For me, the beginning of a typical Apex Legends match is always a mad rush to first grab a weapon, and then to find a backpack to store more precious loot. Starting with tomorrow's 4.1 patch, a lot of changes are coming to Respawn's battle royale. Among them are a revamped inventory system that'll have players starting with more slots, but needing to choose between smaller stacks of healing items, ammo, and grenades.
The full patch notes for tomorrow's Apex update are live at EA's official website, and go into great detail about the inventory tweaks, buffs, and nerfs that players will quickly need to adjust to on tomorrow's first drop into World's Edge. From the get-go, every character's inventory has been increased by two slots, and each level of backpack has also had two slots added to their totals. To compensate for this, ammo stacks save for shotgun and sniper ammo have been reduced, you can now carry two thirds as many healing items in a stack, and grenades have been hit hardest—each frag, thermite, or arc star occupies a whole slot.
On a newly-released developer stream, Apex's lead game designer Carlos Pineda explains that the inventory change was mainly motivated by a desire to cut down on grenade spam. "Towards the endgame [players] are just chucking grenades, and that's just your life," says Pineda. "It kind of makes Wattson almost a must-have."
For Apex's cast of Legends, Bloodhound's scanning ability is being buffed to three times its base distance at the cost of a slower activation, Crypto's weapon will automatically reload while in drone view, and Gibraltar—in a bit of news that'll surely be a salve for many saddened grenade chuckers who've also been steamrolled by Gibby mains—is having his gun shield's health reduced by a third.
Respawn is also taking this opportunity to tweak a few guns and, with the exception of sniper rifles and shotguns, reduce the amount of muzzle flash across the board. "The feedback got pretty loud," says design director Jason McCord. "It became something, obviously, that we knew we wanted to change[...] it wasn't just that the effects were bright, it's that they rendered a certain way when the environment was a certain brightness."
The patch will debut alongside a two-week collection event called System Override, which will see the introduction of a limited-time Deja Loot game mode, exclusive skins, and a change to the way Apex's heirloom-rarity items are unlocked. In Deja Loot, item spawns, dropship paths, and circle locations will be non-random, meaning players can learn where the best loot is and strategize around consistent late-game routes.
Deja Loot will also serve as the test bed for Apex's new evo shields: armor that levels up in strength to Apex's new highest cap as you do damage. Respawn will monitor player feedback on the shields during the event before it adds them to the base game.
Kings Canyon (this time, the season two variant) will pop up again in Deja Loot next week, and soon after Apex's ranked mode will have a split that reintroduces the old map for the rest of the season. For more on what's new in Apex Legends season 4, read about the major additions to World's Edge and check out Hirun's thoughts on the new Legend, Revenant.