The state of Lifeline in Apex Legends has once again become a frequent topic of conversation with the start of Season 5, and the developers at Respawn Entertainment are aware of the talks amongst players. Those who prefer to play the Legend have lamented the fact that her gameplay identity has been overshadowed lately as other Legends were buffed or reworked, and those who prefer to stick with the character have been calling for buffs. Apex’s lead game designer Carlos Pineda responded to some of those suggestions by saying that the character doesn’t really need buffs and would instead benefit from a “sidegrade” to separate her from other characters.
As one of the original Legends in the game when it was released and the only character who’s classified as a healer – a Combat Medic in her case. She can use healing items faster, revive teammates with a shield to protect them, heal teammates, and can find extra resources in supply bins.
But when you look at other Legends and how they’ve been released or changed recently, you start to see how Lifeline could fall out of favor compared to the game’s early days. Gibraltar’s dome shield makes teammates use items faster when inside it and speeds up his revives on his friends, and Mirage’s rework that makes him and his teammate invisible when he’s reviving them makes the pair even more viable than Lifeline when it comes to helping teammates. The new Legend, Loba, can ping loot through walls and give players access to all the loot around them with her ultimate where Lifeline has to find a blue Supply Bin just to get some extra loot.
So, what’s to be done about her? Pineda said the character doesn’t need buffs based on her stats that show she’s “top tier across different categories.” Instead, he proposed a “sidegrade” that would make her more unique without injecting power straight into the Legend’s numbers and abilities.
What we're really looking for is a Sidegrade. We want her to be different from other Legends without necessarily adding power. That kind of design is much harder than just cranking numbers or even just adding a new thing she can do.— Carlos Pineda (@pinedsman) May 15, 2020
The result of that sidegrade would be a more unique Legend that’s different still from the ones we already have. It sounds like it’d be closer to Mirage’s rework than just buffs for other Legends, but it may be a while before players see the results. Pineda called the problem a difficult one and said the team is working on it while asking players to be patient.
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