Valorant Patch Notes 1.04: Agent and weapon balancing - Dexerto
Valorant

Valorant Patch Notes 1.04: Agent and weapon balancing, bug fixes, more

Published: 21/Jul/2020 14:37

by Andy Williams

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Valorant’s July 21 update brings some big changes to Agents, with Viper receiving a hefty buff, while Brimstone and Raze’s Ultimates have received a much-needed nerf. 

So what’s new in Patch 1.04? Well, Viper has receive yet another series of buffs, including a per second increase of her decay against enemies. You’ll also need to work a little harder for those devastating Raze and Brimstone Ultimates, with both now costing seven points.

The Classic has received a bit of TLC, with the right-click burst fire being tweak, alongside some general adjustments to make the Sidearm more consistent. There are a plethora of minor fixes, including Elderflame fixes and quality of life changes. Full patch notes can be found below.

Patch 1.04 highlights
Riot Games
There’s a series of Agent changes as part of Patch 1.04.

Valorant July 21: Patch Notes 1.04

VIPER

Viper’s Pit

  • Max time outside of her ult before it collapses changed from 5>>>12 seconds.
  • Viper can hold the ability key to drop her ult early.
  • Enemies in Viper’s Pit have their minimap obscured and do not provide minimap detection to their allies.
  • Increased the brightness of the red enemy glow at the edge of Viper’s near-sight.

“With Viper being allowed out of her ult for such a short period of time, we felt that she was not only limited in the plays she could make, but also gave too much continuous information to her enemies. The ability to move outside the ult smoke more freely should provide some new and interesting mind games for Viper to play—and hopefully puts the strategic pressure back on the enemy. The other improvements should push Viper’s advantage in her own smoke and help her avoid getting traded by enemies using minimap vision to target her.”

Decay

  • Enemy decay per second increased from 10 to 15 from all sources.
  • After exiting Viper’s smoke, enemy decay sustains for 2.5 seconds before starting to fade.

“Viper’s decay depleting so quickly from enemies was limiting the advantage it provided and wasn’t creating the threat we had hoped for as a result. Adding a delay before it fades will hopefully widen the window where Viper and her team can capitalize and pair with the Viper’s Pit updates (above) to provide fresh ways to play around her ult.”

Fuel

  • Having both Poison Cloud and Toxic Screen active does not consume additional fuel beyond the cost of having one active.

“The reduction in total uptime when both her vision blockers were active was making it difficult for Viper to use both tools together. Since Viper’s smoke has so much commitment and makes up so much of her kit, we want to free her to use them in tandem to create powerful options for her team to take sites.”

RAZE

Showstopper Ultimate cost changed from 6 to 7 Ult points.

“Raze’s ultimate is one of the most impactful in the game and useful in almost any situation. As a result, it is being used a bit too often. So we’re upping the cost by 1, which should help reduce how often players have to face her Showstopper.”

BRIMSTONE

Orbital Strike Ultimate cost changed from 6 to 7 Ult points.

“Much like Raze’s Ultimate, Brimstone’s Ult is very impactful and useful in a wide variety of situations. We feel like it was impacting rounds a little too frequently, so decided to up the cost slightly.”

Stim Beacon no longer Buffs enemies and no longer shows its effect radius to enemies.

“The Stim beacon is meant to be a pretty situational ability but we felt that revealing Brimstone’s location and having the potential to accidentally buff enemies was making this ability significantly weaker than we’d like.”

Brimstone’s Arms Fidelity

“When you really think about an FPS, you’ll notice you spend an awful amount of time looking at your arms…like all the time. Before launch, we intended to increase the fidelity of Brimstone’s arms to match the overall quality of the game. We did it—now look at those guns!”

CYPHER

Cyber Cage can now be picked up during the buy phase.

WEAPON UPDATES

Classic

“The Classic right-click was the primary bug fix here, but we saw an opportunity to make the weapon behave a bit more consistently. We slightly tuned efficacy of jump right-clicks, but (hopefully) haven’t taken away their viability in close-range scenarios.”

  • Fixed bug where running inaccuracy on the right-click was much higher than intended.
    • Running was adding a 1.5 penalty because it was referencing our generalized running error curves for pistols.
  • Fixed bug where jumping had no inaccuracy penalty.
  • Running spread is changed from 3.4 >>> 2.1.
    • Primarily a bug fix.
  • Jumping spread changed from 1.9 >>> 2.3
  • Walking spread changed from 1.9 >>> 1.95
  • Added a 10% bonus to accuracy when crouching and stationary
    • Intent is to feel consistent with crouch providing an accuracy benefit.

HUD & UI

Replaced the previous Weapon Stats textbox in the pre-round shop with an easier-to-compare graphical representation of stats.

