Valorant recently published an article about the State of the Agents which talks about upcoming features and agents in Episode 3 with also some major tweaks on existing agents. Let’s deep dive to know what it said.
Firstly, the developers stated that they are still studying the viper experiment that went live with Asian reworks of Yoru and Viper in the March update. They stated that it first reworked on underperforming agents in the game. To note, Valorant is not even a year old yet and this is the first-time developers had to buff an agent that was struggling to be picked if we compare this with riot’s LOL (league of legends), where a bunch of characters were reworked over time.
The article stated that developers are monitoring win and pick rates information on viper to keep tabs on her if she still overpowered even after nerfs that viper received not too long ago. The developers have realized that the viper has a specific niche role in Valorant, the buffs tuned her controller and sentinel hybrid capabilities which made are too overpowered especially on the defense side, as she could hold a site by just herself youing her kit especially on smaller maps, she could simply activate her toxic screen, smoke, and mollies to give attackers second thoughts on rushing the site. However, after the nerfs viper’s kit is not as overpowered as it was before but is still very oppressive if given in the right hands and right situations. With the release of map Breeze, viper has proven herself as the best pick as a controller on the map this huge.
The post also shared some interesting aspects of balance changes addressing the riot’s future plans for Yoru, Astra, Skye, and Breach. Breach and Skye are being targeted for their flashes creating yellow screens as they have the ability to throw out three flashes rapidly, Riot wants them to have a kit focused on more self-sufficient and less reliant on their flashes to be a handy agent in the game. Skye and Breach are the underperforming Initiators currently in the game far from current the Sova Initiator meta, riot wants these agents to be in as good a position for a solo queue as good they are in a group queue as this would help these agents to be as impactful in the uncoordinated situation we generally see in solo queue, riot could put a shot timer between there flashes and decrease their use time so players are not stuck when using their powers.
Riot also mentioned some tweaks for Yoru, as they want to make his decoy footsteps ability more impactful in the game, but honestly, Yoru isn’t a bad duelist, but the other duelists and flash agents provide more to a team and do a better job than Yoru can. There isn’t a single power in this kit that would make you choose him above the other duelists. One major issue is that you give away too much information while not acting as an agent who outsmarts opponents. We don’t know how Riot will repair Yoru’s footsteps yet, but if riot has a thought on how to make his decoy have more impact, that would be great.
Lastly, Riot mentioned Astra’s tweaks. The developers simply stated that they recognize that she is a little overturned as a controller in coordinated play and that they want to add counterplay to her kit. We’re not sure how they’ll do this since none of her abilities do damage and they just buffed her gravity well. But, we’re curious to see what they have in store for her because she’s a little too powerful in pro play.
Riot revealed that we would be getting a new agent at the start of episode 3 to tie up this state of the agent’s post. We were supposed to get a new one at the start of this act, but riot was focused on releasing breeze and making sure the game didn’t break, so it’s understandable that they pushed the new agent to the next act. They didn’t say much about the new agent, or even confirm a name or in-game class, but they did use the words expect an agent with abilities that feel similar to other FPS titles.
They also stated that the utility of this agent may cause you to have to rely on gunplay in certain situations. This is all very vague phrasing for a new agent, and it might be fascinating to see what they mean when they say you will have to rely on your gun. According to our analysis, they could create a Thatcher from Rainbow Six Siege or a Somber from Overwatch type agent with the ability to disable abilities for a short period of time, or they could have a device that can disable or destroy placeable utility on the map similar to Killjoy’s ultimate. This type of agent could be very useful for countering sentinels on defense in-game right now. For the time being, that’s all we’ll hear. We’ll keep you updated when additional information or perhaps a teaser becomes available as Episode 3 approaches in June.