'Apex Legends' Season 2's New L-STAR Gun May Help Even the Playing Field
Or it could totally mess up the meta.
Apex Legends developer Respawn Entertainment shared details in a Tuesday night blog post about some of the changes coming to the game’s weapons in Season 2, and they include the introduction of a new gold weapon called the L-STAR that seems geared towards players with terrible aim. Perhaps even more importantly, the post details some “hop-up” buffs to lesser-used weapons that could even the playing field and shake up the game’s meta in Apex Legends Season 2 and beyond.
Apex Legends principal weapons designer Sean Slayback shared these details in the blog post. He describes the new L-STAR (watch the debut in the above video) as “a rare and powerful LMG” that “fires large, high-damage plasma projectiles at a fast cyclic rate.” The ammo type is listed as “experimental,” so once the three 60-round magazines are empty, that’s it. Sustaining firing causes the weapon to overheat — so it’s a good thing that most enemies go down fairly quickly.
“The L-STAR’s unique projectiles are much larger than those fired by other weapons in Apex,” Slayback writes. “Players need to lead targets more at range to compensate for the L-STAR’s slower projectiles, but on the flip side, they don’t have to aim quite as precisely to get good effect on target.”
In practice, that means it’s easier to hit enemies when burst-firing from the hip with the L-STAR, but because the plasma ammo moves slower than traditional ammunition, players have to be mindful to adjust their aim accordingly. You don’t even need to zoom in to easily hit enemies standing directly in front of you, but if they’re moving horizontal across your field of vision, leading the shot could be tricky. The debut teaser video, however, does make it look super-easy to ride one of Pathfinder’s ziplines and gun down an enemy below you.
Even Apex Legends players with the worst aim, however, should be able to score a few easy eliminations with the L-STAR. Like the Mastiff and the Kraber, this top-tier weapon only spawns via airdrops, making it quite rare. But that also means it might become a loot priority during matches.
Slayback also wrote about the team’s holistic approach to weapon balancing in Apex Legends Season 2, saying the aim was “to bring up the low end of the power curve a little, increase situational viability for lesser-used weapons, and create more interplay between weapons.” The hope is that players might place equal value on more of the game’s weapons. Balancing a battle royale game’s meta always proves challenging, even for Epic Games with Fortnite.
Fan communities often analyze what weapons perform best and which ones most commonly help players achieve victory, leading to a repeatable strategy among the players. For many Season 2 players, hunting for an L-STAR might be come part of the new meta, but with these other weapon-balancing changes, Respawn hopes for more equity.
Less-popular weapons like the Flatline, P2020, Alternator, and Triple Take will receive increased damage. A new Energy Mag attachment has also been added, compatible with the Havoc, Devotion, and Triple Take weapons. And even more subtle tweaks could be in development leading into Season 2. With about two full weeks to go, there’s no telling what else we might expect with the new season’s launch.
Apex Legends Season 2 begins July 2, 2019.