At the beginning of Season 6, Apex Legends made a pretty radical change to its meta: no longer would players simply cross their fingers and hope for good armour, they would be able to earn their layers by causing damage. All armour was swapped with Evo Armour, meaning players could pick up white or blue pre-levelled armour from the ground, and would then have to attack other players to evolve it to higher-tier levels.
In theory, it was a good way to encourage fights and reduce reliance on lucky looting – but the Evo Armour change came with a 25 hit-point nerf to all armour, which meant that time to kill (TTK) was reduced. This alteration didn’t go down all too well with the community, many of whom preferred longer battles in Apex Legends and felt the TTK change lowered the skill gap.
Well, the all-Evo Armour change is staying: but Respawn has now decided to revert all armour pieces to their previous values.
“From the start of Apex Legends development, one of our core pillars was that getting the drop on someone should give those players a significant advantage,” Jason McCord explained in a blog post. “We aimed to promote strategy in battlefield positioning and map control. When these tactics were executed well, but a team still outplayed you because of mechanical skill – this felt bad.”
McCord went on to explain the reduction in armour values had been intended to balance out the proliferation of red armour, which had tilted the balance in favour of good players rather than teamwork in Respawn’s internal playtests. He noted, however, that the team didn’t realise the full impact of the change until it was rolled out on public servers.
“…We are a small group of people compared to the millions that play Apex Legends every day,” McCord explained. “The skill levels in our team are varied, and big balance changes are really only going to be vetted when we get feedback from all of you.
“We are always striving to improve the experience in Apex Legends. Experimentation is an essential part of that. We won’t always get things right, but it’s important for us to listen and correct things when we don’t.”
Returning to the old armour values should help lengthen battles and give players more of a chance should they be ambushed, so hopefully this will address the community’s concerns. Answering questions in response to the blog post on Reddit, one Respawn dev said the team may also change Evo Armour again to “require more damage to go from purple to red”, making it harder to achieve the game’s top-tier armour. Not that I see much of it anyway.