How Apex Legends Achieved Near PERFECT Balance

How Apex Legends Achieved Near PERFECT Balance


Having played Overwatch for over a thousand
hours, sitting down with Apex Legends was an eye opening experience. Now I’m going to admit that, based on my
First Impressions video, you might be surprised to hear that I am still playing this game. But honestly, it ended up being addicting
and insanely fun in a way I really didn’t see coming. So as a token of appreciation for what Respawn
has done with this game, I want to talk about how they have achieved this brilliant level
of balance, that many Overwatch players thought was impossible to achieve in a hero based
shooter. And as such, it makes the most sense to start
talking about the Legends. Every character brings a unique set of abilities
to the table to help their team succeed. It would be easy to go overboard with these
things and create an immediately broken and overpowered character. But here’s why most of the discussion surrounding
power happens in the context of the weaponry in the game, rather than the legends. It’s because the abilities in Apex work
complimentary to the shooting mechanics in the game. Where Overwatch plays more like a MOBA than
an FPS, Apex Legends is very much embracing the fact that we are playing a First Person
Shooter. Every ability in this game is balanced based
on its own merit, rather than any outside influence. Case and point- Gibraltar’s ability to pop
down a shield. This isn’t a universally powerful ability
as it doesn’t allow anyone to shoot through it, including players who are taking advantage
of its protection. The simple fact that you can’t take shots
through it severely lowers the effectiveness of the ability and arguably makes Gibraltar
one of the weaker Legends in the game. But he still brings all the combo potential
you’d expect from this team based game. If you look at this as a strictly defensive
ability, you can combo it with a smoke grenade from Bangalore to make a daring escape, or
use the time you have bought yourself to teleport out, using a portal from Wraith. If that is your kind of playstyle, then you
can definitely make use of it. And speaking of Wraith, if I told you that
you can make yourself invulnerable for a limited time, you’d probably initially think that
this ability is really broken, right? But again, the ability balances itself. Because when you pop out of existence, you
don’t only leave a blue trail behind you, but you also lose sight of your enemies eventually. Mirage is not completely invisible. Bloodhound’s tracking only shows you where
the enemies were, rather than where they are right now. And it’s obvious to the enemies. Lifeline’s healbot is completely stationary. Caustic’s gas tanks can be disabled by shooting
the bottom of them. Bangalore can’t see through her own smoke. Wraith leaves a blue trail behind her when
disappearing. Gibraltar can’t shoot through his own barrier. And Pathfinder has a bigger hitbox to combat
his mobility. I think, at least. It’s not like Overwatch where you hear us
talk about it in the sense of, “Yeah so Pharah is really not that strong, if you have
a Hitscan Player on your team.” More often than not, there is a set of prerequisites
that dictates the effectiveness of any given hero in the game. And unfortunately, their effectiveness is
in big part dependent on other heroes. Whether we’re talking about team synergy
or counter play. That’s one of the reasons why Overwatch
often feels so poorly balanced. You can’t guarantee that any of these prerequisites
are given for any match that you play. But Apex doesn’t rely on that. It’s not like Wraith is overpowered and
you can only combat her effectiveness by running.. Mirage, or whatever. The Developers have made an effort to have
these abilities be strong and be weak in their own context. They are contained in their own power ecosystem. And that ecosystem includes the map itself. There are definitely points in the game where
you are really glad that you have a Pathfinder on your team, because it allows you to take
an engagement in a way that no other Legend allows you to do. But in other situations again, you couldn’t
have won a fight if you weren’t running with a Wraith player in your team. Every character is so unique in how they help
your team win, and they facilitate different playstyles so very well without being grossly
overpowered. And as much as I tried to make a tier list
of who the most powerful Legends are, I found myself debating my own arguments over and
