Apex Legends Season 6 brings with it a new crafting system in which you “collect materials around the map and build something better!” This is a great addition to the game in theory, but it might serve to break up the gameplay flow. Like, in a negative way.
Battle royales at their core are about dropping in, collecting loot, picking fights and surviving to the end. Up until now, Apex Legends has kept things relatively simple in terms of gameplay. You land, loot, and shoot your way to the best gear in a bid to become the Champion. While other games have upgrade systems, they usually work with the flow of the game.
Warzone has a buy system — spend currency, get upgrades and teammate revivals. The size of the map –and how you get around it — in Warzone are key. They give players the ability to plan and make decisions based around the Buy Stations. If a squad mate returns from the grave in Warzone — by your hand or not — they usually have a good amount of time to get kitted out.
Hyper Scape by comparison has a simple fusion method – pop into a building during a quick fight and upgrade your weapon or ability on the fly. There is barely any break in the action — aside from the time it takes to finish the animations. Fortnite… well yeah. You know all about Fortnite and its ability to scoff at calls for patience. “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Well I just built a whole city with a grenade. Hectic fights can be postponed at any moment with the build mechanic – so pacing usually flip-flops anyway.
Each game has its own way to give the player a potential edge in a fight. I guess we could say that the abilities and ultimates gave us that edge in Apex. But now the crafting system offers up more ways to have a one-up on opponents.
Speaking of fights, you’re going to have a lot of them, that’s a given. Throw crafting into the mix, suddenly it’s like you’re on World’s Edge 24/7. Squads will be too busy running around finding materials to fight — unless they pick the same area. Collecting and running around could mean less actual battles until the last few rings — where combat becomes impossible to avoid.
King’s Canyon is usually exempt from this problem, as you’re pretty much only getting breathing room if you win a fight. And that’s a big if. The same thing may happen with the new map, but we don’t know yet. Hopefully it’s a mix of both — lots of hectic engagements, with adequate recovery and crafting time.
Whether the crafting takes a form players are familiar with, or if it’s completely new will be seen soon enough. However crafting is implemented in Apex Legends, it’s sure to change how players go about engagements and exploration. My only hope is that Respawn have tested this system adequately. If crafting alters the game too much it may end up driving people away in the process.