Apex Legends Season 10: Great Success or Both by Respawn?

Darin Buenaluz, Staff Writer

Season 10 of Respawn Entertainment’s battle royale Apex Legends released on Aug. 1 to a storm of controversy. The addition of the new Legend Seer, major changes and buffs to weapons that probably didn’t need them, and the same old servers from Brazil caused an uproar in the community. However, the new season also brought some of Twitch’s biggest streamers to the game. Even though Respawn failed to balance major components of the season’s release content, they have continued to prove that they understand what goes on in the game and hear what the community says, saving this season from going down the drain. For now.

Season 10, titled Emergence, brought a lot of big changes to the Apex scene. One of the most unanimously overpowered additions was the new Legend, Seer. Though Apex Legends factors gun skill and positioning into being successful in game like other battle royales, a major factor that separates it and arguably makes it much better is the different legends and their abilities. Abilities have significant control over winning team fights, relocating, and even finding good equipment.

Seer’s abilities give him an unbalanced amount of information about his enemies. His Passive ability allows him to detect when people are nearby without having to see them. His Tactical ability does a plethora of things instantaneously, including revealing his enemies’ location, their health and shield (which serves as additional health), and canceling their abilities, healing, or attempts to revive. His Ultimate ability creates a large sphere, where anyone inside that is moving or shooting will be detected. The strength of these abilities means that in order to effectively fight other teams, having a Seer in your team composition is essential.

Season 10 also brought major changes to different weapons in the game. However, these changes have meant that the variety of weapons used by players has become smaller due to a select few being far more powerful than others. 

The L-Star serves as a prime example of a weapon that didn’t need the buff it received, as a light machine gun, it is capable of firing a large number of rounds at a time. What sets it apart is that it theoretically doesn’t have a reload; rather, it heats up the longer it is fired, and when it overheats the lens inside the weapon must be changed, which takes a few seconds. In Season 10, Energy Magazines were made available to the L-Star, increasing the amount of ammo that can be fired before it overheats while also decreasing the time it takes for it to cool down. As a result, the L-Star has been used significantly more in both casual and competitive games to the point where it is practically abused. Other weapons that have been buffed and been used as a “crutch” (a weapon or ability that requires little to no skill for it to be strong,) include the Prowler and Alternator submachine guns. 

Emergence’s new weapon addition, the Rampage, has also been a subject of debate. While it shoots fairly slow for a light machine gun and has a fairly inaccurate hitfire (shooting a weapon without aiming down sights), it does a large amount of damage per shot, and can break doors when charged up with a Thermite Grenade. No other gun in the game is capable of breaking objects. This makes the Rampage one of the most frustrating weapons to deal with during medium-range gunfights.

While the release of Seer was arguably one of the most overpowered legend releases since the beginning of Apex Legends, the team at Respawn brought legends who were previously underperforming back into the competitive meta. This includes Horizon, who was heavily nerfed in Season 9. Horizon had been nerfed due to her Tactical ability being far too strong and lacked effective counterplay, but Season 10 increased its effectiveness again, while keeping it balanced, after her pick rate dropped significantly. Another legend that received major buffs was Fuse, who had struggled to stay relevant in comparison to other legends due to his overall kit of abilities being mediocre.

Though many changes were made with Season 10, one thing that has remained constant is server issues. Apex Legends has always had server issues that result in players lagging, teleporting around the map or simply losing connection to the game, but over the recent seasons these problems have only gotten worse, despite Respawn’s attempts to fix them. Fortunately, Sept. 22 promised server patches intended to improve these issues.. Apex Legends has also had a serious issue of sound, with countless complaints by players who have been killed by other players or teams who have shown up without any audio cues whatsoever.

Despite the controversial additions and never-changing bugs of Season 10, Apex Legends saw one of its largest spikes in player increase since May, with a peak of over 330,000 players. Many of these players have been brought to the game thanks to some of Twitch’s largest streamers trying out the game and introducing their audiences to it. Such streamers include CouRage JD, Nickmercs, Myth, and Ninja, all of whom brought popularity to previously popular battle royales such as Fortnite and Call of Duty: Warzone. This adds further revenue for the game and more players in addition to the tens of thousands who have remained loyal to the game due to already big names in the Apex community, such as TSM_ImperialHal, Aceu, and iiTzTimmy

As previously mentioned, one of the biggest components that sets Apex Legends apart from other battle royales is the unparalleled movement that players can get. Different mechanics and abilities allow players to bounce off walls, gain large speed boosts, or make themselves harder to hit. One of these mechanics is tap-strafing, which can be done by binding the command for jumping in-game to the scroll wheel on your mouse. When timed with using the directional keys and moving, it allows players to sharply redirect their movement without losing momentum. Tap-strafing is especially useful when you want to get to specific locations quicker, as it allows you to do things such as 90-degree turns going up in order to reach the top of a building, or getting into cover without having to run.

Overall, Season 10 has had a lot of major changes, yet simultaneously seen a continuity in prevalent issues. Considering this has been a trend with Apex Legends over the past several seasons, in some cases Emergence has been normal by Apex standards thus far. However, this hasn’t kept many players from still playing the game.

“It’s interesting, but nothing exciting,” said junior Richard Wei. “Respawn Entertainment has always kept Apex interesting, but the excitement that comes with the game hasn’t ever really left, so it’s difficult to improve upon the continuous flow of general liking towards the game.”

“Overall, it’s a good game,” said junior Aaron Tse. “Map rotations are nice, the guns are somewhat balanced, and the movement is still cool.”

Apex Legends is by no means a perfect game, and it never will be perfect. But it has remained consistent in providing and keeping content that makes its community happy and continuously involved for over two and a half years. Its developers listen to what the players want and try their best to balance the game accordingly, while explaining why they make certain decisions if they come off as unpopular. It is unlikely that Apex Legends will fade from popularity any time soon, when it has been causing other games to do so instead. As for Season 10, while we’re only halfway through the season and already experienced a lot of hiccups, I believe that this will be one of the most beneficial seasons for the game, where the players and developers learn more about what they want or don’t want in the game and determine what happens next season.