Apex Legends Season 15 Introduces Catalyst, Broken Moon
Season 15 of Apex Legends has arrived, and with it comes a new map, new legend and plenty of changes that look to shake up the meta of the game. The new legend seems to be an attempt from the developers to give players more options to counter things like Bloodhound and Seer scans, while the new map introduces new building shapes and a completely new system for traversing the map.
Want to get better at Apex Legends? We sat down with Apex Predator-ranked coach Kevin “Hucubama” Szabo to get some tips about how to improve quickly and common mistakes to avoid.
To help eliminate some of the third partying that takes place, Respawn has designed an all-new zip rail system. On top of this, this new map has multiple unique biomes. This means some areas of the map will be lush and colorful, while other parts will be bleak and gray. Despite no real legend nerfs or buffs, and a relatively short patch note list, it looks like this season will definitely change things up. Let’s take a look at everything that’s arrived.
New Legend – “Catalyst”
Season 15’s new legend is Tressa Crystal Smith, also known as Catalyst. After joining the terraforming crews and using ferrofluid to help rebuild the broken moon of her home planet – the same home planet of Seer – corporate interest in the moon began to rise, and now threatens her and her crew’s work. Because of this, she joins the games in hopes of winning enough prize money to help her people.
- Piercing Spikes – With Catalyst being a master at using ferrofluid, it’s no surprise all of her abilities are based around this substance. For her tactical ability, she is able to throw out a patch of ferrofluid as a spike trap for enemies. The spikes are visible on the ground to enemies, and will deal damage and slow down Legends trying to traverse the trap. She can have three Piercing Spikes placed at once.
- Barricade – Catalyst’s passive is quite interesting, but seems to be very situational when using it: she is able to reinforce doors with her ferrofluid. The maximum number of doors she can reinforce is limited. Enemies will be prevented from opening any barricaded doors, and it will take them four kicks to break them down. Catalyst is also able to use this ability to completely rebuild already broken doors.
- Dark Veil – Most of the excitement over the new Legend comes from her ultimate ability. Upon using her ultimate, she will raise a permeable wall of ferrofluid. If enemies try to walk through the wall, they will be slowed and partially blinded for a brief time. The wall also stops some recon scans, but not others, and it will be interesting to see how this develops moving forward.
The usual gun changes took place this season in the form of swapping out care package and replicator weapons. The Mastiff has been taken out of the care package and put back on the ground, while the RE-45 will take its place and be equipped with disruptor rounds. The guns you’ll find in the replicator this season are the Spitfire and the Peacekeeper, which means the P2020 and the Havoc will return to floor loot as well.
As for hop-ups, we are seeing some changes. The anvil receiver will be making a return to ground loot, while the kinetic feeder, boosted loader, and hammer point round hop-ups have been removed. If you’re a G7 fan, be happy, because they improved the recoil on the now legendary hop-up double tap when in burst mode. While the turbocharger sticks around, it’ll now reduce damage by one when equipped.
The potential gold guns you may now find in the ground loot are the R-301 Carbine, Devotion LMG, 30-30 Repeater, EVA-8 Shotgun, and Prowler SMG.
Other than individual weapon tweaks, the other noticeable change is that you can now recharge the Sentinel and Rampage before their charges are completely drained.
- Rampage – Begins charged when first picked up from the care package. Heat decay over time has been removed.
- Mastiff Shotgun – Ammo capacity increased from 4 to 5. Damage per pellet was reduced to 11 from 14. Projectile growth reduced. Reduced blast pattern and reload can now be canceled by aiming down sights.
- RE-45 – Damage increased to 14 from 12. Disruptor rounds increase damage against shields by 30%.
- L-STAR – Reduced recoil at beginning of the pattern. Stow animations adjusted to better match timings.
- Volt SMG – Reduced projectile speed and increased projectile gravity.
- Triple Take – The rate of fire increased to 1.35 seconds from 1.2 seconds, and the choke charge time reduced to 0.75 seconds from 1.1 seconds.
