Apex Legends Dev Reveals Why 'Must Pick' Meta Options Will Always be Nerfed

"It's on us to disrupt and drive innovation."
"It's on us to disrupt and drive innovation." / Image courtesy of Respawn Entertainment

Especially in a game like Apex Legends, where balancing changes are so highly requested and criticized by the community, one of the more interesting gameplay developments to watch around the time of its seasonal launches is what Respawn Entertainment does in response.

With the launch of Season 14: Hunted right around the corner, a number of planned weapon shake-ups have already seemingly been leaked.

As such, thanks to a new feature from GamesRadar, Respawn senior design director Evan Nikolich explained what inspires the devs to decide on the changes they make and don't make from season to season.

"Anytime we see a meta gravitating towards something that becomes a must pick, a must do, that's a non-choice that's not interesting to us," Nikolich told GamesRadar. "So we have to go in there and tend to the garden, pull out a few weeds, trim the trees a bit, and get more interesting choices back in there."

When asked about the fact that newer meta options will always arise, Nikolich went on to explain how that is simply a part of what Respawn hopes makes Apex "a forever game."

"That's what keeps the job fun and exciting. If that didn't happen then we wouldn't be needed anymore. We're not chess — the last real change in chess was like the 1800s, right? But we try to find this balance between innovation and honing. It's on us to disrupt and drive innovation."

Towards the latter half of Season 13: Saviors, arguably the closest thing to a "must-use" Legend or weapon has been Valkyrie.

Throughout Season 13, Valkyrie has long been in the crosshairs of those in the community who feel she's become too strong, especially compared to others like Pathfinder.

In the aftermath of the Apex Legends Global Series Year 2 Championship, where Valkyrie maintained a whopping 98% pick rate, the Winged Avenger notably became the most picked Legend in the game for a bit.

Ultimately, as what seems to be the case with Respawn holding off on Valkyrie nerfs at least for now, the Apex devs appear to have a very methodical approach to gameplay balancing — one that aims to help facilitate a larger vision.

"Our goal is to make Apex a forever game, the game you will teach your kids how to play."