Valorant Patch 1.03

Another week another patch.

Lets dive into the big changes

  • Guardian
    • Price down to 2500
    • Fire rate reduced
    • More penetration power
  • Map bug fixes
  • Surrender will have a real button now
  • New Sudden Death Format
    • Must win by 2
    • Credits reset to 5000 every round
    • Every round alternates sides
    • If teams don’t win by 2, they may vote to call a draw
  • Some Spike Rush changes, but who cares.

Lets talk about these changes.

The guardian brings an interesting change. Essentially this nerfs its close range quickfire potential which used to be able to off someone quite fast. The price reduction is a decent buff, and with the increased penetration power, it can still be a solid choice for holding long positions. I imagine people who can get head shots off will be buying this gun a lot. The fire rate reduction doesn’t matter much, as firing it at full speed made it useless at mid to long range anyway.

The new sudden death will be MUCH MORE fair. After just coming off a 12-13 loss today, I welcome this change greatly. Especially since maps are often very bias towards either attacking or defending. Giving the teams a chance on both sides makes a lot more sense. The option for calling a draw is pretty cool too.

The patch should release soon. Here are the full notes

Valorant 1.02 Released, Rank Mode Delayed

Valorant patched today to 1.02 with quite a change log.

However, it was quickly announced that rank/competitive mode will be delayed for a little bit. They caught some bugs that could affect it. The delay is predicted to be just a couple days, but no confirmation aside from a tweet.

Here are some notable changes in the new patch.

  • Viper’s toxic screen now goes through walls
  • When Phoenix dies in his ult, Jett will get her blades refilled and Reyna will get a soul orb drop
  • Some Cypher Spy cam glitch fixes
  • New Rank icons
  • Able to play ranked with friends at more skill disparity
  • Map tweaks
  • SURRENDER option

I am shook that there are no nerfs to Reyna yet, although people are learning to play against her a little more nowadays. The surrender option is a double edged sword, you’ll find yourself in a ton of games where you make a huge comeback in the 2nd half. Some people play better on one side than the other. I wouldn’t be too trigger happy to surrender games.

Full Patch Notes

Valorant Ranked Update

Details on Valorant Patch 1.02 released by Riot

Riot released some pre-patch notes for the upcoming ranked patch. We mentioned last week that ranked should be releasing very soon. They are already teasing us with some details with many welcome changes.

Most importantly, they are making playing with friends easier than it was in beta in terms of rank disparity. A lot of people were finding it hard to keep playing with friends because someone only 6 ranks away was unable to queue up with their friends due to matchmaking restrictions. It didn’t help that people could rank up faster than their own squad mates by getting top frag and high combat scores.

Riot will still block players who have HUGE skill disparity, but for the most part it should be balanced out well enough to not make you lose your squad mates.

There has also been an update to the rank icons! I think people made a big stink at how ugly they were in beta, so they finally put some effort into them. They also swapped the top rank from Valorant into Radiant to avoid confusion.

No definite balance fix yet for solo vs 5 stacks, but they are still working on ways to balance that out as well. The release of ranked might come a few days after the patch, similar to beta, but we don’t know for sure. Either way its coming VERY soon, so ya’ll better get your aim good now.

Pre-Patch Notes here.

Valorant: How to Make your Enemies GLOW Yellow

Players are changing this setting to make enemies have a brighter glow.

As I was perusing social media, I began to notice that players had their enemies outlined in a yellow glow. I thought it was spectator mode or a replay, but I realized their enemies were glowing during a live match.

I looked into it and realized everyone was using settings designed to aid those with color vision impairment. So apparently if you turn on colorblind mode, you can see all your enemies in full color plus an extra glow.

Everyone Glows.

You see how wild that image is. This definitely makes it easier to spot enemies. It will also change a couple graphics, but the only one I could notice was the red barrier walls on the mini map changed to yellow.
You can access this setting in the General tab and at the very top, the 2nd option is Enemy Highlight Color. You can choose between purple or yellow, the latter being much easier to see.

Find the setting here.

You can watch me play with the yellow setting on.

Valorant: Reyna is the MOST BROKEN agent.

Reyna is overpowered.

So we’re a few days into Valorant 1.0 release. They introduced one new agent, Reyna, aka, the most OP agent. Let me give you a rundown of all of her abilities and why they are broken as hell.

Leer – this is her flash bang ability. Except it can go through walls and stays in the air for a period of time and blinds (near sights) anyone that looks at it during that time. You can dodge it by not looking at it, but guess what, your back would be turned to her and she could just mow you down. You could also just shoot it down with a couple shots, but that means taking your aim away from Reyna/enemies and pointing your gun at the orb, which gives enemies PLENTY of time to gun you down first. The funniest part is that this is probably her least overpowered ability.

