Respawn explains why Alternator wasn't buffed in Apex Legends Season 7 - Dexerto
Apex Legends

Respawn explains why Alternator wasn’t buffed in Apex Legends Season 7

Published: 5/Nov/2020 6:53 Updated: 5/Nov/2020 6:56

by Andrew Amos

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Apex Legends’ Alternator has been kicked to the curb as time has gone on. The Light SMG does woeful DPS compared to other weapons, even in the early game. However, Respawn are hesitating on buffing it, saying it’s in “a decent spot right now.”

There’s a lot of guns in Apex Legends you can just throw aside as soon as you find a new weapon. However, none might be more tossable than the Alternator.

The Light SMG has been underperforming for seasons now, and is once again remaining untouched in Season 7. Its slow rate of fire means it has pretty low DPS, meaning if you can control another gun, you just swap instantly.

However, it holds a special place in the hearts of a dedicated community, according to Respawn developers. That’s exactly why they aren’t buffing the Alternator despite it underperforming ⁠— it helps newer and inexperienced players get a grip of the game.

Apex Legends Season 7 header
Respawn Entertainment
Apex Legends Season 7 is here, but Alternator buffs are not.

“The Alternator isn’t a super competitive gun, but it has a good-sized fanbase that uses it consistently. It’s good for early-midgame and for players that miss more shots and have trouble with recoil,” Respawn dev AmusedApricot said on Reddit.

There are some benefits to the Alternator that players do enjoy. Its recoil pattern is dead easy to learn ⁠— just drag it straight down. This, along with its easy spray control and high magazine size, makes it a much more valuable weapon than players think it is, devs stated.

“The Alternator’s easy recoil and high mag size are more valuable for some players than the pure DPS dropoff because neither they nor their enemies are reliably hitting every shot and dropping people in one R99 mag,” AmusedApricot added.

“This isn’t just ‘bad players’, a lot of players would find surprising success with the Alternator if they chose to run it, even though it’s not as good as the R99.”

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With all this being said, Respawn believe the Alternator is “in a decent spot right now” and “performs well in the space it is meant to.”

However, they aren’t closing the doors on a potential buff to make it a real threat down the line ⁠— out of pure interest. “It might be interesting to make it strong at some point in the future though, but let’s see how R99 and Volt play together!”

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!