Despite all of the changes added to Apex Legends to launch season seven — new map, new character, vehicles and some major adjustments to existing characters — it was barely out of the door yesterday when the game’s biggest supporters started to turn against it, spurring a quick response.
Like many other “free” games that are popular right now, EA’s battle royale shooter features a battle pass system where players can pay for a set of collectible items that unlock as they keep playing the game. It costs about ten bucks and serves as a pseudo-subscription model that you can renew or simply ignore every few months. For the new season, the game’s developers rolled out their biggest battle pass change since the game debuted a year and a half ago.
Under the old system, a lot of your progress came by stacking up XP points with kills, time survived, revives and other in-game actions that contributed directly to your battle pass level. A new “simplified” approach got rid of that, opting for a set of stars that players must unlock to move from one level to the next, and while XP is a part of that, it’s not enough to move the bar by itself.
Once season seven started, players complained that even playing the game for several hours a day wasn’t enough to progress noticeably. The amount of play that used to net five or even ten levels of progress is now only worth two or three at most. Additionally, challenges like placing in the top five in five ranked games or respawning 60 teammates could be tough to unlock, and only rewarded about half of a level.
In posts on Twitter, Reddit and YouTube they estimated that unlocking the full set of items would require playing several hours a day every day, and chasing goals set as daily and weekly challenges almost all the time, instead of simply playing the game normally.
Now the Apex Legends team tweeted that, effective immediately, the amount of XP required to earn a star has been cut in half, from 10,000 to 5,000. They also said that starting next week, “Weekly Challenges will take much less time to complete.”
In a follow up tweet they explained that the goals for the new system are to “Make it engaging for the entire length of the season (and) encourage you to try out new Legends and playstyles.” As a player of the game I can appreciate that, but the new system went way overboard by forcing users to play a hero they don’t like, or to choose rare weapons just to complete challenges. The old battle pass system worked well, and hopefully these tweaks get it back to where it should be.