over again. I used to think that Bangalore was one of
the strongest characters because of how universally viable it is to have smoke grenades. It allows you to close distances without getting
popped and it gives you cover to retreat or pick up a downed teammate- It’s just a really,
really strong toolkit. But then I look at Pathfinder and I keep thinking
about how universally powerful mobility is in many different games. And in Apex Legends, too, having more mobility
can be such a massive advantage. So both of these characters are definitely
up there. And if I was to run in a tryhard group aiming
to farm as many wins as possible, those are probably two characters I would want to have
at all times. But what if that just isn’t your playstyle? Does their relative effectiveness look different
from the point of view of a different playstyle? Am I missing something here? Is Wraith, after all, more powerful than I
give her credit for? I am only one person and I only made my own
experiences, so I found it very difficult to make a tier list like that. But as I was playing the game, I figured how
situational each and every ability is. And how I have seen people win with literally
any combinations of Legends. Lifeline is a very powerful character if you
have a defensive, long-range playstyle that gives you enough time to make use of her kit. Pathfinder is a very powerful character if
you love to be in the face of your enemies and just go ham. Mirage is a very good character if you love
to flank your enemies and make use of information. At the end of the day, we are still playing
an FPS, and not a MOBA-FPS hybrid. Being a good shot is going to win you games
regardless of which character you decide to play. And the map itself is definitely featuring
enough hot spots for all of the Legends to shine, no matter which one you decide to go
for. Where in Overwatch, hero effectiveness is
very strictly dictated by the map in the first place, and then which heroes are on your and
the enemy team, in Apex, because everyone is taking advantage of the same gunplay, I
don’t find myself having these kinds of restrictions. Legends don’t become weak only because you
don’t pair them up with another, kinda like Pharah would be weak without a Mercy. They become stronger when pairing them up
smartly and playing together. What does Anthem say again? Strong alone, stronger together? Because that sounds about right. Abilities in Apex, more often than not, provide
you with more utility, rather than more power. Now, gunplay is where you will see a lot more
discussion. The Wingman, for example, seems extraordinarily
powerful in the hands of a good player. Where one side always argues that, “Yeah
it’s powerful, but only when you can land your shots.” the opposition would argue, “Well yeah,
but we’re playing an FPS, landing your shots is kind of a given.” Naturally, with a game as popular as Apex
Legends, you know, 25 million players in the first week and counting, there is a strong
point to be made towards perfect aim not being a universal skill set, but then I find myself
asking: If that guy doesn’t miss a shot and kills you, and you didn’t kill him because
you have missed some shots- Should you be winning that fight then? I feel like the Wingman became a very sensitive
subject, especially because most of the popular streamers out there have excellent aim and
they show the upper limit of how powerful this weapon can be. Personally, I most commonly get killed by
a fully kitted Devotion, rather than a decked out Wingman. Overall, I feel like there is a good balance
between strong and weak weapons in the game that create a contrast between early and late
game. If there was one gun I’d like to see nerfed
just a little bit, it’s the Peacekeeper. Shotguns are often very powerful in these
types of games, but in this case, it seems.. Excessive. But there isn’t anything else I would classify
as “obviously overpowered” in terms of both, Legends and Weaponry. And for that, I commend Respawn Entertainment. They have definitely created a really fun
game here, without completely abandoning game balance and competition. Now if you excuse me, my squad is already
waiting, so I best get going. Did I overlook something? Is there a Legend or Weapon that you believe
is overpowered? Feel free to let me know down in the comment
section below. While you’re down there, don’t forget
to drop me a like on your way out if you enjoyed the video, subscribe if you want to see more,
and I hope to see you guys next time.

