Respawn respond to Apex Legends SBMM controversy and update matchmaking - Dexerto
Apex Legends

Respawn respond to Apex Legends SBMM controversy and update matchmaking

Published: 4/Feb/2020 18:58

by Calum Patterson

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Respawn Entertainment have opened up about the highly controversial skill-based matchmaking in Apex Legends, adding a note to the patch notes for the Season 4 update.

The fourth season launched on the one-year anniversary of Apex Legends, February 4, and the player base was generally excited for all the new content, and the new playable legend, Revenant.

However, there has been a constant line of criticism about Apex over Season 2 and 3 especially, around the use of skill-based matchmaking, or SBMM.

Revenant from Apex Legends standing and looking angry
Respawn Entertainment
Apex Legends players are hoping for SBMM improvements in Season 4.

This is a matchmaking system that pits players of similar skill levels together, keeping more experienced players away from the newer ones. But, many argue it’s worse for the overall experience, worsening connection, and making matches harder for better players.

Respawn have only addressed it fleetingly in the past. One developer claimed that it benefits “80-90%” of the community with “retention”, but this did little to calm the backlash.

In their Season 4 update, Respawn confirm that SBMM has been in the game “since launch”, and that they are continuing to improve it.

Respawn have provided an update on Apex Legends matchmaking for Season 4.

Matchmaking changes made for Season 4

Although they confirm that changes have been made globally to matchmaking, Respawn remain (unsurprisingly) tight-lipped about the details.

Matchmaking models are always in flux, and it’s crucial that players don’t know the exact details and algorithms. If this information was public, it would be possible to purposefully manipulate one’s own matchmaking rank.

Some Apex Legends players have claimed that ‘reverse boosting’ is possible already. This is simply the act of deliberately playing badly to ensure a lower skill rating.

As Season 4 progresses, we will simply have to see how matchmaking improves. If it does, hopefully frustrations around SBMM will be eased.

Apex Legends

Wattson set for buff in Apex Legends Season 7 update

Published: 28/Oct/2020 11:38 Updated: 28/Oct/2020 13:13

by James Busby

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Apex Legends’ Wattson continues to struggle in the current meta, but an upcoming patch could see the Static Defender receive the buff she deserves. 

Apex Legends is home to a lot of colorful characters and each one of them offers unique abilities that drastically impact the game. However, there are a few Legends that sometimes fail to make a splash. Whether it’s down to their weaker abilities or extremely situational ultimates, it can be difficult to tell how well a character will do in the current meta.

Respawn are constantly rolling out patches to ensure gameplay remains smooth, but sometimes certain characters can end up underperforming.

One legend that continues to polarize the Apex Legends community is none other than Wattson, the Static Defender. This electrifying Legend was added to Respwan’s Battle Royale back in Season 2 and since then, she has struggled to compete against the game’s more popular picks. Fortunately, it looks like Respawn could be giving Wattson a helping hand in a future update. 

Possible Wattson buff

Wattson Apex Legends screenshot
Respawn Entertainment
A possible buff could help ease Wattson’s current woes.

Many Apex Legends fans have been wondering whether Wattson will ever see a buff in the future, but a recent developer update discussion has players hopeful. “Pretty much every character we released post-launch was either weak on release or underappreciated by the community at large,” says Respawn game designer, Daniel Zenon Klein. 

 “I’m thinking Wattson here; she was always strong, but mostly played competitive only.” This certainly rings true for many of the game’s new additions. It’s often a coin flip between releasing a highly overpowered Legend that needs to receive a steady wave of nerfs or releasing a weaker Legend that requires a few buffs. It’s a job that often requires tremendous amounts of meticulous planning and fine-tuning to get right. 

Reddit screenshot

Of course, it can be difficult to get this balance correct and some Legends need a little more attention than others. However, when asked whether Wattson would be receiving a buff the Respawn Designer stated “I can’t say anything because I don’t wanna spoil the patch notes, but let’s say I concur with your analysis that she’s particularly useful only in high skill and could do with a little more power low skill. One would have to find a way to give her targeted power…”

The problem with Wattson

Wattson Apex Legends
Respawn Entertainment
Wattson continues to find her place within lower tiers of play.

While Wattson is often a strong pick in the highest brackets of pro play, she continues to prove ineffective in the casual scene. Unlike most Legends, Wattson’s Tactical (Perimeter Security) requires a lot of setup and forward-thinking in order to use it to its fullest potential. Not only this, but the ability also requires players to constantly lookout for opportunities where they can potentially trap their opponents. 

To make matters even worse, these shocking traps can often leave you exposed. Unless the enemy squad has to pass through that specific area, they’ll often bypass your traps entirely or effortlessly destroy them if you’ve not placed them in hard to reach areas. Wattson also requires decent squad communication and excels when her traps can be synergized with other abilities. For example, placing Caustic’s noxious traps and Gibraltor’s shield can make for an impenetrable defense. 

Of course, all these points have led to her being one of the most underused Legends in the current game. However, this could soon change. 

When is the Wattson update?

While it certainly seems like Respawn is eager to address the current problems surrounding Wattson, they have yet to give an official release date. We will likely hear more from the dev team in the coming months. For now, it looks like fans of the Static Defender will need to wait patiently before she gets the update she deserves.


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