If mobility is key in Apex Legends, then having a bloody jetpack gives you one hell of a leg up. But with new hero Valkyrie (opens in new tab) soaring care-free above the competition, Respawn has decided to tone down her rocket-propelled backpack.
Live balance designer John Larson broke the news on Twitter earlier today. See, Valk's jetpack has two modes—a direct flight mode, and a "hover" that consumes fuel at 10% rate. This allows her to stay airborne for much longer at the expense of mobility. In practice, this meant a whole lotta Valk players were just chilling in the clouds.
Valk’s "tac hover" was designed to consume fuel at 10% of the normal rate.With ALGS ramping up, we figured we should remove this exception (we found Valks would often take coffee breaks above the final fight in scrims).This will go live on Thursday.May 25, 2021
Larson does note that Respawn felt this was fine at launch, replying (opens in new tab) to one comment that "we thought about it, but we didn't know for certain if it would manifest itself as an issue." The change now comes as Apex's Global Series esports league spins up in earnest. With a $1 million prize pool on the line, the developer obviously doesn't want teams cheesing their way to victory by hovering out of range (opens in new tab).
Respawn has been fairly on-point with tuning this season's new additions. Legacy's new Bocek compound bow was nerfed (opens in new tab) after dominating its first week, while this week saw Apex finally punish people for quitting Arenas (opens in new tab) mid-game.
I'm a little sad to hear Respawn is cooling Valk's jets for competitive play, honestly. But as Emma found out all-too-late, Titanfall 2's right there (opens in new tab) if you want your Apex gunfights to take place at 100mph.