TSM Apex Legends pro Phillip ‘ImperialHal’ Dosen has never playtested for Respawn, but according to the star, the developers “don’t listen” and “completely disregard” pro player feedback just before new content goes live, leading to balance issues.
The balance might not be all there though, like the Bocek Bow on its release in Season 9. It’s part of the process of expanding a game launch from a handful of testers in-house to millions across the world, who can discover plenty more in a much smaller time frame.
However, according to ImperialHal, even broken mechanics get discovered on the playtests, but Respawn don’t patch them before the game hits live.
While the TSM star admits he’s “never playtested a single season of Apex” and has only been offered once, plenty of pro players have, and their opinions have been “completely disregarded”.
“From what I’ve heard, there’s a lot of feedback given from the pro players that they [Respawn] just completely disregard. They literally don’t care,” he said on stream.
“Especially stuff with Valkyrie. There was a bunch of stuff with Valkyrie where they [pro players] said ‘you can’t do this and that’… they don’t listen.”
Hal added a disclaimer that everything is subjective and “everyone has their own opinion… and that creates conflict”, but the bridge between what’s good for casual play and pro play makes balancing a near impossible task.
“It’s funny how the game is so out of touch between competitive and casuals. The two things are so mind boggling that they’re going to nerf Wattson’s hitbox and they’re possibly thinking of buffing Gibby,” he said.
“I don’t think they should completely listen to pros, but there’s got to be some common sense. The reasoning behind buffing and nerfing characters makes no sense.”
He highlighted the Bow on release as “the perfect example”, with some playtesters asking for changes before it shipped to live. None were made, with Respawn quickly putting a patch out after it dropped.
The recent Lifeline changes also perplexed Hal, claiming removing the shield “just made a character who was already dogsh*t even worse”.
With plenty more balance changes on the way in Season 10, the TSM pro has his own direction. While that may not line up with Respawn’s, he believes the opinion of pro players — and other playtesters — are still valid.
“[I’d] probably buff weak characters [than nerf strong ones]… but I don’t know what the right play is. I just know what characters are sh*t and should be better. I don’t know if it’s better to nerf the stronger characters or buff the weaker ones.
“That’s the difference between being a player and being a developer — what’s the right way of balancing the game — but I feel like my opinion on what character is good and bad is still valid as a player.”