Seer’s passive used to make enemies hear a terrifying heartbeat in their head, says Apex Legends designer

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A Respawn designer has drawn the curtain back on early versions of Seer’s controversial passive in Apex Legends and why they’ve chosen to leave it the way it is for the time being.

During a Reddit AMA featuring senior game designer Eric Canavese and lead game designer Devan McGuire, Reddit user lilakey asked about potential balance changes to Seer. “Curious on the balance surrounding his passive, mostly the fact that there is no way to know if you’re currently being detected by an enemy Seer,” they asked. “Are there any discussions/plans to make Seer’s passive more readable for enemies [as well as] giving it more of a risk/reward to fall in line with the other scanning legends?” Their full post referred to Bloodhound, Crypto, Ash, and Valkyrie, several other legends often cited in discussions about Apex’s “scan meta.”

McGuire responded and, in the process, revealed more information about the iteration the team has already done on Seer’s kit. They shared that early versions of his Heart Seeker passive would notify enemies when Seer’s camera faced in their direction, which they scrapped because it made other audio and visual cues in the game harder to make out, not to mention made players gang up on a Seer who was simply reviewing the environment rather than actively tracking a squad.

Another previous version of Heart Seeker made a heartbeat sound effect play in enemies’ heads when he detected them. This version never made it to the live game because it made players targeted by Seer feel too haunted, as though they were always being chased.

McGuire ended his response by sharing that Heart Seeker does not tell enemies when they are being revealed because Seer doesn’t share that information with his team automatically. Legends like Bloodhound and Crypto reveal scanned enemies to everyone, while Seer players have to manually communicate enemy placement to their squad.

McGuire did note that the development team is “actively looking into” the power of Heart Seeker and has been discussing Seer in internal meetings, but they don’t have anything to share right now. In an answer to a different question, he revealed that the team is also actively aware of community perception of all of Apex’s scan abilities.

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