VALORANT patch targets Sage, adjusts Split – ESPN – ESPN

wp header logo 1692

Riot Games released its next set of patch notes Tuesday for its new first-person shooter, VALORANT.
Unlike some of the game’s initial updates, this one was a whopper for VALORANT, as not only did a majority of the agents have some changes to their kit along with some interface updates, but also after being the most polarizing map of the closed beta, Split has been shifted to hopefully allow for players to breathe a bit easier while on the attacking side.
Sage and Cypher, the two defense-oriented Sentinel class characters, saw the brunt of the agent tinkering. Although most of her kit was left untouched, Sage’s Slow Orb zone duration decreased from nine seconds to seven seconds, and its slowing amount decreased from 65% to 50%.
“We all know Sage is [overpowered],” Jeff Landa, communications associate at Riot Games, wrote in the patch notes. “We’ve decided to try to reduce some of her stopping power while still allowing her to fulfill her role as the premier staller in VALORANT. These changes aim to reduce the overall efficacy of her Slow Orb, especially if they are chained back-to-back.”
More: T1 sign Victor “Food” Wong to VALORANT squad | Washington Justice star Corey leaves Overwatch for VALORANT | What we learned from VALORANT’s T1 x Nerd Street Gamers Invitational
The price of Sage’s Barrier Orb increased from 300 to 400 credits, an adjustment that might impact economy decisions for Sage players and not make it a must-buy every round.
Cypher’s overwhelming amount of information was also taken down a level in this recent patch. The Moroccan operative’s Spycam cool-down, when destroyed, increased from 30 to 45 seconds, and his Cyber Cage no longer slows enemies when they move through it, making it a tad easier to play around Cypher’s web of traps.
“We’ve always envisioned Cypher as a premier sentinel gathering info on his enemies and picking them off, but the slow on the cage was allowing him to move into Sage’s territory by stalling an entire enemy team,” Landa said. “We still think this will be a tool he uses to buy some time, but enemies will now have more options when pushing his defenses, especially when coordinated.”
The winning agent for this patch was the always edgy and overly spooky Omen. The VALORANT developers wanted to make him a viable option as a Controller classed agent when standing next to Brimstone’s plethora of utility. Omen’s Dark Cover smoke duration increased from 12 to 15 seconds to match Brimstone’s Sky Smoke ability, and the ability had its deploying speed increased as well.
As for Split, the developers set in motion a plan to make it easier for the attackers to survive on the map. The changes have pushed back the defending advantage on Split, especially in the all-important mid position, with the defending team now starting back in vents and/or their own tower instead of having free dominion over the ramp that overlooks the middle of the map.
“Attacking teams have been having difficulty finding a foothold in territory control across the map,” Landa said. “We’ve made a few changes that should allow attackers better opportunities to contest A Main, Mid Top and B Tower.”
Along with a slew of minor changes, the other big change in this update is to the game’s economy system for teams snowballing into unsurmountable victories. The total amount of creds a player can have at a time has been reduced from 12,000 to 9,000, thus reducing the chance for a leading team to bank up such an advantage through an early lead in a half that it feels impossible for the opposing side to challenge. With this change, the VALORANT developers hope that games can have a more back-and-forth feel or at least give an opportunity to losing teams to have a puncher’s chance come a late-game scenario.


About the author

William Johnson

William Johnson

William J. has a degree in Computer Graphics and is passionate about virtual and augmented reality. He explores the latest in VR and AR technologies, from gaming to industrial applications.