QUALITY OF LIFE

  • Observer minimap vision cones are now colored by team
  • Replaced Reyna’s Voice Over for Italian and Mexican
    • Unfortunately, due to the global health situation the talents we identified for the role were not able to record due to regional restrictions. You can now find in-game, the voices we originally intended for Italian and Mexican Reyna!

ELDERFLAME SKINS

  • Adjusted the volume on the Elderflame Operator equip animation.
  • Fixed bug that would cause the volume to stack if you spam equipped the Operator.
  • Enemy footsteps duck cosmetic bus properly.
    • This means that enemy footsteps will always lower the volume of the skin sound effects that are not important to gameplay, like the flame whooshes, dragon roar, etc.
  • Elderflame Melee inspect animation now has sound effects for Level 1 and 2.

PERFORMANCE UPDATES

  • Gun pickup targeting and Sage Ultimate targeting unified with ally character highlights, saving VRam and GPU performance.
  • Minor rendering performance fixes.
  • Gun skin upgrade videos are now streamed instead of locally stored, reduced install size by 380MB.

BUG FIXES

  • Fixed requirement for Reyna to look at Soul Orbs to activate them and maintain her healing, behavior should match that of Patch 1.02.
  • Fixed one-way Brimstone smokes when the player’s camera was around the top of the smoke.
  • Fixed Breach’s Aftershock not properly applying damage to all characters if multiple are hit by it.
  • Fixed jittering when reaching the max flight height of Sova’s drone.
  • Fixed Marshall bug where the weapon maintained accuracy while walking.
  • Fixed issues with some translucency effects being one frame behind (such as Jett’s dash, when used by the player).
  • Fixed ally highlights not showing up on some AMD GPUs when using MSAA, and some Intel GPUs.
  • Fixed a bug where loading screens did not cover the entire screen when playing in certain resolution/aspect ratio combinations.
  • Shortened the text on the photosensitivity warning screen.
  • Fixed a bug where the “equip” button would stay greyed out when purchasing a skin variant that is being previewed.
  • Fixed Brimstone smokes on Haven spawning offset of where intended.
  • Fixed a typo in Brimstone’s biography (thanks mooonlimes for the report).
Valorant

10 players to watch during Valorant’s First Strike Global Finals

Published: 26/Nov/2020 16:58 Updated: 27/Nov/2020 9:46

by Lauren Bergin

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With the Valorant First Strike qualifiers coming to a close all across the globe, some players have risen to the top of the pack — but who are they? 

It’s safe to say that Riot Games’ first global tournament, First Strike, has left its mark in FPS history. There’s been upsets, shocking results and, of course, some absolutely wild plays. Some of the top tier teams fell at the final hurdle, and others powered up by friendship have emerged triumphant.

One of the positives about having the tournament be played online is that it lets smaller teams shine, highlighting players who maybe never would have made it onto the big stage.

Every region is going to see some fierce competition for their regional title, and it’s going to be exciting to watch who prevails and who falters. Below is our list of players who can shift the First Strike tides, so let’s dive right in.

European players to watch

Adil ‘ScreaM’ Benrlitom (Team Liquid)

When Team Liquid picked up former CS:GO pro ScreaM, Valorant fans were beyond excited, and for good reason. Renowned for being the “headshot machine” of CS:GO, it was pretty obvious that ScreaM joining the Valorant scene heralded even more head-popping chaos.

From start to finish ScreaM has dominated the First Strike qualifiers on his signature Jett, scoring an ace against Prodigy Esports that will go down in Valorant history as one of the cleanest. Are you ready to scream for Liquid? Well, get ready to watch the man himself obliterate the competition in the First Strike Regional Finals.

Ardis ‘ardiis’ Svarenieks (G2 Esports)

One of the most formidable players on this list is Ardiis, G2 Esports’ sniper extraordinaire. With a KD of 1.24 and a whole host of Agents available in his pool, Ardiis has quite rightly been dubbed by many casters, analysts, and other professionals as one of the game’s best players.

He’s proven that his skill matches up to the hype. One of the key carries in G2’s series against Ninjas in Pyjamas, Ardiis’ Sova was a force to be reckoned with. Sneaking behind enemy lines, shooting out devastating shock darts left, right and center, G2 couldn’t have done it without him. It’ll be interesting to see how he steps up in the regional final, especially when the title of First Strike Europe champion is on the line.

Pontus ‘Zyppan’ Eek (FPX)

When FunPlus Phoenix entered the Valorant scene we knew the sparks would fly, but we never knew that Zyppan would be the reason. The ex-Fortnite player’s Raze has become a true force on Future Earth, demolishing every team he’s been put up against.

