John Goscicki, the Sr Character Producer of Valorant at Riot Games, has dropped some updates via another State of Agents drop. The developers at Riot Games made some of the most significant changes to the Agents since patch 3.0. They've seen some movement in role diversity due to these improvements, particularly in the Initiator role.
The developers further stated that they'd noticed more rivalry among selections since the introduction of Fade compared to prior months when Sova dominated the recon role.
While they're happy to see players having other options in the role, the devs think that there are certain places where she may be overperforming, such as clearing gaps, so the devs are looking at potential changes to her utility.
Developers hint at massive changes coming to Valorant
Players may have observed Chamber take up the Sentinel job seriously, leaving his contemporaries in the dust. Although Valorant devs have released some modest Chamber upgrades to address this, the results in competitive and Champions suggest more work to be done here, and it will be a priority for the devs in the future.
Devs at Riot Games look at various factors to determine when an Agent needs a change in Valorant. Factors such as Winrate and Pickrate data in solo queues, player perception, pro-play trends, and the team's design principles for the character in question.
Developers have further described the game's meta as
"A living culture that shifts patch to patch, and effective improvements to VALORANT are ones that make an impact on it for the better."
It takes many weeks for players to adjust to new changes after a patch is introduced, which means that devs must be patient and study how player behavior evolves.
While some balanced games are not enjoyable, some balance adjustments destroy what players enjoy about the game. The developers have said that they will try to stay away from them. In truth, certain adjustments may make the game more balanced yet do not affect how the game is played.
For example, if the devs make an Agent more powerful, but players do not perceive it to be powerful, and if they don't play it, the devs have a more significant problem. The game then has a pretty strong character with a low pick rate, with little room to buff them more to persuade players to pick it.
To that end, the Valorant developers have mentioned that they intend to update the Agents to make them more balanced. They also urge players to modify their opinion of the game's balance and create the meta. They further mentioned why KAY/O wasn't buffed despite being one of the game's characters with a dismal win rate for most players.
The data indicates that his abilities are powerful, as pro players can use them well. While player sentiment states that he's a weak character, the design team at Riot doesn't feel that way when they play it themselves. Hence, any changes they bring to KAY/O abilities would make him more accessible without increasing the potential in pro plays.
Valorant developers further mentioned that they're looking at Cypher closely to figure out what updates he might need to find his place back in the Sentinel ranks. With the introduction of some changes to Phoenix in Patch 5.01, the early signs have been promising as his win rate has gone up in competitive play.
Riot further confirmed that Agent 21 would be an Indian Agent with water-based ability. They have teased the Valorant community with a simple quote in Hindi, “Jald hi milte hain,” which means let's meet soon.