Riot’s Valorant Is Receiving It’s First Patch, With Mild Nerfs Levied At Raze And Sage

Riot’s Valorant Is Receiving It’s First Patch, With Mild Nerfs Levied At Raze And Sage
Credit: Blame The Controller - Overwatch via YouTube

Riot’s new competitive shooter Valorant is finally receiving its first official patch, while the title is still in closed beta; it comes with equally appropriate notes that offer insight into precisely what the minds of Riot are thinking as they attempt to scale various heroes and abilities to a centralized theory of balance. In the first patch notes, the hero Raze is addressed along with Sage, some mechanics, and map balancing. We’ll briefly discuss the primary points of the patch, why they were addressed, and prominent opinions. The patch is due to release tonight for European servers, and tomorrow morning for North America.

First up, we have Raze, who finds herself in the same situation as the McCree sniper from Overwatch, or the Krieg from Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in late-2019; she’s a bit over-tuned in comparison to the others and can guarantee kills in a variety of situations that don’t have much counter-play. This frustrates everyone except those that are using Raze, and forums inevitably devolve into ‘gitgud’ statements and colorful epithets. It’s difficult to honestly deny that she can scoop up a surprising number of kills using only her kit, however; she’s widely considered to be the most powerful agent thus far in Valorant.

The most common complaint thus far has been that her ultimate, or special move, is her Showstopper rocket that can kill an entire team if they’re defending close; in hectic situations, it’s very difficult to hear her voice line that announces that the enemy team needs to scatter like roaches in the kitchen when the lights turn on. Another complaint is her consistent use of grenades (called Paint Shells), that scatter into additional grenades, littering an entire defense point with death with little to no counter-play aside from not being at the defense point.

With this in mind, Raze is the first agent to receive some nerfs from Riot. From the official patch notes:

  • Reduced Paint Shells from 2 to 1.
  • Paint Shells now have a kill reset, requiring players to get 2 kills to refresh cooldown.
  • Tuned and adjusted audio for Paint Shells, Blast Pack, and Showstopper so that they’ll be easier to hear in hectic scenarios.

All in all, this is an appropriate approach towards reigning Raze in a bit to a baseline of damage output. The kill reset on Paint Shells ensure that users won’t be lobbing them blindly every match while waiting for them to replenish; Raze users will need to either successfully net two kills with one grenade, or use their other abilities along with weaponry to continue lobbing grenades anywhere an enemy may be.

The adjusted audio should ensure that users can hear the voiceline prior to Raze sending out a Showstopper, at least offering a means of escaping before eating a rocket with their face. These patches have been received favorably, although not with Raze users.

Strangely enough, Sage is also getting an alteration, although it’s difficult to determine it as only a nerf, or a buff. Sage is a strong backline player that hasn’t necessarily received too many cries for nerfing her into the ground; with a heal on a timer and an ult that allows for a vocal resurrection, she also receives two abilities that allow her to dictate the pace of attackers; a Barrier Orb that creates a solid wall wherever she desires that can be used to shut down an avenue of attack or boost teammates, and a Slow Orb that creates an ice field on the floor that slows users.

  • Slow Orb now also slows the airspeed of players in the zone.
  • Players can now walk through the Slow Orb without making noise

Previously, Sage players could use both abilities to force an enemy to attack a different site or take a different route. Still, players would be able to bunny-hop through the slow field to reach the other side surprisingly quick, typically getting the drop on Sage. This nerf means that the skillset of b-hopping will be used far less in matches, as the airspeed directly nerfs attempts to hop through the orb. However, the second change means that you can now walk through the Slow Orb and get the drop on a Sage that has her attention turned elsewhere.

Sage is also receiving an indirect nerf to her Barrier Orb that constructs a wall via a melee buff that doubles the damage of melee attacks to destructible items such as metal doors on Haven and Sage’s wall.

Beyond this, a skill orb on Split at mid was moved to B main, high framerate no longer correlates with high latency, and Cypher’s camera can no longer use weapons due to a bug. It’s the first official patch for Valorant, and time will tell how effective it is at bringing everything in0line with a standard of dynamic power across all heroes and weapons.