Bad news Wattson fans… Respawn has no plans to buff the Apex Legends engineer again in Season 7, despite the fact much of the battle royale’s player base believes the Static Defender is “useless” in her current state.
Wattson who has been part of the ever-growing Apex Legends roster since mid-2019, was recently handed a buff in Season 7’s ‘Ascension’ patch; her signature ability, “Perimeter Security,” had its damage topped up slightly.
According to the Apex Legends community, however, the French defender is still relatively “useless” in the Season 7 meta. In fact, the view is so widespread that a Reddit thread simply titled “Buff Wattson please” racked up 15.1k upvotes, and more than 125 awards.
In the thread, ‘BaguettePaquette’ declared: “It’s time to radically remake Wattson. Not just +5 to fences, but the whole concept of a ‘defending legend’.”
Unfortunately, when an Apex Legends dev did finally arrive in the thread, it was to deliver bad news: there are no plans to give Wattson more buffs in Season 7, despite the defender’s low pick rate in public playlists and ranked lobbies.
Wattson isn’t “useless,” says Apex dev
The reason, game designer Daniel Z. Klein explained, is twofold. The first is that Wattson is “all over the place” in pro play. According to the dev, who “rewound the final game,” four of the final six squads in ALGS finals included a Wattson.
The second was a rebuttal to the Reddit thread’s suggestion Wattson is “useless,” both on new map Olympus, and in all Apex Legends lobbies.
“I’m going to respectfully disagree… on Olympus, or elsewhere. You’re confusing two things; pick rate and effectiveness,” Klein said. “Yes, she’s lowest pick rate, but her win rate is very good. She’s is top 4 across most power metrics.”
The “fun” problem: why no one plays Wattson
The problem, he continued, is that Wattson “isn’t super fun for most people.” Her abilities are based around holding choke points, which Apex Legends players often shy away from.
“[That] means we can’t just put power into her until she’s more widely played, because she’s already very near the top of our power charts; on the other hand, it means that putting power into her won’t address the problem either,” he said.
“It’s not that people pick her and fail to be effective. Clearly the people who do run her have more success than on most other characters. There’s something about the FEELING of playing her that isn’t attractive, and power doesn’t fix that.”
Rework may be one possible solution
So, no more Wattson buffs in Season 7, especially as she continues to hit top scores on many of Respawn’s hidden metrics. A rework though? That’s another story.
“Your suggestion for a rework is most promising,” Klein admitted, but said there are two issues there; the cost — “reworks are incredibly expensive” — and two, she already fills an area “very needed” in competitive play: defensive strengths.
“I don’t think she should be 100% or near 100% pick rate in competitive… ideally we find a rework that makes at least part of her kit exciting in the moment, while not losing her identity as a structure giver,” the Apex developer concluded.
There was a glimmer of hope for fans of the French defender, however. Klein admitted he “could be convinced to buff her” in an effort to “throw a bone to Wattson mains,” but promised that “wouldn’t change the problems.”
For now, Wattson mains should hold tight. There’s a rework in the pipes that may eventually land, and more buffs are possible; it may just take a bit of begging!