Apex Legends Season 11: What to expect
November 5 2021
Greetings, Legends! Apex Legends Season 11 is here. Lore-wise, it might be the most important season yet. On the other hand, as all seasons do, Season 11 brings some gameplay changes to Apex Legends. In this article, we're going to take a look at what those changes are and talk about how to adapt ourselves to them.
What changes does Season 11 bring?
New Map: Storm Point
First and biggest of all, we have a new map, Storm Point. It's the largest Apex Legends map yet—with a size bigger than even World's Edge—and players are already complaining about not being able to find opponents for extended periods. While the details and comprehensive information about Storm Point is the subject of another article, let's take a closer look at our new and exotic paradise island.
Storm Point is located on Gaea, the home planet of Crypto, Caustic, and Rampart. It also seems to be where IMS Hestia has crashed. IMS Hestia was the ship Bangalore's older brother Jackson Williams was posted on. He's known to have fallen to his apparent death over Solace, but the ship crashed on Gaea. Coupled with the high possibility of Jackson's survival, IMS Hestia will definitely hold some importance in the lore of Season 11 and beyond.
This exotic paradise will do everything in its power to murder you. Fun! (Image: Respawn Entertainment)
An interesting fact about Storm Point is, Season 11 is not the first time it was mentioned. In an older Apex comic, Kuben Blisk is seen throwing Ash's head into a portal, apparently to save Ash from a worse fate. Before throwing her in, Blisk says, "maybe you'll end up on a tropical paradise on the other side, I am sorry," to which Ash replies, "I understand." Since the content of Apex Legends is planned seasons ahead, this was confirmed to not be a coincidence by the writers, which makes Storm Point the exotic paradise Blisk hoped he was throwing Ash into.
Lore-wise, it's safe to assume Ash ended up in Storm Point and made it her own hunting ground, as seen in the reveal trailer. She has the tracking and hunting capabilities of a Pilot, which made her the Apex Predator of the habitat. While Ash doesn't need any sustenance, she's known to enjoy the thrill of the hunt. Now that the Apex Games have arrived, Ash will utilize every source at her disposal to prove she has transcended humanity.
Storm Point, being the biggest map yet, contains new methods of traveling to compensate. Most prominent is the Gravity Cannon. There are multiple Gravity Cannons located in various places all over Storm Point. When stepped on, they launch you towards a predetermined trajectory at a speed akin to Doom Slayer's BFG 10000 sequence. After you've launched, you have limited control over your trajectory, which will help you land to the sides of the landing pad; saving you from launching yourself right into the middle of a trap. Your abilities, weapons, consumables, throwables are all available while mid-air.
While Season 11 is all about Ash, the Gravity Cannon makes a certain Legend very important at its current state. Aptly named, the Gravity Cannon has a landing effect where you can't smoothly flow into a moving state. You have to make a solid landing first. This, of course, doesn't apply to Horizon. Horizon's passive ability lets her make a smooth landing after using the Gravity Cannon and allows her to use that momentum to cover a lot of distance by jumping and sliding with good timing. As always, Apex Legends allows you to achieve a great deal of mobility as long as you have the skill to make it. It's just that, in Horizon's case, it becomes a wee bit easier to manage, thanks to her passive ability. Valkyrie and Pathfinder can also use their movement abilities to escape from the solid landing rule, albeit not as smoothly as Horizon.
As is traditional, Storm Point will probably face some devastation in the future, a fact which is also hinted at by its name. Respawn states, "it's not a volcano this time," which in itself became a meme among the Apex Legends community. If I had to take a wild guess, I'd say some kind of... storm is going to ruin this paradise and change its surface and points of interest as the seasons move forward.
Prowlers attacking Ash, a big mistake on their end. (Image: Respawn Entertainment)
Another very important addition in Storm Point is the existence of wildlife. Storm Point is an exotic island, and it's not prepared to be an isolated Apex Games arena like Kings Canyon. So you'll find wildlife nests all over the map, indicated by their red icon. Right now, there are two types of creatures you'll run into on Storm Point: Prowlers and… to everyone's dismay, Spiders.
Prowlers you'll find will be, well, prowling around and defending their nest. While they are aggressive, they won't engage until you get too close for their comfort. Naturally, if you do decide to engage them, they will respond immediately. So far, they are known to break down doors and raid buildings after people engage them and run. The Prowlers have a very particular set of skills. Skills they have acquired over a very long life in the wilds. Skills that make them a nightmare for people who engage them. If you keep your distance, that will be the end of it - they will not look for you, they will not pursue you... but if you don't, they will look for you, they will find you... and they will kill you.
