Apex Legends Season 9 will introduce a permanent new game mode called Arenas. The new mode will be a round-based deathmatch, pitting two teams of three against each other in small areas of the Apex Legends map. Apex Legends has been primarily a battle royale title with events featuring other game modes such as the Winter Express LTM during the Holo-Day event and the Hunt LTM during the Season 5 Broken Ghost missions. These game modes may have been a little inspiration for Arenas mode, but developers reveal that the game mode is inspired by a recently popular game genre.
Arenas has been in development since Apex Legends Season 2. Originally, the game mode would feature 24 players in eight squads taking on 3 vs. 3 deathmatches in different areas of the map all at the same time. The tournament-style would result in teams eliminated each round with the winners moving on until a final showdown. The simultaneous battles taking place in small areas of a larger map was inspired by the game genre Auto Chess.
Speaking with GameSpot, Respawn lead game designer Carlos Pineda shares the original idea for Arenas, "The funny story is that the inspiration for Arenas actually comes from auto chess," Pineda says. "Auto chess has different people fighting on a grid--and that was our original idea. We thought, 'We should do that--we should do a bunch of teams fighting each other on different parts of the map."
Although Arenas mode is not expected to feature multiple teams fighting in small areas of a larger map, the inspiration drawn from Auto Chess is still relevant. The smaller areas of the Apex Legends map will be vital to how Arenas works. Like all multiplayer shooting games, the maps must be balanced and be fun to play repeatedly. Apex Legends has a lot of options with the Arenas maps, which includes spots from King's Canyon, World's Edge, and Olympus.
When coming up with the Arenas game mode, Apex Legends developers say it worked more like battle royale. Two teams would drop in a small location and find loot during the 3 vs. 3 match. Now, Arenas will operate more like CS:GO, with purchases of weapons, abilities, and consumables in between rounds. There is no loot in the Arena maps except for a care package that will land during rounds.
Arenas will launch with 5 maps, three being slightly modified locations from existing maps including Artillery in King's Canyon, Thermal Station in World's Edge, and Gardens in Olympus. Two of the locations are said to be brand-new, so fans requesting Skulltown for an Arenas map may be a little disappointed. However, the two new locations is exciting, especially since Arenas is expected to reveal more of the Apex Legends story.
The inspiration for Arenas coming from Auto Chess is amazing considering Auto Chess was a supplemental game mode developed from titles including League of Legends and Dota 2. Auto Chess was originally made popular from a Dota 2 mod, and later broke off to become its own game.
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