Take to the skies, whether you have wings or not.
Very few legends have released with an ultimate ability as game-changing as Valkyries was in season nine of Apex Legends, allowing teams to access a rapid repositioning tool that dwarfed everything which came before it. The power of that ability has made Valkyrie an integral part of many team compositions, and this is something that Apex wants to break free from on May 9.
A new survival item, the Evac Tower, is coming alongside season 17, allowing players to spawn a redeploy balloon at their location. While the balloon will only be up for a limited time before it expires, its a game-changer for teams who would have previously had to rely on Valkyrie for such powerful repositioning tools.
The goal with adding the Evac Tower to the game was to allow for more diverse team compositions, said Josh Mohan, Respawns lead game designer, who introduced the Evac Tower at a recent press event. We were seeing Valkyrie and her Ultimate dominate legend picks and we wanted to share a bit of that power with all teams.
The prospective power of such a survival item is potent on paper, but there are some drawbacks to the Evac Tower that have been put in place to prevent it from completely overshadowing Valkyrie or being too strong in its own right.
Valkyries ultimate still remains the more powerful versiontheres a few counterplays with the Evac Tower, Mohan said. Notably, it takes a few seconds to deploy, it has a health bar so if your enemies are coordinated they can shoot it down, and it will time out and expire. Valk remains the more powerful version but now a little bit of that power is in the hands of all players so were excited to see how people use it.
Emphasis was put on the need for a coordinated team if a player plans on shooting down the Evac Tower. While we werent given specifics on just how much health the custom redeploy balloon has, it was said youll need a team of people focused on shooting it if you plan on taking it down in any good amount of time. The health bar could prevent it from seeing much use in competitive play, with multiple teams in a small area capable of focusing their fire on a deployed Evac Tower, but that remains to be seen before it goes live.
Respawn clearly wants Valkyrie to be less of a necessity in many situations, but whether or not the Evac Tower delivers any utility in the kind of late-game combat that Valkyries repositioning tools have excelled in will have a lot of consequences for just how much the devs succeed in this goal.
The Evac Tower will be available to experiment with when Apex season 17, Arsenal, launches on Tuesday, May 9.