Devour/Dismiss – Reyna can also buy a pool of 4 charges that can be interchanged between using devour or dismiss. If she kills an enemy she is able to choose between these two skills to activate. Devour, heals Reyna to FULL health, yes, she can literally leave every skirmish with an enemy and if she kills them, regain all of her health, up to 4 times in a round. Her other choice, dismiss, instead makes her invincible and transparent (but still visible), giving her more move speed to reposition herself after killing someone. But Riot decided that this wasn’t already OP enough, so Reyna can OVERHEAL herself and gain more than 100 health….

So we haven’t even talked about her ultimate ability yet and her abilities are all 5x stronger than all the other agents in the game. Her flash makes Phoenix’s look useless in comparison and she can heal much faster and more times than Phoenix. Her mobility skill outshines Jett’s as well. Reyna becomes invincible and quicker when she moves away, while Jett can only dash once (unless she gets 2 more kills) and Jett can still be shot and has a delay after the dash ends before she can shoot again.

I guess this didn’t already seem broken enough, so Riot decided to give Reyna the most ridiculous ultimate ability ever seen in any competitive shooter game. EMPRESS. Once she activates her ult, Reyna gains – INCREASED FIRE RATE, INCREASED RELOAD SPEED, REDUCED RECOIL. Wow, seems like a pretty strong ult, BUT THAT’S NOT ALL. She can also now see all of her enemies outlined in a bright red glow making them 3x easier to spot.

Literally can spot enemies 2 miles away in her ult

Her ult is so ridiculous, it requires another paragraph to explain what else it does. Her ult also modifies her devour dismiss abilities. Whenever you get a kill while you have your ult active, it will devour the enemy, automatically…without using an orb. Yes, you heard me, you get a free heal after every kill while in Empress mode. Also, if you trigger dismiss during Empress, you actually become fully 100% invisible and invincible to the enemy, letting you move anywhere you want with no detection. With all of this going on with her ult, you would think you could just wait for it to run out before fighting her, right? Wrong. Her ult timer, which is already long off the bat, RESETS every time she gets a kill. Don’t forget that if she has full armor, she can overheal to having a total of 200 health.

There is no other agent that is currently this imbalanced.

Which clown designed this agent and got it approved? I thought I was playing Valorant, not League of Legends. I hope Riot doesn’t follow the same path and make new agents overpowered so everyone spends money to buy them.

Someone nerf her, please.

Valorant Beta Over, Releases June 2nd

The Valorant beta ended on May 28th, so what’s next?

After grinding ranks in Valorant beta, it has come to an end and unfortunately all of that hard work will be wiped for the full game release. But, beta testing is always a crucial step in any game and the Riot team has made great efforts towards bug fixes, game balances/enhancements, and improving security from hackers.

Some Beta Stats

There will be another update that coincides with the release, along with a new agent that was teased in their release trailer. Also featured was the title of their first season, which will be “Ignite”. We don’t have a detailed list of updates officially from Riot yet for the release patch, but there are talks of some buffs to Omen’s abilities (teleport will stay the same). Also the new agent may have some sort of vampire-esque skills (lifesteal?).

Either way, I am pumped for the release! The game had a rocky start with bugs, an abundance of crashes, and terrible Vanguard implementation, but most of it seemingly seemed to be worked out by the end of beta. The game grew on me, and I find myself wanting to play it now that it’s gone.

Catch you all on June 2nd. See the trailer below.

Valorant Release Trailer

One Week of Valorant Ranked

Valorant ranked competitive mode has been out for about a week now, giving me some time to evaluate the new mode, here are my thoughts.

Ranking System

The ranking system is similar to league of legends, in order from worst to best, Iron – Bronze – Silver – Gold – Platinum – Diamond – Immortal – Valorant. Each tier has 3 sub-levels, i.e. Gold 1, Gold 2, Gold 3. Now here is where the curve ball comes in – In league of legends, Gold 4 is considered worst, while Gold 1 is highest of the tier; In Valorant however, Gold 1 would be the lowest and Gold 3 is the highest. I’m not sure what the purpose of this was, but it did cause some confusion for a good while, I would think they would just be consistent about it across their own games within Riot, but the only reasoning I could conjure up was that, in counter strike it went from 1 to 4 (highest) as well, and its safe to assume that CS players are going to make up a solid chunk of Valorant players. The only requirement to start playing ranked is to have 20 games played, no level requirement or anything else (thankfully). This seems pretty reasonable compared to LoL, where you had to play a ludicrous amount of games to reach level 30, although at the same time, this could lead to a smurfing problem when the game is fully released.

