Apex Legends Patch Notes Buff Rampart, Leak A New Gun, And Explain Why Tap-Strafing Had To Go

Alongside balance changes to Rampart and various weapon balance updates, Respawn goes in-depth on why tap-strafing is being removed.

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Apex Legends' Evolution update is coming September 14-28, and when it does, it will bring big changes to Rampart alongside the removal of the ability to "tap-strafe" in Respawn's popular battle royale. Oh, and Respawn accidently leaked a new weapon as well.

The new weapon, the Nemesis Burst AR, appears in a screenshot included in the game's patch notes showcasing the upcoming changes coming to Arenas mode as part of the Evolution event. Respawn director of communications Ryan K. Rigney wrote on Twitter that the weapon is not ready for release and won't be coming any time soon, which might explain why the image of the weapon in the screenshot (seen below) appears to be a placeholder, as it looks just like the already existing R-301 Carbine.

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Rampart is receiving a major buff with the arrival of the update. Her ultimate ability, the stationary minigun Sheila, is now mobile. Rampart will be able to run with the weapon out and shoot while walking. However, the weapon will have limited ammunition in this mode, and will take longer to spin up. Players can still choose to place Sheila in a stationary position, in which case it will work just as her ultimate always has.

Respawn's announcement last week that tap-strafing was being removed was met with strong opinions all around. In the Evolution event patch notes, Respawn explains more in-depth why the move--a movement quirk that allows mouse-and-keyboard players to turn on a dime in a way Respawn never intended--is being removed. Players will no longer be able to bind forward movement to the mouse wheel on PC, which is the primary way tap-strafing is performed.

As Respawn explains, it boils down to three primary reasons: The move is inaccessible (i.e. it's impossible to learn organically), it lacks readability and can't be countered, and it is exacerbated by certain movement abilities.

It's that third reason in particular, Respawn says, that is the most problematic. When certain legend abilities like Pathfinder's grapple and Octane's speed boost are combined with tap-strafing, it can cause "mobility creep" in the game that makes it difficult to properly balance.

"While many love the freedom that Apex’s movement system affords, constraints are just as important," Respawn developer John Larson writes in the game's patch notes. "It’s not surprising that mobility legends are highly popular. Why don’t we just do more of that? Well, over time (and I’d say we are already seeing it) mobility creep can open up a Pandora's box of new problems to solve. How is third partying affected by mobility? Within a fight, how are frontlines defined? How quickly can I close the gap on an enemy? As a game, Apex is designed to work well with a finite number of movement possibilities."

Larson notes that while the move is being removed for the time being, it is also now tunable, meaning Respawn could add the mechanic back into the game or even iterate on it in the future.

Additional balance changes are also coming to other weapons like the Hemlock, which is receiving a buff, the EVA-8 and Mozambique, which are being nerfed, and adjustments to both the L-Star and Bocek Compound Bow. Players will be be able to swap from a Red to a Gold Shield with more health without a longer button press, which is a nice quality-of life-change.

As part of the Evolution event, players can acquire a brand-new heirloom wrench for Rampart that also serves as a gumball dispenser, as well as new rare and legendary skins for characters Wraith, Octane, Pathfinder, Fuse, Bangalore, and Lifeline as part of the limited-time collection event. You can find the full patch notes for the update below.

Apex Legends Evolution Collection Event Patch Notes

RAMPART TOWN TAKEOVER - BIG MAUDE

After a few rough starts to her previous shops, Rampart is pulling out the big guns with the mod shop of her dreams. Finally, she'll be able to show the Outlands—and Big Sister—what she's always been capable of creating.

Enter Big Maude, Rampart’s custom shop (also a giant tank, what else would you expect?) located near Lava City in World’s Edge. This POI is big enough to accommodate a few teams fighting over the shop itself, and she’s also built a wonderful paintball course out front that acts as a spill off location if the drop just looks too spicy.

Inside the shop, you can use collected materials to purchase Rampart’s Custom Modded Paintball Weapons from the new Vend-it Machines. These guns cost a bit, but they come fully kitted at different tiers. This should give players a reason to rotate here mid-game if their weapons just aren’t as upgraded as they’d like.

