The Legendary Hunt - What's Good? What's Not?
The Legendary Hunt is here, and it's a glimpse into the future of Apex Legends. In this brief post, I'm going to explore the good and the bad (because I didn't find anything ugly). Most people want the bad news first, so here goes...
As with most updates to online shooters, servers were a real issue on the first day. I played a few games in which the jumps felt weird, and there were some real issues when running through the Circle. It was also the first time I experienced any significant latency effects that caused me to get frustrated with the game. Getting killed by a Pathfinder who is grappling and a Gibraltar who is still climbing is no fun. Luckily, these issues seem to have subsided.
The Elite queue is a nice addition, but as with many new game modes, people are adjusting slowly. Elite queue games tend to have more teams left toward the end. The final six teams play passively, likely in the hopes of hitting the top five. Whether they want to hit the top five in order to get their challenge done or just to keep their streak alive (or both), I'm not sure, but it is an important distinction, I think. If people are playing passively in order to complete the challenge, it isn't necessarily a sign of things to come, but if they are doing it to keep their streak going, then it probably is.
I play enough that missing out on the final five in one game isn't a huge deal, but for people with less game time, missing out on top five may be more frustrating. I think Respawn saw this coming, hence their decision to include the loss forgiveness. What this does, though, is make games a little less exciting and significantly longer. I didn't see any game that didn't get to the final two Circles, and while it makes things a bit more intense, it doesn't necessarily make them much more enjoyable.
So, that's the bad, and if that's all that's bad, I must be pretty happy...
Despite what I said about slow play, I think that the Elite queue is a good thing. It is nice that Respawn gave us the option to choose which queue to play in. I am sure for top-tier players, the desire to get a crazy number on the streak tracker is a huge incentive to keep playing. When I played the Trials of Osiris in Destiny, I was constantly asking for them to introduce this type of thing. In that mode I found winning nearly impossible once the number of players dwindled, as the later matches (and sometimes even the early ones) were filled with top-tier players. This can lead to fewer and fewer people playing the mode and exacerbating the problem. I think the Elite queue may help avoid a situation where players dwindle because it becomes impossible to have success.
In Apex Legends, I am playing with a team that can hold its own in the Elite queue, and it feels nice to win in there. It is a minor issue, but it is a little disappointing (as RHLursen and DeadlyTeddy pointed out in our win last night) that there is no different win screen in the Elite queue, though. That's a missed opportunity. A badge would have been cool, too. Or maybe some alteration to the badge to indicate you had won in the Elite queue. Again, it's not a major issue.
The new R301 and Wraith skins are sweet.
I know I didn't say that I was going to talk about the great, but the introduction of challenges goes beyond good and into great. As with the guys on the podcast, I have my own goals in the game, but it is nice when the game throws you something that feels like a worthy challenge. I don't care all that much about skins, but I like that there are things to work toward. Respawn has already announced that this will carry over into the next Battle Pass, and I am really looking forward to it; I think it will breathe new life into the game. The challenges they've provided now aren't brutal, but they also aren't extremely difficult for dedicated players, and I think that's the perfect place for them to be.
That about wraps it up. I am keeping things brief this week, and I am hoping to post a little more frequently with shorter takes like this going forward. The Legendary Hunt is the future of Apex Legends, and the future looks bright!
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