Apex Legends is on the verge of receiving its tenth season, Hatching. This new content framework has as its main protagonist Seer, a ruthless assassin who uses his skills to reveal what the scenario hides. It will be from August 3 when Battle Royale players can join the battery of news that Respawn Entertainment has prepared.
Therefore, we sat down with some of the team leaders to talk about how they got here and what creative process have continued to bring the new legend to life (digital).
MeriStation: We would like to know a little more about the creative process that you have followed with Seer from a narrative perspective. How did you come up with the idea for this legend?
Amanda Doiron (Lead Writer): It started while we had the kit that Travis had worked with. I started with some first ideas about the story together with our art director (Hafid Roserie). At first we thought about what an origin story about a bogeyman would be like, because when we looked at the kit it was like ‘oh, this character can be scary because he can hear the heartbeat and that can be stressful.’ But the more we explored the character, the more we thought it would be interesting if his story were that of someone who was unfairly labeled a boogeyman, but is actually a sensitive and artistic person, like that child whom it was pointed out unfairly. Then he would become an outcast for the rest of his life and would become a kind of icon for other outcasts, while he became less famous for fighting in other arenas and more people identified with him when they saw him being himself and having all that power. .
It all starts a little with the narrative and every time it grows more and more. Roserie came in with reference images and we were excited by what we saw. So we started working on them. The same goes for animation. They come up with ideas, concepts and other people who contribute about what we do. So the more you understand the character the more you can select the things that really work and add them.
How did Seer’s background influence your visual design? How did your final version come about?
Hafid Roserie (art director): I think a lot of it came when we understood that it had this creative background and artistic elements attached to it. We wanted to add a touch of mystery to it. That spurred the idea of why she has a heart that covers her face and adds an element of darkness around her. But we knew it from his abilities. His eyes are lit up, we wanted to do something very impressive, as if he were an interpreter in that sense. So with every little grain of story or narrative that was chosen for him we chose all the artistic elements that came together to be what he is right now.
We explored the idea of her being elegant and with dance movements, so we wanted her to not be too bulky a character. We had the feeling that there was a lot of design work going on between the stove, in designing his skills with the sensors on his knobs. Even, you know, even the device that he uses with his drones, it was all in service of the idea that he was artistic, that he was an interpreter, but at the same time that he served as a fighter.
Speaking of Seer, his ultimate and passive ability seems like a cross between Bloodhound and Crypto. What differences can we expect?
Travis Nordin (software engineer): Seer will be joining the recognition legends, so rest assured that he is going to have similarities to Bloodhound and Crypto. I’d say it extends to Bloodhound and even Crypto. Bloodhound is like, you know, you follow those marks even when a squad is no longer there but you will know which direction they went, so there you decide whether to follow them or mark them to see how they left. Seer is a bit more intimate. For example, you are in a building and suddenly you hear steps that you do not know if they are from your partner or from an enemy, because you use your heartbeat sensor and scan the surroundings to know what it is. If you scan them, you can mark them with your tactic, which is a second scan. It is the longest scanner in the entire game, but it is more focused on the one it emits, rather than a wider margin. When you mark them, your team can see their health bar, which is one of the new items we have added, so they can tell if they are low on health or if it is a good target to push and take out.
The ultimate ability allows him to use his heart capsule in which he has his drones to make this large sphere that we have seen when he begins to chase an enemy. When you do, you will be able to see the footprints of the legends or if they are shooting, but you do not do it with a full record, but with a diamond icon; you will not know what they are doing exactly. So if they stand or crouch they will not be revealed. Enemies can destroy the capsule of drones like Krypto’s. As a Seer you must be smart and know when to launch it.
So what kind of playstyle does it fit in?
He can research the area and find out where the people are to decide whether to go to them or find the right time. I like to think that, for example, if with Octane it’s holding down W and his ability doesn’t stop all the time, Seer is like ‘come, wait and attack when the moment fits the best’.
On the changes in End of the World, do you benefit some legends? What new playable opportunities do they offer?
Garret Metcalf (Senior Level Designer): When we design the maps we always do it with all the legends in mind, we don’t necessarily do it on the basis of a few. Obviously we have a new lava zone where characters with greater mobility will benefit. But with that said, when it comes to designing rotations around zones, we always offer plenty of options for non-movable characters. We never select an area to have more powerful positions or that only they can access, but obviously some Legends will have more advantage in some positions that they can get to easier, like Octane or Pathfinder.
Now there are some small buildings on the lava, emerging from the factory. Characters with mobility can reach the rooftops, especially at the central station from the gondola. As I say, in these changes there are no areas where there is a very clear advantage over some legends.
Was it easy to find the right balance with Rampage, the new light machine gun? How many termite grenades can he carry at the same time? How does it work?
John Ellenton (Game Designer): Finding your balance with a weapon is never easy. It takes a lot of time and a lot of testing, but I think we found a good place for it. We know the Sptfire is quite controversial right now, so we didn’t want to bring it into that territory. It is slow, it has a lower cadence but it hits harder. It is definitely suitable for the medium distance, while not so much for the short one. This is how we balance it. It has the versatility of the charge mechanic, where it can load a termite grenade and fire faster. Even so, it has its distance ranges determined. It is not a weapon that is going to be for everyone, but those who like it will use it.
On load, it works the same as the Sentinel’s loading mechanics. You can only charge one termite at a time and it has a similar drop rate. The more you shoot the more it will decay.