Spiders, on the other hand, will come out of eggs if you destroy them and remind you why arachnophobia is a thing. They are easier to kill than Prowlers, but they are faster, and they are giant spiders. As if they need any other terrifying features.
Kill it with—and I cannot stress this enough—FIRE! (Image: Respawn Entertainment)
But don't worry, there's also good news. The wildlife nests are fixed and won't be randomized for each match. So once you get the lay of the land, you'll always know where the dangerous creatures are and where to tread carefully. The nests also disappear when cleared, never to come back in that match.
Another good news about the nests is the smart loot system. Each wild creature will drop some loot when killed. These drops will be decided by the smart loot system, which picks loot specifically for your current situation. Ammo for your current weapons, shield cells, weapon attachments, etc., will drop from these creatures according to your current loadout. Also, once cleared, the nests will award your team a certain amount of crafting materials, divided among each member.
New Legend: Ash
Ash seems to have already taken Apex Legends by the Storm (Point) and, just like every new Legend, has a very high pick rate. Ash brings a lot of lore and an interesting new mechanic to the game. Her one-way ticket portal ability and tethering skill tackle the current mobility meta in the game right at its foot. The new map brings cannons that can launch you far away, and Ash can stop you from doing even that. You can find detailed information about Ash in her very personal article.
Along with her ability to tear open the fabric of reality, Ash also tears open the current theories about who the next Legend could be. So far, Apex Legends roster consisted entirely of original characters, even when their backstories were based on the Titanfall Universe. Ash is the first established Titanfall character to join the roster as a Legend, which means any established character might return at some point. This fact alone changes everything we know about Titanfall and Apex Legends. Titanfall fans have been waiting for a sequel for years while Respawn focused on Apex Legends to expand the Titanfall Universe. Bringing Ash to Apex Legends could mean Apex Legends will be the sole successor to Titanfall 2 and that Respawn intends to expand the story on Apex Legends instead of making another Titanfall. I have to say, I'd love to see Titanfall 3 just for the gameplay quality and depth it will bring. It would also expand the Universe without disrupting Apex Legends too much. It could even create a bigger pool of resources for Apex Legends to draw from. The ball's in your court, Respawn. The community has spoken.
So, what else is new in the Season 11 of Apex Legends? Let's dive into some more technical and statistical stuff.
Pictured from right to left: Ash, me, and the Pokémon joke. (Image: Respawn Entertainment)
Since Storm Point is a brand new map, it will be the only battle royale map for a while. So that the players can have time to explore, learn and master how to utilize each point of interest, function, and strategic spot on the map. After a while, World's Edge will be added back to the rotation. Once again, Kings Canyon is snubbed. I'm sure it will make a comeback, but until then, Storm Point and World's Edge will be rotating as battle royale maps. 'Tis the season of big maps!
Another big change in Season 11 is that the Arenas won't have any battle royale map locations in the rotation. With the release of Encore, the Arenas apparently have enough custom maps to have their own rotation. So now, the Arena maps will consist of Encore, Phase-Runner, Party Crasher, and Overflow. While the battle royale map locations also made great arena maps, custom maps mean we get more new content and lore that comes with it. So, maybe this custom-map-exclusive rotation is not a bad thing after all.
New Weapon: C.A.R. SMG
Another Titanfall classic, C.A.R. (short for Combat Advanced Round) SMG brings a unique mechanic to Apex Legends. It can use light and heavy ammo and is able to switch between the two at will. While you will have to reload your weapon with the ammo type you switch into, C.A.R. SMG makes running out of ammo a problem of the past. In addition, C.A.R. SMG can use the extended magazine upgrade of both light and heavy ammo, regardless of which ammo you're currently using. You can use an extended heavy magazine and fill it full of light ammo without losing any magazine capacity. This makes resource management among your team much easier.
In its usage, C.A.R. SMG resembles R-99 but is more rewarding when utilized properly. It has a very high rate of fire, but it's still slower than R-99. Coupled with having slightly more damage per bullet and DPS, C.A.R. SMG is more rewarding if you can master its recoil. C.A.R. SMG deals 13 body and 20 headshot damage. This puts C.A.R.'s DPS just a bit above R-99's. Since R-301, Flatline and R-99 are still some of the most popular weapons in the game, C.A.R. allows you to share ammo and upgrades with your teammates who use those weapons.
