Respawn Explains More About Apex Legends Region Locks
The Apex developer is working on addressing the issue of cheating in ranked play, with a soft region lock part of its initial solution.
After implementing a matchmaking change aimed at the highest levels of ranked play in Apex Legends, Respawn has taken to Twitter to explain a little more about the experiment. It describes the tweak as a "soft region lock" with the aim being to guarantee "competitive integrity" at higher ranks.
While Respawn has said that it's working on a number of changes to address cheating in ranked play, including "work to improve the netcode when you fight a player with a bad connection to the server," the main change players may have noticed is the soft region lock.
The region lock only affects players in Apex's two highest ranks, Masters and Predators, and works by automatically placing the party in "the lowest latency datacenter available to the party leader," rather than letting players choose their own server. The results of the initial testing show a much higher percentage of players being placed in their local server.
...where the matchmaker picked the lowest latency datacenter available to the party leader. We ran this experiment for 2 weeks and here are some interesting results on how it impacted server population: We saw most regions regaining a portion of their native players. pic.twitter.com/Dd7Fzq4owp— Respawn (@Respawn) December 21, 2021
We understand that many of you prefer to play on servers outside your region for various reasons, including a concern for cheaters...— Respawn (@Respawn) December 21, 2021
...but please know we are continuing to work on addressing these concerns with our game security team and we will continue to evaluate ways to improve the quality of competitive matches in the coming months.— Respawn (@Respawn) December 21, 2021
Respawn acknowledged that many who play outside of their closest server do so for specific reasons, including avoiding regions that are seen to have a higher number of cheaters or hackers, but the developer has also promised future updates will address cheating issues within competitive play.
This experiment is just one of many ways Respawn has worked to address issues experienced by Apex players, and the effort put into improving the game is one of the reasons Apex Legends was one of Gamespot's top live-service games for 2021.
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