Apex Legends: Season 17 of the epic battle royale Arsenal will drop on Tuesday, May 9. With map changes, a new mastery system and empty towers, we are being treated to a new Legend to start this season with a bang.
August “Ballistic” Brinkmann is a veteran of Thunderdome Games, the predecessors to the Apex Games we know today. After a tragedy, Ballistics retired and disappeared from the public eye. As of now, Ballistic is back and ready to show the younger generation of Legends how it’s done.
Ballistic’s capabilities are well suited for both ranged and close quarter combat in whatever mode you choose. However, he really shines at isolating a target and taking them out in stylish fashion. His passive ‘The Sling’ allows him to carry a third weapon but only with its base stats. This means that no attachments or upgrades, if you put on a purple tier weapon, it will immediately become its base tier. His tactical ‘Whistler’ can overheat enemy weapons, and his ultimate ‘Storm’ infuses not only him but his entire team with infinite ammunition for a short period of time.
The introduction of ballistics isn’t the only thing in Apex Legends: Arsenal, as World’s Edge has some big map changes, including Vault Keys being more common, a new Vault in Sky Hook, and new POIs.
World’s Edge has begun to recover and cooled off a bit, now snow is dusting Sky Hook and deep gorges may be a thing of the past. Eagle-eyed players can also see subtle changes in the light and sky in World’s Edge. However, the two biggest changes are to Lava City… well, what Lava City was. It is now known as Stacks, as the block manufacturing building has been moved to this location.
This new point of interest is designed to give you more options for vertical play, with multiple floors in the building where multiple battles can take place. It looks like a great place with very few options if you want to be in the thick of it, but with your wits and skills to get you out alive.
The next new point of interest on World’s Edge is the Monument. It’s at the heart of World’s Edge and is essentially a celebration of all things Apex Legends – a museum that celebrates the history of Apex Games and the achievements of the developer team over the game’s lifetime. As you traverse through it, you may recognize concept art from your favorite Legend, or even references from previous seasons.
The monument building has a glass roof, which means enemy squads can see you from above, but it also means you can see them which gives you a chance to attack or plan your escape. There are several deep underground bunkers beneath the monument that will allow for quick escapes if the top is too chaotic. In addition, there are several zip lines to and from sniper nests on the building itself. With all this being at the center of the world’s edge, we suspect this POI is going to be hugely popular.
Other changes to World’s Edge include a new landing spot on the Harvester, which can be accessed by skydiving through a lava tube from above. Speaking of lava, it can now be traversed mostly safely and the level of lava has been raised to the edge of the world.
We also have some news about Mirage à Trois. No, it hasn’t crashed and turned into a burning wreck again, but it won’t be in all maps anymore. It will now only be available on World’s Edge.
While we’re on the subject of maps, the map rotations for Apex Legends Season 17 will be Kings Canyon, World’s Edge, and Olympus.
That’s not all you have to look forward to this season, there’s a new weapon mastery system for you to sink your teeth into. You will now be rewarded for having a favorite weapon that you use over and over again on each map. The best part? Your progress carries over from season to season, so you don’t have to worry about getting all the levels in one block!
Everyone starts out with being at level one of each weapon, and you progress in mastery of that weapon by dealing damage, fighting with style, and getting as many kills as possible.
You can do this using the weapon of your choice in any public mode (private matches or firing ranges won’t count). Every 20 levels, weapon specific tests will be unlocked for you to complete. Once you complete a set test, you will receive a reward. These may include banner frames, trackers and skins. Once you reach level 100 with your weapon and complete the final test, you will master that weapon to earn the final reward.
Next, let’s talk about the new Evak Towers. These are essentially portable versions of the launch towers we’re used to. Don’t worry, as far as we know, Launch Towers are still going to be available, but Evac Towers are the ones you can use anywhere (as long as you’re outside a building). Like normal launch towers, you can put down the tower, use a zipline to go up, and then skydive back into the match.
However, he does have a health bar and a timeout beacon. Destroying it would require a few members of the enemy squad shooting at the tower at the same time, but if it manages to survive, it can still time out and disintegrate.
That’s a lot of info so far, but stick with us – we’re almost there. The Firing Range has been overhauled with new areas that simulate a city, dummies that can now fire back at you, a new map and a Dueling Pit where players can fight one on one. Plus, you can now join friends’ progress in a Firing Range session.
Lastly, the ping system has been reworked with several new options that should make communication between squad members easier. Some of the new ping features include a new ping wheel for downed players, a ‘regroup here’ option and an ‘enemy audio’ option that will tell your team that you can hear enemies but haven’t seen them yet can see.
Apex Legends: Arsenal launches on Tuesday, May 9, and we can’t wait to see Ballistic in action.