Introducing “Respawn Responds” w/ Jason McCord (Apex Legends Design Director) [Monthly Video Series, transcripts inside]

1 : Anonymous2021/04/09 20:40 ID: mnq6dl

Hello legends.

We are pinning this post to bring awareness to a new series Respawn calls "Respawn Responds". This is an official, monthly video series where Respawn employees respond to community questions.

This month, Jason McCord - Apex Legends Design Director - provides input on three topics listed below. Transcripts are provided by us (the moderation team) if you are unable to watch the video or prefer to read what Jason says.



Question 1: What is Respawn doing to deal with cheating in Apex Legends?

Answer: When we started making this game [...] I was in some meetings and we were like "Yeah we're gonna start, we're gonna build a team dedicated to anti-cheat" and I was like "Oh, awesome! So we won't have any cheaters then, that's great". And, you know, the engineers in the room and the people who are a little more involved in that kind of stuff were like "Oh no. This will be a war of attrition forever. It's always fighting. You put out a way to block cheaters, they'll get around that. And you'll keep working on it. The best you can do is stay ahead of it".

We can't share real details about stuff because you know, you don't share your war strategy with the enemy. [...] I can say a couple things, I think this is a really important topic. We are currently looking into what we can do for players who have had their game impacted by a cheater. This may look something like retroactive loss forgiveness - where you'll get your RP back if we find that you had a cheater in your ranked match, something like that. So, that's kinda small but I think it will be meaningful. We're also working on a feature where if you report a cheater you'll get notified that the person that you reported was banned. And, you know, that just sort of helps you know that reporting cheating does something, and that you did something.

We're also ramping up enforcement on players who get boosted by cheaters. So, we already can detect this but it's a lot of manual tracking for us, so we're streamlining our pipeline so we can make that detection a lot more effectively [sic]. So that will get better. And then, lots of things that we just can't talk about. Or really boring things like, you know, we're making tools so that we can track stuff so that can figure out what, you know, how we're doing.

I get lots of questions on Twitter and stuff about SMS verification to log in, or play ranked. You won't see that from us soon and that's just that we've done our research and we've decided that there's better ways to spend our efforts that actually get better results. But I do think it's just important for players to know we've got people on this full-time, right? Any time that it feels like there's a surge and we know that it's just so frustrating to know that someone was in your match. There might be a surge but then there will be a surge of bans the next day. So, we're just keeping at it.



Question 2: How does the Apex team take and use player feedback?

Answer: The team seeks it out largely themselves. I mean, not exclusively but we've got devs on Twitter, they're on Reddit, they're on different forums. I'm on Twitter talking to a bunch of people. There's a number of features that have gotten into the game that came exclusively from fan suggestions. Like the damage counter, that went live in Season 8. It was something that we saw on Reddit enough and we were like "you know what, let's just do that".

Sometimes we have to think about how that affects the game in certain ways that may not be obvious to players, so there's a lot of conversation. That's why there may be something that seems easy, it seems obvious that players want this, right? It comes to us really quickly: we find it, the community team picks it up sometimes really quick and gives it to us, and we talk about it. Something like the damage counter is an example: is this gonna make people...first off, the designers are able to think "How can this be used in a negative way, or in ways that we don't think about. So are people gonna start poking from a distance more, sniping more, how's that gonna change the way the game plays for better or worse?". We just gotta think it through, put it in the game, we test it, we talk about it a lot, a bunch of designers chatting about it. Eventually, we decide "Ok, this is worth doing". We just have to be really careful about stuff most of the time.

I always appreciate it whenever people are able to express to us a problem that they're having. A lot of times, people's first reaction or first inclination is to go telling us their solution which, sometimes is great. Sometimes, it's a really creative solution, we're gonna think about that or we're just gonna do it sometimes. A lot of times there's so many moving parts of the game and what we should do for what reasons. And a lot of the times it's just better to tell us the problem you're having, part of the experience you don't like, and then let us chew on it and come back with a way to try and solve it. It's kind of the discipline of design, really, to try and figure out the right way to solve the problems. And we always have to test against our design goals. We have certain design pillars that we always try to anchor to. Sometimes, there might be an idea that sound really good but in the end, you can test that against like "Well, we're a team game; if we do that, then people will not play as a team and that will start to spread, and everyone will be out there by themselves ruining the experience of trios or whatever". You kind of have to think about it in those sorts of terms.

