After a setback from the Apex Legends community over a new caustic buff that came in the Fight Night Collection event, Daniel Klein – Senior Game Designer at Respawn – explained his thought process for the changes via Twitter.
Fight Night Collection Event in Apex Legends is scheduled to start January 5th. In addition to adding time-limited modes and cosmetics, the update will also introduce more balancing changes, bug fixes and quality of life updates.
While the community praised many of these changes ̵
The update notes confirmed two Legend changes: a Rampart amped cover buff and a reduction in cooling of Caustic’s gas trap. After seeing the changes Respawn has in line, the Apex community expressed concerns, and Klein took to Twitter to address them.
While Klein’s original Twitter discussion was based on a proposed modification of Gibraltar’s pistol shield, it changed rapidly. A player tweeted to the designer who asked for the extra caustic buffet: “Nobody asked for a caustic buffet. At what point did the office decide this? ”
Before the developer had a chance to respond, another user pointed out that making a five-second change in a character’s cooldown was probably easier than changing the entire mechanic to Gibby’s arm shield. The Respawn developer was quick to confirm this with an official response.
“Yep! It was very easy to do,” Klein confirmed. He went on to explain that taking a chill only takes a short time and a few play tests. He further emphasized that while players are concerned about the buffer, Caustic demanded work when he is still “one of the weakest characters in the game.”
Yep! One was super easy to do (it took me about 10 minutes to do and verify, and 2-3 play tests to convince me it would not hurt the game) and Caustic is actually one of the weakest characters in the game.
– Daniel Zenon Klein (@danielzklein) January 2, 2021
Some members of society were a little skeptical about this. Comments referring to Legends’ ability to play both aggressively and defensively, his strength in ranked versus non-ranked games and the overall power of his abilities were all mentioned in response to Klein’s tweet.
When asked why Caustic continues to receive buffs, Klein revealed that the character’s viability had been a theme on Respawn as far back as March 2020. The developer still believes that Caustic may need even more work, and responds to a user with “you do not think willing to accept my core message here: Caustic is weak. ”
Several content creators and pro players responded to the game designer with their own concerns. Pro player Eric ‘Snip3down’ Wrona handed down his own verdict, noting once again the differences between Caustic’s performances in regular matches versus ranked or competitive games.
I think we need to separate here. Caustic is weak (in pubs) because people do not sit in buildings and care about the gain, Caustic is weak in open fields and on disorganized teams. How about we take away his ultgas after he’s killed, so not all playoffs are 4 caustic
– TSM Snip3down (@ Snip3down) January 3, 2021
Despite the doubts, Klein remained firm in his explanation of the changes. Respawn has often cited its internal calculations – such as winning rate and picking frequency – when balancing each legend, and the game designer sticks to the information his team works with.
While developers usually stick to the weapons and continue to balance the changes after they are released, there have been cases where feedback convinced them to reset a change or update an unbalanced mechanic after it was added to the game (as was the case with Evo Shield adjustments back in season 6).
Klein is very active on Reddit and Twitter, and often engages in open discourse about society’s concerns such as the upcoming caustic buff. Players should keep an eye out for further comments or changes as arguments about Caustic’s balancing continue.