Apex Legends Season 12 begins February 8, but the game’s developers at Respawn Entertainment have revealed a few controversial changes in some early patch notes. Caustic’s cheapest advantage is finally getting fixed, but is that a good thing for the rest of the game? Ultimately we think it is, but that doesn’t mean additional buffs shouldn’t be made to the Legend going forward. As for weapon changes, it sounds like Mad Maggie will usher in a revitalized shotgun meta in a major way.
What is the Apex Legends Season 12 Caustic nerf?
Shortly after Respawn published its official blog post highlighting the changes coming to Sabotaged Olympus in Season 12, GameSpot went live with its own piece featuring quotes from Live Balance Designer John Larson.
As part of a Q&A, Larson said “as the game has evolved, we've seen a massive amount of use cases for a single [Caustic] trap. It has a quick [deployment], it doesn't require much precision, it can be used offensively to siege a room, defensively when on the run or camping out in a building, and once it's detonated, it provides over 10 seconds of visual and even physical cover.” With these realities in mind, Season 12 will offer the opportunity for any player to shoot Caustic’s traps to deactivate them.
The Apex Legends community remains somewhat divided on the nerf, but, at least in the short term, it seems like an obviously positive change. Larson isn’t wrong about Caustic’s Nox Gas Traps being vastly overpowered. It’s unfair when one teammate is capable of laying permanent siege to an entire building just by laying down traps. Worse still is the chance for Caustic mains to avoid certain death in open space by quickly throwing down a circle of traps. Even though Caustic is a defensive Legend by design, there has to be a decisive way for opponents to counter an advantage like that. At least for now, letting traps be shot down seems like the simplest solution.
Still, one can’t help but feel frustrated for the legions of Caustic mains who will presumably be switching to a new favorite character at the start of Season 12. With the upcoming changes applied, Caustic is quite literally losing the one advantage he had compared to other defensive characters. He’ll basically be useless for the next several weeks, but my hope is that Respawn eventually fixes his broken tactical by inventing a new one.
We’ve seen developers rework Legends like Mirage in the past, so maybe the best solution is to offer the character a new ability kit altogether. Especially as the Apex roster grows, it’s likely some of its original characters will need a second balance pass to rediscover their place in the meta. As it stands right now, offering a brief lingering gas effect to destroyed traps certainly isn’t enough. The Caustic change is good on the whole, but we hope it’s followed up by a corresponding buff fairly quickly.
Apex Legends Season 12 patch notes
Tuesday was a big day for Apex Legends fans, with the Caustic nerf only offering one outlet for controversy. In case you missed it, here are some of the other known balance changes for Season 12.
- Sabotaged Olympus: Changes are designed to expand the map, improve rotations, and to make all areas more attractive to players. New POIs include Phase Driver and Terminal. Solar Array, Icarus, and Bonsai have moved.
- Crypto Buff: Crypto can now throw his drone in addition to manually controlling it, marking targets in a straight path. This acts as a slower version of a Bloodhound scan. Throwing a drone at a wall also transforms it into a stationary webcam.
- Weapons: There’s no new weapon in Season 12. Volt is going into Care Packages. Flatline and Longbow will be removed from floor loot and craftable at the Replicator.
- Hop-Ups: Hammerpoint Rounds return as an attachment to the underused RE-45 Auto. Enhanced Shatter Cap spread will only fire from the hip. A new hop-up called Kinetic Feeder auto-replenishes ammo for the Peacekeeper and Triple Take when sliding.
As for what these changes mean for the game, the Flatline and Longbow adjustment seem strange, but it does make the Replicator a more useful device. It also ensures a direct path to getting certain weapons instead of relying on floor loot to encompass almost everything.
Above all, the new hop-up for the Peacekeeper, as well as changes to Shatter Cap, suggest some of the meta’s most powerful guns will emphasize close encounters. This shift makes sense given Maggie will be able to move faster with a shotgun equipped, as other characters will now need ways to counter that improvement. By description alone, it sounds as though Apex Legends Season 12 will be a speedy and explosive affair.