Riot Games explain why Valorant's Sage will be nerfed - Dexerto

Riot Games explain why Sage needs a nerf in Valorant

Published: 19/Jul/2020 10:57 Updated: 19/Jul/2020 10:59

by Andy Williams


Sage is undoubtedly Valorant’s most popular Agent, but despite Riot’s previous attempts to nerf the Chinese Sentinel, it appears that another is on the cards.

While Valorant plays host to a diverse roster of characters, there are a select few that excel (in the current meta) more than others. Sage is most definitely one of those characters.

The Sentinel Medic is a jack of all trades, with her potential to slow down an enemy push or segment the map with her wall — if played correctly, Sage has a knack to turn the tides of a round in her favor on a dime… That’s not to mention her healing abilities!

It’s no wonder then, that Riot are so keen on nerfing Sage, with Valorant Character Design Lead, Ryan ‘Morello’ Scott, admitting that Sage is “really out of control,” while indicating that the source of her balancing issues might not be from her healing.

Valorant's Sage.
Riot Games
Sage is the most picked Agent across all ranks.

Why are Riot nerfing Sage?

One of Valorant’s Gameplay Researchers, Coleman ‘Altombre’ Palm, gave more of an indication as to why Sage could be currently deemed to be overpowered, with the rationale varying at different ranks.

“We tend to find that healing is more valued in lower MMRs, and her hard stall power is more valued in higher MMRs, although obviously both outputs are useful across the spectrum,” Altombre explained.

It also seems that while a nerf could be in the works as a short-term fix, Riot could be looking towards introducing an Agent with similar abilities to increase the “choice competition.”

So what needs to be nerfed?

Well, given how influential Sage’s Ultimate can be on dictating the course of a round, it appears that could be an ability that is in the firing line.

“We’d like to keep the resurrect in the game, so we’ll likely be exploring tuning levers there first before resorting to something like a rework.”

Riot's Altombre commenting on Sage in Valorant.

With that said, Sage’s stalling abilities have been the part of her utility which has been tweaked the most. Most notably, her Barrier Orb’s overall health was decreased during Patch 1.00, alongside reducing its range during Patch 1.01.

So what determines when an Agent is “out of control,” as Morello previously stated? Well, it appears that Riot operates on four primary metrics: raw pick rate, % round win-rate on Defense, % round win-rate on Offense, and match win-rate are.

By monitoring each of these across the different skill levels within Valorant, the dev team develops a solid picture on the meta, and most importantly, if one particular character is excelling within that meta.


Radianite-infused Valorant Agent concept could dominate Episode 2

Published: 26/Nov/2020 5:55

by Brad Norton


New Agents are always the most exciting thing in Valorant, and this remarkably detailed concept would be a perfect fit for the game’s second Episode coming up soon.

Since the release of Riot’s tactical FPS, we’ve seen one new character added into the mix with each new Act. Sticking to their intended schedule of releases, this means we can expect to see another fresh Agent at the beginning of Episode 2.

While we’re still a ways off, there’s no better time to theorize what the next addition could look like. What abilities would help push the game in a new direction? What kind of style should they have to stand out from the rest of the lineup? Well this incredible Agent concept answers those questions and then some.

Previous designs have captured the imaginations of the community and some have actually been quite close to what the developers were working on. The latest idea brings us ‘Mamuro.’ A Radianite-infused Agent with a shocking samurai aesthetic.

Mamuro: Valorant Initiator Agent concept

Valorant gameplay
Riot Games
One of Mamuro’s abilities makes your weapons deadlier than ever.

“Mamuro summons lightning bolts on the battlefield and smashes enemies without hesitation,” the Agent description reads. Not only do we have a visual of the character, but Reddit user ‘VisiblePerson’ has also provided a complete breakdown of the kit as well.

All of the abilities are unlike anything else in Valorant today. Some assist with movement, others stun, while the Ultimate is all about slaying. One factor is common across the board, however, lightning and thunder are Mamuro’s tools for the job.

Two of the abilities bring out Mamuro’s sword. Thunder Cutter is the first, allowing you to slash and dash through any given map. Similar to Genji from Overwatch, dashing deals 75 damage though it surprisingly lets you phase through walls as well. Rather than taking down foes, however, it might be best used to destroy enemy projectiles. You can take anything out “with one swing” and even negate the first shot fired from an opposing player.

Valorant concept
Reddit: u/VisiblePerson
The full concept from VisiblePerson on Reddit.

Rising Thunder is a 7-cost Ultimate that actually harms you before it can change the course of a round. Upon activating the ability, 50% of your health will be wiped out. In this process, you’re transformed into “an electric demon armed with a blade.” This blade lets you move faster than usual, gives you a whopping 250HP, and lets you slash away at foes with 50 damage per strike.

  • Ability 1 (Q) – Overload: EQUIP a discharge of electricity and upgrade different types of weapons. LMB – Upgrade ally. RMB – Upgrade yourself. (Pistols mark enemies, SMG & AR Damage increased by 10%, Rifles reload faster)
  • Ability 2 (E) – Thunder Cutter: EQUIP a blade of thunder and defeat enemies or destroy a projectile flying at you. LMB – Dash with the blade and deal 75 damage. Makes a loud sound and allows you to move through walls. RMB – Destroy an enemy projectile with one swing of the blade or protect yourself from the first shot of an enemy.
  • Signature Ability (C) – Heaven Roar: EQUIP a paper version of the map you’re playing on. Select where you want to send lightning and press RMB. After a 1.5 second cast time, the lightning strikes, dealing 40 damage and blinding enemies. Blind lasts 1.5 seconds.
  • Ultimate Ability (X) – Rising Thunder: EQUIP a blade of thunder and sacrifice 50% of your health to transform into an electric demon. You’ll be armed with a blade that deals 50 damage per hit and allows you to move 1.5x faster than usual. This also gives you 250 health and increases your damage with each kill. This Ultimate ends after 20 seconds without a kill.
Overwatch gameplay
Similar to Genji from Overwatch, Mamuro can dash in Valorant, though with a serious downside that reveals your position.

With such unique movement and devastating effects, there’s no denying Mamuro would shake up the game. Could this Agent be a little overpowered? There’s no real way of telling without seeing it in the mix. Though as with every new character, the community will find new ways to work around the innovative kit.

Episode 2 is still a little while away, so don’t expect to see another new Agent until then. In the meantime, here’s everything we know about the next major update.