Even the most die-hard Wraith main will admit the Apex Legends character is, as the kids say, a bit of an edge lord - but that's part of her appeal. One of her most iconic features has been her "Naruto run" sprint animation, a running style named after the Naruto anime in which the character leans forwards with their arms outstretched behind them. In real life, it's completely impractical and will likely result in you falling on your face, but it seems to have given Wraith an advantage in Apex Legends - and as a result, it's now been removed.
The patch notes for Aftermarket, the latest Apex Legends update that rolled out yesterday, explained that the dev team had been struggling to nerf Wraith for some time, and previous changes to her abilities had not been enough to balance the character. "Each time we hit her abilities (which we've done a lot) she bounces back within a few weeks without bleeding a lot of pick rate," the notes said. "We think both she and Pathfinder have been pushed to the edge in terms of cooldown and utility nerfs where pushing them any further would make them a lot less fun to play. We don't want that!
"So we started looking at other Legend specific things that could give her this power- and discovered that her sprinting animations are unique in how much they artificially shorten her (by hunching over), thus shrinking her shootable area from the perspective of the enemy. It doesn't sound like a lot, but taken together with her already small hitbox, it's a lot of power."
As a result, Wraith now has a new set of sprint animations, which are designed to make her stand more upright and "expose a larger area of her body to gunfire".
"Now we know her old sprint was iconic and we hate to see it go as well, but we believe this is the best way by far of bringing her in line without having to hit her abilities again," the patch notes added. "Depending on what we see after these animations go live, we may even be able to put some power back into her abilities (no promises though). As always, we will be listening to feedback and monitoring data on this change."
Well, the community sure has given some feedback, with many mourning the loss of the iconic run - and, of course, sharing memes about the new one. Importantly, someone discovered that Wraith still Naruto runs when she's holding a throwable item - although you won't be able to run as fast as when you could without weapons. Perhaps every character should have been given the Naruto run to make things fair.
Elsewhere in the patch notes, Aftermarket introduces Apex's long-awaited cross-play beta, which gives players "full access to cross-play functionality" while the dev team collects data to test the feature at scale. There's also a brand new LTM called Flashpoint, a Kings Canyon mode which removes all healing items and replaces them with massive glowing bubbles around the map that regenerate both your health and shields. I guess Lifeline's out of a job on this one.
The Aftermarket Collection Event, meanwhile, brings a new set of 24 cosmetic items, while Caustic now has a shiny new toy in the form of a Death Hammer heirloom.
And while Wraith's had another rough time in this patch, one legend that's getting some much-needed love is Pathfinder, who earlier this year saw a severe nerf to his grapple ability. Thanks to a reddit suggestion, the dev team has now swapped grapple cooldown a flat 35 seconds to one that's based on distance travelled: "from the moment you leave the ground to when you're on the ground again and not sliding at crazy high speeds". This means if you mess up a grapple and faceplant, you won't be penalised as severely - but if you travel the full length you'll still need to wait 35 seconds for your escape route to return.
There's a bunch more quality of life improvements and tweaks detailed in the full patch notes, but for now, let's take a moment to remember Wraith's Naruto run, February 2019 - October 2020.
Get your first month for £1 (normally £3.99) when you buy a Standard Eurogamer subscription. Enjoy ad-free browsing, merch discounts, our monthly letter from the editor, and show your support with a supporter-exclusive comment flair!