59 comments

  1. If i would call anything OP in this game, it would probably be the Spitfire, but that weapon isn't Even that broken tho (just the experience from an average 700 kill player)

  2. while the gunplay is a bit slower than titanfall 2 it's still super balanced of course that slower gunplay does make weapons like the wingman better whilst others like the alternator a bit worse and the abilities are the same it gives particular weapons and legends combos advantages the same as grapple and a CAR is a solid combo

  3. Just stfu dude you say I hate the gun play, now it's perfectly balanced, maybe it is, maybe it isn't regardless everything you say is subjective and has no facts you sir spew bullshit and contradict yourself.

  4. I don’t feel like Legends are too strong which is good because I don’t was be killed for the reason that I didn’t choose the right counter but there are still a couple problems. You can see mirage when he goes invisible which is fine but you can’t turn off, an option to do so would feel a lot better because I feel like not using his ultimate more than half the time. And Gibraltar’s ultimate feels like a direct upgrade from Bangalore’s ultimate, I wish the different but it’s whatever.

  5. I mean, that's basically how TF2 was … you could have fun even with your team not really working together would be stronger together. The great thing about Overwatch is the hero synergy … you can't have those amazing synergies without some imbalance.

  6. I think the best thing in this game is that team composition isn't absolute or essential like in Overwatch. You don't have to run anyone or at least one from each class to win. You could very well run all three support characters and do just as well as if you were running a balanced comp. That means that if I like Bloodhound (which I do), I can just play Bloodhound. I don't have to worry about having a Pathfinder or Lifeline on my team and then being forced to play a tank or damage character. As long as my character isn't already picked, I can play them without any repercussions. I can play who I like without caring about whatever my team chooses. Of course, there are certain synergies that help, but as I mentioned, you can do just fine if you run without them.

  7. I really want to play this game, but I have an older laptop that cant run basically anything and I don't have the money for a new PC…

  8. I could make a 10 min vid counting this
    Its just different, the gameplay is widely different, apex’s abilities are less essential to the core experience, the just look at the cool down time and that tells you the involvement in your gameplay a lot of ow ability are 1- 10s compared to apexs 30s-1min kinda range and a character like tracer is compared to wraith but…. playing them is similar at all, the versatility of ow ability’s is greater… im ranting now

  9. Apex characters are balanced because every character is near enough the same. There is no character specific variance in important things like damage dealt or recieved and any changes in things like hitbox or movement speed often end up being minimal over the ranges in which most battles pan out. They've also removed a lot of vague variables like damage fall-off, so that helps.
    Then there are the abilities. All personal abilities have massive drawbacks, such as Gibraltar having a shield at centre mass being countered by the fact that he's fucking huge. As for non-personal abilities, they affect every player the same. Enemies can use portals, ziplines and D.O.C. while friendlies can't shoot through barriers. I think the only exception is Caustic.
    When you remove so many character based variables and team-specific interactions, balancing actually becomes pretty easy. Passive abilities are the only complicated balancing points left.

  10. The point about how every single legend is focused on shooting / engaging the enemy despite being a "Healer" or "tank" is probably the most important thing. That level of consistency makes balancing and especially matchmaking, way less frustrating. Unlike Overwatch where if one of the randoms you end up with doesn't get the class/hero they want, they'll probably under perform. Where as with every character being designed to be a damage dealer, your still going to perform at your normal skill level for the majority of the time. Taking a game focused on shooting, and adding different flavors of that gameplay is how you ACTUALLY attract a wider audience, not making characters that feel like they're from completely different games and smashing them into one.

  11. Apex can embrace that you play a FPS, because you are playing a FPS. Overwatch is not a First person anything. you play in 3rd person view on some heroes and FPS on some. can you imagine playing Reinhardt in FPS mode? it would be horrible.
    everyone seemss to be talking about how great this game is, but the fact that pistol (the Mozambique) is better than a shotgun or a SMG is absurd. the Wingman is even beter than some rifles.

  12. My main issue in balance it's the hitbox since when it's fair to 1v1 Wraith as Gibraltar. It's like tracer vs Hog but without the tankiness of hog.

  13. Easy to balance when shooting is the same across the board and abilities are weak in 90% of situations. Makes the game feel samey to me. I admit, there is a level of charm in the game… but I am giving it a couple of months because my god my connection to servers and the load times are inexcusable.

  14. why do so many youtubers keep talking about balance in titanfall all of a sudden??? its just titanfall. overwatch is overwatch. the only diference in this game is you can not pick your exact loadout. i dont understand the "titanfall is so balanced unlike overwatch" craze

  15. It'll be perfect when all of the garbage trend hoppers leave the game. (Solo players who haven't played a team based fps before).

  16. Off topic: This game does not feel like a BR in a good way. Just feels like a fast paced shooter. The Legends make the game more dynamic as well as in game items. The game feels completely different when compared to other popular BRs. I could understand why this game blew up so quickly as well as it being addicting.

