Apex Legends Season 14 Update Adds Vantage
A new season of Apex Legends has arrived. With Hunted, we welcome a slew of changes to the weapon meta, map updates, legend nerfs & buffs, care package swaps and a new legend. Back when Loba arrived in season 5, Kings Canyon underwent some big changes to its terrain, including the removal of a major point of interest that will be making a return this season. Most excitingly though, we have a new legend named Vantage stepping into the arena. With the direction that competitive, ranked and ALGS gameplay is going, it seems fitting they added a legend with marksman abilities to help give teams a long-range edge. With so much to cover there is no point in wasting any time, let’s take a look at all the changes coming in Season 14.
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New Legend – “Vantage”
Season 14 has introduced to us a new legend named Vantage. Her real name is Xiomara Contreras, and she joins the games to raise awareness about her mother’s wrongful imprisonment. Vantage’s background tells us she grew up alone on a frozen planet with only two mantras: the only truth is that “everything wants to kill me,” and the only rule is to “survive.” With proficiency in using sniper rifles, her kit is geared around long-range sniping and identifying enemies for your teammates.
- Echo Location – Vantage brings with her to the games a bat companion named Echo which she can use to relocate. Aim and choose where Echo goes and then when ready, launch towards him. To be able to do this, Vantage needs a direct line of sight to Echo. This tactical is going to be great for reaching and holding the high ground, or making fast pushes after breaking armour at distance with her sniper rifle.
- Spotter’s Lens – Either while unarmed or while using a mid-to-long range scope, Vantage is able to more easily scout enemies with her eyepiece. This passive also has a bullet drop indicator, allowing you to see where your shots will land and greatly help you land the first important shots. Her passive provides even more information, as you will also get to see the name of the legend you’re scouting, what kind of shield they are wearing, how many are in their squad and at what distance they are located.
- Sniper’s Mark – Vantage’s ultimate is one to be used at long range. She comes equipped with a custom sniper rifle that will mark enemy teammates, applying a damage bonus for you and your team. Enemies remain marked for 10 seconds after being hit. Damage increases with each successive hit of your sniper rifle as well.
New Leveling System
After reaching 13 seasons of gameplay, Respawn has finally decided to implement new aspects to the leveling system. Where before you could only reach level 500, players are now able to reach level 500 through 3 new tiers of 500 levels. In total, this would mean a player can now reach level 2000, giving them more chances to earn packs and also increasing the chance of earning heirloom shards. The number of Apex Packs now earnable via leveling up your account should now be 544.
As usual, the meta for gunplay changes from season to season. It’s informed by the maps in rotation, the guns in the replicator, nerfs and buffs and the guns in the care package. With this season, we are seeing some pretty big changes that may not have seemed predictable.
We also have some care package, crafting and gold weapon rotations. The G7 Scout and the Volt SMG will be returning to ground loot, while the Bocek Compound Bow and the Rampage LMG enter the care package. The Wingman and Car SMG will be returning to ground loot as well, with the Devotion LMG and RE-45 + Hammerpoint combo entering the replicator. Any gun you find on the ground this season that is gold will be either a Longbow DMR, G7 Scout, Mozambique, R-99, or Hemlok.
Meanwhile, a brand new attachment has been added to the game entirely in the form of a laser sight. This will only attach to pistols and SMGs, which now have a laser sight slot instead of a barrel stabilizer slot. The laser colour can be customized the same as reticles and it significantly increases hip fire accuracy.
- Wingman – Now uses sniper ammo and takes sniper magazine attachments.
- SMGs & Assault Rifles – Base hip-fire spread increased. The barrel stabilizer attachment slot was replaced with a laser sight slot.
- Eva-8 – Recoil improvements. Now takes a stock. Removed 1 pellet from blast pattern. The fire rate increased to 2.3 from 2.0. Pellet damage increased from 7 to 6 and shotgun bolt rate of fire increased.
- Spitfire – Now takes light ammo and uses light magazine attachments. Recoil adjustments to increase vertical barrel climb.
- Bocek – Damage at full draw increased to 70 from 60. Tempo draw speed increased to 0.38 from 0.32. Shatter caps pellet damage increased to 12 from 11. Fired arrows can no longer be collected and arrow spawns have been removed from the floor.
- Rampage – Damage increased to 28 from 26 and it comes with a thermite grenade.
- Volt SMG – Damage reduced to 15 from 17.
- G7 Scout – Damage reduced to 34 from 36. The headshot multiplier was reduced to 1.75 from 2.0. Double tap hop-up burst fire delay increased to 0.4 from 0.375.
- L-STAR – Increased projectile speed and increased number of shots before overheating at the base to 24 from 20. Removed bright red flash when hitting non-armoured targets.
- RE-45 – Increased iron sight FOV to 70 to be consistent with other pistols. Increased strafe speed by 5% to be consistent with other pistols.
- 30-30 Repeater – Dual loader will now always be attached. Now takes skullpiercer hop-up.
- Sentinel – Deadeye’s tempo will now always be attached.
- Hop-ups – Double tap now adds burst fire to SMGs and G7 Scout. Skullpiercer is back and increases headshot damage by 35% for the Longbow, Wingman and 30-30 Repeater. Deadeye tempo and shatter caps are no longer in the floor loot pool. The Boosted loader has been reduced to epic quality from legendary.
