Apex Legends Devs Are Working on Wattson Changes
Wattson’s viability in the current meta has been a hot topic in Apex Legends and Respawn Entertainment is finally looking to do something about it. She has the third-lowest pickrate in the game currently but since her winrate is high, Respawn does not want to nerf her which sparked a debate in the community. Players feel that her kit is not up to the mark and she needs some buffs. In a recent update, the devs made a joke patch note stating that Wattson received a “major buff” but all it included was the ability to drop down multiple Nessies (toys) on the map. Fans were displeased with the lack of buffs in the previous balance patch but Respawn is finally looking to make some changes in the near future.
What changes are coming to Wattson
According to Apex Legends' lead designer, Daniel Zenon Klein, “Wattson doesn’t have much room to increase her power, so once we make changes to make her feel better, we’ll also have to nerf other parts of her kit to make up for this.” He showcased some data stating that she has the highest winrate in the game but fans were unhappy with how Klein focused on Wattson’s winrate and not her abysmal pickrate. However, Klein did add that the studio wants to “make it more in the moment fun and powerful to play Wattson while removing some of the invisible power.”
Apex Legends is predominantly a fast-paced shooter and it can be hard to pin point if Wattson is not popular because of how her kit requires her to play passively or if she is actually weak as data can be misinterpreted easily. There is a disparity between how the community sees Wattson and how the developers make use of their internal data and it has led to some disagreement.
Apex Legends developer, John ‘JayBiebs’ Larson stated that the upcoming update to Wattson will include a hitbox change. He explained “I think, and we can talk about this, low-profile removal, that’s the single biggest thing for a character. That’s massive. In Arenas and BR, Lifeline and Wattson are at the top just because of high values. So we beefed out Lifeline a bit, make her hitbox match a bit better, and Wattson, when we make these changes, will inevitably, for the health of the game, most likely a hitbox change will accompany that.”
Larson stated that that the studio wants to increase Wattson’s fun factor and tap into her potential utility to make her more enjoyable to play despite the incoming changes to her hitbox while also preventing her from becoming completely overpowered. He explained “We wouldn’t be so cheeky if we didn’t have changes in the works. Right now we’re trying to work on the fun factor for her. There’s a lot of usability there that we can change, a lot of changes with the ultimate. We are working on it.”