Daniel Klein, Respawn Lead Game Designer on Apex Legends, alluded to possible changes coming to how the game handles loot.
In a Reddit post on the Apex Legends subreddit board praising the "Locked and Loaded" limited-time mode (LTM), Klein explained several key changes the team is looking to make permanent following the mode's success. He briefly touches on the relationship between loot and its integral intersection with what makes a battle royale enjoyable.
Apex Legends Devs Look to Change Loot Drops
Klein originally replied by saying he and the team were "carefully" considering keeping the system introduced in Locked and Loaded. He, personally, explained his reservations with removing gray loot entirely, but noted that it was "all upside" aside from that.
In his larger response to the post, Klein wrote, "Basically, there's a reason loot exists in Apex. There's actually many reasons. Some of those reasons are that the journey from low level loot to high level loot gives you things to do that aren't just 'find and kill the enemy', it makes teams organically spread out, it adds RNG to soften skill differentials (sometimes you run into a better player but you have a better loadout, and that's good), etc."
"We soften the impact of all of these good things by shortening the journey from low level to high level loot," he continued. Klein went on to explain the possible results that would follow such a change—including making the game feel sweatier and removing emphasis off late-game activities.
He then went on to expand on the reservations made earlier, writing, "I'm not saying all or even any of these things will definitely happen if we just remove white gear...But because this is a change that feels so good in the moment...it will be extremely hard, if not impossible, to undo if it turns out one of those negative things happens."
"That's why we've got to be very careful and deliberate about this," he wrote, "We wanna hit the right balance between putting obviously good things into the game in a timely manner and making sure the game is healthy for many, many years to come."
Klein neglected to offer a time frame for if or when these changes would go into effect—if, of course, at all. He explained that he and the team see Apex as potentially living for the next decade or more unless the team "f*** it up. So we try not to f*** it up ;P"
In later responses, he listed different settings and circumstances that could be implemented regarding the system in Locked and Loaded in an attempt to illustrate just how in-depth the team has to go. If anything, this shows that players shouldn't expect a concrete answer on upcoming system shifts in the near future.
After all, these times take time to get just right.