  17. Two simple points: only 8 characters (for now) and most abilites being kind of light, so shooting is the most important skill. Also, being a battle royale, it's kind of random (loot, landing areas, the death circle areas) so if you loose, you can always blame that and keep going, instead of blaming your teammates.

  18. Only reason Apex is a much more enjoyable game is due to the focus on the gun play instead o having to rely on hero moba mechanics, you shoot things they die something that's been missing for years now. Teamwork… fuck all that.

    Well you have to be reaaaaaaaaally careful about game balance in FPS games not OW, that rely on the gunplay and the shooter mechanics and really I don't want this game's balance to be decided by the forums like blizzard or reddit for that matter.

    Uh Fun Fact: The streamers and fortnite players etc, are probably referring to a Legendary Wingman w/ a purple modded Longbow it's basically an all kitted with skull piercer (the head shot multiplier mod) it CAN kill you at mid range and has around 20 shots so there's no excuse to miss and if you do miss it doesn't matter the damage still kills people upfront even in close quarters.

    A Wingman with purple mods buff the ammo from 6 to 12, blue Wingman mods only bumps it from +2 (or 6 to 8 shots) which isn't much in the grand scheme of things. I mean sure there is already talk about nerfing the Wingman but Respawn has to be careful about game balance you don't want to nerf the rate of fire of any guns in the game not with this TTK or time to kill.

    Personally, I believe they should reduce the damage of the Legendary Wingman as that's the one which is the strongest. It can negate the purpose of the G7 Scout and the Triple Take at long range with just a couple of head shots but really imo it doesn't seem any different from using a purple modded Longbow which is just as equally the same if a bit better for extended ranges.

    Cliff for your ref: https://imgur.com/a/VCvuqeI this is a statistic sheet for all the damage in the game w/o mods. I should point out that each weapon is only assuming you can burn through purple shields to get the kill.

  19. i feel like the simple fact that all the characters can use the same weapons makes apex infinitly easier to balance. its like comparing balance of halo or cod to overwatch. its just not the same overwatch is way more complex balance wise.

  20. You may have overlooked Lifelines fast heal which is a really strong skill. It makes her great at engaging enemy. Not only a long range fighter with D.O.C pod.

  21. Maybe because everyone is able to get the same gun??????? Unlike overwatch where every hero has a different kind of weapon. Idk why people compare overwatch to a battle royal.

  22. ROFL near perfect, jesus you fanboys will say anything to get views. also this is not a hero based shooter it has classes but it's not the same type of game as overwatch.

  23. It achieved balance by nothing being that strong. That's it lol. It's not that they compliment anything…they're just pretty weak in general.

  24. No stuns, no stuff that throw your character around, no abilities denied by other abilities, no characters freezing or putting others to sleep. That's how it is done Jeff Caplan.

  25. Look, I uninstalled Overwatch out of frustration and I have my fair share of fun with Apex, but I don't think this comparison is fair. The whole concept of Overwatch was that you had to switch to counter the heroes on the enemy team that are giving you the biggest headache. Overwatch was more a MOBA than a shooter, but without the "We lost in champion select, GGWP" part.
    The thing is, people don't want to switch unless they die on the last 10 seconds of the match, where they switch to a tank to appear more useful. There's so many times where I had to solo heal with Mercy and none of my 5 DPS killed neither the sniper nor the bastion on the back, and they kept dying over and over again, ramming their heads against the enemy team in hopes that SOMETHING happens. The game wouldn't progress until I switched to Moira and took care of the backline because nobody else would do it.

    So, yeah, a big part of Overwatch's unfun parts are thanks to the devs clearly ignoring their own playerbase to cater to the pros, but the community is to blame too, as triple sniper is a thing that exists, that is almost never effective, and that everyone from QP to gold seem to be adamant on trying to run because they'd rather feel good about themselves when they take the one kill they'll get in the whole match than help the team win.

  26. Legends aren't balanced, their abilities are just far weaker and less important than in overwatch.

    Go play caustic for a hundred levels and tell me otherwise.

  27. As soon as they add a ranked mode or some sort of hidden MMR and you go against people of a similar level of skill to you instead of half the server just being noobs. Because of that you don't have to Min Max everything and metas won't form around hero picks yet……

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