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Valorant: Lack of global utilities is making the Operator very hard to balance

(Image Credits: Gamers Decide)
(Image Credits: Gamers Decide)
Tee Kay
ANALYST
Modified 06 Oct 2020, 19:33 IST
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Anyone who has played Valorant is clear about the basic concept of agents and abilities. Although the addition of Agents with unique abilities does set the game apart from the fan favourite title CS:GO, the lack of global utilities in the game, because of agent-specific utilities, is hurting Valorant.

Former CS pro turned Valorant coach - Twix, dropped his thoughts on the matter. His feelings about Valorant include:

When I make a negative statement in relation to the extremely large amount of deep angles that you need to clear in each section of a map in Valorant, or the ridiculously open, cross-map LOS that can be held with an operator, with my main point of reference being CS, a lot of players say it isn't a problem because you have "so much utility" in Valorant which is why they're different in structure to CS maps. "
"I think the root of the misconception here is the fact that there's so many unique abilities, which creates the illusion that there's a much larger variety of utility than there really is, since the majority of abilities function in a way that overlaps with one another, e.g. Phoenix's curveball is very different ( both visually and mechanically ) than Breach's flashes, or Reyna/Omen's blinds, but they all have the same function, they blind/nearsight the enemy. Jett /Brimstone/Omen all have very "different" smoke abilities, but again, they all hold the same function.

How is it different in Valorant than in CS:GO?

According to Twix, the difference between Valorant and CS:GO is the following:

In CS:GO, every single person on the team has the ability to carry a flash, a molly, a smoke, and/or an HE nade, even in combination, meaning you can have something like 10 flashes, 5 smokes, and 5 mollies in a single round on your team, but most importantly, every player has the utility necessary to counter one-shot weapons/people holding x angle, you don't need to rely on others to flash/smoke/molly areas for you.

How does this Impact my Valorant gameplay?

The Valorant coach explains:

The idea behind having character-bound abilities enforces team play, which isn't a bad concept in theory for a tactical shooter. Here's a hypothetical scenario, you're playing ascent and everyone instalocks, you have no smokes, and the enemy team abuses mid with a double OP setup. The result? Not much room for counterplay. Again, people shouldn't be insta-locking duelists, but they will consistently do so, especially in lower ranks.
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"You shouldn't have to be forced into situations where the outcome of your ability to hold a position is pre-determined by factors out of your control, e.g. people not picking smokers, or even worse, people picking smokers and not using their utility to block LOS.

Twix feels that there is indeed a solution to the lack of global utilities in Valorant:

The solution to this problem could be quite tricky, obviously having utility be character-bound isn't going to (and shouldn't) be changed, as it's one of the aspects of Valorant that makes the game unique as a tac shooter. What can however be done to counter the issue that people come across often in terms of having horrible team comps that don't allow for the counter-play necessary to tackle the OP meta, especially in maps like Ascent, is to introduce a role cap."
"What I mean by this is e.g. introducing a sort of "filter" that doesn't allow for people to lock into more than say, 3 duelists. I don't believe there even needs to be a cap on any other role, as the issue of people not having smokes / CC on their team ( especially in lower elo ) stems from the fact that everyone wants to play a duelist. I have played on smurf accounts in low diamond in order to play with friends in duo / trio queue, and 50% of the time people would just instalock Reyna / Phoenix / Jett as soon as we loaded into the lobby."
"It would also be nice to introduce some sort of feature to prevent instalocking in general. A good way to do this IMO would be to allow for a sort of "team discussion" period, maybe 15-20 seconds after everyone loads into the lobby, where people can "declare" the agent they want to play, this would be great in terms of keeping people from just spam-picking duelists in every low MMR lobby ( high MMR too, just not as often )"
"It would also be nice to allow for people to "trade" picks similar to how you can trade champions in league even after you have locked in your picks, I don't see any reason as to why players shouldn't be able to do this if they come to a last-minute mutual agreement with a teammate that they want to swap roles.

After Twix’s opinion, what remains to be seen is if the Valorant devs, who have responded to the cries of the community so far, will respond to this one or not. For now, all we can do is hope and wait for the next update to drop.

Published 06 Oct 2020, 19:33 IST
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