Gameplay

So how did my first week of ranked go? Not bad. Even in closed beta, there are enough people playing for matchmaking to be decently fair in most games. Individual performance is definitely factored into the rankings, as one person in my party climbed the ranks higher than the rest of us by scoring MVP many games. This did however, introduce another problem, even though we all started at the same time and played many games together, if you are 6 ranks below someone, you can no longer queue up with them. This is total nonsense, considering we ALL won those games as a team, but suddenly we can no longer queue with our friend anymore, because he became 6 ranks higher. The Valorant algorithm doesn’t seem to care for anything aside from kills. Scouting enemies, planting or defusing, healing , resurrection, walls, etc. All of these things can turn games around and create wins for your team, but if you’re not getting maximum kills, then your rank will suffer. This leave no incentive for people to pick up the bomb ever, or play heroes like Sage that are a huge boost to the team, but might not have an offensive toolkit. This also promotes smurfing, as people naturally will still want to play with their friends, but have no choice but to create a new account and purposely tank the MMR, and then proceed into ranked to ruin Iron player’s dreams. Streamers have also pointed out that even though you can’t queue with your lower ranked friends, Matchmaking will still put you into a game with people of those ranks considered “too low” sometimes, which makes even less sense. There is also no definitive separation of solo vs 5 stacks, so an entire team of solos can sometimes end up playing against a 5 stack; summit1g made a comment about this unfairness as well. I would love to see a solo queue mode as well.

Anticheat Issues

Valorant has still been facing a handful of issues. Aside from regular game bugs, there was quite a big issue with their Vanguard Anti cheat system this week. Many users (including myself) have been reporting the Anti cheat has been blocking various things from drivers for PC components, to cooling software being blocked. Yes, you read that right, COOLING SOFTWARE was being shut off, one redditor has his GPU almost fry and start burning plastic, because Riot shut off their cooling software. I was luckier in that it was shutting of drivers for my RAM, causing RGB function to cease, but I haven’t seen any other symptoms. One of my friends stopped being able to launch the game completely for a couple days due to more Vanguard issues. Riot released a hot fix on 5/8/20, hopefully that resolves any major issues for most players.

All in all, its a good start of beta ranked. Get out there and enjoy!
If you still don’t have access to the game, read below.

If you haven’t gotten into the Valorant closed beta, here’s how:

  1. Create a riot account if you don’t already have one
  2. Create a Twitch account
  3. Link your riot to your twitch account here
  4. Watch any drop enabled streamer on twitch playing Valorant here

Riot has stated that watching multiple streams does not increase your chances. We recommend that you leave one stream running all day, you can also lower the resolution in the video player to reduce the network usage.

Unbiased Review: Valorant Initial Thoughts

If you haven’t heard, Riot has moved their first FPS game into closed beta. Many have deemed it the love child between Counter-Strike and Overwatch, which is kind of accurate.

The game is setup exactly like counter strike, just to name a few aspects:

  • 5 versus 5 with one team planting a bomb
  • Weapons are bought at the beginning of rounds
  • You run faster with the knife
  • The operator sniper rifle is essentially the CS AWP
  • The Phantom and Vandal Rifles resemble the M4 Silenced and AK-47, respectively in recoil and damage

There are some quality of life upgrades in the game compared to counter-strike, such as directly buying guns for teammates that they request in the menu and moving around to setup at beginning of rounds.

Now for the Overwatch aspect, each person gets to pick an agent that has unique spells or abilities. For example Sage can heal herself or teammates once every 35 seconds, she can also purchase extra abilities in the shop at the beginning of rounds, which are a slow orb (essentially a grenade that slows an area for a short period of time) and a wall she can put up to block enemies or even boost herself higher by standing under it. Lastly, her ultimate allows her to revive a teammate. Ultimate abilities are charged by kills or picking up orbs off the ground.

So how does this all mesh together…

So far, I am enjoying the game, but it does need some improvements. The dev team has stated that they aren’t focused on graphics as it was meant to be a competitive e-sports game that focuses on mechanics, I think this is a double-edged sword. It makes the game already look a bit dated, it reminds me of Half-Life 2 mods. The animations and models are very clunky. When people die its almost comical, it looks like how characters died in Counter Strike 1.6 (not CSGO), with almost no physics, just a couple repetitive animations. The blood splatter from headshots looks like they made 1 sprite for it because the splatter looks the same every time. The most laughable things are the smokescreen abilities which are basically smoke grenades, except they look like static circular images….take a look…

Blue Circle?
Purple Circle?

Overall the game is definitely worth a try, especially since it is F2P, once you’re in the beta. I’m happy its here, the gaming scene has been taken over by Battle Royales, over and over and over. Not everyone likes them, its time for some new refreshing games. I applaud Riot for trying to blend elements of 2 games together and I can’t wait to see what’s to come in future updates.

Stay tuned for a follow up review as the game matures a little more.

If you haven’t gotten into the Valorant closed beta, here’s how:

  1. Create a riot account if you don’t already have one
  2. Create a Twitch account
  3. Link your riot to your twitch account here
  4. Watch any drop enabled streamer on twitch playing Valorant here

Riot has stated that watching multiple streams does not increase your chances. We recommend that you leave one stream running all day, you can also lower the resolution in the video player to reduce the network usage.