It's fun to think creatively on how to solve those problems in a different way because, again, if you tell us the problem we can go "well, how can we actually solve that problem instead of if you just tell us your solution". It's too easy to be like, "Well we can't do that. We can't do that thing for these reasons.". So I guess, the conversation ends there.



Question 3: What are the priorities for Apex this year?

Answer: Last year, at this time at our one year anniversary, a little bit before our one year anniversary in January, we were looking at a get-together with a bunch of, you know, Chad [...] Grenier the game director, and a bunch of people at, sort of, the goals for 2020.

We brought the whole team into the kitchen - which is, kind of our big meeting space for the team - and we had a big presentation up. And we were like "This is our plan for 2020, this is where we want the game to be by Season 7. It's gonna have a brand new map, Olympus" (which everyone knew at the time - these maps take a really long time to make), "it's gonna have a vehicle, it's gonna have all these characters". We had all of these cool goals and then that is what sort of drove us through the year, getting to Season 7.

So now we're at that point again, we're looking at 2021. And you know, we're looking at sure, Season 11, what we want the game to look at at that point but also what are the priorities for Apex this year. And I think that what's really exciting is that I wanna talk a lot with Chad [Grenier] about this, and we're really like, currently Apex is strictly a battle royale [sic]. But we've built these characters and this world that I think players really wanna be in, even if they don't love battle royales. So, at a really high level, I'll just say that's something we wanna focus on solving this year: other ways to play the game.


Looking for Free Talk Weekend? You can find it here.

2 : Anonymous2021/04/09 22:22 ID: gtzdbic

But we've built these characters and this world that I think players really wanna be in, even if they don't love battle royales. So, at a really high level, I'll just say that's something we wanna focus on solving this year: other ways to play the game.

Aiight, so definitely getting that 3v3 or team death match like alternate game mode later this year. I'm imagining it'll be multiple rounds kinda like Titanfall 2's live fire game mode only without the flag. Idk, just speculating.

3 : Anonymous2021/04/09 21:27 ID: gtz6rft

That’s a whole lot of text to say nothing of substance. Lol.

4 : Anonymous2021/04/09 20:50 ID: gtz27ya

Something noted in all of this is that it's all...vague. All of the issues are vague, their plans for the future are vague, their comments about player feedback are vague

What this feels like, especially with the player feedback thing, is that this is their band-aid attempt to act like they're actually listening to the uproar of issues people are having, that they're still connecting with the masses. I don't buy it by a mile.

ID: gtz3u71

It’s definitely a business strategy. It’s all BS. The whole thing looks half ass thought out.

ID: gtz9dpk

Yes and no. This is just how all media companies work. They can’t make any real announcements about anything until it’s all ready. They, of course, can’t talk about their anti-cheat efforts because that just shows their hand before they play it. For content, though, they can’t straight up say, “We’ve got a new map for Season 10 that takes place in Hogwarts and a new legend that’s part octopus and can carry 6 guns at a time,” because the nature of development is that things are always subject to change. Announcing things early is just a recipe for disappoint later when deadlines need to be pushed back or ideas get scrapped.

ID: gtza8zb

What’s funny to me is that this is only a monthly thing. So are we supposed to be excited that only 3 topics are vaguely talked about...once every month? Like those 3 videos are 3 minutes each. It took me like 4 minutes to read the whole transcription. That’s not much effort that it can only be done once a month.

It’s like when you go to the doctors office and they rush you through your appointment in 5 minutes and you don’t feel like you got to discuss all the questions you had. And then they tell you to comeback next month for a checkup lol

ID: gtze3ei

I get what you are saying but you are wrong, and not thinking with common sense on how game developing works.

5 : Anonymous2021/04/09 20:49 ID: gtz23zd

Loss forgiveness is all fine and well, but how about preventing a single player from completely wrecking servers non stop?

