As Apex Legends' resident doctor, Lifeline isn't the worst character in the game. Far from it, she's probably one of the better picks of the bunch. But while she's not in a bad place, Respawn do feel she's in a complicated one, and have suggested a "sidegrade" may be due to bring her in line with the rest of the battle royale's colourful murderchums.
Sharing his thoughts on Twitter, lead game designer Carlos Pineda doesn't reckon Lifeline needs a buff - but that doesn't mean there isn't room to tidy up her kit (cheers, PCGamesN).
What we're really looking for is a Sidegrade. We want her to be different from other Legends without necessarily adding power. That kind of design is much harder than just cranking numbers or even just adding a new thing she can do.
— Carlos Pineda (@pinedsman) May 15, 2020
As an on-again, off-again Lifeline main, I get where he's coming from. With a small hitbox and solid abilities, Lifeline has never been bad (in fact, as Pineda's data shows, she's among the most popular Legends in high-level play). But her kit has felt increasingly out of step with ApeLegs' increased pace.
Olympic sprinters like Octane and Revenant have only ramped up the pace of engagements, while both World's Edge and King's Canyon have added more avenues for guaranteed loot. Where Lifeline's drop pod was a solid crutch for those early games, waiting on an extremely loud package rarely feels useful these days.
"We want her to be different from other Legends without necessarily adding power," Pineda continues. "That kind of design is much harder than just cranking numbers or even just adding a new thing she can do."
So what do expect, then? Could she start sending her drone off to help pals in the field? Use her care package as an impromptu airstrike? Or will Respawn decide that she's fine as--is, actually? Whatever happens, it's unlikely we'll see a Lifeline rework sooner rather than later.