Riot dev explains why Killjoy abilities won’t be overpowered in Valorant

Andy Williams. Last updated: Aug 01, 2020
Riot Games

Valorant’s Character Design Lead, Ryan ‘Morello’ Scott, has provided some depth to exactly how Killjoy’s abilities will work.

Following the reveal of Valorant’s twelfth Agent, everyone is keen to see how the German Technician will work in Future Earth — especially her handy Turret and Lockdown Ultimate.

During Morello’s Twitch Q&A on July 31, he confirmed that Killjoy will join the ranks of Sentinel Agents. Scott also added that her abilities will crossover the most with Cypher, with the objective of her utility being to help her secure kills when most vulnerable.

This is exactly where plenty have been skeptical about her Ultimate, with the trailer revealing a gigantic area of effect on the blast radius. While Morello acknowledged that is powerful enough to require respect (i.e., it doesn’t require line of sight), he also explained that it’s easy to avoid. One Redditor perfectly summarized Morello’s take on the aptly named Lockdown Ultimate from his Q&A.

Reddit post of Killjoy's Ultimate in Valorant.
Funkyfreshprince (Reddit)
Morello detailed exactly how Killjoy’s Ultimate would work in-game.

Killjoy’s Lockdown Ultimate & Turret

In terms of countering Killjoy’s Ult, the device can be destroyed during the ‘wind-up’ phase of 13 seconds. While the most likely method of destruction will be via weapons, Morello also added that Agent abilities (specifically Ultimates) can also be used to counter the stun, stating that he “thinks they’ve just added that capability.”

So what about Killjoy’s Turret? The automated bot has a line of sight of a 180-degree cone in the direction it’s placed, with a 0.75 second delay on firing. In terms of destroying the Turret, Morello stated that it can be “sliver-peeked” to capitalize on the delay.

“You can definitely sliver-peek it — you can see it before it sees you, if you’re working perfectly slow. And you can shoot it when it does that.”

But if you want to remain undetected, then another counter might be to deploy a smoke, as Scott also explained. “It uses the same line of sight rules as [Raze’s] Boom Bot, which has a player’s sight simulator on it. So you can definitely smoke it too.”

Killjoy’s Alarmbot & Nanoswarm abilities

So what about the rest of Killjoy’s kit? Well both pieces of tech were referred to by Morello as “stealth deployables,” in a similar capacity to Cypher’s Trapwire.

“It works like Cypher’s trap — if you get close enough to it, it will be visible. Then you can shoot it to interact with it. So that’s how you can stop the post-plant Nanoswarm, and you can do that instead of being hit by the debuff from the Alarmbot as well.”

With this in mind, Killjoy’s Alarmbot could prove especially difficult to counter, considering that it remains near invisible until activated/within proximity. Enemies will be susceptible to double damage once hit, so navigating around this will be pivotal when pushing a Reactor Site!

Morello also touched on some upcoming Agent changes, including a long-awaited Breach buff and potential Sage/Cypher nerfs (which will help accommodate the new Sentinel into the meta).