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Apex Legends: The Changes Coming To Kings Canyon In Season 14

The success of "Apex Legends" is no accident. Despite being published by the controversial Electronic Arts, the free-to-play battle royale title has managed to stay relevant in an oversaturated genre since its release in 2019 due to the addition of important updates season to season. The last example of this was in Season 13 when the team at Respawn Entertainment incorporated some exciting changes to its Storm Point map. Now, as "Apex Legends" enters Season 14, the game will re-introduce an old favorite — Kings Canyon.

For anyone unfamiliar with "Apex Legends" or the history surrounding it, Kings Canyon was the very first map featured. Respawn eventually got rid of Kings Canyon in Season 5 in favor of introducing other options while only occasionally revisiting the old map that started it all. But with Season 14 on the way, Kings Canyon will make a return. Here are all the changes that have been made to Kings Canyon in preparation for its comeback.

A new POI called Relic

As with any battle royale map, Kings Canyon has a variety of Points of Interest (POIs) that players can drop into. The areas often hold very valuable and effective loot, making them battlegrounds and bottlenecks for those who sacrifice short-term safety for better equipment. As part of the Season 14 reintroduction, Respawn has added a new POI called Relic to Kings Canyon in an effort to improve the gameplay on a map that, by comparison, feels smaller than the newer offerings.

Within the "Apex Legends" lore, the Relic POI stands where Skull Town and Thunderdome were once located. The Syndicate reconstructed the site destroyed by Loba's explosion in Season 5, filling it with sand and preserving the iconic skull. "The winding, interconnected buildings of the center village should provide a frantic (and nostalgic) experience for the Legends," explained senior level designer Michael Shannon. It should also now be easier for groups to engage in PvP without interference from other squads.

Other POIs have been altered

Beyond the addition of Relic, Respawn modified some old POIs as well. The first on the list is The Cage, the tallest structure on the map. "The Cage is a memorable structure on Kings Canyon, but we felt its defensibility was too high for a POI positioned directly in a high traffic junction," said Shannon. To address this, the developers made coming and going more accessible. "The top of the cage is still a power position," Shannon continued. "Because it's easier to enter or leave, players should now more easily be able to capitalize on an advantage and end the fight."

Similar changes were made to the Hillside Outpost POI near Containment. In order to streamline squad rotation and avoid prolonged firefights, the team gutted the interior to encourage quicker battles without either team being able to hide behind cover. Respawn also made slight alterations to the Broken Relay POI, adding more ziplines and buildings and changing its name to Basin.

Rotation modifications

As Kings Canyon was the very first map introduced in "Apex Legends," some trial and error was needed to ensure future maps and updates required more strategy and conveyed a sense of newness. With this in mind, Respawn has eliminated or modified old rotation points. "Frequent cut-throughs made it easy to interrupt fights without consequence. For this update, we wanted to reward players for planning their rotations thoughtfully by making some key changes," detailed Shannon.

One of the major rotation points is the one that connects Destroyed Bridges, River Center, and the Hillside Outpost. To limit teams' options, Respawn removed the connection to Destroyed Bridges. In an effort to better regulate traffic in the area, the development team also took out the cave that previously connected Marketplace and River Center. In Marketplace itself, a cave was repositioned and widened. A similar change was made to a connector near The Cage.

Loot refresh and new skybox and lighting

As with any battle royale title, loot is the name of the game. Having valuable and powerful weapons often means the difference between victory and defeat. In order to ensure proper proportions, Respawn has given Kings Canyon a loot refresh, modifying certain disparities in loot distribution between POIs. For instance, Crash Site and Spotted Lakes have seen reductions in loot while Runoff, Hydro Dam, Swamps and Octane's Gauntlet received increases.

In terms of quality, certain POIs have been marked to spawn both medium and high-tier loot. The specific POIs that will benefit from this boost were not formally revealed. Finally, Kings Canyon will feature a higher quantity of loot. Respawn felt that the original incarnation of the map had little loot when compared to others. Given this, the amount of loot in Kings Canyon should now be about the same as Olympus.

To make the Kings Canyon map more beautiful and engaging than ever before, Respawn also added a new skybox and lighting system. "This overhaul brings a much more immersive, vibrant environment and we think Kings Canyon has never looked better," gushed Shannon. When viewing what the new lighting system does for the map, you can see how the colors feel less washed out and more bright.