Apex Legends developers have spoken out about why they have yet to buff Wattson despite community calls to do so.
In a thread published via Twitter on Tuesday, May 18, John Larson, a live balance designer at Respawn Entertainment, explained the reasons behind why Wattson has yet to receive her highly anticipated changes. According to Larson, there’s much more that can be done to rebalance a legend and their standing in the roster beyond just tweaking their abilities. He began by quote-tweeting a post made by fellow staff member David Klein, featuring a graph of win-rates within the newest game mode, Arenas. Wattson makes up over 50% of the charted wins.
Apex Legends Developers Address Wattson’s Lack of Attention
“Balance change to abilties don't come close to moving the needle in the same way hitboxes and damage multipliers do in terms of win rate and encounter win rate across all skill levels,” Larson wrote.
Ability changes tend to affect player pick rate with a higher value on the MMR ladder. This significance changes depending on the ability, itself. The win-rate of the affected legends tends to follow this trend, as well, with the only notable shift being one in the range of legends within those rates.
“At the 50% mark, win rate range between highest and lowest legends is 0.8%. Amongst the top 1% of players, this is 7.8%,” Larson explained.
As this pool shrinks, the range diversifies, with the top percentile of players reflecting a higher win rate difference among legends. Therefore, balance designers need to take several aspects into account when making sweeping changes that affect the player base as a whole.
He continued, “Without getting lost in the weeds, I want to make it clear that we look at much, much more than raw numbers when considering changes. Seeing Wattson have success in Arenas and getting a boost in the BR because of Low Profile doesn’t mean we dust off our hands and call it a day.“
Larson concluded his thread by linking another thread by Klein on how developers use and interpret different types of data to impact their games. Klein underscored the difficulty concerning when to use the data and when to use trained inferences, explaining that “data will never tell the whole story.”
”You want to create a game that provides as much fun as possible to the largest number of players. That includes making sure the game REMAINS fun, which often requires you to balance for diversity (make sure every character can be played),” wrote Klein.
As far as changes to Wattson’s kit goes, while not completely off the table, it appears that players will have to see what the data unveils in the future.