Respawn Entertainment wants to make Gibraltar a more exciting choice of Legend for players, upping his pick rate without doing changing his power level too much.
Gibraltar's pick rate illustrates a stark divide between competitive play and casual play. Among competitive players, Gibraltar enjoys a pick rate between 80% and 100%, but in the casual play, he shows up in less than 4% of matches.
Associate live balance designer John "JayBiebs" Larson addressed Gibraltar's pick rate on a recent episode of the Apex Uncut podcast, saying how difficult it can be to balance the disparity in pick rates.
"When we think, 'We've got to do a Gibby nerf,' it's a little scary because we don't want to tank that pick rate anymore for the majority of the player base," he said. "So the question is, how do we make him a sexier pick without incorporating too much power?"
Gibraltar's bubble shield is the focal point of his power level, and Larson and the Respawn team are reluctant to mess with it too much.
Apex Uncut cohost and professional Apex Legends player Zach Mazer suggested Respawn add a health bar to the bubble, and Larson said the team had considered that option in the past.
"I don't think the door's closed on that idea at all, whatsoever," Larson said. "It's relatively safe as a change that wouldn't affect casuals as much."
If the team did give Gibraltar's dome a health bar, Larson says they would likely want to give him something to compensate.
"I would just want to think about something that could sort of complement that, to maybe give him a bit more selfish power or just make him a little sexier."
Although Respawn is working on a solution to Gibraltar's, it doesn't see it as a pressing concern.
"I think there hasn't been a massive rush to 'fix Gibby' because there's a low pick rate," Larson said, "and when I think about comp and the Gibby meta as an observer and as a player of ranked, a Gibby meta is an easier pill to swallow, or an easier meta to play with for a bit, than a Bloodhound meta, or a Caustic meta, or a Rev meta."