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I'm warming to World's Edge, thanks to Apex Legends' new crafting system

Apex Legends crafting
(Image credit: Respawn Entertainment, EA)

I was a little disappointed when I realised that World's Edge was the only map on the playlist for the next week. The map isn't that bad, there's a time and place for World's Edge... It's just when I'm offline. All jokes aside, it's not like this is a new arrangement. Just like Kings Canyon was the focus of last season, Boosted is prioritising World's Edge for the next few days, in order to show off its adjustments. It's fair to say that I'm not World's Edge's biggest fan, but the new crafting system is keeping me occupied in matches, alleviating some of the general complaints that I have about the map.

If you're yet to hop in and try it for yourself, Respawn has introduced Replicators to the arena. Using crafting materials extracted from little orange pods, it's now possible to fabricate various types of loot, from weapon attachments to healing items. The Replicators juggle multiple gear rotations to keep things fresh. Weapons and attachments are on a daily refresh, whereas items like knockdown shields and Mobile Respawn Beacons are on a weekly rotation. I can always craft additional ammo, using the 'weapon fit' slot in the Replicator, as it takes my personal loadout into account, too.

(Image credit: Respawn Entertainment, EA)

One of my major complaints about World's Edge is that it just feels too big, with points of interest scattered too far apart. Even if I go out of my way to actively hunt down other squads, I still find that portions of my matches are dedicated to quiet map traversal. This time is usually spent scavenging for better gear, which can always be hit and miss in battle royales—sometimes you're just stuck with a bad loadout.

The new crafting system kills two birds with one stone, allowing me to craft items that'll actually benefit my setup, while burning some downtime. In my experience so far, there's always something that I need, and retrieving the materials doesn't detract from looting an area as I usually would. The materials are conveniently close to the static Replicators on the map, and I can even walk away while the items are fabricating. Every member of the squad can grab materials from the same spots and use them for themselves, avoiding squabbles over who deserves that purple heavy extended magazine. 

Crafting has changed armour for the better, too. In the early-game especially, there was always a question of whether it's worth picking up a Level 2 body shield for a +75 shield capacity, or committing to the Evo Shield variant that starts at +25, but with the potential to max out at +125. Thanks to the changes in Season 6, this is no longer a problem, with all shields (bar Level 4 legendary armour) now spawning as Evo Shields. It's a level playing field for all players, and even when I'm not having the best match, I'm glad that I can pop my armour in a Replicator to bump it up by 100 Evo points. The only downside is the vulnerability of being caught without a body shield while upgrading it. Although, if you happen to stumble across someone while they're crafting, that's an easy mid-game elimination for you.

While I'm not quite ready to submit my application for team-World's Edge just yet, I'm certainly having a better time picking fights on its wide plains. Being able to consistently kit out weapons with better attachments much earlier feels like it has noticeably raised the bar in firefights. More often than not, I'm finding that there are better items to steal from downed opponents, and encounters feel sweatier, as a result.