Ranked Play Updates
Season 11 brings some very interesting changes to ranked play in Apex Legends. Most prominently, the RP awards. The new and updated ranked system rewards you for beating the odds and defeating tougher opponents. Your RP rewards per kill increase the more of a tier difference between you and your opponent. Usually, you get 10 RP for killing an opponent. This is still valid when fighting against opponents of the same tier as you. But when you defeat an opponent one tier higher than you, you'll get 12 RP. A difference of 2 tiers will reward 15 RP, and 3 tiers will reward 20 RP per kill.
Killing opponents of a lower tier than you is also rewarded accordingly, now giving fewer RP. If you're somehow matched against opponents with much lower skill levels, you won't be able to just farm RP by defeating them. As their tier goes lower, so does your RP reward. Killing an opponent 1 tier lower than you will reward 8 RP. At 2 tiers lower, you get 5 RP, and at 3 tiers lower, you get 3 RP per kill. This change will surely weed out the people who try to prey on easier targets from real Apex Predators. The fight to the top has just become harder. But don't worry, G-Loot competitions are always there to improve your skills and give you the edge in the fight to the top.
Keep in mind that the RP changes only apply to the ones getting the kill. The dying party is not affected by these changes; you still lose the same amount of RP as before, which is the entry fee for your ranked tier. Also, Apex Predator and Master ranks are treated as the same tier. Hunting down Apex Predators—while still thrilling—is more about the title rather than earning more RP.
Also, remember that ranked matchmaking is still the same, so your chances of running into someone 3+ tiers higher than you is very, very low. Unless, of course, you team up with a high-ranking player, which will cause the game to match you with other players accordingly.
Ranked arenas are also updated to work better to match players of similar skill levels. The new Ranked Arenas have 2 splits, and with each split, a soft MMR reset. New seasons will now require 5 placement matches instead of 10.
All of these ranked play changes are the beginning of a bigger change in ranked play, so keep climbing those ranks and see how it feels to be the Apex Predator.
Valkyrie literally lived in the shadow of an Apex Predator. Now it's her time to shine. (Image: Respawn Entertainment)
Balance Changes in Season 11 of Apex Legends
Wattson mains rejoice! Season 11 brings the long-awaited balance changes of Wattson. In Season 11, Wattson finally becomes more reliable to use, especially bug-wise. Apparently, we have complained enough.
Wattson gets a lot of fixes regarding her bugged abilities, along with actual balance changes in her kit. Here are the important bits all 7 of you Wattson mains should know:
Improved the reliability and responsiveness of placing Wattson's Tactical and Ultimate in-world objects.
Wattson can place her Tactical and Ultimate objects on valid surfaces above Wattson's eye level (to a reasonable extent).
General hitbox size increase to compensate for the removal of low profile in the Legacy update.
These changes imply that Wattson's ultimate will now destroy explosives thrown at it as it should have. She will also be able to place her abilities more freely to allow a wider playing area for Wattson. Just like the other low profile Legends, Wattson has her hitbox size increased due to the removal of low profile. These basic—but super important—changes should help Wattson gain more ground in the overall pick rates and in the game. Personally, I've been seeing a significant number of Wattsons in my matches, which means there's still hope for Wattson to become a viable Legend again.
Poor Wattson. Everybody loves her, but nobody likes her. (Image: Respawn Entertainment)
Wattson also received some mechanical and numerical buffs to her abilities. Which are as follows:
Updates to Wattson's Tactical Ability, Perimeter Defense:
Increased damage on crossing a Fence by 33%. (15 to 20)
Increased debuff duration on crossing a Fence by 100%. (1.5 to 3 seconds)
Increased the time allowance to be hit again by a subsequent Fence effect by 100%. (0.5 to 1 second).
Decreased recharge time by 50% (30 to 15 seconds).
Increased placement range by 50%.
Decreased the delay between Fences shutting off and reactivating after an ally passes through them by 60%. (1.0 -> 0.4 seconds)
Wattson now moves at Unarmed-speed while readying/placing Fence nodes.
Fence nodes can now be placed as soon as the weapon is readied, instead of waiting for the animation to finish.
Wattson's tactical now works faster, deals more damage, and interacts better with friendlies. This should help Wattson players set up a perimeter in much less time and be able to respond to immediate threats.
