When Season 5 of Apex Legends launched on May 12, the patch notes had something interesting to say about Octane. His trampoline ultimate got a cooldown reduction, which the notes described as the “first step in pushing more team utility for Octane.” Respawn has more plans for him on the way, and I personally can’t wait to see what they are.
Brainstorming over the very minimal information we have, I have narrowed down some possible ways in which Octane could change.
Launch Pad buffs
Given the wording of the patch notes, it’s likely that something will change with how Octane’s Launch Pad works. It may automatically reload the guns of squad-mates using it, or grant them some minimal damage resistance while they’re in transit. This would make the ability a lot more useful for engaging enemies, and be in-line with Octane’s character.
As it stands, the Launch Pad is so-so for repositioning and attacking, and just plain doesn’t work as an escape method because pursuers can just use it to catch you. Any sort of buff to its functionality is welcome, although it would also likely open it up to exploits.
Something much cooler Respawn could do is make Octane’s pads work like traps. They would function as normal jump pads for him and his team, but act like bear traps for enemy players, rooting and revealing them for a second. Apex Legends internally classifies Launch Pads as traps, and clever players have already used them as such.
This unfortunately will not happen, since it would go against Octane’s archetype as a mobile skirmisher. It also just does not align with the idea of additional team utility. Which is too bad.
Changes to Swift Mend
Perhaps Octane’s changes won’t have anything to do with the Launch Pad. Players have noted that his overall kit is underwhelming, with his passive just making up for his tactical’s drawback. In the end, Octane ends up needing more healing than other Apex legends, despite his passive regeneration. Perhaps this is why he’s so close with Lifeline in the official lore – she’s the only one who can keep him going.
An interesting change would therefore be to make his Stim tactical no longer consume HP to use, slightly increasing its cooldown to compensate. Octane will then be able to leave more of the healing items he finds behind for his squad-mates – which is a form of team utility, if you don’t think too hard about it.
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