I want to start things off by saying, I am a mid-ladder player, I’ve played the game on and off since its release and my team is full of level 22 Uniques. Currently I have no Apex creatures unlocked, however, I have unlocked about 150 DNA for each of them. Now that you understand what my account is like, I must ask, why are players like myself and of lower level allowed to unlock Apexes? It makes sense to allow players to raid however I believe there should be some sort of creature level and player level gate that keep players from being able to run certain raids. For example, a level five player just starting the game shouldn’t be able to get a unique because the only creature he leveled was his Irritator.
My next problem is as follows, why bother adding a new rarity of creature if they are only going to be overshadowed by the lesser rarity. I understand that when Apexes were first added they ruled the high ladder, and it’s annoying for a player like myself to have to go up against them with my low level team, however, nerfing them into oblivion takes away the point from added them to the game and gives no reason for players to grind out raids everyday. Even though players were frustrated about Apexes being “overpowered” doesn’t mean that they should be totally unusable.
I’m not some gameplay guru so this suggestion may be totally horrible but here is what I suggest for the future of Apexes. Ludia may take this the wrong way and use it to totally ruin F2P for good, so if they do for some reason add this concept to the game and add it in the wrong manner, I sincerely apologize. Anyways, my suggestion is to add a creature & player level gate to raids, this prevents players in lower arenas from seeing high level/high rarity raid creatures. Next, make apexes kind of bland, don’t make them overpowered but also don’t make them unusable, make the average Apex creature in line with the average legendary or unique. This would keep mid/mid-high ladder players from seeing too many crazy powerful teams that are carried by OP Apexes. Then I think a new type of boost should be added. This boost would be called a Catalyst or some sort of technical term relating to it. Catalysts would only be obtainable by players at a specific trophy level. This requires the player to already have a decent team, trophy levels for catalysts would need to be pretty high. Catalysts would be unlocked through playing Apex raids and the player would already need to have the apex creature unlocked. This add more incentive for players with maxed out Apexes too continue playing the raids.
What do catalysts do though. I think that when you first unlock an apex, like I said, it shouldn’t be too special. A catalyst would allow a player to upgrade certain moves for apex creatures. For example, say I have already unlocked Mortem Rex and play the Mortem Rex raid and I have around 6k trophies. There would be a small chance I could get a catalyst as a reward that I could use to make its cleansing impact a group cleansing impact instead or maybe even a decelerating cleansing impact. This would make Apex teams more relevant in high ladder. Right now very few of the top players are even running Apexes and I believe this would change that. Again this may be a horrible idea, I just feel something needs to be done to make Apexes feel like Apexes because after all they’re a higher rarity than Unique. Also this would allow for a reason for players to be at higher trophy levels, because as of right now besides seasonal rewards there is no reason to sit beyond the Aviary.
Apexes shouldn’t be underwhelming add a gameplay mechanic that allows high ranking players to upgrade their apexes abilities and make them Apex worthy.
I have yet to see any Apex get “nerfed into oblivion”, not even in 2.10. All of the ones that were nerfed are FAR from unusable, so if any of them are unusable, they were that way from the start.
That said, while I find your idea creative, Ludia has to be careful however they handle Apexes. Essentially, while they should rightfully be the most powerful dinos in the game, they should not be so powerful that they’re a level above everything else.
Why? Well, frankly there’s only 7 Apexes in the game right now. If every Apex was stronger than every unique, then the meta would just be all 7 apexes. Think about that: every team in the upper arenas running the same exact dinos. Doesnt that sound dreadfully boring? Now I’m not saying the meta is super diverse now, but we shouldn’t be heading towards less diversity if we can help it. For that reason, uniques should remain competitive with the Apexes.
That means that either Ludia has to buff all the uniques to be closer to the Apex level, or nerf some of the Apexes, at least in terms of their more overpowered aspects. The former option isn’t good, because it makes all the other dinos in the game even worse by comparison. It’s power creep, the same thing that has likely caused Ludia to add powerful uniques like CompC, SR3, Phorurex, and Indotaurus. Meanwhile, older uniques like Indoraptor are the ones that are actually becoming useless. So while it may not sound appealing at first, some slight nerfs targeting specific aspects of Apexes may be the better option for the overall game.
So back to your suggestion. It seems creative and could open a few interesting doors. Unfortunately, one of those doors may lead to Apexes towering unchallenged above all other dinos, which as I’ve just explained isn’t good for the game. Think about it like this. Power fantasy games are fun, but there’s a good reason why these games are almost always single player: being as powerful as you want just doesn’t hold up in a competitive environment.
I’ve mention similar threads that Apex creatures are fine and all they need is an artificial wall that prevents their use in the Arena any lower than Aviary. Alliances can help lower level members get their Apex but they have to work up the Arena to get to use them.