Apex Legends recently released and blew up into the next big battle royale experience. What are some of the things it does right and what could Treyarch gain from learning from their example?
Apex Legends has a hefty bag of innovative new options and features that could seriously help out with Treyarch’s Blackout experience. These range from quality-of-life changes to new features entirely.
We’ll go through our six favorites from the new game (and a few Apex could use from Blackout). Please don’t hesitate to tell us anything we missed and what you would like to see Treyarch learn from Respawn’s latest release.
6 Features from Apex Legends to Blackout
Respawn System (Down But Not Out)
Apex Legends features a respawn system which allows teammates to recover “banners” from fallen comrades. These banners can then be brought to various respawn locations where teammates can be brought back via dropship.
The system adds a lot more depth to the Battle Royale experience and forces teams to finish out fights if they intend to completely keep another team out of the victory.
Call of Duty’s implementation of these feature could be quite simple for Treyarch. Make “Down But Not Out” on the main Blackout game modes as a direct competitor to Apex Legends. The mode already plays similarly and it received wide praise upon its release.
This one is a simple HUD feature. Apex Legends features a small “Squads remaining:” HUD feature directly next to the amount of players left. It’s actually a bit weird something of sort hasn’t graced battle royale sooner.
The feature is an elegant solution to players having to calculate the total through division. It saves a little time from a menial task. The game also changes the “Players remaining:” to a “?” once only a few squads survive to keep things interesting.
Apex Legends opted for an in-game, non-voice communication system based around pings (in addition to voice-chat).
Initiated with a simple R1/RB press, the pings are context-sensitive. This means if you are aiming at an enemy, the game will add a location ping to that enemy (current position). Alternatively, if you aim at a Level 3 Armor, the ping with inform teammates of the item you have found.
The ping system could go to help with random squads in Blackout. Since most players do not communicate through in-game voice chat with strangers, the pings would give a way for these teammates to let each other communicate. Button placement may differ in a Blackout implementation due to grenades/equipment.
Voice to Text
This one is a rather innovative and new feature. Apex Legends allows players to transcribe incoming audio from other players in text chat. The feature isn’t perfect as you might expect, but it gives a new layer of parental control.
Some younger players’ parents may not wish for their children to be in direct contact with strangers online, but the conversion feature allows players to get voice comms in a less personal, text format (allowing for more filtered content). It can also be a great feature for when you just don’t want to hear other players or when mic quality of teammates is sub-par.
Attachments Carry Over on Gun Switch
This one changed the battle royale landscape in terms of looting efficiency. In Apex, when you swap weapons for something new (ground loot or death boxes), all compatible attachments are transferred over to the next weapon. This means you will never have to spend time swapping out attachments, the game takes care of it for you.
Blackout could really use this feature as players have to fidget around with dropping all attachments constantly. The feature makes looting a breeze after gunfights and gets you back into the action faster. The less downtime in battle royale, the better in our opinion.
Field of View options
Apex Legends is among the first console games to allow for Field of View changes (FOV). The feature has been a mainstay in most PC titles since the 90s. It allows players to gain a wider viewing angle, meaning you gain additional peripheral vision as you increase the value.
The downside is that the FOV increase causes a bit of an “fish-eye” effect and can cause motion sickness in a subset of players. As such, the increased FOV should always remain an option rather than a mandatory increase.
2 Features from Blackout to Apex Legends
There’s also a few things that Blackout simply does better than Apex: Legends. Here’s some things the team at Respawn could learn from Treyarch:
Gun Shot Sound Radius
As of current, the combined movement speed and gun shot sound radius in Apex: Legends means that fights turn into teaming brawls. Once you’ve eliminated one team, another is bound to pop up instantly.
This is probably due to the gun shot sounds stretching over a massive amount of terrain. Along with the fast movement speed, there will nearly always be a team in ear shot. The result means that teams will constantly arrive after fights to finish off targets even when they were originally very far away.
Blackout faced similar problems, but Treyarch largely fixed it. Their solution was to decrease the overall sound travel distance and implement more audio systems to disallow sound from traveling through terrain. The changes have significantly helped reduce the “teaming” and Apex would stand to gain from the changes as well.
Separate Ammo Storage
Apex Legends puts all loot into the same category and all of it piles up in your backpack. This includes ammo, in stacks of various sizes. The mechanic is meant to provide balance on the amount of items a player can carry at one time, but ammo being tied to the system feels clunky. You are forced to make the decision between grenades, heals, ammo, etc., but usually ammo wins by default.
We believe that Apex Legends could benefit by moving the ammo to a dedicated ammo pouch with hard limits on the max ammo per type. Blackout does this and it means you can choose freely between other item types for your backpack. Having a few extra heals or more ammo is generally not a hard decision as you will always need more ammo to gunfight targets.
Tell us your thoughts on Apex Legends and follow @Titanfallblog for all the latest news on the game.
