The latest Valorant patch is the first one to take a look at new agent Killjoy, and gives her Nanostorm ability a considerable nerf. Riot Games has described the ability as “a terror to play against”, saying that it was meant to be a stalling tool, but is currently dealing out far too much damage in regular combat.
Elsewhere, Viper, Sage, and Breach all get changes – buff, nerf, and a little bit of both, respectively – while Sova gets some visual tweaks. These change his cape physics and fix a minor bug with his health bar. Shotguns, the focus of the previous patch, get more fine tuning here too.
There are also new ways to keep your identity private in games, and more updates to the hit registration clarity, this time with VFX, something Riot says is part of their “ongoing promise” to improve the game in this key area.
Full patch notes from Riot Games can be found below:
- Heal reduced from 100 over 5 seconds >>> 60 over 5 seconds
- Self heal reduced from 100 over 5 seconds >>> 60 over 10 seconds
- Size reduced by 30%
This should slightly reduce the power of Slow Orb and increase intentionality. Right now, slow orb unintentionally covers a lot more ground than it should be if aimed properly.Our goal is to reduce the amount of healing done throughout the round. Disincentivize Sage from self healing and make it more expensive to do so.
- Cost reduced from 400 >>> 300
- Fortifying Barrier: Wall forms at 400 HP—after a 3 second delay, the wall becomes fortified to 800 HP
Our hope is to increase counterplay on Barrier and reduce the strength of the wall during reactive use.
- Added a brief windup before damage begins
- DPS reduced from 60 >>> 40
- Visual effects have been added to make it easier to spot the grenade on the ground Stealth audio range has been slightly increased
Killjoy’s Nanoswarm has been a terror to play against. It’s meant to be a strong stalling and post plant tool—but we feel it’s currently dealing far too much damage and players aren’t able to engage in the desired counterplay.
- No longer revealed by Sova’s Recon Bolt
- More effectively shoots at an enemy’s last known location
- Can now be placed during the buy phase of rounds, through spawn barriers
- Toxic Screen now goes up faster along it’s full length, once it starts to form
This change should allow Viper, in many situations, to get her wall placed pre-round and then join her team before the barrier drops—or create uncertainty about her location when the round begins. Increasing the speed of the wall rising should reduce the awkward period that occurs after it starts to rise but isn’t covering all the angles Viper and her allies would expect.
- Decay on all smoke abilities no longer affects allies
This is mainly targeted towards Viper’s Pit, and should help reduce some of the unintentional collateral damage she can cause to her team, while also opening new strategies for playing around her ult as a team.
- The area of Viper’s Pit is now shown on her team’s minimap when deployed
(Note: These are not all the potential Breach changes we want to do, but as part of our ease-in, intentional-balance philosophy, we want to be measured. Stay tuned for more…potentially.)
- Off-screen flashes now match behavior of other flashes in the game and apply a minimum amount of flash more aggressively
- Charges increased from 2 >>> 3
- Reduced windup time from 0.6 seconds >>> 0.5 seconds
Breach should be a choice pick in offensive entry and breaking utility. While the flash’s power was pretty good, too few charges were holding him back on being able to provide this value for his team. Considering he needs teammates to capitalize on his flashes, this should make up for that cost by simply having more of them.
- Detonation delay between blasts decreased from 0.3 >>> 0.255
- Concuss now de-scopes players and prevents re-scoping
- Updated the physics on Sova’s cape so that it should wiggle outside his hitbox less frequently
- Polish work on Sova’s 1P hands to bring them up to the fidelity bar of the rest of our agents
- All shotguns aimpunch update
- When getting headshot by a shotgun, the aimpunch will be lower than all the other weapons
- All shotguns tagging tuned for targets beyond 10 meters
- Hitting an enemy past 10 meters will apply a different tagging value to them instead of the standard tagging
- New tagging: 30% slow for .5s on a smooth curve going back to normal speed
The goal of these changes is to improve the feel of playing against shotguns and to ensure that they don’t end up doing odd things. For example, tagging or aimpunching people from longer than expected ranges and then a teammate ends up killing someone who’s debuffed, or makes it hard to fight back against a weapon that should be deadly up close but fairly non-threatening outside its effective range.)
- Shorty nerf
- 1st falloff range reduced from 9m >>> 7m
- Updated headshot multiplier from 3x >>> 2x (now the same as Judge and Bucky)
- Our goal here is to make Shorty users work a little harder for the kills they get by requiring them to be a tad closer to their target.
