In case you haven’t logged into Apex Legends for a few weeks, the game is a bit of a mess. Not only has Winter Express – the game’s best LTM – disappeared for another year or more, but cheaters are exploiting bugs everywhere you look.
Apex Legends has been a hotbed for cheats and hacks over the years, with some more serious than others. Hackers have shut down practically all of the game’s servers on multiple occasions and bugs have plagued the battle royale game as new updates are released. It’s not alone in this regard – any competitive multiplayer game (yes, even those with robust anti-cheat systems) is ripe for abuse from players who want to ruin everyone else’s fun.
At the moment, there’s a problem with charging up weapons. Both the Sentinel and Rampage LMG can be charged up, increasing their damage and rate of fire respectively. However, bugs at the moment allow the Rampage to be permanently charged, which turns it from a useful tool in your arsenal to an unparalleled machine of death. The Sentinel has the opposite problem, either automatically charging or failing to charge up when you want it to.
Now every Tom, Dick, and Harry can pick up the Rampage and turn from a Gold IV player to Hardecki, the fun has left Apex matches quicker than Gregg Wallace leaves his wives post-honeymoon. One carefully placed Thermite Grenade puts the Rampage (a weapon which I think is already slightly too powerful) on the levels of pre-nerf Spitfire for the entire match. Players are abusing and exploiting the bug in every ranked match in the hopes of climbing the leaderboard and inflating their egos.
How can the developers deal with the problem, though? It’s safe to say that Respawn is currently working to fix the bugs, but until then are the broken weapons just going to run rampant, ruining matches left, right, and centre?
Twitch streamer Babynikki suggests that Respawn should start ‘vaulting’ weapons, a practice which sees some weapons removed from the loot pool until they are fixed. Respawn developers have mentioned vaulting weapons in the past, but only when the conversation is about the game’s ever-increasing loot pool rather than as a short-term fix for bugged or exploitable items. The Sentinel was briefly removed back in Season 6 when a game-breaking bug was exploited to rapid fire the sniper, but so far we’ve heard little in the way of similar action for its faulty charges.
We players don’t know how hard it would be to implement short-term vaulting into the game (especially at such short notice), but it would make ranked playable at least. And if it’s happened before, the tech must be there.
The Sentinel is not currently a problem for players other than those who really want to use it, but the Rampage is another matter entirely. Hearing the sounds of permanently-charged LMGs in ranked matches is nearly as infuriating as dying in a few hits every game. At what point does the Rampage become so problematic that it needs vaulting? Does a player have to find an exploit where loading two Thermites gives it the rate of fire of an SMG? At what point does a bugged and easily exploitable weapon become a vault-worthy problem?
In tournament settings, players are simply told not to use the exploits or they’ll be disqualified, but will Respawn deliver similar comeuppance to those ruining ranked matches? If the developer isn’t going to fix the issue, it could at least ban those who abuse it for their own benefit and dissuade others from doing the same.
Whether the answer to Apex’s current bugs is vaulting the Rampage, banning players, or something else entirely, these broken weapons need to be dealt with as soon as possible. Major issues in the battle royale’s premier competitive mode could push players and influential streamers to other games, so if Respawn wants to keep players happy – and, crucially, playing – the least it can do is fix the weapons that are ruining the fun.
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