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New Apex Legends Patch Nerfs Seer, Future Update Planned For Longer-Term Solutions

A new update will likely be aimed at addressing Seer's Heartseeker passive ability, as it has eliminated the effectiveness of "ratting."


Developer Respawn has released a new hotfix patch for Apex Legends that nerfs Seer's passive, tactical, and ultimate abilities. Associate live balance designer John Larson said that these changes are just a starting point--Respawn is looking to implement longer-term solutions for balancing recon legends that can see enemies through walls.

Seer's changes are listed in the patch notes for Apex Legends' August 23 update, which are detailed below.

The most notable changes are to Seer's tactical ability, as it no longer deals damage to targets, distracts enemies with a blinding flash, and nearly impossible to dodge. That said, his passive and ultimate abilities take a hit too--it will now be more difficult to pick up heartbeats without fully turning in the direction they are coming from and his ultimate ability won't charge as quickly as it did before.

"I still think we'll need continued work here," Larson tweeted in regards to Seer's passive ability. "As many solo queue ranked grinders know, ratting is now virtually impossible. I never thought I'd look back fondly on the days of ratting, but here we are."

For those unaware, "ratting" is the act of hiding and waiting out for the final battle to begin, in hopes of taking advantage of the chaos to win, or at least living long enough to place high. It's a popular strategy in ranked playlists, especially for folks who solo queue or lost their squad early and are now alone.

In follow-up tweets, Larson said, "Seer's [tactical ability] used as a dollar store EMP to farm damage and drain resources was definitely problematic at high-level play. Plus, looking at your health bar and seeing a sliver of it missing for taking damage through walls is a major feels bad."

"Many of you may be disappointed we didn't touch the interrupts or reduce the eight seconds reveal duration. This is a starting point. Regardless of what the data tells us, if internal and external feedback is any indication, I imagine one of these outputs will need follow-up work."

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Larson concluded his thread by talking about the greater conversation concerning recon legends that can regularly glean useful information through walls--which at this point are Seer and Bloodhound--and the growing "wallhack meta."

"It's not something that should be solved with a band-aid solution, such as making [Bangalore] smoke clear scans," Larson tweeted. "Then I'm stuck choosing a single legend, and that's not very liberating."

"Seer has opened our eyes to what sort of information can be communicated through scans. 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."

Seer's nerf follows on the heels of much-needed nerfs to both the Prowler SMG and L-Star LMG. The Prowler saw a reduction in its damage output, increasing the number of bursts needed to down targets. The L-Star, instead, got a reduction to movement speed while aiming down sights--basically, you can no longer turn or track targets as quickly while aiming.

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