As usual, be on the lookout for extra lore sprinkled around. Rampart’s shop is back open for business!

RAMPART ARENAS TAKEOVER

Rampart has slipped into the Arenas and is offering modded weapons at special discounts! These marked-down modded weapons replace their base version for the match, making lower tiers of that weapon unavailable. Her special deals update frequently, so be sure to check what’s available in your match and plan accordingly.

RAMPART’S HEIRLOOM: PROBLEM SOLVER

While the brick-and-mortar location might be in Battle Royale, Rampart’s bringing her entrepreneurship into the Arenas too in “Rampart’s Arenas Extravaganza,” with special discounts meant to inspire players to change up their usual loadouts. For all of her hard work, Rampart’s getting a “Problem Solver:” a brand-new Heirloom pipe wrench, complete with a gumball dispenser. Who could ask for anything more? Oh, well - how about an upgrade to Sheila?

Finally, unlock event-limited cosmetics for Wraith, Octane, Pathfinder, Fuse, Bangalore, Rampart, and Lifeline that give a glimpse into what our Legends could become with time and technology on their side.

BALANCE CHANGES

Rampart

  • Sheila has gone mobile!
    • Rampart will now be able to run around with Sheila out, and shoot while walking. The spin up is longer, and she only gets 1 magazine in this mode.
    • Once Sheila is out, you can put it away and pull it back out until you run out of ammo (or hit the cooldown time).
    • At any point, you can still place Sheila down for your teammates to use. Once placed, it has infinite reloads and acts just like the previous version. You cannot pick it back up.

Dev Note: A legend based solely on a defensive position is hard to get right in Apex Legends. We think Rampart has a place as the ultimate defensive Legend, but we wanted to give her a little more ability to be reactive and push with her team. As usual, we’ll be watching to see how this plays out and will adjust accordingly!

Revenant

  • VFX (similar to the pulse on Loba ult placement) added to increase visibility for when a totem is placed nearby.

Octane

  • Reduced jump pad horizontal distance by 10% - 15%.
  • Reduced the rate of Octane’s Stim regen from 1.5 to 1.0 hp/sec.

Bloodhound

  • When Bloodhound pings a clue from their passive, it will now show their teammates in quickchat how long ago the event took place

Bocek Compound Bow

  • Draw speed slightly reduced from 0.56 to 0.54
  • Arrows per brick increased from 14 to 16
  • Arrows per inventory stack increased from 28 to 32

Hemlok

  • Reduced hipfire spread
  • Hipfire resets slightly faster

Dev Notes: The Hemlok’s hipfire effectiveness was reduced a few seasons ago and since then the weapon has seen a steady decline in use. Bringing back some of that hipfire strength (but not all) should help the weapon feel more consistent in close quarters without being dominant or affecting its medium-range excellence.

Shatter Caps - Bocek Compound Bow

  • Damage per pellet increased across all draw strengths
    • Short draw damage: 4 to 6
    • Medium draw: 7 to 9
    • Full draw: 11 to 12

Shatter Caps - 30-30 Repeater

  • ADS Strafe speed increased to shotgun strafe speed while Shatter Caps are enabled
  • Charged pellet damage multiplier increased from 35% to 50%

Dev Notes: When Shatter Caps work they feel amazing, but currently it can still feel a little punishing to swap into the mode. Increasing the damage potential and improving the CQC flow of the 30-30 should help Shatters feel a little more accessible and rewarding.

L-STAR

  • Cool-off time slightly increased
  • Overheat lens replacement time slightly increased
  • Rounds before overheat reduced at base and all Energy Magazine tiers
    • Base: 22 to 20
    • White: 24 to 22
    • Blue: 26 to 24
    • Purple/Gold: 28 to 26
  • Arenas price adjustments:
    • Base: 500 to 600
    • Blue: 300 to 250
    • Purple: 400 to 350

Dev Notes: We’re nudging down the L-STAR’s core stats a bit to smooth out the power progression in what we think is a slightly more healthy top-end. We’ll keep a close eye on the L-STAR and it’s recoil as we enter the second half of Emergence. In Arenas, we’re well aware of it’s prevalence in high-level lobbies and are pricing it out of the first round. These changes essentially increase the blue cost by 50 and keep the purple price the same. If its pick rate remains unchanged, we will hotfix further adjustments.