6 : Anonymous2021/04/09 20:56 ID: gtz30pd

"Yeah we're gonna start, we're gonna build a team dedicated to anti-cheat"

there are still hackers below the level requirements in ranked lobbys, anit-cheat doesnt detect obvious aimbotters and there is ONE person manually banning cheaters for all regions

ID: gtz4426

They’ve been saying this since Season 0 ong.Don’t believe that crap.

ID: gtz6b3q

Yup, tufi is now even locking out streamers from the game, they literally can’t play...

In an interview with tufi he mentions how it’s related to the servers and how they handle matchmaking and other stuff. It’s so sad that they’re trying to downplay their issues with vague pr statements that say nothing at all.

ID: gtzgzov

Got a link to that interview?

ID: gtzgxmd

EA litteraly pays millions to easy anti cheat and they cant even stop aimbotters with 100% headshot rate lul

7 : Anonymous2021/04/09 22:29 ID: gtze73b

Servers and Audio DLC when

8 : Anonymous2021/04/09 20:48 ID: gtz1zc2

Something needs to be done about Tufi. He's running riot and literally ruining the game. He needs to be stopped. I wish the Devs would speak to this specifically

ID: gtz6xle

Is that the guy ddosing? Its time to get the FBI involved...

ID: gtz3d0n

Buddy there’s not much that the actual developers of the game can about that. It’s a security issue and it’s not really their field.

ID: gtz43lk

I won't pretend to be well versed, I'm far from it. But the problem doesn't exist ( at least not to the same level ) in other titles. Maybe it's an EAC issue? There's a reason he's finding it so easy to skirt the bans and spoof his HWID and someone somewhere has the ability to stop him/her.

ID: gtz5v8r

The guy has to access the game to be able to do anything. Hardware ban him and he can't do anything unless he pays $$$ for spoof. Even then, ban the spoof and he has to buy a new one.

9 : Anonymous2021/04/09 22:34 ID: gtzerkz

No mention of Ddosing on console. We can only play 1 ranked match an hour in masters/pred because we get Ddosed to fucking hell every day. Fucking fix it man. Hideouts blowing smoke up our asses about “boosters” (he said this early season 7, it’s almost season fucking NINE) then Ddosers and hasn’t done a fucking thing about either. Idc about boosters I just want Ddosers gone.

ID: gtzj35p


10 : Anonymous2021/04/10 00:37 ID: gtzsh27

What is this like the devstream with extra steps? What was wrong with devstreams, i used to watch all of them. Ngl kinda lazy to click 3 different youtube links, id rather watch their 30 min devstreams

11 : Anonymous2021/04/09 21:57 ID: gtzadnp

When it literally takes months to get vague statements like that you just know you are in for a hard time arent you? 🙁

12 : Anonymous2021/04/09 21:58 ID: gtzah0w

So basically the number one question of all time, servers, is ignored. This whole thing is satire right?

13 : Anonymous2021/04/09 20:59 ID: gtz3cqu

This feels fake asf Like I’m reading a Screenplay. Just trying to gain our confidence so they can string us along for 2 more years.

14 : Anonymous2021/04/09 20:49 ID: gtz21jz

This is all really cool, and it’s great that the community is getting a response, but is there going to be any period of time dedicated to fixing the game?

ID: gtz4gp6

Probably not. They been saying this for 2 years. They’re not showing action. Th

ID: gtz8wvn

Only company I know that can do server maintenance and make the servers worse

ID: gtz5trn

Not likely. Fixing the game means less time spent on making skins and events. That cuts into profit, and you know they can’t have that.

15 : Anonymous2021/04/09 23:04 ID: gtzi8nb

I just don’t understand why it’s so difficult to treat people with respect. Kindness takes little to no effort. Criticism is fine and totally valid, but why stoop so low as to insult or accuse people of lying?

Those are the types of things that burn bridges and halt communication. Like, we’re shooting ourselves in the foot by creating bad blood between the devs and the community. Creating good will between the devs and players is surely more productive right?

Asking, “Why is this part so vague?” or “Can you go into more detail on this?” is sure to yield better results and open up communication.

Saying stuff like, “I don’t buy this bullshit” stops communication right out of the gate. None of the devs will ever look at a comment like that and want to respond because they’ve already shown that whatever the devs say, they won’t buy it.

