response to community requests, Respawn has added in a solo mode to its incredibly popular -- and successful -- Apex Legends. The addition will only run from now until August 27 but is likely a testbed for the mode to become permanent down the track.

Here's EA's official line on the mode's addition to the game:
Get ready to reign over the arena: the highly requested Solo game mode is now available for a limited time as part of Apex Legends Iron Crown Collection Event. Starting today, players will be able to drop into the arena alone and face off against 59 solitary enemies – in the end, only one Legend will be crowned victorious. The event will also feature an adrenaline-pumping town takeover designed by Octane himself. In addition, the Iron Crown Collection Event will introduce brand-new skins, fresh loot, and much more for players to unlock.

No guts, no glory. The Apex Legends Solo mode is here for players who have what it takes to become an Apex Legends Champion alone. Without any squadmates to watch their back, ping loot, or deliver them to a respawn beacon, players who drop into this new mode will have to adapt their strategies if they want to be the only Legend to make it out of Kings Canyon alive.

Octane’s Town Takeover will add a new rush of thrill-inducing action to Kings Canyon. The stadium, located at a coastal settlement to the west of Skull Town, features something new for the daredevil in all Legends: a mega jump pad course, stunt ramps, and plenty of fire are waiting for Legends looking to show off while they take down.

From August 16 – August 18 players will also score double XP for Top 5 finishes and wins which applies to both Account Level and Battle Pass progression.

Throughout the Iron Crown Collection Event, players can battle it out in style as new Legend skins, weapon skins, banner frames, and poses will be available for a limited time. These exclusive Iron Crown cosmetics can be found in Iron Crown Collection Packs. Players can earn two free packs by completing special event challenges, with additional packs available for purchase.. Iron Crown Collection Packs offer a 50/50 probability for Epic or Legendary items only. No duplicates, commons or rares – only top tier items.

Players who obtain all 24 Iron Crown exclusive items will have the opportunity to purchase the second heirloom item to enter the arena: Bloodhound's Battle Axe. After that, it will enter the standard Apex Pack loot pool.
This is good news as I attempted to jump into the game a bit over a week ago with no friends and found it really annoying being matched with randoms and then being caped upon landing before even getting a weapon. Solo mode means I can at least only blame myself for sucking.

Watch a new trailer for the mode embedded below.


Tuesday, 16 July 2019
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 02:40pm 16/07/19 | 0 Comments
In a new developer update on Reddit, Respawn went into some detail about its plans to combat cheaters in Apex Legends. With the game running running on a modified version of Valve's Source Engine (ala Counter-Strike) no doubt this is a problem. In a very cool move one of the things being worked on is "Matchmaking that matches detected cheaters and spammers together".

As an idea that's brilliant, and really we'd love to see a replay of an all-cheaters round of Apex Legends. Of course this isn't the only anti-cheat initiative being worked on behind the scenes, with the following also happening:
  • Using machine learning to create behavior models that detect and auto ban cheaters.
  • Requiring TFA in certain regions on high risk accounts.
  • Improving detection that identifies and bans new spam accounts before they are used.
  • Ongoing work to adapt to new cheats.
  • Investigating how people party up for matches. Even if you are not specifically using a cheat, partying up with cheaters is still cheating.
  • Increasing resources whether that be people or tech.

  • Another interesting strategy is the Two-Factor Authentication for accounts in certain regions, as opposed to banning accounts which then has cheaters simply create new ones. "The war against cheaters will be ongoing and remains a high priority for us," Respawn adds. "There will always be work to do, improvements to make, and new things to adapt to. We’d like to thank the players that have been getting involved with helping us squash cheaters over the last week whether it be submitting reports or assisting with the vetting process for suspicious behavior."
    Monday, 8 April 2019
    Post by KostaAndreadis @ 12:01pm 08/04/19 | 0 Comments
    Announced today by Mogul, the Australian Apex Open is a first-of-its-kind tournament for Australian Apex players - with a $35,000 prize pool. What makes this event different is Mogul, a company that offers fully automated online tournaments across major esports titles - with everything from registration to matchmaking and placements handled seamlessly.

    “Mogul brings a fresh approach to esports for Australian-based players. Open to everyone, the Australian Apex Open is the first big money tournament for all Australians to compete in, not just a select group of invitees, and it’s free to enter,” said Jamie Skella, Mogul Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer.

    The PC-exclusive qualifying tournament is set to go live at Mogul.gg on April 15, where teams will then compete in a minimum of four placement matches to determine the line-up. From there the top 20 Apex Legends teams will be decided by points and then face-off for their share in the $35,000 AUD prize pool. With $15,000 going to the winning team.

    Points will be given as follows: Each Kill (1 Point), First Place (9 Points), Second-Third Place (5 Points), Fourth-Sixth Place (3 Points), Seventh-Tenth Place (1 Point).

    As per above, the tournament will be open to all - with Australian Apex Open registration now open at: https://mogul.gg/australian-apex-open