Be honest, you’ve caught the Apex Legends bug, just like a lot of the Cultured Vultures staff have, right? Every waking moment has been consumed with the thought of your next game. Where to drop, what loot works best, which legend you want to play as; Apex Legends is here to consume your life. The sooner you come to terms with that, the better.
With over 10 million registered players in just 72 hours after launch, Apex Legends has established an incredible foothold for itself in a genre that only seems to be getting more crowded by the day. Every time you turn around, there’s another battle royale waiting to devour your time, yet Respawn Entertainment have managed to create an experience that resonates with a large player base.
But Apex Legends can’t risk becoming complacent. Resting on their laurels now will only doom them in the long run; not that they’re in danger of that of course. The roadmap for 2019 has already been outlined, which will include Battle Passes, new legends, weapons and loot across the year, but we feel like that isn’t enough. Sorry, Vince Zampella. We’re playing Armchair CEO. Here’s 6 ways Apex Legends can help cement its success.
1. Better Ways To Earn Currency
The area that’s caught the most criticism from players has to be how the game deals with monetisation. Sure, Apex Legends is free-to-play, and the developers have to earn their costs back. That’s completely understandable, but right now it can still feel like a bit of a grind to earn the two unlockable legends, Caustic and Mirage. A report from GameSpot said that it took 17 hours to level up enough to earn the Legend tokens needed to unlock only one character, with the second character taking longer as you start earning Legend tokens at a reduced rate once you hit Level 20.
Furthermore, Respawn have already confirmed that any new legends added to the game will also have to be unlocked in the same manner. For those who have the cash to buy each character as they launch using the purchasable Apex Coins, this isn’t an issue, but more could possibly be done for other players who choose to earn those characters.
Two simple solutions that spring to mind are daily log-in bonuses and challenges. Daily log-in rewards are a staple of the free-to-play genre, as they incentivise players to keep coming back every day with increasingly valuable rewards. Apex could adopt a weekly model, offering crafting materials for the first five days before dishing out the Legend tokens for days 6 and 7, similar to SMITE’s favor and gems currency.
Meanwhile, challenges would likely be introduced alongside the Battle Passes, as they’d be great ways to earn the EXP needed to advance you up the various tiers to unlock more rewards. However, completing sets of challenges could also net players Legend tokens to use to unlock playable characters. Ultimately, it’s about rewarding the player for being loyal to the game, even if their wallet is a bit empty at the moment.
2. A Legends Pass
As for players who do want to spend money on the game, there’s an option that EA and Respawn haven’t explored yet, and given that EA are involved, I’m shocked that they didn’t explore every option. Most live service games with unique characters (SMITE, Paladins, Rainbow Six Siege and countless more) offer some kind of pack or bundle that allows you to purchase a set amount of characters.
Rainbow Six Siege’s model allows players to purchase the characters for that year of updates, guaranteeing 8 characters with new abilities and, if you’ve purchased the pack for the upcoming year, early access to those characters before they’re purchasable using Siege’s in-game currency of Renown.
Meanwhile, SMITE’s Ultimate God Pack gives players access to all current and future Gods for a one time cost. With a roster that’s pushing towards a hundred characters, SMITE’s pack seems like the most value for money option. Either way, Apex Legends needs to follow suit in some form.
Perhaps a blend of the two systems would make the most sense, allowing players to purchase access to all current and future Legends for one price, while also making sure that those players get early access to those Legends before the rest of the player base can get their grubby mitts on them. If microtransactions are really about enhancing player choice, giving players the option to guarantee they get all the characters seems like a slam dunk.
3. New Modes, Limited And Otherwise
Another consistent way to lure players back for more is with new modes. Giving players a variety in terms of gameplay ensures that they don’t get bored as quickly, and with just the one mode and map available at the moment, that’s a very real danger, especially with how quickly Apex Legends has exploded in terms of popularity. The brightest flame burns quickest, after all.
Two good permanent additions to the game would be Duos and Squads, allowing players to venture out into the arena in teams of 2, 3 or 4. Just imagine the hype of resurrecting three players at once before winning the game entirely. It’s the stuff Twitch highlight compilations are made of.