Updates to Wattson's Ultimate Ability, Interception Pylon (which didn't really intercept anything until this patch)
The Pylon output has been significantly reworked.
Reduced the number of active Pylons Wattson can place from 3 to 1.
The Pylon now lasts forever (instead of timing out after 90 seconds).
The Pylon now has a pool of 250 Shields that can be distributed to nearby players, instead of effectively infinite Shields.
Increased the Pylon shield recharge rate by 150%, and smoothed regen rate. (2/second -> 5/second, or more accurately: 1/0.5 seconds -> 1/0.2 seconds)
When a Pylon is out of Shields, it no longer recharges players' Shields but can still zap incoming ordnance.
Taking damage while regenerating Shields via the Pylon delays continued regeneration by 1 second.
The UI on the ground and HUD elements now displays the amount of Shields that remain in the Pylon.
Pinging a friendly Pylon will now display the percentage of Shields remaining in the Pylon.
Pylon ordnance-zapping has been moderately reworked.
Ordnance is now zapped when the Pylon detects that it would hit any surface within range and line of sight of the Pylon, instead of being zapped as soon as it comes within range.
As a part of the changes, current issues where the Pylon doesn't reliably zap ordnance (particularly concerning airstrike abilities, and ordnance that bounced off surfaces near the Pylon) should now be addressed.
Wattson's ultimate ability, due to bugs, was mainly used for constantly generating shields for your team. The Interception Pylon's ability to actually intercept things seems to be finally back. This should make Wattson a decent defender again. The Pylon also generates a limited amount of shields now, which fits the overall movement meta the game current-ly has. While Wattson can set up her defensive perimeter easier now, she won't be able to rely on the Pylon to prolong the fights. Keep in mind that Ash can directly teleport her whole team inside your fence-protected safe space, so make sure to leave no openings in your defense.
This image has no relation to the article. I just love Pathfinder. Sorry, not sorry. (Image: Respawn Entertainment)
Other Important Changes in Season 11
Care Package rotation is changed in Season 11, adding G7 Scout to the fold with its trusty Double-Tap Trigger equipped. Triple Take returns to ground loot and once again becomes the energy ammo shotgun it was. It's categorized as a marksman weapon, but you know what Triple Take's real purpose is.
A new hop-up, Dual Shell, is added to the game. Dual Shell hop-up doubles the rounds you load into Mastiff and 30-30 Repeater. It's 100% more bullet, per bullet.
Fully kitted weapon rotation is also changed, adding Mastiff, 30-30 Repeater, R-301, CAR, Longbow and removing Peacekeeper, Rampage, RE-45, Flatline, and Charge Rifle.
Supply drop weapon rates have been buffed immensely, changing as follows:
Early game crate weapon rate from 25% to 50%
Mid game crate weapon rate from 50% to 75%
Late game crate weapon rate from 75% to 100%
With this change, you'll be guaranteed to find weapons in the Care Package in the endgame. Keep in mind that this is the rate for all 4 weapons appearing, Kraber spawn rate is not raised to 100%.
Crafting is buffed, allowing you to have much better results. Now when you craft ammo, you get enough ammo to fill one inventory slot. 60 for light ammo, 24 for shotgun ammo, etc.
EVO shield points you gain from crafting are also buffed. Instead of 45 materials, it now requires 50 materials for you to upgrade your shield, but it will add 150 damage points instead of 100. This means 100 crafting materials can turn your unused blue EVO shield into a purple one. This will surely be one of the most impactful changes in the game. Prepare for a lot of red-shield combat in the endgame.
Your character will now yell "I'm out of [depleted ammo]" to teammates when you use up all your ammo in a fight. While this is a useful addition, it also creates a lot of funny scenarios where your character just screams, "I'm out of ammo!" right before getting killed. Reminiscent of Pharah's "Justice rains from above" line never being able to be fully delivered in Overwatch.
Much to the players' dismay, the random rock floating in mid-air in World's Edge is removed from the game in Season 11. RIP random rock, you touched the lives of many people.
Pictured: Dwayne Johnson (Image: u/LeSistern on Reddit)
Season 11 is definitely bringing a lot of changes, pointing to the direction Apex Legends intends to move towards. So far, Apex Legends has managed to make huge changes without losing the signature Apex feeling. Season 11 also seems to have kept the same tone. Here's hoping Apex Legends takes us all over the galaxy with new maps, new Legends, and new Titanfall lore. Seriously, guys, Titanfall 3 when?
See you on the hunting grounds, Legends.
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