There might be only 12 Agents in Valorant now, but Riot are shooting high. They are in for the long haul, with the hopes of releasing dozens of new characters over the next few years to hit their “perfect” number.
There’s not much variety in Valorant Agents right now. With only 12 to choose, there’s a limited number of compositions you can make. When you look at pro play, it’s even lower, given Agents like Cypher and Omen are pretty much must-picks.
However, in the near future, that might not be the case. Riot have already said they are pushing to release six Agents this year — one with every Act. So far, they’ve hit that mark with Reyna and Killjoy. A third is on the way on October 13.
They are planning on continuing that for as long as the game exists, although there’ll be a time where they might slow down. There’s one range of numbers on Valorant devs’ lips that would be the perfect amount of Agents for their game: 50-60.
“The perfect Agent roster balance...honestly I think we'll start to understand how flexible the Agent roster is as we inject more in, so I don't think we can say ‘100 is crazy’ or ‘100 is great.’ Personally I think ~50-60 feels about right — let's say 5 per role,” developer ‘Pwyff’ told players on Reddit on September 10.
At a rate of six a year, it’ll take Riot approximately six to eight years to hit that mark of 50-60 Agents. It’s an easier goal than Siege’s 100 Operators (currently at 57, releasing four a year), but still a relatively daunting task when you consider the sheer volume of it.
Valorant devs have cited Dota 2's Hero system as a potential model for the FPS title.Riot has developed over 150 champions for League of Legends, so you’d think there’d be some inspiration drawn from there. Ironically though, Riot aren’t exactly modelling their Agent system on League of Legends. Instead, they’re looking towards Dota 2.
Given they’ve made recent balancing decisions, like the huge Sage nerfs on Patch 1.07, based on freeing up space to release future Agents in certain categories, it makes sense to look towards Valve's MOBA for inspiration on how they manage character choice and the flexibility around that.
If Riot are going to be in for the long run, they best start building their cast of characters far and wide, which will only add to the game’s strategic depth.