Newcastle Leads Apex Legends Season 13 Update
Season 13 of Apex Legends, Saviors, has arrived, bringing with it plenty of changes. These include a brand new legend, a ranked system overhaul, lots of weapon balancing, and of course, a swap of the care package weapons and some ground loot. We also see some interesting map changes to Storm Point, as well as other minor updates. Being a rather large update at about 35 – 45 GB depending if you’re on PC or console, there is a lot to discuss. Let’s take a look at everything worth taking note of that’s coming our way in Season 13.
New Legend – “Newcastle”
Season 13 has introduced to us a new Fortified legend named Newcastle. Also known as Jackson Williams, he is Bangalore’s brother. He’s a good match for her abilities and pairs great with non-Fortified legends, as he excels at keeping the team alive. He does this by being able to provide cover while reviving teammates in the heat of battle.
Like Gibraltar and Caustic, Newcastle has the Fortified perk, reducing incoming non-headshot damage by 15%. He also isn’t slowed by bullets when moving. We’ll have to wait and see if they make any adjustments to his kit as time goes on, but first impressions are that he is a valuable addition to the roster of Legends.
- Mobile Shield: Throw a drone that projects a moveable energy shield. You can redirect the shield to a new location by pressing the tactical button. It lasts 20 seconds unless destroyed. Once gone, cooldown starts with a time of 15 seconds before you can use it again.
- Retrieve the Wounded: Drag downed allies as you revive them and protect them with your revive shield. Once you start reviving, you can take your hand off the revive button to then move your shield in any direction. Simultaneously move your teammate to cover or have your tactical shield protect you while reviving. Your revive shield health is dependent on the level of your knockdown shield and isn’t the full amount.
- Castle Wall: Leap to an ally or target area and slam down, creating a fortified stronghold. This has a decently long cooldown time of two minutes, so try and carry ultimate accelerants. You can leap up to 35 meters, but if you lock onto a teammate it will extend it to 75 meters. The wall has nine different portions, and each one has 750 health. Upon deploying, the outward-facing wall electrifies for 30 seconds. This will deal 20 damage to enemies and stun anyone who tries to climb over it.
New Ranked System
Season 13 brings with it not only a new Legend, but a huge overhaul to the ranked system. Apex Legends is a game that focuses on as much balance as possible. It’s crucial to communicate and have synergy with the other Legends in your squad, all while working together to make it to the higher levels of ranked play.
This season’s update focuses on eliminating selfish play, no longer rewarding players for hiding until the last few squads. They did this by focusing on rewarding team play over solo ability, hoping players will focus more on playing as a team for the win. The new system will also be a more accurate representation of your BR skill.
The ranked overhaul has introduced a new tier called Rookie. This is to serve as an introductory tier for ranked play, and is now the only tier without an entry cost. If you played ranked before Season 13, you cannot be reset or demoted into the Rookie tier.
One of the biggest changes is the addition of demotion. In previous seasons, if you got stuck in a new tier, you would be at the very bottom with nowhere to go. This new system should reflect a player’s current skill more precisely, enhancing the level of teammate skill and competition by placing people where they are more accurately represented. Players will have a demotion protection period of three games after promotion into a higher tier.
Entry Cost/RP Changes
It will now cost more to enter into a ranked lobby, making the risk higher. As it has been replaced in function by the Rookie tier, Bronze now has an entry cost, starting at 15 RP for Bronze IV. The entry cost will increase 3 RP for every division you advance into after that. In addition to a higher risk to enter, it will be harder to earn RP if you don’t focus on both kills and placement. This is to balance out the skill level between surviving and getting kills. Kill RP gains for placing worse than 10th place have also been reduced. This means you could get 10 kills, place 15th, and still come out with negative RP. If you finish in high placement without any kills, it will cause you to miss out on the majority of the RP rewards. While they removed the cap to the amount of RP you can get from kills, the amount awarded decreases with each kill to a minimum. To account for this, the threshold to advance in each rank has increased by 200 RP.
Assists & Timing
A big part of the new focus on team play was adjusting the assist mechanics. It is now easier to earn assists, as the timer has been increased from 10 to 15 seconds. If an enemy revives the assist timer will reset. You can still get the assist if a teammate then knocks the opponent again. If you don’t damage an opponent when your teammate kills them, you will receive a team assist, which can still earn you some RP.
Part of getting players to focus more on placement points is adjusting the third-party kill rewards. Before, you could third-party a battle and, upon killing team A, finish off the members of team B who were downed by team A, stealing their eliminations. This is no longer the case, and should help with spreading out teams in the earlier game.
The meta is definitely going to change this season, not only due to the changes and additions, but also because of the big changes to some of the guns. Gun types like LMGs are seeing nerfs across the board, while others are improving. Some are being swapped from the ground to the care package, and others from the ground to the Replicator.
While the Spitfire is losing its barrel attachment and returning to ground loot, it’s being replaced by the Mastiff, which has been balanced accordingly. Meanwhile, the Flatline and Longbow DMR are leaving the Replicator and are back on the ground, having been replaced by the R-301 Carbine and the Rampage.