Shotguns

  • EVA-8 and Mozambique headshot damage multiplier reduced from 1.5 to 1.25 bringing it in line with the Peacekeeper and Mastiff.

Dev Notes: The EVA-8 holds a lot of power in its speed and leniency compared to its counterparts, the PK and Mastiff. It’s got the edge with fire rate and consistency so we’re shaving off some of its spike damage to even the playing field. We’re normalizing the Mozambique as well for consistency within the shotgun class and to give the P2020 some space as the more precise early game weapon.

Triple Take

  • ADS charge time decreased from 1.0 to 0.8

QUALITY OF LIFE UPDATES

  • Shortened the out-of-bounds timer from 30 seconds to 15.
    • Your timer should be reset after being respawned.
  • Swapping from Red to a Gold Shield with more health no longer requires a long press.
  • Evo Shields in deathboxes now show their health.
  • Early Leaver Warning has been improved to help people from accidentally leaving before their party is dead.
    • You now need to hold the confirm button down for a small amount of time
    • The highlighting is different colored than other prompts to catch your attention
    • Red text warning showing your leaving penalty added
  • Added character portraits to "detected" widget for recon characters.

BUG FIXES

UI

  • Fixed a bug where Streamer mode wouldn’t anonymize the names on the scoreboard in Arenas mode
  • Fixed issue for when players would randomly get un-readied while matchmaking in Ranked.
  • Fix for Ranked Arenas: longest win streak number was incorrect for some players when viewed in the Stats screen.
  • Fixed cases where players would still see Ranked icons when switching over to Arenas while inspecting personal stats.
  • Fix for cases where the player would still see the Abandon Penalty countdown when getting other messages like RECEIVED PREMIUM CURRENCY.
  • Removed the red speaker icon that would show up on the upper right corner of the screen that served no purpose.
  • Fix for when the Playlist Selector would sometimes flicker.
  • Players should no longer encounter a string issue in the Timeline when they have a ";" in their username.
  • Fixed cases where the name of killed players was not always showing up when a player died.
  • Fixed a rare bug that can cause the Observer to get stuck on the Intro Screen at the start of a match.

Fuse

  • Motherload ultimate will no longer highlight enemies far below the ring.

Seer

  • Increased the hitbox for Exhibit Ultimate to better match the model.

Loba

  • Loba can no longer glitch into Skyhook when using her tactical.
  • Fix cases for when Loba’s ultimate visualfx do not appear while aiming down sites.

Rampart

  • Fixed bug that could get players stuck under the map after dismounting from Ramparts Turret on a Trident.

Bangalore

  • Fix for the times when pinging a Prowler would trigger a voice line that mentions a removed hop-up.

Lifeline

  • Switch Only - Fix for cases where players couldn’t complete training due to her Ultimate malfunctioning,

Gibraltar

  • Fix for cases where it appeared that Gibraltar's Ultimate caused dropped audio.

Wattson

  • Fixed a bug where Wattson would start matches with 30 fences.

Valkyrie

  • Fixed an exploit where players could get continuous missiles after exploiting Valkyrie's passive/tactical as well as use the Vtol jets infinitely.

Sentinel

  • Fix for when players would still see "Amped" or "Revved up" from Sentinel or Rampage after swapping weapons.

Wingman

  • Fix for reactive skins, “Precision Calibur” and “Attention to Detail” where part of the skins appeared stuck in place when shooting.

World’s Edge

  • Various fixes on World’s Edge cleaning up some bad collisions, exploitable hiding spots, and areas where players could get stuck.

Firing Range

  • Fix for the mysterious fire show that could appear in Firing Range and cause a crash.

MISC

  • Fix for cases where players were able to reach farther than intended when punching an enemy player.
  • Private Match Fix - Observers should no longer get stuck on the intro screen for the duration of the match.
  • Fix for Audio fluttering that could happen when killing someone during self-revive.
  • Various fixes to improve overall game stability.
  • (PC only) You’ll no longer be able to bind forward movement to the Mouse wheel on PC. This previously enabled an exaggerated movement tech known as "Tap Strafing. See the dev note below for more context.

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