Why Apex Legends' L-STAR may have passed R-99 as Season 4's best weapon - Dexerto
Apex Legends

Why Apex Legends’ L-STAR may have passed R-99 as Season 4’s best weapon

Published: 7/Feb/2020 22:00 Updated: 7/Feb/2020 22:18

by Albert Petrosyan

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The shuffling of the meta in Apex Legends Season 4’s update may have resulted in the L-STAR EMG being the battle royale’s premier weapon, even better than the R-99.

Introduced in Season 2, the plasma-fueled energy light machine gun known as the L-STAR has had an interesting journey in Apex Legends.

Despite its powerful stats, the weapon quickly became marginalized by the fact that it was only available in crates, which means that players could not find it in any of the floor loot on the map.

Respawn EntertainmentThe L-STAR was added in Apex Legends at the start of Season 2.

That’s all changed now following the Season 4 update, which implemented major nerfs and buffs to a variety of weapons, none more so than the L-STAR.

In fact, since the R-99 was nerfed as part of the patch, there is some belief that the energy-based LMG challenges it, and may even supplant it, as the best weapon in Season 4.

Below, we take a look at some of the reasons why this could be the case, including the major changes to the weapon, how its stats compare, and more.

Major changes to the L-STAR

Respawn EntertainmentThe L-STAR is no longer a crate-exclusive weapon and can now be found in floor loot on the Apex Legends map.

There were two massive changes made to the L-STAR in the Season 4 update – it was changed from being a crate-only weapon to one that can be found in regular floor loot and its reloading was removed, replaced with an overheating feature that disables the gun after a period of sustained fire.

The first change obviously is as big as it gets because now the powerful EMG is found much more commonly on the map and thus used a lot more frequently.

As for the new overheating mechanic, it has its pros and cons. The positive side is that now you don’t ever really have to reload the clip of your gun as long as you have a good overall amount of energy ammo.

And while, yes, it can be a nuisance in gunfights, it’s an obstacle that can be easily overcome. All you have to do is fire it in bursts; around eight shots at a time will allow you to get the most rounds out while avoiding overheating.

In order to balance out these changes, Respawn also reduced both the rate of fire and damage per shot, although that hasn’t really deterred its viability, as we explain in the next section.

What makes the L-STAR so good?

Respawn EntertainmentDespite the nerf to its stats, the L-STAR continues to devastate the Apex Legends battlefield with high damage and fire rate.

While its stats may have been nerfed in the Season 4 patch, the weapon continues to inflict high amounts of damage at a high fire rate – a devastating combination.

It now does 18 damage per shot, decreased from 19, but that still comes out to an impressive 184 damage per second (DPS). In contrast, the R-99, which is widely considered to be the best weapon in the game, does 200 DPS.

However, you have to take into account that the L-STAR is a more versatile weapon in that it can be used viably at more ranges than its SMG counterpart.

Also, because the L-STAR is an LMG, it has a much greater headshot multiplier than the R-99 – 2x vs 1.5x. This means that the more shots to the head you land with it, the more its DPS gets closer to and surpasses the R-99, even if the number of headshots is the same.

The Gaming Merchant - YouTubeThe L-STAR’s DPS stats compared to the R-99, taking into account the headshot multipliers.

The L-STAR also has some unique qualities to it that further elevate the weapon above most of the others. For one, according to the unofficial Apex Legends wiki, it shoots larger projectiles that are “barely affected by gravity,” so there’s a better chance of them making contact with the target.

Furthermore, it doesn’t have a short warm-up like the Devotion, the other powerful energy-based LMG in the game, so you can start firing it right away.

Speaking of the Devotion, some might argue that it’s still a stronger option than the L-STAR. While that may be true in some regard, it’s a pointless comparison because it was made a crate-exclusive weapon in the latest update, so it can no longer be found in floor loot.

An in-depth visual look at why the L-STAR might be the best weapon in Season 4 can be found in the video below, courtesy of popular Apex YouTuber ‘The Gaming Merchant.’

Of course, judging a weapon’s viability really comes down to personal preference and the situations a gun is being used. There are obviously some scenarios where an R-99 will be the better gun to go with than the L-STAR, and vice-versa.

At the end of the day, there will always be those that still side with the R-99, which isn’t necessarily wrong, but there’s no doubting that the L-STAR jumped a tier or two following all of the recent changes.

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!