With the advent of Apex Legends’ new season on the doorstep, the developers at Respawn Entertainment have released the Apex Legends Season 9 patch notes a few days early. Here’s the highlights you need to know for the May 4th launch.
- Her drone revive no longer deploys a shield
- The heal rate of her tactical drone is increased from 5 to 8 HP per second
- Deploy time of the tactical drone is reduced by 33%
- Cooldown of the ultimate Care Package is reduced from 6 to 5 minutes
- Care Package guarantees an upgrade (if possible) in the categories of Body Shields, general equipment (Knockdown Shield, Backpack, and Helmet) or Weapon attachments
Lifeline’s shielded revive has been too powerful for some time now, to the annoyance of many players. Taking this away is a major nerf, but they have buffed her tactical and ultimate to try and compensate. This is likely an overall net nerf.
- Ultimate ability Black Market Boutique has had the cooldown increased from 90 to 120 seconds
- She can now move at full speed when using her tactical Bracelet. It also no longer has a slow effect after exiting the animation
In addition to these, there have been many bug fixes to the bracelet. Previously it was extremely buggy to the point of being unusably unpredictable. This should let players take advantage of her extreme mobility now, but at the cost of using the ultimate ability slightly less. This is likely a slight buff.
- Low profile has been removed from Wraith, Lifeline and Wattson
This passive made smaller characters take 5% more damage from all sources. However, after removing it from Pathfinder in Chaos Theory, the developers feel like they can balance legends just using hitboxes and kit changes. Only time will tell if they decide to do the same with the Fortified passive for Gibraltar and Caustic.
- Knuckle cluster now has 2 charges and the cooldown was reduced form 25 to 20 seconds for each
Fuse has had the lowest win rate across all legends for Season 8. This buff will allow him to deny more space and pressure teams with his explosives, but they are keeping an eye on it so that it does not become overpowering.
- The smoke from her tactical ability has been thickened
In previous patches, the smoke was accidentally thinned and players were able to see through it more easily. This should take it back to its original visuals, very slightly buffing the legend.
- Crypto’s drone can now scan and open care packages
- Can no longer use his drone to ‘hijack’ respawn beacons currently in use
With the first change, Crypto can now look in care packages from a distance to see if it is worthwhile for his team to take what is inside. This is a nice, niche buff to his recon capabilities. The second change is a very, very niche nerf which prevents him from stealing a respawn beacon from another team since respawning legends from the drone is instantaneous. This will have no real effect on gameplay
- The health cost of using his tactical Stim has increased from 12 to 20 HP
- The cooldown of Stim has decreased from 4 to 1 second
- Legends now have increased bullet spread when using the crouched Launch Pad trajectory
Octane is one of the most picked legends, and is performing really well in the recent months. To dial him back, the tactical ability is riskier to use now. Stimming frequently will now greatly reduce his health and players will have to be slightly more strategic in using it. The Launch Pad change is because players would still have pinpoint accuracy in the air if they slid or crouched on the pad. This was a major advantage, and has been taken away.
- Gravity lift’s speed is lowered by 30%, and side-to-side acceleration has also been reduced
- Players can now only sit stationary at the top of the lift for 2 seconds
- The cooldown of her tactical lift has increased from 15 to 20 seconds
- Her tactical and ultimate abilities are now negated by Wattson’s ultimate Pylon
Horizon’s mobility has made her incredibly strong since her release in Season 7. Nerfing her tactical ability reduced her power and bad usage of the abilities are now more punishable. This should be a significant nerf, but only time will tell how much it really affects her.
- Their tactical ability ‘Eye of the Allfather’ now no longer grants assists when scanned enemies are killed
While this is not necessarily a nerf to Bloodhound’s gameplay, this significantly stifles their ability to get free Ranked Points. Players now need to be more involved in fights to gain these points and climb the ladder.
Season 9 brings a new weapon class into the fray. As detailed in the Apex Legends Season 9 patch notes, the Marksman class will cover weapons that are ideal at medium-to-long range and need precision. This includes the G7 Scout, 30-30 Repeater, Triple Take, and the brand new Bocek Bow. This class will have increased movement speeds, decreased time to aim down sights, and more regular hipfire spread. They will be able to use any sight from 1x through the 3x Ranger, with the exception of the 2x-4x variable sight or the 1x Digital Threat.
This new weapon will reward players for their accuracy at medium ranges. It uses a new ammo type: arrows. These can be picked up after use, as players will only have a limited amount of them. A fully-charged shot will deal 70 damage to the body and 123 damage to the head. Uncharged shots will only do 30 damage to the body.
This iconic shotgun is escaping the confines of the Care Package. But as ground loot, it has been nerfed. The pellet damage is reduced from 10 to 9, and the rechamber time is increased from .9 to 1.1 seconds. Thus the overall DPS has gone down from 122 to 90. The reload time is also increased from 2.45 to 2.5 seconds, but from 3.35 to 3.5 if the magazine is empty. The spread is also increased. All in all, this is a stiff nerf, but it is taken mostly back to its pre-Care Package values. Fans of the weapon will be happy to be able to use it more often now.
Replacing the Peacekeeper in the Care Package is the Triple Take. Newly in the marksman weapon class, this former sniper gains a buff. The fire rate improves from 1.2 to 1.3 shots per second, while the time to full charge drops from 1.1 to 1 second flat. In the care package, it has a 9-round magazine and 63 reserve ammo.
Season 9 brings two new hop ups for its weapons. The new Shatter Caps offer an alternate fire mode that causes shots to split into a shotgun-like blast. This lets players still get value out of tricky guns even if they aren’t deadly accurate with the weapons. This can be equipped on the Bowcek Bow and the 30-30 Repeater.
Deadeye’s Tempo is the other hop up. This increases the weapon’s fire rate if the player pulls the trigger at the perfect moment. Since it is slotted onto the Bowcek Bow and Sentinel, that moment occurs right as the arrow reaches full charge, and as the round is rechambered in the sniper rifle.
Unfortunately, with two hop ups entering, two must also leave. Season 9 says goodbye to Hammerpoint Rounds and Skullpiercer. To compensate, the guns that used these are getting slight improvements. The Mozambique will now have 6 shots and a tighter spread to make it more viable in the early game. The P2020 sees its damage increased from 15 to 18 per shot, but the fire rate reduced from 8.5 to 6.25 shots per second. For Skullpiercer, both the Longbow and Wingman see their headshot multiplier increased from 2x to 2.15x.
The flight paths of the dropship now fly closer to the center of the battlefield. This should prevent those matches that skew way to one side and the other side of the map is barely used.
The Ring speeds have also been updated; the later round rings now close slightly slower to allow more time to fight and still get to safety. However, the time between ring closings has been decreased. The Apex Legends Season 9 patch notes detail it as follows:
- Ring 4 pre-shrink time reduced from 2:00 to 1:45
- Ring 4 shrink speed reduced from 33 second close time to 40 seconds
- The 5th Ring’s shrink speed reduced from 20 second close time to 40 seconds
- Ring 6 pre-shrink time reduced from 1:30 to 1:00
- Ring 6 shrink speed reduced from 1:40 close time to 2:00
Featured image courtesy of Respawn Entertainment.
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