Respawn is taking us into the weekend with patch notes for a new Apex Legends update that's set to go live early next week. It's largely a fixer-upper, with a number of quality-of-life improvements, and a workaround for an issue that was causing crashes on Intel CPUs. But amidst all that is a spot of unhappiness for fans of the big boy named Gibraltar: His Stupid Sticky Shield trick is no more.
"Admittedly it’s been fun to see the results of this but the behavior is not intended by design and could get out of control," Respawn wrote. "Items will no longer stick to Gibraltar’s Gun Shield, however, it will now deflect Arc Stars."
"Could get out of control" is putting it mildly: As Evan showed us last month, it took players very little time to combine Gibraltar, Pathfinder, and a half-dozen of Caustic's gas canisters into "an unholy Voltron of some of the game's less-useful characters." Which is actually pretty spectacular, if almost entirely useless, and sticking Octane's Jump Pad to the shield isn't much better: It grants the G-Man significant mobility at the cost of being unable to actually see where he's going.
Regardless of its practical value (or lack thereof), the sticky shield will be gone after the update, so enjoy it while you can over the weekend. On the upside, the Fortified Passive bug that causes Gibraltar and Caustic to take damage through their shields has been fixed.
There's also significant focus on audio issues. "One of our biggest issues to tackle was improving the audio performance to address issues reported of sounds dropping out, sounds missing for extended time, or distortion for a period of time. We have made improvements both in our code and with our content that will hopefully fix these issues for many players, and for others, at least lower the amount and length of time they encounter audio issues," Respawn wrote.
"We have also addressed some of the other mix issues with the game, including increasing the volume of close proximity enemy footsteps and lowering the overall volume of the game from the character select screen to the end of the drop sequence. We will continue to monitor mix issues and address them as necessary. Below are the notes of improvements we’ve included in today’s patch and we’re continuing to work on future improvements."
Crashes specific to Intel CPUs were tracked down to a failure to properly execute the instructions in one particular function. Lowering the CPU clock speed corrects the issue, even in cases where the CPU isn't overclocked or overheating, but that's obviously not a practical long-term solution; the issue has been reported to Intel and for now and workaround will be added in the patch that should prevent crashes at normal CPU clocks.
Quality of life fixes include:
- Lowered the master volume of all sounds during the character select screen through the end of the drop sequence.
- Lowered the volume of Wraith's ambient kunai knife sound for those who are sensitive to the sound. If it is still bothersome we will remove it in a later patch.
- Increased the volume of close proximity enemy footsteps for all Legends.
- Increased the priority of enemy footsteps to ensure the sounds play even in heavy combat situations.
- Slightly lowered the volume of Pathfinder footstep sounds heard from the first person view.
- Fixed missing or quiet dryfire (out of ammo trigger click sound) and low ammo (the progressive change in sound that the gun makes as the magazine approaches empty) sounds for the R301, Hemlok, Flatline and RE45.
- Increased the volume of the music that plays when winning a match.
- Added more detailed audio to the Training mission.
Respawn is also working to fix and improve hit detection with "some behind-the-scenes tracking of bullet damage logic" that will help developers track down specific problems, including issues related to connection quality.
"We have put some time into refining the functionality behind our network problem indicator icons in the upper right of the screen. These icons are now pickier about your connection quality and may show up more frequently than they did before," it wrote. "These icon changes will be useful for us in narrowing down the cause of any bugs that we continue to see. Please continue to share videos and report hit registration issues you still encounter after the patch."
A solid date for the update hasn't been set. The patch notes are available on Reddit.