Apex Legends Devs are Not Going to Nerf the Kraber in Season 11
By Jack O'Dwyer
Despite the desires of the playerbase, Apex Legends developers are not interested in nerfing the Kraber this season.
The Kraber has long since been known as one of the most—if not the utmost—powerful weapon in Apex Legends. It's best known for its ability to one-shot pretty much any player, making it highly sought after and particularly controversial within the game's community. Fans have spent quite a bit of energy attempting to come up with a solution—though most have just requested a nerf.
Unfortunately, these requests may have fallen on deaf ears.
Apex Legends Devs are Not Going to Nerf the Kraber
John "JayBiebs" Larson, one of the more common liasons between Respawn's development team and the Apex community, has come forward and shed some light on the situation with the Kraber. On a post published on the Competitive Apex subreddit board on Monday, Oct. 25, Larson weighed in on what was happening behind the scenes with the weapon.
The post, itself, provided a video analyzing the Kraber in Apex Legends—which Larson praised. Having just come from a meeting discussing weapons in-game, he was able to share that the team has decided they are "happy with the Kraber from a design perspective, and don't feel the need to change it really at this point." The decision to remove the weapon is being deferred from the weapons team to the Competitive department (CGE) as they can "better evaluate pros and cons from a viewer & player perspective."
"I ultimately came to the conclusion that as long as it has a one shot crit, we can change hipfire, ammo, body shot damage, etc. and pros will still have an issue with it," he wrote, "And that's not a bad thing... I understand why."
Larson went on to explain why the team came to the decision it did. According to him, this was broken down into five distinct moving parts: hipfire, ammo, counterplay, head/body shot damage, and care package contents.
Hipfire is "already pretty bad," so tinkering with it more only risks hurting the casual demographic and risk making the weapon less enjoyable. Larson also believes that "the ammo count is already on the cusp of making the weapon as a whole too undesirable." Ultimately, nerfing ammunition won't actually get to the crux of the issue if the issue, itself, is its one-shot critical damage.
However, he also believes that nerfing the head or bodyshot damage is "problematic."
"The typical player should feel rewarded for making the decision to drop their trusty 301 for a high risk/reward weapon, headshot or not," he wrote, "If the Kraber didn't have one shot crit potential, or it didn't hit for a solid chunk of body damage, why pick it up?"
Ultimately, the argument that Larson gives the most credit to is that the weapon has very little counterplay. He admits that getting destroyed by a Kraber is "tough pill to swallow for anyone, let alone pros playing at the highest level." The team discussed adding an effect similar to a typical sniper glint, but decided it wouldn't actually help. There isn't a way to make the Kraber more noticeable as its reputation already precedes it in multiple ways.
He concluded his post by explaining that he "could go either way on Kraber in comp."
"As a viewer, I love it. As a player, I totally understand their frustrations. As a designer, I am a little scared by the precedent it would set," he wrote.
It appears those unhappy with the Kraber may have to wait a bit longer to have those prayers answered.