It's been a couple of days since the latest Apex Legends patch was released and things are looking pretty good. Of course, it wouldn't be a normal video game patch without some goofs along the way, but let's get into some of the juicy stuff that improves the game first.
Apex Legends is, without a doubt, a game that is supposed to be played as a team. The legends complement each other so well in battle and, although you could definitely play as a solo, you're missing a lot of the core elements of the game without teammates.
There has been a lot of anger about the fact that there isn't a solo queue yet and as someone who plays on a different platform to my friends, I can attest to the fact that it can be infuriating to play alongside people who only seem to hinder your quest for victory. Nevertheless, there have been many instances where I've really enjoyed playing alongside random people to then find myself in another lobby with teammates who just don't cut the mustard.
The most recent Apex Legends patch has dealt with this issue perfectly as you now have the ability to invite your previous teammates to another game. If you all enjoyed the game then you can carry on playing as a team rather than waving goodbye and ending up with people you'd rather not play alongside. Great job, Respawn.
A secondary issue with random teammates is that you can run into people who blast terrible music down their microphone or are apparently in the process of eating the headset. Thankfully, the latest patch has put in a feature that allows you to mute your squad in the legend selection screen. This is preferable to having to wait for the game to fully start. Nobody wants a headache before they've even started to play.
Let's now turn to something that Respawn hadn't planned to release just yet but is the most exciting addition to the game for me. The feature I'm talking about is the leaving match early penalty. Players got a minor glimpse of this feature in the latest patch but it wasn't supposed to be in there as it is still in the testing phase. Nevertheless, this is something that Apex Legends really needs if it's going to continue to be a fun game for those of us who play with random teammates.
The idea behind a leaving match early penalty is that it will help to reduce the number of people rage quitting and leaving their team severely weakened. Most of the time, one person deciding to leave the game early will mean the other players are doomed to failure. It sucks. However, there is an argument that this kind of penalty will unfairly target those who have accidentally disconnected. While this is true, the benefit that the feature provides should far outweigh this inconvenience. Unless, of course, you have major internet connection issues, and that would really be annoying.
The great thing about Apex Legends as a battle royale game is that you are kind of given a few lives from the start. If you're beaten in an initial gunfight, you'll be downed. Sure, this isn't fun, but your teammates have an opportunity to revive you and you'll still have all of your loot. If the enemy team finishes the kill while you're downed, you may think things are over, but they're not. Your squad can then retrieve your banner and bring you back to action at a respawn beacon. You won't have your loot anymore, but you're still in the game and have a chance to help your team to win.
Now, the issue here is that there is an alarming number of people who will rage quit before anyone even has a chance to bring them back into the game. People quit right at the start of the game if they are downed, but even more people quit if they require a respawn. This practically ruins the game for the rest of the squad immediately and it's something that needs to be addressed.
By adding in a leaving match early penalty, the game is providing an incentive for people to stick around. You may still lose quickly if the rest of the squad is eliminated, but there is a good chance that you can be revived or respawned. A leaving match early penalty can't be too harsh but preventing a leaver from starting another game for 5 minutes would probably make a big difference. If you're going to have to wait for 5 minutes to play again, you may as well stick around and see if your team can get you back on your feet. This feature encourages greater teamwork and you may even learn a trick or two as you observe your squad doing what it takes to bring you back into the action.
I truly believe that the sooner this feature is added on a permanent basis, the better. What are your thoughts on a leaving match early penalty? Let me know in the comment section below whether you think the feature will have a positive or negative impact on Apex Legends.