Activision executives reportedly discussing end of Call of Duty annual releases
A new report claims Activision are considering scrapping the series’ annual release schedule following Microsoft’s buyout.
Activision Blizzard executives are reportedly considering ending the Call of Duty franchise’s annual release schedule, with Bloomberg claiming discussions are ongoing.
For years, fans have become accustomed to receiving a new Call of Duty game every year. Without fail, Activision have published the latest entry in the legendary FPS franchise in October or November, giving players a new game to grind into the holiday seasons.
Some players have suggested this isn’t always a good thing, as this cycle gives CoD’s three developers a limited time to work on games, which can sometimes lead to issues when they launch. Sledgehammer Games have already delayed Vanguard Season 2 to try and address the problems plaguing the game.
Now, it appears that Activision’s higher-ups may be coming around to the idea of ending yearly releases for good.
According to a new report from Bloomberg, high-level employees at Activision “have discussed moving away from the annual release schedule.”
Jason Schreier reports that these plans haven’t been finalized yet, but there is a belief among the franchise’s development teams that this would “please players and help bolster the franchise” by lightening the intense workloads they currently face.
- Read More: Warzone January 20 update patch notes
This debate has been sparked after the lackluster reception to Vanguard, although Schreier states any change is unlikely to happen for at least a year or two, with Activision banking on 2022’s rumored Modern Warfare II to boost the franchise.
The move away from yearly releases would certainly offer developers more time to tweak and polish the game, and avoid many of the criticisms leveled at their games in the early days. Halo fans had to wait 6 years for Infinite, but the game was met with widespread acclaim at launch.
With the Microsoft acquisition of Activision, it’s expected that we could see some major changes to the publisher’s titles, although Phil Spencer has moved to calm fears that CoD could become an Xbox exclusive title.
For more on what could happen, check out how Microsoft and Xbox Studios could change Call of Duty forever.
Image Credits: Activision Blizzard
Here’s why 54% of CoD fans are happy about Microsoft’s Activision buyout
A recent poll revealed that 54% of Call of Duty fans were positive about Microsoft’s Activision buyout, and here’s their reasoning.
It was revealed in a Charlie INTEL poll that the majority of Call of Duty fans were glad of Microsoft’s planned Activision Blizzard takeover, with 54% agreeing it’s a good thing.
The game’s industry was shocked when Microsoft announced they’re planning to buy Activision Blizzard King for almost $70 billion. This gives them exclusive rights to some of the biggest gaming franchises in the world such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch.
We asked the Call of Duty community their thoughts, and the majority were excited about the franchise’s future under Microsoft. However, some were more hesitant to celebrate the news.
54% of CoD players say Microsoft’s Activision buyout is a good thing
Charlie INTEL conducted a poll on January 19, roughly 24 hours after the monumental news broke, asking Call of Duty fans: “What’s your reaction to the Microsoft buyout of Activision Blizzard?”
Over half of the 28,000 votes believed it will be a good thing. Just over 12% think it will be bad for the industry, and 33% aren’t sure yet.
Unfortunately, Microsoft’s plans for Activision’s properties are as clear as mud. They sound hopeful that Activision titles will hit Xbox Game Pass, but we’ll likely need to wait until the acquisition goes through to know more.
Why CoD players are happy with Microsoft’s Activision buyout
Several players explained why they think Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard takeover is a good thing.
“For worker culture at Activision Blizzard it seems like things will likely improve,” said popular Call of Duty leaker TheGhostOfHope. “COD will likely see a much more healthy developer ecosystem as well. Microsoft being able to buy the competition like they are is a slippery slope long term though. Overall I’d say it’s good.”
One player was extremely positive about the acquisition, saying that “if anyone thinks this is a bad thing” then “you need to think again.” They believe that “Microsoft has come a long way and isn’t spending 70 billion to make CoD worse. It can only get better. But it will take time.”
Many were hopeful that Microsoft would scrap Call of Duty’s yearly release cycle. Both Black Ops Cold War and Vanguard were released with broken and missing features, and many players believe these developers should be given much more time to perfect the game.
“I overall see this as a good thing and can hope that xbox will stop the yearly cod cycle and fix warzone,” said one player. TangoCheeseball echoed their statement, saying they hope that Microsoft supports CoD 2022 for two years, and then Treyarch returns with a new title in 2024 or 2025.
Xbox players were obviously glad, expecting to receive exclusive content and Call of Duty on Game Pass. “I’m on Xbox so game pass bouta be blessed but not sure if it’ll be a upgrade for Cod or if it will just stay the same. Either way a positive for xbox,” said LiLbotboi.
But of course, not every player was happy about the acquisition. Many had doubts over Microsoft’s monopoly over the games industry, with them already owning Bethesda, and worried that Call of Duty would go Xbox/PC exclusive.