- Havoc: Improvements at the beginning of the recoil pattern.
- Mastiff:Pellet damage increased from 11 to 14. Fire rate increased from 1.1 to 1.2. Reserve ammo limited to 28 with magazine size reduced from six to four. Blast pattern tightened.
- Mozambique & Peacekeeper:Increased limb damage from 0.8 to 1.0.
- Kraber: Damage multiplier for headshots reduced to 2.0 from 3.0. Bullet damage reduced to 140 from 145.
- L-STAR: Damage multiplier for headshots reduced to 1.5 from 1.75. Headshot distance was reduced to 57 meters from 64 meters. Handling times improved. Cooloff time after overheating increased to 3.6 from 2.5.
- Rampage: Handling time improved. Reload time increased to 3.1 from 2.6.
- Spitfire: The recoil control while crouched has increased. Reload time has increased to 3.4 from 3.2. Handling times have decreased. The multiplier for headshot damage reduced to 1.5 from 1.75. Headshot distance was reduced to 57 from 63 meters. Barrel attachment slot removed. Purple and gold magazine capacity was reduced to 55 from 55. Bullet damage decreased to 18 from 19.
- Devotion: Reload time increased to 3.2 from 2.8. Handling has been decreased. Damage reduced to 15 from 16. Damage multiplier for headshots reduced to 1.5 from 1.75. Headshot distance was reduced to 57 meters from 64 meters.
Heading into the new season with so many changes, we don’t see as many updates on current legends like nerfs or buffs. There is one exception, as Apex is adding some big buffs to one of the game’s lowest-picked characters. Rampart gets some help in this new season with some much-needed upgrades. As with all balancing in a game, time will tell if things need to be readjusted. Hopefully, this will give her character the boost she needs to take a more competitive edge in combat.
Rampart received three important buffs, with the first being to her ultimate ability. The mounted minigun “Sheila” will now only take 1.25 seconds to wind up as opposed to the previous 1.75 seconds. This will catch some opponents off guard for the first bit of the season.
The other two changes come to her tactical ability. Rampart’s Amped Cover will now have 120 health up from the previous 45 while it’s deploying, while the deployment time has also decreased to 3.6 seconds from the previous 4.25 seconds.
One legend does get a slight nerf, but it’s nothing that will impact the character too heavily. Valkyrie will no longer be able to spin while launching in her ultimate ability. Used to avoid gunfire while taking off or waiting for a teammate, it seemed to be quite an effective strategy. Valkyrie players will now have to take an extra second to prepare for take-off and make sure they don’t get shot.
Some small changes come to the map World’s Edge, while the majority of changes all take place on Storm Point. From a new PvE feature where teams can enter armories and shoot robots to secure high-tier loot, to a brand new point of interest in the form of the carcass of a giant washed-up beast, this season brings plenty of new content to Storm Point for players to experience.
- Armories: A brand new PvE experience in Apex Legends has been added in the form of IMC Armories. Approach one of these armories with your team for the loading ramp to automatically drop down for entry. Once in, you hack the system, releasing a few waves of Spectres to eliminate. The enemies will shoot and throw grenades at you. After surviving for 60 seconds, you will receive loot customized to your load-out in specific loot bins that only you can open. After hacking the armory, you can’t leave until you’ve completed the armory, and enemies won’t be able to enter. When completed, you can leave from how you entered, or through the roof, which will open with the option to eject your team. Be cautious, though, as leaving this way makes a lot of noise and may attract attention. An enemy may even lie in wait for an ambush on the roof of the armory.
- New Point of Interest: The new point of interest in Storm Point adds a giant sea creature’s carcass to the shoreline that Ecological Cleanup and Hazard Outreach, or ECHO for short, has come to clean up. The location is fitted with a gravity cannon allowing players to flee quickly or gain access to the top of the carcass. The carcass itself is an area that has protection overhead, and many ECHO tents stationed just outside bring more chances for loot. Being a high-tier loot point of interest that connects to three rotation areas makes it a great new place for players to explore and battle it out.
- Lava Siphon’s Lava Pit – Additional cover added to the area.
- Lava Siphon Control Tower – Windows redesigned to focus on sightlines.
- Gondola Loot – The chances of finding high-tier armor items in the gondolas have been reduced.
Along with all the major noticeable changes with each new season or update come many smaller bug fixes, patches and balancing efforts. Here are some of the more important things to note that might have a notable impact on this season’s meta or your gameplay.
- Helmet Buffs: There has been an increase in the reduction of headshot damage for blue & purple helmets. Blue damage reduction increased to 50% from 40%, while purple has increased to 65% from 50%.
- Healing Items:There has been a reduction in the spawn rate of shield cells and health syringes on the ground by 18%.
- Dual Shell: The dual shell hop-up is no longer available as ground loot or in the Replicator. It comes pre-attached to the Mastiff in the care package.
- Out of Bounds: You will no longer be able to use legend abilities, healing items, weapons or ordinances from out of bounds.
- Arena Mode: Adjustments were made to the pricing of weapons and throwables.