- R-99 SMG – Increased the blue magazine size to 25 from 24 and the purple magazine size to 28 from 27.
- Peacekeeper – Projectile growth reduced.
This season doesn’t bring any individual Legend nerfs or buffs themselves. However, there were some bug fixes and smaller changes that took place. We still don’t see any nerfs or buffs to Vantage’s kit in general, but there was a bug fixed with her passive that incorrectly indicated the size of a team. She also gets a bug fix that stops her damage multiplier from continuing even after a player would be downed.
Crypto had the most changes, but none were in the form of a nerf or buff. These updates included several bug fixes. Crypto’s heirloom will now be visible while using a survey beacon, and a bug was fixed that would stop players from jumping when using custom controls. Bugs were also removed where a player could die if opening a loot box the wrong way between a wall, and where players could get stuck inside the replicator if knocked while using it.
For other Legends, we get two small bug fixes, one for Valkyrie and one for Revenant. Valkyrie should no longer get stuck in her skydive animation after interacting with a replicator. Any bugs related to the Revelations skin for Revenant should also be removed.
New Map – “Broken Moon”
The arrival of Broken Moon brings us the fifth map in the Apex Legends universe. The moon to Catalyst and Seer’s home planet suffered a catastrophic meteor impact in 2708, which led to the Cleo Recovery Council commissioning a terraforming project. Due to it being a moon in the mid-terraform phase, you can find many unique locations that will range from glamorous gardens and a gigantic terraforming machine to a filthy wharf. The map is similar in size to World’s Edge and is meant to feature a wide variety of terrain. It should provide a fresh experience to returning players looking for the game to grow.
As part of trying to slow down the amount of third partying that happens when engaging in gun battles, Broken Moon has introduced a new system of transportation in the form of zip rails. Though they may help with movement away from gunfights, they can definitely lead you into gunfights as well. Broken Moon is a fairly big map, and having lots of specific rotations and different types of terrain will make certain movement legends key in my mind. Horizon will be a queen on this map once players learn how to utilize her movement abilities with these awesome zip rails. Valkyrie, however, seems to take a bit of a hit, as many rotations can no longer be fully made with her skyward dive, and the zip rails make her ultimate less impactful.
All in all the map is very unique and interesting. I’m sure it will take time for players to adjust to its play style, rotations and zip rails. However, once we have had a whole split of ranked on this map, I think people will really enjoy it. This map has the potential to be a great ranked map if played properly, and I already can’t wait for Respawn to release more maps in the future.
New Feature – Gifting
One of the more unexpected changes this season was adding a new feature involving gifting. With gifting comes a few changes to the game’s user interface and cosmetics. The UI is now more user-friendly, making it easier to locate specific cosmetics and just generally having more of an overall “clean feel”. The menu definitely feels less cluttered now.
Part of this change was to make room for the addition of sticker menu options. Stickers can be earned through Apex Packs or gifted to friends, and these cosmetics can be placed on in-game healing items. This includes med kits, syringes, shield cells, shield batteries and phoenix kits.
Other Notes/Changes Worth Mentioning
Along with all the major noticeable changes in Apex Legends with each new season or update comes other small bug fixes, patches and balancing efforts. Let’s take a look at some of the more important things that might have a more notable impact on your gameplay or this season’s meta.
- Ziplines – Ziplines can now be pinged from a distance.
- Deathbox Banner – Decreased the time required to pick up two teammates’ banners from their death boxes by cancelling the initial banner pickup animation when you grab a second banner.
- King’s Canyon – Fixed a bug where players could not ping Wraith’s Portal in her Town Takeover. Fixed a bug where decimal numbers showed up on the Stats screen when they shouldn’t.
- Storm Point – Fixed an issue where a zipline was missing in the building on North Pad.
- Quality of Life/Bug Fixes – Other small bugs and quality of life fixes.