“If they choose to make all of Activision’s future games exclusive to Xbox/PC, it’s doing a disservice to all gamers,” said Elkucuy.
Newbro101_ was more open-minded, saying: “It’s way too early to tell if it’s a good thing or not, once I notice an actual change in games it’s good [I guess].”
There’s no way of knowing what Microsoft has in store for Call of Duty and its development teams. We can only hope the change is positive for both Activision staff and the CoD community.
However, we have some thoughts on what may change, so check out the five ways Microsoft buying Activision could change Call of Duty forever.
Image Credits: Activision Blizzard / Microsoft
How Microsoft buying Activision could change Call of Duty forever
Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is a seizmic shift for gaming, and Xbox could make make some major changes to Call of Duty.
The world of gaming was rocked on January 18 when Microsoft confirmed they had agreed to buy Activision Blizzard. With Xbox Studios set to add CoD’s developers to their sprawling family of game creators, we take a look at five ways Call of Duty could change forever.
It’s rare that real surprises take place in the gaming industry, but everyone was left speechless when word of Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard broke on January 18. Worth close to $70 billion according to reports, it immediately becomes gaming’s biggest buyout ever.
The deal, which will close before June 2023, will see CoD developers Treyarch, Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games, and Raven Software all become wider parts of the Xbox Studios family, bringing past and future Call of Duty titles with them.
With such a seismic change, what could the Microsoft buyout mean for the future of the series, and what changes could Xbox Studios make to Call of Duty moving forward? We’ve picked out five ways the legendary FPS franchise could change forever once the deal is complete.
Call of Duty becomes Xbox-exclusive
The topic on every Call of Duty fan’s lips right now is Xbox exclusivity. With Microsoft adding the biggest console FPS title to their portfolio, they could use it to drive consumers away from the PS5 by announcing that future CoD titles are only available on the Xbox Series X|S.
Thankfully, that seems fairly unlikely, at least for the time being. Microsoft Gaming’s CEO Phil Spencer has already eased fears, telling Bloomberg that “it’s not our intent to pull communities away from [Sony’s] platform, and we remain committed to that.”
Still, we wouldn’t expect to see Sony’s deal for exclusive content on PlayStation consoles continue for long, with Microsoft likely to move that feature to Xbox as soon as possible.
A focus on Ranked Play
Ranked Play is a controversial word for CoD players. For years, players have bemoaned the franchise’s lackluster, and sometimes entirely missing, ranked playlists. A decade on, Black Ops 2’s League Play is still the gold standard in the franchise.
Under Xbox though, this might finally change. Halo Infinite featured a ranked playlist at launch, something we’ve been begging developers to do for years.
It’s unlikely that this will be Xbox’s biggest focus, but perhaps we could see CoD developers following 343 Industries’ path in the future.
CoD’s annual release schedule ends
This one is pretty unlikely, but as it stands, Xbox don’t have any titles that release on a yearly schedule – something Call of Duty is synonymous with.
Halo fans had to wait six years between Guardians and Infinite, and while we don’t think there would ever be such a huge gap between titles, Xbox Studios may be more open to granting developers more time to polish games before release.
- Read More: Best Warzone guns: Every weapon ranked
A greater focus on frequent Warzone updates, and using existing Xbox studios to help Raven Software, could help to plug a longer gap between mainline franchise releases.
Remastered CoD games & Xbox Game Pass
Game Pass has been a huge focus for Xbox, giving players the opportunity to play hundreds of games, starting at $9.99 a month. What better way to get Call of Duty players on the service than adding fan-favorite titles to its extensive library?
Who wouldn’t be pulling out their credit card to get back into CoD 4’s legendary campaign, or to dive into World At War’s classic Zombies mode?
If Microsoft wanted to go the extra mile, they could even add remastered versions of these games. Rumors suggest that an updated version of Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer was in development at one point, and Game Pass could be the perfect place to release it.
Minecraft Steve in Zombies? Master Chief in multiplayer? Forza cars in Warzone? All of these crazy ideas are now possible, as we expect to see major crossovers between Xbox games and Call of Duty.
- Read More: 10 best Call of Duty maps ever
While CoD’s Attack on Titan collaboration wasn’t well-received, the teams who create Microsoft’s iconic characters could actively work with studios like Sledgehammer and Raven to create awesome skins and cosmetics.
And really, who wouldn’t want to win a Warzone match as a kitted-out Spartan from Halo?
Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard creates so many options and theories, it could make your head spin. The reality is that we’ve never seen any deal as big as this in gaming, and the possibilities are endless. These are just a few possibilities, but Xbox may have even bigger plans than we could imagine.
With so many ideas and concerns, all we can do for now is wait and see how it all plays out. Still, we can’t contain our excitement at what could come next when the deal concludes before June 2023.
Image Credits: Activision Blizzard / Microsoft / 343 Industries
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