The Problem with Seer in Apex Legends
The newest character added to Apex Legends in Season 10, Seer, has upset the balance of the Battle Royale mode more than any other character to come before him. It’s not unusual for new characters in competitive games to rock the boat and release overpowered. Seer seems to have taken this to the next level as some of his kit completely invalidates other must pick Legends before him and is a must pick in the Apex games.
What’s the Issue?
So, what exactly is the issue with the Legend Seer, the newest recon character added to the game? Recon characters are some of the most important picks in the game as they bring information to the team and information has always been powerful.
But the other recon classes have drawbacks to their information gathering abilities. Bloodhound, for example, can only scan directly in front of themselves and when they do other teams can see a giant orange sonar wave, which gives away Bloodhound’s location.
Crypto, the Apex Legends drone specialist, becomes incapacitated when using his drone to scout. That leaves him vulnerable for another team to find and kill if his team isn’t protecting him. And if his team wants to engage while he’s scouting with his drone, now they’re down one man in the fight.
Pathfinder and Valkyrie have little to no way to track or discern the location of enemy teams in an easy and efficient manner. But Seer’s abilities trumps even Bloodhound and Crypto.
Seer Can Find You Anywhere
Seer’s biggest strength is his passive ability, the heartbeat monitor. By aiming down sights (even without a weapon) Seer gets alerted to any enemy within 75 meters, that’s 450 feet, which is longer than a football field.
At a moments notice, with no cooldown or repercussions Seer can instantly know if anyone is within 75 meters of his team and where they are exactly. Unless that other team has a Seer as well, they will be none the wiser. Why would you ever need to worry about picking Bloodhound or Crypto again?
On top of that, his tactical ability, Focus of Attention is oppressive to play again. Seer uses his tactical ability to toss out a 75 meter long, 8 meter wide tunnel of micro drones. If you’re in the blast radius when it goes off, several things will happen.
You’ll take 10 damage instantly, any heals or abilities (such as revive) will be cancelled. You’ll also receive a 1 second silence keeping you from using any abilities or items and your health, shields and location will be visible to the enemy team for 8 seconds.
That takes aspects of several other Legends tactical abilities and combines them into one. While each of these aspects aren’t as strong as a single Legends ability (Revenant’s silence for example, lasts 15 seconds), Center of Attention is still a debilitating ability.
How Do You Nerf Seer?
So what’s the answer to how to bring Seer more in-line with other recon characters? It’s not as simple as just nerfing his abilities, which Respawn has said is in the works and would be in an upcoming patch. There needs to be some kind of downside or danger to using them.
At minimum Seer needs his passive ability, Heartbeat Scanner, reined in. It’s just way too strong for being available all the time. It needs to have it’s range reduced, it shouldn’t pick up anyone who is standing still or walking while crouched, and honestly, it shouldn’t give you directional indicators. I like the idea of Seer knowing that someone is near, but then it’s up to the team to work together to safely figure out where the enemy is possibly coming from.
The Center of Attention ability needs a lot more work because everything it does is so valuable. The fact that it’s a narrow blast means you have to be precise with it, but in conjunction with the Heartbeat Scanner, that’s not hard.
Take away the damage, 10 might not seem like much but over the course of a match it adds up. Take away the silence ability, that’s already claimed by Revenant. Finally, choose between it interrupting items and abilities or showing the health and shields of enemies, it doesn’t need both.
With those changes, it brings Seer much more in line with the other Recon Legends, though even at that point there are no drawbacks to actually using him so there’s room for further balancing.
Feature Image Screenshot from Apex Legends Season 10 Emergence Trailer by Respawn and EA.