Valorant

Riot Games teases "weirder" Valorant weapon skins after Elderflame

by Michael Gwilliam

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Riot Games have delved a bit into the creation of their Elderflame skin series, and hinted about creations we could see come to Valorant in the future.

The Enderflame skin bundle was first teased on July 8 and was a major hit with fans for the dragon-style flare given to weapons.

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The skins will be available for a series of weapons including the Vandal, Guardian, Frenzy ,and Operator. Plus, as a bonus, it will come with a sweet exclusive knife so you can carve up your foes in style.

Speaking with Polygon, Valorant producer Preeti Khanolkar and art lead Sean Marino explained some of the difficulties the team had designing the skins, but said that the team would be pushing things even further in the future.

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According to Khanolkar, if players take to the skins, the team will be seeing how much further and “weirder” they can get.

While she didn’t delve into specifics of exactly what this means, it’s crazy to think of how much wackier they can go considering the challenges they faced designing the skins.

“Ultimately, you just want to win your game, so [finding] what’s going to look cool but not be ‘pay-to-lose’ has been a challenge,” Khanolkar said.

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Valorant's Enderflame concept art
Riot Games
Concept art depicting the Enderflame Frenzy skin.

Some skins were almost cut from the line. Marino explained how the Operator was challenging to get right. “We were on the verge of cutting it, because it’s the only dragon that has wings. It was like, if you open up these wings, now it takes up all of your screen space, and that compromises competitive integrity.”

Making the skins feel “balanced” proved to be a problem even though they offer no advantages gameplay wise.

“[They] had a long summon animation,” Khanolkar explained. “It [was] this kind of swoopy ‘gun materializes’ thing. And it was cool. But everyone was like, ‘I hate this. I know it’s the same speed, but it feels slower and that messes with me.’”

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Enderflame in Valorant
Riot Games
You don't need Dragon Balls to summon this dragon.

However, after internal testing, which included some of the highest ELO players, they managed to get them to feel right.

The Elderflame skin lines launches July 10.