ID: gtzv9vy

I think your worries about your perceived disrespect towards the developers in this thread are overblown. A few people calling their answers bullshit (me including) notwithstanding, most are expressing their valid criticisms as politely as possible considering they've been evasive over the game's biggest issues since launch. Communities don't start frothing at their mouths at the mere sight of developers from the start, it happens over time due to poor communication with the community, not to mention that the developers aren't precious things that never make mistakes and need to be protected in case they fall apart over criticism. This sub already nukes any criticism before they even get a chance to read it.

Can you honestly tell me that you feel reassured with the responses in the OP? Even an easy question like the third one, a question that would net you easy points with the community using cheap promises even if you don't plan to do come through with them, is vague.

The developers need to do better, they aren't your friends and they don't need you protecting them from criticism and accountability.

16 : Anonymous2021/04/09 22:08 ID: gtzbpo1

All people want to know about right now is bug fixes and server performance fixes. Yet all we get is a bunch of PR garbage? Cmon Respawn, you guys can do better than this.

17 : Anonymous2021/04/09 21:21 ID: gtz61iq

“Other ways to play the game” got me excited. I hate BR games in general but stuck w apex bc of friends and lore.

18 : Anonymous2021/04/09 21:43 ID: gtz8s4t

How about you address the server issues we've had since launch, issues that have worsened over the years? What are you doing to prevent introducing more bugs in every patch as it always happens? What about the cheaters and smurfs in pretty much every rank? Tufi is making fun of everyone at Respawn with his shenanigans. Will you actually make some efforts to try to balance the game instead nudging a few values here and there?

There's so much to be done and discuss and these are all non-answers, promise and never deliver. You guys are game for showing up to compliment someone on something trivial or offer your condolences for in-game griefing, but actually discussing the shortcomings of the game and how you'll fix 'em? Complete radio silence.

19 : Anonymous2021/04/09 21:16 ID: gtz5ewq

The netcode and servers? We ever going to get anywhere with that?

20 : Anonymous2021/04/09 22:11 ID: gtzc1vs


21 : Anonymous2021/04/09 22:51 ID: gtzgpmh

Hey McCoy, will ya say something meaningful as well?

22 : Anonymous2021/04/09 23:53 ID: gtznmn3

Vague, unhelpful bullshit. Clueless.

23 : Anonymous2021/04/09 23:59 ID: gtzo885

Time to uninstall this shitty game

ID: gtzte5l

I played less this season, valorant it is. Didn't even finished BP yet

24 : Anonymous2021/04/09 22:06 ID: gtzbis2


ID: gtzsr4r

Probably in 4 years. Since they need to fix loba bracelet in 2 years and mybe sounds issue in 3 years

25 : Anonymous2021/04/09 22:07 ID: gtzbk8d

Checking to see if an account has 2fa enabled isn't some monumental task that will drain the team of all its time and resources, it's literally just an api call and an interns afternoon away. They could at least try it rather than doing literally nothing to preemptively stop cheaters.

ID: gtzgdy2

A ton of companies use it too, its a proven method. Its not fullproof, there are a handful of free numbers online, and people can always spend time and money buying numbers, but its a hurdle, and a much bigger one than Respawn/EA have to stop cheaters.

I'll tell you why they are acting like it wont work. SMS means you need a phone, something that 30%+ of kids in the US dont get until their a teenager. They dont want to give up peddling microtransactions to kids.

26 : Anonymous2021/04/09 22:15 ID: gtzchv0

catch this scumbag tufi

27 : Anonymous2021/04/09 22:22 ID: gtzde87

A series of questions that will get vague answers in an attempt to look like they are actually addressing issues. Classic.

28 : Anonymous2021/04/09 20:46 ID: gtz1pc8

Wtf is this crap it reads like a shitty blog.

29 : Anonymous2021/04/09 22:53 ID: gtzgy9p

Nothing about SBMM/EOMM


Not to mention report player doesnt even work on ps4

30 : Anonymous2021/04/09 22:55 ID: gtzh78p

This answers literally nothing, it’s just vague answers. Also nothing about servers, an issue plaguing the game since launch

31 : Anonymous2021/04/10 00:36 ID: gtzsaz6

100% they will avoid question like sound problem and server powered by hamsters


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