That said, Apex Legends shouldn’t add a solos mode. Imagine Respawn going to all that trouble to create the best pinging system in gaming history only for it to be wasted in a solo mode? Nah, the team focus of Apex is one of its best qualities, and Respawn would do well to remain committed to that.
Aside from those additions, Limited Time Modes would allow Respawn Entertainment to experiment with the tried and trusted battle royale formula even more. Modes like Fortnite’s 50v50, The Getaway and Disco Domination offered experiences that were unlike anything the regular game focused on, and it would be wise for Apex Legends to do the same.
These limited time modes could also feed into the enhanced currency earning we outlined earlier, as players could be rewarded for earning or winning in these unique modes, which in turn would ensure that players keep coming back to the game. Besides, limited time modes might be the only way we actually see Titans in Apex Legends, and we all want to see that.
4. More Titanfall Lore
Speaking of Titans, Apex Legends should also do more to expand on the lore on the Titanfall universe with future updates. One of the keys to Fortnite’s success is how well they’ve implemented different live events during the game’s various seasons. While we’re not suggesting that Apex Legends hosts an EDM concert in the middle of a game, there’s room to use the established lore in interesting ways.
Going back to the idea of limited time modes, one such mode could be a 30v30 battle depicting the IMC vs the Frontier Militia, just like the Titanfall story. We could also see more from Blisk, who appears in the intro for the game, and has been a key antagonist in the Titanfall series. He also ran a mercenary faction called the Apex Predators, so there has to be some connection there.
Meanwhile, the promise of new maps could see players return to some familiar locations in the Titanfall universe. Personally, I’d love to see an Angel City map, or the ruins of Demeter after the conclusion of the Titanfall 1 story. Apex Legends has done plenty to show us parts of the Frontier we haven’t seen before, but it’d be great to see a bit more from the past to really tie things together. Not to belabour the point, but a Titan would be really cool.
5. A Focus On Competitive Play
From the looks of things, Respawn Entertainment are already taking this into account, but it’s worth pointing out regardless. One of the biggest ways to ensure the future success of Apex Legends is to cater to the more competitive crowd, both in the game itself and with live streamed competitions.
Dataminers have already found reference to a ranked mode that could potentially be added to the game, which would allow those competitive players the space to truly test their abilities and reflexes while giving more casual players the ability to enjoy the game without being dunked on so much by people who live and breathe Apex Legends. Those people already exist; pray you never encounter them.
As for competitions, Apex Legends has already partnered with Twitch Rivals for a $200,000 competition featuring streamers like DrDisrespect, Shroud and more. It’s a good start, but again, Respawn can’t rest on their laurels. In an era of Twitch Streaming and influencers, ensuring that your game is being shown to millions is an important part of a game’s advertising, and helping to foster a lively competitive scene is a good way of doing that.
6. Balancing & Stability
This was always going to be the case on the launch of a multiplayer shooter, but Apex Legends could do with a bit of attention being drawn to the balancing of Legends. Right now, certain legends appear to have risen to the top of the meta in short order, with Wraith and Bloodhound being a tad OP with their ultimate abilities. Also, more could be done to distinguish between Bangalore and Gibraltar’s ultimates, as both are just air strikes.
As for the weapons themselves, some guns right now seem straight up useless. The Mozambique Shotgun is pretty much obsolete in a firefight, especially when compared to the EVA-8 and Pathfinder, yet I can’t seem to find anything other than it when looting. It’s all wading through Mozambiques and Wingmans, hoping for a Hemlok.
More needs to be done to address some stability issues too. For the most part, Apex Legends has had an impeccable launch, with very few technical failures, but players are still reporting random hard crashes and disconnections on a regular basis. There have also been cases of lost progression and infinite loading. The longer Respawn takes to address these issues, the worse it’ll be for Apex Legends in the long run.
Those were our suggestions to cement the future success of Apex Legends, but what are your suggestions? Let us know in the comments below.