Apex Legends

Apex Legends dev explains why “useless” Wattson won’t get more buffs

Published: 26/Nov/2020 5:27 Updated: 26/Nov/2020 5:29

by Isaac McIntyre

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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.

Respawn Entertainment
Wattson has been dubbed “useless” by the wider Apex Legends player base.

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.”

Wattson Apex Legends screenshot
Respawn Entertainment
The French defender is powerful, but fails to be “fun” in public lobbies.

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.

Respawn Entertainment
Mirage (pictured) and Lifeline have both got reworks; could Wattson be next?

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!

Apex Legends

Kings Canyon and Mirage Voyage make surprise return to Apex Legends

Published: 15/Jan/2021 20:15

by Theo Salaun

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In an impromptu update, Respawn Entertainment have delighted Apex Legends fans by bringing back both the Kings Canyon map and the Mirage Voyage point of interest for a limited time.

The Apex community lit up with a blend of surprise and joy when users logged onto the popular battle royale and found out that Kings Canyon was reintroduced to the game’s playlist options. As an added bonus, the game’s most infamous party boat, the Mirage Voyage, also spontaneously re-emerged as a landing spot.

A common emotional accompaniment to surprise is confusion and this geographical return was not lacking in either, according to Twitter reactions. The option to play on Kings Row was originally speculated to be a mistake because the playlist choice was only showing up for some players and mysteriously appearing then disappearing for others. 

But, following an official announcement from the Apex Legends Twitter account, it’s confirmed that the returns of Kings Canyon and Mirage Voyage are no mistake. In fact, they will be around for a full week.

Echoing the enthusiasm of their fans, Apex’s social media account delivered the news with a simple nod to jubilations: “It’s party time.”

And, as fans have been discovering in the brief time the map’s been made available, there are some tweaks to Kings Canyon and Mirage Voyage this time around — including some notable teasers and easter eggs. 

In one such piece of subtle content, there is a voicemail left to Mirage by his mother, Evelyn Witt, which can be found on a phone or tablet device that’s been left on one of the boat’s green couches. While it’s not a groundbreaking piece of lore, it does add to the game’s longrunning storylines.

This marks the first time since August 2020 that Mirage Voyage is available to contest in Apex Legends and the first time ever that it has sailed into Kings Canyon instead of World’s Edge. This blend of returns is both a chance for nostalgia and for content overlap.

Although the new playlist option will only be available until January 21, fans will be curious to know if this means Respawn intends on continuing to spontaneously bring back limited playlist offerings in the future.