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Respawn Experimenting With Region Locks To Maintain "Competitive Integrity" Of Apex Legends

All competitive shooters have to be concerned with latency, and it's no different with Apex Legends. Nobody likes being matched against a player with a high ping as they'll often teleport around the map like an impossible-to-hit ghost.

So to keep things healthy at the highest levels of Apex Legends, Respawn Entertainment ran a little experiment recently. The experiment was locking players in Masters and Predators to the lowest-latency datacenter available to the party leader for a period of two weeks. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Respawn saw that servers regained a portion of their native population.

Respawn shared the results in a chart shared on Twitter yesterday. You can see each server's population represented with a block of colors for each region. The dotted line represents when the experiment began. Note that the native populations swung back to their home servers for all regions, but Brazil and Japan West saw the largest population shifts.

Interestingly, the South American players playing on the Japan West server didn't actually change much over the two-week experiment. This indicates that there's a population in South America that actually connects faster to the Japanese server than the one in Southern Brazil. Perhaps for some players in the Western coastal countries like Chile and Peru, it’s just faster for data to cross the Pacific than trek across the Amazon.

In any case, Respawn acknowledges that many players prefer to play on non-native servers due to "a concern for cheaters." Indeed, the population shifts in the above experiment seem to indicate quite a few players move to different servers. To address that concern, Respawn is "continuing to work […] with our game security team and we will continue to evaluate ways to improve the quality of competitive matches in the coming months."

Although Respawn didn't provide specifics on how many cheaters they banned, it did provide some more amusing Apex Legends statistics in its end-of-year review. With only 5% of kills resulting in a revive, apparently a lot of you aren't team players.

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