Apex Legends

Apex Legends Developers Reveal Potential Changes to Ranked

Apex Legends' John "JayBiebs" Larson, Associate Live Balance Designer, talked shop on the Apex Uncut podcast concerning Ranked mode changes.
Apex Legends' John "JayBiebs" Larson, Associate Live Balance Designer, talked shop on the Apex Uncut podcast concerning Ranked mode changes. / Respawn Entertainment

Apex Legends' John "JayBiebs" Larson, Associate Live Balance Designer, talked shop on the Apex Uncut podcast concerning updates and developments coming to Ranked mode.

The episode aired on Sunday, July 11—fifth in the whole series—and featured hosts The_FortniteGuy, owner of Kungarna and Box Fight Championships, and Cloud9's very own Zach Mazer. Larson described himself as "eager" to connect with the Apex Legends community in any capacity. Being a player, himself, with somewhat close to 3000 hours in-game since launch, he has a unique perspective on the intersection between player experience and developer intention.

Apex Legends Developers Reveal Potential Changes to Ranked

As a part of the Live Balance Design team, Larson primarily focuses on keeping Apex Legends up and running as well as making sure hotfixes are being deployed and performing as they should. He is part of major discussions around aspects of weapons and heroes that need to be shuffled about.

"Anything that needs an immediate change, I have a big say in," he explained—likely making him one of the better parties to talk to regarding possible tweaks to ranked.

Mazer threw the first stone in that regard, asking about a Ranked level requirement increase. Currently, players need to hit level 15 to even be considered for the mode. This isn't an uncommon requirement, of course. Asking those serious about the game to put in a bit of extra effort in order to showcase their commitment is a fair way to cut down on veteran player frustration and new player discomfort.

Larson called the suggestion "low hanging fruit" and seemed optimistic about it making an appearance. He noted that it could help the community, but warned that setting the level requirement too high might discourage those looking to get into Ranked for the first time or upset those who just met the standard.

When asked about mandating a second account measure such as Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) or purchasing the Battle Pass to play Ranked—and potentially keep hackers at bay—he was less enthusiastic.

"I don't think [2FA] works quite as well as some may believe it to be," he explained, "You can always spoof—and these cheaters and hackers will always find a way to spoof e-mails, phone numbers, addresses...It's all fairly spoof-able."

Larson also confirmed that the team was looking into Ranked "decay" where players would have to actively attend to their placement. Those at the higher tiers would need to continually reaffirm their position rather than just sit pretty for the remainder of the season.

Multi-map rotation was another aspect the team has been considering, as well. However, this, too, had its drawbacks—namely potential low-ranking player distress and RP farming. Knowing several maps is objectively more time-consuming than memorizing one and the rotation could lead to uneven populations as certain individuals are exclusively interested in farming RP.

Throughout the podcast, Larson continued to state that he couldn't make any future promises about content. While he could reveal bits and pieces on the development table, listeners shouldn't get their hopes up as to what would actually be implemented.