Apex Legends’ Weakest Part Is Still Its Store
Apex Legends Season 8 is off to a strong start with Kings Canyon looking better than ever, a new Legend, and some smart changes to the existing roster to make characters like Caustic and Wraith less frustrating to play against. The battle royale game is in the midst of its two-year anniversary celebration, too, a timely event coinciding with Season 8 that gives players an opportunity to look back on how the game has grown. That welcome growth within the past two years makes it all the more frustrating to see the in-game store – and the game’s economy overall – remain largely stagnant and resistant to the improvements around it.
The store in Apex Legends hasn’t been immune to scrutiny in the past with players lambasting it since it opened its doors. Skins for Legends and weapons routinely priced at or around 1,800 Apex Coins worth $18, slow rotations compared to other virtual marketplaces, and the overall quality of the skins have been among the top complaints over the past two years. The store has bent slightly to those grievances from the community, but the broader problems still exist.
Take the current store rotation in Apex Legends as of February 5th as an example. It makes sense that Fuse’s Launch Bundle will stick around for a while longer since he just released, but it’s still taking up a spot for around two weeks and would cost over $20 even after a discount for already owning Fuse. I’d already crafted the Speed Demon skin for Octane previously which means I’ll now wait around five days for that slot to cycle out to something else. The Gun Charms and the “Exclusive” store content admittedly have a much more agreeable period before they swap over to something new, but those reasonable timeframes make the lengthy time for the other skins stand out even more.
It’s true you can craft many cosmetics with crafting materials, but that resource’s scarcity is clearly meant to coax players into biting at the prices dangling in front of them. Or, even worse, you’re enticed to drop money on the loot boxes called “Apex Packs” in hopes of sifting through Quips, Weapon Charms, Banner Stat Trackers, and other items you may never use in hopes of getting something you’re interested in.
Because you can’t buy just $18 worth of Apex Coins, you end up spending more than the skin’s appraised value anyway. I’ll happily equip any Legendary cosmetic I’ve earned from an Apex Pack or a limited-time event, but dropping that much on an individual Legend’s or weapon’s skin is a hard sell when you play from a first-person perspective and may or may not find that weapon in any given match.
Once you compare Apex Legends’ store to the marketplaces of other free-to-play experiences, it’s even more evident how arbitrary these prices are. Fortnite has its own exorbitant prices, but they’re a bit more digestible when you consider what you get. Snake Eyes from G.I. Joe, an iconic character for many fans, is currently priced at 1,800 V-Bucks which actually costs less than $18 given the price drops from 2020. League of Legends just kicked off its Lunar Beast event with several new skins that come with unique animations on abilities and other actions, and each of those go for 1,350 RP, which is less than $10. Apex Legends skins aren’t poorly designed by any means, but the prices just look absurd by comparison.
Longtime players can also attest to the fault with the Legend Tokens, a currency that piles up continuously with nowhere near enough ways to spend it. When Fuse released at the start of Season 8, I bought him immediately without checking how many Legend Tokens I had. I couldn’t even tell you how much new Legends cost when they release because it hasn’t ever been an issue. My account is currently loaded up with 158,900 Legend Tokens at Level 468, a supply I can’t foresee ever being depleted. Some re-colors of skins for Legends and weapons are sold for Legend Tokens, but you have to own the “base” cosmetic first just to purchase them. You’re not getting a two-for-one deal at that point – you’re paying to bypass a paywall.
And then there are the Heirlooms, the pinnacles of prestige only available to select Legends. Heirloom Shards used to craft these Heirloom Sets have less than a 1% chance of dropping from an Apex Pack with players guaranteed to get the resource after reaching the ridiculously high milestone of opening 500 Apex Packs. Instead of relying on luck, you can purchase or acquire otherwise every single item from a Collection Event to earn a designated Heirloom. Heirlooms are touted by players as symbols of mastery over a Legend, but there’s a total disconnect between that usage and the luck and spending it takes to obtain them.
Apex Legends’ next event admittedly makes some progress in creating a more reasonable system for Heirlooms. The upcoming Collection Event allows players to get enough Heirloom Shards to purchase an Heirloom Set of their choosing if they acquire every limited-time cosmetic, and to make things easier, the crafting costs of all Collection Event items will be reduced by 50%. Two free Event Packs and 10 free Apex Packs from the Collection is a nice touch as well. Heirlooms shouldn’t be easy to come by and should still feel exclusive to a degree, but the next event’s changes are hopefully a welcome start to a more accessible system.
To be fairer still to Apex, much of the game’s cosmetic value exists in the battle passes, and those tracks of rewards have gotten far better over the years since Season 1. I bought this season’s battle pass right before purchasing Fuse, and I’m looking forward to plowing through it throughout the rest of the season. Worse things can happen to a game than having a weak, totally optional marketplace, but Apex’s is overdue for some renovations.
Content courtesy of ComicBook.com published on , original article here.