The goal of Seer’s nerfs in Apex Legends is to water down the Ambush Artist’s oppressive power. But they also put a dent in the so-called “wallhack meta,” according to Respawn Entertainment associate live balance designer John Larson.
“Something Seer has made clear that many high-level players already know with BH’s success: real-time info through geo is extremely powerful in a shooter,” Larson said. Players spend hours honing their game sense to predict enemies’ movements, according to Larson, and having a reveal mechanic circumvent that knowledge can feel “cheap.”
“Seer has opened our eyes to what sort of information can be communicated through scans,” Larson said. “A real-time silhouette for x seconds is different than tracking footsteps or the health bar or the heartbeat passive. There are many axes we can explore, and I know Seer’s emergence has expedited the process of revisiting the oppressive parts of the reveal meta to introduce more options and counterplay.”
The “reveal meta” involves using legends capable of gathering massive amounts of information, such as Seer, Bloodhound, or Crypto, to scan enemies through walls or at long distances. Respawn “can’t solve the pain points of the reveal meta in a hotfix,” according to Larson, but the developer and the rest of the team are looking into “longer-term solutions.”
The nerfs to Seer are a step in that direction but are hardly the endgame. Instead, they’re a “starting point,” according to Larson, and some elements of the Ambush Artist’s skillset—such as his tactical—could receive further changes. Bloodhound, who can also gather tremendous amounts of information with their tactical and ultimate, could see more changes in the future, too.
Seer’s nerfs toned down his passive by reducing its range and increasing the wait time between sensor spikes. The developers also increased the cooldown on his ultimate to 120 seconds (up from 90). His tactical saw the brunt of the changes, though. The ability lost its flash effect and damage but gained a slightly longer activation time. In addition, Seer will move more slowly while channeling Focus of Attention.