Apex Legends has got off to a cracking start, without a doubt, but every game has teething issues of one sort or another, and the battle royale shooter has come under fire because some characters are much easier to hit than others thanks to their larger hit-boxes.
This is an issue that the developer, Respawn, has acknowledged as problematic, noting on Reddit that: “We are aware of the feedback around the hit-box differences between characters. This is an area that definitely needs improvement and we will be addressing it in the future.”
For the uninitiated, a hit-box is the area of a character model which when struck by a bullet will register a hit and therefore damage. Now, the problem is that the larger characters in Apex Legends have much bigger hit-boxes, and are therefore easier to hit (as opposed to all characters having the same or pretty similar-sized hit-boxes, with larger ones just being rendered as larger models).
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This is particularly a problem in the shooter because the hit-box size discrepancy is so large. SookieSpy on YouTube has performed in-game testing to try and work out the rough size of each character’s respective hit-box, and the results are eye-opening.
Rock of Gibraltar
The hulking Gibraltar is something like 140% bigger than the slender Wraith; in other words, considerably more than twice the size, and therefore far easier to hit. Caustic and Pathfinder are also relatively big barn-door-sized lumps, with the other characters having smaller hit-boxes. Pathfinder also has another issue in that when you shoot the wide gap between his legs, he still gets hit.
This has stoked a good number of threads on Reddit and other places online, as you can imagine, with arguments that this is totally unfair – or at least the size of the discrepancies are – and it’s no wonder that no one picks Gibraltar.
Then again, others contend that this is all part of the overall balance of the game, and the character abilities compensate for any hit-box deficiencies. For example, Gibraltar may be easier to hit, but he has a pretty nifty front-on shield that comes up when you’re aiming down the sights.
The problem is there are counterarguments to that, too. Namely that the shield only helps Gibraltar in head-on encounters, when outflanking maneuvers – or getting caught by another team coming from a different angle – aren’t exactly uncommon in Apex Legends.
Furthermore, the shield can light Gibraltar up like a Christmas tree, to make him an easy target even from a distance, when he is, say, peering out a window and aiming down a sniper scope trying to draw a bead on someone.
At any rate, these sort of balance arguments can go back and forth, but it’s up to the developers to evaluate and sort things out. Hopefully that’s what’s happening now as Respawn gauges what improvements are needed.
The first major gameplay or character balance changes are likely in the pipeline, too, as the developer also stated: “We’ve been listening to player feedback and going through the mountains of data we get from the game. Soon we’ll be talking more about how we think about live balance for Apex Legends and some of the changes to expect to the meta.”
In the Reddit post acknowledging the hit-box issue, Respawn also noted that a fix has been applied to stop players skydiving for longer distances than intended (which involved keeping their character looking up when ascending and gliding from a jump tower balloon).
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Via PC Gamer