Valorant

Fox-inspired Valorant Agent concept brings magic to Future Earth

Published: 13/Jan/2021 14:13

by Lauren Bergin

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Yoru has just entered the Valorant world with Episode 2, and the Japanese Agent has already started causing havoc. This awesome Agent design though would add another Japanese face to the fray in the form of Kitsune, the Sentinel Agent. 

Since the release of Valorant, the fanbase has been coming up with a whole host of creative concepts for characters that they’d like to see in-game.

We’ve seen concepts like Mamuro, the Radianite infused Samurai warrior, as well as Phase, the sound-bending menace. Both of these have been Initiator class Agents though, so we were excited when we saw this new concept was for a different class: Sentinel.

Enter Kitsune, the Japanese fox Goddess and nature witch who would be a dominant force on Future Earth.

Kitsune, a cute but deadly Sentinel

MM Artista‘s Kitsune concept draws on ancient Japanese mythology, as the fox has become a major part of the country’s folklore. Foxes have been everything from shapeshifters to messengers, as well as being heavily intertwined with witchcraft and mysticism.

The artist has beautifully incorporated this into her design. They describe her as “experienced in the art of witchcraft, she peeks behind enemy lines and tracks them easily. Enjoy the protection and the subtlety of foxes and surprise your enemies, always one step ahead of everyone.”

A series of awesome abilities also accompany this mysterious description. All of her abilities focus on her wild nature based talents, with her Fur Shield, Fox Tail and Fox Paws all relating directly to her animal heritage. Her ultimate, Invisibility Totem, also follows this pattern. The totem is in the shape of the iconic fox mask (aptly called a Kitsune mask) that can often be seen worn at Japanese festivals and rituals.

Kitsune’s abilities

In her overview of the sneaky Agent’s abilities, MM Artista provides us with a host of interesting details regarding how the character would function in-game.

The coolest of her abilities has to be her Fox Paws, which utilize her mystical talents to create footsteps that will distract her enemies. Talk about being crafty like a fox!

Here are her abilities:

  • Ability 1 – Fox Tail: Equips a foxtail that is visible and relatively large, but that is immune to damage and leaves an almost invisible trail on the ground with a width of 2 meters and a maximum extension of 15 meters wherever she passes. Any enemy passing over the trail can be seen on the map by Kitsune. The skill is active for 10 seconds.
  • Ability 2 – Fox Paws: Equip Fox Paws that last 2.5 seconds and cause enemies to not know from which direction the sound of her footsteps come from. Recharge every 30 seconds.
  • Signature Ability  – Fur Shield: Summons the protective power of foxes and creates a shield that leaves her immune to damage and lasts for two seconds. She is unable to shoot while this ability is active.
  • Ultimate Ability – Invisibility Totem: Place a medium-sized invisibility totem on the floor that emits sound within 15 meters and allows Kitsune and the closest ally will be invisible for 7 seconds. However, while running or shooting they are visible again and if the totem is broken the effect is immediately canceled.

Kitsune's abilities concept

This design really knocks it out of the park. Uploaded on December 17, the similarities between Kitsune and the newest Agent, Yoru, are astounding. MM Artista was very much ahead of the game, and it would make a lot of sense if we say Agents from the same ethnic background have similar ability styles.

We also love the magical element of her character design, as her lore makes her stand out from the pack. She’s the embodiment of a modernized version of traditional Japanese culture, and she’d make the perfect addition to the battlefields of Future Earth.

Overwatch

Overwatch 2 job listings further suggest sequel is far from completion

Published: 20/Jan/2021 0:22

by Michael Gwilliam

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Amidst rumors that Overwatch 2 has been delayed and could be releasing as late as 2022, job postings on the Blizzard’s own career website suggest that the game still has a long way to go.

Overwatch 2 was first announced at BlizzCon 2019 and since then, fans have been left in the dark with very little information coming from the developers aside from little tidbits in the form of Reddit AMAs.

While Blizzard themselves may be silent, notable leakers such as Metro – who originally leaked info about the sequel prior to BlizzCon – haven’t been so mum. According to the streamer’s source, development is “really slow” and it sounds like the game is far off.

Which now brings us to Overwatch-related job openings at Blizzard of which there are many. Just looking at the Overwatch team section of the careers page shows 43 job listings.

Overwatch 2 Lucio gameplay
Blizzard Entertainment
Overwatch 2 is focused on PvE co-cop.

Some of the job listings aren’t exclusively-related to Overwatch 2, such as “senior eSports [sic] producer,” but others seem to be of the utmost importance.

For instance, the “Lead Mission Designer” listing wants someone “ready to lead the mission team by example” and “build a strong team environment dedicated to making fun and memorable missions.”

Given Overwatch 2’s emphasis on PvE co-op missions, one would think that this position would have been filled if the sequel was scheduled to release soon.

Overwatch 2 Push map
Blizzard Entertainment
“Push” is the only new mode announced so far.

Other listings of note include “Senior Game Producer, Missions” and “Character Concept Artist.”

The former’s responsibilities are listed as driving the “development process for story campaign, missions & PvE game modes” and the latter’s include developing “character concepts and skins including character sheets, movement studies and detailed breakouts for equipment and weapons.”

Of course, it is possible that Overwatch 2 will have a big slate of content to roll-out post-release and it’s unclear how Blizzard plans to launch the game. All that’s known so far is that all of the PvP multiplayer content coming with Overwatch 2 will be available in the base game.

Tracer on Overwatch Toronto map
Blizzard Entertainment
More Overwatch 2 information is coming at BlizzCon 2021.

How Blizzard handles the PvE side with missions and the story mode remains to be seen. Could Overwatch 2 get a handful of missions at launch and then more added over the next few years?

Unless there is some substantial material planned post-launch to necessitate the jobs listed, it seems like the game could be very far off. In any case, we’ll have to wait and see what the future holds once more information is revealed at BlizzCon in February.