Apex Legends’ next season, “Saviors,” will double down on the Storm Point map that the hero battle royale introduced just six months earlier, adding a beached kaiju as a new point of interest, and letting everyone fight it out in, on, and around the beast’s carcass.
“This thing is kind of like a big, stuffed, loot piñata,” Jeff Shaw, a lead level designer for Respawn Entertainment, said during a media preview last week. “And all the best loot is inside the belly of the beast.”
So, no, the monster seen in last week’s launch trailer doesn’t represent some kind of new PvE threat or limited-time game mode. Its rotting and deceased presence is actually an attempt to make Storm Point a more competitive map, Shaw said. “And we really wanted to do this additively, without removing anything that we felt was important.”
As seen in last week’s trailer, the jumbo shrimpbeast attacks Storm Point and all the Legends put aside their differences to bring it down, peeled, deveined, tail-on. As far as it concerns the map, the Downed Beast (as the point-of-interest is known) rests between two high-value loot areas — the North Pad and The Mill — and a third, Checkpoint, which is a medium-tier loot location. Players can land atop it (or depart) via gravity cannon, or ziplines, or make their way inside through its mouth or four large wounds. Inside and around the dead hulk, players will find tents and platforms left by the Ecological Cleanup and Hazard Outreach folks (their work has been seen on King’s Canyon), providing both cover and opportunity for gear.
“We’re really hoping that this is going to pull some of the action away from Barometer,” a popular, mid-tier loot location on Storm Point, Shaw said.
As last week’s trailer hinted, the kaiju’s seismic presence activated a dormant security protocol, which raised three Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation Armories nearby. These are support structures, filled with weapons and gear, put in place long ago. That’s the canonical explanation. In terms of gameplay, these armories are a PvE experience that teams can trigger and plunder for big-time loot. Entering one starts a 60-second fight against waves of Spectre robots awakened to the infiltrators. Importantly, the door to the armory shuts when this PvE fight begins, so that opposing human players can’t get in.
“The loot, when it’s provided, is given in these […] new types of bins that are filled with loot based on scanning your current equipment and weapons,” said Samantha Kalman, senior game designer at Respawn. “So that means the loot is always valuable. Either it’s upgrading what you have already, or it’s supplementing your equipment and weapon attachments that you don’t yet have.”
Strategically speaking, players “can hot drop to one of these armories for a decent random weapon and a great starting kit,” Kalman suggested, “or you can drop nearby, boot up a little, and then rotate to the armory. And then you’ll get upgraded versions of equipment and attachments that you bring into it.”
Elsewhere on Storm Point, developers added a new Prowler den near Cenote Cave, and built up an existing den near The Mill, as part of a “global tuning pass” Respawn designers gave to Storm Point, said Keith Jensen, senior level designer. “Hundreds of smaller QoL updates were done to smooth out the player experience across the map,” he said.
“[Storm Point] was built through this lens of looking forward […] and building it with this method really allowed us to be additive with new content rather than destructive,” Shaw said. “With the Downed Beast POI, we didn’t really have to make any sacrifices or remove anything that we thought was critical to the map. And we really, really hope to continue this trend with the future of Apex maps.”
Apex Legends season 13, titled “Saviors,” launches May 10 for the game across all platforms — Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. In addition to the reworked Storm Point map, it will bring a new Battle Pass of content, and a new Legend, Newcastle, the long-lost brother of mainstay legend Bangalore.
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