With a KD of 1.32, his aggressive style is one we’d love to see more of in Valorant. His performance against The Opportunists is the perfect example of why he’s on such a highly respected roster, and it’ll be exciting to see how he shapes up against Ardiis and FunPlus’ arch nemesis, G2.

Domagoj ‘doma’ Fancev (SUMN FC)

SUMN FC aren’t a team that many people expected to be playing with the big guns, but doma is one of the reasons that the team are up there. The young Croatian has led SUMN to countless victories in past tournaments, with his Raze plays being explosive as the agent herself.

Doma has become one of the team’s most dominant forces, scoring headshot after headshot against eXiLe eSports in their qualifying match. Will he be able to outwit foes such as ScreaM and Zyppan? Maybe so, but what’s for sure is that he’s going to give them a fight to remember.

North American players to watch

Jake ‘kaboose’ McDonald (Team Envy)

Kaboose might not get as much recognition on Envy as his teammates like FNS, Crashies, and food, but he’s proven to be the player this roster needs to fly right to the top. The duelist specialist was the star of the Envy lineup that ended up winning the First Strike NA NSG Qualifier, topping the Average Combat Score (ACS) charts and styling on the likes of T1 and 100 Thieves.

While he was a CS:GO veteran of five years, he never really got his chance in the spotlight while playing in MDL. Now, in Valorant First Strike, he really has the chance to get the breakout he’s been grinding for years.

Quan ‘dicey’ Tran (100 Thieves)

If there was any doubts about Dicey’s skill before he joined 100 Thieves, they’ve surely been silenced by now. The young star is on the rise in Valorant, spearheading an incredibly talented and experienced roster. He might not have the name value of his teammates like Hiko and nitr0, but give him six months and he will.

His Jett put Wardell to shame in the NSG Qualifier for First Strike, but he’s also shown he can pick up other roles like Sova as well while on Prospects. He also has the brain to match the aim: one can’t forget his insane 1v4 ace against Sentinels on Bind back in Pop Flash. Now in his biggest competition yet, Dicey really has the chance to cement himself as a household name in Valorant.

Jay ‘sinatraa’ Won (Sentinels)

Sinatraa has a real chance to become an undisputed GOAT in two titles. The Overwatch League MVP has made a splash in Valorant with Sentinels, and is widely considered to be the best player in NA. His ability to flex between Agents is testament to his versatility. Across just two series against 100 Thieves and T1 in the NSG Qualifier, he played four Agents in Raze, Sova, Jett, and Phoenix.

His uncanny ability to top the score charts, all while playing a more supportive role on Sova (most of the time) is incredible. There was a reason why he’s considered one of the best Overwatch players of all time, and now he’s living up to that GOAT title in Valorant.

Noah ‘jcStani’ Smith (Immortals)

Immortals have been through a lot of changes, but jcStani has been a rock for the squad. He’s filled in every possible role no matter who leaves, and although he more often than not finds himself on support, he still manages to frag out like a duelist.

jcStani’s leadership of the Immortals roster that has been in flux, even during First Strike with ShoT_Up’s illness, has steered them to where they are today. Now with things starting to stabilize, it’s only a matter of time until the best of Immortals and jcStani really gets to shine.

Notable mentions

Goo ‘Rb’ Sang-min (Vision Strikers)

Rb is probably the best Valorant player you’ve never heard of. The Vision Strikers star is the King of Korean Valorant. There’s a reason why his team are on an undefeated 43-0 streak, and a lot of it has to do with Rb. His incredible fragging ability allows his squad to execute the most well-coordinated strats seen across the globe.

Rb boasts a career ACS of 245. To put that in perspective, Sinatraa has a career ACS of 241, Ardiis has 245, and the only player who really beats him is ScreaM on 258. The level of competition in Korea is fierce as well between T1 Korea, C9 Korea, and more, but Rb manages to consistently come out on top on Jett, making him one of the most exciting prospects once international play gets going.

Chris ‘pl1xx’ Li (EXO Clan)

To round out our list, it’s time to take a trip down under to chat about EXO Clan’s pl1xx. Is there anything pl1xx can’t play? Probably not. He is an incredibly flexible player for Oceania’s number one team, and while he calls himself a Sova main, he can basically play anything his team needs, including Reyna and Raze.

A once-budding Counter-Strike prodigy, the Australian has found himself a new home in Valorant. Widely touted as Oceania’s best player – with maybe a bit of debate between his teammates – pl1xx’s flexibility and keen aim makes him one of the most versatile players not just in his home region, but across the globe.

So that’s it for our list of players to watch going into the global First Strike finals. There are a hundred different ways this list could have went, but these players are certainly standouts and we can wait to see how they perform.