The magic behind it!
Exclusive Apex Legends Season 8 Interview: Lore and Legends
Apex Legends Season 8 is going live today and there are only a few hours left. While you're waiting why not take a sneak peek at what might be coming next?
We sat down with the Apex Legends dev team to discuss both the new 'Mayhem' theme and the future of the game. As with all interviews in this modern-apocalyptic setting, we sat down for a Zoom chat. Once again, many thanks to the Respawn team for being so awesome to talk to. Without further ado, let's go!
Fuse likes blowing stuff up, but what else is he good at? What are his dreams?
Well, he’s good at guitar, he’s good at singing. He’s good at Bonecage and he was good at being a merc but that wasn’t really his passion. Until he turned 50, he had never really found what he was passionate about and then he joined the Bonecage, becoming the oldest person to win the championship. You'll find out more about him in Season 8.
That slap from the trailer, should we expect some voice lines between Bloodhound and Fuse?
I don’t think we did any direct references. For the writing we tend to work much farther in advance than anyone else. Once that got into the trailer we had already recorded and written all the lines that were ready to go. Localization takes a long time but with that said there are definitely going to be some friendships between some of those three (Bloodhound, Fuse and Caustic). You’ll be experiencing some story with them during Season 8.
Fuse made quite the explosive entrance, should we expect some long-term consequences maybe even after that?
You could expect some blowback from the blowup for sure. We don’t want to give too much away.
Australia is famous for the high number of animals that want to kill you. Is Fuse having an Aussie accent a sign of more animals coming into Apex?
I think there’s a want to do that, but I don’t think there’s any connection to Fuse. But anything can happen right? The danger that comes with those animals will come in Season 8!
The Broken Ghost questline in Season 5 was great, will we see a continuation of it in Season 8 or in the future?
The number one thing we want for Apex is to keep it fresh, to keep it changing every season. The takeaway there is that every single season we’re trying new things. The quests may come back or they may not but we’re trying to keep it all moving. We’re always trying to grow.
That was one way we’re telling a story. We try to tell stories in a lot of different ways and we’re always trying new ways of telling stories. You can definitely expect new ways season to season but we try a lot of things and iterate through it, throw a lot of things out and bring them back later and we’re not afraid to stick with what we got. More stories are sure to come.
The story that was taking place in Season 5 is still continuing, nothing was really dropped, we just changed the way it was told. We had comics, radio plays, we’re always finding new ways but the story is moving forward.
We saw Blisk in the opening trailer back in 2019 and Ash during the Broken Ghost. A lot of people are fans of the Titanfall series, are any of the characters from it making it into Apex, maybe as playable characters?
Apex Legends takes place in the world of Titanfall so it’s all one world. There are references you’re going to hear about different connections. We’re never forgetting about the lore we created for Titanfall.
Anything is possible, it’s all one universe. Fans love Titanfall and that universe and so do we, so we’re absolutely always looking at things and drawing from that. You can see it not only in the characters but in the story, in the weapons, in features we bring back based on the same technologies that you saw in Titanfall or they have some type of anchor to Hammond or that universe. It’s definitely not out of the question.
As far as characters go, we always start with the fundamentals of “what is the design space we want to work into” and then if that lines up with someone like a Blisk or an Ash then obviously that would be a fun thing to work on as well. It’s not a “yes” or a “no” but it absolutely could be.
When you’re creating a new character, what’s the first thing you consider. How that character will fit in terms of mechanics and gameplay or lore?
Usually, the starting point is finding a good design space and looking at the game as it is today and saying – “What design space is ripe for us to explore and shake up the meta as it exists with the current roster?” The holy trinity of a good character is a good core gameplay loop as a foundation, a strong fantasy that character fulfills so fans can step in and lose themselves in who that character is and then the personality which anchors it all and makes it feel real and relatable. You feel like you see yourself in that character. We’re always on all three of those fronts and sometimes one sparks the others and that’s the catalyst for the rest. Generally speaking, we try to focus on gameplay-first approach.
As far as which one’s harder it differs from character to character.
On the same topic, which legend was the hardest to design (so far)? It’s not Forge, right?
Forge was the easiest, because you know – dead. He was just a deathbox. I think they’re all very similar experiences – it takes a lot of time and a lot of collaboration between different departments to bring a character to life. They all have this moment, this spark where they become who they are and it’s different for every legend. Sometimes it’s inspired by fantasy, sometimes by gameplay, sometimes by the personality. I think they’re all similar, there isn’t one that was more difficult than the others, it’s just a different journey that each character takes and how they become the final version of who they are. It’s one of the most fun experiences in games in general – to build characters.
The next one is always harder, whatever the next one may be, because we’re trying to do something different from what we just did.
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Wraith is still the most popular legend, two years later. Did you expect that?
Specifically, with Wraith – no. There was no intent or knowledge that was going to happen. Anything we put into the game, we have assumptions of what might happen, but we’ve learned over the last two years that’s as good as toilet paper. Throw it out, it’s going to change once it goes into the live game. It’s amazing what players will do with the characters and the features and mechanics that we put in within the first day. We’re seeing stuff we didn’t think of or that we didn’t expect, so we’re always learning and reacting based on what’s happening in the live environment.
Wraith has been a fan-favorite and has been at the top in a lot of different ways for a long time. That’s starting to shake up a little bit, the introduction of Horizon changed that and, in some ways, Horizon is now at the top. What you’ll see moving forward is that’s going to change a lot more. Our approach on how we create characters and what we’re willing to do - we’re not afraid to change what’s there. We always want to keep the game fresh and innovate so with every new character you’re going to see a bit of a shuffle.
What about legend classes, Fuse is on the offensive side, should we expect another support character in one of the next seasons?
We’re going to keep making characters for all the different classes. We always try to think how a new character is going to impact the current meta. It’s safe to say that in the next few characters you will see a non-offensive character for sure.
You’ve skyrocketed on Steam; do you expect a lot of new players with the new season?
We hope so, that’s always the goal! With Season 8, it’s our two-year anniversary and Mayhem is a little bit more bombastic and celebratory in nature and we hope more people will join Apex for the first time and join the party. There’s no better time to join than now.
All of the abilities in Apex are based on technology, will there ever be a supernatural element?
Based on what we’ve set in place for the Titanfall series the lore of the world is based on real-world exaggerations of technology rather than the supernatural. That’s sort of the tone. Even if it is looking somewhat supernatural there’s always a rule that tech should have a real-world connection. Wraith’s portal is based on theoretical understanding of what that could be. With Mirage’s holograms, holograms exist today but not to the extent of Mirage’s. We always keep that, if we break that rule then we’ll end up breaking a bit of the groundwork for the lore.
On the narrative side we’re making sure that when we do explain some sort of ability on a character it’s based more on technology rather than just magic.
Special thanks to the entire Apex Legends dev team who were all truly wonderful. That’s not all the questions we asked though, you can read more from Respawn on Apex Legends Season 8:
- Exclusive Apex Legends Season 8 Interview: The Inspiration Behind Fuse
- Exclusive Apex Legends Season 8 Interview: Celebrating 'Mayhem'
- Exclusive Apex Legends Season 8 Interview: The Future of Apex