- Judge Nerf
- Price increased from 1500 >>> 1600
- Desire here is to see if giving the Judge a little hit—paired with the other shotgun changes—moves the needle when playing against this gun. We’ll continue to monitor and make other changes if necessary
- Vandal buff
- Increased firing rate from 9.25 >>> 9.75
- Increased damage from 39 >>> 40
- Goal is to bring the Vandal in closer competition with the Phantom. We believe these weapons aren’t that far off in competition and hope these changes will do that.
HIT IMPACT VFX UPDATE
We’ve made some small adjustments to hit VFX to try and improve hit registration clarity. With how sensitive changes around hit registration can be, we’ll be keeping an eye on player feedback on these changes and make adjustments accordingly.
See our recent article on hit registration for additional details on some of the issues we’re trying to address with these changes:
- Server hit VFX confirms will now spawn at the location of the hit on the character and stay attached to that position (previously, it spawned at the game space location and stayed there)
- We’ve had issues with hit registration clarity caused by players moving into hit VFX (i.e. a player crouches their head into the space of a body shot VFX), which caused confusion on where a shot landed. This change should make it clear where a shot hit, and where on the body, even if a character is moving.
- An additional client-predicted small spark VFX now spawns immediately at the game space location of a hit
- With the change to attach our traditional server hit VFX, we wanted to add additional immediate bullet feedback so you can see the area where your bullet landed and adjust your aim accordingly. Think of this new VFX as an improved tracer. It’s important to note that a bullet is client-predicted: seeing this DOES NOT mean your shot has registered on the server (similar to tracers).
- Adjusted the sparks hit VFX coloring and shape adjusted to more closely resemble blood VFX shape
- Context: We want players to be able to play with either of these options without feeling one gives better clarity than the other
- Adjusted the size of headshot VFX, where both blood and sparks are scaled down slightly
- Especially at large ranges, headshot VFX would often cover up the head of a player and add additional difficulty in tracking players through the effect. We’ve scaled down this VFX slightly in an attempt to make it easier to keep track of targets.
- Remake match: When a match begins with a 4v5 (or more lopsided teams), players will now have the option to end the game they’re in and queue for a new one.
- If any player is disconnected at the start of the match (beginning of buy phase) through the entire first round, a remake call may be triggered at the start of the second round by typing /remake in chat.
- All connected players on the team that called the remake may vote to remake the game— It’s required that all connected players agree to remake the game
- The remake vote will last for the duration of the buy phase, if the vote is not passed by the end of buy phase it will expire
- If the vote is successfully passed and the game is remade, all players who voted do not receive any XP or MMR adjustments for the match. The match will also not show up in match history. All disconnected players not part of the vote will take a full MMR loss for the game, and receive a leaver penalty equivalent to disconnecting from a full match..
- Act Ranks visuals have been updated to better differentiate wins at different rank tiers
- Changed some potentially misleading verbiage in the restriction message for players who need to play more unrated games to unlock competitive play
- This is to better reflect that Deathmatch and Spike Rush do not count towards unlocking Competitive.
QUALITY OF LIFE
- Observers can toggle aim lines for players (default bind: R)
- Observers can change which teams outline are visible (defaults: H – All, J – Friendly to spectated player, K – Enemies of spectates players, L – None)
- Corpse markers shown when corpses are disabled now obey colorblind settings
- Hotkey order for selecting players for observers should no longer shuffle in overtime
- Observers should now see the money on the HUD for the player they are spectating
- Added a setting for disabling the in-game UI (General -> Hide User Interface In Game)
- Added a setting for disabling the cross-hair (Crosshair -> Disable Crosshair)
- Observers can hide first person character arms. (General -> Hide First Person Arms)
- Observers can toggle team-based crosshair coloring for spectated targets via the settings menu (General -> Use Team Color for Crosshair Color)
- Improved framerate by allowing a wider variety of VFX to be multi-threaded, examples include Brimstone’ Sky Smokes and Breach’s Rolling Thunder
- For anyone who’d rather keep their identity private in-game, we’ve added these features:
- Hide my name from non-party members (agent name will be used)
- Hide the names of others in my game who aren’t in my party (agent names will be shown)
These features take effect from agent select to game end. We also added an option to hide + auto-reject friend requests.
- Hit impact VFX improvements (see dedicated section for breakdown)
- Fixed a bug where if both teams try to call a surrender vote, the team who called it second wouldn’t get the option to vote
- Fixed a bug that displayed the Act Rank tooltip in English only when another language was selected