This season brings us quite a few changes with the Legends themselves in terms of nerfs and buffs. A total of nine Legends will be getting tweaks this season, some more impactful than others. Because of this, we will take a peek at some of the bigger, more impactful changes.
Valkyrie is the most impacted Legend. Especially being my personal favorite, it’s scary to see her get such harsh nerfs all at once. Her VTOL jets will be getting a decrease in acceleration after activation by about 8%, while her fuel consumption increases 33% upon activation. Her aerial boost & strafing will take a 20% debuff when hit by slowing effects, and there has been an additional UI element added to her fuel meter. Valkyrie’s missile swarm has had the aim/turn slow removed. Move slow duration has decreased from 2.5 to 2 seconds, and the explosion radius was also reduced from 175 to 125. But wait, there is more. Her skyward dive has had a 25% reduction in the height it can reach, while the launch time was reduced from 5.5 to 5 seconds. Players will now travel up into the air at a slower speed when launching.
Another Legend to get quite a bit of change, these ones in the form of buffs to help increase their performance, is the second-most recent to join the games, Newcastle. His ability to retrieve the wounded gains an increase in the health amounts of both the white and blue knockdown shields by 50, a reduction in turn slowness while reviving by 50%, and increased movement speed during reviving by 25%. His mobile shield’s movement speed has been doubled, and its health points increased from 350 to 500. The final change to Newcastle is to his ultimate: turn slow has been added to electrical barrier effects, and the penalty of the slow effect has been increased, making it harder for players to approach the barrier and breach. Big improvements for the big guy, but he isn’t the only one getting some great buffs.
Mad Maggie is next up on the list of legends receiving some major changes this season. It starts with her tactical getting an upgrade in the form of the projectile launch speed being doubled. She also gets quite a few changes to her ultimate. Her wrecking ball has had bugs in the past but those should be now fixed. along with it now dealing damage to placeable objects like other Legends tactical or ultimate abilities. Her wrecking ball will also travel faster now, while dropping the same amount of magnets. The magnet spawn delay has been increased from 5 to 10 seconds. The duration of her wrecking ball increased from 5 to 10 seconds as well. These changes should see Mad Maggie’s competitive viability increase.
As far as other Legends go, Mirage had the most other changes, as his decoys can now be scanned and picked up both by Valkyrie while skydiving and Seer’s heart seeker. Other Legends that got slight changes were Horizon, Wattson, Rampart, Caustic and Revenant. All of these changes are mostly small bug fixes and things to help smooth gameplay, while not really changing their kits.
Coming into this season, we don’t have a brand new map, but we did get some pretty big changes to Kings Canyon as it returns, with World’s Edge getting some smaller changes as well. Kings Canyon will get two huge points of interest that aren’t technically new but are coming back changed. We also get many small location tweaks to help with rotation and balancing third parties, as well as redistributed loot throughout the map which should feel more intuitive. Additionally, there are some lighting changes to make the map more vibrant and enjoyable.
- The Cage & Containment – Some locations can be notorious for being very hard to engage and push. Once a team has control these places can be a major point of power. Because of this, The Cage has had the walls nearer the top removed. This is in hopes that it will allow for more pressure on the team holding the location, while it still remains a potential stronghold for certain teams. The hillside near Containment has had some similar changes, with many of the walls and buildings removed.
- New POI’s – Many players are excited about the return of a previous Kings Canyon point of interest. Not only is these location coming back, but this will help to increase the overall map size in general. This area had previously been removed completely from the map due to explosions, but has now been filled in with sand and replaced. This location is none other than Skull Town, but is now named Relic.
- Final Rings – Some frustrating final rings at Staging were causing “heal-offs” and were removed.
- Fragment East – Loot in Fragment East changed from low tier to medium.
- Lava Siphon – Added a new out-of-bounds area to the west rocks of the Lava Siphon.
Along with all the major noticeable changes in Apex Legends with each new season or update come many smaller bug fixes, patches and balancing efforts. Let’s take a look at some of the more important things to note that might have a more notable impact on your gameplay or this season’s meta.
- Ranked Changes – It will now cost +5 more RP for entry into all ranks and divisions, while the diminishing returns on eliminations have been removed.
- Gold Backpack – The gold backpack will no longer grant teammates half of their life and shields upon reviving. Now users will have “deep pockets”, granting the player bigger medical supplies stacks. Phoenix Kits will now stack in 2 while batteries and med kits stack into 3.
- Gold Knockdown Shield – The gold knockdown shield no longer allows players to self-revive. This was an issue at the end game, especially in higher ranked play, with downed players out surviving the final standing team due to bleed-out/revive times with the gold knockdown shield. Instead, players equipped with the gold knockdown shield will revive their teammates with half health and shields, taking the ability of the gold backpack in previous seasons.
- Arc Star – Damage upon exploding increased to 75 from 70. Removed aim slowdown on stick, but it remains on detonation. They also reduced the stick damage on armor to 10 from 40.
- Replicators – Reduced pricing of 2-4x ACOG optic, stock and barrel attachments while increasing shotgun bolt price. They also increased the price of heavy energy and sniper mags in the replicator. Added skullpiercer, double tap, kinetic feeder hop-up and laser sight attachments, while removing the hammerpoint and shatter caps hop-ups from the replicator. One improvement is if any player interacts with harvester materials, the whole team will now be given the materials.
- Quality of Life/Bug Fixes – Many small bug and quality of life fixes.