Apex Legends AMA for Season 14: Spitfire Ammo Changes, Flamethrower Rampage?
In a recent AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit, Respawn Entertainment developers addressed several changes made in Apex Legends Season 14 including the Spitfire LMG change, the lack of changes to Pathfinder, and more. The Apex Legends AMA also dived into what could have been, a flamethrower Rampage and a bouncy-ball shotgun.
Developers on the Spitfire LMG weapon update
Apex Legends’ Season 14 brought in a number of weapon changes to the game. The Wingman ammo was swapped from Heavy to Sniper while the Spitfire LMG now takes Light ammo. One user asked if the Spitfire switch was due to a “real imbalance between the Light vs. Heavy Weapons in the lootpool.” Respawn developers explained that there were “many factors and one of the determining factors in this decision was the balance of medium to late game viable weapons within the ammo types.”
Before the changes in Season 14, seven non-pistol weapons used Heavy ammo, making the ammo type a contested resource. While there are a higher number of Light ammo weapons in the game, it also includes pistols like the P2020, RE-45 and other guns like the Alternator which are generally only viable in the early to mid game. As Apex Legends Senior Game Designer Eric Canavese put it, “It’s not always just the number of weapons within each ammo type,” in regards to the feelings of imbalance. “The early game light ammo offerings are plenty, but lack robustness towards the later stages of the game, whereas Heavy ammo had quite a fleshed out late game line up.”
Speaking of the Wingman changes, Respawn said the gun was in “a healthy spot”, and that “the sniper ammo changes have allowed it to keep its lethality but tamp down how easy it can be run.”
Developers talk about why Pathfinder is not getting love
High mobility legends like Pathfinder are quite popular in Apex Legends. However, compared to other legends who have a more robust kit, the MRVN robot’s relatively lacklustre kit has been a frequent point of criticism. His passive Insider Knowledge in particular has left players wanting more. Canavese responded saying that the legend was “well-liked, powerful and performing well.” As a result, Respawn doesn't want to “slap a new passive on a Legend who is already well-liked, powerful and performing well at the risk of adding to his already potent combat power”.
Apex Legends Weapons that could have been
One Redditor asked about the the craziest weapon ideas that “almost made it to the game”. Canavese responded saying they prototyped a shotgun with pellets that bounced around, “you could shoot it into a room and it was pure chaos”. However the idea was scraped after some playtesting since, “ taking bullet damage from enemies you cannot see yet felt... unfair”.
Another iteration of the Rampage LMG involved lighting enemies on fire and allowing players to “paint thermite wherever you shot”. The Flamethrower LMG ultimately didn’t make it to the game since, “layering in shooting the ground people walked on to maximize their panic and your own area control was just too much.”
The developers also said that they were thinking of bringing more Titanfall weapons into the game like the R-6P Softball. Also, filler weapons like the Mozambique and the P2020 were not going anywhere since it would disturb the “natural progression.” The game would “lack depth throughout the phases of a match and if everything were a linear power progression the game would lack agency”.